If you like the versatility of frameless European-style laminated kitchen cabinets, but want traditional raised-panel doors and drawer fronts, don't despair: A major cabinet manufacturer has a line just for you.
Design Group 84 by Wood-Mode is available with several styles of flush doors or drawers for the Euro-look prized by many homeowners who choose frameless cabinets.
Traditional doors and drawers like the Embassy style pictured here can be specified instead of the flush ones, according to Stewart Fair of Kitchens by Stewart, 698 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.
Not everyone in the remodeling industry believes frameless cabinets are an improvement over the traditional cabinets that employ face-frame construction, but even skeptics (like this columnist!) are willing to concede their advantages of greater storage space for the same size cabinet, wider opening doors and versatility for accessories.
As an example of the latter, Fair demonstrated a drop-leaf serving cart that rolls neatly into an opening in the base cabinet. This would be difficult with face-frame cabinets, but it's nothing for frameless ones.
Fair lists the following features for traditional (face-frame) cabinets, which are constructed like furniture: Interiors look more like furniture, with wood and wood grains; they are easier to install, with more room for error; they have greater inherent strength, especially important if cabinets are to be free-standing, as in a hutch or china cabinet; more types of woods are available, and the overall look is more ornate.
He said that frameless cabinets--which consist of laminated particle board precision joined without benefit of frames--feature: Laminated interiors for easier cleaning, more drawer space, easier interior accessibility, more sophisticated hardware, including drawer-guide systems; hinges, lazy susans, greater choice of door styles and colors, availability of high-pressure plastic laminated exteriors, a cleaner, sleeker, more unified overall look and more critical installation.
Fair began his career several years ago as a cabinetmaker, calling his Altadena-based business Cabinets by Stewart. Woodworking was a hobby that turned into a business, and now the 44-year-old Fair complains that he doesn't have time for his old hobby.
BATHROOM BLUES: If the water line to your toilet is leaking just a little bit, it's enough to cause a lot of damage to the floor--and to the downstairs ceiling if the bathroom is upstairs.
Replace that rigid copper line from the water supply to the toilet ball cock with a flexible reinforced plastic one.
Follow my example and take along the old line to make sure you get the proper sizes at both ends (typically, one-half-inch iron pipe thread (IPT) at the supply line and seven-eighths-inch at the toilet end). There's a lot of difference between a one-half-inch IPT and a one-half-inch compression thread, but they are right next to each other (or maybe mixed in) in the home center or hardware store shelf.