Kitchen Cabinet Construction Methods

Posted byCabinets by Design Posted in
Posted on Sep 14, 2018

When you search for kitchen cabinet construction methods you’re likely getting ready to purchase new cabinetry for your home.  There are Kitchen cabinet construction quality determines the durability and lifespan of your remodeling or construction investment. 

There are a lot of various ways to build a cabinet because there are a lot of ways to join wood together. You can use various methods of joining the cabinet carcass and face frame. Many of us have a lot of projects that need to be completed and we don’t want to spend a lot of time on methods that look great but with the products and tools out there, it isn’t needed to build a strong joint and nice looking pieces, so it is best to use a few joints. Keeping things fast, simple, and easy.

Each project will be different and some situations need creativity to actually make it work. Sometimes, building is easy and fast while other times it will take forever for a special project.

Top 4 Kitchen Cabinet Construction Methods

Below are 3 different methods for a 24-inch kitchen cabinet using 3 different techniques to show the methods and talk about why and when they might be used over a different technique. Sometimes the experience and available tools will say what method you can use but that doesn’t mean that you can’t create something beautiful. You just have to take more steps to make sure that your finished project looks great which means that you have to plan ahead and find which cabinets parts are going to be visible after its finished. Then find the method that works best for you.

1.  Butt joints & Wood screws

Building cabinets with a butt joint and wood screws drilled into the sides will be the fastest way to build the carcass and needs no special tools. You will need a drill to drive the screws in and that’s it. You can also use good fasteners and wood glue. This is great for most projects, especially those where painted cabinets are being installed. Once the face frame is on and everything has been caulked, filled, and painted, no one will know what joint method was used, unless you destroy the shelf, the cabinet will hold up like others.

The issue with this type of method is that the fasteners are visible. Not an issue if you have planned ahead. You can hide them in several ways:

  • You can cover the sides of the cabinet. You can cover them with a ¼ inch beadboard.
  • Ensure that the screws are counter-sinked so that you can fill them with putty or wood filler.

It doesn’t matter if the screws are visible if the sides of the cabinets won’t be seen. If your attaching the cabinets together to fill a large space, the sides won’t be seen.

Pros:  Fast and simple. No special tools needed.

Cons: back panel and fasteners are visible from the sides.

2. Butt joints & pocket hole screws

Using a pocket hole screw you can build a cabinet easily. It does require that you have a jig to drill the holes, but this is often a go to for a sturdy cabinet to join the face frame.

Pros: easy and fasteners are not visible

Cons: back panel is visible from sides. Takes time to drill pocket holes. Requires special jig.

3. Dados

Cutting a dado that will allow the cabinet bottom, fixed shelves and back panel to recess into the cabinet sides is time consuming and a bit tricky but it pays off in appearance. It does need specialized tools such as a table saw or table mounted router and some patience.

Getting the dados just the right type of width is tricky, especially when the thickness of material is different. When building a cabinet to paint, you won’t need to worry a lot about the precision like stained or natural wood. Caulk will be a good friend.

Pros: no visible back panel or visible fasteners. Clean look.

Cons: Cutting dados are time consuming and requires precision and special tools. Not a beginner project.

4. Dowel & Dovetail Joints

Quality cabinet doors and drawers are constructed using either the dowel or dovetail joint.  Cheap cabinetry uses staples that won’t hold for very long.  In contrast dovetail joints are considered the premium standard for kitchen cabinet construction.  They feature interlocking sections of wood which hold each other tightly and do not require screws, nails, or staples.  The best cabinetry uses dovetail joints and adds wood glue to make the longest lasting and finest kitchen cabinetry available.  Dowel joints are a close runner up to dovetail and are an option for homeowners are general contractors who need to get the job done on a tighter budget.  

Pros: Durable and visually attractive or hidden joints.

Cons: Some versions will cost a little more, but last longer.

Custom Cabinet Design & Installation in Phoenix

If you’re looking for quality kitchen cabinets for your home, business, or commercial property Cabinets by Design has you covered with the most innovative styles available.  The easy of use, functionality, and visual elements of the cabinets we build are exceptional and completely customization for you, our valued customer.  To ask questions or get a project started please give us a call.

Call 602-265-6044 or Contact Us


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