There are a lot of terms used in cabinet manufacturing and design that you may not have heard before, from construction techniques to materials and wood species characteristics. Many of the terms below include larger photos that give you a good visual to accompany the description.

Hand-applied technique simulating cracks, worm holes, carved or worn edges, screw marks, chisel marks and dings to create the impression of naturally aged wood. Visit the Artisan page to see all of the distressing packages we offer.
Beaded Inset
With Inset construction, the cabinet door and drawer fronts are recessed (inset) and flush with the cabinet face frame. Beaded Inset cabinetry includes a small groove that is routed into the cabinet’s face frame, outlining the perimeter of the door.
Beveled Panel
Raised panel doors have a variety of interior edges, including three–beveled, concave and convex–that are fairly similar. Beveled panels are shaped at an angle, with no curve added.
A swirl or twist in the wood grain that is caused by any number of natural factors that include: knot location, genetic components or naturally occurring damage to the bark.
Closed (also Sound) Knot
Closed knots are often seen in Rustic woods, and have a flat face without an opening in the wood surface.
Concave Panel
Raised panel doors have a variety of interior edges, including three–beveled, concave and convex–that are fairly similar. Concave panels feature an edge surface that is curved or rounded inward.
Convex Panel
Raised panel doors have a variety of interior edges, including three–beveled, concave and convex–that are fairly similar. With a convex panel, the surface is curved or rounded outward.
A hand-applied process of creating random nicks and cuts in the wood surface to create an aged look. Distressing is often combined with Artisan packages to blend areas of the cabinet that do not receive Artisan distressing.
A fan-shaped tenon fits into a corresponding mortise to form a tight interlocking joint. Known for their strength and durability, dovetail drawers are a mark of high-quality construction, and are standard for all of our drawer boxes and roll-outs.
Edgebanding is applied to the edge of a panel to seal or finish the edge. (Also known as edge tape.) Materials may include thin, flexible strips of wood that are finished to match the panel; metal-look PVC edging, laminates or foils. Depending on the application, edge tape may match the panel (Cornerstone and Millennia); complement the panel (Katana), or be a contrasting finish.
Edge Detail
Many Cornerstone and Millennia doors offer a range of edge profiles for door or drawer fronts. (See our Edge Details page for selections.) Some doors, such as mitered styles, HG Foils and laminates, have a standard profile that complements the style of the door.
Finial Hinge
Finial-style hinges are a decorative, semi-concealed hinging option used with Inset cabinetry. Options include black, polished brass, pewter or sterling nickel.
Framed Construction
In framed construction, a face frame attaches to the cabinet box, and the cabinet doors are attached to this frame. Different door configurations, called overlays, determine how much of the frame is visible. See the Cornerstone Construction page for more details.
Frameless Construction
Cabinet construction in which the hinges are secured to the inside of the cabinet, and the doors overlay the cabinet box, minimizing the space between the doors when closed. See the Millennia Construction page for more information.
Full-extension guides are placed on either side of a drawer, and allow it to open to the full depth, giving easy access to items in the back of the drawer. Under mount full-extension guides are standard on all of our cabinet lines.
A specialty finish in which a material is applied after the stain and seal coat, and then hand wiped to create an aged or antiqued look that is unique to each piece. Glazing is applied to the entire surface, and shows well on surfaces with sharp crevices or edge details, distress marks, and woods with an open grain such as Hickory or Red Oak. See the Finish Enhancements page for glaze options.
The central core of wood in a tree. Heartwood no longer produces sap, and tends to be dark in color. In some species, the color difference is very noticeable; in others it is fairly subtle.
A finish option in which material is applied to detailed areas of wood-paneled doors, fronts and profiled mouldings. Highlighting is applied to specific areas rather than the entire surface, resulting in a more refined look than Glazing. See the Finish Enhancements page for highlighting options.
Inset Construction
Cabinet construction in which the cabinet door and drawer fronts are recessed (inset) and flush with the cabinet face frame. Because of the craftsmanship required to precisely fit the door and drawer front into the face frame, inset cabinets are often associated with high-end design.
Family of products in which a finish material is fused to a substrate. Laminates include LPL (Low-Pressure Laminate) and HPL (High-Pressure Laminate). HPL is thicker, stronger and more durable. Our laminate programs include Greenlam, an eco-friendly family of solids, patterns and wood grains.
Stands for “medium density fiberboard.” MDF is an engineered wood made from compressed and bonded wood fibers. MDF is very dense and stable, allowing for very fine tolerances when machined, and is used as a substrate for some sheet goods and doors.
Mineral Streak
Naturally occurring streaks of color in  wood panels, caused by minerals extracted from the soil. The streaks appear as blackish-blue, well-defined and run parallel with the grain, adding depth and dimension to the appearance of the finished cabinet. Mineral streaks are not considered a defect.
Corners are fitted together with the ends of two parts cut at 45 degrees and joined together to form a 90-degree turn. This method gives the look of a picture frame, and these doors are typically more ornate than other styles.
Modified Overlay
Uses a door with a larger overlay to allow a smaller amount of the face frame to be visible. The door overlays the face frame by 1-1/4 inch side-to-side and 1/2 inch top-to-bottom. While the gap between doors is reduced, it is still wide enough to open cabinets without needing hardware, as is necessary with frameless construction.
Mortise & Tenon
A strong joint that is created by butting pieces of wood together at 90° angles. In doors and face frames, the tenon projects from the horizontal stile and is inserted into a mortise, or hole, in the vertical stile.
An ornamental strip used as decorative trim or to conceal gaps (such as between the top of a cabinet and the ceiling). Visit the moulding & trim page to view some of the many styles offered. Mouldings may be used singly, or combined to create a new profile. See our Moulding Stack PDF for examples.
Open Knot
Knots with open areas on the surface of the wood; commonly seen with Rustic species. We take care that open knots do not effect the structural integrity of the panel, and do not contain sharp edges that may cause injury.
Pin Knot
Knots that are small and tight on the surface of the wood. Pin knots may appear infrequently, or in small clusters.
Horizontal framing pieces of the cabinet face frame or door assembly. Supported on either side by stiles.
Ray Flecks
Rays, or strips of cells, store food and transport it horizontally throughout the tree. Naturally occurring ray flecks appear as lines across the grain of the wood surface, and are especially common on red oak and beech.
Sapwood is the outer, live area of a tree, and appears lighter in color than the heartwood (center of tree). Depending upon the species, and how the tree is milled, a single board may contain both types of wood, showcasing the color variations between the two.
In many homes, the area above the top of the kitchen cabinets is boxed in to conceal wiring, plumbing or structural elements. Crown mouldings are frequently used to dress up the transition from the top of the wall cabinet to the soffit, and may also be used at the junction of the ceiling and the soffit.
Small specks of black stain are randomly sprayed onto finished areas to create an antiqued look. The size and placement of spattering will vary, although the look should be fairly subtle.
Vertical framing pieces of the cabinet face frame or door assembly. Supports the horizontal rails.
The material (typically particleboard or plywood) used as a base for Laminates, Thermofoils and Veneers. An NAUF (No Added Urea Formaldehyde) plywood option is available in our Greenlam program for Millennia.
Vertical framing pieces of the cabinet face frame or door assembly. Supports the rails.
Thermofoils are a durable, easy-to-clean alternative to wood cabinet doors. To create the look, a rigid vinyl foil is vacuumed and bladder pressed with a bonding adhesive onto a routered MDF substrate.
Traditional Overlay
Uses a door with a minimal overlay to allow a larger amount of the face frame to be visible. The door overlays the face frame by 1/2 inch side-to-side and 1/2 inch top-to-bottom.
Under Mount
A guide that is attached to the bottom of a drawer instead of the side, giving a much cleaner look when the drawer is extended. We use under mount, full-extension guides as our standard offering.
A thin layer of material, typically wood, adhered to the face of a substrate. Veneers are commonly used in cabinets, flooring and furniture. Many exotic species are sold as veneers, because the process maximizes yield from a single log, which helps to reduce the price of the finished product.