January 16, 2009, Newsletter Issue #35: Do Your Homework Before Shopping for Cabinets

Tip of the Week

There are so many innovative cabinet options on the market today: wood veneer, thermofoil, custom-built wood cabinets and even laminate/wood combinations. If you have narrowed your cabinetry selection to the material that best suits your lifestyle, budget and personal taste, be aware that not all cabinets are created equal.

Just because cabinets look nice in a showroom doesn't mean they are manufactured using the best procedures and materials. You should ask questions about a particular cabinetry company's production process -- especially the finishing steps -- so you can adequately compare options and prices. For example, cabinetry typically sold at discount stores may wear more easily and have a limited warranty leaving you unhappy in the long run.

Armstrong, a cabinet manufacturer for kitchens and baths, uses a 17-step finishing process to ensure your investment pays off for years after you have your kitchen cabinets installed. These steps include: hand-sanding, mechanical removal of dust particles, pre-stain application for uniformity, chemical resistant sealers, and proper baking to ensure a complete cure throughout the wood. Before an Armstrong cabinet is sold it goes through some additional final steps, including more sanding, a second removal of all dust, a final coat of Catalyzed Varnish and a pre-cured topcoat application followed by a slow bake.

No matter what type of wood you buy, these 17 steps are followed making your finished cabinets durable, easy-to-care-for and an investment that will retain its value over time. You are going to live with your cabinets for a long time so don't be tempted to buy cheap imitations of quality manufacturers.

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