Kitchen remodeling glossary

Welcome to our kitchen remodeling glossary at Modiani Kitchens. Below are some common kitchen glossary terms that you may come across when working on your residential kitchen design project, kitchen redesign, or interior design. These glossary terms may also be used by our kitchen designers to discuss the various stages and elements of your kitchen remodeling project, so feel free to become more familiar with them.


Accent Lighting:

Accent lighting is installed in your kitchen cabinetry to specifically emphasize the light on certain items within your kitchen space.

Ambient Lighting:

Ambient lighting means that the general lighting in a room is diffused, so as to create a particular mood or atmosphere within your kitchen space.


In kitchen glossaries, the term kitchen appliances refers to large functional kitchen items such as dishwashers, refrigerators or stoves.

Apron Front Sink:

Apron front sinks are large sinks that have an apron on the front. This type of sink usually sits on the top front edge of short kitchen cabinets.



A backsplash is the panel above the countertop, usually behind the stove or sink, that protects the kitchen wall from splashes. It is typically made of tiles or another waterproof material that offers a guard between the wall of a kitchen and water or any other liquids.

Base Cabinet:

Base kitchen cabinets are the cabinets that sit on the floor level, or at the bottom of the kitchen.


A blueprint is the copy of a room rendering that is drawn to scale. It includes the dimensions and configuration of a floor space, including the kitchen space. The term blueprint comes from previous times when a machine used to copy the drawings onto special, blue paper.

Bridge Cabinet:

A bridge cabinet is a kitchen cabinet that isn’t used on a daily basis. It can often be found above the refrigerator or a stove and stores items that are needed less frequently.


Bugholes are small holes created by trapped air within the concrete, such as concrete kitchen countertops.


When a finished edge is added to a man-made or unfinished natural tile for a countertop, it is called bullnosing. This process is done for cosmetic reasons and also protects the edge from chipping, cracking and wear and tear.

Butcher Block:

A butcher block is a wooden countertop used for cooking and cutting in the kitchen. It is typically made of a hardwood, such as oak or maple.


Cabinetmaker’s Screwdriver:

This is a tool used by cabinet makers that has a wooden handle and a blade specifically designed for wood screws.

Cabinet Scraper:

A cabinet scraper is a rectangular piece of steel that has been rounded into a hook. It is used to remove shavings and to bring finishes to a high gloss without damaging the wood of a kitchen cabinet.


Caesarstone is a company that provides quartz stone, which is considered extremely durable due to its scratch and stain resistance. It is much harder than natural stone and can be used for countertops or backsplashes.

Cam and Bolt:

A cam and bolt is a structure that connects the sides and top of a kitchen cabinet to the bottom of the cabinet.


A cantilever is when a supporting element in construction extends beyond the element that it is supporting. For example, if a countertop extends beyond the cabinet that it is resting on, this is called a cantilever.

Carpenter’s Glue:

This is the glue that is used to bond wooden traditional cabinets or objects to one another. Carpenter’s glue is heat and moisture resistant.

Casting Table:

This is a table that has been designed to cast concrete.


A c-clamp holds an object into place while it is being sawed or joined.


A centerline is a line drawn down the center of an appliance, such as a sink or a stove.

Ceramic Flooring:

This is flooring made of ceramic, which is a natural substance shaped into tiles and fired at high heats in kilns.

Ceramic Tile:

Ceramic tiles are considered versatile, durable and inexpensive, and are often used for kitchen countertops.


A cooktop is a stovetop range that is built into a countertop.

Concealed Cabinet Hinge:

This is a hinge that is invisible from the outside of a kitchen cabinet, especially when the cabinet door is closed.

Construction Plan:

A construction plan is a rendering of the current conditions as well as the changes that will be made to a kitchen space to achieve a particular kitchen layout and design.

Crown Molding:

Crown moldings are decorative borders on kitchen cabinets.

Custom Cabinets:

Custom kitchen cabinets are created according to the specifications of a specific client and kitchen space. Custom high-end cabinets come in a wide range of sizes, colors and materials.


Edge Banding:

Edge bandings are pieces that are affixed to a kitchen cabinet door or sharp edge to soften it.

Edge Treatment:

When the edges of kitchen countertops are shaped in a particular way, such as rounding them, it is referred to as ‘edge treatment’.

Electrical Fixture:

Electrical fixtures are hard-wired devices that are permanently integrated into a home wiring system.


This is a decorative effect that raises certain lines on a design.

Energy Efficiency Rating (EER):

EER is a standard that rates an appliance’s energy efficiency. Higher EER numbers mean greater efficiency.

Exposed Hinge:

This is a hinge that is attached to the front frame of a kitchen cabinet, thus exposing its visibility from the exterior of the cabinet.


Field Tile:

In patterned flooring, a field tile is a tile with the most prominently featured pattern.

Filler Strip:

Filler strips are pieces of wood, or other corresponding material, that are placed between kitchen cabinets to fill empty space. This is necessary whenever the cabinets in a space do not fill the entire space.


A fixture is a fixed plumbing feature in a structural design such as a sink.

Floor Plan:

A kitchen floor plan is a rendering of a room or kitchen space that is drawn from an overhead vantage point and shows an entire kitchen design project.

Fluted Rail:

This is an ornamental molding used to highlight the space between kitchen cabinets.

Formica Stone:

Formica stone is a non-porous, natural quartz surface that has low maintenance needs and can be used for kitchen countertops or backsplashes.

Free-Swinging Cabinet Hinge:

Free-swinging kitchen cabinet hinges are installed whenever a self-closing feature is not required. They can be concealed or not concealed.



Gables is an expression for the end or side of kitchen cabinets whenever they are exposed. They should match the color, tone, and material of the rest of the cabinets. If a cabinet is situated in between two cabinets, gables won’t be visible.


Galvanized material is zinc-coated metal that resists corrosion.


A glaze is a secondary staining process used to highlight particular woods.


Granite is considered elegant and durable due to its price and appearance and often used for countertops. It is an indigenous, natural rock, characterized by small specks of color throughout it.


For tile countertops, grout, also sometimes referred to as slurry, is put in between grooves. Grout is a paste of cement that is used to fill bug holes.


Inset Drawers/Doors:

Inset drawers are the fronts of drawers or doors. They are generally recessed, so to fit within the frame of a kitchen cabinet when closed.

Integral Sink:

Integral sinks are built directly into kitchen countertops and are made of the same materials as the respective countertop.


A kitchen island is made of a kitchen countertop, typically with kitchen cabinets underneath. It is considered a free-standing element, that can be accessed from all sides.


Knife Hinges:

Knife hinges are concealed hinges that are installed using a slot or saw that is cut into a kitchen cabinet. They are installed on the side of cabinet doors and affixed to the cabinet frame.



Lacquered kitchen cabinets have a gloss, synthetic coating that can be either clear or colored.


Laminate kitchen cabinets are made of a synthetic material that often gives the appearance of wood while being less pricey.

Laminate Flooring:

Laminate flooring is a man-made flooring that bears the appearance of stone or hardwood.

Lazy Susan:

Lazy Susan is the name for a corner kitchen cabinet that rotates. These cabinets are circular, being situated on a vertical axel.

Lead Time:

The lead time is the time that elapses between a product being ordered and delivered.

Lighting Fixture:

A lighting fixture is a unit that is hardwired into a home wiring system.

Light Rail:

Light rails are moldings used to decorate the bottom of wall cabinets. They give kitchen cabinets a finished appearance through under-cabinet lighting.


Linoleum is an all-natural material used in flooring. It is made of cork dust, linseed oil, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone and pigments.



Marble is a natural stone that is rare, rather expensive and often used for kitchen countertops.


Melamine is a type of laminate often used for countertops or melamine kitchen cabinets and is considered inexpensive. It is a smooth, but premium type of plastic that covers a particle board interior. In other words, a chemically fused paper that has been pressed and sealed onto engineered wood.


The term modular means that a kitchen unit has been created with standardized measurements or dimensions.


A molding is a decorative embellishment made of wood or another structural material. It is used to decorate or finish a surface and comes in strips.

Mounting Plate:

A mounting plate is a piece of metal that mounts into the cabinet and often used in combination with concealed hinges.



In kitchen countertops, non-porous refers to a material that is stain-resistant and not easily affected by temperature, acid or chemicals.



An overlay is the distance between the end of a cabinet door and the end of the actual kitchen cabinet opening on the hinge side.



A particleboard is a board that has been engineered from wood, which in turn can be used as the base of custom cabinets.


Polyethylene is a type of plastic that is used for walls, roofs, ceilings, and under slabs.


Porcelain is a type of ceramic tile and contains 50% feldspar. It is fired at a higher temperature than ceramic and considered much harder as well as more scratch-resistant than ceramic.


Post-form is the name of the process of fitting laminate around a pre-shaped substrate in order to form a countertop.


Pyrolave is an enameled lava rock that is used as a kitchen countertop material.



Quartz stone is a countertop material that is made of rock and requires very little maintenance.



A rosette is a small piece of decorative molding.


Self-Closing Hinges:

Self-closing hinges have a mechanism in them that closes cabinet doors automatically. They may be concealed or not concealed.

Semi-Custom Cabinet:

A semi-custom kitchen cabinet is manufactured in common sizes but typically includes certain adaptations or customization.


Sheen refers to the luster or glossiness of paint. The dullest sheen would be called “flat” and the shiniest one “gloss”.


Soapstone is a material used in kitchen cabinets that is characterized by a dark gray, smooth appearance.


Specifications are written descriptions of materials and services to be used in a kitchen remodel project.


A stain is a finish applied to wood that affects its color whilst protecting it.

Stone Tile:

These are tiles that are created by cutting pieces of natural stone into specified sizes, to create a pattern for flooring.



A template is a physical form that is placed where a countertop will later be installed during the design and installation process.

Tile Density:

Tile density refers to the weight of a tile. The higher the tile density, the less moisture a tile may absorb.

Toe Kick:

Toe kicks are moldings placed beneath kitchen cabinets for decorative purposes.


Undermount Sink:

This is a sink that is situated underneath a kitchen countertop.


A Urethane is a type of sealer that is temperature, weather and scratch resistance.



Veneer is a thin sheet of one material fused with at least one other material.


Vinyl is a shiny, tough plastic used for floor coverings.

Vitreous Tiles:

A vitreous tile is known for absorbing less than 3% moisture.



Wainscoting is wood paneling that goes up to at least the lower half, if not the middle, of a wall.

Wall Cabinet:

Wall cabinets are kitchen cabinets mounted on the wall. Often, wall cabinets are placed above base cabinets.


Wax is typically used to protect kitchen countertops temporarily.

Wet Polishing:

Wet polishing is a method for polishing concrete countertops. Throughout the polishing process, water is used so as to eliminate dust.

Wooden Countertops:

Wooden kitchen countertops are also referred to butcher blocks and are surfaces that are made of wood.


“We just completed our kitchen renovation and
the outcome is absolutely stunning!”

Dmitri B. - August 2019