Frequently Asked Questions

  • Should Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Match?

    Mixing and matching different styles of cabinet handles, knobs and pulls is a way to add visual interest to your kitchen. You can use one style of hardware for wall cabinets and another for base cabinets, and you can use a third, different style for drawers. Many people like to use cup pulls for drawers and bar pulls for their kitchen cabinet doors.

    You can even mix cabinet hardware finishes if you want a bold look. The variety of available finishes provides the freedom to mix and match.

    How To Choose Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

  • What’s Trending In Kitchen Cabinet Hardware?

    Trending kitchen cabinet hardware finishes are either gold toned, silver toned or bronze-to-black toned.

    Kitchen cabinet hardware in gold tones went out of style in the 90s, but brass is back, thanks to its popularity in contemporary-styled kitchens. Today’s brass and gold tone finishes are soft and warm. Think bright brass, satin brass and antique brass.

    Shiny cabinet door and drawer hardware comes in an array of silver tones. Satin chrome, polished nickel, antique pewter and stainless steel finishes are all available options.

    Kitchen cabinet hardware in bronze-to-black tones, such as aged or oil-rubber bronze or matte black, are very popular because homeowners are choosing black, white or grey painted finishes for their cabinets. Hardware in the bronze-to-black range can either complement or contrast with these finish colors.

    How To Choose Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

  • What Can Kitchen Countertops Be Made Of?

    The number of available kitchen countertop materials today is greater and more diverse than ever. Choices include bamboo, butcher block, concrete, engineered stone, gemstone, glass, granite, calcite, laminates, lavastone, limestone, marble, metal, natural stone, paper composite, porcelain slabs, quartz, quartzite, recycled glass, sintered stone, solid surface, stainless steel, travertine, wood and zinc.

    Choosing A Countertop For Your Kitchen

  • What Type of Countertop Is Best for the Kitchen?

    Choices for kitchen countertops include stone, wood, glass, quartz, concrete and laminates, to name a few. Is any one of these the “best”? The decision comes down to what you like, the look you are going for in your new kitchen, and how much you want to spend on countertops.

    I recommend quartz. It is by far the most popular countertop material homeowners ask for. Quartz (or engineered stone) is non-porous, stain-resistant, doesn’t need sealed, won’t crack like granite can, it’s heat-resistant and resists scratches.

    People always ask about granite. Granite countertops are beautiful, but granite needs sealed every year.

    Choosing A Countertop For Your Kitchen

  • What Is the Most Popular Kitchen Style?

    “Shaker” as a design style is so popular that, more than 150 years after the Shakers came to the USA, it’s the kitchen style I get asked for most often. It’s the most popular, not only in New Jersey where I work, but in the entire country. Homeowners see it on HGTV, in magazines and online, and they want Shaker for their own remodeled kitchens.

    What is Shaker Style

  • What Makes A Shaker Style Kitchen?

    “Shaker” refers to a style that has become popular because it’s classic, simple and timeless. It’s extremely versatile and works with Traditional, Transitional and Contemporary designs. And it’s known for its excellent craftsmanship. The cabinets used in today’s Shaker kitchens reflect the type of furniture built by the Shakers. The most well-known feature is the 5-piece door with flat panel.

    What is Shaker Style

  • What Can Kitchen Countertops Be Made Of?

    The number of available kitchen countertop materials today is greater and more diverse than ever. Choices include bamboo, butcher block, concrete, engineered stone, gemstone, glass, granite, calcite, laminates, lavastone, limestone, marble, metal, natural stone, paper composite, porcelain slabs, quartz, quartzite, recycled glass, sintered stone, solid surface, stainless steel, travertine, wood and zinc.

    Choosing A Countertop For Your Kitchen

  • What Is A Framed Cabinet Vs Unframed Cabinet?

    Framed cabinets have what is called a face frame that is attached to and covers the front of the cabinet box. Cabinet doors get attached to the face frame, creating a strong, sturdy cabinet.

    Frameless cabinets do not have a face frame. The cabinet door creates the “face” of the cabinet. They tend to be less durable than framed cabinets because the cabinet door gets attached directly to the cabinet box.

    Frameless cabinets are slightly larger because of the space saved by not having a face frame attached to the front.

    Framed and Frameless Cabinets the Basics

    Framed Frameless Choice

  • Is Framed or Frameless Cabinets Better for Your Kitchen?

    The choice between framed and frameless cabinetry comes down to your personal preference and the style you want. The only difference between framed and frameless cabinets is the box construction. They are two different construction methods that offer two different looks.

    Framed and Frameless Cabinets the Basics

    Framed Frameless Choice

  • What Are the Pros And Cons Of Frameless Cabinets Vs Face-Framed Cabinets?

    Pros of Face-framed Cabinets

    • •Face-framed cabinets are very sturdy because the frame provides a strong area to hang the cabinet doors.

    • •Face-framed cabinets provide more sizes and modification options.

    • •Face-framed cabinets can accept any type of door and drawer.

    Cons of Face-framed Cabinets

    • •Face-framed cabinets have less interior space because of the frame.

    Pros of Frameless Cabinets

    • •Frameless cabinets provide slightly more storage space.

    • •Frameless cabinets provide a contemporary, smooth look.

    • •Frameless cabinets don’t have a center stile coming down in the middle of the two cabinet doors, providing easier access to the items inside.

    Cons of Frameless Cabinets

    • •Hinges may need adjusted constantly to keep the doors straight.

    • •Frameless cabinets can cost more because of specialized equipment required for construction.

    • •Design choices are limited to full overlay only since doors must cover the entire opening.

    Framed and Frameless Cabinets the Basics

    Framed Frameless Choice

  • How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

    When someone asks me how much do kitchen cabinets cost or what do kitchen cabinets cost, I always tell them that it would be very difficult to answer this question with any kind of accuracy. Every kitchen remodel project is different. Some get lots of cabinets, and some only get a few, and, of course, this impacts the cost of the kitchen cabinets.

    When you go to a home improvement store, like Lowes or Home Depot, to shop for kitchen cabinets, they might quote a price based on the linear foot measurement. (In case you don’t know: Linear feet and feet are the same measurement and do not require width or thickness measurements. Linear footage is a measure of length; one foot is one linear foot.)

    But I can assure you, they issue a disclaimer when they quote a linear foot price because many variables will influence the bottom line cost of your kitchen cabinets.

  • Which Kitchen Cabinets Are the Cheapest?

    Kitchen cabinets are available at many different price points, from “the cheapest” to the most expensive. Inexpensive or cheap cabinets come in a range of prices, as well. And these prices are determined by the quality of the materials used in their construction and how they are built.

    Some kitchen cabinets come in what is called “flat pack” or R-T-A, which means ready-to- assemble. These types of cabinets are among the cheapest. Some kitchen wall cabinets have no back to them; the wall they are mounted on becomes the back of the cabinet. The shelves that come with these inexpensive cabinets do not extend all the way to the back of the cabinet. The type of finish used might look good for a while, or it might appear blotchy and the color uneven. Eventually the finish on cheap cabinets will peel and buckle. The material used in the cabinet sides for base cabinets might not support the weight of the countertop you choose.

    These are a few of the many reasons why you don’t want to choose the cheapest kitchen cabinets, no matter what kind of a bargain they may appear to be.

    At Craig Allen Designs, I offer cabinets in a range of prices, but I do not sell ready-to-assemble cabinets. When you choose me as your kitchen designer, you can be assured of the quality of the cabinets you will receive, not matter the cost. I will work with you to establish a budget for your kitchen remodel project and make sure the cabinets are the best quality you can afford.

  • Which Kitchen Cabinets Are the Most Expensive?

    The most expensive kitchen cabinets are full custom cabinets that are made with only the finest furniture-grade hardwoods, top of the line finish materials that come with a lifetime warranty, and the best door and drawer hardware, such as soft-close drawer guides and self-closing hinges. In addition, the cost of the cabinets includes overhead costs of the manufacturer, especially the salaries of the expert craftsmen responsible for the superior construction of your kitchen design.

    When you hire Craig Allen Designs as your kitchen designer for your kitchen remodel, he is going to create a layout for your new space that will be like a fingerprint or a snowflake – only one in the world. It’s yours and yours alone. The measurements of your room will dictate the way the cabinets fit, and those cabinets will be built to those exact specifications. When the cabinets show up on your job site, they will slide into place as if they were made to do that. And you know what? They were made to do that.

  • Why are Kitchen Cabinets So Expensive?

    When customers ask me why kitchen cabinets are so expensive, I ask them to think of it this way. Kitchen cabinets are so expensive because the cost of cabinets represents the major expenditure in a kitchen remodel. You’re only buying one stove, one refrigerator but chances are, you’re buying 10 or 15 or more cabinets. That’s going to be a substantial cost.

    I also ask clients to consider what they ask for when we begin the design process for their new kitchen. If they have a “must-have” list that includes furniture pieces, like a hutches or display cabinets, or if they want their fridge and dishwasher to be concealed behind wood panels and finished to look like the rest of the cabinets, or if they want cabinets to go all the way to the ceiling, or if they want carved wood legs for their island – all of these items are considered “cabinetry” and will make the cost of the order go up.

    If you find that the cabinets you want are too expensive for your budget, I will work with you to streamline your wish list and make adjustments, so you can achieve the same look without the high price tag.

  • When Are Kitchen Cabinets On Sale?

    There is no one time of the year when kitchen cabinets go on sale. There is no “sale season” for cabinets like there is for sheets and towels and electronics and appliances. However, if you time your project so that you begin the design process in the fall and are willing to have a new kitchen installed in December or January or February, some savings may be realized. These are traditionally slow times for the building trade, and contractors and installers may be willing to negotiate their prices to ensure they have work for themselves and their crews.

    But homeowners usually don’t want their holidays to be disrupted with construction work – especially in their kitchens – when they’re entertaining family and friends. In fact, most people want their new kitchens installed and complete, so they can show it off when their friends come calling at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  • What Kitchen Cabinets to Choose?

    When prospective customers ask me what kitchen cabinets they should choose, we sit down and examine the benefits and drawbacks for each of the lines I offer. At Craig Allen Designs, I have evaluated many cabinets from different manufacturers and selected the ones I consider the best for my customers: custom, semi-custom and stock cabinets that represent all price.

    We talk about the style of cabinet – whether they want framed or frameless; we talk about the material used to build the kitchen cabinets – wood, plywood, MDF; we talk about the construction methods – how the cabinets were built – gluing/clamping vs. staples, side mount vs. undermount drawer guides, self-closing hinges vs. regular hinges; we talk about the various finishes; we talk about the interior storage accessories available in each line; and more.

    Then we look at their budget, their “must-have” list, how they will use their kitchen and their expectations for the finished space.

    Also, the size of a kitchen shouldn’t automatically determine the type of cabinets you choose. A smaller kitchen often needs more customization than a larger kitchen to get a really great design. For instance, you don’t want to waste precious space with a filler, when a custom size is more useful. Conversely, larger kitchens can be easier to design. And just because you have a larger kitchen doesn’t mean custom cabinetry is the best option for your budget.

    All of these considerations get factored in to the answer to the question what kitchen cabinets you should buy.

  • What Kitchen Cabinets are Best?

    “Best” is a subjective modifier – any time someone asks what kitchen cabinets are best I ask them to try to tell me what they consider to be “best”. Is it best price? Best finish? Best style?

    Kitchen cabinets are available in different categories, based on price, materials and construction methods. So then we have to ask – are we trying to name the best mid-priced cabinets? Or the best high-end, custom cabinets?

    Most likely, when a customer asks about the “best” cabinets, they are thinking of some of the beautiful completed rooms they’ve seen in Architectural Digest or on Cabinets are the centerpiece of any kitchen and represent the majority of the cost of a new kitchen. Naturally, they want what they consider to be “the best”.

    That’s where an experienced kitchen designer, like Craig Allen Designs, comes in. With my years of working with many different brands of cabinets, you will be guided toward the best cabinets for your new kitchen.

  • Where to Buy / Choose Kitchen Cabinets?

    Places where you can buy kitchen cabinets are plentiful, for example, there’s the builders’ supply mega-stores, like Home Depot. There’s D-I-Y stores, both on line and in brick-and-mortar locations, where you order cabinets, and they come shipped to your house for you to install yourself. There’s imports, like Ikea, with their dedicated stores.

    Where you can go to get the most suitable cabinets for your home and lifestyle, plus the best-informed service and design expertise is through a kitchen designer, like Craig Allen Designs. Craig will walk you through the design process, asking questions about your family, your lifestyle, how you like to cook – all before starting to lay-out your new room.

    Using advanced computer drafting and design tools, Craig will incorporate your descriptions and ideas into a design for your new kitchen. He adds his insights and ideas to the design, perhaps by adding an unexpected custom feature that will make the space uniquely your own. Then, you’ll be invited to take a virtual tour to see just what your dream kitchen will look like. You don’t have to imagine what your new space will look like; you’ll see it “virtually” and walk through the room and see where the cabinets and appliances will be positioned.

    When you factor in all that you get when working with an experienced kitchen designer, our answer to the question “where to buy kitchen cabinets” has to be Craig Allen Designs.

  • What areas of New Jersey do you work in? How far are you willing to travel for a home remodel project?

    The towns in NJ where I have worked in the past and where I prefer to work are Allendale, Franklin Lakes, Hawthorne, Hillsdale, Ho Ho Kus, Mahwah, Midland Park, Montvale, North Haledon, Oakland, Old Tappan, Oradell, Paramus, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Rivervale, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick, Washington Township, Wayne, Westwood, Wood Ridge, Woodcliff Lake and Wyckoff.

    These towns are within a 15 – 20 mile radius of Midland Park, my hometown.

    If you are outside that range, we can talk!