How to Choose the Right Cabinets for Your Houston Kitchen Remodel

Do you need help choosing the right cabinets for your kitchen remodel? Replacing your cabinets is a great way to update your kitchen and refresh the feel of your entire living space. It can seem overwhelming when you start considering all available options, but never fear! We can simplify this process by guiding you through the different types of cabinets, the best materials, and the various finishes and door designs for your perfect kitchen remodel.

Types of cabinets

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are one of the most cost-effective options in a pinch. But, with that lower cost comes lower quality. Stock cabinets are often made using MDF or particle board and are only offered in limited designs. While not an option we would typically recommend, stock cabinets will always have their place in the market for those looking for a cheap upgrade. 

Semi-custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets offer an excellent mid-range cost option, opening up unique options and allowing for individuality in your design. With semi-custom cabinets, you have access to a broader selection of colors, finishes, and door designs. They also allow for options within an unconventional space. If you need to accommodate a specific layout or want a distinctive accent feature, like a pull-out pantry, semi-custom cabinets might be the right choice for you.

Custom Cabinets

Our top recommendation to our clients will always be custom cabinets. With custom cabinets, there are no limits to your design options. If you can imagine it, our skilled carpenter can build it. This option allows you to fully customize your space, creating a high-quality and uniquely tailored remodel experience. Because of the exceptional quality and flexibility, custom cabinets are installed on almost all of our projects. 

Cabinet Materials

When selecting materials for your kitchen cabinets, your top priority should be quality. Kitchen cabinets should not only offer functionality in your space but should add value to your home. We want to avoid MDF or particle board and focus on plywood cabinet boxes with a hardwood door and face. There are various hardwoods to choose from depending on whether you are planning on painting or staining. We’ll go into further detail on that next.

Paint Grade Vs. Stain Grade

white oak inset kitchen cabinets

A choice that will influence many other decisions in your remodel is whether you want your cabinets to be painted or stained. There are pros and cons to both options, but it will ultimately depend on the look you want for your kitchen and the maintenance you are willing to invest in the future.

Painting your cabinets means your color options are limitless. You can match any existing or new decor. Painted cabinets are more resistant to fading than stains, so they will hold their appearance for longer. Unfortunately, paint can chip or scratch meaning you dedicate yourself to regular touch-ups.

Stained cabinets won’t chip or scratch like paint meaning less touch ups. The stain penetrates the wood deeply allowing for protection from moisture and humidity. However, the stain will not protect against direct sunlight or other harsh environmental elements, and we can see extensive fading in these situations. This should be a consideration in a kitchen with a lot of natural light.

Framed vs. Frameless

Now that we’ve established the type of cabinet, our quality materials, and paint versus stain, we can focus on the look of our cabinet. Our two main options are framed or frameless; again, we have thoughts on the benefits and drawbacks of both options. Both can match your design vision and needs. How much customization are you looking for?

Framed cabinets have a face frame that surrounds the cabinet box. This frame will add strength and stability while also giving you plenty of space to adjust and replace hardware. The downside to a framed cabinet is its traditional appearance. In addition, the bulkiness of the outline may limit your ability to customize specific designs for your kitchen.

For a more modern kitchen, frameless cabinets feature no face frame. This allows easy access to your cabinet contents and greater flexibility when customizing their appearance.

Inset Vs. partial overlay vs. full overlay

Our next choice is to decide between inset, partial overlay, or full overlay. Inset cabinets mean the doors will fit exactly into the frame of the cabinet box. This style requires precise measurements and exact construction meaning they can be more expensive, but this style produces a classic look and offers plenty of space for hardware and knobs. 

Partial overlay cabinets feature doors that partially cover the frame of the cabinet box. This is the most affordable option, but also the worst looking.

Full overlay cabinets offer maximum coverage. The doors completely cover the frame creating a seamless look between cabinet boxes and drawers. This is again a more costly option due to its precision construction, but it is guaranteed to make your kitchen stand out. Pairing these options with specific cabinet door styles that we’ll discuss next can create a showstopper of a kitchen.

Cabinet Door Styles

For a classic look, raised panel and shaker doors offer a timeless, traditional feel. For a modern option, flat panel or slab designs can provide a sleek and contemporary look. The hardware you choose also enhances the design. Add a hammered metal handle to your traditional cabinet. Use modern pulls in a bright color or glass knobs to create a unique design. Play with your options until you find the perfect combination for your dream kitchen. You can continue your chosen look from floor to ceiling by adding moldings.


Moldings are a great way to add a pinch of personality to your kitchen cabinets, as well as tie together a cohesive design. Moldings help draw attention to different aspects of the cabinetry by accenting more traditional or modern themes. You can use a traditional crown molding in a farmhouse kitchen, or a modern crown molding to accent a sleek design. Add bold colors or interesting shapes that stand out against an already strong design. There are options to suit any style. Moldings are a simple and creative way to take your cabinets to the next level.

Internal Hardware - Slides, Hinges, Catches, and Latches

Finally, we can tie our entire design together with connector hardware. Connector hardware would include drawer slides, door hinges, catches, and latches.These little details can give your cabinetry a smooth opening and closing motion. It’s important to use high quality hardware so that your kitchen feels as good as it looks.


Before choosing which types of cabinets to buy for your kitchen remodel, you should talk to an expert to help you. You want to avoid wasting time and money on kitchen cabinets that don’t work properly in your home. Matt Baker Contracting specializes in kitchen remodels and you can call us with any questions that you have. 

2 thoughts on “How to Choose the Right Cabinets for Your Houston Kitchen Remodel”

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