A glossary of cabinetry and millwork terms

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.

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

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

Door Finishes - The material that is applied to the exterior of the door

  • Lacquer - Consist of a paint (usually water based) that is sprayed onto the door. Better quality sprays are done in a environmental controlled booth and then cured in an “oven”

    • Sheen Level - Some manufacturers offer different “shine” or glossiness to their finish

    • Matte - Flat finish, usually a sheen level of 10 deg. or less

    • Standard - A smooth finish with a slight gloss. Sheen level between 10 to 35 deg.

    • Gloss - A polyurethane spray on top of the lacquer to give it a glossy look. Sheen level is above 50 deg.

  • Laminate - An generic term for synthetic, acrylic or resin based substrate that is applied to the door (usually slab). Edgebanding is applied to finish the edge of the door.

    • European Laminate - A class of laminates that has texture and simulates real world materials

    • HP/LP - High Pressure Laminate (thicker, more durable / Low Pressure Laminate, comes in lots of colours, textures, gloss and even metals

    • Premium Laminate - This is a new class of laminates that incorporate nano tech to create very uniform finish which results in a soft to touch matte finish. Some come in gloss finish which rival traditional spray on gloss

    • Wrapped - Consist of either a slab door or profile door that is wrapped in a foil or vinyl based covering

  • Veneer - A method of slicing a tree to create sheets of thin wood which is then used to cover a door including the edges. Some species can be sliced differently to create different grain patterns.

    • Quarter Sawn, Half Sawn, Rift Cut, Plain, Figured, Burl

    • Types of Species include, Oak, Maple, Walnut, Cherry, Ash, Teak, Elm, Fir, Pine, Sapele, Makore

  • Metal - Most are typically an HP laminate that simulate metals. Stainless doors can be wrapped around a standard slab door.

Edgebanding - the strip of material that finishes the edge of a door. In most cases, the edge banding material matches the door finishes. However sometimes alternative material is use like aluminum, opaque pvc, steel, wood

Door Material - This is the base or core material of the door. Different types are used depending on the finish material

  • MDF - Medium Density Fiber, is a composite wood that is commonly used for lacquered doors. It is very stable (less susticible to warping) and can be in slab, profile, framed

  • Furniture Board - triple ply wood chips condensed into slab sheets. Used for slab laminate doors

  • Wood - Usually made of hardwood, used primarily for shaker style doors.

  • Aluminum - Framed Glass or Plexi

Pinned Door - When one or more doors are pinned together to create the appearance of multiple door/drawers but opens as one

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.