On this page: Answers to some frequently-asked cabinetry questions.
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Answers to frequently-asked questions

If you have a yearning for learning,
you're in the right place.

The information at right covers some basic questions that are often asked. A glossary of terms is below. If you prefer video learning, check out our Showplace Academy. Another great way to get up to speed on all the complexity of cabinetry creation is to browse our literature. Click the thumbnail below to go to our online Library. Or get our comprehensive cabinetry WORKBOOK.

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Glossary of common terms:

Drawer Glides
(Sometimes also called drawer slides.) A set of highly-engineered hardware which provides support while also giving the drawer its functional ability to glide in and out of the cabinet. Showplace lifetime-warranty drawer glides are hidden from sight and allow drawers to hold up to 100 pounds.

Drawer Box
An assembly that provides pull-out storage. Showplace lifetime-warranty cabinet drawers have four solid wood sides that are joined in the corners using a French-dovetail joinery technique. The bottom of the drawer is plywood and it is contained by grooves in the sides of the drawer to provide strength. The drawer box is given a clear finish to provide protection to the wood.

Drawer Header
(Sometimes also called drawer fronts.) The piece that is attached to the front of the drawer box, made in a style to complement the cabinet doors and with a finish applied to match the rest of the cabinet. "Slab" headers are a solid slab of wood, with the appropriate edge treatment. "Five-piece" headers are constructed like small versions of the cabinet door style, and can have either flat or raised center panels, depending on the header style and size. All Showplace door styles are available with slab headers. Most Showplace door styles also have corresponding, optional five-piece headers.

Face frame
The solid-wood assembly that is visible on the front of the cabinet box. Showplace frames are glued and screwed to provide lifetime strength. The face frame has finish applied to match the rest of the cabinet.

The hardware that is used to attach a cabinet door to the face frame. Showplace cabinetry uses a lifetime-warranty hinge that is hidden from sight and is easily adjusted in six directions. This adjustment capability allows precise alignment of the cabinet doors adding to the visual appeal of installed cabinets.

Door Style
Typically given a unique name of reference, the visual characteristics of a cabinet's doors are represented by a few groups or families: flat panel, raised panel, reverse raised (solid flat panel), applied molding, beaded panel, solid slab, mitered.

"Big Box" Stores
National or regional home center chains such as Home Depot, Lowes, Menard's and others. These multi-location chain stores often provide cabinets made by manufacturers that also sell to independent dealerships, but these cabinets are identified using a different brand name when found in the big box store (known as private labeling). Showplace cabinets cannot be found in any big box store, and cannot be purchased online, through catalogs, or from buyers clubs. Only approved independent dealers can sell Showplace cabinetry.

Independent Dealership
Privately owned and operated kitchen and bath dealers. Typically staffed with highly-trained designers and sales staff who specialize in providing personalized service to homeowners planning to remodel their kitchen or bath or build a new home. Showplace cabinets are only sold through independent dealerships.

Stock Cabinetry
-Standard-sized cabinets offered,
-Standard offering of wood species,
-Standard selection of finish colors,
-Standard selection of door styles,
-Limited or no ability to change cabinet dimensions,
-May be built-to-order, but often built ahead and sold from inventory,
-Priced most affordably due to limitations and materials used.

Semi-custom Cabinetry (this is Showplace)
-Standard-sized cabinets offered; virtually any dimension of these cabinets may be changed to fit the kitchen or bath design and the available space,
-Standard offering of wood species with some specialty species offered,
-Standard selection of finish colors with some specialty finish treatments offered,
-Standard selection of door styles,
-Custom sizing and configurations available within standard wood species, color, and style offerings,
-Cabinets built-to-order for individual homeowner,
-Mid-priced to reflect flexibility and broad product offerings.

Custom Cabinetry
-Standard sized cabinets may be available; specialty is "you draw it, we build it,"
-Standard offering of wood species, but will accommodate special requests,
-Standard finish colors offered, but will accommodate special requests for color matching and specialty finish treatments,
-Standard door styling offered, but will accommodate special requests,
-Special configurations of cabinetry are offered without restrictions on species, color and style,
-Cabinets built-to-order for individual homeowner
-Most expensive due to limitless options.

Roll-out Trays
An assembly constructed similar to a Showplace drawer box, which provides pull-out storage, but is found behind a cabinet's doors. Showplace lifetime-warranty roll-out trays are adjustable; their position can be raised or lowered within the cabinet opening to provide the best clearance for stored items.

Decorative pieces of wood which are finished to match or complement cabinets and then attached to enhance visual appeal. Showplace offers a wide selection of moldings, each available in the wood and finish you specify. Moldings can be combined or "stacked" to create a unique look in your kitchen or bath design.

Showplace distressing gives an aged, timeworn look to cabinetry, reminiscent of antique furniture. The distressing process creates soft corners and profiles, and subtle, randomly-placed dents. Distressed paint finishes can also display rub-through. You can specify any combination of over-sanding, denting and rub-through.

Inset Cabinetry
Cabinetry using a construction method in which the doors and drawer headers fit inside the cabinet's beaded frame, flush with the face.

Showplace glazed finishes highlight detail and create a subtle impression of aging. Glazing is an additional finish step in which a pigmented material is applied to the surfaces, then hand-wiped partially away. This allows the glazing to "hangup" in areas of detail, adding visual contrast and depth. Because of the handcrafted nature of glazing, it is naturally variable, a unique expression of the artisan's craft. Glazing can be subtle or dramatic, depending upon the base and glaze colors chosen. Showplace glazing is offered at no additional charge in six tones.

Vintage finish
The Showplace Vintage finish is a unique multi-step hand process that includes specialized distressing and finishing techniques, and is offered in select paints and stains on maple, cherry, and red oak. Casual Vintage are similar but without distressing. Brushed Vintage paints include Walnut or Oatmeal accents with a softer, more blended appearance.

Rustic woods
Rustics display visible knots, mineral, and color variation in the door frame and solid center panel. The size, number and location of these characteristics will naturally vary. Showplace rustic alder and rustic hickory are available only in specific door styles. Rustic alder is also offered in the Vintage finishes and paints.

Q: What can you tell me about Showplace?

Q: What do I need to know about door styles?

Q: What does "overlay" mean?

Q: What are my choices in drawer headers?

Q: What does "inset" mean?

Q: What are the differences in wood species?

Q: What does "paint grade" mean?

Q: What is a "Vintage" finish?

Q: How do I take care of my Showplace cabinetry?

Q: What can you tell me about Showplace?

A: A small group of experienced cabinetry professionals gathered together in 1999, headed by Tony Bour, a name well known in this industry. This group shared a vision for a brand that offered the most-wanted features to the most people. But this vision also included some important differences from other brands. Like modifications that were comprehensive and affordable, often without charge. Like specialty style and finish options that were also affordably priced. Like a product offering that was complete, yet not overly complex, or weighed down with too many restrictions and limitations.

This vision became reality in a brand new production facility in southeastern South Dakota in 2000. Since then the Showplace facility has grown into two production plants, having expanded five times and nearly quadrupling its initial square footage. Recently, Showplace transitioned to being 100% employee-owned.

The original vision of the founding team laid the path but it's the people of Showplace who walk the walk. You'll find a bunch of typical South Dakotans here: People who work hard and care about what they do. People who are naturally friendly and helpful because, well, that's just the way we are. From top management to customer service to the workers on the line: We're all proud of the brand we've created -- the brand we all own -- and are personally invested in the products we send out the door.

But nobody at Showplace is resting on success. Our brand and offerings have grown a lot in just a very few years and you can expect them to keep growing in the future.

We humbly thank you for your interest in Showplace. We're very proud of it.

Q: What do I need to know about door styles?

A: The door style is the fundamental building block of your cabinetry creation. It sets the tone for everything else that follows. Showplace offers a flexible range of styles to express your vision perfectly. The raised-panel styles project elegant, traditional dignity in a variety of frame configurations. Flat-panel styles are versatile, and can fit well in everything from contemporary to Mission to rustic settings. Mitered frame door styles express sophistication and refinement. Other Showplace door styles offer a higher level of personal expression. Beaded-panel door styles create a homey, historic feel. The applied-molding styles bring added depth and dimension to the look of your cabinetry. Inset styles place the doors and headers flush with the cabinet frame.

Q: What does "overlay" mean?

A: "Overlay" refers to the amount of cabinet face frame that is covered by the doors and drawer headers, and is sometimes referred to as "reveal." Most Showplace door styles are offered in two overlays, called Traditional and International. A few door styles are offered in International overlay only. International overlay doors and headers are larger, covering more of the frame. The result is a sleeker, more sophisticated look. Traditional overlay doors and headers are smaller, revealing more of the frame. This look is in keeping with American cabinetry traditions. Since the smaller Traditional styles use less material, they cost less, too. In the end, the overlay decision is one of personal tastes and budgets.

Q: What are my choices in drawer headers?

A: Most Showplace door styles give you some choices for drawer headers (some call them "drawer fronts"). All styles have a standard header which is usually a slab header with the appropriate edge treatment for the door style. On many styles you can also choose the slant/raised header or an upgrade five-piece drawer header. On larger drawer openings the five-piece header can have a raised panel. Applied-molding, beaded, and mitered door styles also have upgrade header options appropriate to each style. Sound complicated? It can seem so at first. But this also gives you lots of design freedom. Talk to your Showplace cabinetry designer to learn which drawer header choices are open to you.

Q: What does "inset" mean?

A: There's another Showplace option to consider in which the doors and headers don't "overlay" the frame at all: inset cabinetry. In the case of inset cabinetry, the doors and drawer headers fit inside the cabinet's beaded frame, flush with the face. This creates a very different look -- a look that is both historical and really quite elegant. When you select a Showplace inset design, you have some other choices to make too. You can choose a concealed hinge style that is completely hidden for a sleek look. Or you can select a finial hinge that is partially exposed, enhancing the antique impression of the cabinets. Finial hinges are offered in your choice of three metal finishes. You can also choose between elegant five-piece drawer headers or understated and historical slab drawer headers.

Q: What are the differences in wood species?

A: Cherry tends toward elegant warm tones, and also darkens considerably as it ages. Cherry has a fine grain that often exhibits swirls and a flowing, random pattern. Cherry's color varies from nearly white to dark reddish brown. Cherry is our highest-priced standard wood species.

Maple has a fine, uniform grain pattern, and tends toward lighter colorations. Like all woods, maple will darken with age, but to a lesser degree than cherry. Maple takes on a subtle mottled appearance when finished in the darker stains. Maple costs slightly less than cherry.

Hickory is a heavy, dense wood with vibrant, unpredictable grain patterns and wide variation in color. It is the outgoing extrovert of the hardwood family. Lighter stains make this natural variation the most evident, while darker stains tend to mute it. Hickory costs slightly more than oak.

Red oak is a time-honored favorite that has a prominent, distinctive grain character that may show tiny rays and flowing patterns. Red oak tends toward warm tones, and is very hard with a high shock resistance. As our lowest-priced wood species, Red oak is also an excellent value.

The Showplace rustic wood choices create home environments with authentic warmth and natural comfort. Rustic woods display visible knots, mineral, and color variation in the door frame and center panel. The size, number and location of these characteristics will naturally vary. Rustic hickory and rustic alder are offered. Showplace rustic woods are offered in special versions of our most popular and versatile door styles. The natural, timeworn character of Showplace rustics can be further enhanced with optional glazing and distressing.

Quartersawn white oak uses the more difficult and costly quartersawing method to yield material with a distinctive grain pattern and superior stability. It is the perfect choice for Mission-themed creations. Quartersawn white oak is particularly well suited to hand-wiped Showplace glazing. The quartersawing process makes the wood grain very receptive to the glaze. At the same time, a dark glaze like Ebony accentuates the lovely and distinctive grain patterns that quartersawing creates.

Q: What does "paint grade" mean?

A: Showplace solid paint finishes are offered on our maple door styles. As a lower-cost alternative, Showplace also offers an option called "paint grade." With Showplace paint-grade cabinetry, doors and five-piece drawer headers have a solid fine-grain hardwood frame. Center panels and slab headers are of Medium Density Fibercore (MDF), which is an engineered wood product. Face frames and moldings are solid hardwood, and painted end panels are hardwood ply. All other construction details are the same as other Showplace cabinetry. MDF machines and finishes beautifully. It is used by cabinetry manufacturers of all quality levels because it is more stable than solid hardwood and will not expand and contract with seasonal changes. However, MDF is a material that is not generally discussed as an "all wood" product in our industry.

Q: What is a "Vintage" finish?

A: If you love the look of antique furniture that shows its years of use, look into the Showplace Vintage finish offerings. The Vintage finish is a unique multi-step hand process that includes specialized distressing and finishing techniques. The Vintage process is intended to give a distinctively aged, timeworn look to cabinetry, reminiscent of the most treasured heirloom furniture. Rather than the crisp edges, sharp detail and uniform finish usually associated with Showplace products, the Vintage finish process creates soft corners and profiles, varied character elements, and a uniquely crafted finish treatment that suggests great age. This beautiful option is offered in select paints and stains on a wide range of woods. Casual Vintage choices have all the unique hand-finish techniques, but without distressing. Brushed Vintage paints offers a choice of Walnut or Oatmeal accents with a softer, more blended appearance.

Q: How do I take care of my Showplace cabinetry?

A: With our durable oven-baked topcoat, there's not much to it. We have an info sheet about proper cabinet care. Click here to open it as a pdf.


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