Understanding Cabinet Tops

By October 9, 2023 Guides No Comments

When customising a cabinet, goCabinets offers the convenience of letting you choose the type of "cabinet top" you need. We've included a straightforward description below if you're not entirely familiar with the terminology.

Solid Top

A “Solid Top” means that the entire top surface, from one edge to the other, is constructed using a single piece of board. The solid top is generally made from the same material you have selected for the rest of the carcase.

A solid top is commonly used for a standalone cabinet.

What is a rail?

A "rail" is a flat component that forms part of the framework of a cabinet. In the absence of a solid top, a rail is important for adding strength, stability, and structure to a cabinet.

Using rails is beneficial because they require less material and result in a lighter cabinet than a solid top. A rail is commonly used when a separate, shared top is being used across multiple cabinets.

eg. The cabinets that make up a kitchen island may use rails and support a shared benchtop.

Rail on Flat

When a rail is placed "on flat," it means that it is installed horizontally, with its wider face or flat surface facing upward and parallel to the ground. 

How "Rail on Flat" is applied within a cabinet.

Rail on Edge

When a rail is placed "on edge," it means that it is installed in a vertical position, with its narrower edge facing upward.

How "Rail on Edge" is applied within a cabinet.

Which type of rail should I use?

The method chosen is typically based on individual preference as well as functional requirements.

Generally, "Rail on Flat" is the most commonly used method and maintains a consistent, uninterrupted appearance across the top of the cabinet. Unlike "Rail on Edge", which is more clearly visible upon opening a cabinet.

"Rail on edge" is most notably used for units when a sink or another feature will be occupying space at the top of the cabinet. This would prevent a rail from being able to lie flat.

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