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. Pat, February 24, 2018 at 5:33 am:

    GREAT website, thanks for sharing your knowledgable thoughts and expertise. I am considering WOLF cabinets for our kitchen remodel. Will be in home for another 5-7 years. I know most reviews are often from unhappy customers that had a poor experience, but researching WOLF cabinets is concerning with the negative results. I see you scored WOLF very favorably. Was hoping you could detail this a little further. Also, saw you mentioned Wolf Classic would likely be better than Wolf Signature (granted classic has less options), why do you think this? I like WOLF price point but a little worried about quality of product.

  2. Lucy, February 24, 2018 at 5:26 am:

    Hi Paul, love the website. Could not agree more about your repeated responses regarding a knowledgable and truly skilled kitchen designer. Have been doing research on cabinets for 2 weeks now. Looking into Fabuwood, Wolf, Waypoint, Shenandoah and 6 square. Looking to stay within our budget and will likely not be in the home longer than another 5 years so looking for good quality at a good price point (I am realistic about the flaws of cabinets in my price range). Of the 5 mentioned, what would you recommend? Thanks so much

  3. pmcalary, February 23, 2018 at 2:59 pm:

    Hi Jerry,
    That’s one good thing about home centers. While many dealers go the extra mile, some don’t. Home centers are safe if you know nothing about the reputation of an independent particular dealer. Kraftmaid is a good choice although designers tell me that they don’t have the customer service and quality control that they once did. And while I am not a fan of Masterbrands in general, Decora has always been the shinning star of their many different lines. Decora has remained a quality line for decades since being bought by Masterbrands, so hopefully it isn’t in danger of being compromised by their parent company.

  4. pmcalary, February 23, 2018 at 2:45 pm:

    Yes the Decor website tells you nothing which tells me a lot. To my knowledge Decor is a frameless Canadian line. Not giving more information other then assurances and platitudes and touting themselves “green” is a bad sign. Wellborn is a great line and Plato also carries good choices across the entire cabinet spectrum. Plato doesn’t spell out construction details so while I know their custom cabinetry is great and a expensive, I don’t know the other lines.

  5. John, February 23, 2018 at 11:22 am:

    Hi Paul,
    Your website is a true treasure and so helpful. We met with a kitchen designer who carries Decor Cabinets out of Canada. I think they are different than Decora. Do you have any experience with this cabinetry? Unfortunately their website does not detail how their cabinet boxes are constructed so I am worried about the quality as I can’t find much in the way of online information. Thanks! PS – The KD also carries Wellborn and Plato cabinets.

  6. Jerry, February 23, 2018 at 10:00 am:

    Thanks for your response on 2/9 about Thomasville cabinets. After I sent my list of issues, the rep chose not to come and look at the cabinets. Instead they responded to H.D. by stating they would take back the defective cabinets at a 20% restocking fee and the ones with decorative panels on the sides could not be returned. Home Depot found their response unacceptable and gave us all of our money back. Great customer service. By the way, the new method that Thomasville uses for drawer front attachment is no longer adjustable. Also, when we looked at the black 30″ drawer fronts again, it was obvious that some were touched up after a poor paint job. We are now looking at Kraftmaid and may also go to other design centers that you suggested in the area. We considered Decora also until I found out they are also made by Masterbrand.

  7. paul mcalary, February 22, 2018 at 8:51 pm:

    I think it is worrisome that they don’t say and show this on their web site. I don’t know that I’d be comfortable buying from a company who’s web site lacks any transparency and isn’t up to date.

  8. Molly, February 22, 2018 at 7:13 pm:

    Hi again Paul — Just wanted to confirm to you that Cabico does indeed do framed and inset cabinets. FYI.

  9. Molly, February 22, 2018 at 7:12 pm:

    Hi again Paul — I was at the kitchen design center today and, as I was told (and saw), Cabico does indeed do framed and inset cabinets. They also do frameless. FYI.

  10. pmcalary, February 22, 2018 at 4:41 pm:

    It really depends on the pricing you are getting from each dealer. We consider both lines equal when they are upgraded to the same construction. The Fieldstone would usually be more expensive by about 15% so that’s why we give it a lower value rating. However since different dealers have different mark ups you could get them for the same price in which case I would select the Fieldstone finishes by a tiny margin.

  11. Chris, February 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm:

    Where does the Fieldstone lose points in the value rating? There are frequent comparisons to Decora which has a price rating of 4 and an A in constructions like the Fieldstone but is an A in value vs a B+. Is that because you have to upgrade the 1/4″ back on the Fieldstone and you don’t need to on the Decora which looks to have a 3/16″ back and a 3/8″ hanging rail?

  12. Molly, February 22, 2018 at 10:29 am:

    Thanks, Paul — I’m confused because the Cabico display in the store had inset cabinets. I specifically discussed inset cabinets with the designer and she showed me examples of both the Omega and Cabico inset cabinets… (She thought Cabico does inset better than Omega.) I am taking a wood sample back today and will certainly ask them about it. I appreciate your speedy response!

  13. pmcalary, February 22, 2018 at 9:30 am:

    With stains you can judge how much you like them for yourselves. Durability is the same so it is simply a preference issue. If you want the best of both worlds there will be framed cabinetry with similar higher quality finishes around the Dynasty price point. A good kitchen cabinet dealer would carry one of these lines too. Examples would be Kraftmaid, Decora, Fieldstone, Bertch, Starmark, etc

  14. Shana, February 22, 2018 at 9:14 am:

    Thanks for your response! We are going for a stained wood. Either cinnamon or a little darker. Is that considered a light stain?

  15. pmcalary, February 22, 2018 at 8:40 am:

    Yes the Omega finish will be nicer but the Waypoint is a better constructed cabinet. Which is better for you would depend on the style color and design of your kitchen. For popular painted cabinets in a shaker door style that would be the least noticeable finish difference. To most customers the difference would be undetectable. On light stains the difference would be obvious.

  16. pmcalary, February 22, 2018 at 8:36 am:

    Cabico gets B’s because it is a European frameless cabinet line. B’s for construction is the highest rating possible in frameless construction.
    So because they are frameless they do not do framed inset cabinetry. Unless Cabico has just started making framed cabinetry, I’m not too impressed with the designers if they didn’t explain that Cabico doesn’t make inset cabinetry. Possibly other things were discussed but usually framed and frameless construction is one of the first things a designer would explain. With today’s 6 way concealed adjustable hinges inset cabinetry would be fine for coastal areas. Just don’t get a pin hinge which is the old fashioned way to do inset cabinetry.

  17. Shana, February 22, 2018 at 12:14 am:

    $28,000* Omega does have a lot more styles and door sizes then Waypoint, but those features don’t help us.

  18. Shana, February 22, 2018 at 12:00 am:

    we are building a large new kitchen. Our kitchen designer is offering us omega dynasty cabinetry for 28,000 for our kitchen or waypoint after promos for about 19,000. The impression we are under is that the main advantage of Omega is the nicer finish. Is our kitchen going to actually look significantly nicer from the Omega finish? We have only seen samples of waypoint and its hard to tell how they would look in a full kitchen. Please advise,thanks!!!

  19. Molly, February 21, 2018 at 10:51 pm:

    Hi there — Working on a new construction on the coast in Maine. I am still in the early stages and visited a kitchen design place for the first time the other day. My initial impression of the designer there was very positive. We were looking at Cabico cabinets, which I see you didn’t rate really highly. Thinking of inset (I understand they are not recommended for coastal areas) white shaker uppers and stained lowers. What is it that you don’t recommend about Cabico? Thanks!

  20. pmcalary, February 20, 2018 at 12:53 pm:

    Hi Jay,
    1 No quality reasons but solid panels feel heavier and so make the doors “feel” more sustancial. Durability there is no difference.
    2 Up to you It does feel more expensive when you are opening doors.
    3 No concerns
    4 Not worth it for a normal home. The sides on the exposed ends will be 3/4 when you add the decorative side. I get 3/4 inch thick cabinets for free and I chose 1/2″ in my own kitchen.

  21. Jay, February 20, 2018 at 12:38 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Great article. Looking at KraftMaid in APC w/ Maple painted white cabinets and drawers. Narrowed list down to non-mitered shaker style doors but we haven’t decided on whether it will be a raised or recessed panel. Quality is important to us since we plan on being in our house for a long time. Had a few questions below. Look forward to hearing your feedback.
    1. Any quality or durability reasons to choose either raised or recessed panel doors over one another?
    2. Money aside is it worth picking a door style that offers a solid panel inside rather than a veneer?
    3. Any cause for concern w/ KraftMaid having a 3/16 plywood bottom for drawers? Have been comparing against Cabico, which were a little thicker.
    4. Would you recommend upgrading the plywood sides from 1/2 to 3/4? We’ll likely do a decorative side if that matters in any way.

  22. pmcalary, February 20, 2018 at 7:10 am:

    Hi Alice,
    Once cabinetry is within 9″ of the ceiling, you usually should have a two piece crown molding or for contemporary styles flat stock reaching the ceiling. See blog below:

  23. pmcalary, February 20, 2018 at 7:04 am:

    Lauriermax appears to be a high end cabinet line that like most Canadian lines specializes in European frameless construction. However they also make expensive beaded inset and regular inset custom framed cabinetry. Unfortunately on their web site they gives very little detail on how they construct their cabinets. I suspect that they are well constructed for either line but you would need to see their spec book to confirm this. Not being transparent on cabinet construction I find annoying but their web site is being updated and cabinet brands out of Quebec have the reputation for not being overly accommodating. S’ais vrai!

  24. Alice, February 19, 2018 at 11:47 pm:

    Please remind me of your advice about cabinets going to the ceiling. I couldn’t find it when I tried to review the blog. Cabinets that a designer is suggesting (6″) seem to end 2″ below the ceiling and they put in a soffit or molding above. I’m not even sure I’m describing this correctly but would so appreciate your clarification and advice. Thank you.

  25. Alice, February 19, 2018 at 11:18 pm:

    Do you have any information about or evaluation of Lauriermax cabinets? It’s a Canadian company. Thank you.

  26. pmcalary, February 18, 2018 at 12:29 pm:

    It makes me a little crazy when people ask our opinion about a cabinet line we reviewed in the blog they are on. As you can see above we gave Kith C’s

  27. kimberly kirkman wainwright, February 18, 2018 at 11:49 am:

    What do you know about Kith cabinets?

  28. pmcalary, February 18, 2018 at 8:27 am:

    Hi Jim,
    Upgraded both are very good lines and very similar in their offerings.

  29. Jim, February 17, 2018 at 10:09 am:

    Wellborn did not have the color we wanted so thinking of going with bertch. Are both lines comperable?

  30. pmcalary, February 15, 2018 at 2:21 pm:

    Kitchen designers should help you coordinate the styles and colors of the other materials and recommend appliance sizes and answer question for the contractors. It’s part of what’s needed when you buy cabinets from them

  31. Eric, February 15, 2018 at 12:21 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    When selecting a kitchen designer what are your expectations with respect to their overall work scope? We have started discussions with a designer who designs and sells cabinetry meeting all your recommended criteria (Woodland). However, the designer’s scope is essentially limited to the cabinetry. The shop (Willbanks Cabinets in Las Vegas) gets favorable ratings online and the staff seems very competent. My concern is that we would be on our own or at best working with the general contractor for all other materials (i.e., countertops, backsplash, lighting, appliances, etc…). I’’m fairly comfortable making the decisions, however, professional help along the way would increase my confidence level. Although the cabinetry design is the most significant challenge, should we expect (or do we need) more professional involvement in other areas of the overall project?

  32. pmcalary, February 13, 2018 at 5:59 pm:

    I’ve never heard of York cabinets. Yorketowne is the line we rated and we gave it a bad review.

  33. pmcalary, February 13, 2018 at 5:45 pm:

    Warranties are meaningless. They are just marketing devices. Often the worse the line the longer the warranty such as IKEA. I would buy the cabinets from the most reputable dealer and the better designer when lines are close in quality.

  34. Terri Holley, February 13, 2018 at 5:40 pm:


    Fabuwood v. Waypoint? It looks like both are close on your rating system. Waypoint has a lifetime warranty as opposed to Fabuwood which is 5 years. Recommendations?

  35. Amy, February 13, 2018 at 9:58 am:

    Hi! We are building a new home. In the past, I have always had Kraftmaid cabinets in my homes. We are looking into Kraftmaid, Mid Continent and York. The price we received on York was so much less than the other 2. The quote was based on York Classic. Is this the York line you used for the comparison above or was it York Designer? I prefer Kraftmaid based on quality and past history. Although we don’t plan on being in the house more than 2 or 3 years (no kids or pets to worry about wear and tear). At this time, based on a B+ York vs A- Kraftmaid, I’m having a tough time justifying the difference in vs the $10 – 12,000 in price.

  36. pmcalary, February 13, 2018 at 8:42 am:

    There are some inexpensive very well made cabinet lines that offer 39″ high wall cabinets. For example we carry Green Forest. That would be my first pick in your case. Definitely don’t use 42″ wall cabinets.

    With 36″ wall cabinets I would use unfinished pine for my two piece crown and color match the paint to the cabinet color. While most contractors resist doing this, for a white cabinet it costs less and looks far better over time. The scanners that paint stores use to color match are that good! Then you can use a taller 1 x 8″ piece for the riser of the crown molding. If you want to get fancy the contractor could rout an OG edge on the bottom of the 1 x. 8.

    Nexus and Galaxy are two different door styles by the way. Nexus is 18% more expensive. 6 square offers no advantages other than more color choices on a painted cabinet.

  37. Jwahl, February 13, 2018 at 12:31 am:

    Our ceiling height is 97 ‘& 7/8”…currently looking at Fabuwood Nexus galaxy line, however they don’t offer 39” uppers. We want cabinets & crown molding to go to the ceiling. Should we order 36” & build up or 42” uppers with small crown? Also, we like white shaker cabinetry and in both Fabuwood, & J & K lines, and plan to look at 6 square. We’ll be selling this home in 5-7 years, which cabinet line do u feel would provide better quality, durability and be the better investment? Thank you for your assistance and sharing your expertise!

  38. pmcalary, February 12, 2018 at 1:00 pm:

    It doesn’t make much sense to be working with a less experienced designer and getting relatively expensive cabinets. I’d work with a better design professional. We have a recommended list below:

  39. Catherine, February 12, 2018 at 12:48 pm:

    Hello. We bought a home and are looking to update our kitchen. We got a quote from Home Depot for white shaker Kraftmaid cabinets. It was pretty pricey. Do you think we should dish out the cash or is there any line comparable at Home Depot that you can recommend for the same, white shaker style? Also, would a smaller company offer better deals? Thank you!

  40. pmcalary, February 9, 2018 at 6:09 pm:

    Some of what you are asking about as far as alignments of doors and drawers is adjustable and not even set in the factory.Your contractor is expected to adjust them on site. I’m not a fan of Thomasville but Home Depot will replace whatever is truly defective. The Masterbrand rep will be honorable and reliable I am sure.

  41. pmcalary, February 9, 2018 at 6:05 pm:

    Never heard of Goden Home

  42. Jerry, February 9, 2018 at 10:09 am:

    We recently received Thomasville all plywood bottom cabinets from Home depot that we ordered during a 30% off sale. Unfortunately of the 5 white and 2 black cabinets, we were able to find issues with all of them. Oddly the materials look to be of very good quality, but the fit and finish was not so good. One question I had was about the corners of the frames. On some of the cabinets, the front and side did not line up at the corner. Some front face frames were about 1/8″ higher than the side panels. Is there an acceptable tolerance for this? The Rep is coming by at some point to look at them and it would be nice to know what repairs should be allowed instead of replacement. Other issues were top braces not glued at front, chips, marks in paint, small drawers not centered over doors, large drawers sticking out more at top than the bottom of the drawer above it, middle shelf in corner cabinet not all the way back in left corner causing left frame to bow outward. One cabinet was dropped and cracked, I don’t expect that would try to repair something like that. I can’t find anything on what to look for when inspecting your new cabinets. That may be helpful.

  43. PJA, February 9, 2018 at 9:16 am:

    Hello – I love this site and discussion, thank you so much for educating me!

    I am considering Waypoint and Kemper cabinets for my kitchen renovation. However, the finish I am considering (a white laquer) is not available in Waypoint and quite pricey in Kemper. My designer suggested we look at Golden Home, which is a Chinese company. I can’t find out much about them – does anyone know anything about them. Thanks

  44. Jim, February 8, 2018 at 5:33 pm:

    Sorry. I should have been more specific. We are going with framed cabinets, not the frameless style. Do you still think Omega is a good choice (for framed cabinets)? Have you heard anything negative about the quality? We are going for the typical shaker style, in white. Thanks

  45. pmcalary, February 8, 2018 at 4:19 pm:

    We rate Omega Dynasty highly for a frameless line. But I wouldn’t get a frameless cabinet line if I had a choice in the style door I was selecting. For anything except the most contemporary door styles a framed line would be a more sensible choice.

  46. Jim, February 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm:

    Hi. We are looking at Omega Dynasty cabinets, and I see that you do have the Omega brand highly rated, however, I’m now having second thoughts, as I’ve seen some very negative reviews online, regarding poor quality. This is a large purchase (over $30k), so I don’t want to make a big mistake. Any comments about the negative reviews online. Should I be concerned? Thanks

  47. Janet, February 8, 2018 at 1:23 pm:

    We didn’t speak but I really appreciate your response on painted doors!

  48. Joanne Wahl, February 8, 2018 at 9:46 am:

    Universal Factory Direct has office/showroom actually located in a no frills warehouse in NH. We went there & met with Joe White , a designer who seemed knowledgeable, and well liked in reviews. Their Cabinets are supposed to be all wood construction as well. Can’t find specs on them and wondering if you might be able to provide info on the quality & durability of their product? I agree with you about buying online. Had contacted Cliqstudios, after reading so many unfavorable reviews decided not to order from them, but according to posts on your blog, it appears they feature 6square cabinetry, which is one of the value lines you recommend? Also, Thanks for sharing the link for showrooms in my area, unfortunately all are at least 2+ hours away😞

  49. pmcalary, February 8, 2018 at 9:20 am:

    I would never buy cabinets on line. That is quite likely a recipe for disaster. J&K is inexpensive and pretty well made. You could also start with better designers that carry lines across all price points. Not realizing the value of good kitchen design help is the most common mistake people make. We have a list below of recommended suppliers in your area.

  50. Joanne Wahl, February 8, 2018 at 8:56 am:

    Thank you for the valuable info you provide. I’m located north of Boston and looking for affordable quality cabinetry in white Shaker to remodel 20 year old kitchen, which we plan to sell in 7 years. Appreciate any input on Universal Factory Direct in Portsmouth NH ? Also, J&K cabinetry? Trying to locate showrooms offering Fabuwood or 6square in my area as well.

  51. pmcalary, February 7, 2018 at 10:12 pm:

    Door panels can be wood, veneer or MDF with painted cabinets and all are fine. Painted finishes no matter from what company are simply less durable and will easily be nicked, scratched and sensitive to water. Touch ups can be done by furniture refinishers like Guardsman so there are ways to fix damages. I believe we spoke so I think we answered your other questions.

  52. pmcalary, February 7, 2018 at 10:07 pm:

    Hi Kyle,
    Upgraded to all plywood construction both Kraftmaid and Shenandoah are built well. Kraftmaid will have more customization available and have somewhat nicer looking finishes. I haven’t heard of 21st Century sounds like an import which can be good or bad.

    As always when customers worry about construction especially when working with home center designers they are most likely overlooking that for the 4 1/2 K difference in cabinetry costs they could of had a much better design moving anything! Doorways, walls, plumbing, removing soffits, even enlarging or moving exterior windows. This is why working with a good designer is more important than the cabinet line. Sadly when people send us the designs they are considering and having trouble deciding which cabinet line to choose the designs they send are almost always terrible.

    Shopping for your designer is the most important decision of all. And if you choose well selecting a designer all the other decisions will be made with the help of someone that knows far more than you could ever learn researching.

  53. pmcalary, February 5, 2018 at 6:31 pm:

    Thanks David!
    Getting praise from an experienced kitchen designer is a great compliment. Especially considering some designers might not approve of my direct and less gentile approach to kitchen design and cabinetry. There are many ways to design great kitchens. The most experienced successful kitchen designers find a way to educate their customers and encourage them into make good decisions. Doug Mottershead who appears in some of our videos has a much softer approach than myself but many approaches work. I never criticize the approach as long as the result is a good kitchen.
    Thanks again for the praise,

  54. David, February 5, 2018 at 5:57 pm:

    I am a Kitchen Designer for over 30 years. These articles are excellent. Thank you.

  55. Janet, February 5, 2018 at 10:53 am:

    Thank you so much for all this great information and your responses to comments. It’s my new kitchen remodel bible.

    I’m looking for the most durable, non-cracking, non-peeling, and nice looking white cabinets without spending more than I need to. I’m comparing the upgraded Schrock (Entra) and Omega framed. Should the door inserts be all wood or what do you think of veneer inserts? I know to stay away from Thermafoil, but I don’t know if I should go with veneer or painted.

  56. Kyle, February 4, 2018 at 3:40 pm:

    *Sorry, Shenandoah quote was for $14k.

  57. Kyle, February 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm:


    We are trying to choose between KraftMaid, Shenandoah, and 21st Century. The Kraftmaid quote came in at $18.5k and Shenandoah and 21st Century quotes were between $12-13k. We are first time home owners/renovators and we don’t want to make the wrong decision. Would you suggest we save up a little more and buy the Kraftmaid? We are looking for a simple shaker door in dove white and an island in distressed or plain medium gray. Thanks!

  58. pmcalary, January 31, 2018 at 10:46 am:

    I saw them at KBIS but didn’t stop in. I wasn’t impressed from what I saw at a glimpse. Their web site offers no information on construction features. This makes me even more skeptical.

  59. pmcalary, January 31, 2018 at 10:39 am:

    Smithport appears to be a small custom shop. They could very well do a good job and have a bad web site.

  60. Kendell, January 29, 2018 at 1:58 pm:

    Someone asked about Smithport. Last time I looked there website was horrible and outdated. Please don’t judge them by their website. I shopped a lot of lines. They have a gorgeous product with lots of options, lots of finishes and great quality. They are family owned in the mid-west. Great value.

  61. Michellr, January 29, 2018 at 12:36 am:

    Any more info on Cubitac?

  62. pmcalary, January 28, 2018 at 6:31 am:

    Hi Pattie,
    We should get to updating our new 2018 review in March.

    I took a quick look at Holiday kitchens and they make a very well made framed and frameless cabinet. So they would get A or A+ for construction in their framed line and a B (the best we give) for their frameless construction. I don’t know their price-point so I can’t rate them in value compared to the market.

    Much like I am a little biased towards a framed cabinet probably due to my engineering and construction background, Holiday seems biased towards frameless. Many cabinet companies that sell both types of cabinets like the versatility of the frameless construction and the European cabinet interior gadgets available. The Bishop and the Wellsford custom line we sell also feel this way. However cabinet builders seem to value being able to offer variety over durability, so take the Holiday enthusiasm for frameless with a grain of salt.

  63. Pattie, January 27, 2018 at 6:34 pm:

    Hi Paul, Thank you for all you do to inform and inspire. From an earlier post, you mention an updated 2018 cabinetry rating coming out. Any idea about timeline? I was hoping you might include “Holiday Kitchens” in your forthcoming revue. Thanks again.

  64. pmcalary, January 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm:

    Yes we rate them highly and have considered caring the line.

  65. Debbie, January 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Any thoughts on Wellborn Select all plywood construction?

  66. pmcalary, January 26, 2018 at 12:51 pm:

    Omega cabinetry is most often referred to by the line name Dynasty. I added (Omega) to the front of the Dynasty name in our reviews.
    Omega Dynasty is frameless
    Omega Pinnacle is Framed

    Pinnacle is a great cabinet but on the expensive side. Dynasty is a well made frameless line but being frameless can’t get higher than a B for construction on our review.

  67. pmcalary, January 25, 2018 at 9:28 am:

    There is not much durability difference between painted cabinets done in a factory using powder melted onto the cabinetry in ovens, the technique most large manufacturers use. However paints are much less durable than stains. And in the less expensive lines there can be more of a durability issue with the paint on the plywood sides of the cabinetry. This can usually be fixed if a problem arises and in Fabuwood it is uncommon. The problem arises from the fact that Asian plywood is not quite as good for finishing as US plywood. This is why some companies and designers skin the exposed sides of less expensive cabinetry with a matching painted piece of luan. For the huge difference in cost it is a small issue to work around and even in the most expensive US lines we have still occasionally had the issue.

  68. th, January 24, 2018 at 2:58 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Great blog. Just starting my cabinetry research and this has been a great help.

    Your specs for well-made cabinetry have been especially helpful, but one thing you have not mentioned (unless I missed it) is the paint job/technique. I have been told more than once that painting technique is extremely important for durability, just as important as construction.

    We are considering Fabuwood (painted – Frosted White Galaxy) and would like to know more about their painting technique and its long-term durability. One of our potential contractors mentioned that a few years ago, KraftMaid had an issue with their painting technique that has since been resolved.

    According to Fabuwood specs, the Frosted Galaxy doors in the Allure line (the one we are interested in) is a solid wood door frame with a ⅜” MDF center panel. 1) Does MDF help with the longterm durability of painted cabinetry 2) Do you have any long term experience with Fabuwood to speak to paint durability? Fabuwood has only been around for ten years as opposed to other companies like KraftMaid. I would think that a company that is more established has more experience with trial and error and the ability to self-correct if issues like painting technique arise, such as the case with KraftMaid.

    Thank you!

  69. Alice, January 23, 2018 at 8:56 am:

    Should I be worried about drawers made of birch if they have the other necessary characteristics (e.g. thickness)?

  70. pmcalary, January 23, 2018 at 8:16 am:

    Omega Dynasty is a good Frameless line but since it is frameless can only get at most a B for construction on our rating system.
    Omega Pinnacle is a well made framed line and a little pricey but possibly worth it if you have the money.

  71. Leila Nowroozi, January 23, 2018 at 7:38 am:

    Hi. I was hoping you might share your views on the Omega cabinet line. I am seeing a lot of mixed commentary on various sites and we are about to sign a contract with them on a whole new kitchen. Thank you so much. Leila

  72. paul mcalary, January 22, 2018 at 9:04 am:

    No we don’t work far away or would never reface.

    Not refacing and finding a good designer and dealer would be our best advice. Refacing companies are most often encouraging customers to do projects that are not in their best interest.

    So even if you were one of the 5% of the public that refacing made sense for, you would be working with a company that has a business model that we don’t feel has integrity.

  73. Alice, January 22, 2018 at 8:56 am:

    About your refacing blog. The question isn’t what to do about a bad design but rather what about refacing in a good design. Some of the refacing companies claim to use top-line tracks and glides and provide new drawer boxes.

    Also, I, for one, wish to retain my formal dining room so opening up the kitchen/dining room/living room because the NEXT owner might prefer it is not what I wish to do.

    I am interested to know
    1) what you think of Conestoga cabinet doors and drawer fronts
    2) what companies offer a white or off-white stain (not paint) on maple since several companies have discontinued that finish. Why was it discontinued? Did it not sell? Or is there some technical flaw in it? KraftMaid had a stain called Parchment but discontinued it. Conestoga offers an Alpine stain and Conestoga doors and drawer fronts are used by at least one re-facing company.

    I have not yet decided whether to reface or buy new. As I said, new cabinets will not be as sturdy and well-built as the ones I have.

    AND do you do design for kitchens that are hundreds of miles away? I have precise measurements.

    Thank you very much.

  74. paul mcalary, January 22, 2018 at 8:42 am:

    Compared to Fabuwood for example CNC will be about 15 to 20% less expensive, still well constructed, but there might be more shipping damage, slight paint imperfections, and just more of a likelihood of the cabinets coming slightly out of square etc. If you are not too picky and want something about the price of IKEA that is already assembled and more durably built it is perfect. For resale homes where home buyers don’t put cabinetry under a microscope and just want a good design and soft close solid wood dove tail drawers we think it can especially fit the bill.

  75. Concerned, January 22, 2018 at 3:03 am:


    Can you elaborate on what you mean by CNC being rough around the edges and the intangibles that make it less ideal than Fabuwood, for example? The sample cabinet that the contractor delivered looked ok but the face frame was stapled to the box. Is that a bad sign? Other than that, both cabinets (CNC and Fabuwood) have 1/2″ plywood boxes, 3/4″ face frame, soft close hinges, etc — so it is hard to understand the difference between them just by reading the specs. Thank you SO much for your help.

  76. Leila Nowroozi, January 21, 2018 at 11:53 pm:

    hi. our designer is recommending Omega cabinets, but they are not on your review list and i am finding mixed reviews – some really bad. thoughts on this line?

  77. pmcalary, January 21, 2018 at 11:03 am:

    I also notice Dan that you are a sales rep for several of the lines we rate poorly in our cabinet analysis. So you do have a vested interest in the ratings we give.

  78. pmcalary, January 21, 2018 at 10:49 am:

    Refacing kitchen cabinets is nearly always a poor investment. Here is our blog on why:

  79. Alice, January 20, 2018 at 11:10 pm:

    I said “replace” but I meant “re-face” so as not to replace the cabinets but rather to change the color by changing the doors and refacing the frames.

  80. Alice, January 20, 2018 at 10:43 pm:

    What do you think about refacing with Cabinet Cures or Kitchen Magic? I have 50-year-old cabinets and they’re rock solid so I hate to exchange them for modern ones which will not be made as well. They are a dark color and I want to replace with a light stain to brighten my kitchen. Also, why have so many manufacturers discontinued the white/off-white stain? Was it just not selling or is there something wrong with it. I don’t want paint.

  81. pmcalary, January 20, 2018 at 9:02 am:

    95% of these lines we do not even sell. So we have no vested interest in rating a line like Kraftmaid, or Wolf high for their price point.

    People that are knowledgeable about cabinetry know that the lower priced cabinetry that is well made will always have doors and fronts made in Asia.
    You can not make a well made inexpensive cabinet at competitive low prices completely in the US. Labor is too expensive. So much like an iPhone would cost about $3000 were it made in the US, inexpensive but well constructed cabinetry will always be partly made in Asia.

    Of course the more expensive US made semi custom and custom lines have beautiful finishes and offer other features and customisations not available in less expensive lines.

    But not accepting where the cabinet market is right now is simply not being realistic and also not understanding what makes a cabinet well constructed. Expensive US lines like DuraSupreme are beautiful but if you don’t upgrade the box it is 1/3″ particleboard and so terribly made and not even as well built as IKEA.

    To me what is sad is how misleading cabinetry information is. This is why we have our lists and attend the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show every year. To keep current and to help people better understand what they are buying.

  82. Dan Whalen, January 19, 2018 at 8:32 pm:

    I am shocked and kinda saddened on how this list gets to the top of google search results. Its misleading at best, and the fact that you are passing off a couple brands of Chinese cabinets as a quality manufacturing should give you a guilty conscious.

  83. pmcalary, January 19, 2018 at 12:08 pm:

    36″ corners are very accessible 33″ are not. We carry CNC cabinetry but they are a little rough around the edges as far as finish and other intangibles go. We usually recommend them for flipping houses and not for long term when you are staying in your home. Spending about 20% more on cabinets gets you a nicer looking product like Fabuwood. Upgraded CNC is well constructed though.

  84. Concerned, January 19, 2018 at 11:55 am:

    Hi Paul,

    I just wanted to circle back and thank you for your help a month ago. I was the one who asked about the GHI cabinets. Thanks to your insights about construction of the boxes, those cabinets were taken back and now the contractor is offering CNC cabinets (Elegant line) in white shaker instead. Is this the line that your ratings are based on? Also, do you ever recommend the 33″ corner cabinets vs 36″ or is the 36″ much more functional. Thank you again!

  85. pmcalary, January 19, 2018 at 11:41 am:

    Sorry I know nothing about Allen and Roth. They are a rebranded line Lowes sells. We aren’t fans of rebranded lines in general. You are stamping a brand name that doesn’t exist for kitchen cabinets on somebody else’s line and charging a premium to do this. Home Depot has Martha Stewart and Thomasville. Now Lowes is doing this. I find it unethical to rebrand.

  86. Paul McAlary, January 19, 2018 at 11:32 am:

    Hanalee- I would say Fabuwood is a better buy. Please get help locally we can’t be the primary resource for the entire US.

  87. Sharon, January 19, 2018 at 8:25 am:

    Interested in your opinion on Allen & Roth cabinets at Lowe’s in Bowie, MD. I see no reviews on your site. They do include soft drawers closing, 21-inch drawers, concealed glides on drawers & roll out accessories, full depth shelves on their select cabinets. I got a price on them, then went to Home Depot and got price on Kraftmaid cabinets. Kraftmaid are more expensive but then they may be worth the thousands of dollars difference. I would like your opinion of Allen & Roth , if you know.

  88. Hanalee, January 19, 2018 at 12:09 am:

    Hi Paul, Thank you for your list of showrooms. Unfortunately on their website the one in Tampa does not list Fabuwood as a brand they carry.
    I would still love your opinion on the Wellborn MDF vs the Fabuwood. Also, I would really appreciate if you could answer the other questions.
    Thank you, and thank you again for this blog!

  89. pmcalary, January 18, 2018 at 5:09 pm:

    We give Kraftmaid a better rating.

    These are the dealers that we recommend in your area. I’d start there.

  90. pmcalary, January 18, 2018 at 5:07 pm:
  91. Hanalee, January 18, 2018 at 3:00 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so much for all this information. Choosing cabinets is very overwhelming!
    We are building a new house in Tampa, Florida. We are deciding between Fabuwood’s Galaxy Frost and Wellborn’s Select Series.
    The Select Series is MDF doors and drawers. We would upgrade to wood drawers and dovetail and soft close but the box would be furniture board on 3 sides except where there are sinks, it would be upgraded to plywood.
    We are not sure of the additional cost to have the factory assemble Fabuwood and our builder would like to order directly from them.
    We found a kitchen designer that we liked for Wellborn but not for Fabuwood.
    My questions are:
    1. What do you recommend between these two cabinets?
    2. I have heard that MDF is better for a painted door because it does not expand and contract like wood does so theoretically there might be less chipping and cracking of the paint. What is your opinion?
    3.iIs the center panel of the Fabuwood door MDF? I thought I read that somewhere.
    4. Could you recommend a Fabuwood dealer in the Tampa are to design our kitchen?
    5. I feel like we need to get estimates from both lines for exactly what we want in order to be able to compare cost but really would appreciate any advice or opinion or recommend action you have about quality.
    Thank you so much!

  92. Rod, January 17, 2018 at 8:10 pm:

    We are doing a complete remodel and the Design company has recommended Integrity cabinets. Are you familiar with them. I think the bid is high. Some of the items KraftMaid has standard are extra with Integrity. Would KraftMaid be a better choice? Thanks Great site by the way!

  93. pmcalary, January 17, 2018 at 8:29 am:

    Hi Nancy,
    I checked and HomeCrest offers 1/2 inch plywood sides on their All Plywood Construction upgrade. This would be the construction we rated on our web site’s 2017 review. Un upgraded to this Homecrest would not meet our construction minimums and would get a pretty poor rating. If Materbrands has downgraded their APC construction from what is still on their web site that would be a serious issue. But I think you are just not reading the full spec book.
    Here is their link page:

  94. Nancy Untiet, January 17, 2018 at 8:10 am:

    Hi Paul, Thank you for the great information. My husband and I are looking to remodel our kitchen. We can find great designers, but the quality of cabinets offered are either high end (Crystal, Shiloh or inexpensive). We are thinking about purchasing through a kitchen design store Homecrest (painted maple), but when I looked at their information both online and in their printed booklet it seems their rail, back and sides are all 3/8. This is even with their optional all plywood. From reading your article, It appears you don’t recommend 3/8. I don’t see they offer an upgrade. Can you please advise if I’m reading this correctly?

  95. pmcalary, January 16, 2018 at 10:41 am:

    Kraftmaid Hands down.

  96. Kas, January 16, 2018 at 10:07 am:

    Looking for a comparison of kraftmaid vs. Martha Stuart pure style.

  97. pmcalary, January 15, 2018 at 8:19 am:

    We rate Haas on this blog. They are OK construction and OK value. Just not the best out there for the money. The better values will be spending more to get a really well made high end US semicustom or custom cabinets. Or spending less on a US company line with an Asian plant for US assembled but Asia fabricated parts in a framed line. That is really how all these ratings are breaking down for the best values.

  98. Jessica, January 15, 2018 at 7:15 am:

    We had a complete kitchen loss and are replacing. We are currently getting 2 quotes the first one came in with HAAS, at first we were really excited about them, our designer has nothing but great to say but online reviews have me doubting.. can you give a second opinion

  99. TLGarr, January 14, 2018 at 3:16 pm:

    @pmcalary thank you for your feedback. Your input is extremely helpful and puts our decision in perspective. Go with Fabuwood or go all out with true inset cabinets…

    A few last questions now that I know we do not want St. Martin….

    We also obtained quotes from another designer for inset cabinets from Greenfield and Omega Dynasty. Any opinion on Greenfield vs. Omega Dynasty Inset Cabinets? We have also considered frameless in these lines which isn’t nearly as expensive….

    And finally, the designer who recommends St.Martin also quoted us for a semi-custom line called cuisine ideale (frameless)….he quoted us on this line only because I expressed my concerns regarding the quality of St. Martin. Any experience with this Cusine Ideale?

    Thanks again!

  100. pmcalary, January 14, 2018 at 9:59 am:

    Fabuwood is a better constructed cabinet than St Martin and a better value. St Martin can make a frameless kitchen look a little like a well made framed inset cabinet by boxing their cabinet with particleboard panels but it is far from the real thing. That your designer recommends this and the St Martin over Fabuwood tells me that while they could be very nice to work with, they aren’t that knowledgeable.

    That your builder uses Fabuwood tells me that they are up to date with the cabinet market and so probably up to date on other aspects of construction.

    Fabuwood isn’t perfect and it is a far cry from custom framed inset cabinetry, but it’s almost half the cost. And it beats ST Martin hands down. Like most things in this world you can’t fake real quality so expecting the ST Martin to be close to the same thing as a custom framed inset cabinet will come back to bite you in the long run. Get the real thing or save money and use the Fabuwood if that are your choices.

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