In my planned kitchen remodel I'm interested in hanging a couple of cabinets
from a soffit between the dining room and the kitchen. The lower cabinets
would serve as a buffet and the upper cabinets as lighted china display that
would be accessible from both the kitchen and the dining room. The type of
cabinets I'm wanting to use in the remodel would be the European frameless
style, (Kitchencraft or Ikea or something similar) and I know that most
cabinets get their strength and squarability from the cabinet backing--which
if I choose a door on each side would be absent. So, how would you go about
achieving the necessary strength and rigidity in double sided glass doored
cabinets? What about using glass shelving that rests on metal supports of
some kind? (I would prefer the glass shelving for the display aspect.)
Would that be strong enough? I was planning on using stock cabinets and
doing the install ourselves rather than a custom cabinet builder, but if
retrofitting stock cabinets isn't the best idea, then I think we've got
enough tools on board to buy the doors and some end panels and fabricate
whatever's needed ourselves for this one portion of the project. We just
don't want to do the whole cabinet project when we're already going to be
doing the install.
Will either end/side of these cabinets be against a wall or are both ends
free/visible? IOW, is the top of the cabs the only place that the cabs
connect to the house?
One thing to note: If you do buy readymade cabs to retrofit, the back edge
is not finished and it generally has a rabbet so that the back panel can be
recessed. So, there is no flat edge to which to apply a veneer strip -
you'd have to alter it some way, maybe by trimming 1/8" off the back before
I have never been a big fan of euro style cabinets; I like wood kitchens.
That being said; you can get around the lack of a back by simply adding a
faceframe to each side to hold everything together and add rigidity to the
structure. I assume that you are having custom doors made? A face frame of
1 1/2" width materials, with a 3/4" bottom rail would allow things to blend
in very well.
You'll probably need to devise a decorative support frame that passes
beneath the cabinets - simply screwing particleboard boxes to the ceiling
won't cut it. Said frame would likely be hung from extended end panels
(better go with the 'spensive plywood!). You could then probably integrate
a shear panel into the frame below to minimize racking. I wouldn't be
surprised if you wanted to bring 110v power down through the end panels for
task lighting beneath - the frame could hide the lighting elements and start
looking like a feature (not a f*up).
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