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Cabinets 101: How to Choose Cabinets that Fit Your Budget & Home

Helping you understand the ins and outs of cabinetry

Aristokraft’s selection of door styles, wood types, finishes, mouldings and organization solutions gives you a wide range of possibilities to make your dream room come true. These choices can be overwhelming, though, if you don’t have a basic understanding of cabinets and their differences. Explore these helpful cabinet terms and elements to become your own expert.

Box Overview

  • Face Frame – The structural portion of the cabinet to which doors are attached, consisting of both rails and stiles.
  • End Panel – The side of the cabinet that is grooved into the face frame and extends back to the wall.
  • Bottom – The floor of the cabinet. On a wall and tall cabinet, the same component is used as the top.
  • Back – The rear vertical surface used to mount the cabinet to the wall.
  • Adjustable Shelves – Horizontally placed storage surfaces that are adjusted by moving clips used to hold the shelf in place.
  • Toekick – The recessed toe space at the bottom of a base cabinet.

Door Overview

  • Center Panel – The raised or flat panel in the middle of a door enclosed by stiles and rails.
  • Center Stile – Sometimes called a center mullion, this is the vertical rail in the center of a cabinet face frame larger than 36″ wide that provides extra structural support to a wide cabinet (not present in butt door construction).
  • Rail – A horizontal framing member of a cabinet face frame or door.
  • Reveal – On a framed cabinet, the distance between the outside edge of the face frame and the outside edge of the door (varies depending on the door).
  • Concealed Hinge – Not visible on the surface of the cabinet.

Door Details

  • Raised panel – The center panel of the door is elevated
  • Recessed or Flat Panel – The center panel of the door is set lower
  • Full Overlay – The door of the cabinet covers the entire face frame
  • Partial Overlay – The door of the cabinet overlays a part of the face frame

Drawer Overview

  • Drawer Guides – The system used to support the drawer in a cabinet and provide opening/closing operation.
  • SmartStop – Optional device that softly closes drawers.

Wood Compounds

Our cabinets feature various wood compounds to provide strength and durability, including:

  • Particleboard/Furniture board – A feature of our standard construction, this board is made from a mixture of real wood shavings and binding material, such as resin, which are refined and bonded together through high-heat compression.
  • Plywood – A panel made from an odd number of veneer layers in combination of lumber core, particleboard, MDF core and hardboard core joined with an adhesive. The grain of each layer runs at right angles to the next. All plywood components meet ANSI/HPVA HP-1 standards, and may contain MDF or particleboard.


Call us at 619-575-7707, visit our newly remodeled showroom in Chula Vista or fill out the form below to make an appointment for your free in-home estimate.