Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Residential Products Online content is now on! Same great products coverage, now all in one place!



Designer Sarah Kahn Turner explores the differences that separate custom kitchen cabinets from semi-custom options.

“The differences between [custom and semi-custom cabinetry], in a very simplistic format is how customizable is each line,” says Turner, a designer with Bethesda, Md.-based Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath, which offers both types of products.

On the custom end, a company will allow you to do different interior finishes to match the doors, different organizing configurations with earth magnets, and tons more options that make the cabinets more unique to the end user.

Semi-custom cabinetry, on the other hand, is more limited in height of panels, widths of cabinets, door styles, accessories, and finish options. “There are still some really fun things we can do with semi-custom lines,” Turner says. “Although you are more restricted with your door styles and finishes that are available, there are still some aftermarket products that they can install on cabinetry that they are building.” Those items include servo drives, soft-touch open and close, bifold doors, and interior organizing for drawers.

Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath offers a combination of five custom and semi-custom cabinet brands, including Premier Custom-Built Cabinetry (with a two- to four-month lead time); Quality Custom Cabinets (with an eight- to 14-week lead time); ArtCraft Kitchens semi custom; Décor Cabinets semi custom; and Hans Krug, a Czech Republic semi-custom line (with a four- to five-month lead time)


Watch the video to learn more about the differences between the two types of cabinets.



I'm Sarah Kahn Turner with Jennifer Gilbertkitchen and bath and welcome to our Bethesda shower today we're going to talk about some of the different cabinet lines that we have here in our showroom we offer custom cabinetry and custom cabinetry thing about custom cabinetry is not just the quality of the product and the material that they're using but it's the engineers that are also putting the drawings together figuring out the details and helping us achieve what we put on paper and actually build it into cabinetry everything is fitting perfectly to its size this is a integrated refrigerator which seamlessly works next to a pantry things like lazy susans that allow you to store things in corners doors within doors for pot and pan storage and lid storage even that would be on a soft close.

All About the Finishes

So custom cabinetry is not just about the engineering it's also about the finishes and what is great about custom cabinetry is that if you can think it they can put it together for you although you're more restricted with the door styles and finishes install on Karen tree that they are building this is a servo drive it opens the door automatically and closes it automatically so even though they've got some restrictions and semi custom cabinetry with kind of paneling whips and deaths of cabinet just general engineering there's still some really cool rings anything so this one in particular is a by folding door which still allows you access to top of the cabinet but if you're not tall enough to perhaps reach that door putting it on a servo drive that allows you to close that door seamlessly tons of different accessories easy ways to store plates be able to take them out to the countertop if you don't have a lot of wall cabinetry space that's a great solution and again allows you to open and close without any hardware now that you've determined that you're in the market for cabinetry what are your next steps I would suggest coming into a kitchen a bath designer showroom where many different styles and manufacturers are featur figuring out which cabinet line is the best fit for that and which application is most appropriate for your design that you're looking to achieve.