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Learn to Speak Like a Cabinet Pro

Now that you are thinking about a project, you’ll appreciate knowing the cabinet terminology that Designers and Contractors are talking about.

While it can sound like a whole new language, we’ve added pictures and points to make it easy to understand.

Box Construction

Face Frame – The structural portion of the cabinet to which doors are attached, consisting of both rails and stiles.

End Panel – The side of the cabinet that is grooved into the face frame and extends back to the wall.

Bottom – The floor of the cabinet. On a wall and tall cabinet, the same component is used as the top.

Back – The rear vertical surface of the cabinet.

Adjustable Shelves – Horizontally placed storage surfaces that are adjusted by moving clips used to hold the shelf in place.

Fixed Shelves – Fixed shelves are shelves that cannot be moved. They are ideal for storing items that have a standard height, such as notebooks and CD cases. Fixed shelves are shelves that are not adjustable. They are usually affixed to the frame in a manner that cannot be changed.

Toekick – The recessed toe space at the bottom of a base cabinet.

Cabinet Doors

Center Panel – The raised or flat panel in the middle of a door enclosed by stiles and rails.

Edge Profile – Shape put on the outside edge of a door or drawer front.

Full Overlay Cabinets – A full overlay cabinet door style means that there is very little cabinet face frame showing around each door and drawer front, creating a living space with a modern style and seamless appearance.

Rail – A horizontal framing member of a cabinet face frame or door.

Reveal – On a framed cabinet, the distance between the outside edge of the face frame and the outside edge of the door.

Standard Overlay Cabinets – Standard overlay cabinets (also called traditional overlay) tend to be less expensive and do not require hardware because there is enough finger space on the side of the cabinet door or drawer face. They also have more exposed face frame, with at least 1 ¼ inches on all sides of the doors and drawers.

Stile – The vertical-framing members of a cabinet face frame or cabinet door.

Cabinet Drawers

Dovetail Joint – An interlocking corner joint where pins on one piece fit into sockets on a second piece and dovetail together.

Drawer Glide – The system used to support the drawer in a cabinet and provide opening/closing operation.