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DOORS & DRAWERS - All You Need to Know About Styles & Construction

You’ve made the leap to invest in new cabinetry. Now it's time to start designing your space. Whether its a complete kitchen remodel, a bathroom or custom piece, understanding door construction and different styles can make all the difference to achieving the look you’re going for.

Types of Construction

Cabinetry doors and drawers are typically made from 5 pieces - 2 side pieces, a top, a bottom, and a center. There are 3 main construction types when discussing drawers and doors: slab, mitre and cope and stick. Slab construction is simply a solid piece of material that provides a clean, sleek look. Both mitre and cope and stick are solid methods for building and provide durability and strength. It's quick to spot which construction has been used simply by looking at the joint. Mitre construction uses a diagonal joint, while cope and stick uses a perpendicular joint. Below are a few more specifics about each method.


Mitre Construction
  • Joint: Diagonal

  • Mitre offers more decorative options for inside edge detailing.

  • The width of the frame must be the same all the way around for mitre construction meaning you can't have arches.


Cope and Stick Construction
  • Joint: Perpendicular

  • Traditional and older construction method, but still used a lot.

  • Allows for variant in frame work; not all sides have to be the same which allows arches.

  • Not as many options for decorative detailing.

Door/Drawer Styles

Now that we’ve covered door/drawer construction methods, let’s talk about styles. When you visit our showroom, you will see a wall (yes, a wall!) with most of the door variations we build. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices, but here’s some helpful base knowledge when choosing a door style:

SLAB - a panel with no frame; a very contemporary look

RAISED - the center panel of the door is raised instead of flat

RECESSED or FLAT PANEL - the center panel of the door is lower than the frame

SHAKER - a clean look with the same width frame all the way around; can be either raised or recessed

Keep in mind that while mitre construction allows for design variations like inside and outside edge detailing, cope and stick can give decorative arches.

Thinking outside the box? We can do all sorts of materials in the center panel such as glass, mirrors, metal grates, mullion and more.

Looking Ahead - Trends for 2021

Lately we’ve been getting requests for what we’re calling the "skinny shaker." This look involves lean lines, mitre construction, and a modern look with just a bit of detail. This style along with a traditional shaker is what we expect to see moving forward in 2021.

"Skinny Shaker"

From construction methods to door & drawer styles, we realize it can be a bit to wrap your head around! But not to worry, we’ve been building cabinetry for over 40 years. Whether you have the exact plan already laid out or you need us to start from scratch, our designers are here for you every step of the way.

To see get started on your next project, contact us today!

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