A Glossary to kitchen and bath products

In the world of appliances, where do you begin?

Refrigerators - Generally the hardest appliance to pick and choose due to the number of variations and options

  • Sizes - Different Heights, Widths and Depths

  • Counter Depth - The cavity of the fridge is approximately 24” deep

  • Full Depth - Compressor is located at back of fridge making them 27” to 29” deep

  • Freestanding - These are generally clad in stainless steel for the doors and have finished sides in either stainless or black

  • Built-In - These Fridges can have door panel added, but tend to have a metal trim around the entire appliance

  • Fully Integrated - These appliances are counterdepth and have overlay panels to conceal the appliance

  • Bottom Mount - The freezer is located on bottom in the form of a single or double drawer

  • French Door - Fridge has two doors that swing open to allow access inside

  • Coloumn - Either an all fridge single door or an all freezer single door

  • Fridge Drawers - Some brands offer base drawer refridgeration

  • Wine Fridge - Can be Tall or base models, with glass or stainless door, or fully integrated

  • Beverage Fridge - Typically are for small beverages and are undercounter with standard door or panelled

  • Dual Compressors - Higher end brands offer compressor for each cooling zone

  • Reversible - Some refridgerators come with standard hinge location, but can be reversed

  • Hinge Type - Hinges can be mounted externally (usually pivot point is at top) or are internal / concealed (built in and fully integrated)

  • Ice Maker / Water - Is an option on some models - Will require water line when installing

Ranges - Come with lots of different features and styles. You must first select your cooking method

  • Gas - Classic cooking using natural Gas or LP

  • Electric - Heating coils to heat glass top

  • Induction - Magnetic cooking that transfer heat directly to pots

  • Dual Fuel - Gas Burner with electric oven (most common)

Rangetop - Gass hobs with controls mounted on the front

Cooktop - Can be either gas, electric or induction with controls beside/between burners

Hoodfan - There are several types of ventitlation styles

  • Chimney Style - Usually Stainless steel, with wide capture area funneling fumes up through a stainless vertical duct

  • Pro Style - Large bulky restaurant or professional looking hoodfan usually made of stainless steel

  • Furniture Hood - Clad in same doorstyle/millwork as kitchen cabinetry, requires internal motor (blower and liner)

  • Built-in Hood - Blower is concealed within a standard looking cabinet

Dishwasher - There are generally three types

  • Standard - Either Stainless / White / Black with exposed control panel on front

  • Concealed - Typically stainless steel with control panel “concealed” on the edge of the d/w door

  • Fully Integrated - Overlay Cabinet Door makes D/W appear like millwork, control panel is concealed on edge of door

Ovens - In recent years, several types of wall ovens have been added to your choices

  • Standard Oven - Convection technology usually 30” or 27” widths

  • European - Usually refers to ovens with 24” width

  • Double Oven - Oven with two doors for double the capacity

  • Steam Oven - Using a built-in water resevoir to steam your food (a very healthy way to cook) Some models can be plumbed

  • Speed Oven - This uses a combination of microwave and oven technology (A true space saver)


  • Standard countertop microwave (sits on counter or shelf

  • Built in Microwave - Has a trim kit that integrated the microwave into cabinetry

  • Microwave Drawer - To be used in base cabinetry and opens like a drawer

  • Microwave/Vented - A combination micro mounted above a range, which in our opinion is dangerous and awkward

Other appliances to consider

  • Warming Drawer

  • Vacuum Seal Drawer

  • Built-in Coffee System

  • Ice Maker

Natural Stone (Granite, Quartzite, Soapstone, Marble and Limestone, etc)

  • Can be beautiful and unique

  • Offer different finishes (polished, honed, flamed, acid etched)

  • Requires protective sealant to guard against stain and routine wear and tear

Quartz - Natural mineral, mined out of ground. It is then pigmented and made into slabs using heat and pressure

  • Non-porous material requires no sealant and just needs water and soap to clean.

  • Many different colours and patterns from solid to real like stone veining

  • Most only come in sem-polish finish, with some brands offering matte finishes

  • Brands that we recommend include
    Cambria, CaesarStone, SileStone, and Vicostone

Porcelain - The new “kid” on the block. Think porcelain tile but in jumbo format

  • Super strong, non-porous, heat resistant, stain resistant

  • Lots of different colour variations and comes in polished and matte finishes

  • Has to be mitred for finished edges

Solid Surface - Think Corian. Its a plastic based acrylic polymer.

  • Non-porous surface

  • Soft to touch, matte finish only

  • Can be scratched and surface stain, however can be sanded to repair damage

  • Can be molded to create unique designs

  • Seams can be blended together

Concrete - Can be fun and unique to design, however there are some drawbacks

  • Requires lots of maintenance to keep looking new

  • Very porous, requires beeswax for constant protection

  • Has to be poured in thick slabs to prevent cracking and therefore makes it heavy

Stainless Steel - A wonderful surface that can’t be wrecked, if you don’t mind minor scratches.

  • Preferred by restaurant kitchens, for durability and cleanability

  • Can be welded and bent into different shapes and sizes

  • Stainless sinks and backsplashes can be formed into single units

Wood Countertops - Is a great choice for natural looking, warmth and old world charm

  • Can be made into butcher block

  • Can be quite expensive to produce

  • Does require maintenance, especially oiling to prevent wood from drying out and cracking

Laminate - Is the standard for many homeowners. Can be long-lasting and durable

  • Is still very popular, especially in Europe

  • Non-porous, easy to clean

  • Inexpensive

Often the handle choices for kitchen, bathrooms and many other spaces are overlooked. Its quite often we see projects with questionable handle hardware choices. Here are things to consider,

  • Touch and feel the handles before you buy

  • Ensure there is ample space between the back of the handle and the door. (does it pass the wedding ring test)

  • Function should dictate the size of handles, ie Larger appliance pulls for fridges,

  • Review handle/knob location with designer (check twice, drill once)

  • Coordinate handle finish with other hardware or finish materials

  • You don’t have to pick the same handle for all cabinetry

Framed Cabinetry - Traditional cabinet style where doors and drawers are divided by the frames of the cabinet. It has a more built-in and classic look. Is generally more expensive to build

Frameless Cabinetry - A module system where Doors and Drawers hide the cabinet

Door Styles - There are many types, however a majority will fall within 3 categories

  • Slab - simple flat surface with no detailing in door

  • Shaker - a framed door with a centre panel that is recessed in

  • Raised - Opposite of shaker, the centre panel is proud of the door

Door Finishes - Lacquer, Laminates, Wood, Veneer

Carcase Construction - Consist of 4 sides plus a backing. Most cabinets are made of either 3/4” or 5/8” thick furniture board or plywood. Depending on how the cabinet is assembled, the backing is a solid back 3/4” or 5/8” or a much thinner material like HDF panel

Drawer Box - The box in which items are put into consist of an

  • Metal drawer box with laminate bottom

  • All Laminate drawer box

  • All Wood drawer box with dovetail joinery

Soft Close - A generic term that describes either the drawer glides and hinges to close without any abrupt noise. Almost all new hardware now includes this as a standard feature.

Levellers - Plastic feet on the bottom of boxes to level the cabinet

Toekick - A plinth panel that is recessed on the very bottom of base or tall cabinets, to allow space for your feet.





Natural Stone Tile


Rectified Edges

Tile Patterns


Wall coverings





Tub - Frestanding, Top/Undermount, Alcove, Skirt

Shower - Frameless vs Framed

Shower pan vs Custom

Shower Fixtures

Toilets - Standard vs Comfort Height
Elongated bowl, Tank types