What are Semi Custom Cabinets?
When designing a kitchen, bathroom vanity, or cabinetry for any room in your home, you will generally have three levels of cabinet manufacturers to choose from. Across the industry, cabinets can be ordered from stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinet companies. The differences relate mostly to the quality of cabinet construction, the level of customization and modifications available, and the amount of door styles and color options available. Once you begin the design process, it will become very clear how this choice affects or limits the design.
The Middle Ground
Semi-custom cabinets bridge the gap between custom cabinets and stock cabinets. Whereas Custom cabinetry can be made to any specification and stock cabinetry is offered only in limited pre-made cabinet box sizes, semi-custom cabinets are the perfect balance between the two. Semi-custom cabinets are a more economical option than custom cabinets, while still maintaining long-lasting quality. Unlike stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets are made to order and have a relatively large selection of door styles, finish options, and customization options available.
Semi-custom cabinet manufactures offer a decent selection of very attractive doors and drawer styles. They have varied options of both raised panel and recessed panel doors and drawers in addition to doors with applied molding and edge profiles. Our semi-custom cabinet manufacturer offers about 30 door styles in total. Decorative door options, such as open doors for glass and mullions doors, are also offered.
Various painted and stained finishes are available on Maple, Cherry, Oak, and Walnut wood species. Alternative finishing options other than wood are also available such as textured melamine and certain foils. Our semi-custom cabinet line offers about 10-15 standard painted colors to choose from, 15-20 stain colors to choose from, plus a few different types of glazing options that are available for each color. For the most part, designing with semi-custom cabinetry will require you to select from one of the standard colors they offer. However, our semi-custom line now offers color matching for an additional charge.
Although there are some trade-offs when choosing more budget friendly semi-custom cabinets over custom cabinetry, our semi-custom cabinetry maintains a standard of quality that makes it an extremely competitive option. The cabinet ends are made with 5/8” thick plywood with a natural maple veneer interior and a wood veneer (matching) exterior. Doors and drawers are full species wood frames with the option of veneer center panels or solid wood center panels. Drawer boxes and roll out drawers are solid wood with dovetail construction, and drawer slides are full extension, soft -close undermount (Door hinges are soft closing as well). The edge-banding is done with PVC instead of wood.
Our semi-custom cabinet line does not offer framed-inset cabinet boxes which are typically more expensive to manufacture. All cabinet boxes are frameless full overlay, which are also known as “Eurostyle” cabinets.
So, what is customizable in a semi-custom cabinet? Standard modifications offered are: increasing and decreasing the width, depth, and height, matching the interiors of cabinets to the exterior color, and modifying toe kick locations of cabinets, to name a few. These modifications are commonly used with every cabinet order we produce. There is also the option of “non-standard” customization, which requires specified drawings and unique pricing. For example; modifying the openings of certain appliance cabinets to fit specific models. Ultimately, there are plenty of options to help improve the design and functionality of the cabinetry.
Molding options and cabinet detail
All cabinet manufacturers offer molding, such a base molding, crown molding, flat stock, scribes, and light rail molding that are required to impressively finish a cabinet design and installation. With semi-custom cabinets, you have a few crown moldings styles to choose from that will enhance the style of your design. Other moldings, for toe kicks and undercabinet lights, are standardized. In some ways, a limited selection of embellishment options makes decision making quicker and easier. In the case that you would like wood carvings like corbels or turned posts, it is possible to outsource these items to be finished by the cabinet manufacturer and incorporated into the cabinet design.
Are semi-custom cabinets right for me?
The answer to this question comes down to two things: (1) your budget and (2) your expectations. If semi-custom cabinets are the best option to fit your budget AND can achieve the kitchen design that you envision, then this could be the way to go. The best way to start is to speak to a designer who can show you examples, explain the cabinet differences in detail, and ultimately lead you in the right direction.