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.