Cabinet Terminology


Learn about Cabinetry as the professionals speak of it.

At J&K Cabinetry, we believe a well informed customer is more comfortable and better able to make informed decisions.

Whenever you speak with a kitchen or bath cabinets dealer, designer, builder, remodeling contractor or a home improvement business, you shall hear  a variety of specifics about cabinet construction and cabinetry in general.  Below we have the most common terms used in the cabinet making industry listed in alphabetical order for your education.     After reading through the Cabinet Terminology below, take a look at our standard cabinet construction and see why J&K Cabinetry is one of the leading kitchen and bath cabinet manufacturers in the industry.  View our Standard Cabinet Features here.

Download or view our latest cabinetry Designs & Ideas brochure here

Download or view our latest cabinetry Specifications book here

Cabinet Industry Terminology

Cabinet Accessory
A non-cabinet component to either finish off, accent or customize a cabinet or layout.

Base Cabinet
A style of kitchen cabinet which rests on the floor but is secured through the back wall.

Bridge Cabinet
A style of kitchen cabinet which is mounted to the wall, and typically acts as a bridge above an appliance location.

Butted Cabinet Door
Cabinets without a center stile. **See Stile below

Cabinet Butt Joint
Two wood components with flat edges and ends that are butted together and fastened.

Cope & Stick (also known as Mortise & Tenon)
All the members of the frame are given a profile on the inside and outside edges, and the horizontal members (**See Rails below) are “coped” across the end grain to receive the profile of the vertical members (**See Stile below).  **J&K offers the Cope & Stick

Corner Cabinet
A type of cabinet that is used in creating the corner in a kitchen; typically a blind corner cabinet of Lazy Susan.

Cabinet Crown Molding
Decorative molding installed on top of the cabinet. This adds a designers touch with a little extra width, depth & height to the overall dimensions.

A Joint made by cutting a square slot into one cabinet member to fit a second member. This method of assembly provides a larger surface area for glue and a defined location for the exact fitment of the two pieces.


Dove Tail
Dove Tail joints are very strong (preferred),  because of the way the ‘tails’ and ‘pins’ are shaped. This makes it difficult to pull the joint apart and virtually impossible when glue is added. This type of joint is used in box constructions such as drawers for maximum durability and life. **J&K uses the Dove tail joint on all drawers, see the image below. 

Doweled Cabinet Construction
Wood dowels are used to join different cabinet components together with glue for a durable construction.

Edge Band
Thin melamine or veneer cut into thin strips and bonded to the edges of a cut panel to finish the raw edge.

Finger Joint
A Joint made by cutting a set of complementary cuts in two pieces of wood, ( looks like fingers ), used to form long pieces of lumber from shorter pieces.

Cabinet Hang Rail
A strip of hardwood installed on the back panel for added hanging strength.

Lumber from the group of trees with broad leaves, not the actual hardness of the wood. J&K uses Maple in all cabinetry

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
Engineered wood product composed of cellulose fibers bonded together with resin. J&K does not use MDF

The rail and stile are cut at a 45° angle, to form a corner. J&K offers both mitered and cope and stick

Non-butted Cabinet Door
Cabinets with a center stile (**See Stile below).

Full Overlay
Where the face frame is completely covered by the cabinet door(s). **typically requires hardware to open with ease

Standard Overlay
Where the cabinets face frame is partially covered by the door. **leaves access to open without hardware

Flat piece of wood, usually referred to as a end, side panel or bottom panel.

Paper Laminated Particle Board
Solid or wood-tone paper bonded to raw particle board. **J&K does Not use PLPB

Particle Board
Engineered wood product made of wood shavings and chips bonded with resin. **J&K does Not use PB

Thin sheets of veneer glued together with the grain at right angles to each other providing strength. **J&K plywood complies with Phase I and Phase II emission standards of the California Air Resources (CARB) Airborne Toxic Control Measure (ATCM)

Pocket-screw construction
Drilling a hole at an angle in one work piece, joining it to a second using a self-tapping screw.

Rabbet Joint
A joint where the ends of boards are joined at right angles by removing a portion of one board’s thickness to accommodate another board. This increases the glue surface and provides support and alignment for the two pieces for durability.

Ready-to-Assemble; components are assembled by the adept consumer. **typically requires glue and a Phillips head screwdriver to assemble, not a durable construction.


Ready To Build; where components are made to exact specifications for a professional to build using a variety of power tools and cabinet building skill sets. **J&K Cabinetry is sold as RTB or we professionally build them at our Phoenix, AZ. manufacturing facility.

RTF – Rigid Thermofoil (Thermofoil)
The RTF Process uses heat and pressure to bond a thin vinyl material to a substrate, usually Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). The film is ultra thin, it can bond to very intricate shapes like raised panels, routed edges and other designs that cannot be coated with other types of laminates. **J&K does Not use RTF

Vertical piece of wood used to make the face edge and center of the cabinet frame or paneled door.

When no finish is applied to the end product; raw. **All J&K Cabinetry comes finished with the highest quality standards and materials. View our Cabinet Finishes here.

Thin decorative covering of fine wood usually less than 1/8th inch thick, applied to an engineered wood product for the appearance of wood. **J&K Does Not use veneers, our cabinetry is 100% real maple Wood

Wall Cabinet
A style of kitchen cabinet which is mounted to the wall.

Wholesale Kitchen Cabinets in Phoenix

Translate »