Main Line Kitchen Design
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Below is our comprehensive list of the top selling cabinet manufacturers in the United States

NOTE: The new 2021 Comprehensive Cabinet Rankings are now available Click Here

Please go to our home page in the tabs above to learn more about our company if you are within our service area.

The top selling cabinet manufacturers in the United States and how they rank for construction quality and for value considering the price point of each cabinet line. Price point is rated from 1 to 6 with 6 being the most expensive cabinetry on the market.

We rate cabinetry assuming each line is upgraded to the top level of construction available. A grade of A for construction quality will not be equal across different price levels, as the more expensive price point cabinets will have far nicer finishes and construction options.


The value grade we give is not a rating about the quality of the cabinetry but a rating of how good an investment a cabinet line is considering it’s cost. For example, many of the most expensive well made cabinet lines receive lover marks on value even though as designers we think the cabinetry is the best in it’s class. These lines receive lower grades on value simply because there are competitors offering the same quality at slightly lower prices.

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.

Cabinet Lines
Cabinet line
Price level 1-6     Quality     Value
6 Square 2 B+ B+
American Woodmark 3 B C+
Aristocraft 2 C C
Bertch 4 A A-
Bishop 4 A A-
Bishop Frameless 5 B B+
Bremtown 6 A+ C
Brighton 4 A A+
Brookhaven Closed Closed A B
Cabico 4 B B
Candlelight 4 A A
Canyon Creek 3 B B
CNC 1 B+ A
Collier 5 A B-
Crystal 5 A+ A
Decora 4 A A
Design-Craft 4 B B
Diamond 4 B B
Durasupreme 5 B+ B
Durasupreme frameless 3 C C
(Omega)Dynasty Frameless 4 B C
(Omega)Dynasty Pinnacle Framed 5 A B
Fabuwood 2 A A
Fabuwood Frameless 3 B A+
Fieldstone 4 A B+
Grabill 6 A+ B
Haas 3 B B
Hanssem 1 B+ B
Homecrest 3 B+ B
IKEA (frameless) 1 C C
Innermost framelss 3 B B
Kabinart 3 D D
Kemper 3 B C
Kitchencraft Frameless 3 C B
Kith 3 B+ C+
Kountry Kraft framed 6 A B
Kountry Kraft frameless 6 B B
Kraftmaid 4 B+ A
Legacy 3 B+ C-
LifeArt 1 C+ A
Marsh 2 B+ B
Medallion 5 B+ C+
Merillat 2 C D
Mid Continent 2 C C
Mouser 5 A A-
Mouser Frameless 5 B A
Ovation 4 B C
Plain and Fancy 6 A B
Poggenpohl frameless 6 B C
QuakerMaid frameless 4 B B
Rutt 6 A+ A
Schrock 3 B B
Schuler 5 B+ C+
Shenandoah 3 B C+
Shiloh 4 C C
Showplace 3 B+ B-
Solid Wood Cabinets 1 A A
Starmark 4 A B+
Stylecraft 6 A+ B+
Thomasville* 4 B- C-
Timberlake 3 B C+
Ultracraft Frameless 2 C C
Village 5 A A
Waypoint 2 B B
Wellborn 4 A A
Wellsford 5 A+ A+
Wolf 1 B+ B+
Woodharbor 4 B+ C
Woodmode Closed Closed A A-
Yorktowne 3 C D

* Note: Home Depot can change who manufactures this line although Masterbrands has been
manufacturing the line under the Thomasville name for over ten years.

Remember that choosing the designer, the cabinet dealer, and the installer you are working with is just as important as the cabinet line.

Call in to our recorded Podcast 2-4 pm Fridays Eastern Standard Time to ask cabinetry and design questions. Have designs ready to email for layout advice. Call 610-500-4071

Are you looking for more general reviews of cabinetry from 2015 explaining types of cabinetry construction?

Types of cabinetry construction

For those sensitive to the fumes new cabinetry can give off:

Learn more

Hoping you make all the right choices…and of course…Bon Appetit!

Main Line Kitchen Design

Paul, John, Stacia, Ed, Tom, and Julie


  1. Erica cook, April 24, 2018 at 4:36 pm:

    Do you think waypoint or green forest is a better option to go with? Can you tell me how you would rate green forest so I can compare? Thanks!

  2. pmcalary, April 23, 2018 at 9:17 am:

    Hi Margret,
    You are in our service area. People inside our service area we believe are best served working with us.

    To answer your question. Kraftmaid doesn’t have a metal L bracket on their drawers so I have no idea what you are looking at. Please ask these questions to the designers at the locations you are at. If you are working with A&C kitchens that is fine but they should be the ones helping you.

  3. Margaret Reilly, April 23, 2018 at 7:28 am:

    Do you know why Kraftmaid drawers have an L shaped metal bracket screwed to the outside of the drawer even though it has dovetail construction?

  4. Erica Cook, April 21, 2018 at 1:51 pm:

    How would you rate Green Forest based on the system above? How does it compare to Waypoint and CNC?

  5. Erica, April 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm:

    Hiw would you say Green Forest would rate based on your system above? Also how does it compare to Waypoint ans CNC?

  6. pmcalary, April 21, 2018 at 9:20 am:

    It’s not durability that is the issue. Stained finishes from US companies just look nicer. Starmark has especially nice stains. Timberlake is OK upgraded for construction but their stains are only a little nicer than companies like Fabuwood and price wise you are getting closer to the more expensive but really nice finishes.

  7. pmcalary, April 21, 2018 at 9:17 am:

    WE Just started carrying Green Forest. They are well made and a great buy. Be careful of the fact that they do not make 36″ high wall cabinets. Using 39″ wall cabinets in a room with 8″ ceilings is asking for trouble.

  8. Erica cook, April 21, 2018 at 8:45 am:

    This blog is very helpful! My contractor is pushing Green Forest cabinets, any thoughts on this particular company? Thank you.

  9. Joan, April 20, 2018 at 6:21 pm:

    We are remodeling 3 full baths—the master is the only one really used very much. We are in mid range to upper neighborhood and probably not our forever house (maybe out in 5-7 yrs). We started looking at Timberlake but saw BBB rated them F and another review put them at 38 out of 39 so really not looking for problems. Also looked at Eschelon and Starmark and going to look at Fabuwood next week. Would you consider Asian companies for only painted cabinets—not stained? I think I’m the only one not looking at all white shaker cabinets! Does it really matter if I upgrade to 1/2” for the bathroom? how would you rank these lines in terms of cost and value? Like many others, I can’t thank you enough for your help! Also, do you have a recommendation in Charlotte, NC?

  10. pmcalary, April 19, 2018 at 3:05 pm:

    Sorry never heard of these lines.

  11. Linda Boles, April 19, 2018 at 12:38 pm:

    Do you know anything about Sollid Cabinetry or Salt International? We are looking for a modern frame less Cabinets.
    Also Era Cabinetry. Thanks

  12. Margaret Reilly, April 18, 2018 at 7:03 pm:

    Thank you. We do have an appointment at A and C kitchens in Chester this weekend which will be our third different place for a consultation. They sell Kraftmaid and Medallion. Everyone sells different brands so its hard to compare. I may be in touch, do you charge for the consult?

  13. pmcalary, April 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm:

    We service the Willmington Delaware area so I would recomend you started working with us. You are wasting your efforts trying to learn an industry over the internet. And helping you avoid getting good help wouldn’t be in your best interest. We only sell well made cabinetry and we are very reasonable for cabinets. And all our designers have decades of experience.

  14. Margaret Reilly, April 17, 2018 at 9:22 pm:

    More confused than ever, after a month of researching I am sitting here with catalogs from Timberlake, Kemper, Omega,Fabuwood, Brookhaven, Decora, Medallion, Kraftmaid, Merillat Masterpiece, Signature and Quality. Which in your opinion, have the best construction. We have a 15′ straight wall kitchen to remodel and I want well built cabinets. Have visited several kitchen shops, we live in Wilmington, Delaware. Thank you.

  15. pmcalary, April 17, 2018 at 2:10 pm:

    Hi Krystal,
    I think you need a better kitchen designers help.
    Brookhaven isn’t Frameless, Fabuwood doesn’t use a foil but a laminate on their slab doors, and the maximum slab length for a Quartz top is 10 feet.

  16. Krystal W, April 17, 2018 at 12:32 pm:

    Hi Paul, I have really enjoyed reading all the blogs. They’re so informative but I am still a bit lost. Our house is very modern and I need to go with frameless to match it. We are building an island (about 12 ft x 4 ft) with white gloss slab front and a white quartz counter. Our other cabinets are a frameless dark espresso slab. I have found a really good kitchen designer but her company only works with higher end and if I stay with her, I will have to go with Brookhaven which is still on the higher end of what I want to pay. I have also looked at Fabuwood but I do not like the line around the cabinet as their’s uses foil. Do you have any other lines in mind that might do the trick? Thanks for any information!

  17. pmcalary, April 17, 2018 at 9:13 am:

    Omega Pinnacle are framed. Omega Dynasty are frameless.

  18. Margaret Reilly, April 17, 2018 at 9:02 am:

    Hello, we are looking at Omega Dynasty cabinets and the brochure says they are framed not frameless so I am confused by your statement that they are frameless. Am I missing something? Thanks!

  19. pmcalary, April 16, 2018 at 7:49 am:

    Depends on the door style and color you are selecting and how long you will stay which line makes the most sense. Generally for a painted white shaker cabinet that’s the most popular style now I would stick with Fabuwood. For stains I would probably spend the extra money on Decora. You can call Fridays between 2 and 4pm and we help people outside our area research to find designers or review cabinets we don’t already review.

  20. pmcalary, April 16, 2018 at 7:42 am:

    Not sure what you are asking

  21. DCV, April 16, 2018 at 6:20 am:

    We have few Kitchen builders who came over but it looks like they want more money. if you compare the price in the Kitchen showrooms near us.The demolitions is way up high . I really appreciate your opinion.

  22. DCV, April 16, 2018 at 6:15 am:

    Hi Paul, in your point of vies. Do you like Fabuwood in your kitchen Or Decora or Kraftmaid. Pick one for me . Which place and good recommendation about KD in my area Bergen county NJ .Please help me. We live in a flood zone. If we sell our home in the next 5 yrs? Do you think its worth is to get money back for our investment? I also want to have nice kitchen since this house is a 45 yrs old.Let me know your idea please Thank you

  23. pmcalary, April 14, 2018 at 9:51 am:

    Fabuwood should be about 15 to 20% more than CNC. If you are flipping a house it’s not worth it. If you will be in it longterm I would pay 20% more for the nicer finish. Assuming that the Fabuwood dealer is reputable. They have some clunkers.

  24. Josh, April 13, 2018 at 5:50 pm:

    Looking through the various posts, I see you recommend CNC for quality but are not as impressed with their finish options. Does that apply to all CNC lines? We are looking at the Concord line and the finishes looked nice to us. Also, from a quality perspective, do you see a big difference between CNC and Fabuwood? Based on initial pricing we’ve received from a local cabinet retailer (in Baltimore), it seems Fabuwood would be about $5K more, which we’d be willing to pay if we’re getting significantly better quality (but from a design/finish perspective, we are happy with either). Thanks.

  25. pmcalary, April 12, 2018 at 4:14 pm:

    Easy answer Fabuwood. It is the best value on the market today.

  26. Vanessa, April 12, 2018 at 7:10 am:

    Hello I am interested in purchasing cabinets at a local cabinet place. They sell the brand FMG, but not too much information is provided online. They looked sturdy and are inexpensive but can’t decide. My other two options are kraftmaid or fabuwood. I need a simple white shaker style cabinet, but and want the cabinet to be sturdy but also not have a cheap feel. Please let me know your opinion

  27. pmcalary, April 10, 2018 at 5:31 pm:

    Hi Jane,
    Single sentence answers are what we can handle online in general. Or design philosophy or shopping strategy. Possibly if you are near one of the dealers we recommend below they could help you first hand. Otherwise what we can help people with outside our service area is pretty limited. Link to recomended dealers below:

  28. Jane Morgan, April 9, 2018 at 9:17 pm:

    I’ve tried to read as much of this as I could! I’m getting everything twisted so I am just going to ask my question. I want a good mid grade cabinets and island. I’ve researched Diamond (reviews don’t look great but your site says to upgrade and they will be okay) and I like the doors and finishes, kraftmaid (which seems to be a fav but should be upgraded to make sure it’s also all plywood) and lastly waypoint. All would be in maple with a mid grey painted finish. So far, I have a price back on waypoint which is about 21k~more than I was hoping for and that is just cabinets. No install, no extras. I don’t want to do Lowe’s or Home Depot for kraftmaid. I’d have to search for a different designer as I’m waiting for am estimate on Diamond from the other…any recommendations or comments about the 3? I feel like I’ve been studying for finals about flooring and cabinets trying to plan this build and thank goodness Cali Bamboo is on sale. Otherwise, I may continue living in this barn (no kidding! We thought we’d be in a house by now a threw up a pole barn to stay in while we built but the husband’s knee replacement got infected. If I don’t come up with something good price wise I may just order a casket!)

  29. pmcalary, April 8, 2018 at 10:21 am:

    Clique Studios out of Michigan is a pretty well made cabinet and reasonably priced per cabinet. But designing and buying a kitchen over the internet almost assures that it is poorly designed and that unforeseen issues will arise that there will be no one local to help you with. We get sent their designs on occasion and they are always terrible and not cost efficient. Saving money this way on cabinetry never makes sense unless the home is tiny and the cabinets are under $4,000 and so the design is so simplistic that very little can go wrong.

    Once you start adding moldings and using wall cabinets higher than 30″ and pantries you are in trouble if a good local kitchen designer isn’t assisting in designing and purchasing the cabinets. Customers send us designs every week and over 95% of the designs we see aren’t just poor they are terrible. Usually because less experienced people are in my opinion arrogantly thinking they they are qualified to design a kitchen.

    Every professional kitchen designer know that it take unusual talent and many years experience exclusively designing kitchens to be even competent at designing kitchens much less good. Even it the design is adequate without outright design mistakes without professional assistance nearly all customers will buy cabinet styles, accessories and colors that don’t go together. For example, they will mix traditional cabinetry with contemporary backsplash tile or a chimney hood.

    Our video below makes fun of the people that think they know better and don’t need the help of a kitchen designer. The video makes fun of engineers who, along with architects, are the worst at designing kitchens.

  30. Angela G, April 8, 2018 at 9:03 am:

    Hello, I was wondering if I could get your input on cliq studios based out of CA. I love how they help you design your kitchen, but I was wondering about the quality in comparison to solid wood cabinets from PA and fabuwood.

  31. pmcalary, April 7, 2018 at 8:17 am:

    See our 2017 cabinet review. Both Kraftmaid and Starmark upgraded are good lines

  32. pmcalary, April 6, 2018 at 9:34 am:

    I don’t know Smithpoint and prefer the more durable Framed cabinetry to Frameless. Upgraded Marsh framed would be the most cost effective and durable choice on your list.

  33. Janet, April 5, 2018 at 8:47 pm:

    Your blog is very helpful–thank you! We visited one of your recommended designers in Greensboro, NC who carry Smithport Cabinetry. Do you have any opinions on them since they aren’t on your list? The ones we looked at are frameless 3/4 plywood. We are looking for durability in a long-term home and are doing installation ourselves (husband is a carpenter). We’re looking for white, painted shaker doors and considering Smithport, Marsh or Kraftmaid from Lowes. We prefer made in the USA and local but also looking to be cost effective. Thank you!

  34. pmcalary, April 1, 2018 at 1:43 pm:

    Less expensive cabinet lines have limited options for desk and vanity cabinetry. I’d try a local dealer or home center. Here are dealers we recomend:

  35. Bob in MA, April 1, 2018 at 9:12 am:

    Hi – I’m looking for cabinetry outside the kitchen. We have a master bath that requires two vanities and a makeup desk in between. The tricky part is a mudroom where we’re looking to install some 28.5″ height desk cabinetry. A couple of dealers we’ve spoken to have steered us toward Medallion, Showplace, and Shrock. I’ve looked into Conestoga online and other RTA dealers, but very few have the desk height stock that we’re looking for. Wondering specifically if Fabuwood carries this height? If not, could you recommend others that make desk height cabinets? Thanks very much,

  36. pmcalary, March 29, 2018 at 8:11 pm:

    Your contract is not with Fabuwood. It is with the dealer you are buying the cabinets from. If they are disreputable don’t be surprised if you have a bad experience. If you are taking another dealers plans you might deserve what you get.

  37. Amy, March 29, 2018 at 7:32 pm:

    There are previous posts about shady Fabuwood dealers. As long as I have a good design from a good designer familiar with Fabuwood, does it really matter which Fabuwood dealer I use? What makes one shady? I recently found a Fabuwood dealer practically around the corner and it would be very convenient to use them.

  38. pmcalary, March 29, 2018 at 5:56 pm:

    Inset cabinets in the past used hinges that were non adjustable. So any expansion or contraction of the wood or settling of a home could cause doors to bind or at least make the gaps between the door and the frame out of square.

    Today most people choose 6 way adjustable hidden hinges on inset doors. Using these hinges if doors swell or shrink the hinges can be easily adjusted to reduce the effect. Because of this I worry much less. Unfortunately these same hinges also allowed inexpensive cabinet companies that couldn’t make cabinetry to the required exactness able to sell inset cabinetry. While I don’t worry about expensive mass produced and kiln dried custom inset cabinetry using 6 way adjustable hinges in moist environments, I do worry about any inexpensive line that tries to sell inset cabinetry. It is an unforgiving way to make cabinets. Only high end lines will succeed doing it.

  39. Dave, March 29, 2018 at 4:28 pm:

    My wife and I really like inset cabinetry. We live near the water in Michigan and get a lot of expansion and contraction in our wood floor and crown moldings during the different seasons. I was told inset cabinetry would be a poor choice because of this. I would appreciate your opinion.

  40. pmcalary, March 29, 2018 at 8:32 am:

    Sorry Jayne it is a Masterbrand cabinet and has nothing to do with the Thomasville Furniture Company. It has been made over the years by Mills Pride, Timberlake (American Woodmark) and for the last 10 years or so by Masterbrands.

    Interestingly it was the first deceptively remarketed cabinet line. Prior to remarketing Thomasville Home Depot and Lowes used made up names to remarket cabinets like American Wookmark, Shenendoah, and Schuler. After the success of rebranding Thomasville Home depot started rebranding other things like their GE Water Heaters that have nothing to do with General Electric. Why companies are willing to hurt their brand for a payoff by a Home Center is probably routed in short term goals of CEO’s, but that’s another story.

    Thinking you know our industry better than professionals doesn’t bode well for your potential home renovation. Here is a blog about people that think they know better:

  41. Jayne, March 29, 2018 at 8:13 am:

    You are nor correct about Home Depot’s Thomasville Line. That is not rebranded. It is Thomasville

  42. pmcalary, March 27, 2018 at 9:14 am:

    Hi Pam,
    As I told you over the phone, you can call us between 2 pm and 4 pm on Fridays and a designer can look for a dealer in your area. We offer this service to people outside our service area as a courtesy. When you tell us you can’t wait until Friday it makes me wonder why we do things for free for so many people. Some people can’t be helped not because there aren’t avenues or services to help them but because they lack either the patience or the willingness to take the generous unbiased advice they ask for.

  43. Pam Weston, March 26, 2018 at 4:37 pm:

    Your site is a treasure trove. However, now being located out here in the boonies of the Tucson, AZ. area where early American is the style in more ways than one, is proving to be a handicap. I’m looking for frameless cabinets with slab doors that can be ordered with a warm light stain on Maple doors. Like to stay with price point below 4. I checked all the cab’s. you recommended but they don’t seem to have what I wanted. I can’t seem to get a dealer list from the Quakermaid website. I’d rather find a good dealer than use a big box store because I value the expertise. Can you suggest something?

  44. pmcalary, March 26, 2018 at 10:02 am:

    Contemporay cabinetry like the very expensive Poggenpohl will be European frameless construction and so they will not be able to get above a B for construction quality in our rating system. Woodmode is a far more durable line because it is a well constructed framed line. However if you want very modern styles and slab doors in foils or other artificial surfaces they will look better and only come in frameless lines. If you go ultra modern I don’t know that it is important for your cabinetry to last 40 years as it will completely unfashionable in 20 years. Timeless and modern don’t coexist. If the kitchen is designed understanding frameless cabinetry’s limitations some of the contemporary finishes and the cabinets can still last a very long time. But don’t expect foil finishes and exotic veneers to make it much farther than 20 years.

  45. Barbara Mackey, March 26, 2018 at 9:49 am:

    I am in the process of designing a new home,which will be much more contemporary than my current home, in which I have Woodmode cabinetry. I love the cabinetry, but the design people were not very helpful – since I am going very contemporary I was thinking of using Poggenpohl, and wonder how they compare in quality to Woodmode.

  46. pmcalary, March 26, 2018 at 9:22 am:

    The cabinets not surprisingly go up in quality just like the prices. On bath cabinets the construction doesn’t matter as much. However don’t expect the same level of quality control from way less expensive cabinetry, You may wait a while for replacement parts from these two less expensive lines.

  47. Nancy, March 25, 2018 at 9:30 pm:

    I am looking for a comparison of Forevermark, CNC, and Bertch for bathroom cabinets in painted white. The prices I was quoted go in order from lowest to highest. All were quoted in solid wood. Thank you.

  48. pmcalary, March 25, 2018 at 1:58 pm:

    Hi Luna,
    Here is our list of recommended dealers, Hopefully one is close to you.

  49. Luna, March 25, 2018 at 12:19 pm:

    Where can I find a kitchen designer to work with high quality cabinets mentioned in the list ?
    How to shop for a good designer

  50. pmcalary, March 24, 2018 at 10:45 pm:

    Hi Jean,
    It turns out after examining our review that we would rate the cabinet slightly differently, considering that we mistook the price point that Woodharbor is sold and didn’t see all it’s upgrades. Overall it can be better constructed IF it is upgraded and would rate a B+ barely. But because it still isn’t an A in construction and is more expensive than we thought it is even a worse value. We left the value rating a C but it is a lower C. Wellborn upgraded to either the Select or Estate line is a significantly better constructed cabinet than Woodharbor. Hopefully the cabinet world will change and some of these lines that offer nicer finishes will elect to make their cabinets as durably as their less expensive but better constructed competition.

    The reason many high end lines have been able to offer poorly constructed entry level cabinet construction in the past is the fault of builders and kitchen designers that valued the sale above construction quality. Lines like Medallion, Fieldstone, Starmark, Diamond, Schuler, DuraSupreme all used to offer their higher end cabinets in 3/8″ MDF sides and backs. Expensive builders like Toll Brothers sold million dollar poorly designed homes in Yorktowne cabinetry with 3/8″ MDF sides and backs.

    Fortunately consumers are becoming better informed about cabinet construction, and this is forcing a change in our industry. Better constructed US/Asian lines are also shaming US brands into building better cabinetry.

    Unfortunately consumers are also becoming misled about kitchen design and the renovation process by terrible remodeling shows on HGTV. See our scathing blog on remodeling shows below:

  51. pmcalary, March 24, 2018 at 10:25 pm:

    Great input. Thanks and we are looking into it.

  52. Jean, March 24, 2018 at 3:22 pm:

    I am a kitchen designer and we sell Woodharbor cabinetry (among others). We also sell Wellborn and Waypoint. A client just pointed out to me that “Wood Harbor” on your list had scores of 2 B C. I am wondering if the “Wood Harbor” on your list is a different company than the Woodharbor that we sell. Just on price alone, I would categorize Woodharbor at a 4, not a 2, and the other 2 scores would be A’s. It is higher priced than Wellborn (which you gave 4 A A) and the finish and construction are better. Can you please check this?

  53. pmcalary, March 24, 2018 at 12:05 pm:

    Forvermark doesn’t give enough information for us to grade them. They are an inexpensive made cabinet line with all plywood construction.

  54. Charles stoffel, March 24, 2018 at 11:52 am:

    My contractor has quoted “Forevermark” cabinets. I’m interested in a painted panel called Uptown White or glazed panel call Signature Pearl. know they come from China and have dovetail fronts but not any other information. Do you have any comments on these cabinets?

  55. pmcalary, March 20, 2018 at 8:21 pm:

    Merillat and Kraftmaid are both Masco Company products but they are very different lines. Possibly the the relationship is why Kraftmaid has been slipping of late but it is still a whole different animal than Merillat. Diamond and Kemper are both made by Masterbrands. While I don’t like Masterbrands their products have at least been giving the option to upgrade to better made construction. I still pick upgraded Kraftmaid in this bunch but the choice is getting tougher. Merillat and Kemper are definitely the lesser lines.

  56. Cindy, March 20, 2018 at 8:09 pm:

    The designer we are using for our kitchen remodel works for a cabinet dealer that sells Merillat. She said this is the exact same product as Kraftmaid, made in the same factory, just under a different name. Is this true? I notice your reviews of these two are very different. She also said the same about Kemper and Diamond. She is recommending we used Kemper, but I have seen a lot of bad reviews of this product. I would appreciate your input. Thank you.

  57. pmcalary, March 19, 2018 at 9:50 am:

    They are a small PA company that offers no construction information on their web site. There are many of these companies in upper Pennsylvania. Some are good, some are not, but nearly all of them know nothing about kitchen design so using their products requires an extra good kitchen designer to prevent designing with and ordering cabinetry that is problematic.

  58. pmcalary, March 19, 2018 at 9:42 am:

    Hi David,
    Builders usually severely over charge for any upgrades. Some builders as much as 300 percent of the value. By the way good kitchen designers almost never use 42″ wall cabinets so we can also guess that your design needs help.

  59. David, March 18, 2018 at 10:31 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    We are moving into a to be constructed townhome that is providing Wolf – Dartmouth cabinets in their offering. We would like to upgrade to Decora – Artisan but were told the upgrade would be an additional $19K. The kitchen is open concept with an island, and the only design change we requested are 42 upper cabinets. Does the $19K sound reasonable?
    Your input is appreciated.

  60. Paul, March 18, 2018 at 10:02 pm:

    Hello – does anyone have any experience with Aldephi cabinets? I was somewhat expecting to see them on the above list since they are in PA. I am considering them for my kitchen renovation, and any info would be Greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  61. pmcalary, March 18, 2018 at 8:19 am:

    Since our company doesn’t normally sell vanities I am less knowledgeable about what’s available. All three of these Vanity lines are nice. My guess would be that Strasser is the best constructed and Fairmont is the most stylish while still being well made. Bertch is the least expensive, a good value, and sold at Lowes.

  62. barbara coon, March 17, 2018 at 5:35 pm:

    Thanks so much for your very helpful information. Could you please comment on Strasser bathroom vanities verses Fairmont and Bertch. I am interested in white vanity for the bathroom.

  63. pmcalary, March 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm:

    Hi Joe,
    I don’t know the cabinet line but it sounds like you are getting a quote for expensive cabinetry and not that the mark up is unusually high. You need to work with a designer that will first explain to you what lines are expensive and why so that you can pick a line that makes sense for you. Expensive cabinet lines only make sense if the design itself requires it. Talking about how many linear feet of cabinetry you have tell me your design is most likely simple and wouldn’t require an expensive cabinet line.

  64. Joe, March 16, 2018 at 3:25 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Are you familiar with the following Brand? I got a quote recently from a Kitchen Designer. Total cabinet linear footage of my kitchen is about 24 linear feet, which I think is fairly small but I was quote for about 390 per linear feet. I read online that 200-500 is the pricing range for semi-custom cabinet, and since the ones I order are custom. I am not sure why the price I am quote is so high. I know my kitchen design is maple inset constructure with lazy susan and a garbage bin pull out. I am just trying to figure out if my kitchen designer has put a big markup on what the cabinet price should be. Any of your input is appreciated. Thanks.

  65. pmcalary, March 14, 2018 at 9:47 am:

    Hi Lucy,
    Usually doesn’t matter. MDF is probably less likely to have issues but any panel shrinkage should still be warrantied. If you have forced hot air heat and central air definitely get MDF. Some cabinet companies won’t honor their warranty if you don’t humidify your air.

  66. pmcalary, March 14, 2018 at 9:43 am:

    We recommend better dealer across the US including in Baltimore. Yorktowne is a builder grade cabinet used by contractors and builders with little concern about construction quality. Link to better dealers are below:

  67. Stephanie, March 14, 2018 at 3:56 am:

    Paul, thank you for all your work answering these questions and helping us make informed purchases. I see you did not score Yorktowne cabinetry well. I would love some more insight into what got it such low grades. We have a kitchen design center near here that uses it as it’s main line…we had a great customer service experience there, but were quoted what we thought was a very steep price for our cabinetry needs. The pricing seems to go along with your grade. Any suggestions for design centers in the Baltimore area dealing high quality but reasonably priced cabinets?

  68. Lucy, March 13, 2018 at 7:52 pm:

    Hi Paul, I am looking to purchase traditional shaker door in painted white. Going with slab drawer fronts. Regarding the doors, would it be better to go with a 1/4 veneer center panel or the 3/8 solid MDF panel?

  69. pmcalary, March 13, 2018 at 10:16 am:

    This is frameless cabinetry similar to IKEA. Not a fan of these type products. Get IKEA to be safe before this line.

  70. Amy, March 12, 2018 at 11:47 pm:

    Thank you for the great article and the generous amount of time you answer questions here.

    If possible, what grade would you give Scherrs?

    Also, any cabinet lines you like that use Walnut or Walnut Veneer fro slab doors?

  71. pmcalary, March 12, 2018 at 9:31 pm:

    Couple of issues. Even though Fabuwood is a good buy for kitchen cabinetry they have a very limited selection of vanities. Because of this you are forced to buy three cabinets from Fabuwood when a slightly more expensive line would carry a 60″ double vanity cabinet. This would be end up being less expensive, look slightly better and be easier to install.

    Second issue is that everyone wants two bowls for the convenience of two sinks. However they don’t consider that they give up useful countertop space, cabinet storage space, and that a single vanity looks better and functions better that two bowls. I always try to encourage customers to consider the single bowl for a 60″ or less vanity in a master bath. In a Jack and Jill bath two bowls is probably better with two or more children sharing the bathroom.

  72. NH, March 12, 2018 at 9:07 pm:

    Hello thank you for this wonderful blog. I listened to your advice and followed your ratings and chose the Fabuwood line for my kitchen. I am excited to have them installed. I am updating my bathroom as well and I haven’t seen any bathroom vanities I like that and the fact that many of them are very expensive for MDF products. I know your expertise is in kitchens but do you think I can use Fabuwood for my bathroom as well? I only have room for a 60 in double sink vanity. So I would have two 24 in bases and a 12 in drawer in between and would have to purchase my own sinks and counter-tops. I would love to hear your opinion. Thank you

  73. pmcalary, March 11, 2018 at 6:38 pm:

    On a painted cabinet there is little advantage to maple over birch. On stains the maple can be a more durable finish.
    Farm sinks require difficult installation for contractors. Paint can easily be damaged by water and farm sinks tend to let water drip onto the cabinet doors below the farm sink, ruining the paint on the tops of the doors over time.

  74. pmcalary, March 11, 2018 at 6:28 pm:

    Our thoughts are expressed in our ratings and all three are rated in this blog. Decora is the best choice.

  75. Amy, March 11, 2018 at 5:29 pm:

    Hi Paul. I am considering Fabuwood. Two questions: 1. Is there a considerable con to getting a birch cabinet line (like Fabuwood) vs. maple (like Wolf)? and 2. I am considering a farmhouse sink. You made mention to them possibly being problematic. Why would a farmhouse sink be problematic and would it be ok with the Fabuwood line? Thanks in advance!!

  76. Dbgiii, March 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm:

    Hi pmcalary:
    Have enjoyed your blog and have been giving me some good insight. Picking out cabinets is like picking out wallpaper.
    I have been Looking at cabinets for a full kitchen remodel. Have narrowed it down to Decora, Diamond and Kitchen Craft. The Diamond brand also comes in Diamond Vibe.
    Your thoughts?

  77. Cathy, March 5, 2018 at 10:33 pm:

    How would you rate Wellborn Forest Kitchen cabinetry? How does it compare to Showplace?

  78. pmcalary, March 3, 2018 at 8:47 am:

    Martha Stewart is a re-branded line which I don’t like. Decora and Kraftmaid are well made lines upgraded. White thremafoils for anything but a slab door have never been tasteful in my opinion and are very unpopular at the moment. You don’t give me a door style but I’ll assume it’s Shaker in which case I would select a solid wood door with an MDF recessed panel. In the lines you are considering hard maple is your only choice I believe. Asian birch or soft maple would be fine in other lines. US birch will show grain through the finish which some people like and if so that would be fine too.

  79. LOL, March 3, 2018 at 8:22 am:

    We are remodeling a kitchen in an extremely humid environment. We want white shakerish doors and will upgrade to all plywood construction. I am honestly confused about what material to use for the best durability and function considering the possible expansion and contraction of wood. We are looking at Decora or Kraftmaid for wood, Martha Stewart for Laminate or Kraftmaid Evercore for MDF. What material would you recommend and do you have better recommendations for brand if you recommend laminate or MDF? For wood, is one type of wood better than another in humodoty? Thank you so much in advance!

  80. pmcalary, March 3, 2018 at 8:04 am:

    MDF doors and drawer fronts will look nicer painted than solid wood doors but will easily be dented and scratched if you are hard om things.
    I would never use them in my home but I am very rough on everything. I have known families that had MDF doors and drawer fronts for decades without even a scratch. The cabinet boxes should always be solid wood and all plywood construction. But the doors and drawer fronts are really a case by case basis depending on how rough a family is on cabinetry fronts. If you do get MDF and you damage a door you can always get a custom made replacement even a decade later if the color has changed slightly and the door is no longer available from the manufacturer. It will just be expensive and a pain.

  81. Laura, March 3, 2018 at 3:33 am:

    This is a great article. My problem, however, is that it doesnt go into the different lines under the brands. We are buying and remodeling a condo in south Florida that is right between the beach and intracoastal with sliding glass doors all around. This means high humidity. Many people I talk to are scaring me to death about wood cabinets and losing function due to expanding and contracting. Others have said laminate peels in that environment. One recommendation is for Kraftmaid Evercore. Kraftmaid is not a bad brand but I dont know about Evercore specifically and MDF doesnt particularly thrill me. Any comments or suggestions? Or any woods that are less susceptible to expansion?

  82. pmcalary, March 1, 2018 at 5:25 pm:

    Decora has some nicer finishes and is a more custom line. Schrock upgraded to 1/2″ plywood sides would be fine. It really comes down to can you tell the difference in finish and is it worth it to you. Durability if upgraded to the same construction would be no different. Also some designs might not be able to be done in a cabinet line with less customization. But if the designs the same too than spending the extra money becomes harder to rationalize.

  83. Austin, March 1, 2018 at 5:12 pm:

    Paul, Thank you for such invaluable cabinetry information. My wife and I have sought a experienced designer in my Encinitas CA area and we were very pleased with the outcome. The designer showed us the specs and they meet your expressed level of full plywood/hardwood construction, I-beam dado upper sides for lower cabs, 3/4″ melamine coated full-depth shelving(white exterior cabs),5/8″ hardwood drawer box with dovetail joinery, under mounted soft-close Blum drawer glides,steel 6-way soft-close adjustable hinges,3/4″ hardwood face frame, full overlay cab doors, integrated toe-kick and limited lifetime warranty. The designer was encouraging us to go with Upgraded Shrock but also sold Decora which we were originally interested in and why we chose the designer’s company. The design for the two comparably built cabinet brands were $4K apart. My question is what could make up the difference in costs between the two brands? Both are made by Masterbrand cabinets.

  84. Paul McAlary, February 27, 2018 at 8:08 am:

    Hi Robin,
    I answered you directly I think, but the short answer for others reading this, is that 3/4″ dovetail drawer boxes are no better than 5/8″ You get a tiny bit less drawer space for no needed advantage in construction. Most companies have switched to “5/8 once that size hardwood became readily available.

  85. K. Fisher, February 27, 2018 at 7:23 am:

    Thank you Paul. Great advice!

  86. pmcalary, February 26, 2018 at 3:40 pm:

    Yikes! Kitchens are complex and the more experience you have the more you realize there is to know. Ordering a kitchen from Costco would be crazy. Ordering an appliance from them is fine – a complex kitchen design is not. This is why even though we all have decades of experience we DO NOT sell kitchen over the phone. We get asked to nearly every day. Selling kitchens by phone is unethical.

  87. K. Fisher, February 26, 2018 at 3:31 pm:

    Not responding to any comments, but want to mention this site is a wonderful resource. Your cabinet ratings have been invaluable to me since I started my dream kitchen quest!
    Do you have any information or input about Costco’s Tuscan Hills by Ultimo full-custom cabinetry? The samples sent seem to be very high quality but wondering if anyone has had experience with ordering on-line & phone with designers.

  88. Robin, February 25, 2018 at 8:51 am:

    Last question. In general, does the 1/8″ difference between 5/8 and 3/4 inch make a significant difference for the drawer box? We are finding that some companies tout the 3/4″ as obviously being superior. Thicker is probably better. But is it one of those areas of cost saving that should be considered or avoided? In other words, should we stay away from any company that uses 5/8″ for the drawer box? I so appreciate the time you are taking to answer these questions. We are hearing conflicting opinions from local dealers where we live — probably because they have a vested interest in making a sale.

  89. Paul McAlary, February 24, 2018 at 10:32 pm:

    Hi Robin,
    We think Shiloh is a poor choice. It is the back of the cabinet and the hanging rail that are sub standard. Cabinets will pull off the wall with any significant weight or stress. The other construction features are fine. Why they cheap out on this important feature is a mystery.

  90. Paul McAlary, February 24, 2018 at 10:23 pm:

    Hi Lucy,
    Not yet but it is in the works. They presently only have a slab shaker drawer front on a standard overlay shaker door that makes no sense since it is not really the combination that anyone wants.

  91. Lucy, February 24, 2018 at 8:50 pm:

    Does Fabuwood offer a full overlay white shaker style door with slab drawer front? Couldn’t find one on their website. Thanks

  92. Robin, February 24, 2018 at 4:09 pm:

    Thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I have one more question — a local cabinet shop is recommending Shiloh. What is your opinion of this cabinet-making company. Also, is there a noticeable difference between a drawer being 5/8″ vs 3/4″? It is only an 1/8 difference, but maybe in the cabinet world, that is significant. Shiloh comes 5/8″ but you can upgrade to 3/4″.

  93. pmcalary, February 24, 2018 at 10:13 am:

    Hi Robin,
    We do not mention online cabinet dealers because we don’t believe it is wise buying cabinets on line. The Clique Studios cabinetry is in fact well made for an inexpensive brand and is sold by dealers like ourselves under the name of 6 Square. However no reputable dealer would sell an inset cabinet for a whole kitchen from an inexpensive line like Clique Studios/6 Square. Return issues, terrible design choices, and bad advice such as selling their inset line are all reasons to buy cabinets through a local dealer.

    You can not make good decisions and have responsible people help you when you buy on line. This is why Main Line Kitchen Design does not sell cabinets farther away then is convenient for our customers to drive. We are asked to sell cabinets outside our service area nearly every day. And all our suppliers ship throughout the US. However we do not sell outside our service area. Responsible dealers know that every kitchen needs to be measured by the designer creating the design and face to face meetings with customers are essential in making sensible choices. I would use our recommended dealers list to find a responsible dealer near you. They will be able to advise you, measure your space, and be responsible for your cabinetry and design choices. Link Below:

  94. pmcalary, February 24, 2018 at 9:48 am:

    I would use our recommended dealers page to find a good dealer near you. They should have a full range of brands. Link below

  95. Jon, February 24, 2018 at 8:59 am:

    Good morning Paul, I have been trying to find the nearest CNC and 6 Square dealer to me but have had no luck. Any chance you could help? My zip code is 13205.

    Also, I am intrigued by your ranking of Solid Wood Cabinets. They seem to only have stores in PA and NJ so unfortunately I guess I cannot see these cabinets locally near me unless by chance a dealer would carry them near me. Any further detail on the high ranking for them?

  96. Lucy, February 24, 2018 at 8:52 am:

    Hi Paul, Thanks so much for the speedy response. I am looking for simple and traditional white shaker style cabinets with slab front drawers. Having difficulty deciding between Fabuwood, Wolf, Waypoint, Shenandoah and 6 square.

  97. Robin, February 24, 2018 at 8:45 am:

    The information you have presented has been so helpful. Glad I stumbled upon this before making our cabinet selection. One line of cabinetry I do not see listed, or mentioned, is Clique Studios. We were drawn to them because of their inset cabinets. Their color/stain options are limited, but it might be because it enables them to keep their prices down. Have you had any experience with them? We were very close to purchasing their cabinets. Then someone recommended we take a look at Shiloh. After reading this blog, I have reservations about that. We are in the process of building a home with a rather large kitchen. Only looking for simple shaker-style cabinets — wall cabinets white; islands stained. It is a huge investment and don’t want to make a mistake by being penny wise and pound foolish. I don’t need over-the-top, but do want something that is structurally sound.

  98. pmcalary, February 24, 2018 at 8:21 am:

    We don’t sell Wolf so I can’t be completely up to date about their recent issues. I know they have been having some extreme delays on certain products. Like the Fabuwood line we carry they do have some sketchy dealers so you should Google the dealer you are buying from. If they are a good dealer they should be better help than I and know what styles are delayed and be honest about lead times. Delays can be the problem when cabinets are very popular and most of the parts are coming from China.

  99. pmcalary, February 24, 2018 at 8:13 am:

    With all of these well made inexpensive cabinet lines it would come down to the door style, color, and the designer which line I would choose. Wolf has been having some manufacturing delays for certain colors. Shenandoah from Lowes might have the least qualified designer. Fabuwood has some sketchy dealers. And all things being equal I might place Waypoint 4th. Google the dealers and use the one with the most positive reviews. Or if there is a door style and finish you like above the others I’d lean that way.

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