Kitchen Cabinet ratings for 2017. Reviews of the top selling cabinet lines.

Replies to “Kitchen Cabinet ratings for 2017. Reviews of the top selling cabinet lines.”

  1. Kare

    Looking to remodel our kitchen and wondering what line would fall between Schrock (entra) and decora? Those are the two the cabinet guy priced out for us and there’s a 50% diff between them, leading me to believe there’s gotta be something more midline

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Kare,
      Comparing cabinet brands and finding the cabinet line that is best value for your kitchen is far more complicated than pricing cabinetry would suggest. For example, were you looking for a shaker door style in a white, gray, or indigo painted finish then the Fabuwood cabinet brand would be less expensive than both the Masterbrand lines you mention and would be as well constructed and look better than Decora. If you wanted a maple natural or stained finish than Fabuwood wouldn’t even have anything similar. Upgrades that you choose can also determine if a line makes sense. The design of your kitchen and the cabinetry sizes you need for the design can also determine what brand has those sizes and how much you pay for any customization. For example, even in a generally inexpensive brand like the Fabuwood, getting a custom color and custom sizes can drive the cost of the cabinets past the most expensive custom cabinet brands.

      This is why it is so difficult for home owners to be informed enough to shop for cabinets. Generally, it makes more sense instead to be shopping for a cabinet dealer and designer. Below is a blog on this topic:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/price-comparing-kitchen-cabinets-and-why-it-is-a-bad-idea/

  2. R. Alton

    We did our kitchen 20 years ago and are looking to redo it again. At the time I used Crystal Cabinets but I understand that they have really jumped up in price. I absolutely love the product because our cabinets still look great. All I have done over the years is had them reconditioned twice. Now that Crystal has a more affordable line, how does it compare to the original?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi R,
      A well designed kitchen should still be functional and in style after 20 years. I know that I would be upset if I found out that customers that listened to my advice were redoing their kitchen 20 years latter. So I think that particularly here my best advice would be to spend your efforts finding a good kitchen designer first, and worry about cabinet brands second. If the designer and cabinet dealer are both good they will carry a good line and working with them will be the better investment than focusing on a particular brand.

  3. JuneS

    Between Shiloh and Mouser-centra/premier , which one has better quality?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi June,
      Our 2020 cabinet rating reviews both. Shiloh we rate poorly due to a hanging rail deficiency. Their cabinet can be modified in the field to fix the problem but as is, it is insufficient.

  4. Jen

    Anyone have any experience with Diamond (prestige) from Lowe’s.
    How does it compare to Kraftsmaid?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jen,
      Do you mean Diamond Prelude sold at Lowes? In general Diamond is not an inexpensive line and should be similar to Kraftmaid in price. Having a kitchen designed by a home center can be problematic. This blog explains:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/why-you-shouldnt-buy-a-kitchen-from-home-depot-or-lowes/

  5. Ann

    I would love some advice about Harmoni cabinets. Do you think they are good quality and worth getting?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Ann,
      I know nothing about Harmoni and their web site gives no specifications on construction. They are frameless cabinetry though, and we only recomend frameless lines for contemporary slab doors. Any other door style a framed line would be a better choice.

  6. Marianne

    Have you heard of ecowood USA cabinets?
    Looking at their Cambridge product, your opinion is highly appreciated .
    http://samedaycabinets.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Final-Ecowood-Catalog.compressed.pdf

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Marianne,
      I have not heard of Eco USA cabinets. They are obviously imported and not made in the USA. The construction that they describe sounds good but so many of these lines are springing up that if they aren’t sold at cabinet dealers and are only sold out of warehouses, as Eco USA is, then not only are you not getting a qualified kitchen designer to work with but you really have no warranty because the company didn’t exist such a short time ago. While I’m OK with imports in general I would have to see touch and feel this line to have confidence in them. And since they aren’t sold at a reputable cabinet dealer I have to be very skeptical sight unseen.

  7. Marianne

    Have you heard of cabinets?
    I am Looking at their Cambridge product:
    All wood cabinets
    Soft close doors and drawers
    Full extension dovetail drawer backs
    Matching finished interior
    ¾ all wood shelves
    ⅝ plywood sides
    What do you think?
    I am not sure about this cabinet paint/finish, is it sustainable with heavy kitchen use?
    your opinion is highly appreciated, thank you

  8. Lyn Trombley

    I am comparing Waypoint to Shenandoah and my research indicated they are the same cabinets made by the same manufacturer just rebranded for Lowes. You ave them at different price points. This raised the question of equitable pricing in my mind. How can one tell if a quote is in the ballpark. I read in an old blog elsewhere by an x cab distributor that he pays somewhere around 25-35% of list. Of course who knows what list is/was but there seems to be a bit of room there for overhead and profit.
    I am price shopping both and am very willing to pay higher for Waypoint as the designer has worked hard for me. However it will be interesting to see the price difference if any.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Lyn,
      Unless Lowes recently changed it, Shenandoah is in fact rebranded Timberlake. It is also rebranded and called American Woodmark at Home Depot. Each named brand shares many door styles and colors and also has a few dedicated only to them. Of course all style and color names are changed to make price shopping difficult.

      Customers that shop too much and don’t trust a good designer usually fall prey to the first unscrupulous kitchen designer they meet. This is because cabinet pricing is dependant on dozens of factors that customers are not knowledgeable enough to price compare accurately. Below are examples of changes a designer could make that would significantly lower the cost and that you might not understand:

      1 Not upgrading to plywood sides up to 15% less
      2 Not flushing out the sides of the end cabinets 5% less
      3 Not upgrading track Hardware 5% less
      4 Not adding Decorative doors %10 less
      5 Quoting a veneer raised center panel door instead of a solid wood raised center panel door 15% less
      6 Quoting a plywood center panel door instead of a solid wood one 15% less
      7 Quoting a standard overlay or partial overlay door instead of a full overlay door up to 25% less
      8 Different box upgrade for example 1/2″ instead of 3/4″ box. Or melamine interior instead of a plywood veneer interior. 5-10% less
      9 5/8″ thick shelves instead of 3/4″ 5-10% less
      10 5/8″ drawer box instead of 3/4″ drawer box less
      11 Soft maple, beech, or birch drawer box instead of a solid maple or walnut drawer box. 5-10% less
      12 Keeping the same stain or paint color but changing the species of wood from Cherry to Maple or Cherry to Alder or Maple to Birch 8% less
      13 Not including sales tax or shipping in the price to tack it on later. 6-10% less
      14 Not including the same amount or type of moldings in the cabinet order up to 10% less
      15 Not including scribe molding or even an extra touch up kit that good designers will always include. 1% less
      16 Selling you what “apples to apples” is a more expensive cabinet brand but downgrading like the list above to give you a worse product at a worse price. But you believe you got “a deal” on a more expensive brand.
      17 Lets just say be VERY suspicious of sales that end shortly.

      All these things and more make finding a talented, ethical, and experienced kitchen designer FAR more important than shopping cabinet pricing. If fact using cabinet pricing as a criteria to purchase makes it likely a customer will get a bad design and a lower quality product at an inflated price.

      For example Main Line Kitchen Design actually sells cabinets for less than home centers and most other dealers but we never quote pricing on a design another dealer has done, simply because there is no winning without deceiving the customers that get on this pricing train.

      When you don’t value the most important part of the process IE the designer, another less transparent designer will sell you what you deserve.

      So my short advice here would be to STOP your research on cabinet prices and brands and to instead research to find the best cabinet dealer and best designer.

      You can never learn enough on line to make you a truly knowledgeable consumer of cabinets. Findings a good dealer and designer is a better investment of your time. In fact the customers we meet that think from their research that they know better (we call them Knowbettas) are customers that are difficult to work with. Often kitchen designers have to stop giving good advice to Knowbettas because they contradict much of what we tell them due to bad information. At some point designers have to step back and not continually disagree with customers. We would never sell the kitchen if our interactions were adversarial.

      Below is a story about a family of Knowbettas:

      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/tale-two-kitchens-kitchen-renovation-smarts-knowbettas/

  9. Lyn Trombley

    Just FYI the links to your articles (ie managing regret, Las Vegas show etc) don’t seem to work and your cabinet rankings appear new but are not labeled 2019?

  10. Paul McAlary

    Hi Lyn,
    You can email me the design directly and I can forward it to the designer that is on duty Friday. Or just call Friday and email it to the person you are talking to Friday. My email is Paul@MainLineKitchenDesign.com

    Picking a designer is a great idea for a blog. Thanks so much.

    The short answer would be look for good reviews online and number of years designing. Always select designers that work for cabinet dealers and aren’t independent. Architects and interior designers are not Kitchen Designers unless that’s all they do.

    Designers that work for dealers will be better and their time is incorporated into the cabinetry they sell. Good designers give you lots of information and never rubber stamp your ideas. They don’t ask you to tell them…… they want to show you what you should consider and then discuss your choices.
    Good designers know that moving things around and removing walls or moving doorways is not what breaks your budget.The selections you make for cabinetry, appliances, and countertops will normally put you over budget. And while it’s nice to have the exact color cabinet or appliance you like it doesn’t make your home more valuable. The best kitchen design does that.

    Most of all, good kitchen designers will never work with you without measuring your home themselves. They will not take other peoples measurements EVER. If you find a kitchen designer that won’t take your measurements and tells you he or she doesn’t think something you want to do is a good idea, then you can be assured that they have your best interest at heart. The easy path is just giving people what they say they want.

  11. Lyn Trombley

    Also, it would be so great to have a “how to choose a designer” article with questions (and the right answers). I have had a rough time with this part and (I suspect) people choose a designer bases on who they like rather than any objective system. Just a thought for your already overloaded work schedule I’m sure.

  12. Lyn Trombley

    Thank you so much. I am only considering Waypoint upgraded line thanks to your training site.
    If I would like you to advise on a design, how do I get it to you and then do you have a contact line for Friday 2-4?

  13. Lyn

    I am learning so much here and am anxiously awaiting publication of your 2019 ratings of cabinets. Any idea when they will be published?
    I’d like to compare Fabuwood with my current estimate on Waypoint. Do all of Fabuwoods lines meet your minimum spec requirements?
    I’m on my 3rd designer, I give them the min specs for cabs and they send me what they want to sell.Designs are all over the place. Do you ever look at designs out of your area?
    Thanks for all you do!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Lyn,
      We look at designs and give advice every Friday between 2 and 4pm EST free of charge.
      We are working on the 2020 ratings now and I’m hoping to post them within two weeks.
      All the Fabuwood lines are well built but the Value Line is a little less so. The Value line also offers fewer cabinet sizes.
      Waypoint will offer more wood varieties than Fabuwood but you would need to upgrade Waypoint to a Plywood box and soft close doors and drawer to equal all the Regular Fabuwood lines. Upgrade Waypoint beats the Fabuwood value line by a little due to Fabuwoods thinner shelves.
      Thanks,
      Paul

  14. Mark

    Have you ever heard of a cabinet company named “USA Cabinets”?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mark,
      They look like a cabinet dealer located in Virginia and not a cabinet line. However they sell primarily Solid Wood Cabinets and Solid Wood went bankrupt in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago. Watch out.

  15. Terry

    Are Dura Supreme vanities any good?

    1. ITSAdmin

      Hi Terry,
      That depends. I would only order upgraded DuraSupreme framed cabinetry and not their frameless line. Also since DuraSupreme did not honor their warranty to one of our customers I would make sure that the dealer you were buying from had a stellar reputation as the only reliable warranty you will get will be from the dealer.

  16. Paul McAlary

    Fabuwood Fusion Blanc would be the best value. But if you like another color and style more you would have to determine if the price difference was worth the additional cost. All the cabinet construction and finishes are very close in quality and durability.

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