Star Cabinet Selection

Whether you’re building a new home or planning a remodel, buying kitchen cabinets may seem overwhelming. With all the styles, colors, features and materials to choose from, how do you know which options to choose? As a remodeling & building supply store in Wichita, KS, Star Lumber created this kitchen cabinet buying guide to help you select the best cabinets to create your dream kitchen.

Style and Functionality

When you’re thinking about installing cabinets in the kitchen, consider the workflow of the space. Placing the right cabinets in the optimal places will make it easy to reach cooking utensils and spices while baking, find cups when you’re thirsty, and reach dishes and silverware when it’s time to set the table.

You’ll also want to consider which design style you want. Popular kitchen cabinet styles include modern, traditional and Shaker. If you have an idea of what you want your kitchen to look like, bring in photos to help the designer visualize what you’re looking for.

Think about the colors you want to use for your kitchen cabinets, too. Would you rather have painted or stained cabinetry? Do you want different colored wall cabinets and base cabinets? Do you prefer raised panel or flat doors? It’s also important to keep in mind the flooring and countertops you’ll be pairing the cabinets with.

Be sure to look for functional features like pull-out shelves, built-in spice racks, soft-close drawers, lazy Susans and appliance garages that can add storage and functionality to your kitchen. And, choosing easy-to-clean finishes can simplify your routine.

Types of Kitchen Cabinets

When you’re shopping for kitchen cabinets, you’ll find that they’re available in 3 types: stock, semi-custom and custom.

Stock cabinets are premade in standard sizes. Although they’re the most affordable option, you have limited style and color choices.

Semi-custom cabinets, as the name implies, offer some level of customization. They’re built to order, so you have more options for color and finishes. The construction quality is usually better and you’ll generally find more sizes to choose from. This is a mid-range price option.

Custom cabinets provide the most flexibility because they’re designed and built specifically for your kitchen. You can select the finishes, features, and get custom cabinet sizes so you won’t have to worry about awkward layouts or wasted space. Custom cabinetry usually has high construction quality, which comes at a higher cost.

Cabinet Materials

The material kitchen cabinets are made from affects their cost and durability.

Wood is the most common material used for kitchen cabinets, although cabinetry can also be made from melamine or stainless steel. Of the wood cabinetry options, solid wood like oak, maple or cherry, is the sturdiest, although it does come at a higher price point.

Particle board is the lowest-cost material for kitchen cabinet boxes, but it’s also less durable. These types of cabinets may expand and contract with changes in humidity and they can easily be damaged.

Plywood is more sturdy than particleboard, although it costs a bit more. Multi-layered plywood cabinets are strong and relatively light, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious buyers who want a lasting cabinet material.

MDF, or medium density fiberboard, is another relatively low-cost but less durable option, The MDF doesn’t accept finishes well so MDF cabinets are typically faced with thermofoil or laminate.


Framed kitchen cabinets deliver a classic look with added strength because of the frame’s stabilizing effect. They’re made with a 1.5-inch frame on the front of the cabinet box around the openings for the doors and drawers. You may have noticed that on framed cabinets, you can see some of this face frame around the edges of the drawer fronts and doors. Keep in mind, this frame does create a slightly smaller opening than you’ll find with frameless cabinets.

Frameless kitchen cabinets, also called Euro-style or contemporary cabinets, are made without a frame around the front of the cabinet box. They come with full overlay doors and drawers, meaning the cabinet doors and drawer fronts cover the entire front of the cabinet. As a result, the drawers and doors blend in with the cabinet boxes, creating a smooth, clean look. And, they offer full access to the contents inside.


When you choose your new kitchen cabinets, there are a number of factors that impact the cost, so keep them in mind to get the best cabinets for your budget. Obviously, the number of cabinets you need is a factor, as well as their sizes. The cabinet materials, finishes, features, and hardware will all contribute to the price. Be sure to ask your cabinet supplier about installation costs, too.

Make Your Kitchen Cabinet Buying Experience Smoother

Accurate measurements are extremely important when it comes to buying kitchen cabinets. Photos of your current kitchen and any design inspiration you’ve found can also help you choose the cabinets to create your dream kitchen.

If you live in Wichita or Manhattan, Kansas, or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, shop for your new kitchen cabinets at Star Lumber, where our designers will help you find the best cabinets and layout for your kitchen.