Information you need to know before buying or ordering cabinetry....
- CABINET BASICS
- CUSTOM OR STOCK
- CABINET JOINERY
- CABINET HARDWARE
- DRAWER GUIDES
Creative Projects will use any of the 6 products described below to meet our client's needs. We believe that any of these cabinet materials will perform very well for years of trouble free service in Hawaii when used in the proper application. For example if you are looking for a white interior, we prefer to use the brand Melply as it is readily available in Hawaii and contains no particleboard. As for hardwood interiors all the species listed below under Hardwood Plywood are stocked locally and are easy to acquire.
The six basic types of cabinet box materials in use today:
- Hardwood plywood
- Vinyl Overlay film on plywood
- Particle board or MDF substrates
- Selply and Melamine.
Hardwood Plywood: is used for furniture, kitchen, and bath cabinetry, wall systems, media centers, commercial and marine work. There are several varieties of plywood most commonly used for such purposes, what distinguishes one from another is their grain pattern, color, strength, durability and cost. Such species include Walnut, Oak, Cherry, Khaya, Maple, Ash, and Bamboo. There is also a host of exotic species available for high-end projects.
Vinyl Overlay Plywood: is a Vinyl Film bonded onto a lower quality plywood substrate (core). It is most commonly available in the color white. This material is primarily used for cabinetry case work such as for a kitchen, bath, wall system, utility, garage and commercial areas where the durability of the surfaces are of little concern.
Plyron: uses a Polyester low pressure laminate face over an 1/8 " skin of tempered Hardboard which is itself bonded onto a plywood core. Its basic uses are the same as Vinyl Overlay Plywood. This material is available in the color white and can be special ordered in dozens of other colors and patterns for larger jobs.
Melply: uses a Thermo-fused resin impregnated Kraft paper face over an 1/8 " skin of medium density fiberboard (MDF) which is then bonded onto a plywood core. This product is used extensively where a durable but cost effective laminate surface is required. Melply cleans easily and is readily available in the color white and can be special ordered in other colors and patterns.
Selply: uses a Thermo-fused Polyester low pressure laminate face over a 45-pound industrial grade density Particle board core and is also offered in a better quality Medium Density Fiberboard core. This product has a very tough surface but is difficult to clean because of its texture. As well, since this material uses either a particleboard core or MDF core it is susceptible to water damage if used improperly. It is readily available in the color white and can be special ordered in dozens of colors and patterns.
Melamine is a Thermo-fused resin impregnated Kraft paper bonded onto either a 45 pound industrial grade Particle board or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). Sometimes it is also available in a soft Pine wood core. The Melamine surface is easy to clean since its surface is generally smoother than its Selply counterpart.
WHO SHOULD YOU PURCHASE CABINETRY FROM?
Creative Projects is a custom made to order cabinet manufacturer. We are a client oriented small business as opposed to an impersonal “Big Box” store. Our showroom is located in the front of our manufacturing facilities and is open by appointment only, saving the expense of sales personnel or advertising. Products you purchase from us are factory direct without any middleman to inflate the costs. We are here to service our clients and your satisfaction is our highest priority.
Custom Cabinetry: One size does not always fit all. Are the rooms in your home - the kitchen, bath, bedrooms, media area, or office the perfect size for your needs? Would you like to make some changes? Our ability to custom manufacturer cabinetry to your specifications can solve the issue of space management more effectively because we are not limited to a specific product line. We will make exactly what you want, when you want it. Whatever size, shape, hardware, or finish (or unfinished) you desire, we can provide. Anything you can imagine is possible! Custom made products tend to be better made and will last much longer than Stock and RTA products.
Stock and Ready To Assemble Cabinetry (RTA): They are an excellent choice when you require the lowest price to complete a renovation. The old saying: “you get what you pay for” is very true for these products. Stock cabinets are pre-assembled and ready for immediate delivery or pick up. In most cases, you have only a handful of options and accessories to choose from. Stock and RTA cabinetry come in a limited range of styles, finishes and sizes to keep manufacturing costs them to a minimum.
The advantage of pre-assembled units is that they are ready to be installed once you remove them from the carton. The disadvantage of using Stock or RTA cabinetry is that they often do not fully utilize the space available, some compromises will have to be made to use these types of products. RTA cabinetry requires you or your contractor to assemble it all. RTA units are less expensive because they are shipped flat and you provide the labor to build them, usually only a few basic tools and minimal skill are required to complete the task.
Being located in Hawaii with higher costs for just about everything especially materials; we have found that we can save our customers a good deal of money by ordering most of our doors and drawer fronts from a trusted custom component manufacturer on the mainland.
There are basically two types of construction methods used to make cabinetry; Traditional Face Frame construction and European Frameless Panel construction. Creative Projects builds primarily European Frameless Panel constructed cabinetry. However, we are just as versatile at Traditional Face Frame construction.
Face Frame Traditional Cabinetry consists of hardwood plywood components that vary in thickness from 1/8" to 3/4" thick. What distinguishes this type of cabinetry is that it utilizes a solid Hardwood frame on every front edge of the cabinet box, giving it a picture frame or furniture appearance behind the door and drawer faces. One main disadvantage in this type of construction is that there is a lot of wasted space because the face frames (stiles and rails) reduce the interior openings and have overhangs that have to be filled in order for the latest hardware to work. As well, Face Frame units such as bases, pantry, and broom cabinets have their side panels rest on the floor where contact with water is likely to occur on a regular basis which can harm the cabinetry.
European Frameless Cabinetry was developed at the end of World War II as manufacturers and suppliers teamed up to develop a new way of producing better quality and more versatile products, quicker than ever before. Everything from fasteners, hardware, and adhesives were re-engineered to adapt to the new style of construction.
Frameless cabinets are made of flat panels in various thicknesses to create the necessary components. There are no overhanging hardwood front edges to limit access to the interior. Cabinets that touch the floor use a detached toe kick (called levelers), which allows access to the space below, speeds up the installation process, and protects them from water damage. The front edges of "Frameless" cabinetry are covered with a variety of PVC or wood tape products. The finished ends, fillers, and toe kicks are treated with either wood veneers or plastic laminate to compliment the doors & drawer fronts.Creative Projects uses wood screws to assemble its cabinetry since plywood and solid wood are the core material of our products. We evenly space each screw not more than 5” apart to create strong uniform joints. Trained craftsman do all of assembly work by hand by, resulting in top quality products we are proud of. The need for HiLo Pozi screws in minimal as we rarely use particleboard or MDF applications. We constructed our drawer boxes and roll out shelves using wood splines that we make (as opposed to smaller Lamello wafers) along with cabinet glue and hot melt achieving affordable and long lasting joints. Also available upon request, for our high-end clients, we can provide decoratively dovetailed drawer boxes and roll out shelves.
What makes a Cabinet hold together determines it's overall life expectancy and performance. I am speaking about the methods of securing parts together (joinery) with fasteners. Here are six of the most commonly used in the industry.
- Air Nails
- Air Staples
- Lamello Splines
- Wood Screws
- HiLo Pozi Screws
Air Nails used extensively to assemble cheap Traditional Face Frame cabinetry have been in widespread use for decades. Their advantage is how quick and easy it is to fasten parts together. If used in conjunction with wood glue this will provide for a solid joint however the appearance of the nail holes is less than desirable when placed in visible areas such as drawer box sides and roll out shelves. Some companies use hot melt glue sticks instead of time tested wood glue to join structural parts together which is does not provide for a long lasting joint.
Air Staples are used in the same applications as air nails. The difference is that air staples have double the holding power of air nails since they have two pins plus the crown of the staple to act like a saddle to synch the parts tightly together.
Dowels are used for both Face Frame and Frameless cabinetry construction. In the Face Frame variety, they are used to attach the pre-made frames to the cabinet box. In Frameless cabinetry dowels are used to join all the parts together. Typically, wood dowels are inserted into pre-drilled holes filled with glue & allowed to set. At times plastic dowels are used & work by way of wedging themselves into an undersized hole. By far, the wood dowel is the better choice, as it is stronger & more permanent.
Lamello Splines are considered to be stronger than dowels and are cost effective to produce when you don't have expensive doweling equipment. A small portable machine called a biscuit cutter is used to create a flat football shape slit or groove into the parts being joined together. Cabinetmakers glue is then placed inside the groove followed by inserting the wood Lamello spline. Finally, the parts are clamped together until the glue dries, approximately 30 minutes. The result is a strong invisible joint.
Wood Screws have the same advantages as HiLo Pozi screws except these are better suited for plywood core material. The threads on a wood screw have a single coarse pattern that makes them bite quickly into plywood or solid wood. The type of head found on wood screws are numerous depending on the application and equipment being used. The most common variety for cabinet making are the phillips and recessed square head.
HiLo Pozi Screws are scientifically designed to secure panel products together. They are particularly well suited when the core of the panels are made of particle board or MDF. What makes these fasteners unique is their double threaded configuration that creates a very tight joint; therefore, shadow lines at the seams are eliminated. Since Frameless cabinetry is composed of parts butted together rather than numerous grooves as used in traditional Face Frame construction, there is no need to use wood glue. This is especially true since few glue’s are capable of sticking to Melamine, Polyester, or plastic laminate surfaces. In conjunction with the Hilo Pozi screws, Hot Melt glue will be used under the drawer and roll out shelf bottoms as well as behind the cabinet back. The purpose of the hot melt is to keep the assembled parts square. One main advantage with using screws to build a cabinet box is that it can be unscrewed should you need to make modifications. Afterwards all you have to do is re-assemble it without worrying about damaging the decorative surfaces.
Creative Projects primarily installs Blum "Clip On" concealed Euro hinges onto our cabinet doors. However, upon request we will mount any type of hinge you prefer.
Cabinet Door Hinges consist of an endless array of choices, from the very simple to the most ornate, allowing the needs of each application to be met. In kitchen and bath cabinetry, the two types most commonly used are the Traditional Face Frame style that is generally visible from the front of the closed cabinet and the fully concealed European Frameless style.
Traditional Face Frame Hinges for kitchen and baths are generally the least expensive type to use. However, they rarely offer any adjustment to align the doors with making them a bit more difficult to use. These hinges are usually decorative in shape and finish since they are visible. On the furniture end of the spectrum, ornate hinges that are more expensive are available for use depending on the purpose of the piece. Most traditional face frame hinges swing open about 170 degrees. Some are spring loaded called self-closing while others are free swinging. The latter is used in conjunction with either a magnetic or mechanical catch in order to keep the doors closed when shut.
European Concealed Hinges are slightly more costly to buy however; because of their ability to be machine mounted and quickly aligned, they actually save a lot of time. This type of hinge can easily be readjusted making them user friendly. This is especially helpful when retro fitting existing cabinets such as during a refacing job since older cabinets tend to settle with the home causing unsightly gaps. European concealed hinges usually come with a lifetime warranty; the distributor or manufacturer of the product will provide a replacement hinge at no cost. Like the traditional Face Frame hinge, these are available in self closing or free swinging. The rate of swing varies from 90 to 170 degrees. Generally, a 120-degree swinging hinge is used for most applications, as these are less bulky in size. Specialty cabinets such as Lazy Susan’s will utilize a 170-degree hinge in order to allow greater access into a corner cabinet.
Another type of European concealed hinge that has recently gained in popularity is the "Clip On" variety. Its uniqueness is that you don't need tools to mount or remove it. Another advantage in choosing a European hinge is that it comes with a separate mounting plate that is available for use on either traditional face frame cabinetry or frameless panel cabinetry.
Creative Projects primarily utilizes side mounted full extension Zinc or Galvanized coated guides since these offer the greatest access and durability at an affordable price. However, if our clients prefer a “self closing” or concealed under mount variety we can do that as well.
Drawer Guides are an integral part of the new cabinetry experience. If you have put up with the squeak of a rusted guide or have fought with a stuck drawer on your existing cabinets, I am sure you will agree that would be unacceptable for new products. Assuming that the parts for the new drawer box and roll out shelf are cut correctly, the only thing left to do is determine what type of guide you prefer.
Guide Finishes are comprised of coatings such as Zinc, Nichol, and Galvanized or colored Epoxy. In some applications such as Marine use, there are stainless steel guides available.
There are two types of guides generally used in today’s cabinetry based on mounting styles and range of extension. The industry standard for low-end cabinetry (whether Face Frame constructed or European Frameless Panel constructed) is to use a ¾ extension variety in either a Zinc coated or white Epoxy coated product. This translates to meaning that about 3 to 5 inches of the actual drawer box or roll out shelf will remain in the cabinet.
For mid to high-end cabinetry or furniture full extension guides are used which allow full access to the items inside since these slides come all the way out of the cabinet. The majority of guides are mounted on the side however there are concealed under-mount as well as “self closing” types available for an up charge. Almost all guides will last for decades under normal use. The typical load rating for kitchen and bath guides ranges from 75 to 100 pounds per pair. There are heavier duty guides available for specialty applications such as file drawers. To print any of the information contained in the tabbed panels click cabinet basic on the right side of page footer.