KC Cabinetry Kitchen Renovation Blog

Kitchen Cabinet Glossary

Cabinet Glossary
For those planning a kitchen remodeling project these definitions should give you a better understanding of items and processes used in the cabinet / remodeling industry. To learn more about cabinetry and remodeling visit a local kitchen remodeling showroom.
Adhesive - A substance that is capable of bonding material together by surface attachment.

Air Dried - Lumber stacked and stored so that it is dried naturally by the exposure to air.

Antiquing - is the process of applying an aging effect to a wood surface to produce a time-worn appearance. We use a factory applied effect to simulate the natural aging process by using corner over sanding rub through techniques to express a softly aged furniture appearance.

Bead Board – Paneling or molding with rounded (beaded) routed detail.

Concealed Hinges – Cabinet door Hinge that is completely hidden when door is closed.

Corbel - A decorative (and sometimes structural) piece of wood, metal or stone jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent weight,  a type of bracket.

Crown Molding - Decorative molding applied to the top of cabinet tops to provide a finished or decorative look.

Distressing - An applied effect to simulate or accelerated natural aging process by replicating such things as weathering, fly specks, wormholes, compression marks, to express an abundantly matured furniture style and appearance.

Dovetail Joint – An interlocking woodworking joint where the fingers are shaped like a doves tail, used to join pieces at 90 degrees.

Face frame -  the front structure of a cabinet carcass which obscures the edges of the carcass and provides the fixing point for doors and other external hardware. A face frame provides strength to a  cabinet and is also a visual design feature of popular cabinetry.

Finish - The overall surface color, sealing, and added accents of a cabinet. This would typically include any combination of the following: stain/paint, glaze, distressing or seal/topcoat.
Flat Panel - Recessed un-shaped center panel to a door or drawer.
Full Overlay - Cabinet door that covers all or most of the face frame.
Glaze - a layer of paint, or other material, thinned with a medium, used to change the color, value, hue and/or texture of a surface. A distressing or antiquing process.
Grain - alternating pattern relatively darker and lighter wood resulting from the differing growth parameters of a tree.
Hardwood - Lumber from the group of trees with broad leaves, without reference to the actual hardness of the wood.

Heartwood - The non-active or dormant center of a tree generally distinguishable from the outer portion (sapwood) by its darker color. Heartwood is more decay-resistant than sapwood.

Kiln Dried - Wood that has been artificially dried, moisture removed, by forcing dry heated air to circulate around the lumber.
Knot - A portion of branch or limb that is naturally embedded in the wood.
Laminate - The product of bonding layers together as in beams or plywood.
Medium Density Fiberboard - (MDF) - A panel material manufactured from wood fibers combined with a synthetic resin or other bonding system. 

Miter Joint -Pieces are cut on an angle to make a joint.

Molding - A strip of material with a profile cut on the facing edges, used for trimming.
Mortise - A cavity or hole cut to allow a Tenon to pass through to make a joint.
Ogee- An S shape that is made by making one cut to produce two identical pieces.
Plywood - A glued wood panel usually 4' X 8' made up of thin layers of wood laid at right angles to each other.
Quarter Sawn - Boards which have been cut so that the wide surfaces are approximately 90 degrees to the annual growth rings, this type of cut reduces cupping of the boards.

Raised Panel -  A center panel to a door or drawer with a profile cut into its edge so that the panel surface is flush with or proud of the frame.

Rail(s) - the horizontal parts of a door frame that connect two stiles. Each door frame will have a Top Rail and Bottom Rail that can be of different Designs. Multi-panel doors, could also have one or more Center Rails. Slab doors can be made will one or two End Rails.

Rough Lumber - Boards which are sawn, edged and trimmed but not run through a planer.
Sapwood - The lighter colored wood growing between the heartwood and bark.
Soffit - or bulkhead is the area between the top of the wall cabinets and the ceiling that typically houses mechanical systems for the kitchen. It usually is one foot high and extends over the wall cabinets.
Stain - Coloring applied to wood surfaces as part of the finishing process.

Stiles - The outside vertical pieces of a door frame, with stile sticking machined on the inside edge. Each door frame will have a one left stile and one right stile.

Thermofoil - created in a process that uses heat and pressure to bond a thin vinyl material to a substrate, usually Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). Since the film is so thin, it can bond to very intricate shapes.
Toe Kick - Molding used to cover the open space under the cabinet for a finished look.
Veneer - Thin sheets of superior wood attached with glue to an inferior substrate. A thin sheet of wood, rotary cut, sliced, or sawn from a log or flitch from a thickness of 1/100" up to 1/4".

Warp - A generic term that includes all variations from a true plane surface ... bow, sidebend, cup, or twist.