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What is the North American Woodwork Standard (NAAWS)?

The North American Woodwork Standard (NAAWS) is a set of guidelines and specifications for the construction of residential and commercial cabinetry, millwork and architectural woodwork. It was developed by a coalition of industry professionals, including cabinetmakers, architects, engineers, and manufacturers, to establish a common set of standards for the industry.


The NAAWS covers a wide range of topics, including materials, construction methods, finishes, hardware, and installation. It provides guidelines for the design, manufacture, and installation of various types of cabinetry and architectural woodwork, including kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, built-in cabinetry, and millwork.


The standard is divided into four categories:


Design and engineering: includes guidelines for the design and engineering of cabinetry and millwork, including load-bearing requirements, stability, and structural integrity.


Materials and construction: includes guidelines for the selection and use of materials, such as wood, laminates, and hardware, as well as construction methods such as joinery and assembly.


Finishes and hardware: includes guidelines for the application and maintenance of finishes, such as paint, stain, and varnish, as well as guidelines for the selection and installation of hardware, such as hinges, drawer glides, and pulls.


Installation: includes guidelines for the proper installation of cabinetry and millwork, including alignment, leveling, and gap tolerances.


The NAAWS is voluntary industry standard, which is often referenced by cabinet manufacturers, designers, and builders, it provide a comprehensive and specific guide for the industry and is meant to promote quality and consistency in the manufacturing and installation of cabinetry and millwork.

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