Tips from Archway: Choosing the Right Kitchen Cabinets

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When it’s time to remodel your kitchen, the cabinets are arguably the most important choice you have to make when putting everything together. There are so many different options for kitchen cabinets that it can be a little overwhelming to figure out which ones are right for your home. We are here to help you! Let us break down the different types of kitchen cabinet options to make things a little easier.

Kitchen Cabinet Types

There are four standard types of kitchen cabinets, as follows:

Base Cabinets – These are the cabinets that sit at the base of your kitchen space and are built to hold a countertop. The standard sizes of base cabinets are 24” deep and 36” tall. Their depth may be increased up to 27” if you want to get them custom-made. Base cabinetry normally rests on top of a toe kick, which is a 4” riser that makes the cabinets easier to get in and out of.

Wall Cabinets – Wall cabinets, often referred to as “uppers” are the cabinets that are fixed to the wall, above the base cabinetry. Upper cabinets are usually 12” deep but can be increased to 17” on custom applications.

Tall Cabinets – Tall cabinets are typically 83.5” high and serve as a pantry space or storage for brooms or appliances.
Specialty Cabinets – Specialty unit cabinets include corner cabinets, sink/cooktop fronts, suspended units, hutches, bottle racks and cut-outs for appliances. These cabinets need to be custom made and ordered.

Kitchen Cabinet Quality Types

Cabinets are sorted into four types, based on their quality of construction: ready-to-assemble, stock, semi-custom and custom. Archway only offers the last three types, as ready-to-assemble cabinets are meant to be purchased and assembled by the homeowner (you can find these at big box home improvement stores). The budget for your kitchen remodel will likely determine which of these types of cabinets you’ll be able to get, as the prices vary depending on quality.

Stock Cabinets – These are cabinets purchased pre-sized from their manufacturer. Stock cabinets are a basic and cost-effective option, and we work with several different cabinet manufacturers so that you have many styles to choose from. Stock cabinets are only available in fixed sizes and cannot be changed, so they are not as versatile for existing spaces. Stock kitchen cabinets are size-specific and measured in 3” increments.

Stock cabinet materials range from melamine to solid wood, depending on the manufacturer. Our manufacturers offer several different types of materials, including melamine, thermofoil, MDF, and solid wood (alder, maple, oak, and cherry).


Semi-Custom Cabinets – Semi-custom cabinetry allows for some size adjustments (unlike stock cabinets) and the quality is usually better. Semi-custom cabinetry has a bigger selection of styles, finishes, storage options and decorative options than stock cabinets do. They range in style, from stock cabinets with custom doors to some made-to-order options.


Custom Cabinets– Custom cabinetry is on the high end of the quality spectrum. They are completely made-to-order and offer the most options when it comes to style, material, finishes and accessories. Custom cabinets can basically be whatever you want them to be! They are one-of-a-kind with unlimited customization options. Keep in mind, though, that with these luxury features comes a luxury price.

custom kitchen cabinets

Still need help figuring out what kitchen styles are perfect for your home? Call us to schedule your complimentary kitchen remodeling consultation today!