Buying cheap kitchen cabinets may at first sound like a good idea. Think again. After only a short period of time, you’ll find the cost of repairing and (more likely!) replacing them actually costs more in the long run than purchasing good-quality cabinets in the first place.
So how does one determine cheap kitchen cabinets from those of high quality? First off, don’t be fooled by the so-called “sales” at some less-than-scrupulous lumberyards or other cabinet retailers. These “bargains” can really sock it to you in the long run with photo-simulated wood, thin-as-paper laminates, poor-quality wood (when real wood is used!), and joinery to shame the most lackadaisical carpenter.
One of the first places to be on the lookout for cheap kitchen cabinets lies in the drawer construction. Do all the pieces fit snugly together? Does the joinery appear solid and well constructed? Does the drawer glide smoothly open and close? Are they on metal extensions that work using ball bearings or on cheap plastic tracks?
Other signs of cheap kitchen cabinets come to light when the doors do not open and close smoothly and easily. Improper fit can wear out hinges and even eventually cause cracking. Well-made doors should open easily – without creaking – and with an easy action. Hinges should be adjustable, and doors need to be able to open adequately.