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Cabinet Reviews: Ratings for the top 150 cabinet brands.

Latest 2024 cabinet reviews for the top kitchen cabinet brands. Compiled by kitchen design and cabinetry experts.

Below are Main Line Kitchen Design’s up to date cabinet reviews for the top-selling cabinet manufacturers in the United States. We rate how the manufacturers rate for construction quality and value considering the price point of each cabinet line. Price point is rated from 1 to 6. So, 1 represents the least expensive brands. While 6 is the most expensive custom cabinetry on the market.

Brighton Cabinetry in Quartersawn Oak Quartz Countertops. Main Line Kitchen rates Brighton Cabinetry 5 A_ A+

How the Ratings Work. Cabinet Reviews explained below:

Cabinet reviews assume each cabinet brand is upgraded to the top level of construction available, usually all plywood construction.

Getting an A for construction quality will not be quite equal across different price levels. The more expensive price point cabinets will have far nicer finishes and construction options.

Note: The highest grade for Quality in any frameless European style cabinet line is a B. While frameless cabinetry is easier to access and is sleeker looking, it is also less durable than the best made framed cabinetry.

The Value Grade

The value grade we give is not a rating about the quality of the cabinetry. It is a rating of how good an investment a cabinet line is considering its cost.

For example, many of the most expensive well-made cabinet lines receive lower cabinet reviews even though as designers we think the cabinetry is the best in its class.

Consequently, these lines receive lower grades on value because there are competitors offering the same quality at slightly lower prices. If price is no object, then we recommend ignoring the value rating in the cabinetry priced in the 6-price point.

Warning: Price Isn’t Everything

If you are comparing cabinet brands, read this first! Because, price comparing your design at different dealers often leads you down a bad road.

Cabinet Reviews (Ratings) for brand names A to D

Cabinet LinePrice Level
(1-6)
QualityValue
1951 Cabinetry (Formerly Timberlake)3B+B
21st Century1AA-
Adelphia Kitchens3BB
Adornus (frameless)3BB
Alusso by Adornus (frameless)3BB
All Wood – framed2AA
All Wood – frameless1CC
American Woodmark3B+B
Aristocraft2CC
Belmont 1900 Series Frameless4BB+
Bertch4AA-
Bishop4A+B+
Bishop Frameless4BA
B.J. Tidwell Cabinetry3BC+
Bremtown6A+B
Bridgewood Framed5AA
Bridgewood Frameless5BA
Brighton5A-A+
Brookhaven5.5AB
Brubaker5AA
Cabico4BB
Cabinet Depot2B+B+
Candlelight4AA
Canyon Creek Framed and Frameless (deduct 1 letter grade for frameless)4AA
CliqStudios (Bankrupt once – customers lost deposits)2.5B+A
CNC1.5A-A-
CNC frameless1.5BA
Collier5AB-
Craft Stock Cabinetry1A-A
Craft-Made Cabinetry framed5AA
Crestwood Framed5AA
Crestwood Frameless5BA-
CrownPoint Cabinetry (framed)5.5A+A
CrownPoint (frameless)5.5BA
Crystal custom5AA
Crystal semi-custom4B+B+
Cubitac 1.5A-A
Cuisine Ideale (frameless)4BB
David Bradley Cabinetry (frameless)4B-B-
Decora4.5AB
Designers Choice4AA
Design-Craft4BB-
Diamond4B+/A-B+
Diamond Now Stock1BB
Durasupreme5B+B-
Durasupreme frameless3CC
Dynasty by Omega (frameless)4.5BB+
Dynasty by Omega (framed)4.5AA-
Dynasty Pinnacle (framed)5AB+

Cabinet Reviews (Ratings) for brand names E to N

Echelon Cabinetry No longer sells individual kitchens.
Eclipse by Shiloh4.5B-/C+B
Eurocraft Frameless3.5CC+
Everlasting Cabinetry (Assembled)1.5AA
Evoke (from R.D. Henry)4BB
Executive (frameless)4BB
Fabuwood2AA
Fabuwood (frameless)2B-B
Fieldstone4.5A-B+
Forevermark1.5B+B
Grabill6A+B
Great Northern Classic5AA
Green Forest2AA-
Haas3BB
Hampton Bay (frameless stock)1DC+
Hanssem (now different at different locations so can’t be rated)***
Holiday (frameless)3CC
Holiday Kitchens4AB+
Homecrest3B+B+
Homestead Custom4AA
Ideal Cabinetry2BA-
IKEA (frameless)1DC
Innovation2CC
Integrity3A-A+
JSI Cabinetry1B+ B+
J&K Cabinets2AA-
Kabinart3C+D
Kahle’s5AA
Kemper4B+B+
Kitchen Kompact2B-C-
Kitchencraft3CB
Kith3B+B+
Koch Classic6AB
Kountry Kraft (framed)6AB
Kountry Kraft (frameless)6BB
Kountry Wood2CC
Kraftmaid (New slightly adjusted ratings)4B+A-
Kraftmaid Vantage (New slightly adjusted ratings)4B+A
Legacy2.5B+B
Legacy Presidential3AB
LifeArt1C+A
Luxor Collection Frameless4BB
Mantra by Masterbrand2B+/A-B
Marsh2BB
Marsh (frameless)2B-B
MasterCraft2BB
Medallion
(Now owed by ACPI)
5B+B
Merillat Classic Plywood upgrade3BB
Merit Kitchens4B+B
Mid Continent with all plywood upgrade3BB
Mouser5AA-
Mouser (frameless)5BA
NatureKast Waterproof Cabinets5AA
Norcraft (every upgrade used)3BD

Cabinet Reviews (Ratings) for brand names N to Z

Omega Dynasty (frameless)4.5BB+
Omega Dynasty (framed)4.5AA-
Omega Pinnacle 5AA-
Ovation4BC
Plain and Fancy6AB+
Plato Woodwork5AA
Poggenpohl (frameless)6BC
ProCraft1AA-
QCCI Quality Custom6+A+A-
QuakerMaid (frameless)4BB
RiverRun Cabinetry3.75BB-
R.D. Henry Heartland (framed)4AA
R.D. Henry Revola (frameless)4BA
Rutt6A+A
Schrock4B+/ A-B+/ A-
Schuler (Rebranded Medallion)5A-B+
Shenandoah (Rebranded American Woodmark)3B+B
Shiloh 4BB
Showplace4AB++
ShowplaceEVO (frameless)3.5BB+
Siematic5.5BC
Signature Custom5A+A+
Siteline Cabinetry3.5B-C
Solid Wood CabinetsClosedBankrupt 
St. Martin (frameless)3.5BA
Starmark Plywood upgrade5B+B
Starmark inset or 3/4″ back panel5A+A
Stylecraft6AA
Tedd Wood5AA
Thomasville (Rebranded Diamond)4B+/A-B+/A-
Thomasville Nouvell3DD
Timberlake (Rebranded American Woodmark)3B+B
Tribeca Cabinetry1.75A-A
Tru Cabinetry ClosedBankrupt
Ultracraft (frameless)2CC
Ultracraft 3/4 ply upgrade3BB+/A-
Urban Effects (frameless)3.75C-D
US Cabinet Depot (framed)1.75AA
US Cabinet Depot (frameless)2BA
Village Handcrafted Cabinetry Framed Inset5.5A+A
Village Handcrafted Cabinetry Frameless5.5BA
Waypoint3B+B
Wellborn4 and 5AA
Wellborn Forrest3.5B+B+
Wellsford5.5A+A
Wellsford (frameless)5.5BA-
Wolf2AB+
Wolf Signature Series3.5A-C+
Woodharbor5B+C
Woodland Cabinetry5A-A
Wood-Mode (Bankrupt once – customers lost deposits)6AA-
Yorktowne
(Now owed by ACPI – big quality upgrade!)
4B+B+
Picture shows Beaded Inset Brighton Cabinetry in a butler's pantry. Brighton gets great cabinet reviews.

(!) Note About Painted Cabinetry

The finish on painted cabinetry is less durable than stained cabinetry on ALL cabinet brands, SO DO NOT:

1) Purchase expensive cabinetry believing the finish will be more durable, or

2) Blame a less expensive cabinet brand for being responsible for paint chipping, scratching, or being damaged by water. All painted cabinets have this issue, but finishes can be easily repaired by professionals.

Outside Our Service Area?

FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE A TWO-HOUR DRIVE OF OUR BALA CYNWYD PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE. HERE IS A LINK TO RECOMMENDED DEALERS IN OTHER AREAS. GOOD DEALERS WHO ARE CLOSE TO YOU CAN BETTER ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT’S AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA. Or call in on Fridays 2-4 pm for free design help on our helpline and Podcast. Dial 610-5OO-4O71 with your cabinet review questions and designs ready to email. Paul answers cabinetry and design questions free of charge most Fridays.

Continue Reading

Kitchen Cabinet Brand Comparison.

There are two basic ways to construct cabinets. Most cabinets are either framed construction or frameless construction, also called European or easy access construction. Read below:

Which Cabinet Brand is Best for Me?

“What kitchen cabinet line is best?” and “What kitchen cabinet line do you recommend?” are the most common questions we hear. Read the most common answers below:

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232 Replies to “Cabinet Reviews: Ratings for the top 150 cabinet brands.”

  1. Kalia Patricio

    Hello! I am in the process of selecting cabinets and your website has been super helpful. I was ready to go with Starmark inset cabinets but hired a kitchen designer to help make sure I had the layout and everything okay. She wanted me to go with Signature inset but the price point was too high. She just signed on with Covered Bridge Cabinetry and the price is better but there is SO little information online about this brand, despite it having been around for a long time (and my kitchen would be her first order from the company). Do you have any recommendations for how to proceed when a designer is suggesting a line you can’t find any information about? Or have you heard anything about Covered Bridge? It’s not on your list, which makes me nervous… The construction seems similar to Starmark but they are made overseas – it would be nice to buy the cabinets through my designer (and your blog suggests I should trust my designer!) but I’m not confident about the brand. Any guidance would be appreciated!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Kalia,
      First some needed background in the kitchen design world:

      Usually the best kitchen designers work for companies that are cabinet dealers for several lines that span all price points. Often less experienced designers work sort of off the grid and charge for their design services and sell smaller custom brands that are the only brands that will sell to them. Many part-time female interior designers / homemakers fall into this line of work.

      Design and Build firms also don’t have the best kitchen designers because they don’t pay their kitchen designers enough to get good ones. The best kitchen designers make the most money and that means selling a LOT of cabinets because they are on commission. The can be women or men but they work full time in a showroom, often working on over 100 kitchens every year.

      These better designers also work for competitively priced cabinet companies BECAUSE that allows them to win the pricing battle with other cabinet sellers and their better designs almost guarantee that they have VERY high closing rates. The highest paid designer I knew was a women who sold 5 million dollars in cabinetry in one year working with her two full time assistants. Our top designer makes about 200K per year. Doug Mottershead who has appeared in our videos makes much more than that.

      This all being said, you must have been working with a kitchen designer when you were considering Starmark. Going out and paying for a kitchen designer has you paying for working with what normally would be a lesser designer than the Starmark designer unless the Starmark designer happened to be new or just not good at their job. So you have peaked my interest on the design you are considering. Covered bridge cabinetry seems to be well-made, however looking at the dealers that carry the brand they are all discount dealers, flooring places, and small designers probably like yours.

      I am always suspicious of the kitchen designers that sell their services independent of selling the cabinetry. You don’t mention your door style and finish but the Starmark upgraded inset is unlikely to be improved on for most styles and finishes. I would recomend having your design checked by me for free on our Friday helpline and podcast. Email your design to paul@MainLineKitchenDesign.com and call in to 610-500-4071 Friday between 2 -4 pm EST. We can vet your design and as you will hear on most of our podcasts most designs that get sent to us have a lot of mistakes.

      The statement below is so often true that I repeat it constantly:
      People worry about cabinet quality and price far more than they worry about their designs. This is because they aren’t kitchen or bath designers themselves and don’t understand how poor their designs usually are. If you listen to one of our podcasts this is usually a central issue. The Podcast below illustrates how different designs can be from what a homeowner might expect, while still staying within their budget. So, it makes little sense splurging on cabinets, appliances, and other expensive upgrades, when there are design improvements left on the table.
      Below is a podcast that focuses on this issue:

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-28-finding-a-kitchen-designer/

      Removing a wall or moving a window or exterior doorway can cost a few thousand dollars but make the kitchen and a home a completely different with a better layout. This can often increase the home’s value several times more than the cost of the renovation. Whereas upgrading to a more expensive cabinet brand or professional appliances can add over $10,000 to a renovation and if the kitchen design is poor make getting back what you spent on the renovation impossible, when you sell the home. So working with a good kitchen designer is more important than people realize. Kitchen designers help you find the design you would never have thought of. Good designers should also help you spend your renovation budget more effectively. They will explain cost options, and make sure you are splurging on the things that add value to your home or that are important to you even if they don’t.

  2. Toni Rubino

    Hi-
    I am renovating and expanding my kitchen. I was wondering your opinion on Yorktowne vs Crystal (frameless)? Looking to do white shaker cabinets and a stained wood island.

  3. Toni Dooley

    Hi Paul-

    I live in NY and we are expanding and renovating our kitchen. I am looking for good quality cabinets that will not bankrupt us. It is a good size kitchen with the expansion. What are your thoughts on Yorktowne vs Crystal? Is the quality of Crystal worth the difference in price?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Toni,
      Bothe these brands are relatively expensive and the added expense is not a better quality cabinet construction. The added cost is for the brands offering more door styles and finishes, added customization, and many wood species. If you are getting painted shaker cabinets the you are paying more for things you aren’t selecting and so wasting money. For painted shaker cabinets a brand like Fabuwood that’s equally well made and 40% less would make more sense.

      1. Toni Dooley

        ok thank you! please ignore my other post. I wasn’t sure this one went through.

  4. Denise

    Hi, this thread is very informative. I see that you have Diamond and Schrock rated about the same. I was looking at Schrock cabinets when someone mentioned considering the Diamond all-plywood upgrade at Lowe’s for pricing. is there a huge difference between these cabinets? The price point of Schrock is a lot higher. Looking at a maple 5-piece stained cabinet. And what’s the difference between a Diamond (upgrade) at Lowe’s versus a Diamond dealer?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Diamond and Schrock are very similar and shouldn’t normally be very different in price with all the same upgrades. There is no difference between diamond at Lowes and a dealer. But there also shouldn’t be much of a difference in price. Possibly the designers are not creating exactily the same designs and upgrades. Read this blog:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/price-comparing-kitchen-cabinets-and-why-it-is-a-bad-idea/

      Most importantly

      People worry about cabinet quality and price far more than they worry about their designs. This is because they aren’t kitchen or bath designers themselves and don’t understand how poor their designs usually are. If you listen to one of our podcasts this is usually a central issue. The Podcast below illustrates how different designs can be from what a homeowner might expect, while still staying within their budget. So, it makes little sense splurging on cabinets, appliances, and other expensive upgrades, when there are design improvements left on the table.
      Below is a podcast that focuses on this issue:

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-28-finding-a-kitchen-designer/

      Removing a wall or moving a window or exterior doorway can cost a few thousand dollars but make the kitchen and a home a completely different with a better layout. This can often increase the home’s value several times more than the cost of the renovation. Whereas upgrading to a more expensive cabinet brand or professional appliances can add over $10,000 to a renovation and if the kitchen design is poor make getting back what you spent on the renovation impossible, when you sell the home. So working with a good kitchen designer is more important than people realize. Kitchen designers help you find the design you would never have thought of. Good designers should also help you spend your renovation budget more effectively. They will explain cost options, and make sure you are splurging on the things that add value to your home or that are important to you even if they don’t.

  5. Beth

    Hi Paul,

    We are choosing, really soon, between two kitchen remodeling / design outfits, we like both of them. The cabinets are shaker style, maple wood paint grade, mainly off white with a blue island. One place works with Showplace, while the other works with Woodland. I was wondering in the painted cabinet, regular-frame (not frameless) realm, if Showplace or Woodland cabinets would be better for durability, including the painted finish, and aesthetics. Or would they be relatively similar in quality and looks.

    As an aside to my main questions above, I may lean slightly towards the business using Showplace, but I have seen two or three customer reviews complaining about the painted cabinets chipping and yellowing and Showplace being unresponsive. I also have noticed that you have said that customer reviews of painted cabinets should probably be ignored and all painted cabinets may have some finish issues over time. And I think if anything goes wrong with the cabinets, both businesses would get decent responses from the manufacturer. I mention those couple bad reviews I have seen, while also thinking so what, just ignore them.

    Thanks for providing this service from a novice in kitchen cabinetry. I am in Pennsylvania but 300 miles away from the Philly market.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Beth,
      It was nice speaking with you. Feel free to call in on another Friday so that I can critique your design.
      Thanks,
      Paul

  6. Mujib

    Hi Paul,

    Any familiarity with NGY (Parriott Wood Cabinets)? I got quoted some pretty good prices for framed shaker cabinets.

    https://ngyusa.com/

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mujib,
      NGY gives no information about how they make cabinets that I can find on their website. However their website is full of dangerous and incompetent designs. When you are so clueless that you highlight design mistakes on your website that would be a company that we would never recommend.

      Surprisingly many manufacturers, design firms, and cabinet dealers feature design errors on their websites. This is why we have a process that eliminates these companies from the dealers we recomend around the United States. Our prescreened list is below:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/recommended-kitchen-designers-cabinet-dealers-outside-service-area/

      1. Mujib

        Thank you for the reply.

        I understand you cant scrutinize everything, but can you give me an example of a dangerous design on their site?

  7. Stuart

    We are looking to purchase flat gloss white frameless cabinets. What brand would you recommend as the best value – ie, the lowest price of the highest quality (I know frameless are not preferred)? The other thing we would prefer is if the cabinet boxes were also gloss white on the exterior to avoid cover panels, and not like “stock white” boxes with just gloss doors and gloss cover panels. And if anyone sells direct that would be a bonus too. Located in South Florida (Palm Beach county) if that matters.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Stuart,
      Gloss white boxes would mean that the sides of the cabinet could not be plywood so in the less durable frameless construction I would recomend not getting a gloss box and using panels. CNC might be the least expensive brand that will offer a plywood box. Buying direct also means you are avoiding any professional help which all home owners need but often try to avoid. See our funny video on the topic:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxJgxCeeNTo&t=

  8. Amy

    Hi Paul- Thank you for taking time to answer all the questions and giving out your opinions. I was interested in your thoughts on sheen level for stained wood (maple or rift cut). We are going for a more contemporary look. The cabinets we are considering are offered in 20% and 5%. The 20% looks a little on the shiny side. Would you have any concerns with durability and longevity on a 5% sheen? Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Amy,
      The sheen is just a look and doesn’t affect the durability of the finish. A 25 or 30% sheen is the standard sheen for most brands on stained cabinets. However some colors like any distressed rift cut oak color would usually be done in a lower sheen. Pick the sheen you like best. So 5% is fine to order.

      One thing I should bring up is that when you refer to a contemporary cabinet that usually means getting a slab door. A real solid wood Rift cut oak is not usually done in a slab door. Because there will be stripes on the door where 1 piece of wood is glued to another. Most wood slab doors are veneers but it can be problematic to have a rift cut oak veneer as the rift cut goes against the grain and a veneer goes with the grain. Because of this many rift cut looking slab doors are either plastic laminates that looks like real wood or actually not rift cut and only regular white oak. So talk to the designer and make sure of what you are getting exactly and what the properties are. Below is a link to a veneered rift cut white oak door but as I said it is a little unusual.

      https://www.conestogawood.com/product/astoria-rift-cut-white-oak/

  9. Grace

    Hi, Paul!
    American Woodmark’s price is rated 3 on your chart but the quote I got from Home Depot is about $10K. Meanwhile, the Fabuwood and the Tribeca quotes I got from dealers are higher ($16K for Fabuwood, $13K for Tribeca) but they are 2 & 1.75 for price on your chart. Am I missing something, or are the difference just the dealers’ profit margin on top of the base price they buy from wholesalers? Are there structural differences among the sub brands under the American Woodmark big brand? Thank you for clarifying!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Grace,
      Comparing cabinet brands is very difficult. Read this Blog to understand why:

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/price-comparing-kitchen-cabinets-and-why-it-is-a-bad-idea/

      Based on the pricing you got you aren’t comparing apples to apples. One difference could be that American Woodmark must be upgraded to all plywood construction and Blum soft close hardware which Fabuwood comes with automatically. We sell both American Woodmark (sold by dealers as 1951) and Fabuwood. Apples to apples Woodmark is about 15% or 20% more expensive. 1951 and I assume Woodmark do have a value line that offers limited SKU’s and a pretty skimpy center panel that would be similar in price to Fabuwood – but not as good a value. The advantage of Woodmark is all the different wood species and types of doors they offer. However if you are getting white shaker cabinetry they wouldn’t be my first choice.

      Dealers can have different profit margins but that is usually much less a difference than changing some of the features I mention in the blog.

      1. Grace

        Thank you Paul. We do like the wood stain natural look rather than paint, but the Fabuwood Timber looks a bit too dim or yellowish to our liking. Cubitac’s Presto Natural looks very promising but we are waiting to see the door sample in person. Do you have other brands with a similar light natural wood stain to recommend – something around the price range with these two brands? Also, could I get your input on my kitchen design by calling in on Fridays? Where can I email the kitchen design ahead of time? Thank you!

        1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

          Hi Grace,
          That is a tough color for the inexpensive brands to do. You may have to move up to a brand like 1951, American Woodmark, Shenendoah, Homecreast, or other traditional US cabinet brand.

          I am traveling this Friday so I won’t be doing the helpline / podcast Friday June 14th. However if you send me your drawings I can comment.

          Thanks,
          Paul

  10. Erik

    Hi Paul,
    I just wanted to let you know that Hanssem has become Massachusetts Design Cabinetry. I hadn’t worked with them since they’ve changed but from what I understand, they still have order issues. I reach out to my old rep occasionally to see if things have gotten better but doesn’t seem to be the case. Whatever you do, don’t just take my word for it, you may want to look into it yourself.

    I’m also surprised to see the Siteline grade so low, I’ve only had positive experiences with them.

    At the moment, for my economy line, I’m selling Lifeart but looking for a change (difficult to do since I don’t have a showroom) considering they really aren’t a great brand to deal with. The molding options are extremely low, lower than most economy brands but looking into Forevermark to replace them. I’d go Fabuwood but they require a showroom.
    From what it looks like, J&K doesn’t have any dealers in NJ. Do you know if they require a showroom?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Eric,
      Hanssem if different in different places. In your area it has one name and construction features an other areas other names and other features. This is why we don’t rate it any longer.

      Siteline is a frameless cabinet, so under our rating system, it can’t be rated higher than a B for construction. If I remember correctly, I don’t think they offer 3/4″ plywood sides which would be why they would get a B- for construction. Less expensive brands like CNC are all plywood so that’s why they fair poorly on value.

      Fabuwood doesn’t require a showroom, but they do require a certain volume of business and that no other dealers are very close to you. J&K would be the same as Fabuwood. It isn’t that you absolutely must have a showroom it’s that they protect their present dealers and won’t make exceptions unless the territory is available AND they think you can generate enough business. If no J&K dealers are near you you should be OK. CNC might be a good economy line too, because they offer framed and frameless cabinetry. They seem to be getting their ordering system better organized. I know Lifeart has had organizational and delivery issues in the past.

  11. Marco

    Hi Paul,
    I live in NY and I’m looking to get well made quality cabinets that feel and look solidly built. I was just curious on your opinion and if it was your home what cabinet brand you would choose? I’m looking for best bang for your buck! I don’t want something that looks or feels cheap and I am willing to spend extra to have quality but I also don’t want to overspend on something that isn’t necessary. Please help!

  12. Deepa

    Hey Paul,

    I saw your rating on Wellborn Cabinets as well as Kraft Maid Vantage Cabinets. Both appear to be American made cabinets. I got a lower quote from my designer for Wellborn (for Full Overlay) Cabinets as compared to Kraftmaid Vantage Cabinets. At the same time I see that you have rated Wellborn ahead of Kraftmaid Vantage on quality and value front. I wonder if there is something I am missing.

    Also, Wellborn offers “Inset” Cabinets unlike Vantage. We are inclined toward “Inset” based on the displays we saw at the showrooms. I wonder if you have any thoughts about “Inset Vs Full Overlay” in terms of Pros and Cons.

    – Deeps

    https://www.wellborn.com/

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Deepa,
      Wellborn actually has several cabinet levels from inexpensive to very expensive. Their inset cabinetry is in the most expensive level I’m sure. Because their cabinets cover more pricepoints and are well made we give them slightly better value ratings than Kraftmaid. And they are slightly better built. But both lines are good. “American made” isn’t a value thing. In fact in price levels 1 to 2.5 “American made” is a bad thing. In higher more custom lines cabinetry must be American made to offer so many different wood species, greater finish, sizing, and door style options.

  13. Gwen

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for providing such wonderfully informative and useful information. We live in a rural area with limited options for cabinets. One of the options available locally is Sollid Cabinets… from Chandler, AZ. (https://sollidcabinetry.com/) I see this brand of cabinets isn’t on the above list. Do you know anything about Sollid? We’d appreciate whatever information you can provide. Thank you!

    -Gwen

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Gwen,
      I checked and Sollid Cabinets would get an A for construction quality as they are well made and use the top Blum tracks and hinges. I do not know how they compare pricewise to other brands so I can’t rate them for price and that means I can’t rate them for value either. If you get pricing for your design and email me that design I could rate them and add them to our reviews. My email is Paul@MainLineKitchenDesign.com

      As always, keep in mind what I constantly advise. See below:

      People worry about cabinet quality and price far more than they worry about their designs. This is because they aren’t kitchen or bath designers themselves and don’t understand how poor their designs usually are. If you listen to one of our podcasts this is usually a central issue. The Podcast below illustrates how different designs can be from what a homeowner might expect, while still staying within their budget. So, it makes little sense splurging on cabinets, appliances, and other expensive upgrades, when there are design improvements left on the table.
      Below is a podcast that focuses on this issue:

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-28-finding-a-kitchen-designer/

      Removing a wall or moving a window or exterior doorway can cost a few thousand dollars but make the kitchen and a home a completely different with a better layout. This can often increase the home’s value several times more than the cost of the renovation. Whereas upgrading to a more expensive cabinet brand or professional appliances can add over $10,000 to a renovation and if the kitchen design is poor make getting back what you spent on the renovation impossible, when you sell the home. So working with a good kitchen designer is more important than people realize. Kitchen designers help you find the design you would never have thought of. Good designers should also help you spend your renovation budget more effectively. They will explain cost options, and make sure you are splurging on the things that add value to your home or that are important to you even if they don’t.

  14. Mike Jones

    Thank you for the insight on the various brands. I find this to be very helpful. I was recently discovered a dealer who sells cabinets from a company called US Cabinet Depot. I was wondering if you heard of them, and how does their product, value and prices compare to Wolf and similar lines. Thank you in advance.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mike,
      I just added US Cabinet Depot to our reviews. We actually carried the brand before COVID but they had supply chain issues back then and we stopped carrying them. They are inexpensive and well made but they did have some delivery and logistics issues. If a dealer has a good experience with them (no backorders. damages, etc) that would be the assurance that I want need before ordering.

  15. Judy Zee

    Hi Paul –

    We got a quote for Wolf cabinets from our kitchen designer (maybe) but the reviews are horrific. You gave them an A and B rating but every review says they are builder grade and paint chips and not well designed. Is there something we are missing? His estimate was quite high so want to make sure we are getting cabinets to last.

    Thanks

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Judy,
      All painted cabinets chip easily and are damaged by water easily. In the blog below I test the least expensive cabinet brands to the most expensive. There is no difference.
      While Wolf is an inexpensive brand they are well made. However, I did hear that they opened a new factory and that the new factory which is in the Midwest was having quality control issues and more shipping damage. Another designer that sold Wolf told me that he only sells the styles that are made in the original factory at least until they work out the bugs.

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/mdf-painted-cabinet-doors-rate-best/

      Stained cabinets will not be easily damaged by dings and water.

      Homeowners usually don’t know what they are talking about when they make complaints. They blame cabinet companies for things their designer should have informed them of, like painted cabinetry chipping easily. Or the properties of the wood they selected, or the color they chose. This is why home centers get such bad reviews. The cabinets are usually good but the designers are inexperienced. Consumers also blame designer errors, shipping damage from the dealer, contractor errors and customer service issues on the cabinet company. You don’t buy cabinets from the cabinet brand you buy from the dealer. So all issues are ultimately their fault. Find a good dealer and you won’t need to worry about most of the issues customers complain about.

      For example our company sells millions of dollars in cabinets each year. From very inexpensive up to very, very, expensive custom brands. We get great reviews. In fact no customer has ever complained on line about the quality of their cabinets. A few have companied about me personally when I told they their ideas were bad but those people never even bought cabinets from us.

  16. Julie Hirschman

    Hi there! Our builder uses Schrock cabinets. I’m wondering what your thoughts and knowledge is with this company? I know I should take the reviews with a grain of salt, but I’ve read so many bad ones and a few good ones.
    I’m interested in the full face (completely flat/no design) style.
    I’d appreciate any comments/ knowledge you have with this company and or recommendations for a quality company for this style of door. I live in MI.
    Thank you so much!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Julie,
      Upgraded Schrock cabinets are a fine brand as we show in our reviews of them. Read the blog below to better understand why ratings from home owners are essentially worthless when it comes to cabinets, and what the difference is between framed and frameless cabinetry.
      For the modern style slab doors that you want frameless cabinetry would look better although not be quite as durable.
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/kitchen-cabinet-brand-comparison/

    2. G Hutson

      My family all has Schrock cabinets in their homes in IL and we are all very happy with them. I sold my home there and moved out of state and still miss those cabinets to this day!!! Hopefully, they are still making the quality today that they were when we built our homes in IL………Mine was built in 1991.

      1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

        Hi G,
        Actually in 1991 Schrock was only fair as far as construction quality in a cabinet brand. This was why builders used it as well as other brands like Aristokraft. Almost all builders from that era never even upgraded Schrock to all plywood construction. Today there are ton of inexpensive cabinet brands built far better than Schrock was then. And Schrock has improved their construction from what it was in 1991. The cabinet industry was pretty rough back in 1991. Most cabinetry sold in 1991 was a medium or darker stain standard overlay oak – which almost no one would buy today.

  17. Bharat

    Hi Paul,

    I see you have rated Siteline Cabinets as B- on Quality and C on Value. My Interior Designer for my new Home Construction exclusively deals with Siteline Cabinetry. She is now prepared to give me a 20% Volume Discount which makes it quite competitive on the pricing front compared to other brands. However, I would like your feedback on the drivers for B- rating for Quality and C rating for Value.

    Thanks as always for your candid feedback.

    Cheers

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Bharat,
      Siteline is a frameless brand so not as durable as a framed brand. They don’t appear to offer a 3/4″ plywood box which is why they get a B- for construction. They are also not transparent on construction on their website which could actually mean we should have rated them lower. There are better made less expensive brands so that is why the get a C for value.

      A lack of transparency is a bad sign, as is a 20% volume discount. If you can discount a kitchen 20% you were overcharging to begin with.

      Any designer that only sells one line and having that line be Siteline tells me that the designer is not that experienced or knowledgeable.
      So your kitchen design for your new home assuredly needs corrections. If you send me your designs I would be happy to critique them and let you know about the mistakes I see.
      My email is Paul@MainLineKitchenDesign.com

      1. Bharat Sadula

        Paul,

        Thank you for your feedback and this certainly gives me some 2nd thoughts.

        Cheers

        1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

          Hi Bharat,
          No worries, and if you send your design I can take a quick look and see if there are issues. There are almost always are mistakes when we get sent plans.

  18. Sarah

    Hi Paul,
    How would you rate Superior cabinets? I am looking for a light airy kitchen, interested in Starmark, however I do not have local dealers would take care of the installation piece, the kitchen designer store carries Superior cabinets, which I have very little info on the details of the line.

    With starmark, I got an internet quote with 3/4 plywood construction, part of the cabinets inset, the others full overlay. I opted maple, but not fond of Starmark’s stain colors, closest one called oregano, which I prefer a bit more pink in it. Kraftmaid “Wicker” is much prettier to me, but I do like the 3/4 plywood construction. Starmark is very transparent about putting out their cabinet information out there on the internet, people like me can read, but superior has just the “pretty brochures”

    How does superior compare? should I even consider it?

    Thanks!

    Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      H Sarah,
      I know nothing about Superior other than what you say “they give no information” Not being transparent is a very bad sign in the cabinet industry. My not even ever hearing of a brand is also unusual. I attended the KIBIS show that they claim to have won an award at in 2017 and I don’t remember them. I wouldn’t consider a brand like this unless the dealer had a great reputation and they stood by them and recommended them over another brand that’s a known one. 3/4″ plywood sides is great but not really needed unless cabinetry is frameless. Kraftmaid does 3/4″ plywood construction last I checked but it’s very expensive.

      Mixing full overlay cabinet styles and inset is a strange combination. I wouldn’t like both vey different styles in the same room

      1. Sarah

        Thank you so much Paul, these are really helpful tips!

        – Superior: While the dealer does have a great reputation, and told me these are great cabinets, I didn’t have full confidence in Superior cabinets.. so I am going to skip it, the line they says is best of their offering is Crestwood, only 10% up charge.
        – Crestwood: I saw your double A rating, will be one of my top choice now.
        – Kraftmaid: Homedepot sells the reserve series, and kitchen designer store sells the Vantage series, I contacted Kraftmaid directly, they confirmed they are the same, they do have 3/4 plywood ends, 5/8″ in between boxes, and the Homedepot is running 30% off promotion offered by Kraftmaid, which bring the pricing well below the superior and everyone else, while construction seems llike a thumbs up, their finishes seems not as good as others per Homedepot samples. and really Home Depot is essentially impossible to work with – So, I will skip this one.
        Starmark: this is my 2nd option I am comparing right now, competing with Crestwood. I can get these from lumber stores or online stores, but not Kitcken design stores… which means I would have to manage installers and countertop people separately, I think I love their cabinets and feel good value in their pricing, but hate that I would have to find/vet/manage installers…

        Thanks for the advice on mixing fully overlay and inset is not a good idea, I also thought it was a little strange, but the inset for Starmark is 38% price jump!! it’s a really hard $$$ pill to swallow… Correct me if I was wrong, there is no structural benefit for inset comparing to well-made full overlay? While there are some craftmanship differences, it’s really just paying for aesthetics?! and 38%??? lol

        My latest struggle:
        Brands: Crestwood (convenience and $$$$) vs Starmark (quality and value, hire separate installers)
        Choices: Inset vs Full overlay

        1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

          Hi Sarah,
          There is no construction advantage to inset. The inset in StarMark might come with automatic upgrades which is adding to the costs. I think it is always a mistake to buy cabinetry online. You need a good, experienced, kitchen designer to measure the space, design the kitchen, place the order correctly, process (paperwork, conformations, and reorders and damages). Kitchen designers also help installers to understand what they are supposed to be doing to implement the design.

          Keep in mind what I constantly advise:
          People worry about cabinet quality and price far more than they worry about their designs. This is because they aren’t kitchen or bath designers themselves and don’t understand how poor their designs usually are. If you listen to one of our podcasts this is usually a central issue. The Podcast below illustrates how different designs can be from what a homeowner might expect, while still staying within their budget. So, it makes little sense splurging on cabinets, appliances, and other expensive upgrades, when there are design improvements left on the table.
          Below is a podcast that focuses on this issue:

          https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-28-finding-a-kitchen-designer/

          Removing a wall or moving a window or doorway can cost a few thousand dollars but make the kitchen and a home a completely different and better layout. This can often increase the home’s value several times more than the cost of the renovation. While inset cabinetry is nice it can cost double the cost of less expensive semi custom cabinetry. So splurging on inset cabinetry and expensive appliances only makes sense if first the kitchen design has been done to create one of the the absolutely best designs possible.

          As you will notice from our podcasts almost no homeowner calls into our podcast with a particularly good design. So once you have a design you are considering you might want to call into our podcast and have me critique the design. It will almost certainly improve with some expert help.

        2. Sarah

          Thanks Paul! I will call in this week and would love to have you critique our design! We have a lot of cabinetry in the house, hopefully, this Friday you are “light” as the podcast you linked 🙂 Or I can just listen this week and try again next week.

          Thanks in advance. Can you share an email address I can email over the materials?

          Sarah

        3. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

          Hi Sarah,
          This Friday I am not doing the Podcast but if you email your Designs to Paul@MainLineKitchenDesign.com and call Friday at 2pm 610-500-4071 I can go over the plans with you and give you input.

  19. Margaret Gal

    Hi Paul! Thank you for the information on your website.
    I wanted to ask what is your opinion of WOLF vs Fabuwood cabinets? Which one would you pick?

    Another question ; what do you think of LilyAnn cabinets?
    You did not include them in the 2024 list, but they have been on the market for a while now.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Margaret,
      We chose to carry Fabuwood over Wolf so we like Wolf better. They have some nicer finishes and are more cutting edge in the door styles and finishes they choose to carry. Both companies are good choices though. J&K would be a similar brand too. It makes no sense if you are a dealer to carry a bunch of similar brands. So we chose Fabuwood but other dealers might like the offerings of other comparable lines better or more likely they could have competition from other dealers for one brand that makes them choose another. Our company is very competitive for pricing and we also have better designers so we don’t worry about competitors.

      LilyAnn is an online RTA brand. We don’t review brands sold on the internet as we feel it is a very bad way to buy cabinetry. This is because the cabinets are not that much cheaper. You have to put them together with is not cost effective and you have no real professional to help you make choices. For an expensive renovation that makes little sense.

  20. Jacqueline Kelly

    Hi Paul! This whole thread has been very interesting and informative! We are currently trying to make decisions on our first ever kitchen remodel and realizing there is a lot to learn. We have a kitchen designer who is the “go to” guy for our general contractor, but his business only sells Kitchen Kompact, Schrock, and Decora. From what I’ve gathered so far, Schrock and Decora are on the higher end of the price line but don’t necessarily have the overall value to back up the cost. We’re struggling because Schrock also doesn’t carry the cabinet color we’ve been wanting so now we’re looking at other color options available in the Schrock line, but is it worth it? From the reviews I’ve read and your ranking here it doesn’t seem like the Schrock line is necessarily worth sacrificing the color we want because the overall value isn’t even all that great? So what do we do? Do we find a new designer who carries different cabinet lines? Or are we overthinking it and $22k for a second choice color with Schrock Trademark isn’t a bad deal?

    Would really appreciate your insights! Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jacqueline,
      You don’t describe the color cabinetry you are looking for. However generally only the most expensive brands carry unusual or custom colors. So you probably would have to spend more money than Schrock to get a color they didn’t carry anyway. If you tell me the color and door style I can tell you if that selection is even available in a less expensive brand.

      Kitchen Kompact seems to sell a lot of standard overlay door styles which are much less popular. For example less than 3% of our customers choose a door style that is standard overlay. So make sure when you are selecting cabinetry that you understand what standard overlay means.

      This blog may help:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/price-comparing-kitchen-cabinets-and-why-it-is-a-bad-idea/

      1. Jacqueline Kelly

        We want a slate/gray blue kind of color – “Distance” in the Decora line is the closest I can provide for something you might be familiar with. We see colors like this on display as samples at Lowes/HD so we figured they were fairly common/nothing custom or unusual but Schrock only carries one blue color which is Navy (and that’s a little dark for what we are envisioning). We are now thinking “Cloud” or maybe “Moonstone” from the Schrock line, but they are both definitely more gray than blue-toned which is making us question if we go with a second choice color just to stick to the Schrock line or find a different maker all together. Our kitchen designer carries Schrock Entra and Trademark, but not Boutique since that seems to overlap with Decora (or something lol).

        As for the door style, we are pretty classic and simple. From Schrock, we like Inglais and Garret. Full overlay for sure, though.

        We will probably get a quote from our designer for cabinets from Decora, but I’m expecting those will get pricey. We’ve been quoted $22k from Schrock Trademark and would prefer to not go much over that unless there is a big difference in quality/value for money between Schrock and Decora (but looking at your ratings, that doesn’t seem to be the case?)

        We are located in upstate New York (in case that affects availability – I looked up Integrity based on your ratings but I don’t think that line is available in our area – bummer!!)

        1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

          Hi Jacquelin,
          Decora shouldn’t be that much more than Schrock. That color is slightly unusual. Home Depot carries Diamond and Kraftmaid and Lowes carries Kraftmaid which which should also be around the Schrock and Decora Pricing. The color you saw may have been from Kraftmaid, Diamond or from Schuler at Lowes. Schuler is much more expensive even than Decora.
          Fabuwood carries Galaxy Indigo which costs at least 20% than all these lines.
          See link: https://www.fabuwood.com/cabinets/allure/galaxy/indigo/

  21. Piya

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you for taking time to answer all the questions and giving out your opinions. I learn a lot from what your comment and answer to other comments.
    As other, my husband and I are looking into cabinets. We are debating among other things; Durasupreme (frameless), Starmark (framed), and Ultracraft (frameless, of course). The pricing and designer are confused as ever. If you can give us an guidance, I would appreciate. The designer who does Starmark and Ultracraft (same person) listens to what we want and try to deliver within his mean. Durasupreme designer is on the other end. We seem to not being able to tell him what we want and do not know what we might get. The dilemma comes in because Durasupreme is 20% cheaper than Starmark; Ultracraft is 10% more than Starmark. Grant that Durasupreme designer does not share the full cost of the cabinets, only one price, which we do not know other additional cost (deliver, handling, and tax).
    Any guidance/input is much appreciated.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Piya,
      I don’t know what door style and finish you are considering but if it isn’t a slab door style I wouldn’t recomend getting any frameless cabinet. Durasupreme also only sells particleboard frameless cabinets as far as I know. This is one of the reasons we give Durasupreme such poor marks for frameless cabinetry. Their framed cabinets are MUCH more expensive and FAR better made. I would only buy Starmark from your three choices. However there are many other well made brands that are less expensive. But Ultracraft and frameless DuraSupreme would both be poor choices. Starmark is a good cabinet brand.

      1. Piya

        Hello Paul,

        Thank you so much for answering it in more than a timely manner. That helps in our decision making and gives us the assurance that we are making the right decision.

        We like the shaker door with added detail (Durasupreme Brackenridge door), painted. So the door style and finish from all three brands will be similar. The pricing differences among those brands mentioned above are quite significant. (Cabinet component only, no tax or delivery charge because the Durasupreme designer cannot give those cost out with the cabinet cost. His reason is it is his company policy not giving out those cost till we commit to put down the deposit.)

        You make a very good point on the kitchen design several times. My neighbor who recently renovates her kitchen says the kitchen must reflect on how the individual uses their kitchen and what is important. What turns us off with the Durasupreme kitchen designer is he designs the kitchen the way he wants it to be looked without considering our utility on the top of lack of clarity/transparency in design and pricing.

        You other point about the Durasupreme cabinet construction makes me think that we might get particle board frameless cabinet. We do not know what we get in term of cabinet construction materials (particle board/plywood/high density engineering wood). We do not know what cabinet design (accessories such as roll out drawers, pull out trash, and cabinet size (width and depth), etc) we will get. The Durasupreme designer is very competitive, particularly, in pricing enough to quote us the kitchen cabinet NOT with the door of our choice.

        Again, thank you so much for sharing your expertise. The wealth of your knowledge and sincerity in sharing is very much appreciated.

        1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

          Hi Piya,
          Read this blog to better understand why cabinet pricing is almost impossible for homeowners to compare.

          https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/price-comparing-kitchen-cabinets-and-why-it-is-a-bad-idea/

  22. Nathan Kuyrkendall

    I’m in the middle of my kitchen renovation and we are trying to decide between two different cabinets; Showcase and Durasupreme. The showplace cabinets are significantly cheaper (~20%), but I’m in this for the long haul with this renovation and I don’t want to sacrifice quality for price. Assuming both are all plywood construction what would be your recommendation of showplace vs. durasupreme?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Nathan,
      DuraSupreme is not better made and more durable than Showcase. However they do have nicer looking finishes and they have more options and customizations available. That being said, most people’s designs do not take advantage of the any of the added features. Without knowing your design, door style, wood type and finish I couldn’t tell you if you are taking advantage of any of these differences. But the fact that you aren’t mentioning any differences other than cost suggests that you aren’t and probably should not spend extra on DuraSupreme. So long as you like the color and finish of the Showplace cabinetry you are selecting.

      It does concern me that you say you are in the middle of a renovation and haven’t bought cabinets or finalized your order yet. That should be done before starting any renovation.

  23. HP

    Hi, Are you familiar with the Mantra cabinet line by Masterbrand?
    TIA

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi HP,
      I didn’t realize we hadn’t rated Mantra. Masterbrand’s entry cabinet line Mantra is pretty well made and is constructed as most of their lines are when upgraded to plywood. Pricewise and selection wise they don’t offer as many choices as a brand like Fabuwood that is similar in price point and slightly better constructed. However if you builder or dealers only has this line as thier less expensive option it isn’t a bad cabinet at a competitive price. I’m adding it to our ratings as a 2 B+ B

  24. Barb

    Hello Paul, we are in the midst of a remodel for our kitchen and master bath. I have looked at Waypoint, Homecrest, Shiloh and Dura Supreme. So far Waypoint is our choice however the reviews are very mixed. Any reason we should eliminate them based on your findings?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Barb,
      Usually cabinet reviews from homeowners are completely unreliable. Homeowners blame the cabinet brand for mistakes made by designers, dealers, contractors, and shipping and storage companies. Plus often homeowner expectations are unrealistic. If the dealer you are working with has good reviews that is what is important.

      For example I dislike the DuraSupreme company but if the dealer is honest and reliable then I don’t worry about buying DuraSupreme. The dealer will stand behind the warranty even if DuraSupreme does not. Make sure whatever brand you buy is upgraded to all plywood construction and soft close hinges and drawers. Waypoint is a much less expensive brand than DuraSupreme so don’t expect as nice finishes or craftmanship. Upgraded they will be just as durable as any other of these brands though.

  25. Sheila

    Hi Paul,
    Loved reading your suggestions. It has been very helpful as we are at the start of a kitchen renovation – everything but the flooring. The cabinet supplier we are using has Shiloh brand, Wolf Brand, Timberlake and 1951 (I thought I read the last two maybe are one in the same now). They also carry Wood Mode and JSI but wasn’t considering those as they are more high end and low end from reading price points. We are looking at mid-level with replacing our lovely honey oak cabinets. Plan to stay in the house for 6-7 years but want cabinets to hold up for resale. Considering white painted for base and upper but will do island in a stained hardwood (love hickory or walnut but not opposed to oak in right stain). In terms of durability and cost, would there be a brand you would suggest and within that brand – suggestions for a level (i.e. wolf signature/designer/class) (Timberlake Portfolio or Portfolio Select) (Shiloh, Aspect or Eclipse) – haven’t researched 1951? Are there any of those brands that you would avoid altogether?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Sheila,
      Independent Timberlake dealers will turn into 1951 dealers next month. The cabinetry is the same but this is to separate the home builders market from the dealers market. Builders do not warranty their cabinetry and their customers were taking advantage of independent dealers so they are separating the two types of suppliers by rebranding. Shiloh has a construction issue in that their hanging rail is too small. A contractor could easily modify the cabinet to make it better but left alone we give Shiloh lower marks for this issue.

      Walnut will not be available in less expensive cabinetry and Hickory is too unpopular to use if you care about resale value. Oak can be even less popular than Hickory unless you are getting quartersawn or rift cut oak or a bleached white oak.

      Any medium oak would hurt the value of your home as that color hasn’t been popular for 30 years. This oak wood assessment might seem extreme if you aren’t in our industry but I can’t stress it enough. None of our designers sold medium, light, or dark oak cabinetry in 20 years. However, Quartersawn or Rift cut oak is very popular right now. But it looks completely different. Probably 20% of the islands we design are in a cerused, bleached, or weathered quartersawn oak finish.

      1. Sheila

        Thanks! I’ll ask about the rail system for Shiloh when we meet with our builder. I agree with rift or quartersawn oak being the best option if we go that route. Would you go Wolf over Shiloh if both are available or stick with Shiloh and just have the builder address the rail issue?

  26. Greg

    Very helpful thread. I have a client looking for cathedral doors. They were given a price for their kitchen from Kraftmaid through Home Depot that was quite out of this world. Any other options for a good quality manufacturer that offers cathedral door styles?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Greg,
      I would strongly encourage a homeowner NEVER to buy a kitchen with Cathedral doors. This style has not been popular for well over 20 years. In fact remodeling a kitchen with this door style will have little to no resale value, because this door style is so unpopular.

      Add to this that only more expensive brands would offer an out of date style and now you are paying much more for something worth almost nothing. Burgundy Cherry cabinetry, and medium oak cabinetry also fall into this out of date / no resale value in cabinetry selections.

      Keeping soffits over 30″ wall cabinets also is a kitchen style that has almost no value. Often times older people, living in the past, will combine these poor choices and keep soffits over medium oak cathedral doors.

      Have them just get square doors. Then they will save money, and should they need to sell their home unexpectantly, at least they will be able to find a buyer.

      Sometimes when homeowners want to make terrible or dangerous design decisions we actually refuse to help them. I believe that as a professional we should “first do no harm”.

  27. Bharat

    Hi Paul,

    Please add me to your list of thousands of admirers!!! I can’t thank you enough for sharing your pearls of wisdom and diligently providing your objective reviews.
    I notice that the 2024 Quality Ratings (B+) for Kraftmaid Vantage have gone down from the prior years (A-) although the Value Ratings remain the same. I wonder what caused the drop. Also, I was actively considering going for Kraftmaid Vantage as the price differential with Brighton is significant for my project (~10K). Also, my consumer reviews appear to suggest some delays and servicing issues with Brighton.
    I wonder what your advice would be to me. If I go in for Kraftmaid Vantage, would you recommend any upgrades as I do not want to compromise on quality.

    Please advise.

    Thanks a ton!!!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Bharat,
      Kraftmaid changed how they constructed the backs of their cabinets recently. This prompted the slight change in their review. However B+ is still a good rating. Brighton is normally about only 10% more than Kraftmaid, so you might not be comparing apples to apples. In Brighton the designer could be including things like expensive integrated end panels or you could be getting a quote for a more expensive door style.

      Kraftmaid Vantage comes upgraded so no further upgrades are needed for durability, however there are lots of more expensive design upgrades like end panels, glass doors, roll outs, pull outs, and drawers that can increase the cost of a kitchen by 20%. Since you have such an unusual disparity in pricing between Kraftmaid and Brighton, make sure you aren’t pricing a standard overlay door style in Kraftmaid. That can save 25% but is probably not what you want.

      Brighton has had no delays of late as far as we have experienced. Since they are custom though, they normally take 2-3 weeks longer than Kraftmaid.

  28. Betsy

    I am working with a company who designed a beautiful kitchen with Forevermark cabinets. I’ve been researching before signing the contract. What are your thoughts about the quality of this line? Thank you.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Betsy,
      Cabinets are well made and inexpensive. Forevermark did have major supply chain issues during Covid, but I’m guessing that’s all over now. With kitchens creating great designs is most important, splurging on expensive cabinets and appliances is secondary.

  29. Marlene Delude

    Are you familiar with Valleywood Cabinetry? It was recommended by one of our local stores and I believe it is sold at Lowe’s as well.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Marlene,
      Valleywood Cabinetry looks like very inexpensive RTA cabinetry that can be purchased assembled. For a bathroom I think it would be fine which is how Loew’s sells it. But for a kitchen I would work with a real kitchen designer and cabinet brand. All the brands we rate on our reviews that are price level 1 and 2 that get good ratings would be better choices.

  30. Adam

    Hi Paul,

    Incredibly helpful thread.

    Do you have any concerns about the durability or construction quality of imported brands (from China) like 21st Century?

    Do cabinets made in China meet all US regulations in terms of the safety of their plywood (ex – formaldehyde) and their paints / stains being safe and without harmful chemicals?

    Thanks a ton for your wisdom.

    – Adam

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Adam,
      Contrary to what many people believe the following is all true:

      1) All cabinetry sold in the US must meet the same off gassing standards. After March 22, 2019 all cabinetry composite wood products must be certified and labeled as TSCA Title VI compliant. This is done by a TPC (third party-certifier) approved by EPA.

      2) US cabinet brands like Fabuwood and also slightly lesser brands like Century assemble in the US but import many finished pieces from Vietnam, Mexico, and The Philippines. Importing parts means that these parts must pass inspection at the factory. The parts then travel in containers across the ocean, are loaded, unloaded, and often stored for additional months before they are actually used to build a cabinet. The long delay means that much of any off gassing occurs long before they arrive in your home. As a result they will actually off gas much less than expensive 100% domestic US cabinetry. For example, when new cabinetry samples arrive in our offices we can smell the off gassing and curing on the more expensive brands. Of course if this is a concern just store the more expensive domestic cabinetry open in you garage for several months before installing and you will dramatically lessen your VOC exposure.

      3) Most cabinet companies use one of two or three paint types from the same manufacturers. This is how cabinet makers make compliance easy and also why there is little difference in durability between expensive and inexpensive painted cabinet finishes. Except when custom paints are applied in the US over existing imported finishes. This is why CUSTOM painted finishes from less expensive cabinet brands is slightly less durable.

      4) US plywood can be denser and better made than imported plywood but keep in mind that the US cabinetry MUST first be upgraded to All Plywood Construction and the less expensive US/Import brand only comes in Plywood. The difference is not often that significant except with some of the very expensive custom brands. Or when the Plywood is increased to 3/4″ thick.

      While 21st Century is a well made very inexpensive brand, we would usually recomend getting one of the higher priced inexpensive brands like J&K, Cubitac, Fabuwood and others. Often the dealers are better, there is less shipping damage, and the color choices are more attractive spending just a little bit more. However if you want different wood species, and unusual styles and finishes NONE of these choices will be available with the less expensive lines. In the cabinet world, you are usually paying more for options and not durability.

  31. Pete

    Paul —

    I apologize if this is essentially a duplicate. I posted a question last night and it disappeared (on my computer at least). My wife and I are working with a cabinet dealer who carries Omega and Showplace. A friend got Omega cabinets recently and was pleased, and the designer considers Omega to be the highest line they carry, so we asked her to give us a prelim estimate. The pricing was higher than we expected and we are going to get an estimate with Showplace, which she indicates will likely be less by maybe 15%, which would be significant. Both lines are rated highly by you, both As at their respective price points. Are the differences in overall quality significant enough to outweigh a significant difference in price? Related, I noticed on Showplace’s website that they offer “paint grade” as a wood option for the doors where cabinets are being painted. We are likely going to paint our wall cabinets and stain the island cabinets. Should we consider this for the wall cabinets?

    A third cabinet manufacturer we may consider is Kahle’s Kitchens, a small company in Central PA which is not in your ratings, but does distribute over a fairly wide area. A relative used them on a renovation recently and seems pleased. Their website has a good diagram and explanation of their construction, but I have not attempted to do a side-by-side comparison with the others we are considering. Are you familiar with them? Thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Pete

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Pete,
      All three cabinet brands are good choices. Showplace will probably be less than both Kahles and Omega. Assuming all these lines are upgraded to all plywood construction the only noticeable difference between the the slightly more expensive brands and Showplace might be that the gaps between the doors and drawers and the cabinet box might be a little less consistent. I think in showplace you only can get a hidden adjustable hinges so that more adjustment is possible than a barrel hinge. If the carpenter installing the cabinetry makes sure that the cabinet boxes are totally square before installing each cabinet that will reduce or eliminate any noticeable difference. Paint grade wood is fine and will look better painted although all painted cabinetry is more likely to scratch and be damaged by water. Wall cabinets take much less abuse than base cabinets however tall cabinets are usually painted the same color as the wall cabinets and not the base cabinets, so they will be exposed to more abuse.

      Keep in mind what I constantly advise:
      People worry about cabinet quality and price far more than they worry about their designs. This is because they aren’t kitchen or bath designers themselves and don’t understand how poor their designs usually are. If you listen to one of our podcasts this is usually a central issue. The Podcast below illustrates how different designs can be from what a homeowner might expect, while still staying within their budget. So, it makes little sense splurging on cabinets, appliances, and other expensive upgrades, when there are design improvements left on the table.
      Below is a podcast that focuses on this issue:

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-28-finding-a-kitchen-designer/

      Removing a wall or moving a window or doorway can cost a few thousand dollars but make the kitchen and a home a completely different and better layout. This can often increase the home’s value several times more than the cost of the renovation. While inset cabinetry is nice it can cost double the cost of less expensive semi custom cabinetry. So splurging on inset cabinetry and expensive appliances only makes sense if first the kitchen design has been done to create one of the the absolutely best designs possible.

      As you will notice from our podcasts almost no homeowner calls into our podcast with a particularly good design. So once you have a design you are considering you might want to call into our podcast and have me critique the design. It will almost certainly improve with some expert help.

  32. Eric

    Hi
    Best cabinet value is what I am looking for. Has anyone ant knowledge on Fieldstone cabinets. I have a quote for Brookhaven but wondering if Firldstone is comperable?

    E

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Eric,
      Selecting a cabinet brand that is a good value has a lot to do with the design of your kitchen and the door style and cabinet finish you are selecting. Both Fieldstone and Brookhaven are well made cabinets on the higher price levels of cabinet brands but not fully custom pricing yet. If you design is simple and you are getting white shaker cabinetry both these expensive brands would be a waste of money IMO.
      Below is an explanation I just gave to another person. You can even substitute your brands for hers and the answer still applies:

      Non kitchen design professionals have a hard time understanding that more expensive cabinetry isn’t really related to the quality of cabinet construction. Particularly for painted cabinetry there may be ZERO difference in the cabinet quality as you spend more money. Brands like Kraftmaid and Yorketowne are both no better constructed than for example Fabuwood. However, they are almost 40% more expensive. The added expense is due to all the added design features, sizes, wood types, and finishes that become available in more expensive brands.

      Unfortunately most customers designs are simplistic and the door style and finish that they select common. Because of this the added money they are spending to get more expensive cabinet brands that offer things that they are not selecting is simply wasted. Spending the huge difference in money on construction changes like removing walls, moving doorways and creating a better design is a far, far, better investment.

      Without seeing a customer’s design and knowing the finish and door style they were selecting I couldn’t tell them if it made sense being in a more expensive brand. However if they were getting full overlay shaker painted cabinetry it would be very unlikely that getting Kraftmaid or Yorktowne would make sense.

      There should be not be much difference in price between Kraftmaid and Yorketowne, and in fact Yorktowne should be a little more. This makes me think that you are not comparing designs with apples to apples selections. One designer is including things the other is not. Possibly giving you a less expensive door style or less expensive upgrades or many of the other price saving things mentioned in the blog below.

      I would recomend reading the blog below and listening to the podcast below to better understand what you should be investing in. Sending your plans and calling into our helpline and podcast would also probably catch a lot of design errors. This is almost always the case when people show us their designs.

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/price-comparing-kitchen-cabinets-and-why-it-is-a-bad-idea/

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-28-finding-a-kitchen-designer/

  33. Sheri

    Hello Paul,
    I am at the beginning of a kitchen remodel and the cabinet rep from our contractor is suggesting Aspect Cabinetry. I don’t see them on your list, so I’m wondering what you think of them. Also, I noticed they only have a 5 year warranty and that seems very short on such a big purchase. She said we could “move up” to Shiloh, but it would cost about 25% more. Not sure that would be worth it since you rated them with a B. Also, was considering painted finishes, but concerned after your warnings. I see you mention a getting good designer for help. Do you mean the cabinet designer? Or overall kitchen designer? What is the best way to find a good one? Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Sheri,
      Aspect is also made by Shiloh and has the same construction issues that we don’t love with Shiloh. Namely a thin back and a tiny hanging rail. For painted finishes these brands will both be more expensive and not as well constructed as US/IMPORTS like Fabuwood, Procraft, Cubitac, J$K, and many others.

      The best kitchen designers usually work at cabinet dealerships. Especially dealerships that carry several brands across several price points. Since I’m not a Shiloh fan that dealership must be owned by someone that isn’t that great at selecting the cabinet brands that they choose to carry. It makes me leery of their other decisions. You don’t say where you are located but below is a list of dealers we think may be good places to work with. Also below is a podcast episode where we describe how to find a good dealer as well as a critique of Shiloh and Aspect construction.

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/recommended-kitchen-designers-cabinet-dealers-outside-service-area/

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-28-finding-a-kitchen-designer/

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/calls-with-paul-the-kitchen-design-podcast-episode-39-shiloh-kitchen-design/

  34. Bret

    How would you compare Kith Eudora line compared to CNC or Fabuwood frameless?

    Thank you

  35. Lynette

    Hi there. I am looking at Fabuwood stained cabinets but reviews are not so great. Your thoughts?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Lynette,
      The previous answer to Steph applies: Pasted again below:

      All cabinet reviews from customers should generally be ignored. People are more likely to complain than praise and usually customer complaints are due not to product issues but to problems that will happen with every cabinet brand. Or they are caused by ignorance, poor contractor installation, delivery damage, or designer error. Most important is that the cabinet company does not guaranty your cabinets the cabinet dealer does.

      Reps can come out from the cabinet company but for example one customer complained on Facebook that after she installed the J&K cabinet the rep wouldn’t replace a damaged door. Most cabinet brands would not replace a door to a cabinet unless they had a photo of the damage before installation. Otherwise contractors or home owners could damage many cabinets after installation and get replacements when the cabinet brand was not at fault. The act of installation is generally considered an act of acceptance.

      Better dealers like our company will warranty doors even installed. However that is not the industry standard. People constantly complain their painted cabinets are chipping while their previous stained cabinets lasted 30 years. That is true with ALL cabinets. Painted cabinets easily chip, scratch, and are damaged by water. Stained cabinets do not. And consumers that expect otherwise are uninformed. J&K is also an inexpensive brand. So while the construction of their cabinetry is very durable, expecting the same level of perfection you would get from a brand twice as expensive is misguided. We like Fabuwood the best of all these well-made inexpensive brands but J&K is a good choice as well.

      Below are some relevant blogs:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/kitchen-cabinet-brand-comparison/
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/hard-compare-kitchen-cabinet-brands/

  36. Lynette

    Hi there. I am looking at Fabuwood cabinets but reviews are not so great. Your thoughts?

  37. Steph

    Had J&K on my list based on your review but digging deeper, their FB reviews leave much to be desired – yikes! Wondering how they get such a great rating from you?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Steph,
      All cabinet reviews from customers should generally be ignored. People are more likely to complain than praise and usually customer complaints are due not to product issues but to problems that will happen with every cabinet brand. Or they are caused by ignorance, poor contractor installation, delivery damage, or designer error. Most important is that the cabinet company does not guaranty your cabinets the cabinet dealer does.

      Reps can come out from the cabinet company but for example one customer complained on Facebook that after she installed the J&K cabinet the rep wouldn’t replace a damaged door. Most cabinet brands would not replace a door to a cabinet unless they had a photo of the damage before installation. Otherwise contractors or home owners could damage many cabinets after installation and get replacements when the cabinet brand was not at fault.

      Better dealers like our company will warranty doors even installed. However that is not the industry standard. People constantly complain their painted cabinets are chipping while their previous stained cabinets lasted 30 years. That is true with ALL cabinets. Painted cabinets easily chip, scratch, and are damaged by water. Stained cabinets do not. And consumers that expect otherwise are uninformed. J&K is also an inexpensive brand. So while the construction of their cabinetry is very durable, expecting the same level of perfection you would get from a brand twice as expensive is misguided. We like Fabuwood the best of all these well made inexpensive brands but J&K is a good choice as well.

      Below are some relevant blogs:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/kitchen-cabinet-brand-comparison/
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/hard-compare-kitchen-cabinet-brands/

  38. Anne

    Hi. We are renovating our kitchen and about to choose cabinetry. Your ratings chart says that you might be changing your grade for Shiloh cabinets. Do you have any update to share or know when one will be available? We are considering a Shiloh painted cabinet. Thanks so much for all of your helpful information!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Anne,
      I removed the note on our Shiloh rating as the rating was upgraded to the 4 B B rating when the back of the cabinet changed slightly. Their hanging rail remains oddly narrow but the back of the cabinet is slightly thicker.

      1. Anne

        Thanks for your prompt reply!

      2. Brian

        Our contractor will be installing Shiloh in a few weeks. Are there any instructions I can give him to compensate for the hanging rail narrow issue?

        1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

          Hi Brian,
          Yes, Since the hanging rail is so thin and it is what attaches the cabinet to the wall there are two things I would do.

          First and most importantly you MUST predrill every screw hole so that the hanging rail isn’t split by the screw. Plus you must shim behind the hanging rail so that the screw doesn’t pull and bow the hanging rail as it tightens to the wall. That could separate the back of the cabinet from the sides.

          Secondly if you want to extra careful you could add a second wider hanging rail just below the base hanging rail and the top wall cabinet and tall cabinet hanging rails. I would do this at the very least on cabinets that will take a lot of weight or on wall cabinets that are not in a longer cabinet run where many cabinets can “share the load”. 1″ x 2″ (so actually 3/4″ by 1″1/2″) Popular wood would look OK and not be expensive.

          The inside of the cabinet will not look quite as nice but no one will see the second rail on the base cabinets and tall cabinets.

          It is a mystery why Shiloh makes their cabinets differently than everyone else that uses a hanging rail system. And in my mind there is no excuse.

          However if you do these things you will be fine. And Shiloh does seem to do everything else well and their finishes are very nice.

          We throw Shiloh “under the bus” in our reviews because no one should need to take these precautions when installing their cabinetry and certainly almost no contractors are taking these steps when installing their customer’s cabinetry.

        2. Brian

          “….certainly almost no contractors are taking these steps when installing their customer’s cabinetry”

          They will for me. Thanks to you.

  39. Mike

    Hi Paul – I see you have a rating for the St Martin, but only the frameless (which I know you score lower). Do you have any insight/opinions about their framed options?? Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mike,
      On the St Martins website they say they only make frameless cabinetry. If they aren’t even mentioning that they make framed cabinetry I would be Leary ordering them.

  40. Steph

    Paul, can we get your feedback on menards.com? Didn’t it on your list, they carry Medallion and also KLËARVŪE and Cardell. Looking for your opinion on the latter two. Thanks Paul!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Both Klearview and Cardell look like bad investments. Medallion is a good brand but it is very expensive. So if you are looking to save money I would find a a more professional dealer that sell inexpensive quality cabinetry.

  41. Stephanie Meyers

    Hello Paul, such a great resource! May I get your feedback on thatcabinetcompany .com? Trying to go locally but not enough info on them to help us decide. Thanks so much for your time!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Stephanie,
      RTA cabinets bought online is always a bad idea. You save only a little money and have have to assemble the cabinets yourself and work with non professionals designing and ordering.

  42. Mujib

    Hi Paul,

    Are you familiar with Reform (reformcph)? It seems a little Ikea-ish to me, but they have a showroom near me in a center where several other high end furniture/home stores are.

    https://www.reformcph.com/us

    Also, what are your thoughts on the two or three brands that Costco offers?

    Thanks,

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mujib,
      Don’t know it. I agree it looks like IKEA so we wouldn’t probably recomend it.

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