Cabinet Terminology

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Adjustable Shelves
Moveable shelves that can be placed in a wide range of layouts using
shelf pins inserted into pre-drilled holes.
Angled Corner Cabinet

Any cabinet designed to fit on an end of an upper or lower cabinet
creating a fixed angle.

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B

Base Cabinet
Any cabinet designed to be installed directly on the floor. Base
cabinets do not have tops to them, which means some form of countertop
has to be installed in the field such as a laminate top or a granite
top.
Beveled Finger-Tip Door Pulls
A portion of material is removed from the door creating a groove used
to open the cabinet.
Blind Corner Cabinet
Any cabinet, upper or lower, designed to be installed in the corner of
a room, with another cabinet installed directly adjacent to it, thus
hiding the blind portion. This type of cabinet gives access to an
otherwise dead space, providing more storage.
Butt Doors
Two cabinet doors that nearly meet, covering a single opening that
does not have a center stile.

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C

Center Stile
A vertical strip of hardwood that is a component of the face frame,
which divides an open cabinet equally.
Close Grain
A wood that has fine and closely arranged fibers, such as maple.
Concealed Hinge
A term used to describe a cabinet hinge that is not visible from the outside.
Crown Molding
Any molding that is applied to the tops of kitchen cabinets.

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D

Dentil Molding
A term used to describe a decorative tooth-like pattern on any trim molding.

Dovetail
A term used to describe a joining process of two pieces of wood. Both
pieces have wing shaped notches that interlock. Dovetailing is known
as the strongest joint used in furniture and cabinet drawers.

Drawer Front
The finished front panel of a drawer assembly that matches or
resembles the door profile.

E

End Panel
The panel that forms the side of the cabinet.

F

Face Frame
The front facing of a cabinet typically constructed of hardwood. The
vertical pieces, stiles, and the horizontal pieces, rails, reinforce
the cabinet structure and provide mounting support for doors and
drawers.

Fillers
Pieces of hardwood matching a chosen cabinet color. The common size
is 3” wide and 30” to 96” long. Fillers are typically used to fill
the space where a cabinet does not fill a specific dimension.

Flat Panel
A recessed center panel to a door or drawer design.

Framed Cabinet
A traditional style of cabinetry where the cabinet box has a face
frame. The box is built behind a frame-like structure on which the
doors and drawers are applied.

Full Overlay
Doors and drawers are sized large enough to cover the cabinet face
with only minimal clearance between them.

G

Glaze Finish
Additional steps in the finishing process that are applied to add
depth and dimension to highlight door detail, wood color and the base
finish color.

Grain Variation
A term used to describe a species of wood’s natural dissimilar grain pattern.

H

Hinge
A mechanical device used to attach a cabinet door to a cabinet box.

I

J

Joint
A construction term used to describe two pieces of material being
attached together.

K

Knob
A hardware item, typically round in shape, attached to doors and
drawers for function and decoration.

L

Lazy Susan
A corner kitchen base cabinet utilizing kidney shaped shelves that
rotate for easy access.

M

Maple
A close-grained hardwood that is predominantly white to creamy white
in color, with occasional reddish-brown tones. While maple typically
features uniform graining as compared to other wood species,
characteristic markings may include fine brown lines, wavy or curly
graining, bird pecks, or mineral streaks. These traits are natural
and serve to enhance maple’s inherent beauty.

Miter
A joint made when two beveled surfaces form an angle.

Mullion Doors
A style of cabinet with glass panes with vertical and horizontal
dividers, which resemble window panes.

N

O

Oak
A strong open-grained hardwood that ranges in color from white to pink
and reddish tones. Streaks of green, yellow, and even black may
appear due to mineral deposits. Oak may contain wormholes and wild,
varying grain. The distinct graining is considered a desirable
quality.

Open Grain
A wood that has large pores or coarse texture, such as oak.

P

Plywood
Multiple layers of wood veneer bonded by adhesive forming panels of
varying thickness.

Pull (Or Handle)
A hardware item, usually crescent shaped, attached to doors and
drawers for function and decoration.

Q

R

Rail
The horizontal member of a door or frame that lies between the stiles.

Recessed Panel
Flat panel held inside the perimeter of a door. A flat panel recesses
between the stiles and rails. See flat panel.

Reveal
The exposed portion of the cabinet face frame when the cabinet door
and drawer are closed.

S

Scribe Molding
A generic piece of molding, usually ¼” thick and up to 1” wide, for
the purpose of trimming and concealing any discrepancy where the
cabinet meets a sheetrock wall.

Shelf Pins
Pieces of hardware that the shelf sits on, usually metal or plastic.

Soffit
Enclosed area between the top of the wall cabinets and the ceiling
that typically houses mechanical systems for the kitchen. It is
usually one foot high and extends past the wall cabinets.

Solid-Wood Panel
Center panel made up of boards that are joined or glued together to
form the width of the center panel. Because natural woods have
variations in color and grain pattern from board to board, these
variations will be apparent in a solid wood door.

Stain
A finish applied to natural wood cabinets to enhance color and add protection.

Stile
The vertical member of a door or frame that extends the full height.

T

Toe Kick
The recessed area at the bottom of base cabinets usually 4” high and 3” deep.

Traditional Overlay
Cabinet door styles that leave part of the face frame revealed.

U

V

Valance
A decorative hardwood panel installed across an open area, generally
used above sinks.

W

Wall Cabinet
Any cabinet designed to be installed at or above eye level. Common
installation is 18” above the countertop.

Wood Grain
The pattern and texture produced in wood.

Wood Species
Different types of hardwoods or softwoods. Examples are maple, oak, cherry.

X

Y

Z