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Signature Kitchens, Additions and Baths

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What should I look for in
Kitchen Cabinet construction & quality?

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* European framless vs traditional framed cabinetry

* Signature carries middle 4 of 6 recognized cabinets grades

* White kitchens cabinets, black & painted kitchen cabinets

* Cherry, Maple, Oak, Quatersawn, Knotty Alder, Hickory, Lyptus

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Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths, fully describes kitchen cabinet construction systems, and how to distinguish between quality grades of Kitchen Cabinets.

Few kitchen cabinet brands are well known and a lot of cabinetry looks alike, especially when part of a larger project. Such as a new house where builders routinely get away with selling pour quality cabinetry because home buyers are shopping for a house not cabinets.

Sam & Donna M. Testimonial

"To the entire crew at Signature Kitchens, Additions and Baths - We are so Happy with our 'New Home. The kitchen design and our new kitchen cabinetry have simply been transformative. Each and everyone of you have been a real joy to work with throughout the entire process and the workmanship and professionalism is outstanding. It's nice to know there are still companies like yours in business who put the customer and quality first."

Two ways to construct kitchen cabinets:

Framed kitchen cabinets the traditional American method. This method of construction attaches a 1 1/2" wide face frame to a box. Hinges and the door are attached to the face frame. Doors slab, or lip over the face frame partially called "standard overlay" or fully called "full overlay" or inside the frame flush like fine furniture known as "inset".

Frameless cabinetry or European Cabinets - there is no face frame. The cabinet walls, top and bottom must then be structurally thicker typically 3/4" because it is the cabinet walls themselves to which the hinges & doors attach.

Kitchen design purists prefer framed cabinetry for its authentic look, & it's more detailed or ornate doors. As well as it's solid construction and the general absence in the better grades of substitute wood materials like particle board. In addition from a design standpoint a black kitchen cabinet which has been distressed is going to look better as a framed cabinet. Dark cocoa mission kitchen cabinets could look good either way.

Advocates of frameless or European cabinetry point to the wider opening. A framed 21" base cabinet framed has an 18" opening, the same cabinet frameless has a 19 1/2" opening. In a small kitchen remodel DC with lots of 12" & 15" cabinets this could be important to you. Last the extremely flush look of frameless cabinets is very stylish and compelling. It has a very urban look, you see white kitchen cabinets, or bamboo kitchen cabinets frameless more often then framed in downtown on Capitol Hill, U Street, Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan or even Bethesda MD, or Alexandria VA.

European appliances such as Gaggenau kitchen appliances, Fagor and Blobmberg, a German kitchen appliance line

are designed to fit seamlessly into frameless European cabinets. GE appliances or Turbo Chef Ovens, or American Blue Star wall ovens require more of the American face frame style with their wider flanges.

Frameless cabinets made in Europe vs. frameless cabinets made in America. Italian kitchen cabinets such as Pedini kitchen cabinets and Aster Cucine kitchen cabinetry

are not for the budget conscious. How do you say Ferrari! Luckily, American Cabinet manufacturers like Dura Supreme have European frameless cabinet lines, which are competitive with their framed lines. A well known example is the Electra line by Dura Supreme Cabinetry. Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths has a huge Electra and Gaggenau kitchen display, which is every bit as sleek & sexy as the "Italian Cabinetry" lines for half the cost.

Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths carries four kitchen cabinet brands:

1. Dura Supreme Cabinetry
2. Medallion Cabinetry
3. Jay Rambo Cabinetry
4. JSI cabinetry

What's the difference between cabinets? Why are they so expensive? Signature Kitchens, Additions & Baths, NKBA, and SEN an association of Kitchen & Bath dealers, recognize six cabinet quality grades. Each grade is based upon construction system, material specification, hinge hardware, styling, finish system, interior accessories, degree of customization available, guarantee & relative cost.

Recognizing the tangible & intangible differences between the various kitchen cabinet qualities will help you to understand the seemingly wide price variances and lead you to a wise final decision, as you work your way through our kitchen design process.

What would be the most critical kitchen cabinetry features to compare?

- Style, finish quality and drawer action.

One of the major reasons American engage in a Kitchen Remodel beside the failure of a major appliance is Kitchen Cabinetry finish failure. The mere acids from your hands can deteriorate a poor quality lacquer finish around a cabinet door. Over time it leaves a whitened area. Household spills and cooking residue over time can leave builder grade and shop built finishes looking worn out.

Look for cabinet drawers with a smooth solid action and a positive closure. A good drawer guide such as the Blum Smartrac FX will be beefy enough to hold 75 lbs, and a very good Blum Smartmotion Drawer guide will hold 110lbs. You can tell the difference. It is like a hollow core door vs. a solid wood door you can feel the weight.

Kitchen Cabinet wood finishes take a practiced eye. The best wood cabinet finishes use a multiple step process of sanding, sealing, hand-wipe staining, finish coating of conversion varnish and baking in specially ovens. If you look closely at the cabinet door you will see relatively greater flaws in lower quality production grade, or big box store cabinets. Such as:

- Globs of stain in the crevices.
- Tiny dirt particles trapped under the finish.
- Rougher areas to the touch where uniform sanding did not take place.
- A murky look where the natural grain has been masked. The result of poor toner stain.
- As well as other flaws your kitchen designer can point out.

An interesting counterintuitive fact is that local cabinet shops which advertise custom cabinetry rarely have the capitol to invest in the state of the art finishing equipment that manufacturers who deal exclusively through kitchen dealers have invested in. Signature Kitchens Additions, & Baths, is an exclusive dealer in Medallion Cabinetry, Dura Supreme Cabinetry and Jay Rambo Cabinetry. Each of these manufacturers has over a dozen steps in their finishing process.

Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths at 850C Gude Drive Rockville MD is a design build firm serving, the Washington DC metro area including, Washington DC, DC, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, Silver Spring, and Olney in MD, Woodley Park, Adams Morgan, Capitol Hill, Fox Hall, Friendship Heights & Georgetown in DC and Fairfax, McLean and Arlington in VA.

Signature Kitchens, Additions & Baths

Every designer has had specialized training in Kitchen Design, through NKBA, SEN or ASID, not only in style and structure, but in function and arrangement as well. Unlike our neighbors we are not a retail store we are a design build remodeling company, a licensed contractor in Maryland, The District of Columbia and Virginia. So whether you live in DC, Bethesda, Potomac, Olney or Silver Spring, or Woodley Park, Adams Morgan or Capitol Hill. Even if you live in Fairfax or Alexandria we at Signature Kitchen Additions & Baths can not only Design a Great Kitchen, Addition, or Bath we can develop permit-able drawings, process the plans to permit, move the walls, floors and ceilings or add an addition, install your new kitchen, along with the lighting, the plumbing, the tile, and the floor. Heck, we can build the house for you if you would like! So give us a call at: 301.251.1880 you will always be glad you did. You can also email the owner Gary Case at:

Signature Kitchens Additions & Baths, 850 E Gude Drive #C Rockville, MD 20850      Licensed in MD, DC & VA

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