Bathroom Storage – Cabinet Construction and Materials

November 8, 2017 Posted by kyu7

Custom cabinetry in a bathroom is a nice touch, but with custom-built cabinets costing twice as much and more as stock cabinets, they can be a potential budget-breaker. Granted, you don’t need nearly as many cabinets in a bathroom as you would in a kitchen, which makes bathroom cabinet upgrades relatively more affordable. But still, when it comes down to a decision between a whirlpool tub and a custom-built bathroom vanity, I think that the whirlpool will generally win out. Not that this will result in a horribly ordinary bathroom; there are plenty of fine-looking stock cabinets around that are reasonably priced and well made.

The most reliable and economical source of bathroom cabinetry will be manufacturers who are members of the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA). Cabinets carrying KCMA certification labels meet standards for general design and construction, strength, finish, function, and hardware. Of course, this still leaves a lot of leeway; in cabinetry, as in most other things in life, you get what you pay for. Quality details like dovetailed drawers and mortise-and-tenon face frames are more expensive; so, too, are cabinet carcasses of plywood and MDF rather than less-expensive particleboard, from which screws and staples are more likely to pull out.

Choosing one particular style of cabinetry over another is largely a matter of personal taste. I have a preference for traditional frame-and-panel wood doors and face-frame cabinets, but I’ve found that flat full-overlay doors on Euro-style frame-less cabinets offer better accessibility and are a little easier to keep clean (no corners for dust and dirt to settle in). Though I like the look of natural wood, cabinetry with a light-colored melamine or laminate interior is a great choice for bathrooms. The light coloring makes it easier to find things even when they are shoved toward the back, and the hard, durable surface is easy to clean and resists water and stains. Cabinets with this type of interior are available in either frame-less or face-frame construction.

Usually cabinets from one of the many major cabinet manufacturers can be configured to fit in almost any bathroom, but sometimes a cabiĀ­net built on-site or from a local woodworking shop is the only solution to a particular space and design problem. I’ve built a number of different styles of cabinets, both on-site and in my shop, and I’ve worked with cabinets built by local cabinetmakers. While I’ve been pleased with the results, these are expensive options; for any given level of quality, it’s difficult to compete in price with a large-scale cabinet manufacturer.

Comments are closed.