Kitchen Cabinet Refacing Terminology

When talking with one of our Cabinet Cures designers, it’s a smart idea to be aware of common cabinet refacing terminology. Our designers may use these terms when speaking with you about your current cabinets or what you want for your cabinet reface. We compiled a list of common cabinetry lingo you may hear in our showroom or during a scheduled in-home consultation.

Cabinet Box Terms

  • Cabinet Box: Box structure that determines the shape and size of your kitchen cabinets.
  • Base Cabinet: Cabinet installed directly onto the floor. Some type of top will be installed above. Common tops options include granite, quartz, or tile.
  • Uppers: Shorthand term for upper cabinets. Upper cabinets are installed directly to the wall.
  • Face Frame: Structural wood frame support attached to the front of the cabinet box built using rails and stiles. It provides mounting support to doors and drawers.
  • Frameless: Does not use a face frame. Instead of mounting doors to the face frame, frameless construction uses concealed hinges. Also known as European cabinets.
  • Reveal: The amount of face frame you see around the door and drawer fronts when they are closed.
  • End Panel: Side of the cabinet that extends to the wall.
  • Toe Kick: The recessed toe space located at the bottom of base cabinets.
Example Kitchen

Cabinet Door and Drawer Terms

  • Rail: Horizontal pieces of a frame.
  • Stile: Vertical pieces of a frame.
  • Center Panel: The panel in the middle of a cabinet door framed by rails and stiles.
  • Raised Panel: Center panel that is machined to look elevated.
  • Recessed Panel: Thin center panel that has the appearance of being inset.
  • Outside Edge: The four edges of a cabinet door. It may have detailing depending on the door style.
  • Concealed Hinge: Hinge attached to the back of the door and to the cabinet box, obscuring the hinge completely when the cabinet door is closed.
  • Drawer Front: Finished front panel of a drawer. This is the part visible when a drawer is closed.
  • Full Extension Drawer Guide: Cabinet drawer glides that extend completely outside the cabinet. Allows for access to the full depth of the drawer box.
  • Door to Drawer Conversion: Three deep, full extension cabinet drawer boxes converted from lower cabinet doors and the paired drawers.

Cabinet Finish Terms

  • Shaker: One of the most popular styles of cabinet door. It has a flat recessed panel and simple, square edge profiling.
  • Bead Board: Decorative wood center paneling style with evenly spaced surface grooves, paired with shaker rails and stiles.
  • Select-Grade: Hand picked highest quality cabinet wood with no color blemishes that would show through stain.
  • Paint-Grade: Cabinet wood that has minor color blemishes from sap that would show through stain but will not show through lacquer.
  • Rustic: Cabinet wood with knotting and heavy grain in places.
  • Stain: Stains are used to bring out the grain, darken, and add color to wood. All Cabinet Cures’ stains are water-based and are used to enhance the natural beauty of the wood doors.
  • Tinted Lacquer:  Hard surface top coat mixed with pigments. A superior alternative to painted cabinets with a more durable finish. Will not be able to see the wood beneath the finish.
  • Glaze: An accent finish that is applied to the entirety of a finished door. Adds depth and dimension that highlights door details.

Other Cabinet Related Terms

  • Mitered Joint: Joint formed by fitting two 45° angled edges together to form a right angle.
  • Cope and Run Joint: Wedges are cut from the sides of the rails and fit into matching grooves in the stiles. Also known as a Cope and Stick Joint, this is a type of mortise and tenon joint.
  • Dovetail Joint: Commonly used joint for drawer boxes. Formed by joining oppositely cut V-like structures into the edges to form a secure, tight lock. This is a type of mortise and tenon joint.
  • Crown Molding: A molding that caps and finishes the top edge of upper cabinets.
  • Corbel: Decorative wall bracket designed to support a shelf or countertop overhang.
anatomy of a cabinet door terms diagram
examples of tinted lacquers

Examples of Tinted Lacquer

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