Popular Types, Styles, & Categories Of Kitchen Cabinets

Blog, Interior Design, Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in the home and it only makes sense it carries the best decor possible. One vital decor component for the kitchen is the kitchen cabinet, as it will ultimately define the design style of your space.

Thankfully, there are different types, categories, and styles of kitchen cabinets available on the market today. However, choosing one can still be overwhelming, which is why this article explores some of the best types of kitchen cabinets. You will also learn more about the distinct features to look at when making your decision.

Let’s get started.

Types of kitchen cabinets

As I have mentioned earlier, there are different types, categories, and styles of kitchen cabinets. Let’s have a look at the types first.

1. Custom cabinets

Custom kitchen cabinetry

If you want a kitchen cabinet that is unique and designed or tailored to your specifications, then a custom cabinet is the right choice for you. The process usually involves having a designer assess the available space in your kitchen and designing cabinets to suit your style, color, size, and shape.


  • You get to choose every detail, whether size, shape, style, or color
  • Can be made from different materials, including wood, metal, and plastic
  • A variety of finishing to choose from, including paint, stain, and laminate
  • It is a great way to maximize your space


  • Takes longer to install
  • Custom cabinets tend to cost more to install than other types of cabinets. The labor and cost of materials may influence your budget greatly.

2. Stock cabinets

stock cabinet
A newly built kitchen in a new home in Northumberland. It is modern and is has a luxury style.

Stock cabinets are designed to be on the cheaper end but tend to lack in quality when compared to custom cabinets. They are built or manufactured using standard measurements and styles. Customers have the choice to choose between two types of stock cabinets: Ready-to-assemble (RTA), which is shipped in boxes, and Assembled which is shipped pre-assembled.


  • Easy and quick installation
  • Relatively very affordable
  • A variety of options in color, style, and trim are available to choose from
  • Shipping is fast (although the assembled stock cabinet might take longer to ship than the RTA cabinet)


  • Shipping might incur more cost
  • Lower durability
  • Lower quality
  • Choosing one may be tricky if you have a small kitchen since they have standard sizes and dimension

3. Semi-stock cabinets

semi-stock cabinet

Semi-stock cabinets are very similar to stock cabinets but have a few distinct features that differentiate them. Stock cabinets are manufactured using standard measurements and styles, but semi-stock cabinets allow for design and finishing flexibility. Customers have the option to make moderate alterations like resizing the cabinet drawers or increasing/decreasing the cabinet depth.


  • Customizable looks just like custom cabinets
  • A variety of colors and finishes to choose from
  • Durable
  • Still budget friendly


  • Although you are allowed to make moderate alterations, you are still limited in terms of full customization
  • It will take a while until it is shipped and delivered
  • More expensive than stock cabinets

Categories of kitchen cabinets

After seeing the various types of cabinets, it will also be helpful to know the various categories as well.

1. Standard cabinets

standard cabinet

Standard cabinets are cabinets built without countertops. They are usually 24 inches deep and 34.5 inches tall (except the homeowner requires them to come in other dimensions). Anything deeper than that, the homeowner might be unable to reach the back and the space will be wasted.

2. Wall or upper cabinets

 Wall or upper cabinets

Wall or upper cabinets are designed to be mounted or installed on a wall. They are usually around 12 to 24 inches deep, except the homeowner requires a custom-made wall cabinet with specific depth and height.

3. Tall cabinets

tall cabinet

Tall cabinets are as the name implies “tall”. They are 84 to 96 inches tall and usually serve as a pantry for most homeowners. Custom-built tall cabinets can also be made higher or lower depending on the homeowner’s specifications and the ceiling height of the kitchen.

4. Specialty unit or specialty cabinets

Specialty unit or specialty cabinets

Specialty units or specialty cabinets are more like customized cabinets. They are designed to maximize space and serve a very unique purpose in your kitchen. Some examples of specialty cabinets are hutches, bottle racks, or appliance storage.

Styles of kitchen cabinets

Now that we’ve established the types and categories of kitchen cabinets, this is where things get more exciting. It’s time to pick a style, one that matches your kitchen design that you will definitely appreciate for a lifetime. Here are some of the most popular kitchen cabinet styles.

1. Shaker cabinets


Shaker cabinets are one of the most popular cabinets in the United States of America, for a good reason I must add. They are simple, elegant, and they are timeless. They feature many doors and drawers with a recessed panel in the middle.


  • Fits with almost all kitchen designs you can think of
  • It also matches any hardware
  • Since they are very common, they are made widely available
  • Simple, elegant, and timeless design


The only known drawback to Shaker cabinets is that they require regular cleaning to prevent dirt from gathering on the recessed panel

2. Raised panel kitchen cabinets

Raised panel kitchen cabinets

Another popular kitchen cabinet style is the raised cabinet or raised panel kitchen cabinet. Timeless and aesthetically appealing, this structure fits well with any kitchen style or design. Raise cabinet features cabinet doors with slightly raised center panels, creating a 3D look


  • Timeless and elegant style
  • Can fit into any kitchen design
  • A variety of decorative option


  • Tend to cost more than Shaker cabinets because of their ornate detail
  • Cleaning tends to be tricky because of the extra edges and ridges
  • If they are not maintained properly, their beauty is reduced over time

3. Slab kitchen cabinets

Slab kitchen cabinets

Slab kitchen cabinets, also termed as flat panel cabinet is another beautiful and simple cabinet style you can feature in your kitchen. They are made from pieces of wood, cut into rectangles, and glued onto a frame. This creates a smooth and sturdy surface, offering a simple yet elegant look to the kitchen decor.


  • A variety of colors and styles to choose from
  • Because of its flat and smooth surface, it is one of the easiest styles of kitchen cabinet to clean
  • Very in-expensive
  • Offers a truly minimalist kitchen design


  • Might look bland
  • The finishing on the flat surface may fade over time if it is not maintained adequate
  • Warping may occur eventually
  • It can be hard to replace damaged panels

4. Glass front kitchen cabinets

Glass front kitchen cabinets

Glass front kitchen cabinets, also referred to as open-frame doors are perfect if you wish to add visual interests and display your dishes and other kitchen accessories. They offer a unique touch to the kitchen and help make the kitchen feel brighter and more open.


  • Add visual interest to the kitchen
  • Can show off unique features in your cabinets, e.g.; unique plates, crystal vases, or your collection of international beer mugs
  • Nice alternative to open-style shelving as it protects your dishes and other kitchen accessories from dust


  • Trouble keeping the glass clean
  • They have design limitations
  • Can be very expensive

5. Beadboard kitchen cabinets

Glass front kitchen cabinets

If you want a modern or charming cottage flair to your kitchen, then beadboard kitchen cabinets are the way to go. Styled out of traditional beadboard used for walls mostly, beadboard cabinets can add a special twist to your kitchen design.


  • Impacts the resale value of your home
  • Aesthetically commanding
  • Its unique texture adds an element of warmth to the kitchen
  • A variety of sizes is available


  • Because of its uneven surface, cleaning it can be very difficult
  • Not budget-friendly
  • Keeping the color fresh tends to be another issue with beadboard cabinets
  • Not as durable as others


Which is the most common type of kitchen cabinet?

The shaker kitchen cabinet is the most common type of kitchen cabinet in most American homes.

Which is the most expensive type of kitchen cabinet?

Custom-built kitchen cabinets tend to be on the higher end.

Which material is best for kitchen cabinets?

In terms of material, plywood, stainless steel, and solid wood are some of the best materials because of their durability.

Which type of kitchen cabinet is cheaper?

In terms of price, a slab or flat panel cabinet is one of the most inexpensive options available.

Which type of cabinet is easy to maintain?

Shaker kitchen cabinet is very easy to maintain, which is why it is one of the most common type.

Conclusion – Choosing the best kitchen cabinet

Having examined the various types, categories, and styles of kitchen cabinets, it may seem challenging to choose the best or most suitable for your kitchen. Here are a few tips to help narrow it down: First, consider the available space; most cabinets come in standard sizes and dimensions. If your kitchen size cannot accommodate, then custom-built cabinets might be the best choice.

Secondly, consider your budget, as custom-built cabinets might be pricier. Perhaps the semi-stock cabinets might be another alternative; after all, they allow room for design flexibility as well. Lastly, considering the design and aesthetic, beadboard and shaker cabinets offer some of the best aesthetics.

Ready to decide? Still have questions? Feel free to get in touch with us today if you need any clarity.

Thanks for reading.

About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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