Main Line Kitchen Design
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Posted July 1, 2018 by pmcalary

Seaman 307 Elm St Print 2

NOTE: Due to recent tariffs we have begun updating (increasing) the value ratings on some of the US lines. There are still more updates to follow.

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If you are outside our service area we are happy to answer any questions on this blog’s comment forum.  But please do not contact us on our web site contact page.

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All the designers that gave us input on the cabinet lines below have greater than 20 years experience in our industry. When possible all construction specifics were double checked on the web sites for each cabinet line.

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Main Line kitchen design acknowledges that we are dealers for the following cabinet lines: Wellsford, Bishop, Brighton, Fabuwood, 6 Square, Legacy Presidential, and CNC.  We could be prejudiced towards ranking these lines more favorably, but we have tried to be impartial. However, since the cabinet lines we carry were chosen specifically for their construction quality and value, our ranking them well should not be a surprise. 

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FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE OUR SERVICE AREA OF WITHIN A TWO HOUR DRIVE OF OUR BALA CYNWYD PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE, BELOW IS A LINK TO RECOMMENDED DEALERS IN OTHER AREAS. GOOD DEALERS CLOSE TO YOU CAN BETTER ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT’S AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA:

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

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Below is our comprehensive list of 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 lower 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.

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Cabinet line Price level 1-6     Quality Value
21st Century 1 A A-
6 Square 2 B+ B+
Adelphia Kitchens 3 B B
Adormus (frameless) 3 B B
All Wood – framed 2 A A
All Wood – frameless 1 C C
American Woodmark 3 B B
Aristocraft 2 C C
Bertch 4 A A-
Bishop 4 A A-
Bishop Frameless 5 B B+
Bremtown 6 A+ B
Brighton 4 A A+
Brookhaven closed A B
Brubaker 5 A A
Cabico 4 B B
Candlelight 4 A A
Canyon Creek 3 B B
CNC 1 B+ B
Collier 5 A B-
Crystal 5 A A
Decora 4 A A
Desginers Choice 4 A A
Design-Craft 4 B B
Diamond 4 B B
Durasupreme 5 B+ B
Durasupreme frameless 3 C C
Dynasty by Omega (frameless) 4 B B
Dynasty Pinnacle (framed) 5 A B
Echelon Cabinetry 2 B- C
Executive (frameless) 4 B B
Fabuwood 2 A A
Fabuwood (frameless) 3 B B
Fieldstone 4 A B+
Grabill 6 A+ B
Haas 3 B B
Hanssem framed 1 B+ B+
Holiday (frameless) 3 C C
Holiday Kitchens 4 A A
Homecrest 3 B+ B+
Homestead Custom 4 A A-
Ideal Cabinetry 2 B A-
IKEA (frameless) 1 D C
Innovation 2 C C
JSI Cabinetry 1 B+ B+
Kabinart 3 C+ 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
Kountry Wood 2 C C
Kraftmaid 4 A- A
Legacy 3 B+ B
LifeArt 1 C+ A
Marsh 2 B B
Marsh (frameless) 2 B- B
Medallion 5 B+ B
Merillat 2 C D
Merit Kitchens 4 B+ B
Mid Continent 2 C C
Mouser 5 A A-
Mouser (frameless) 5 B A
Ovation 4 B C
Plain and Fancy 6 A B+
Plato Woodwork 4 A A
Poggenpohl (frameless) 6 B C
QuakerMaid (frameless) 4 B B
RD Henry 4 A A
Rutt 6 A+ A
Schrock 3 B B
Schuler 5 B+ B
Shenandoah 3 B B
Shiloh 4 C C
Showplace 3 B+ B-
Siematic 6 B C
Signature Custom 5 A+ A+
Solid Wood Cabinets 1 A- A-
St. Martin (frameless) 4 B B
Starmark 4 A B+
Stylecraft 5 A A
Thomasville* 4 B B
Timberlake 3 B B
Ultracraft (frameless) 2 C C
Village 5 A A
Waypoint 2 B B
Wellborn 4 and 5 A A
Wellsford 5 A+ A+
Wolf 2 A B+
Woodharbor 4 B+ C
Woodmode closed A A-
Yorktowne Now an Elkay CO 4 B+ B

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

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

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Below is a more general review of cabinetry from 2015 explaining types of cabinetry construction:

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https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/2015-popular-kitchen-cabinetry-brand-comparison/

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And for those interested in Cabinet Off Gassing, VOC’s, and Carb2 Compliance, here is our take on the fumes your new cabinets can emit:

https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/cabinet-off-gassing-carb2-compliance-vocs-greenguard-and-what-you-need-to-know-if-you-are-sensitive-to-fumes/

100 Comments

  1. pmcalary, January 20, 2020 at 10:04 am:

    Hi KJPS,
    Sorry, This is just one of the many reasons it is a terrible idea to have kitchen cabinetry made by a small cabinet maker. Not only is the product nearly always less durable and less consistent with all kinds of potential design and construction issues, but as you have found out you have no effective warranty. Stop trying to continue on the misguided path you started on. Just start from scratch with a named brand cabinet line and find a good kitchen designer to work with. You almost certainly have kitchen design problems since no good kitchen designer would work with a small carpentry shop.

  2. KJPS, January 19, 2020 at 9:08 pm:

    Hi Josh,
    My question is a little different that what others have posted. Hired a custom cabinet company in our area (Michigan). He did not complete the work, leaving us with no doors or drawer fronts and some unfinished mill/trim work. We have choosen stained select cherry. I am seeking an unfinished materials so we can have it custom stained to match the existing. We will be moving from the home in approximately 5 years. Any advice on how to get the materials to finish our project? The kitchen companies we have contacted will not finish the project unless we do a total tear out and start all over.

  3. pmcalary, January 18, 2020 at 10:02 am:

    Hi Josh,
    The cabinets appear very well constructed RTA cabinets. However that fact that I have never heard the brand name, that the Arti Craft website appears broken, and that 405 seems to be the only dealer that carries Arti Craft is troublesome. Not enough information to really help you.

  4. Josh R, January 17, 2020 at 3:56 pm:

    Good Afternoon,

    Any thoughts on Articraft Cabinetry? They are here in SoCal.

    Specs here:
    http://www.405cabinets.com/specifications/#1471133780846-3e260261-2499

    Thanks in advance!

  5. pmcalary, January 17, 2020 at 7:07 am:

    Hi Shruti,
    Reviews are not reliable because all cabinet lines get bad reviews. Customers often don’t know what they are talking about, don’t understand what they ordered, have a bad contractor or designer that is responsible for the problem, actually had a problem but it was a rare event, or they are the homeowner is nuts. The only cabinet line that gets good reviews is terrible and is of course IKEA. Read why here.

    Both Fabuwood and Wolf are well constructed in there better lines. They are not know for beautiful stains though. They have a few nice stained finishes such as grays, buy cherry and maple type finishes look better on those woods in a higher grade of wood. It is just a matter of looks though and if you like the stained finish you should be fine. American cabinet lines using US woods and stains will have nicer finishes but also be about 25% more expensive. Lower priced US lines that you might line a cherry or maple stain in more might be, Shenandoah at Lowes, American Woodmark at Home Depot, Legacy, Homecrest, or others.

  6. Shruti, January 16, 2020 at 9:32 pm:

    Thank you for this excellent forum! We are looking to renovate the kitchen and I like stained cabinets much more than painted ones. I am considering fabuwood vs. wolf classic, but the reviews are all over the place. Which of these two will you recommend? Are there any other cabinet lines in the same range, that provide good stained cabinets?

  7. pmcalary, January 15, 2020 at 9:33 am:

    Hi Josh,
    I don’t like buying cabinets on line and without a good designer to help you. So I’d choose waypoint over the Fabuwood.
    The designer is more important that the cabinet line.
    Procraft is a good line that’s sold out west. But again I would only buy it if the dealer is local and a designer is available to work with.

  8. Josh Roberts, January 14, 2020 at 4:54 pm:

    Hi, Paul,

    Thanks again for maintaining this long running blog full of useful information. I am looking for a lower end, well built cabinet. Based on your reviews and blog responses, I have narrowed it down to the following and would like to ask for your analysis.

    The kitchen is an L-shape, roughly 197″ long by 91″ deep with a 96″ ceiling. All designs equal, and I will consider sending a design on Friday before my final decision, I have gotten quotes for the following:

    Fabuwood Onyx Cobblestone – $7,595.25 (No local dealer, would be shipped from an online distributor.)

    Waypoint 760F Cherry Slate all plywood upgrade – $8,611.95 (Local dealers and designers, one of which being City Cabinet Center, which you recommend to SOCAL on one of your other blogs.)

    – Wolf – No local dealer, claim they don’t do business in CA.
    – Solid Wood – No longer dealing outside of local NJ/NY area.
    – 21ST Century Cabinets – Multiple failed attempts to the contact us link.

    Might consider FX, Green Castle, or ROK but you haven’t given a rating to those lines.

    YOUR INPUT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!

  9. pmcalary, January 13, 2020 at 4:39 pm:

    This can happen with all painted solid wood cabinetry. The dealer is requesting this and not Brighton. It would actually be slightly less noticeable on Brighton then the other lines because Brighton sands the seams to a higher degree than Kraftmaid or Thomasville.

  10. rose m nolan, January 13, 2020 at 2:06 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    I was looking for cabinet for my bathroom. I was comparing Brighton, Kraftsmaid, and Thomasville. I am leaning toward Brighton. What concerns me is I am looking at a painted finish and Brighton is asking me to sign a waiver acknowledging that the seams might spread. Is this normal? Do the seam on painted finished spread to the point where it is that noticeable? Do other manufacturers require a waiver?

  11. pmcalary, January 10, 2020 at 6:34 pm:

    hi Paul,
    No but we will post new expanded ratings for 2020 the end of January or Early February after KBIS, The National Kitchen and Bath Industry Show

  12. Paul Domijan, January 10, 2020 at 4:09 pm:

    Do you have 2019 ratings

  13. pmcalary, January 10, 2020 at 2:48 pm:

    Hi Shawn,
    This is where the design becomes so important – when you sell a home. Spending money on cabinetry, countertop, and appliance splurges has little resale value. While removing a wall or moving a doorway could change the entire layout of your home and make it much more sell-able. Researching to find the best designer to work with is where you should start.

  14. Shawn, January 10, 2020 at 1:42 pm:

    Hi Paul – This is truly a great site and resource. Thank you. We will be renovating our kitchen but we may end up selling the house in the next couple of years. If we were staying we would invest in inset cabinets. But where we may be selling we’re instead planning on saving money with full overlay. The reason we like inset is the tight gaps. Do you have any information on which manufacturers have the tightest tolerances for their full overlay doors/drawers both within each unit as well as when units are placed side-by-side? Value is a consideration so we’re looking for the best combo or tight tolerance and price if that makes sense. Thanks!

  15. Paul McAlary, January 10, 2020 at 7:41 am:

    Hi Monica,
    As far as I know Starmark doesn’t make frameless cabinetry so at least in one respect you aren’t comparing apples to apples. The other lines like Omega and Crystal have several different types of construction so it is hard to know what you are being quoted.Maybe Chris can figure out exactly which version of each line you got quotes on.

  16. Monica, January 9, 2020 at 10:59 pm:

    Thanks so much Paul — I will email Chris now and will definitely call tomorrow. I am definitely open to suggestions in this corner, and luckily the island can move around since we have one room — but few walls. Assuming the same (or very similar) design and these prices (~27k Starmark, ~31.5k Crystal, ~31k for Omega) I am also curious to know if there is any particular brand, of these, you would suggest going with?

    Looking forward to speaking with Chris, and thank you again for your help! I will ask him tomorrow but maybe other people are considering these brands as well 🙂 Thanks!

    Monica

  17. pmcalary, January 9, 2020 at 8:23 am:

    Hi Monica,
    Accessing the dead space in the design you show is a waste of money as you would be spending a lot to get to space that isn’t really usable anyway. Dewils is another good brand like the ones above.
    .
    The one red flag that I get from your post is that your concern about accessing every bit of space is a concern that often drives homeowners to overcrowd their kitchens. Especially since you say your kitchen is small, has an island (which eats up space), and the cabinetry costs would indicate a kitchen that isn’t that tiny. You might want to send us your design to look to get an unbiased opinion. Unfortunately many designers will let customers overcrown their kitchens because the extra cabinetry makes them money and telling people what they don’t want to hear can be difficult.

    We give free advice outside our service area on Fridays between 2-4pm EST. You can call Chris this Friday, he is extension #8 and email him your design at Chris@MainLineKitchenDesign.com He will give you an honest appraisal of what we think about the design you are considering.

  18. Monica, January 9, 2020 at 1:43 am:

    Hi Paul,

    First off — thanks so much for all the useful information in here and in this blog! It’s been a huge help as we search for kitchen cabinets. I’d love your advice on our options. We received estimates for Omega, Bellmont, Crystal, and Starmark and the KD who sells Starmark also has Dewils which isn’t in your list. We love the modern look, so we really like the frameless options and are open to framed with slab overlay doors.

    Our kitchen is smaller, has strange angles (like this but smaller + tighter https://st.hzcdn.com/simgs/8b1181ac0ee01016_14-1348/home-design.jpg) and little wall space, so every KD has a different approach. The estimates we’ve gotten are: ~27k for Starmark (8.5k island only), ~31.5k for Crystal (custom + affordable, 6.5k island only), ~31k for Omega, and ~27k for Bellmont. Only the Crystal estimate includes custom cabinets, the others have dead space. What would you recommend? How does Dewils compare, especially if it is slighter higher than these quotes?

    Thanks so much!

  19. pmcalary, January 8, 2020 at 6:43 pm:

    Hi Vanessa,
    I like Wolf Classic and we rate it well in this review as it is Wolf”s highest level of construction. Cabinet companies get all kinds of meaningless reviews from customers primarily because people in general aren’t truly qualified to understand what they should expect. Most of the bad reviews all cabinet companies receive both well constructed lines and poorly made lines can be traced to customers misunderstanding what they bought, mistakes by the kitchen designer or cabinet dealers, or poor installation by the contractor. Below is our blog on this topic:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/hard-compare-kitchen-cabinet-brands/

  20. Vanessa, January 8, 2020 at 5:56 pm:

    How do you feel about Wolf Classic line? it seems their reviews are all over the place….

  21. pmcalary, January 8, 2020 at 5:48 pm:

    Hi Wailana,
    I believe we were able to get specifications on Belmont cabinetry in the past and commented on them. However I can’t find any specifics on their website or on line now. In general we only recommend frameless cabinetry that is 3/4″ plywood or plywood core and only for slab door styles. Shaker or recessed or raised panel door style are better done in framed cabinetry. It is more durable and the style doesn’t suffer from the slightly smaller overlay on full overlay doors.

  22. Wailana, January 8, 2020 at 5:16 pm:

    Do you have any ratings or experience with Bellmont Cabinetry, specifically the 1600 series, frameless, Alder wood?
    Thank you, Wailana

  23. pmcalary, January 5, 2020 at 12:18 pm:

    Hi Grant,
    Sorry the Pioneer web site gives no information on how they are made.

  24. Grant, January 5, 2020 at 12:11 pm:

    Sir/Madam

    Do you have any ratings for Pioneer Cabinets made in Michigan ?

  25. pmcalary, January 5, 2020 at 11:44 am:

    Hi John,
    I am actually also very surprised that HomeCrest was less than Fabuwood. It is generally more expensive. It sounds like the dealer selling the Fabuwood is marking cabinetry up a great deal while the dealer selling HomeCrest is being very competative. I would definitely pick Homecrest over Fabuwood for any stained cabinet and as far as a painted cabinet is concerned you might notice that the paint on the HomeCrest is not as smooth as the Fabuwood paint job because the wood is Maple instead of Birch and more difficult to sand. If this doesn’t bother you I would then get HomeCrest for a painted cabinet as well. Assuming all things being equal.

  26. pmcalary, January 5, 2020 at 11:35 am:

    Hi Nancy,
    My input would be to not listen to any other advice from the person that recommended Merillat. Even if the cabinetry wasn’t poorly constructed to actually recommend Merrilat above other superior built and better prices lines shows a complete lack of knowledge of kitchen design and of the cabinet industry. If this was a home owner it can be forgiven as simply not knowing what they are talking about. If this was a contractor it is telling for several reasons and I would not use them for my renovation.

  27. Nancy Osgood, January 4, 2020 at 8:41 am:

    Hi Merillat cabinets were recommended to me. I can not find one good review. Can you offer your input? Thank You.

  28. pmcalary, January 4, 2020 at 8:17 am:

    Hi Nadine,
    Thanks and a very savvy question. While no one can really know what will happen when ACProducts Inc takes over Kraftmaid I will say that ACP has been a good steward of the other lines they have acquired. In fact Yorktowne went from a pretty crummy cabinet line to a well constructed one after ACP took over. Of course as soon as Yorktowne became a good line then The big home builder Toll Brothers STOPPED using them and switched to another crummy line.

    Tough to give advice without a crystal ball but I would fall back on selecting the best designer and cabinet dealer to work with. If the same designer sells both lines than ask them their opinion. If it is two different companies than goole both dealers and work with the designer and dealer with the best reputation. The cabinet lines (if upgraded to the same level of construction) I don’t think will matter.

  29. Nadine, January 3, 2020 at 8:45 pm:

    I am so impressed with your advice. We are adding on a kitchen area to a very old house. Considering Kraftmaid or Wellborn solid construction cherry with a raised panel for cabinets.. Frankly I am lost . The Kraftmaid cabinets are nice but now that company has been sold. Are Wellborn cabinets a good choice ? This is a family home and I will probably live here forever. I need a reliable , traditional choice . Is there another company that I’ve overlooked? Any advice is appreciated

  30. John, January 3, 2020 at 6:13 pm:

    Sorry I should have mentioned the Homecrest are fully upgraded all plywood.

    John

  31. John, January 3, 2020 at 6:11 pm:

    Hi Paul – This website is super helpful. We were planning to go with Fabuwood cabinets but my builder suggested we get another designer to provide a competing bid – they thought Homecrest would work well for our kitchen and they made some minor adjustments to the design – we are going to the 9′ ceiling with cabinets – the tops being glass. With Homecrest they don’t need to be stacked and the second designer thought that would be a better look. The Homecrest also came in about 10% less – and even the designer selling them was surprised as he thought he’d be abuout 10% more than fabuwood. Do you think we’ll be happy with Homecrest?

    Many thanks.

  32. pmcalary, January 3, 2020 at 9:45 am:

    Hi Mike Great questions!
    As far as inexpensive cabinet lines go we like many but know the lines I list below best. You have to be careful with the inexpensive lines to make sure that they are assembled in the factory, and that the dealer has a good reputation, and be aware that there could be more damage during deliveries as these lines use less expensive carriers. Of course damages get replaced by any good dealer.
    Fabuwood
    Wolf
    J&K
    CNC
    Procraft
    6Square
    Green Forrest
    and many others

    Generally drawers are better than roll outs and cost exactly the same. If a kitchen is big enough and price is not a concern, we usually still leave one cabinet with no interior convenience like roll ours or Lazy Susans for awkward to store items like Woks, Blenders, etc. And we include one cabinet with adjustable roll outs for items with unusual heights.

    In REALY big kitchens all the kitchen gadgets and pull outs start to make sense. The smaller the kitchen the more saving storage space is a premium.

    Always remember that roll outs and drawers waste about 20% of a cabinets space and things like mixer lifts and Magic Corners or corner drawers waste 50% of a cabinet’s space or more and are less functional but have “the cool factor”

  33. Mike, January 2, 2020 at 9:45 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for all of the info you share on your blog – it’s a great resource! My wife & I are in the process of planning to remodel our kitchen. We’ve been looking at cabinets and really like the Kraftmaid Grandview square full design with maple wood, painted white: https://www.kraftmaid.com/grandview-square-full/

    I know you recommend Fabuwood a lot. Do they have anything similar that you’d recommend and/or are there any other cabinet companies that you’d recommend looking into for similarly designed / priced / quality cabinets? (The cabinet dealer we initially went to did not carry Fabuwood, but other cabinet dealers in our area do carry them).

    Also, do you have any recommendations on where in a kitchen (if at all) to include lower cabinet doors with pullout shelves instead of lower cabinet drawers? I’m not sure if the answer is specific to an individual kitchen design but figured I’d ask. We’ve been working with a kitchen designer and have a design that we really like, but noticed all of the lower cabinets are drawers. Just thought I’d try to get your opinion.

    Thanks for any help you’re able to give!

  34. pmcalary, January 1, 2020 at 4:30 pm:

    Hi Steve,
    I can’t find specs on how they are made but from their website I can tell that they are very a simple imported RTA cabinet line. $7,500 is a lot of money but $20,000 in Fabuwood cabinetry is a lot of cabinetry so your home must be large. A large space would usually call for a more sophisticated design and a larger spec book than the very inexpensive lines would offer. The most inexpensive cabinetry like the Carolina Heartland cabinetry can still last a lifetime if it well built as you say. However I can see from the web site that the cabinetry finish looks cheap. One reason we like Fabuwood so much is that in the painted cabinet styles, customers and even many designers, can’t tell the difference between Fabuwood and very expensive lines.

    The photos on the Carolina Heartland website and their website itself is so amateurish that I find it troubling. We sell and have sold lines that can be as much as 25% less than Fabuwood. While they look close in quality we only recommend using them on homes that are to be flipped. When it’s your own home and you plan on staying indefinitely I think it is a mistake for our customers even saving the 25%, much less the 38%, you would be saving here.

    Some of the cheaper lines that you might consider that would be less than Fabuwood but not quite so cheap looking would be:
    J&K, CNC, ProCraft, The Fabuwood Value and standard overy lines (25% less), The Wolf less expensive lines, Green Forest, and some others.

    If a cabinet companies web site does not look as nice as a small contractors that should be a red flag. Your warranty and the likely hood that the line will even exist in a short time make buying cabinetry from them riskey. Always Google the cabinet dealer too. They are who you are actually buying cabinets from and if they have poor reviews or no reviews then I would not buy from them.

  35. Steve, January 1, 2020 at 11:11 am:

    Hi Paul. Thanks for all the advice you provide on this blog – its incredibly helpful!. I know you’re a big advocate of Fabuwood for their overall quality/value, and I have specifically sought out well-reviewed kitchen designers in my area (Charleston, SC) that carry the line. One designer provided me a quote in Fabuwood Galaxy for ~$20k. He also quoted the same design in a brand called Carolina Heartwood Cabinet for ~$12.5k. You do not rate Carolina Heartwood but they seem to have many, if not all, of the construction specifications you recommend. What are your thoughts on this brand? Do you think its worth spending over 50% more to get Fabuwood? Thanks!

  36. pmcalary, January 1, 2020 at 11:08 am:

    Hi Lauryn,
    J&K is an inexpensive well constructed line but I would recommend not buying any cabinetry RTA. Buy it assembled by the factory but also work with a good kitchen designer on your kitchen. It depends on the door style and finish you are looking for but Fabuwood has the nicest painted white shaker and recessed panel doors for a similar price. J&K has some nice raised panel doors and some nice colors.

    One of the most frustrating things for good kitchen designers is how delusional the public is becoming about needing help designing their kitchens. HGTV, design software, and the the amount of information people can gather online from websites like ours has made the public ridiculously over confident.
    .
    As kitchen designers we know that a little bit of knowledge is especially disastrous in our profession. Experienced kitchen design professionals will tell you that the worst designs we see are from architects, contractors, engineers, and real estate professionals that arrogantly believe they know enough to design a kitchen, and need no help from an actual kitchen design professional. Unfortunately the general public is falling into the same over confident delusion due to the easy access of simplified kitchen related information. Nearly every design we get sent from people firmly believing that they have a “great kitchen design” and just need cabinet pricing is mistake riddled and outright laughable.

    Please do yourself a favor and don’t become another RTA DIY know-it-all and remodel your kitchen without researching the one thing you should be spending time on finding. IE a knowledgeable, experienced, and talented kitchen designer to work with. With the help of a good kitchen designer you can make the sensible choices in design and materials that add value to your home. Without professional help you project will almost certainly look great and make total sense TO YOU but in reality be a terrible substitute from what you could have had were you to get the help everyone needs.

    Here are three blogs to seriously consider if you believe I am exaggerating.

    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/ikea-effect-physiological-phenomenon-drives-kitchen-designers-crazy/

    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/why-you-need-a-professional-kitchen-designer/

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

  37. Lauryn, December 31, 2019 at 11:48 pm:

    I was wondering if you have any information or feedback on J&K cabinets? They so far appear to be the best quality of rta I’ve seen, but wondering if there are comparable or better options. Thank you.

  38. pmcalary, December 29, 2019 at 2:46 pm:

    I know Starmark better so it is hard to compare. But the framed Holiday cabinetry spec book impressed us. I would think both lines were similar.

  39. pmcalary, December 29, 2019 at 2:43 pm:

    No I have never heard of these lines which is pretty hard to accomplish and not a good sign. Looks like they are from a small carpenter with a broken website. I’d steer clear.

  40. MIchelle P., December 28, 2019 at 2:53 pm:

    Truly appreciate the time and effort to maintain this information! (A compliment before a favor!) Have you heard of Dwelling, Nest and/or Europa? And if so, any opinions on quality/value?

    Thank you!

  41. Janelle, December 28, 2019 at 11:47 am:

    I’m considering cabinets by Holiday Kitchens. I notice you’re listing gives an A to Holiday Kitchens and a C to Holiday Frameless I assume due to construction? In general what is your opinion of Holiday kitchens and how do they compare with a line like Starmark. Thank you!

  42. pmcalary, December 24, 2019 at 7:59 am:

    Hi Josh,
    Thanks for the kind words. We will be releasing expanded and updated reviews soon after The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show KBIS in Las Vegas this January.
    We plan on reviewing over 100 cabinet lines. We are also formatting the old reviews to make them easier to read and more attractive.
    Happy Holidays too!

  43. Josh R., December 24, 2019 at 1:37 am:

    I have read your blogs which are chocked full of valuable information. THANK YOU for providing this service!

    Almost a year and a half has passed since the 2018 list was updated. Do you have an updated listing for 2019?

    Thanks in advance and Happy Holidays!

  44. Peter, December 18, 2019 at 10:35 am:

    Thanks Paul!

  45. pmcalary, December 18, 2019 at 10:18 am:

    Hi Peter,
    We get lots of these kind of comments. IE I know you recommend A or C but we want B or D so what would you pick. Our answer is always the same – we will not be forced to rubber stamp bad decisions.

    We would never sell either of your choices to one of our customers and were a family member of mine to consider your choices I would yell at them. There are an almost infinite number of sensible cabinet choices out there. If your “preferred vendor” only supplies poor quality materials I would re-examine why I am working with this company. And if my contractor recommended them, I would get some other input, as well as estimates, from other contractors.

  46. Peter, December 18, 2019 at 8:59 am:

    Hi Paul,
    This is a great resource- I wish we lived in your area! We have 30 year old frameless cabinets in the house we just moved into that seem to have 3/4″ particle board sides, and are renovating. We love the frameless look but the cabinet line our preferred vendor supplies is Woodland Cabinetry and their frameless sides are 1/2″ plywood. I know you recommend 3/4″ plywood for frameless cabinets, so my question is, which do you think is worse, 3/4″ particle board frameless or 1/2″ plywood frameless? 🙂

  47. Christy, December 12, 2019 at 6:28 pm:

    Thanks Paul! I appreciate all your help in answering all our questions. I have learned a lot by reading all your answers!

  48. Paul McAlary, December 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm:

    Hi Christy,
    Yes I agree. Even in my own kitchen that would have cost me nothing extra I didn’t bother to upgrade to 3/4″. Usually we would use 3/4″ sides on framed cabinets for a Home Economics classroom or when a customer really wanted the absolute best construction and price was no concern.

  49. Christy, December 12, 2019 at 9:33 am:

    Sorry, one more question. I have been told by multiple cabinet makers that 3/4” plywood is not really necessary for framed cabinets. Would you agree with this? Thanks again.

  50. Christy, December 12, 2019 at 9:28 am:

    Thanks so much for your quick response. I wish we were in your service area! I appreciate all the advice you give here.

  51. pmcalary, December 12, 2019 at 7:45 am:

    Hi Christy,
    I didn’t know Starmark had a 3/4″ upgrade. Kraftmaid does too although it’s expensive. With both their regular upgrades and 1/2″ plywood sides they are pretty equal construction wise. Starmark has some more creative colors IMO. However, if you like the look of the finish you are considering equally Kraftmaid is just as well made and probably a little less expensive.

    As always – the design itself is the most important thing, especially with equivalent cabinetry.

    Unfortunately most kitchen designers either aren’t very good or have difficulty dissuading their customers from poor design decisions. People often want what the want, and when they have little design ability themselves they often refuse to take direction from their more knowledgeable designers. Because of this the majority of the designs we see done elsewhere need a great deal of improvement.

  52. Christy, December 11, 2019 at 6:54 pm:

    Thank you for all the great information. I am trying to decide between KraftMaid Vantage and Starmark. Is there any significant difference between the two other than Starmark having 3/4” plywood? I feel more comfortable with the KraftMaid dealer than the Starmark. I appreciate your help.

  53. Carol, December 9, 2019 at 12:41 pm:

    Thank you for the great info Paul. It is very helpful!

  54. Paul McAlary, December 8, 2019 at 8:54 am:

    Hi Carol,
    We used to carry Green Forest. They are well made when all plywood. The issue we had with them was that they do not sell 36″ high wall cabinets. They sell 39″ high ones instead. Be careful 39″ wall cabinets should NOT be used for kitchens 96″ tall.

  55. Carol, December 7, 2019 at 4:44 pm:

    Paul, What do you think of Green Forest Heart & Home cabinetry?

  56. pmcalary, December 6, 2019 at 8:32 am:

    Hi Gayle,
    The lines you mention are all over the spectrum on quality and price level. You are comparing apples to bananas. You might want to call us on a Friday between 2 and 4 and talk to a designer to focus your cabinet search and get some design help. Usually when customers are all over the place on cabinetry their kitchen design needs just as much direction.

  57. pmcalary, December 6, 2019 at 8:26 am:

    Hi Carol,
    My guess is that this is Masterbrands either dipping their toe into the import market or creating a product line to compete with imports.
    We would give the cabinets a B+ for construction. I don’t know where they fall pricing wise but they are probably a good value.

  58. Carol, December 6, 2019 at 6:56 am:

    Do you have any info on Mantra Cabinets (Masterbrand)?
    I am told that the construction is good…..

  59. Gayle B., December 3, 2019 at 8:28 am:

    Correction, Custom Wood Products is out of St. Mary’s, KS

  60. Gayle B., December 3, 2019 at 8:09 am:

    We are getting prices on the following cabinet lines: Custom Wood Products out of Topeka, KS, Crestwood out of Salina, KS, Brookhaven (back in business), Signature Cabinets, Showplace, Crystal Cabinets. Custom Wood Products is a very well made framed line and all the others will be the frameless line. You rate all the lines but the two Kansas lines. It looks like all the prices will be pretty close on all lines. Since you only rate the top selling lines, I’m not sure if CWP is on your radar yet. Since you are working on your new 2020 rating list, have they made the top selling list yet? Know anything about them? Brookhaven, Signature, Crystal-your ratings very similar on these three. Any preference based on information that you might be privy to as in stability of company?

  61. Paul McAlary, November 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm:

    Jimmy,
    The problem here is that you don’t know how other cabinets are made or what features constitute better construction methods. For example you could easily have paid almost double what you probably spent and bought cabinets less well constructed. Particularly if you did not upgrade the cabinets construction. Or bought frameless cabinetry. You needed to do better research to understand what you were buying and what was available at what price before you bought a kitchen and before you decided to be so opinionated.

  62. Jimmy, November 23, 2019 at 6:30 pm:

    You’re right I should have known how picky I can be. I think dovetail joints for drawers are acceptable when using plywood as long as care is taken. When used along the edge of a panel the outer layers of the veneer are removed resulting in a weak joint. The reason I would prefer the back panel to be full height is to strengthen the end panels at the base. If not then each end panel is a 1/4″ thick for the last 3/4″ of the panel. I purchased these cabinets because I read somewhere that if you are getting a simple white shaker door you need not waste money on higher end lines – just make sure the boxes are well designed. I posted more pictures and could have posted many more.

  63. pmcalary, November 23, 2019 at 4:00 pm:

    Dovetails are better than no dovetails. Why you want the back of a cabinet to reach the floor is a mystery, and I’m betting that most of the finish issues are on sides of cabinets that are not exposed and so considered “unfinished” ends. You definitely might have more issues than a typical cabinet order but we sell cabinets across all price points and see similar issues for all cabinetry lines. Problems that are exposed just get reordered. You definitely sound like as much of the problem as any of the cabinet issues.

  64. Jimmy, November 23, 2019 at 10:43 am:

    You are right – my expectations for this cabinet line was too high. I’m not being anal about cosmetics that aren’t going to be seen. I’m being anal about construction methods I didn’t know were being used for this cabinet. I didn’t know that dovetails were/can being used to connect the side panels to the face frame, and if they were that they were so poorly joined. Also didn’t know that the back panel wasn’t full-height. After examining the 9 cabinets and 8′ panel I ordered, every one of them has some paint/finish problems. I ordered these cabinets mostly based on what I read here. I would never recommend these cabinets to someone for use in their own home. I wanted to send the cabinets back and eat whatever costs I couldn’t recoup, but my wife was tired of not having a kitchen and wanted to get it over with. I will post the rest of the defects in the same link I posted before. I think I have read here that when you go either lower cost cabinets that you can expect some quality issues – I just didn’t know they were so extensive.

  65. pmcalary, November 23, 2019 at 8:55 am:

    Hi Jimmy,
    That one cabinet looks a little rough but your expectations for all cabinetry is probably too high. Any cabinet line might have similar issues and that cabinet is within specifications for any cabinet line even custom lines. It doesn’t matter what a cabinet looks like for parts that will never be seen so being too anal about cabinetry issues that will go unseen is going to make you unhappy with any line you select. Drawers and drawers are also adjustable and manufacturers expect the contractor to adjust them to align. Every cabinet company will replace any part or piece with visible finish issues. So any cabinets doors or drawers that have nicks would automatically be replaced. The one drawer box would be replaced as well.

  66. Jimmyf, November 22, 2019 at 7:46 pm:

    Chose Fabuwood Allure line, Galaxy Frost kitchen cabinets. Have the installer coming tomorrow and decided to open a base cabinet to check the depth of the base from the back to the face of the toe kick. I know it is the first cabinet i have opened, but I am not happy with the quality of the workmanship at all and even more concerned about the quality control at the factory.

  67. pmcalary, November 22, 2019 at 2:38 pm:

    Hi Eileen and Mike,
    If your ceilings are 96″ high you should never be using 39″ high wall cabinets. I think you probably need to get away from using Lowes, Home Depot and Costco. If your ceilings are 96″ the designers are incompetent recommending 39″ wall cabinets. And they are also wasting your money.

  68. Eileen and Mike, November 22, 2019 at 1:49 pm:

    Hi there. Looking to remodel in a coach villa in Naples FL. Looked at Thomasville @ Home Depot and Diamond @ Lowes. Both seem fairly nice. Residence used about 1/3 of the year. We also looked into AllWoodCabinetry but see that I would have to compromise my chosen 39″ wall units and go either 36″ or 42″ as they don’t offer 39″. They also don’t offer 21″ or 27″ base drawer boxes. We also noted that you said Schuler @ Lowes is owned by Medallion. We remodeled our kitchen up north last year with Medallion and like the cabinets very much. Can yo weigh in on these choices with your comments? Thomasville seems to have added a concierge service with a few bonuses. Also looking for best route for installation as have heard a few horror stories about Home Depot installation prices. Thanks for any help you can give.

  69. pmcalary, November 21, 2019 at 4:46 pm:

    Hi Salo,
    If you send floor plans we can guesstimate pricing. You can do this on a Friday between 2pm and 4pm. Use my email address Paul@MainLineKitchenDesign.com and call our main number during those hours on Friday.

  70. salo, November 21, 2019 at 4:40 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    thanks for all your great advice. I’ve read all 22 pages here and it has helped me a ton in avoiding a lot of big mistakes. Unfortunately I live in Charleston, otherwise I would hire you for my project in a snap.

    So I’m about to undergo a total condo renovation. The condo is 1300sqft and has relatively small U-shaped kitchen ~175sqft with 1.5 walls of upper cabinets (6 boxes total, including those above range and fridge) and 5 boxes of base cabinets including the sink base. 8 ft ceiling in kitchen.

    One of the questions I struggle to answer for a designer is – what is your budget? I have a total renovation budget for the entire project but struggle to narrow this down to only the kitchen. Naturally the more I allocate to the kitchen, the less money there is for the rest of the condo. You speak pretty highly of Fabuwood’s cost-to-value ratio so I’m leaning that direction. Its also a beach condo that will be used as a occasional vacation home but mostly for short term rental, so I don’t want to go too high end or over accessorize.

    I think the root of my problem is that I really have no idea what to think in terms of cabinet costs for Fabuwood or similar in this size kitchen. I understand its hard to say without knowing any details but I’m hoping to get a very rough idea of cost for just the cabinets. Am I looking closer to $10k, $30k, more? Even a swag (scientific wild-a$$ guess) number would help me wrap my mind around a kitchen budget.

    Thanks in advance!

  71. Paul McAlary, November 21, 2019 at 12:32 pm:

    With a 1/2″ particle board back it is very important the the cabinet is upgraded to plywood.

  72. Melissa, November 21, 2019 at 11:33 am:

    Hi Paul, thank you for the fast response. I am not sure why their website is flagging as dangerous. On my Mac laptop it opens fine, on my PC computer it flagged the same for me – weird. I know they are a legit cabinet manufacturer but they must be having some website issues. Nonetheless, I appreciate your attempts to assist and the time you spend helping folks, very generous of you. In case you can spare a few more minutes I thought I would include the details on how their Classic Line is constructed and the available upgrade options:

    Classic Series Cabinet Construction

    1. 3/4″ Hardwood stile and rail doors, mortise and tenon.

    2. 3/4″ Hardwood drawer fronts.

    3. 3/4″ Face frames with glued and pocket screwed joints.

    4. 1/2″ Particle board back with Maple print interior, eliminating the need for hang rails.

    5. 1/2″ Particle board sides, tops and bottoms, with Maple print interior and exterior.

    6. 1/2″ Rabbeted plywood drawer with 1/4″ plywood floor, faced with maple print.

    Drawer Upgrade Options:

    1. Solid hardwood dovetail drawer with blumotion full extension under mount soft close drawer guides.

    2. Solid hardwood dovetail drawer with soft close 7/8 extension under mount guide.

    3. Solid hardwood dovetail drawer with soft 3/4 extension side mount guide.

    7. Self-adjusting epoxy coated side mount drawer guides. Track weight rating of 75 lbs.

    8. 3/4″ Particle board shelving with Maple print on both sides and one edge. All shelves are adjustable with base cabinets having ½ depth shelves, supported by shelf pegs.

    9. Blum one piece adjustable concealed hinges with lifetime warranty.

    Door Upgrade Options:

    1. Blumotion soft close hinge.

    10. Standard finish consists of hand wiped stain, a coat of self-sealing conversion varnish and a top coat of conversion varnish. Finish thickness approximately 7 MIL, wet.

    11. Available option: Applied ¼” veneered skins. Classic series is C.A.R.B Phase II Compliant. Meets KCMA ESP Standards

  73. Paul McAlary, November 21, 2019 at 9:04 am:

    Plywood construction should not be overly expensive. For example better made lines will offer it for 5 to 10% more. Since wall cabinets should all be plywood and any exposed base cabinets need this upgrading an entire kitchen is simpler and makes the most sense. Sorry the Marquis cabinet web site is listed as a possible source for a computer virus and we are unable to review it.

  74. Melissa, November 20, 2019 at 10:49 pm:

    Hello,

    One of the lines I was inquiring about now has information on how their cabinets are made available on their website. It is the Marquis Cabinetry line. Here is a link to their page that describes how their Classic line cabinetry is made: https://www.marquiscabinet.com/cabinets/cabinet-construction/
    They have an upgrade option called their Imperial line. The main difference is the Classic line is made with particle board and the Imperial line is made with plywood. Aside from having plywood in important areas such as the sink base and exposed ends, is the cost of paying more for plywood worth it? Any feed back you are able to provide on the Marquis Classic line of cabinetry would be greatly appreciated!!

  75. ITSAdmin, November 17, 2019 at 7:53 pm:

    Hi Brian,
    You have to understand that while Solid Wood cabinets are well constructed they are in the least expensive cabinet line price category. Finishes and styles look a little cheaper than the cabinetry just a little more expensive. If you are flipping a home and on a serious budget they are a good selection. If you are in your home for the long haul I’d spend 15% more and get a far better looking cabinet like Fabuwood.

    Also we have recently heard that Solid Wood cabinetry is having problems so I am less enthusiastic about them of late.

  76. Brian, November 17, 2019 at 6:43 pm:

    Hello. First, I have to say thank you for being so responsive in your comments section, and also for your comprehensive ratings of cabinets. But I do have a question about a comment you made. You gave Solid Wood Cabinets an A- grade for Quality, which I would think is fantastic, but in a comment above you said you, “would not recommend these cabinets to anyone planning on staying in their home an extended period of time.” Isn’t an A- a really great grade? That comment does not sound glowing, and seems like it would be a C+ at best. I understand all this is subjective, but A means “excellent.”

  77. ITSAdmin, November 17, 2019 at 11:40 am:

    Hi Chris,
    We sell CliqStudios cabinetry under the 6Square brand. We would never sell their inset cabinetry. Even their rep recommends against selling it. Inexpensive and inset is a terrible combination.
    .
    Also buying cabinets on line is a mistake. Saving a little bit of money but having no professional help measuring and designing your kitchen other that remotely is a terrible idea. Kitchens are far more complicated than people understand. If you send us your CliqStudios design I would bet we would find many mistakes. Send it on a Friday and follow up with a phone call between 2-4 pm EST and one of us can help explain the mistakes we find. email to Paul@mainlinekitchendesign.com

  78. Chris, November 17, 2019 at 12:43 am:

    Hi Paul,

    Are you familiar with CliqStudios’ cabinets? Any concerns with their inset cabinetry (Austin)? What is your go-to brand for inset cabinetry on a budget? Thank you

  79. ITSAdmin, November 16, 2019 at 1:31 pm:

    Both of these likes we can’t rate because their websites don’t explain how their cabinets are constructed. That two strikes in my book. If they had something to brag about why not give people specifics?

  80. Afrin, November 14, 2019 at 10:07 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate it. I was reading through Kraftmaid and they described their plywood as such (https://kraftmaid.s3.amazonaws.com/2019+Launch/Vantage+Spec+Book+2019+.pdf):

    What Is In Some Of Our Plywood?
    Multiple layers of wood materials, including wood veneers and medium density
    fiberboard (MDF), are used to create a hybrid product containing the following
    benefits:
    Improved strength and finish quality; reduces expansion or contraction, which is
    better for a smooth, quality finish. This process also produces a more rigid product.

    Is this standard plywood for all other cabinet lines as well or is this a worrisome turn for Kraftmaid?

  81. pmcalary, November 14, 2019 at 6:25 pm:

    Hi Larry,
    All three lines are rated in our review here. Shiloh we give poor reviews due to an insufficient hanging rail on the back of the cabinet.
    The ratings we give Kraftmaid and Starmark are similar. Usually Kraftmaid is slightly less expensive. Starmark does inset cabinetry and has some very nice finishes. Which you choose would be simply up to which door style and finish you liked most for the money.

  82. Larry, November 14, 2019 at 3:19 pm:

    Looking at KraftMaid (premium grade), Shiloh and Starmark cabinets and would like a comparison of the three. Quality, selection and price. Thanks Larry

  83. paul mcalary, November 14, 2019 at 7:58 am:

    Hi Afrin,
    I did a quick check and the Kraftmaid Momentum website is not specific enough to see if there is any difference in construction between regular Kraftmaid and Momentum. However if you are upgrading, as you should to plywood construction, buying Kraftmaid Vantage from an independent dealer and not a home center might be a better value. It comes with a plywood box already and the designer is likely to be more experienced.

    Not to mention that both Lowes and Home Depot no longer work on designs that remove walls. This is because they are so poorly staffed that they can not responsibly get involved in more difficult renovations. When you admit you are incompetent to work on what now accounts for up to 70% of the kitchen designs and renovations we are asked to do, that is quite telling. I think with the new management at both home centers in place and with their reducing the wages they pay to their more professional employees like kitchen designers, that it is time to avoid home centers for kitchen renovations.

    Both Lowes and Home Depot have always been shortsighted when it comes to kitchen design. However I think corporate decisions in both companies have finally made their kitchen departments places to avoid.

    Lowes in particular should be avoided. Here’s why:
    Several years ago Lowes slashed the pay of their most experienced kitchen designer 25%. This made most of the best designers leave in droves. Just last month Lowes again slashed the salaries of their remaining most experienced kitchen designers an additional 25%. So a designer that might have been making 60K 6 years ago now makes 30K. Not only is whoever left designing kitchens at Lowes likely to be incompetent but the most experienced designers are also going to be angry. This is a lose lose situation for Lowes customers.

  84. Afrin, November 13, 2019 at 11:50 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the reassessing Wellborn Forest. Have you heard of Kraftmaid Momentum line (http://www.kraftmaidmomentum.com/) from lowe’s. After upgrading to all plywood construction, how does it stack up to kraftmaid and/or Wellborn forest. Thanks.

  85. Melissa, November 13, 2019 at 10:08 pm:

    Hello, so happy I stumbled onto your website! So helpful and generous of you to provide this information. Do you by chance know anything about the Marquis cabinets and/or Aspect cabinetry? Thanks a million!

  86. ITSAdmin, November 13, 2019 at 6:05 pm:

    Hi Sandi,
    I Like J&K. They are well constructed and inexpensive. They also have some nice and unique door styles for a line that imports their doors. We don’t carry them, as we also don’t carry Wolf, simply because because we like the Fabuwood door styles and finishes a little more. But they are all close. I would use the Wolf rating as equivalent to J&K.

  87. Sandi, November 13, 2019 at 5:17 pm:

    Hi Paul can you tell me how you’d rate J&K cabinetry? It’s a foreign line with providers in GA and FL. I’m renovating a kitchen and I’m on a canal on an island. Thank you for a response

  88. ITSAdmin, November 13, 2019 at 3:03 pm:

    Hi Afrin,
    This is Paul speaking:
    We don’t rate Wellborn Forrest in our 2018 reviews and I might have been too quick to rate them when asked in a blog comment. Your point is well taken and while we haven’t done any more in depth analysis their backs are their week link. I think a B++ and an A – – would be a fairer construction evaluation for both series. We will be rating them in our upcoming 2020 rankings that will be released in February, shortly after the Kitchen And Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas.

  89. Afrin, November 13, 2019 at 11:26 am:

    HI,

    I am looking into Wellborn Forest. I have gone through the comment section and found pauls comments from January 25, 2019 at 7:29 am. Their Supreme Series would get an A and their Elite series would get an A+ for construction. I called the company, it seems there back is 3/16in with a 1/2in hanging rail. That comes to 11/16in (0.6875in). which is 1/16in (0.0625in) short of recommended 3/4in back + hanging rail. Given this info will it still receive the same grade as above.

  90. ITSAdmin, November 4, 2019 at 6:16 pm:

    Diamond has been upgrading their cabinet construction over time. So that if you upgraded the Vibe to All Plywood Construction we would give it a B+ for construction. In January we will be releasing new updated and more comprehensive rankings and we will update rankings then. Designers Choice I can no longer find specs for so the good ratings we gave them we can not confirm.

  91. Sherri Casey, November 4, 2019 at 5:49 pm:

    Wondering what you might know about VIBE by Diamond, and how they compare to Designers Choice, with all upgrades available on both. The third option was Showplace, but it came in over $8000 dollars more than the other two. YIKES! Thank you in advance. I found your website to be so educational and helpful. Thanks again.

  92. ITSAdmin, November 4, 2019 at 6:54 am:

    Hi Pat,
    We don’t have enough information to rate Crestwood since their web site does not show how their cabinets are constructed. Decora is almost certainly the best value here though.

  93. Pat Gower, November 3, 2019 at 1:31 pm:

    We are remodeling a kitchen in Boulder Co. The unit now has Canyon Creek cabinets. We are looking at updating with either new Canyon Creek units. But one contractor has recommended Crestwood an another contractor has recommended Decora. I was interested in your thoughts. Also what do you know about Crestwood? They’re based in Salina KS

  94. Patrick Gower, November 3, 2019 at 1:30 pm:

    We are remodeling a kitchen in Boulder Co. The unit now has Canyon Creek cabinets. We are looking at updating with either new Canyon Creek units. But one contractor has recommended Crestwood an another contractor has recommended Decora. I was interested in your thoughts. Also what do you know about Crestwood? They’re based in Salina KS

  95. ITSAdmin, October 30, 2019 at 12:33 pm:

    Hi Wen,
    I like the Fabuwood better but you aren’t getting a great price for it. Normally apples to apples American Woodmark upgraded is about 15% more expensive.

  96. Wen, October 30, 2019 at 10:20 am:

    I’m choosing between fabuwood allure galaxy frost white and american woodmark leesburg maple painted white (upgraded to all plywood) from homedepot. The price quote is about the same. Could you please suggest which is better? Thank you

  97. Wen, October 30, 2019 at 9:53 am:

    I am choosing between fabuwood Allure galaxy frost white and American woodmark leesburg maple painted white. They are about the same price quote. Could you please give some suggestion which one is better? Thank you very much.

  98. ITSAdmin, October 28, 2019 at 5:38 pm:

    Shiloh cabinetry didn’t meet our construction minimums. I believe the back of the cabinet was poorly constructed. Beaded Inset cabinetry should only be purchased from more expensive Custom cabinetry lines. We sell Brighton as a less expensive beaded inset line. I think Decora, Starmark, Fieldstone, and Medallion are also good choices.

  99. Emily, October 28, 2019 at 2:29 pm:

    I’m looking for beaded inset Shaker-ish style (that is, relatively simple) white painted finish cabinets for a small kitchen (not much larger than the stereotypical 10 x 10 kitchen). The reviews on Houzz for Shiloh cabinets are very positive, but you give Shiloh only a C. What don’t you like about Shiloh, and which manufacturers would you recommend instead? I’m planning to be in my house another 20 years, and don’t want my kitchen falling apart on me. Thanks!

  100. ITSAdmin, October 26, 2019 at 8:44 am:

    Hi Kathleen,
    Upgrade to a plywood box in any cabinet line you purchase. Upgraded Kraftmaid will not be less durable than any of the other brands although inset or beaded inset doors and some other custom features will not be available. Any 5/8″ hardwood for dovetail drawers is fine. Any paintable hardwood is also fine and MDF recessed door panels are also fine if not prefered for a painted recessed door style. Kraftmaid is not a cheap line and so it surprises me that your kitchen could be 20-25K les in Kraftmaid. Most more expensive custom lines should sell for no more than 40% above upgraded Kraftmaid from a home center, which would mean that your kitchen should be priced at 70K in a line like Elmwood for the same design. That’s a big kitchen and it sounds expensive for a modest neighborhood.

    Yes the Home Depot designers are likely to be less knowledgeable and less experienced than designers at more expensive private showrooms but that is only on average. There will be some good designers at both Lowes and The Home Depot, and we see terrible designs done all the time from very expensive showrooms. I would try to possibly buy Kraftmaid Vantage from a private dealer. Because the dealer is competing with homecenters their pricing will not be inflated and should be only around 5% more on average. This way you will have your cake and be able to eat it too. Wherever you go I would try to select the most experienced designer at that location to work with.

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