Kitchen Cabinet Glossary
Accessible design: Accessible base cabinets are 32 1/2" high and have an 8 1/2" x 6" toe kick allowing for wheel chair access.
Arch: A curved shape often used on cabinet doors.
Bead Board: Panels with vertical grooves making the cabinets look more decorative.
Burnishing: A process which darkens the profile edges of the wood to create an antique effect.
Cathedral: A curved shape similar to church windows, often used on cabinet doors.
Concealed Hinge: A hinge attached to the back of a door and to the inside edge of the face frame which cannot be seen on the outside of the cabinet.
Custom Cabinets: These are designed and made specifically for your kitchen. You can choose from a wide selection of sizes, shapes, and finishes. They represent the high end of kitchen quality and cost, and can feature any number of wood types and a wide range of construction and aesthetic detailing.
Dado: A groove cut across the grain of a piece of wood. It is made to join cabinet backs to cabinet bottoms or sides to front frames.
Distressing: A technique where small dents, nicks, scratches, etc., are made in the wood to produce an aged look.
Dovetail: A method of joining wood at corners by the use of interlocking pins and tails. It is commonly used for making very strong joints in wooden drawers.
Drawer Stop: A device installed in a cabinet to limit the extent the drawer can be pulled out.
Dry Brushing: A technique applying a very dark stain to highlight the distressing.
End Panel: The outside vertical cabinet side that supports the horizontal parts. It is often referred to as cabinet side panels, sides or ends.
Face Frame: The supporting wood frame attached to the front of the cabinet box to give it structural rigidity.
Framed Construction: A cabinet box that has a face frame. It resembles a flat, empty picture frame attached to the front. Doors are secured to this frame.
Frameless Construction: A cabinetry style in which doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet box with hidden hinges. This technique tends to favor a more contemporary look, and it is a hallmark of European-style cabinets.
Full Access Drawer Guide: Cabinet drawer glides allow the drawer to be pulled out for access to the back of the drawer.
Full Extension Drawer Guide: Cabinet drawer glides allow for the drawer to be pulled completely outside the cabinet to give access to the full depth of the drawer.
Full Overlay: Door styles that allow approximately 3/16" of face frame exposed around the sides, tops and bottoms of the doors. Wall cabinets have 7/16" exposed at the tops and bottoms of the doors.
Furniture Board: A board that is manufactured using wood particles, adhesives and resins under extremely high pressure to bond the material together.
Glazing: A finishing process purposely creating an uneven, inconsistent look by applying an accent stain over the entire door and then wiping off, leaving some light to dark tones in the corners, door grooves and wood grains creating an overall glazed finish.
Highlighting: A technique removing some of the dark stain between the grain to highlight the base color.
Inset Doors/Drawers: Doors and drawer fronts that are recessed to fit flush with the cabinet frame when closed.
Kiln-Dried: A process which removes excess moisture from wood to minimize the shrinkage and swelling of wood.
MDF: An acronym for "Medium Density Fiberboard". It is man-made from wood fibers which are compressed together with adhesive.
Miter: A joint made by fitting together two angled pieces to form a right angle.
Mortise: A rectangular hole cut into a piece of wood to accept a tenon.
Mortise and Tenon Joint: A joinery technique where the tenon from one board fits into the mortise of another.
Mullion: The vertical strip between cabinet doors.
Onlay: A decoratively carved wood ornament applied to cabinet surfaces.
Overlay Doors/Drawers: Doors and drawer fronts that overlap the face frame when closed -- either partially or fully. These are the most common stock style.
Padding: A technique that brightens the color and gives depth to the finish.
Plywood: A material made of thin layers of wood glued and pressed together.
Rail: The horizontal part of a raised panel door.
Raised Panel: A term describing a door style with a thick center panel.
Recessed Panel: A term describing a door style with a thinner panel inserted into the grooves of a wood door frame giving a "recessed" appearance.
RTA: An acronym for "Ready to Assemble." These cabinets come in a range of quality levels. They are an economical option for people who can assemble and install their own cabinets.
Semi-custom cabinets: Factory-produced in common sizes, these cabinets include special adaptations, such as stained-glass inserts, specially designed storage features, and extensions that fill small gaps in the layout. Custom and semi-custom cabinets are made-to-order and require payment up front. However, with semi-custom cabinets, you make your choices from the manufacturer's inventory of standard sizes and types (with widths in 3-inch increments) rather than having them made to your specifications.
SKU: An acronym for "Stock Keeping Unit". Every item, size and part is identified as a SKU.
Spatter: A speckling technique applying color stain over a cabinet door leaving small spatters of slightly darker color on the cabinets.
Stile: The vertical pieces of frames, such as face frames and door frames.
Stock: This term refers to factory-made cabinets in standard sizes and shapes kept in a manufacturer's or retailer's inventory. To reduce warehousing space, choices are kept to a minimum with a few common sizes, one or two wood species, and so on. This segment of the market has decreased substantially in recent years because of the improved affordability of semi-custom cabinets.
Tenon: A protrusion from a board that fits into a matching mortise to form a joint.
Thermofoil: A durable, scratch resistant rigid vinyl that is thermally formed and sealed to MDF to provide a strong, durable surface, resistant to most household wear.
Toe Kick: A term describing the recessed area at the bottom of base, tall and vanity cabinets. It is also referred to as a toe space. Finished material attached to it is referred to as toe kick or toe space cover.
Veneer: Thin sheets of wood which are bonded to a reconstructed wood product.
Worm Hole Effect: A technique which inserts small oval patterns in the wood to create an aged look.