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What are the Main Components of Custom Cabinets?

A common question I get from customers looking to update or upgrade their home with custom cabinets is, “What are the components of custom cabinets”?

Every cabinet, whether from the factory or custom-made, has 3 main components that include…

  1. Carcass
  2. Drawer
  3. Door

Now, you might be thinking, “Carcass? That sounds a little weird”, and I agree. So, let’s break down each of the custom cabinet components so you can see what each is and I’ll also show you 2 secondary parts you may want to consider when choosing your custom cabinetry.

Components of Custom Cabinets

Cabinets are quite simply boxes with decorative fronts on them that include drawers and doors.

graphic demonstrating a custom cabinet box with drawer and door

The Cabinet Carcass

The basic framework of every cabinet is the cabinet box, which is called the “carcass”.

graphic showing a cabinet carcass and its parts

Each carcass is made up of two (2) sides, one (1) bottom, one (1) back panel, and two (2) stretchers.

Assembled correctly and squared, each of these carcass parts creates a box that can endure all the stresses of everyday living.

The Cabinet Drawer

Many, but not all, cabinets include a cabinet drawer. 

graphic demonstrating a cabinet drawer

Think of the cabinet drawer as just a box within a box, like the Matryoshka doll where the small doll fits inside a bigger doll that fits inside an even bigger doll, and so on…

I know, we build big boxes to store smaller boxes!

The Cabinet Door

Like the cabinet drawer, most cabinets have a door but some may have just drawers.

graphic showing the door of a custom cabinet

Because cabinets are primarily used for storage, it’s generally necessary to conceal what we’re storing with a cabinet door.

Whether it’s modern, farmhouse, or traditional, the cabinet doors and drawers are what give your custom cabinet style.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the main components of custom cabinets, let’s take a quick look at a few secondary parts that are important to making your cabinetry.

Secondary Parts of Custom Cabinets

While the main components of a custom cabinet are always the same, there are a couple of parts like a toe kick and face frame that may vary based on your style and functional needs.

The Cabinet Toe Kick

As the name suggests, the cabinet toe kick is the bottom piece of a cabinet that sets in from the main carcass itself to accommodate your feet when standing at your cabinets.

graphic showing the toe kick portion of a cabinet

Because you stand up against your cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, the toe kick is a feature commonly found in kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, while cabinets in your living area, bedrooms, and closets generally don’t have a toe kick.

The Cabinet Face Frame

Aside from many modern-style cabinets, most custom cabinets made for Rockwall, TX homes have a face frame, which is simply a wooden frame that covers the edges of the cabinet carcass.

graphic showing a cabinet face frame

From a design perspective, you’ll generally want all your cabinets to be frameless or include face frames. 

More Custom Cabinetry Considerations

Of course, there’s a lot more that goes into making the right custom cabinets for your home, like the drawers and doors be flush or overlay, the style of your drawers and doors, whether you want snap-close or soft-close slides and hinges, and the hardware for your cabinets.

For now, however, these main components of a custom cabinet give you a good idea of the structure and how your cabinetry is made so hopefully you can make a more informed decision on how you want to approach your custom cabinet project.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at or call me at (972) 560-4093. I’d be happy to help.

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