Cabinet Terminology

The definitions below should give you a better understanding of items and processes used in the cabinet industry. Cardell strives to provide the highest quality components in our cabinetry, so that you can be confident in your choice of a beautiful Cardell kitchen.

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A substance that is capable of bonding material together by surface attachment.
Air Dried
Lumber stacked and stored so that it is dried naturally by the exposure to air.
Annual Growth Ring
The layer of growth to the circumference of a tree in a season, easily recognizable in many woods by the difference in cells formed during the early and late parts of the season.
Antiquing is the process of applying an aging effect to a wood surface to produce a time-worn appearance. We use a factory applied effect to simulate the natural aging process by using corner over sanding rub through techniques to express a softly aged furniture appearance.


Bead Board
Paneling with beaded, routed detail.


Crown Molding
Decorative molding applied to wall cabinet tops to provive a finished or decorative look.


We use a factory applied effect to simulate an accelerated natural aging process by replicating such things as weathering, fly specks, worm holes, compression marks, to express an abundantly matured furniture style and appearance.
Dovetail Joint
A joint where the fingers are shaped like a doves tail, used to join pieces at 90 degrees.



The overall surface color, sealing, and added accents of a cabinet or piece of decorative hardware. This includes the highlights and darker tones added to create a special look. It does not include the shape, carved or casted detailing, or physical design of the piece.
Flat Panel
Recessed center panel to a door or drawer design.
Full Overlay
Cabinet door that covers all or most of the face frame.


Glazed Finishing
Our glaze process begins with the perspective of wood Glazing as an art unto itself, and probably the most important and valuable technique in the art of finishing fine furniture. Unlike other companies, we hand apply our glaze finish to each and every component and you can expect your glazed cabinets to vary slightly. The raised panels and detailed edges used in the construction on our product allow the stain to "hang-up" and settle into the seams and give the feeling of depth and dimension.
The appearance, size and direction of the alignment of the fibers of the wood.


Lumber from the group of trees with broad leaves, this has no reference to the actual hardness of the wood.



Joint Lines
Wood is hygroscopic – meaning, when exposed to air, wood will lose or gain moisture until it is in equilibrium to the humidly and temperature of its environment. Even protective coatings cannot prevent wood from gaining or losing moisture; they merely slow the process. Visibilities of joint lines are typical and do not diminish the finish or lesson the strength of the joint, which may effect solid wood doors and drawer fronts, adding additional beauty of aging wood.


The portion of a branch or limb that is embedded in the wood.


The product of bonding layers together as in beams or plywood.


Miter Joint
Pieces are cut on an angle to make a joint.
A strip of material with a profile cut on the facing edges, used for trimming.
A cavity or hole cut to allow a Tenon to pass through to make a joint.



An S shape that is made by making one cut to produce two identical pieces.


A glued wood panel usually 4' X 8' made up of thin layers of wood laid at right angles to each other.


Quarter Sawn
Boards which have been cut so that the wide surfaces are approximately 90 degrees to the annual growth rings, this type of cut reduces cupping of the boards.


Rough Lumber
Boards which are sawn, edged and trimmed but not run through a planer.


Semi-Transparent or Natural Finishes
The stains used in Cardell’s manufacturing process have been custom formulated to take advantage of the unique characteristics of each wood species. When applying a semi-transparent or natural finish, it is desirable to have wood grain opacity show through the applied stain. Also, wood joint lines will be more apparent depending on the species and stain combination selected.
A soffit or bulkhead is the area between the top of the wall cabinets and the ceiling that typically houses mechanical systems for the kitchen. It usually is one foot high and extends over the wall cabinets.
Coloring applied to wood surfaces as part of the finishing process.


All wood species show some wood grain. The amount of grain will vary by the applied finish and the wood species working in concert. Oak is an open or coarse grain wood therefore, grain will "telegraph" or noticeably show through the stain. Cherry and Maple are closed or finer grain wood. Some "telegraphing" of the grain characteristics will occur, though the result will be restrained.
Thermofoil, also known as Rigid Thermo Foil (RTF), is created in a process that uses heat and pressure to bond a thin vinyl material to a substrate, usually Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF). Since the film is so thin, it can bond to very intricate shapes. This allows the process to be used on raised panels, routed edges and other designs that cannot be coated with other types of laminates.
Toe Kick
Molding used to cover the open space under the cabinet for a finished look.



Thin sheets of superior wood attached with glue to an inferior substrate.

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