Cabinet Glossary

Speaking the Lingo Like a Pro

  • 1
    ½” or Traditional Overlay: Door styles that cover ½” of the face frame at the top and bottom, leaving 1¼” of the face frame exposed.
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    4-Way Adjustable Barrel Hinge: A barrel hinge is a sectional barrel secured by a pivot. A barrel is a component of a hinge, that has a hollow cylinder-shaped section where the rotational bearing force is applied to the pivot.
  • 3
    Accessible: Cabinets directed to aid in independent living for people with special needs. The accessible base cabinets are 32 ½” high and have an 8 ½” x 6″ toe kick allowing for wheelchair access.
  • 4
    Accessories: Supplemental parts of the cabinet referred to as bells and whistles. Any nonessential components such as rollouts, pullouts, tilt-outs, hardware, etc.
  • 5
    Adjustable shelves: Moveable shelves that can be placed in a wide range of layouts using shelf pins inserted into pre-drilled holes.
  • 6
    Air Dried: Lumber stacked and stored so that it is dried naturally by the exposure to air.
  • 7
    Angled Corner: Any cabinet type designed to fit on an end of an upper or lower cabinet creating a fixed angle.
  • 8
    Arch: A curved shape similar to an eyebrow, often used on cabinet doors.
  • 9
    Base Cabinet: Any cabinet type designed to install directly on the floor. Some form of a top will be applied in the field, such as laminate, wood or granite.
  • 10
    Bead Board: Panels with vertical grooves to give a decorative appearance. Wellborn’s beadboard panels have a 1 ½” spacing between the beaded grooves.
  • 11
    Blind Corner: Any cabinet type, upper or lower, designed to install into a corner of a room. Another cabinet will install directly adjacent to it hiding the blind portion. This gives access to an otherwise dead corner providing more storage.
  • 12
    Blind Mortise and Tenon: A joinery method for joining two perpendicular cabinet members where the end of one cabinet member is machined on all edges to form a projected tongue (tenon), and the edge on another cabinet member is slotted (mortised).
  • 13
    Butt Doors: Two cabinet doors covering a single opening, normally too large for one door. The edges of both doors nearly meet. The opening does not have a center mullion.
  • 14
    Burnishing: A technique where the profile edges have been brushed with a dark glaze to create an antiqued effect.
  • 15
    Cathedral: A curved shape similar to church windows, often used on cabinet doors.
  • 16
    Center Stile: A vertical strip of hardwood that is a component of the face frame. It usually divides a cabinet opening equally. Also referred to as a mullion.
  • 17
    Character Cherry: Emphasized by randomly occurring various sized knots, pitch pockets and small streaks of gum. Cluster knots and open knots could also be a feature. The amount of character will vary from each door making each kitchen unique.
  • 18
    Cherry: The rich red highlights give the wood a distinctive appearance. Cherry is a close-grained wood with fairly uniform texture which will occasionally have tiny pin knots, pitch pockets and very small, dark streaks of gum.
  • 19
    Concealed Hinge: Door hinges that are attached to the back of the door and to the inside edge of the face frame that is not visible from the outside of the cabinet.
  • 20
    Concealed Two-Way Adjustable Hinge: Concealed two-way hinge is not seen when cabinet door is closed. It provides side adjustment which regulates the gaps between the cabinet door and cabinet frame perfect parallel alignment.
  • 21
    Cope and Tenon: A joinery method commonly used for joining two perpendicular members of cabinet door frames. Ends on one member (rails) are machined (coped), to match the profile of the other member (inside stile profiles). The rails also receive a projected tongue (tenon) that fits into the groove in the stiles.
  • 22
    Corbel: An architectural or decorative element used as a support mechanism for mantels, bar tops, shelves etc.
  • 23
    Crown Molding: Decorative molding applied to the top of the upper wall cabinet to provide a finished or decorative look.
  • 24
    Dado: A machined groove in a flat panel surface made to accept another panel.
  • 25
    Dentil Mould: A term used to describe a decorative tooth-like pattern on any trim moulding.
  • 26
    Face Frame: The supporting wood frame attached to the front of the cabinet box to give it structural rigidity and provide mounting support for doors and drawers.
  • 27
    Flat Panel: Recessed center panel to a door or drawer design.
  • 28
    Flute: A concave shallow groove that is routed into a wood surface. Fluting is usually applied vertically. Common use is to overlay on a cabinet stile or filler for a decorative effect.
  • 29
    Framed Construction: Cabinet box that has a face frame. It resembles a flat, empty picture frame attached to the front. Doors are secured to this frame. The frame adds additional strength and rigidity to the overall cabinet.
  • 30
    Frameless Construction: A cabinet box without a face frame. The full overlay doors attach directly to the inside of the cabinet box. Allows for full access to items and space inside the cabinet.
  • 31
    Full Access Drawer Guide: Also referred to as drawer slides, cabinet drawer glides that allow the drawer to be extended to the back of the drawer.
  • 32
    Full Extension Drawer Guide: Cabinet drawer glides that allow for the drawer to extend completely outside the cabinet to give access to the full depth of the drawer box.
  • 33
    Full Overlay: Door styles that allow approximately 3/16” of face frame exposed around the sides, tops and bottoms of the doors. Wall cabinets have 7/16” exposed at the tops and bottoms of the doors. Full overlay cabinets are the only doors that can be used in frameless cabinets.
  • 34
    Furniture Board: An engineered wood board substrate that is manufactured using wood particles, adhesives and resins under extremely high pressure to bond the material together.
  • 35
    Glaze: An accent stain that is applied over the entire door and when wiped off leaving a “hang up” of light to dark tones in the corners, deep grooves and wood grains, creating an inconsistent light to dark all over glazed look. Glaze adds depth and dimension that highlights door detail, wood color and the base finish color.
  • 36
    Highlighting: A technique which removes some of the dark stain between the grain to highlight the base color.
  • 37
    Hinges: A jointed device which is used to attach a cabinet door to the cabinet. It is attached to the face frame of a framed cabinet or the cabinet side of a frameless cabinet. The hinge allows the door to swing open or closed.
  • 38
    Inset: A framed cabinet with door and drawer fronts set “inside” of the frame itself. The frame is not covered by any portion of the door and/or drawer. The finished design achieves a high quality, “custom cabinets furniture” look.
  • 39
    Knob: A hardware item, typically round, attached to doors and drawers for function and decoration.
  • 40
    Knot: A hard node in any wood species where a branch once grew.
  • 41
    Light rail: Decorative moulding usually applied to the bottom of wall cabinets providing a finished look. Specifically designed to help mask the installation of under cabinet lighting.
  • 42
    MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard): A composite wood panel made by reprocessing wood fibers to produce a flat stable panel that can be used in laminating or finishing.
  • 43
    Medium Dents: A physical technique of randomly striking the wood surface with a tool to create indentations that mimic the look of aged wood. Medium Dents are larger than Worm Holes and will collect a glaze in varying amounts when applied.
  • 44
    Melamine: A slick plastic-like material used to cover a substrate of particleboard or MDF. This material is popular because it is durable and easy to clean.
  • 45
    Mineral Streak: A discoloration in any species of wood caused by mineral deposits the tree extracts from the soil. Commonly seen as a blackish-blue streak within the grain.
  • 46
    Mullion Doors: Also referred to as a divided light door. The solid center panel is omitted and replaced with horizontal and vertical mullions dividing the open panel into smaller panels. This type of door creates a more stylish appearance and the feeling of increased space. Clear, smoked, bronzed, opaque or leaded glass inserts ( provided by the consumer) can fill these panels for the desired effect.
  • 47
    Oge: An S shape that is made by making one cut to produce two identical pieces.
  • 48
    Onlay: A decoratively carved wood ornament applied to cabinet surfaces. Used to embellish the design. Sometimes referred to as an appliqué.
  • 49
    Overlay Doors/Drawers: Doors and drawer fronts that overlap the face frame when closed — either partially or fully. These are the most common style in the U.S.
  • 50
    Pulls, Knobs and Handles: Pieces of hardware attached to a kitchen cabinet door or drawer front, used to open the cabinet and enhance the appearance.
  • 51
    Raised Panel: A term used to describe a door style where a thick center panel is machined to be flush with the door frame, thus giving the depth appearance by the sloping “raise” of the panel.
  • 52
    Rasping: A physical technique using a metal rasp to run over the edges and raised details to mimic severe wear.
  • 53
    Recessed Panel: A term used to describe a door style where a thinner panel is inserted into the grooves of the wood door frame that gives a “recessed” appearance, i.e. flat panel.
  • 54
    Reveal: The amount of face frame you see around the door and drawer front when the cabinet door and drawer are closed.
  • 55
    Rope Moulding: A piece of moulding milled to appear twisted like rope.
  • 56
    Rout: To drill or gouge out an area of wood for decorative or joining purposes.
  • 57
    Scribe Moulding: A generic piece of moulding, usually 1/4” thick and up to 1” wide, for the purpose of trimming and concealing any discrepancy where the cabinet meets a sheetrock wall.
  • 58
    Stain: A finish applied to natural wood cabinets to enhance color and add protection.
  • 59
    Stile: The vertical pieces of frames, such as face frames and door frames. Stiles and rails (the horizontal pieces) form the frame and hold the frame and panel together.
  • 60
    Thermofoil: A tough, scratch resistant rigid vinyl that is thermally formed and sealed to MDF to provide a strong, durable surface, resistant to most household wear.
  • 61
    Toe Kick: A term used to describe the recessed cut out area at the bottom of base, tall and vanity cabinets. It is also referred to as a toe space. Finished material attached to the cabinet toe space is referred to as “Toe Kick” or
  • 62
    Valance: A decorative hardwood panel installed across an open area, generally used above desks or sinks.
  • 63
    Worm Holes: A physical technique of randomly placing small round holes that mimics the look of insect penetration that occurs naturally in trees and harvested wood. Worm Holes are smaller than Small Dents and will collect a glaze in varying amounts when applied.