Stock, or store cabinets, are what you see if you go to a large home improvement store. Each store will typically have a very basic, unfinished cabinet line that is stocked in store and ready to purchase and take home that day. These are usually your cheapest option, but selections are very limited. Most of the time these will need to be finished either by you or by a contractor. Don’t expect anything spectacular, these are usually cabinets in their most basic form. Drawer fronts are typically made from glued up strips of wood instead of one single piece of wood. Doors are usually paneled doors instead of raised wood panel doors. The carcasses of the cabinets will typically be cut from particle board, and if there is a back panel it is usually 1/8″ hard-board. Countertop fastening brackets will be small, plastic corner brackets with a single screw hole for attaching to the counter.
Typically, stocked cabinets are offered in extremely limited sizes, and while most cabinets are offered in 3″ increments, some stock cabinets may only be available in 6″ increments. This is important when it comes to the overall layout of your kitchen remodel, because stock cabinets are mass-produced to the same size and specifications with no regards as to where they go. You will usually need fillers and end panels to create a finished look when using stock cabinets. The end of each cabinet that is exposed, on both the upper and the base cabinets, will need to be finished to match the front of the cabinets. This will include cutting and fitting finished panels onto the cabinet carcass itself. Keep in mind that if you are running your cabinets wall to wall, then finishing the ends is not important since the wall will hide the ends.