Cabinet Trim Makes All The Difference

By Todd Fratzel on Cabinetry

Cabinet Accessory Trim

Cabinet With Transition TrimAnyone can install cabinets in their home and save money. But ultimately the difference between a professional looking kitchen and an amature looking kitchen are the trim details. Our new kitchen includes matching wood soffit that completes the top of cabinetry up to the finished ceiling.

The original cabinet design used a piece of 1×6 matching trim above the cabinets mounted flush with the top fo the cabinets (see photo below). The original design only called for crown molding at the interface between the 1×6 and the ceiling (again see photo below).

Cabinet Without Transition TrimAfter seeing the finished product I decided the cabinets were missing something. The problem really ended up being the fact that it’s almost impossible to line up the 1×6 perfectly with the top of the cabinets so that the flush joint looks good.

Ultimately I decided that a transition piece of molding was needed in order to create a more finished look. Transition pieces are nice because they can hide any uneven alignment of the background pieces of trim. Ultimately the transition piece worked out really well and added another dimension to the trim.

Cabinet Trim Tip

Stain Markers On Cabinet TrimI also wanted to share a little tip with folks that might be installing cabinets for the first time. Cutting miters for cabinet trim can be quite overwhelming for novice DIY’ers. However, I recommend you use a stain market (color matched to your cabinets) to stain all the cut ends of your trim (see photo).

This tip really helps make miter joints look great if they arean’t perfectly tight. It also helps keep your miter joints looking good if they open up due to drying and shinkage. Most cabinet manufacturers send one of these stain markers with your new cabinets so you’ll already have it.

Available Trim

Every cabinet manufacturer offers lots of wood/color matched trim. Our kitchen cabinets are from Kraftmaid and they offer an extensive selection of trim. As you can see from the photos it’s possible to create almost any kind of look with the trim and cabinets. If you’re designing your own cabinet layout then check the manufacturers website for available matching trim. Otherwise check with your cabinet designer to make sure they are utilizing all the available trim pieces.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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