5 Things You Need To Know Before Installing Shaker-Style Cabinets

Shaker-style cabinets have become a staple inside American homes over the years. Online retailer Cabinets states that the Shaker style is the website's most popular style of cabinetry, as consumers are drawn to the clean, and classic appearance Shaker cabinets have to offer. As interior designers continue to popularize modern and contemporary style trends, homeowners have gravitated toward the classic design of Shaker cabinets due to their durability, affordability, and visual appeal. Cabinet manufacturer Choice Cabinet attributes Shaker cabinets' appeal to their simple and versatile design, which could complement a kitchen of any color scheme or aesthetic.

Picking out new cabinetry can be daunting, especially with homeowners having many options in the online and brick-and-mortar markets. However, Shaker-style cabinets may be the perfect option for a diverse demographic of buyers — those on a budget, those looking for long-lasting carpentry, or those looking for easily adaptable woodwork. Whether selecting cabinetry for a new home or simply replacing the cabinets you already own, consider Shaker-style cabinets for the upcoming fundamental reasons.

They have an intriguing history

While Shaker-style cabinets are lauded for their clean and modern appearance, the style dates back hundreds of years to the height of the Shaker movement in the late 18th century, notes cabinet manufacturer Wolf Home Products. The Shakers were a religious group that settled in America before the country gained independence from Great Britain. Choice Cabinet states that the Shakers were an innovative group, especially adept at building durable and stylish furniture during their time in colonial America and their home country, England. Over time, Shaker populations grew in both countries, and the production of Shaker furniture boomed as a result.

The Shakers' designs have stood the test of time and proven impactful even centuries later. Modern-day carpenters model the Shakers' woodworking techniques in their production of Shaker-style cabinets while also diversifying the design by incorporating new colors and decorative detailing into the carpentry. Wolf Home Products claims the Shakers believed that using straight lines in their work elicited an honest appearance from their furniture. This simple artistic choice leads carpenters to believe the Shaker design will never truly go out of style.

They are constructed using high-quality hardwood

Choice Cabinet states that Shaker-style cabinets are typically produced using solid hardwood, making the style a durable, high-quality option that is great for kitchens. Wood and similar materials also balance well with the other features of a kitchen, including appliances, countertops, and décor pieces. According to Wolf Home Products, this makes the cabinets a stylish addition capable of complimenting a variety of household kitchens. However, despite the cabinet's use of quality materials, Shaker cabinets typically cost less to install than other types of cabinetry on the market. This is because they are relatively easy for carpenters to construct.

Choice Cabinet mentions wooden cabinetry is also relatively easy to alter after installation, as hardwood and other varieties are easy to paint and stain. This quality could be beneficial for homeowners wishing to change the appearance of their kitchen without completely replacing their cabinetry. The adaptability of Shaker cabinets could make the style a worthy investment for homeowners who enjoy revamping their homes via renovation projects.

They can last for more than 35 years

It's common knowledge in carpentry that cabinets last the longest of all kitchen components. According to Cabinets Direct USA, high-quality cabinets can last over 50 years if properly maintained, though a standard timeline for cabinets ranges from as little as 10 to 15 years per manufacturer, Fabuwood. Well-constructed Shaker-style cabinets can last up to 35 years, says Choice Cabinet. Since Shaker cabinets are usually, if not always, constructed using solid hardwood, they resist dings and scratches more efficiently than cheaper cabinetry alternatives, and they are also more durable overall.

On the other hand, a popular downside to installing Shaker-style cabinets is the extra effort necessary to keep them clean. Unlike cabinet styles with completely flat outer surfaces, dirt and dust can easily settle along the inner sides and inside corners of Shaker cabinets due to the design's center recessed panel. Cleaning the exterior of your Shaker cabinets regularly will keep them in new condition years after initial installation.

They are customizable

Shaker-style cabinets have a distinct, easily-recognizable look, but that doesn't mean homeowners aren't left with room to customize. Wolf Home Products states that cabinets are typically categorized into three general styles: inset, partial overlay, and full overlay. Each of these styles differs depending on the ratio of cabinet space to frame. Inset cabinets have a large frame that juts out from the base cabinet structure, while full overlay cabinets have no frame or visible edges. Partial overlay cabinets offer a more modest compromising appearance commonly seen within American households. Shaker-style cabinets can be constructed to fit these structural styles, so buyers should consider which type appeals most to their personal preferences.

Homeowners can also add paint or polyurethane to give Shaker-style cabinets a unique touch. Paint can add a contemporary feel to your cabinets and kitchen, offering a stark contrast to unpainted wood cabinets' more traditional and homey aesthetic. Wolf Home Products recommends topping cabinets with a laminate to keep surfaces smooth and durable or a translucent polymer base to give them a glossy sheen.

Their simplicity makes them timeless

Flat panels and clean edges make up the essence of a Shaker-style cabinet, says Choice Cabinet. Compared to other cabinet styles, Shaker-style cabinets appear more minimalistic, combining simple shapes and angles to create visually-pleasing examples of carpentry. A single cabinet door consists of a flat panel of wood set inside a frame surrounding the panel. The raised edges found in Shaker cabinets add a multidimensional effect that single-surfaced cabinet doors can't imitate.

Shaker-style cabinets also prove quite versatile for this reason. Homeowners with Shaker cabinets can easily change the look and feel of their kitchen with a simple stain or paint job, per Home Wolf Products. Also, although Shaker-style cabinets are often installed inside kitchens, their simple design complements almost any room needing storage space. Choice Cabinet recommends adding Shaker cabinets to bathrooms to give the room a contemporary flavor. If installing Shaker-style cabinets in an area of high temperature or pressure, Choice Cabinet also recommends applying a Thermofoil finish to the cabinetry's exterior to protect it from damage.