Kitchen Cabinet Ratings for 2018. Updated Reviews for the Top Selling Cabinet Brands.

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

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 website contact page.

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 websites for each cabinet line.

Main Line kitchen design acknowledges that we are dealers for the following cabinet lines: Wellsford, Bishop, Brighton, Fabuwood, 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:

Recommended Dealers

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.

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.

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

The value grade 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 its 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 its class. These lines receive lower grades on value simply because there are competitors offering the same quality at slightly lower prices.

Cabinet Lines

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.

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

Do you need a more general review of cabinetry from 2015 explaining types of cabinetry construction?

2015 Brand Comparison

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

Learn More

1 Replies to “Kitchen Cabinet Ratings for 2018. Updated Reviews for the Top Selling Cabinet Brands.”

  1. Anonymous

    Is the wolf cheaply made? What about the wolf design line? Also what is your opinion on aspect cabinet? Looking for a decent mid level cabinet.

  2. Anonymous

    Is wolf a cheaply made cabinet? What about the wolf design line? Or the aspect cabinet? Looking for a decent mid level cabinet.

  3. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Hi Venkat,
    I think we answered this on another blog. The Niviya looks “homemade” and not truly what kitchen designers consider “custom cabinetry”. Stick with bigger cabinet brands.

  4. Anna Barbieri

    Hello,
    We are trying to decide between St. Martin Frameless Cabinets, Medallion Silverline Framed Cabinets, and Cliqstudio cabinets. Do you have an opinion as to which of these would be the best quality/value?
    Thanks,
    Anna

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Sorry I don’t like any of these choices for different reasons. You don’t say what color and door style but generally…
      I don’t like frameless for durability reasons
      Medallion must be upgraded to be a good cabinet. Silverline is overpriced and flimsy.
      Never buy cabinets on line. You are asking for trouble having no person responsible for measuring and solving issues other than a amateur IE yourself.

  5. Venkat

    Hello,

    We live in the San Jose, CA area. There are some shops here that say that they make their own cabinets here in California. One of them is Niviya. Have you heard o them? One of my fears is that while the cabinets may look good when new, they may not be durable. Is it better to go with a well-known brand as opposed to a local brand? I don’t want to cut corners but at the same time, we don’t want to break the bank. Please advise.

    Thanks!

  6. Pat D

    I have narrowed my choice for high gloss frameless cabinets to Dura Supreme and Fabuwood and don’t know which to choose. Fabuwood is less expensive but I like the style of Dura Supreme better between the two which is the better quality cabinet .

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We had serious problems with high gloss DuraSupreme frameless cabinets when we carried their line. Worst of all they would not honor their warranty.
      No contest here Fabuwood is a better product. Better built, much nicer edges, and less expensive!

  7. Donna

    Paul – thank you so much for your time this afternoon. Incredibly helpful phone call, and I feel much better about moving forward. Your company is amazing, thank you for this blog and sharing your knowledge. I am finally looking forward to what our kitchen will be when it’s complete.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Thanks Donna!
      We happily answer questions and look at designs from outside our service area on Fridays and we will answer questions posted to the comments on our blog during the week. But filling out our contact form on our web site or calling during the week is disruptive if you are too far away to be one of our paying customers. Thanks for working within our system. We’re happy to help.

  8. paul mcalary

    Hi Alice,
    It’s right on our home page. Just click the home button and scroll down. Several are on our YouTube page. And this Blog gives a renovation timeline:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/category/kitchen-renovation-timeline/
    and this bolg give a check list in order:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/category/new-kitchen-checklist/

  9. Alice Gordon

    Will you please point me to that video in warp speed that shows a kitchen being renovated. I just want to see the order of steps again. Thank you.

  10. Dharmen

    Hi,

    I’m looking to buy new cabinets for my kitchen and after research, i like what fabuwood has to offer from both a quality and cost standpoint. However i went to another cabinet dealer and they had adornus cabinets as well which look very similar but I don’t see any reviews on it. The cabinets I’m looking at are the fabuwood hallmark frost vs adornus aspen. Any feedback and advice on these 2 manufacturers would be appreciated!!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Sorry I don’t know Adornus and their web site says nothing about how they are made. Since they use Maple wood instead of the Fabuwood birch I would guess that they would be more expensive. The wood species doesn’t matter in this case IMO.

  11. Lori

    Can you tell me anything about Elmwood and Craft-made cabinets? I don’t see them on your list and these are the two brands our kitchen person is offering to us with the Craft-made being substantially more. Thanks

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Lori,
      Elmwood is a Cabico cabinet I believe it is frameless and we review it. It is well made for frameless and so gets a B for construction the highest rating. Craft-made is a Pennsylvania custom line that will build Framed and frameless cabinetry. I would get framed for eveything except slab very modern door styles which Craft-made doesn’t specialize in.

  12. Sally Plourde

    Just read this entire thread. There was nso much good information! I am working with Home Depot. The kitchen designer has years of experience, degree in design,and has good recommendations. I am taking your advice and moving a door to get a better design. I am deciding between Kraftmaid (upgraded) or Woodmark (upgraded) in shaker style, white paint. I will be selling my house in the next 8 years and hope that the renovation cost will be recouped when I well. I am also debating replacing the tile floor that is in good shape (needs new grout) with a laminate click in flooring. Advice?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Sally,
      Both the Lines are well constructed if upgraded to plywood construction. Woodmark will be significantly less and have less choices and slightly less appealing finishes. Durability should be similar.

      I’m not a fan of laminate floors or in ever going over an existing floor or in keeping an existing tile floor because that would mean the footprint of your kitchen would not change or change very little. This is never done in our kitchens.
      .
      In general saving some parts of an old kitchen usually is a bad idea. I have known customers to spend an additional $10,000 more on cabinetry and countertops trying to match an outdated tile floor color. When a new floor would have only cost $3,000.

  13. Joeley

    Hi thank you so much for all of your hard work on this site! Our contractor had merillat cabinets picked for us and after seeing the review I think I would want to change. Could you tell me more specifics on why they got the rating they did? Our kitchen isn’t huge but we are paying over $20,000 for cabinets so don’t want to waste it on junk! Thank you so much!! i

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Joeley,
      Merrilat just released their Masterpiece line which would get much better ratings probably a 3 or 4 for pricing a B+ for construction and a C+ for value.
      The lower lines we would not recommend. I haven’t updated the rating yet since the new release.

  14. Valerie

    I’m trying to figure the value of Belmont 1900 series cabinetry vs. Nouveau Thomasville Cabinetry.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Valerie,
      First I am not a fan of frameless cabinetry for any door styles other than contemporary modern slab doors. Only in those door styles is the better look for the style possibly worth the reduced durability in construction.
      .
      Second both the lines you are considering not known for transparency or for being a good value. I would never buy frameless cabinets without the sides being at least a plywood core and hopefully with 3/4″ sides.

  15. Susan Shaffer

    We are remodeling our kitchen. Wanted to check out fabuwood because of your recommendations. The dealer is going to give us a quote but also recommended KCD and carriage house. I have not found any ratings for those two companies. Are you familiar with either of them?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Susan,
      I’ve never even heard the names of those lines. So I’m not sure how to rate them.
      KCD is an RTA line. I would NEVER buy RTA cabinets. Even Fabuwood I would not buy unassembled even though they do offer unassembled cabinetry as a tiny amount of their overall sales. There is no sense in assembling cabinets yourself. The factories will do it better in 99% of the cases and you will have a warranty. It doesn’t even save money unless you place the value of your time at under $10 / hr.

  16. James

    Hi! Trying to choose our kitchen cabinets and we are deciding
    Between Brookhaven and kountry Kraft. We are doing white shaker doors. Not sure if one tips the scale for you more than the other. I think it’s coming down to the finish at this point. Any help would greatly appreciated!
    Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Kountry Kraft can be framed or frameless if both lines are framed I would pick the finish I liked best.

  17. Allison

    The list of reputable kitchen designers across the country is wonderful! Forgive me if this has already been addressed, but I live in the St. Louis region. The closest designers for me are over 4 hours away in either Wichita, KS or Indianapolis. Any recommendations in Missouri?? Thanks in advance.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Alison,
      We had trouble finding a dealer that met all of our criteria in your area. The company KarrBrick (Link below) looks like they are good designers but they don’t tell you what lines they carry and so might only sell expensive cabinetry.
      https://karrbick.com/

  18. Rob

    Hi, one additional question. The ceiling height in my Kitchen is 9’6″. i read a lot of your posts regarding 36″ high with stack-able cabinets and modeling. i believe this was for 9′ ceilings. What would you recommend for 9’6? current design doesn’t have stack-able cabinets and currently has varying heights in 3 different areas. Corner cabinet, hood, and fridge wall. Would you still stick with 36 inch cabinets with 6″ molding and than have the varying heights in other parts – corner cabinet, pantry cabinet, and fridge wall?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Sorry Rob,
      We missed some comments I’d use 42″ wall cabinets for a 102″ high ceiling with 6″ of stacked crown molding. Make sure to have a flat piece of crown at lest 2″ high to disguise ceilings being out of level.

  19. Kiah

    Hi Paul, thank you! I was reading through recent comment regarding Schrock as we are considering them. The specs in cabinet catalog for Schrock states “3/8” thick load bearing panel extends the entire width and height of wall cabinet, 1/2” thick sides, top, and bottom, 1/2” thick I-beam braces, 3/4” thick shelving, dove tail drawer with all wood sides and full externsion ( these are all standard). With an all upgrade, does this sound like solid construction?

  20. Robert Krukowski

    Thanks – I am in westchester NY using Majestic Kitchens (a designer your site recommends too). Helpful to hear your thoughts. Any more insight into why Cabico isn’t as constructed as well? Sounds like you think the 20-30% premium for Cabico isn’t worth it. Majestic carries Design-craft, and shiloh as well as plain and fancy but PF is too expensive. Would you reccomend any of these over Fabuwood? Wondering if i should stay with this designer or if i should try to find other designers that carry products in the Tier 4 range the way your website rated the cabinets to see if the design can be done at those costs. For example, find a good designer that carriers BISHOP or plato. I know they will be more expensive than fabuwood but might be a little better qualify?

  21. Paul McAlary

    Cabico is not constructed as well as Fabuwood and I can’t imagine a problem with sizing that would make sense. Finish durability on painted cabinetry is all very similar. This designer sounds like he doesn’t know what he is talking about. You can read the rating above to see how we review the lines we are discussing.

  22. Robert Krukowski

    LOL. Thanks. I guess for a more focused question is what do I have to be concerned about regarding paint and finish for cabinets. We have a designer who is advocating for Cabico right now and in a Full Overlay since the Inset is out of our budget. The current design is ~$5-7K higher than I would like to spend. I am targeting $35K. His comment is fabuwood wont last as long from a finish standpoint as cabico and his design would change based on the limited custom options from fabuwood. I am trying to determine if it is worth going down a level to fabuwood to save the money or in the long run is it worth to stick with cabico. We are contemplating looking at other designers to see if the other brands similar to cabico (Design-craft, plato or shiloh) we could get our design for the lower price. Thank you for responding before and hopefully this is a little more specific

  23. Robert Krukowski

    HI Doing a major kitchen renno. We want something to last 20 years since we don’t plan on moving. Looking at inset or full overlay at the following companies: Cabico, Design-craft, shiloh, plato or fabuwood. I was told Fabuwood is ok but won’t last as well over time as the other 4 i mentioned. Do you do work up in NY?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Robert,
      You are all over the map on what you want. We rate the lines you mention so if you read this blog you know that we disagree with whoever you consulted on cabinetry. Most of the lines you mention do not do inset and the pricing of the lines you mention span the entire spectrum of cabinet pricing. So you need to start getting better help focusing your needs, negotiating the cabinet world, and most importantly designing your kitchen. Try to find an experienced kitchen designer to help you.

  24. Paul McAlary

    Yes I don’t like Schrock but Green forest upgraded is a great lower priced line we haven’t sold it yet but we are a dealer for them. Bishop we do like and sell. And the custom line is probably good.

  25. Kelley

    Thanks! So Corbella kitchens don’t make the cut? Maybe i am confused, but i thought you weren’t impressed with Schrock? Something about being 3/8 thickness. I couldn’t find much on green Forrest either.

    Very interesting about the contractors bids! I would like to think i am rather level headed😉 definitely take extra precautions most of the time to do my due diligence.. this is how i found your blog!

    We are also on the border of north florida, so if you happen to know of any in south east Georgia, to recommend, that would be great! Thanks for your time!!

  26. paul mcalary

    Hi Kelly I have looked in your area before and found the information copied below:

    KBR Designs are good designers but they also only seem to carry upper price range cabinetry. They could carry a less expensive line that they don’t mention but on their web site the only less expensive line they list is frameless.
    KBR Designs 904-721-2663 Jacksonville

    Signature Kitchens looks less experienced and they have cabinet lines across the whole price point spectrum.

    Signature Kitchens and Baths 904-860-0778

    Neither company has all the components to make our list.

    But if KBR did carry a less expensive framed line they certainly would. So if you contact them and they do have a less expensive line and you have a good experience please let us know and we can add them to our list.

    I do like the lines at the last place you mention but there is more to kitchens then cabinets.

    The “no shoes” would definitely set off most kitchen places. We deal with the general public during a stressful renovation. People that might not seem level headed could suggest that they could be tough customers under the stress. Remember that just as you are judging the contractors and kitchen places that they are judging you. Contractors in particular adjust their bids according to how easy they guess working with a particular customer will be by as much as 25%. So offering a contractor a cup of coffee or a cookie could save you thousands.

    Best of Luck,
    Paul

  27. Kelley

    I met with the owner of this company (i think) only a few miles down the road and she was kind. However, her cabinet lines don’t come highly recommended by you, i think. These are the ones she currently carries:

    We do Green Forest, Jim Bishop, Schrock by Masterbrand and we also have a totally custom cabinet maker.

    Her company:
    We do Green Forest, Jim Bishop, Schrock by Masterbrand and we also have a totally custom cabinet maker if you wanted to go that route.

    http://www.canopyfloorsinteriors.com/

  28. Kelley

    Continued… and thus, she is protected, and any injury falls on me. She has more of being injured with her high heels😉 anyway, she proceeded with her condescending look, energies, words, and tone, and had no interest in me as customer. I left, and came back in to tell her she could have been kinder with me and that i was a very sensitive soul. She said i am sorry if you thought i was unkind. And that i needed to work on that (being sensitive). In the end, i just said it is all about intention.. to which she replied… we are done now.

    I guess since the contractor i was planning on using goes through them to order Wellborn cabinets and uses their kitchen designer, it does not make for a good scenario?

    We have already been without a kitchen for month due to a leak and mold remediation, And this is getting no where. Next up is this place:
    https://www.corbellakitchens.com/new-cabinetry/
    However, next appointment to get someone to
    Measure is not until March 1!
    Any other places in the Jacksonville, Florida area you can recommend?

  29. Kelley

    So finding a good kitchen designer That sellls good cabinet lines is getting very tricky! I met a contractor that sells Wellborn. He has a kitchen designer that he uses. I wanted to speak with the kitchen designer before i handed over my $750 retainer fee. I called a place that sells Wellborn and found out the contractor i was planning on using, uses their kitchen designer. They only sell Wellborn. I traveled 2 hours round trip, to see the cabinets in person. I also wanted to get a feel for the designer. He talked to me for a few minutes, and actually said many clients are going with Wellborn’s mdf cabinet line!!

    Long story short, he left and i was sitting there for about ten minutes. No one else asked me if i needed anything. Then, the owner comes out of nowhere and has this look on her face. She basically reprimands me for being barefoot. And says i need to have shoes and all this liability. I calmly told her it was perfectly legal and that i
    will wear shoes from now on. Her store is fastidious…

  30. Kiah

    Hi Paul, I’ve heard you say no drawers wider than 30”, but what do you suggest for a 36” range top base? We were hoping for a drawer, but sounds like this is a no-no? TIA!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We recommend no drawers wider than 30 inches for frameless cabinetry. On framed cabinetry 36 is OK but still be careful with overloading drawers, With a frameless cabinet and a 36″ cooktop putting drawers below is asking for trouble. I would just use shelves for cabinets over 30″ on any frameless cabinet.

  31. Kelley

    Thank you for your insight!

  32. Paul McAlary

    Not a huge fan of Schrock. To the best of my knowledge they use 3/8 sides and backs which even in plywood are insufficient IMO. Making 3/8″ sides and backs in MDF is such a bad idea that it really means that they don’t care about durability at all. Upgraded other lines will be 1/2 inch plywood. I would stick with them unless Schrock now offers 1/2 backs and sides. They may but like most Masterbrand Cabinet lines they are not transparent in how they make their cabinets. Our designers all know Schrock from the past which is how we review them. If they start making a better cabinet our reviews will lag behind because of their lack of transparency.

  33. Kelley

    Not sure if i asked this already, but if you had a choice between Schrock in between level (before boutique Line), green Forrest, or Wellborn, what would it be? Also, is the Schrock boutique line way better than their mid line?
    Thanks!

  34. paul mcalary

    Hi Jeff,
    All painted cabinets will have some separation on doors as the joints expand and contract with temperature and humidity. These joint lines are not cracks and can be touched up in the field.
    .
    This is true with Fabuwood and even more pronounced with lines made in the US but not custom US lines. Custom line doors are usually sanded to a higher degree which reduces but still does not eliminate the issue. The builders and flippers you know are experiencing the issue simply because of the new popularity of painted cabinetry. I don’t know the Great Northern line so I don’t know how much sanding their doors get. So they could have less of this issue than other lines.
    .
    However ALL mitered doors from any line will do this and at least a couple of doors from every line for a particular kitchen that is painted will do this. If this is a big concern make sure you get the help of an experienced person who can touch up your painted cabinets. Stained wood cabinets don’t show the seams because the grain of the wood disguises the lines.

  35. Jeff

    Thank you for the response. The people who have advised against Fabuwood are some builders and house flippers who stopped using the brand due to corner separation on the doors at the seems. My wife is concerned about this issue. We have also been advised about great norther cabinetry which I have never heard of as a mid level. Any familiarity with this brand. Is there any resource to know if you are getting a reasonable price on Fabuwood cabinets?

  36. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Hi Jeff,
    Please don’t listen to consumer reviews on cabinets. Good cabinet lines like Kraftmaid, Fabuwood and others get maligned by people who have no idea what they are talking about. They usually blame the cabinet manufactures for the dealer, designer, or installers mistakes or for simply not listening what they were told. Fabuwood is as durable as the more expensive lines but any inexpensive or medium priced line is not going to sand the dovetail drawers. You will need to spend at least 50% more on cabinetry to get that kind of attention to detail.

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