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The First Complete Kitchen Cabinet Glossary

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  • ADA
    Americans with Disabilities Act is a series of legislation that prevents the discrimination of disabled persons. This act details specific design requirements for disability access and universal designs.
  • Adjustable Shelves
    Shelves whose heights are adjustable to make room for tall and short objects. They are supported by shelf holders, such as pegs and dowel pins, set one inch apart.
  • Alder
    A type of hardwood that is very responsive to stains and has a variety of colors. Many choose the darker grain version of this wood to imitate more expensive woods like mahogany, walnut and cherry.
  • American Colonial
    A design style that models itself after the furniture used by colonists. The pieces are usually rough and handmade.
  • Appliance Garage
    A cabinet that is underneath a wall cabinet or wall diagonal cabinet used to keep items off of the countertops. Appliance garages are equipped with a flexible, sliding door or shutter that looks like a garage door.
  • Art Deco
    This style includes a geometric style mixing curves with straight lines and wood furniture with chrome hardware. It is also known as Moderne.
  • Arts and Crafts
    See Prairie.
  • Asbestos
    A fibrous and incombustible material that had been used for construction mainly in acoustic ceilings made before 1978. It causes a variety of health complications and is therefore no longer used.
  • Ash
    A dark wood that is best used for decorative pieces such as onlays. Although, it can be used for cabinets.
  • Aspen
    Aspen is soft and white, but strong and has a low flammability.
  • Ball Bearing Guides
    Smooth gliding guides that are usually sidemounted. These guides slide on small metallic balls that bear the weight of the drawer.
  • Bamboo
    Bamboo is incredibly strong but lightweight. It is also very versatile and can be used for decorative woodwork or furniture.
  • Base Angled Cabinet
    See Angled Cabinet.
  • Base Cabinet
    Cabinets with at least one drawer on top and one door below that are placed underneath countertops. These tend to be larger and contain the most amount of storage space. Sometimes base cabinets have pull-out drawers or trays. The standard depth for base cabinets is 24 inches.
  • Base Diagonal Corner
    A diagonal corner cabinet that fits a base corner that goes in at a 45 degree angle to provide more counter and storage space. It may feature adjustable or fixed shelves or spinning trays.
  • Base End Cabinet
    See End Cabinet.
  • Base End Shelf
    A base end cabinet that has shelves instead of doors.
  • Base Skin
    A type of skin that is usually pre-cut to 24 by 34.5 inch skins to accommodate the toe kick area. It is also used to finish exposed sides of unfinished base cabinets.
  • Base Spice Drawer
    See Spice Drawer.
  • Baseboard
    The molding where the wall meets the floor.
  • Bauhaus
    A design that utilizes industrialism and functionality. It started in the Bauhaus school in Germany in 1919.
  • BBB
    The Better Business Bureau is a U.S. organization that promotes ethical business practices and provides consumers with information about a variety of businesses.
  • Bead Board
    A type of paneling that consists of thin raised strips that flow into each other.
  • Beech
    A very strong hardwood that is often used for stock cabinets.
  • Bevel
    An edge that is not cut at a 90 degree angle, usually 45 degrees.
  • Birch
    Commonly used for veneer, birch wood may also be used for cabinetry. It is a light colored wood that may be slightly stubborn with stains.
  • Bird's Eye
    A type of wood grain that contains small circular areas resembling a bird’s eye.
  • Bread Board
    A slide out, flat piece hidden under the countertop and within a cabinet. It is used to cut and prepare food. Bread boards are a more old-fashioned style developed to prevent cuts in Formica countertops and are hardly found in modern kitchens.
  • Bridge Cabinet
    Any wall cabinet that is less than 30 inches high.
  • Bumper Pads
    Peel and stick pads used to protect cabinet wood from banging and noise. They are most often made of cork, plastic or felt.
  • Burl
    Swirls and twists in wood grain usually near knots but may be caused by natural damage during growth.
  • Burnishing
    A type of polishing that makes wood look shiny without a gloss finish coat.
  • Butcher Block
    A cutting or carving board, block or table used for food preparation and to prevent counter damage. Butcher blocks come in two grains edge and end; edge grain butcher blocks are made of lumber planks while end grain blocks are made of shorter pieces of wood.
  • Butt Door
    Two doors on adjacent cabinets that open toward one another instead of away.
  • Butt Hinge
    Butt hinges are types of exposed hinges usually used in closets or old-fashioned kitchen cabinets. They consist of two plates adjoined by a pin to attached cabinet and door.
  • Butt Joint
    These are woodworking joints that are used for cabinet carcass and face frame assembly. It consists of two pieces of wood that meet at a 90 degree angle and nailed together. They are also called square-cut joints.
  • Cabinet Clamps
    A device used to secure wood for cabinet making. They are also used to hold two cabinets together during installation.
  • Cam Locks
    A cylindrical lock or fastener commonly used for cabinets that has a tongue at the plug which serves as a bolt. Cam locks are considered to be an easy and secure way to connect cabinet panels. They are commonly found in ready-to-assemble cabinets
  • Carcass
    The body of a cabinet.
  • Carpenter’s Glue
    A type of yellowish glue that bonds wood together. It is commonly made of an aliphatic resin emulsion and mainly used to ensure support for cabinets connected by staples. Carpenter’s glue usually has a longer set time, allowing objects to be placed and adjusted before bonded.
  • Casing
    A type of trim molding around windows and doors.
  • Cathedral
     Neo-Gothic design style. Wall cabinet door panels have an exaggerated arch while the base cabinets are usually square.
  • Cedar
    This wood is known for its scent and is often used for lining closets due to its ability to repel moths.
  • Center Stile
    Vertical strips of wood that divide cabinets for extra support and durability, but prevent the storage of large objects. Center stiles are an old-fashioned look but can be modernly used, usually for cabinets made of lesser quality materials such as particle board or MDF.
  • Centerpiece
    See Center Stile.
  • Cherry
    This wood is extremely hard-wearing and has an elegant close grain which gives it a sophisticated look.
  • Chestnut
    Chestnut is very durable and similar to oak. It is sometimes used for decorative onlays.
  • Classic Crown
    A traditional form of at molding the top of cabinetry that generally refers to a wider crown.
  • Classical
    Also known as neoclassical, classical kitchens are known for being blocky, rectangular and symmetrical.
  • Color Variation
    Differences in the color of pieces of cut wood. Color variations are thought to be part of the beauty and elegances of wood. They are common because wood absorbs stains differently in different parts because of density, dryness, etc. Cabinets made of natural wood will always have color variations.
  • Column
    Beams of support that may be decorated with various moldings.
  • Composite Wood
    See Engineered Wood.
  • Concealed Hinge
    Concealed hinges have two parts a mounting plate and a hinge cup and arm. They are the most modern type of hinge since that are concealed within the cabinets and cannot be seen from the front of the cabinets when the doors are closed.
  • Contemporary
    A kitchen style that is minimal and geometric. Contemporary kitchens are known for their spaciousness and efficiency. It usually includes lighter stained frameless kitchen cabinets and stainless steel, white or black appliances. Contemporary kitchens tend to have a sleek and clean look with furniture that is finished and rounded. The use of wood, metal and neutral colors is also common.
  • Cooktop
    A surface mounted stove usually with four to six burners.
  • Cope and Stick
    A woodworking joint. The stick part is the cut along the inside of the frame and the cope is any piece that meets at a right angle.
  • Corbel
    A type of elaborately designed bracket that is used to support a bar extend. The design derived from the stone corbels on the walls of classical architecture.
  • Corner Block
    Elaborately molded block that hangs from wall corners for style.
  • Corner Cabinet
    Any cabinet that fits in to a wall or base corner.
  • Corner Sink Base
    A base diagonal corner cabinet that allows for a sink.
  • Cornice
    Any moldings or decoration at the top of an architectural element.
  • Corridor Kitchen
    See Galley Kitchen.
  • Country
    This kitchen style is designed to create a homey feel with warmth and comfort. The signature of this style is mismatched furniture, cabinetry, flooring and countertops as well as many patterns. Generally cabinets are distressed and square with rounded accents. Some contain crown and rope moldings. The idea is to have creative and visual stimulation for an overall effect instead of symmetry and simplicity like the contemporary kitchen.
  • Cross Grain
    A grain that runs diagonally or not in a straight direction.
  • Crown Molding Decorative
    Decorative molding for the tops of cabinetry to create a finished look.
  • Custom Cabinet
    Cabinets that do not have to abide by the industry three inch standard. Custom cabinets are personally designed without style and size limitations. These cabinets are often very expensive or overpriced and have a long wait time for delivery.
  • Cutting Board
    See Bread Board.
  • Dado
    The area between a chair rail and a baseboard, the lower part of the wall.
  • Decay
    Rotting or decomposing wood that gradually become weaker by means of bacteria or fungus. This process can be prevented by applying a finish coat to the wood.
  • Decorative Doors
    Fake doors that have different moldings and decorative shapes that match the kitchen. They are usually installed on the side of the end cabinets or on the back of an island or peninsula. These cabinetry moldings are designed to look like doors, but do not actually open.
  • Degree Hinge
    A type of hinge that allows doors to open up to 270 degrees. These hinges are only for frameless full-overlay cabinet
  • Dentil
    Meaning tooth, a dentil are teeth-like blocks that are used for decoration in moldings.
  • Diagonal Comer
    A cabinet angled for accessibility and to fit a wall or base corner and provides more storage space than an easy-reach cabinet. It is usually 24 by 24 inches. These cabinets become the focal point of the kitchen when they feature glass doors.
  • Distressing
    The art of making furniture or cabinetry look older or aged. The finish is intentionally tampered with in order to create this effect.
  • Diswasher Panel
    A finished panel used to cover the exposed side of a dishwasher. This panel looks like the finished side of a cabinet and provides support for the countertop.
  • DIY
    Do it yourself.
  • Door Face
    The front, exposed part of the door.
  • Door Front
    See Door Face.
  • Door Stoppers
    Pads that protect the door from slamming against the face frame
  • Double Compartment Cabinet
    An oven cabinet used to house a single oven and a microwave.
  • Double L-Shaped Kitchen
    A kitchen design that has two L shapes.
  • Double Oven Cabinet
    An oven cabinet used to house a double oven.
  • Douglas-fir
    This wood is very strong and used for structures that need to withstand heavy loads. It is commonly used for trim and cabinet work.
  • Dovetail Joint
    Woodworked joints that are used to connect drawer sides to the drawer face without the use of exposed hardware. These joints are known for their durability. The wood is cut in a series of angled portions that look like dove tails. These “tails” interlock and are difficult to separate once attached.
  • Dowel
    Usually a pin made of wood, metal or plastic that connects two objects.
  • Drawe Base
    A base cabinet that consists of drawers. For maximized storage, these cabinets usually have three drawers but may come in two or four drawer models.
  • Drawer Face
    The front, exposed part of the drawer.
  • Drawer Front
    See Drawer Face.
  • Drawer Glides
    See Drawer Guides.
  • Drawer Guides
    Drawer guides are the hardware that holds the drawer.
  • Drawer Runner
    See Drawer Guides.
  • Drawer Stack
    See Drawer Base.
  • Drawer Stoppers
    Pads that protect the drawer from slamming against the face frame. See Bumper Pads.
  • Dry Brushing
    Used to add highlights or shading, dry brushing involves using very little paint on a dry brush.
  • Edge Grain
    Wood that has been sawed parallel to growth rings.
  • End Cabinets
    A cabinet that is only connected on one side. It has two doors and is usually decorative and unique in order to add style and character to a kitchen. End cabinets may be regular or specialty cabinets.
  • End Shelf
    A type of end cabinet that has shelves instead of doors.
  • Engineered Wood
    Also known as composite wood, engineered wood is made from a variety of wood products bound with adhesives. This type of wood uses up more energy to process than solid wood and may be toxic because of the adhesives used.
  • Epoxy Coated Guides
    A fast drying white protective coating that is baked into hardware metal guides. It is low VOC and can be used for sidemount and undermount hardware. Epoxy coated metal is lesser in quality than stainless steel and usually used for drawers that are not full-extension.
  • European Hinge
    See Concealed Hinge.
  • Exposed Hinge
    Hinges that show on the outside of the cabinet. These are a more old-fashioned style.
  • Face Frame
    A frame for the front of the cabinet to provide a fixing point for doors, hinges and other attachments. Face frames are also known to add to style to a cabinets and drawers.
  • Fake Doors
    See Decorative Doors.
  • Fake Drawers
    Drawers that are for decorative purposes and do not open.
  • Fiddleback
    Tight, curly figures in a wood grain that resembles the back of a fiddle or violin.
  • Figure
    The pattern in the wood grain.
  • Filler Strip
    A finished strip of wood usually three or six inches wide used to fill spaces between cabinets or between cabinets and walls.
  • Fine Grain
    A smooth grain.
  • Finger Joint
    Similar to dovetail joints but instead of pin and tail cuts, finger joints have rectangular cuts that interlock. They are not as efficient as the standard dovetail joint.
  • FInish Coat
    A protective top-coat layer usually shellac, lacquer, paint, varnish, wax or dyting oils.
  • Fixed Shelves
    Shelves whose heights cannot be moved or adjusted. They can be supported by metal or wood brackets in order to provide better support to hold more weight. These types of shelves are often used for closets, basements and attics.
  • Flake Board
    See Particle Board.
  • Flat Grain
    Wood that has been sawed perpendicular to growth rings.
  • Flat Panel
    A flat door panel with no design.
  • Fluted Fillers
    Decorative filler strips that are usually three inches wide used mainly to add style and beauty to the kitchen cabinetry work.
  • Framed Cabinet
    Cabinets that have hinges connected to the face frame.
  • Frameless Cabinet
    Cabinets that have a thinner face frame and hinges that are attached to the side of the cabinet.
  • Free Swinging
    When a hinge can move freely and there is no catch mechanism to keep the door open or closed.
  • French Legs
    Decorative cabinetry legs that are used in place of the toe kick area.
  • Fretsaw
    See Jigsaw.
  • Fretwork
    Interlaced designs that are often geometric used to adorn musical instruments, furniture or cabinetry. Fretwork designs are cut out of wood using a fretsaw or jigsaw.
  • Fridge Panel
    A finished panel used to cover both sides of the refrigerator in order to give it a built-in look.
  • Full Lap
    A lap joint where no grooves are made so that the thickness is doubled.
  • Full-Access Drawer
    Drawers that have the back pass the frame of the cabinet so that the back of the drawer is easily accessible
  • Full-Extension Guides
    Drawer hardware that extends full-access drawers and allow the drawer to pass the face frame.
  • Full-Inset
    When the cabinet door sits inside the cabinet and is flush with the face frame.
  • Full-Overlay
    When the cabinet door covers the entire face frame. A cabinet is also considered full-overlay when the reveal is less than ¼ inch.
  • Galley Kitchen
    A kitchen design that consists of two parallel counters, one with two of the three work triangle appliances and the other with one.
  • Galley Rail
    A hardware style where two rails support the drawer. Almost all modern drawers have galley rails.
  • Glass Rack
    A glass rack can be placed under any wall cabinet but is usually mounted under a wine rack. It holds wine, champagne and brandy glasses as well as any other type of stemware.
  • Glazing
    The act of adding thin layers of color to make wood more shiny and glossy or for two-toned contrast.
  • Glides
    See Drawer Guides.
  • Gloss Finish
    A finish that adds shine and luster to wood.
  • Grain
    Indicates the direction of the fibers and growth rings in the wood.
  • Grain Variation
    Differences in the grain of cut wood. Because wood is a natural material, grain variations are unique, beautiful and may increase the wood’s value. The grain is specific to each type of wood.
  • Grid
    A generic term for muntin or mullion refering to the dividers inside a glass door.
  • G-Shaped Kitchen
    The most elaborate standard kitchen design, G-shaped kitchens are like U-shaped ones but with a peninsula at one of the ends. These kitchens have the maximum amount of space for preparation, storage and dining.
  • Half Lap
    A lap joint where a groove is made in each portion to equal the thickness of the largest portion.
  • Half-Overlay
    See Partial Overlay.
  • Handle
    Lever used to open a cabinet. These can be plain or elaborately decorated.
  • Hardwood
    Wood from mostly deciduous (broad-leaved trees) or angiosperm (flower-producing) trees.
  • Hearth Wood
    A type of firewood.
  • Heartwood
    Wood that is dead and resistant to decay. It is often found in the center of the tree trunk.
  • Hickory
    This wood is one of the strongest and is a cousin to walnut wood. It is great for medium and dark finishes.
  • Highlighting
    A technique for accenting the base color by sanding off some of the stain.
  • Hinge
    A type of bearing that is made of two objects for a specific angle rotation.
  • Hinge Cup
    Part of a concealed hinge, the cup is the part inserted into the mounting plate.
  • HPL
    Stands for high pressure laminate, HPL is a combination of paper and resin placed under high pressures to make it very strong and resistant to damage. HPL was commonly used in the 1970s.
  • Island
    Any counter top covered base cabinet that is free-standing, usually placed in the center of the kitchen. They have a variety of uses including, extra preparation and storage space, housing auxiliary sinks, buffet or breakfast bar, etc.
  • Island skin
    A type of skin that is 34.5 by 96 inches mainly used to finish ends or backs of islands or peninsulas.
  • Jigsaw
    A saw used for making curved cuts or designs on wood.
  • Joint
    The place where two pieces of wood meet.
  • KCMA
    The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturer Association is a voluntary non-profit trade association for the U.S. and Canada. KCMA certifies cabinets “that are recognized in the marketplace as a quality product able to perform after a rigorous battery of tests simulating years of typical household use.”
  • Kerf
    Any cut made by a saw.
  • Kiln Dry
    The act of drying wood or green lumber for immediate use.
  • Knife Hinge
    A scissor-shaped hinge where one half mounts to the door while the other mounts to the horizontal part of the cabinet.
  • Knob
    Round device used to open a cabinet. These can be plain or elaborately decorated.
  • Knots
    A blemish in wood grain w here a part of a limb or branch. It is often seen as artistic beauty for cabinetry and furniture. Because wood is a natural material it is common for it to have knots or eyes.
  • Knotty Alder
    Knotty alder is a lighter color wood that varies from a light reddish brown to yellow and is as strong as maple. It is called knotty because of the various knots that can be found in the grain.
  • Knotty Pine
    A softwood that is known for its many knots.
  • Lacquer
    A type of durable varnish that protects wood.
  • Lap Joint
    A joint where two pieces of wood meet and usually secured my mechanical fasteners or dowels. This type of joint comes in two forms: full lap and half lap.
  • Lazy Susan
    An upgraded easy-reach base cabinet that has two spinning trays inside. This cabinet also has two doors hinged together and is placed at a 90 degree angle in order to allow maximum storage space.
  • Light Rail Molding
    Molding underneath cabinets for decoration or to cover under-cabinet light fixtures.
  • L-Shaped Kitchen
    A kitchen designed in the shape of an L, two connecting sides with a corner cabinet in the center.
  • Lyptus
    A hybrid eucalyptus wood that is an alternative to oak, mahogany and cherry.
  • Mahogany
    A dark and rich hardwood that has a reddish color and adapts well to both light and dark stains.
  • Maple
    Maple is very versatile and can be seen in both contemporary and traditional kitchens. Sometimes maple has a wavy grain, but it usually has straight grain.
  • Matte Finish
    A flat finish that is not shiny.
  • MDF
    Medium-density fiberboard that is made of compressed wood chips. It is heavier than plywood, more susceptible to damage, swells when exposed to moisture, and contains formaldehyde that may cause lung irritation when cut.
  • Medium-Density Fiberboard
    See MDF.
  • Melamine
    A white coating for cabinet carcassesor shelves. It is stronger than HPLbut still tends to swell when exposed to water or sever weather conditions.
  • Microwave Cabinet
    A wall cabinet that has two doors above an opening with a shelf for a built-in microwave.
  • Mill
    Any machine that modifies wood with a rotating device.
  • Millwork
    Any woodwork made from a mill.
  • Mineral Streak
    Color variations in wood due to minerals in the soil. Mineral streaks are often colored and considered to be a beautiful accent to the wood.
  • Miter
    A woodworking joint where two beveled pieces adjoin to make a 90 degree angle.
  • Moderne
    See Art Deco.
  • Modular Cabinet
    See Semi-Custom Cabinets.
  • Molding
    Material used to cover transitions between cabinetry and walls or for decoration.
  • Mortise
    A cavity cut into a piece of wood where a tenon is adjoined.
  • Mortise and Tenon
    A woodworking joint that consists of a slot (mortise) and projection end (tenon).
  • Mounting Plate
    The part of a hinge that mounts to the cabinet.
  • Mullion
    Mullions are glass window dividers inside cabinet doors and provide support.
  • Muntin
    A strip of metal or wood that holds and separates glass panes. See Grid.
  • Natural Finish
    A clear finish that does not alter the color of the wood.
  • NKBA
    The National Kitchen and Bath Association is an international non-profit that certifies professional designers and promotes ethical practices.
  • Oak
    This wood is , straight grain very durable and absorbent, making it a great choice for kitchen cabinetry. It is also known to be resistant to termites and fungus.
  • Ogee
    An architectural shape consisting of a concave arch leading into a convex one.
  • Old World
    Old world kitchens included lots of distressed and worn furniture and with cabinetry raised panels. Sometimes beadboard, cracked furniture and dish, cup and pan racks are featured.
  • One-Wall Kitchen
    A simple kitchen design that requires one linear wall. The kitchen work triangle is not used since all work stations are on the same wall.
  • Onlay
    Carved woodwork that is mounted on furniture or cabinetry and used for decoration.
  • Open Grain
    A porous grain.
  • Outside Corner Molding
    A molding used to cover unfinished corners where the skin meets the cabinet edge.
  • Oven Cabinet
    A tall cabinet for built-in ovens. They come in single or double compartments to house single or double ovens or a combination of an oven and a microwave.
  • Pantry
    A type of tall cabinet used for maximum versatility for storage. Pantries can feature roll-out trays or adjustable shelvest.
  • Partial Overlay
    When the cabinet door covers most of the face frame but leaves more than a ¼ inch of reveal.
  • Particle Board
    A type of high-density engineered wood that is made of wood particles that are larger than those used for MDF. It is inexpensive, but also subject to splitting, sagging and discoloration over time and swells when exposed to moisture.
  • Peninsula
    An extension from an existing counter or a wall. Peninsulas only have three exposed sides and do not require as much space for clearance as islands do.
  • Pie Cut Shelves
    Round spinning trays that contain a cut out for easy turning. They are called pie cut because the cut out piece is similar to a pie slice. They are used in lazy Susans.
  • Pilaster
    Pilasters are decorative and rectangular columns that are used to support bar or countertop extensions.
  • Pin Hinge
    A type of hinge that pivots on one point.
  • Pine
    A straight grain wood that often gives cabinetry a rough look. Some types of pine are more durable than others, so be sure to ask which one is used when picking cabinets.
  • Pivot Hinge
    A concealed pin hinge for inset doors.
  • Plate Rack
    An open wall cabinet, usually 30 or 36 inches wide. It contains a rack that is used to hold decorative plates.
  • Plinch Block
    A decorative square piece used to accent a kitchen. It can be plain or have designs such as rosettes.
  • Plywood
    Layered cross grain wood that is resistant to swelling and sagging that can be caused by humidity, climate change and water damage. It is the most durable material available for cabinets.
  • Poplar
    A white wood with yellow undertones that is widely known for its flexibility and is commonly used for kitchen cabinets and plywood.
  • Prairie
    Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, this style indicates the use of surrounding natural objects to construct a design. For example a house in the woods would have a design using mainly wood materials. It is also known as arts and crafts.
  • Pressboard
    See Particle Board.
  • Presswood
    See Particle Board.
  • Primer Coat
    Any coat prior to the finish.
  • Pull-Out Shelves
    These shelves are commonly used in pantries and kitchen base cabinets that pull-out so that stored items can be properly seen and put back. Pull-out shelves aide people to reach stored items in the backs of cabinets and prevent the need to bend down or crawl.
  • Pulls
    See Knobs.
  • Putty
    A thicker type of wood filler that is made of plastic similar to dough or clay. It is used for repairs and to fill small holes such as nail holes. Putty may be purchased in a variety of colors and can be mixed together to match the wood.
  • Quarter Round Molding
    A molding used between cabinets and flooring to cover gaps. A scribe molding may be used instead for smaller gaps.
  • Quilted
    A wavy pattern in wood grain, usually found in maple.
  • Rabbet
    A piece of wood that has a recessed cut.
  • Rack
    Structure used to hang or hold objects.
  • Rail
    See Drawer Guide.
  • Raised Panel
    Doors that have slightly raised center panels.
  • Range
    A one piece, freestanding unit that includes a stove/cooktop and an oven.
  • Reasy-to-Assemble Cabinets
    See RTA Cabinet.
  • Recessed Panel Door
    These panels are slightly depressed and are generally not made of solid wood. They are of lesser quality because the panel thickness is between ¼ and 3/8 inch thick. Sometimes veneers are used for these panels.
  • Red Birch
    A breed of birch wood that has a reddish-brown to blackish color.
  • Red Oak
    There are many varieties of red oak. It is a high quality wood that is very durable and has an open grain.
  • Refacing
    A type of cabinet remodeling where the door and drawer faces are removed and replaced. A thin layer of veneer is used to cover the face frame in order to match the new door style.
  • Refinishing
    A type of cabinet remodeling where the cabinetd are stripped and sanded bare then stained and sealed with a new color.
  • Reveal
    The exposed portion between the end of the cabinet face frame and the door.
  • Rigid Thermo Foil
    A surface treatment that creats more durable boards. RTF is an expensive process and not as durable as plywood.
  • Roll-Out Trays
    See Pull-Out Shelves.
  • Roman Arch
    Neoclassical design style. Wall cabinet door panels have a slight arch while the base cabinets are usually square.
  • Rosette
    Round, carved flower onlay decoration generally for fluted fillers.
  • RTA Cabinet
    Stands for ready-to-assemble. These are types of kitchen and bathroom cabinetsthat are sold with all the hardware and assembly accessories needed for a consumer to assemble.
  • RTF
    See Rigid Thermo Foil.
  • Rustic
    Usually rustic kitchens feature recessed flat panel cabinet doors with hand carvings on valances and warm wood tones.
  • Sapwood
    Living wood. It is not resistant to decay.
  • Sash
    The frame that holds glass windows.
  • Scribe Molding
    A small, molding thin piece used to cover gaps where the cabinet meets the wall or floor. It provides a finished and uniform look.
  • Sealer
    Also called a sealant, Sealer is a substance used to prevent dust, fire, smoke, gas, air or liquid from damaging the cabinet.
  • Self-Close Mechanism
    Drawers containing a piston that respond to various levels of pressure and weight, absorbing the impact and closing the door slowly and safely. Good self-close drawers will stop about one inch before and slowly bring the drawer to a close in order to prevent doors from smashing fingers.
  • Semi-Custom Cabinets
    These cabinets are pre-made and range between nine and 36 inches in three inch increments. They are made in a variety of sizes and styles for kitchens at a reasonable cost.
  • Shaker
    Shaker doors is widely admired for its simplicity and quality with basic roots of clean and aesthetic class and functionality. These panels are sometimes made of with recessed veneers. Good quality Shaker panels will be reversed raised panels, having the same visual look of recessed panels with extra sturdiness and thickness.
  • Sidemount Guides
    Drawer hardware that is mounted on the side of the drawer.
  • Single Oven Cabinet
    An oven cabinet used to house a single oven.
  • Sink Base
    A base cabinet made to accommodate a sink. There is no back panel for easy plumbing connections so that drilling and routing is not necessary. These cabinets have fake drawers, but can have tilt-outs to maximize storage space. Sink base cabinets can also be used for cooktops.
  • Sink Tilt-Out Tray
    Most panels underneath the sink are fake drawers. Sink tip-out trays make use of the space, tilting out for extra storage. They are often used to hide sponges, scouring pads and other small items from view.
  • Sink Tip-Out Tray
    See Sink TIlt-Out Tray.
  • Skin
    Skins are ¼ inch panels that are used to cover unfinished backs and sides. They can also be applied to the side panels of cabinets to cover scratches or cuts.
  • Slab Door
    See Flat Panel.
  • Soft-Close Mechanism
    Drawers that have magnets that guide the drawer closed. These are not self-closing.
  • Softwood
    Wood from conifer (needle-bearing) trees.
  • Soss Hinge
    A concealed hinge that requires mortises to be carved in the door and cabinet.
  • Spatter
    Leaving small specks of lighter color on a darker stain or vice versa.
  • Spice Drawer
    Drawers that are usually no more than six inches wide and used to store spices, napkins or other small items. They can be installed as a or base under wall cabinets.
  • Spice Rack
    A pull-out rack unit. It is usually six or nine inches wide and houses spices, cans, oil, etc. The rack has two or three shelves that are open and accessible from both sides.
  • Spinning Trays
    The rotating shelves of a lazy Susan.
  • Square-Cut Joint
    See Butt Joint.
  • Stain
    An intentional discoloration for cabinets. Stains are used to alter the color of natural wood depending on design and style.
  • Stem Rack
    See Glass Rack.
  • Stile
    See Center Stile.
  • Straight Grain
    A type of grain that runs in one direction.
  • Tall Cabinet
    A cabinet unit that is full height or size, spanning from the floor to the top of wall cabinet.
  • Tambour Door
    See Appliance Garage.
  • Tenon
    The rectangular protruding portion of a piece of wood to fit to a mortise.
  • Thermo Foil
    A plastic coating or vinyl laminate Thermo foil is not as resistant to damage as HPL and cannot be repaired.
  • Toe Kick Area
    The space below base cabinet doors where cabinets are joined. The toe kick area is usually three inches deep and four and a half inches high. It is designed to allow cooks to be closer to the counter without kicking the cabinet doors.
  • Toe Kick Plate
    A long covering plate at the bottom of the cabinet on the toe kick area, usually eight feet long that covers the joints between cabinets.
  • Tongue and Groove
    Boards or planks that have a tongue on one side and a groove on the other to create a joint. These joints are often used in flooring.
  • Traditional
    This kitchen style is very versatile and even timeless. Dark wood stains or all-white designs and elaborate moldings are indicative of a traditional kitchen. Stacked and symmetrical cabinetry with stained and glazed door panels is common. Flooring can be hardwood or checkered black and white. One can change the look without spending too much by updating appliances or using different fabrics or door knobs.
  • Traffic Flow
    The flow of traffic between work stations and guest entrance and exit. It is an important variable when designing a kitchen.
  • Transitional
    A transitional kitchen is a combination of both traditional and contemporary styles. Simple changes such as displaying appliances instead of concealing them or adding fewer moldings to cabinetry can make a kitchen transitional.
  • Trash Pull-Out
    See See Trash Rack.
  • Trash Rack
    A pull-out rack that may come with single or double compartments for trash and recycling. Trash racks are used to conceal trash.
  • Trim
    Materials used for decoration around the edges of an object or structure.
  • Unassembled Kitchen Cabinet
    Cabinets that are not put together in order to save space and shipping costs and are often sold at a discounted rate. They are also known as RTA cabinets.
  • Under-Cabinet Molding
     See Light Rail Molding
  • Undercoat
    See Primer Coat.
  • Undermount Guides
    Drawer hardware that is mounted underneath the drawer. Undermount guides can usually carry more weight than sidemount guides
  • U-Shaped Kitchen
    U-shaped kitchens allow for the maximum amount of base and wall cabinets. They are shaped like a U, having three sides.
  • Valance
    A decorative, flat molding piece used as a decoration or as a bridge between two cabinets. It is generally placed above sinks, refrigerators and windows.
  • Vanity
    A general term for cabinets in restrooms. Vanities are base cabinets with two exceptions they are not as deep or high. The standard vanity is 21 inches deep by 32 inches high as opposed to 24 by 34.5 inches for normal base kitchen cabinets, but may come in other sizes.
  • Varnish
    A clear and glossy protective finish consisting of drying oil, resin and a solvent.
  • Veeneer
    A thin protective sheet made of wood or other materials used as decoration.
  • Victorian
    Style that consists of ornate decorations including gables, turrets and trims.
  • Vinyl Laminate
    A laminate used inside cabinets instead of melamine and is easier to clean.
  • Wainscot
    A decorative skin to cover exposed surfaces. Wainscots are mainly used on islands, peninsulas, surrounding kitchen walls and behind and between cabinets to unify the look of the kitchen. This type of paneling initially was used to keep the walls from moisture damage, but is now predominantly used for decorative purposes.
  • Wall Angled Cabinet
    See Angled Cabinet.
  • Wall Cabinets
    Wall cabinets are any cabinet placed above countertops that have one or two doors depending on the width of the cabinet. The depth for these cabinets is twelve inches and the height comes in three standard sizes: 30, 26 or 42 inches. They can have adjustable or fixed shelves.
  • Wall Diagonal Corner
    A diagonal corner cabinet that fits a wall corner.
  • Wall End Cabinet
    See End Cabinet.
  • Wall End Shelf
    A wall end cabinet that has shelves instead of doors.
  • Wall Skin
    A type of skin. The standard wall skin is 12 by 42 inches but can be cut to adapt to shorter cabinets. It is used to finish exposed sides of unfinished wall cabinets.
  • Walnut
    A dark wood that polishes to a smooth finish. It is one of the more elegant woods for cabinetry.
  • Warping
    When wood becomes distorted or swollen. This more often occurs in particle board, MDF or any other engineered wood.
  • Wine Rack
    A lattice-shaped rack used to hold wine bottles.
  • Wood Filler
    Used to fill small holes or imperfections in wood before finishing. Wood filler is made of wood dust, diluents and a binder. Wood filler may be purchased in a variety of colors and can be mixed together to match the wood.
  • Wood Laminate
    A thin composition of wood or plastic that is glued to the cabinet surface for protection, providing a glossy finish.
  • Work Station
    The typical work areas in a kitchen. There are three: Refrigeration, Preparation and Cleaning, and Cooking. Sometimes a fourth, Baking, is including.
  • Work Triangle
    An ergonomic diagram that aids kitchen designers in remodeling a kitchen based on spatial planning and functionality. The three points of the triangle are sink, refrigerator and stove/oven.