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The Basics of Kitchen Base Cabinets in Salt Lake City

If you’ve ever thought about remodeling your kitchen, you might have heard the term base cabinets. As you may have guessed, these types of cabinets are permanently mounted on the floor and have legs that could either be exposed or hidden by a toe-kick. You often find them in the kitchen, but you can also see them in bathrooms as well. AWA Kitchen Cabinets offers base cabinets in a wide selection of styles and colors.

Because kitchen base cabinets are crucial design elements, there are certain things you must consider when getting them built and installed. From the proper dimensions to the correct configuration, you need a balanced and functional space.

Kitchen Base Cabinets

How Do Base Cabinets Work?

Base cabinets have a variety of functions. They serve as a foundation for sinks, cooktops and countertops. They are also a place to keep kitchen cookware and other large items and can accommodate enhancements such as drawers.

They work together with wall cabinets to provide storage space for your supplies and cookware. Typically, they measure 36 to 48 inches high, but this can vary depending on the dimensions of the other structures surrounding them.

They also help define how the rest of the furniture and fixtures you’ll bring in will work together. You can even use this type of cabinet to make a kitchen island.

Do Base Cabinets Go Against the Wall?

The short answer is yes. But you should ensure that your wall is plumb before installation. How do you know if it is?

Take a level and place it vertically against the wall. If it comes out at 90 degrees, then you’re good to go. If by any chance it doesn’t, you can bridge the space between the base cabinet and the wall with filler strips. If you don’t want to take the trouble, you can have a professional install your cabinets for you.

What Styles Are Available?

Base cabinets come in various styles and configurations, but availability can vary from one manufacturer to another. Look for a manufacturer with a wide variety of base cabinet styles to choose from to give you a better chance to find one that best fits the setup you have in mind.

Whether you want kitchen cabinets with a built-in wine rack, storage for pots and pans, a trashcan compartment or another feature, AWA Cabinets in Salt Lake City offers many options. Download our catalog to view more of our offerings and make your dream kitchen a reality.

Utilizing Black Cabinets Within Your Kitchen

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to not only provide clients with a wide range of beautiful kitchen cabinets, from base cabinets to wall cabinets, utility cabinets and many others, but also to offer a huge swatch of color options. Color is a huge part of how your cabinets will play into the kitchen’s overall aesthetic, and we stock a gigantic variety of options to make sure you can mix or match to your heart’s content.

One particular color hue area that’s grown in popularity in many modern homes over recent years: Black, or extremely dark hues like our espresso or dark wood styles. What are some of the top practical and stylistic reasons why more homeowners are choosing black or near-black colors for their kitchen cabinets, and how might you utilize these cabinets in your kitchen? Here’s a primer.

black cabinets within kitchen

Versatility and Numerous Styles

Black and darker hues are enormously versatile when it comes to design within the home, and can either match or contrast a variety of different aesthetics. A few styles or themes it often helps invoke:

  • Elegance: Black cabinets bring a refined, elegant feel to any room, and this can be promoted even further through various enhancements. You might consider gold or brass hardware, for instance, or similarly-colored accents. Others might prefer to contrast these cabinets with rich marble counters or a similar backsplash area. You have several great options here.
  • Modern: Black is used in contemporary design with an emphasis on clean lines. It’s known for sleek, high-gloss and upscale looks.
  • Traditional: And yet, at the same time, black is a viable option for traditional kitchens as well. With great hardware or crown molding, or with a glassfront style that was popular for many decades, you can maintain this classic look with black cabinetry.

Space Perception

For those who do choose black cabinets, it’s important to be considerate of space perception. Too much black in a given space will make it feel smaller – for this reason, it’s important to include non-black accents or complements in other areas of the kitchen.


Speaking of accents, they deserve their own section here. In many cases, homeowners use black cabinets only in certain areas, such as on a kitchen island, while leaving other cabinets a lighter hue. This helps these particular cabinets stand out without risking too small a perception of the space. There are also other features that do very well as cabinet accents, such as a standalone hutch. The idea here is to break up your colors just enough that the space doesn’t feel too small.

For more on using black kitchen cabinets effectively, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, vanity cabinets or other services, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Framed Vs. Frameless Cabinets: Installation and Overlays

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on both framed and frameless cabinets for the kitchen. Kitchen cabinets come in a variety of styles and options, and one of the simplest decisions here is whether to go with framed or frameless selections.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinet options, from base cabinets and wall cabinets to vanities, utility cabinets and many additional accessories. We’re happy to inform you of any of the qualities you should be considering depending on your cabinet needs, budget and other factors, including whether framed or frameless options will be the best choice for you. Today’s part two of our series will look at a couple other important areas and compare these styles to help you choose between them.

framed frameless cabinets installation

Installation Themes

One of the key differences between framed and frameless kitchen cabinets is the kind of hardware and processes that will be used for their installation. Framed cabinets, for starters, attach to one another throughout the width of the face frame, a process that allows for screws to anchor themselves very deeply into their attachment points within the cabinet. For this reason, framed cabinets can accommodate longer screw lengths than frameless options, plus will generally be the most durable option long-term.

Frameless cabinets, on the other hand, attach to each other directly through side panels they possess. This means that a shorter screw length is generally used and accepted, meaning the anchoring is a bit shallower for frameless cabinets. In some situations, this will require additional screws and screw locations to ensure secure attachment.

Overlay Types

When we talk about overlays in cabinets, we’re referring to the amount of the cabinet face that’s overlapped by the doors and drawer fronts. When the doors and drawers are all closed, the visible face frame or box is known as the “reveal.” For framed cabinets, there are three overlay types available:

  • Inset: Where the door and drawer faces are slightly smaller than the openings, and recessed to align with the face frame for the largest possible reveal.
  • Standard: Door and drawer faces are slightly larger than the openings, with a slight overlap of the face frame. These reveal a bit less of the face frame.
  • Full: The door and drawer faces are longer than the openings and overlap the face frame, leaving a small reveal.

For frameless cabinets, on the other hand, door and drawer faces are nearly the exact same size as the cabinet box. This leaves a tiny portion visible, leaving a streamlined appearance where you don’t have to worry about overlays.

For more on framed versus frameless cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, vanities or other products, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Framed Vs. Frameless Cabinets: Overview and Construction

There are a few broad style decisions that you’ll be making when choosing new cabinets for any room in the home, whether kitchen cabinets or any other location. One primary example here: Whether you’ll be choosing framed or frameless cabinets.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinet options, including European style frameless cabinets that have become extremely popular in many homes in recent years. How do traditional framed cabinets compare with these frameless cabinet options, both in terms of general characteristics and more specific construction and other variables? This two-part blog series will look at all the important qualities of each.

framed frameless cabinets overview

Framed Cabinet Overview

Framed cabinets remain the most common style in the US, still extremely popular for their distinctive look. Their frames feature faces that allow for very simple installation and drawer or door adjustment, which is a major factor for many buyers.

Now, framed cabinets do require separate skin panels to be installed on-site, on the exposed sides. However, this is worth it for many clients, who enjoy the larger range of sizes and modifications available for framed cabinets than for other types.

Frameless Cabinet Overview

Frameless cabinets, also known as European style frameless cabinets, are a sleeker and more modern look that, as the name suggests, originated in Europe – and remains popular there as well. This style allows for full access into the cabinet interior, with a larger drawer box capacity than framed cabinets.

Cabinet sides are ordered finished from the factory, rather than installed on-site. More fillers are needed in frameless designs, just to ensure that minimum clearance is attained for door and drawer openings. This means there are fewer size and modification options for frameless cabinets, their one major downside compared to framed options.

Now let’s get a bit more specific in several of these areas.

Construction Differences

As their names indicate, the key construction alteration for framed cabinets compared to frameless is the solid wood face frame that comes between the door and cabinet box. This frame is made of horizontal rails, plus vertical supports known as stiles. In addition, wood grain directions in the face frame help reinforce the horizontal strength of the cabinet.

In addition, the face frame also limits a negative effect known as racking. This refers to a situation where the cabinet box tilts out-of-square, meaning the horizontal and vertical sections of the cabinet will not be level and the doors or drawers will not align properly. This is one issue that framed cabinets avoid entirely, but frameless cabinets may deal with if they aren’t constructed properly.

For more on the differences between framed and frameless cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other product, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Daily and Long-Term Granite Countertop Care

Many common elements of a given room naturally complement one another in several ways, and a great example within the kitchen is the relationship between kitchen cabinets and kitchen countertops. Often selected at similar times or even together by those remodeling a kitchen space, these two areas are generally close together and can be chosen in ways that either match or contrast each other depending on your aesthetic desires.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to offer not only a huge range of base cabinets, utility cabinets and other options among our diverse product selection, but also high-quality granite and quartz countertops for kitchen remodelers. We also provide expertise on the care and upkeep of any of the products we offer – here’s a quick primer on general care for those who choose granite countertops, including some important information on sealing.

daily granite countertop care

General Daily Cleaning

Granite has many benefits, and one of the top ones for many owners is the limited regular maintenance or cleaning it requires. You won’t have to buy any expensive wipes, sprays or other materials once you get granite countertops – rather, the products you already had at home will almost certainly do fine.

For starters, simply move any items off the counter so it can be fully cleaned. Then use a soft, dry towel or cloth to rub away any spills, crumbs or other debris. Finally, mix some gentle soap and water, then use a microfiber cloth to wipe down and sanitize the surface before drying the entire area off with another soft cloth. This whole process should take no longer than a couple minutes.

Steam Cleaning

For those who want a more in-depth granite cleaning method, a steam cleaner is usually the ideal option. This can be rented if you don’t own one, and will allow for a much more significant clean.

The first steps here are the same as manual cleaning – remove any objects and wipe off basic spills or crumbs with a cloth. From here, fill the steam cleaner with water and set it to either “low” or “medium” (high might damage the surface), then ensure it’s shooting out hot steam before you get started. Work in sections of your countertops, then use a clean microfiber cloth to dry each once it’s finished.

Sealing Frequency and Themes

Because granite is a natural stone, it can absorb liquids if they’re spilled on it and not cleaned right away. This is also why sealing your granite countertop is very important, as this will help it resist liquid, oil or other stain absorption. To get an idea of whether your seal is in good shape, simply trickle a few droplets of water on it each time you do a general cleaning – if it’s well-sealed, this water will bead up. If it’s not, the droplets will begin to seep into the surface, signaling it’s time to re-seal.

For more on caring for granite countertops, or to learn about any of our kitchen countertop options, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Solid Wood: The Hallmark of Quality Kitchen Cabinets

We admit that here at AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re a little biased. We think fewer things are more beautiful than real wood, and that’s why it’s our job to make and sell wooden kitchen cabinets. But it’s also our job to explain to you why solid wood is so much better than any other alternative.

While metal and glass-front cabinets are legitimate style choices, those who decide to go with wood should understand why solid wood is superior to fabricated substitutes.

wood kitchen cabinets

Pressed Wood

You have likely seen what pressed wood looks like if you have bought some cheap furniture you have to put together yourself. One side has veneer glued to it, but on the underside, you can see what looks like many tiny pieces of wood pressed together — which is exactly what it is.

The process of creating pressed wood includes gathering scraps of wood and using heat to press them together with an adhesive to create a larger piece of wood.


This material is very similar to pressed wood and is created in very much the same way, but it is mostly made of sawdust rather than wood scraps. For this reason, pressed wood tends to have a yellow-brown mottled color, while particleboard has a smoother appearance and tends to have a lighter, more uniform color.

Medium Density Fiberboard

This building material, also known as MDF, is like particleboard, but much denser. The pieces of wood used to make it are smaller, so the result is that they are packed together more tightly. For this reason, MDF is noticeably heavier than other types of engineered wood.

Solid Wood v. Engineered Wood

All of these solid-wood substitutes can be good for different uses: furniture that doesn’t get much use, such as bookcases, furniture used in kids’ rooms that may take some abuse; furniture for a first apartment or dorm when money is a primary consideration.

However, the problem with using wood substitute for kitchen cabinets is that they will get a lot of use. The kitchen cabinets that hold snacks and glasses and plates may get opened and closed dozens of times a day. Engineered wood won’t hold up as long as solid wood kitchen cabinets.

Further, water is a death knell for engineered wood. If it gets wet, it swells, warps, wrinkles the veneer and is never the same.

It’s always best to try to avoid getting any wood wet — even solid wood — but solid wood will always recover from moisture better than engineered wood. It’s stronger, its fibers consolidated by nature rather than a machine.

Here at AWA Kitchen Cabinets of Salt Lake City, we think of our craft as a labor of love. We spend our days turning natural wood into utilitarian objets d’art. Every time we build a wall cabinet, a base cabinet, a utility cabinet or a vanity cabinet, we put in the same level of care and attention to detail.

Interested in making your home more beautiful? Call AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Shaker Cabinet Hardware Selection and Placement, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on hardware options and pull formats for shaker style cabinets. Shaker cabinets are available in a huge range of design options and are very versatile, including in the kinds of hardware you can choose for them – and the different placement styles you might consider.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, our wide selection of kitchen cabinets includes numerous shaker style options for you to consider if this is the style you prefer. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll dig a little further into the placement realm when it comes to the hardware you’re thinking about for your shaker cabinets – what are your options for shaker doors, drawers and unique insert handles?

shaker cabinet hardware placement

Placement on Shaker Cabinet Doors

When it comes to shaker cabinet doors and the location of your knob and pull handles, there aren’t many practical differences between your common options. Put another way: This decision comes down almost exclusively to your own aesthetic desires, and if you like how it looks you’re in good shape pretty much no matter what.

That said, there are a few common options chosen by those who purchase shaker cabinets:

  • Lower corner: Likely the most common location for shaker cabinet knobs and pulls is the lower corner on the side of the cabinet that opens. These will usually be around an inch from the edge of the door, with both horizontal and vertical pull options depending on your style.
  • Above or below corners: Others choose a bit more of an indentation here, placing knobs or pulls two or three inches from either a lower or upper corner.
  • Center stile: For shaker cabinets with stiles, another common choice is to place the knob or pull halfway up the door in the center of such a stile on the side where the door opens.

Placement on Shaker Cabinet Drawers

You also have a few options when it comes to shaker cabinet drawer hardware placement:

  • Center insert panel: For recessed drawer panels, the knob or pull will go in the center of this section.
  • Center top rail: In other cases, you may choose to use the center of the top rail part of the drawer for your knob or pull.
  • Larger base drawers: For larger and heavier shaker base drawers that will hold heavy items, you can either use double knobs or pulls or use a single oversized pull handle – in the latter case, the handle should make up at least 33% of the cabinet width, if not more.
  • Slab option: For slab style base cabinets, knobs or pulls can go in a variety of areas based on personal desire. There are also mixes of slab and shaker styles, in which case we recommend placing knobs or pulls on the top part of the slab or top rail.

For more on hardware placement for shaker cabinets, or to learn about any of our base cabinets, utility cabinets or other kitchen cabinet materials, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Shaker Cabinet Hardware Selection and Placement, Part 1

One of the most popular types of cabinet out there today is the shaker cabinet, which has a signature look with a five-piece design and a recessed center panel. Shaker cabinets come with numerous design options and are extremely versatile, working in both modern and traditional settings and with a variety of surrounding aesthetics.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, shaker style cabinets are just some of the fantastic kitchen cabinet products we carry, which include a wide array of base cabinets, utility cabinets, wall cabinets, and many others. One of the most common questions we get from clients considering shaker style cabinets: What are the best hardware materials to go along with the cabinet, and how should these be placed? This two-part blog will begin with some of the ideal materials and formats we recommend here, while part two will look into placement formats for several pieces of cabinet hardware.

Shaker hardware

Nickel or Steel

For those who want a traditional look to their cabinets, a clean and smooth aesthetic that lends itself to numerous contrasts, some of the best hardware material options will be nickel or steel. Used for knobs and pulls, these options are perfect for cabinetry topped with a wide variety of countertop options, plus are very low-maintenance and complement both modern and vintage looks. For those going for a vintage look, you can combine steel or nickel knobs with bin or cup pulls on your drawers, bringing a combination of warmth and flair.

Ceramic or Glass Knobs

For those looking for a classic finish on their shaker cabinets, a strong consideration may be ceramic or glass knobs. These originated in the early 19th century, and are especially ideal for shaker cabinets with a stained finish that showcases their wood features.

These materials complement classic wood finishes, plus are available in several color hues. They can be clear, opaque, or fully transparent, and can be used for both doors and drawers.

Pull Formats

Finally, there are several bar pull formats to think about:

  • Classic: Hardware options featuring exposed screws and available in options like antique brass, oil rubbed bronze, or nickel. These are best for farmhouse, utilitarian or industrial styles.
  • Tubular: Stainless steel or nickel formats for a modern look, also called the barrel pull.
  • Wire: Often accompanied by various decorative features or accented wire pulls, these are more traditional options and often feature ornaments.
  • Flat bar: Similar to tubular pulls, but available in longer lengths.

For more on the various materials and styles available for shaker cabinet hardware, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other kitchen materials, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Correcting Myths Surrounding Quartz Countertops, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the common myths out there regarding quartz countertop surfaces. When items or services become highly popular, they sadly tend to develop some areas of misinformation within popular culture – and quartz is a good example, with rising popularity in recent years that’s unfortunately led to some misconceptions out there.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we ensure all our clients have the proper product information for any of our materials, from base cabinets and our wide selection of additional kitchen cabinets to our granite and quartz countertops also offered. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over a few other quartz countertop myths out there, plus the correct information in each of these areas.

correcting myths quartz countertops

There’s No Variety

In some ways, we can understand how this particular myth got started. While other stone materials like granite and marble are unique with every single slab, meaning you’ll never see the same one twice, quartz is a manufactured stone – so some naturally assume it’s uniform and cannot be purchased with any variety.

This isn’t the case, however. Quartz manufacturing allows for a huge range of colors and shapes, with various designs popular today: Speckled quartz, solids or even those that mimic granite, marble or other stone types. In fact, quartz is one of the single most versatile stones out there due to how easily it can mimic others.

It’s All Synthetic

While synthetic materials are used to help fabricate quartz slabs, anything you hear about synthetic materials making up most of the slab is incorrect. For most slabs, the breakdown will be about 90% natural materials and 10% synthetic, though this can vary somewhat based on your desires. It is not possible to create quartz with only synthetic materials, and too low a level of natural quartz will not allow for slabs that mimic other natural stones.

Quartz and Corian Are Interchangeable

We talked about quartz and quartzite mixups in part one of the series here, and another potential point of confusion is for terminology between quartz and Corian. The latter, which is a construction metal created in the late 1960s, came onto the market around the same time as quartz – the two were competitors in some ways during their early years, and some of the companies involved in this competition have even merged since.

It’s even possible to combine original Corian surfaces with Corian quartz countertops for fancier aesthetics. But these are not the same thing, nor are they interchangeable.

It Requires Sealing

Finally, unlike other natural stones like granite, you do not need to seal quartz surfaces. You will still need to perform regular maintenance, however.

For more on moving past the myths associated with quartz countertops, or for information on any of our kitchen cabinets or other products, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Correcting Myths Surrounding Quartz Countertops, Part 1

We offer a variety of fantastic kitchen products at AWA Kitchen Cabinets, from our wide range of base cabinets, vanity cabinets and various other cabinet accessories to several additional products, including both granite and quartz countertops. Countertops and cabinets tend to go hand-in-hand when it comes to many kitchen remodels, and we’re here to help with some of the best stone countertop materials available today.

When it comes to quartz countertops, in particular, there are a number of unfortunate myths that have arisen over the years. Some of these exaggerate quartz’s qualities while others diminish the reality of all quartz’s benefits. In this two-part blog series, we’ll look into some of the top misconceptions out there on both sides of the quartz countertop ledger, plus how to get the proper information on any of these areas when considering quartz countertops.

correcting myths quartz countertops

Cost Misconceptions

There are myths on both sides of the quartz countertop pricing realm, depending on which circles you’re in and who you’re talking to. Some are under the impression that quartz is a cheap, low-cost surface like a laminate – this is simply not true, as quartz is actually much closer to granite and marble when it comes to both quality and pricing. It will generally run between $40 and $100 per square foot depending on several factors, plus is far more durable than something like laminate.

On the flip side, however, there are those who lump quartz in with high-cost materials like marble, and this isn’t accurate either. Marble can get as pricey as $150 per square foot or even higher, a range quartz never reaches – but many quartz countertops can mimic marble in ways the naked eye can’t even separate.

Quartz is Indestructible

Quartz is known for being highly durable, but it’s worth noting it is not indestructible. It may still break, crack or scratch based on heavy impact or pressure, though it will stand up to such risks better than marble or granite counterparts.

Burns Easily

On the flip side, one major benefit of quartz is how well it resists high temperatures. You have to honestly try to burn a quartz countertop, though extremely high temperatures may lead to discoloration or cracks if you place sizzling pans directly on the surface. While we don’t recommend this action, you won’t have to be overly careful with quartz and temperature.

Same as Quartzite

Finally, despite having similar names, quartz and quartzite are not the same thing. The former is an engineered material that combines natural quartz with polymers and resins, while the latter refers to a mined, metamorphic rock that’s extremely hard – plus contains recrystallized quartz for some extra sparkle.

For more on common myths surrounding quartz countertops, or to learn about any of our countertops or kitchen cabinets, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.