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

2018 Kitchen Cabinet Rankings

Below are our kitchen cabinet rankings from 2018 for the top selling cabinet manufacturers in the United States. Cabinet brands are rated 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.

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’s contact page.


Cabinet Reviews: Ratings for the top 100 cabinet brands.


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. 

white L shape kitchen with small island and 2 different backsplash colors



Recommended Kitchen Designers and Cabinet Dealers Outside Our Service Area

OUR KITCHEN CABINET RANKINGS assume 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 linePrice level 1-6    QualityValue
21st Century1AA-
6 Square2B+B+
Adelphia Kitchens3BB
Adormus (frameless)3BB
All Wood – framed2AA
All Wood – frameless1CC
American Woodmark3BB
Bishop Frameless5BB+
Canyon Creek3BB
Desginers Choice4AA
Durasupreme frameless3CC
Dynasty by Omega (frameless)4BB
Dynasty Pinnacle (framed)5AB
Echelon Cabinetry2B-C
Executive (frameless)4BB
Fabuwood (frameless)3BB
Hanssem framed1B+B+
Holiday (frameless)3CC
Holiday Kitchens4AA
Homestead Custom4AA-
Ideal Cabinetry2BA-
IKEA (frameless)1DC
JSI Cabinetry1B+B+
Kitchencraft (frameless)3CB
Kountry Kraft (framed)6AB
Kountry Kraft (frameless)6BB
Kountry Wood2CC
Marsh (frameless)2B-B
Merit Kitchens4B+B
Mid Continent2CC
Mouser (frameless)5BA
Plain and Fancy6AB+
Plato Woodwork4AA
Poggenpohl (frameless)6BC
QuakerMaid (frameless)4BB
RD Henry4AA
Signature Custom5A+A+
Solid Wood Cabinets1A-A-
St. Martin (frameless)4BB
Ultracraft (frameless)2CC
Wellborn4 and 5AA
Yorktowne Now an Elkay CO4B+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:

Cabinet Off Gassing, Carb2 Compliance, and VOC’s.

(!) Note About Painted Cabinetry

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

  1. Saj

    Thank you for valuble information.
    How do you compare Signature cabinets to Wellsford in quality and price.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      They are comparable but as we sell Wellsford and I know the line better that would be my pick.

  2. Cindy

    We are considering cabinets for a kitchen remodel from either Brighton or Crystal. The cabinets would be white, with a stained island. Any pros and cons we should consider? We currently have Kraftmaid. Are they better than Kraftmaid, and which of the two is better?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Both Crystal and Brighton are a significant step up from Kraftmaid. Remember to upgrade to all plywood construction. Inset doors are very nice and not that more expensive in these custom lines. Inset and beaded inset is the mark of custom cabinetry.

  3. Kathy

    Would appreciate input on 3 cabinet brands Considering Wellborn, Woodmode, and Woodharbor. All 3 brands are the same “quality” being the premier or top of the lines. We like each one but have some concerns re: our Wellborn dealer seems difficult to reach and unreliable. The Woodmode cabinetry gets great reviews but customer service after the sale allegedly falls flat from the company. Could you provide input. Much appreciated!!! We need to order soon

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Woodharbor is not a line even close to the other two. Wellborn is very nice, especially their high end upgraded lines. Woodmode is full custom and a great cabinet but much more expensive

  4. Stacy

    In our last kitchen, we had custom cabinets and we were very pleased; however, we were the general contractors which made the job take forever. We just moved and need to redo the kitchen. We found a contractor who does A-Z, but will not work with our cabinet guy. He prefers semi-custom. I know he will mark them up (that’s fine I suppose) but I’m wondering about the quality. They are Columbia Cabinets (Canada).

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Lots of warning signs here:
      Homeowners that aren’t contractors themselves make a mistake and almost always end up spending more and get a less professional result when they try to GC a job. Contractors should not be marking up cabinets. And kitchen designers should sell more than one line. Individuals, like your cabinet guy, that make cabinets themselves make “homemade” cabinets and not “custom” cabinets. When the contractor won’t work with this person that’s a red flag. And the contractor shouldn’t be determining the cabinet line you choose. We are also not a fan of Columbia cabinets. They are particleboard frameless cabinets.

      Research to find a kitchen designer and cabinet dealership on your own that gets great reviews. We recommend dealers around the US. See link below:

      Then work on the design with the kitchen designer. Then get bids from at least 3 general contractors and at least one from the kitchen designer to compare. This is how the process should be done. You did it what we think is the wrong way once. At least try doing it the way most kitchen professionals would recommend the second time.

  5. Skye

    Thanks, we live in the Denver area, and hailstorms are very common here – but we have never had hail that size in my neighborhood.

    I already looked at your recommendations for dealers outside your area, and I will start with making a visit to Designer’s Choice!
    Thanks again!

  6. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Hi Skye,
    Thanks and sorry about your roof. You don’t list your area but we recommend cabinet dealers outside our service area. Here is a link.

  7. jordan

    Hi, can you tell me your thoughts on Waypoint semi-custom cabinets? I’m also curious to know what approximate costs should run for install and cabinets. Looking for a large master bath vanity (straight – 4 pieces and an 8′ x 32″ storage cabinet). I’m guessing around $2500 to $3000 installed, and I want to know if my guestimate is about right. Thank you so much for any insight!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Waypoint is rated in our reviews above. The description of your bath is too vague to give an intelligent answer beyond that the price you are guessing is probably low.

  8. Skye

    Thanks Paul!
    I really enjoyed the “Tale of Two Kitchens”, and will most definitely follow your advice by seeking the assistance of a kitchen design team.
    I failed to mention that the contractor was here to bid on installing a new roof (not my kitchen), as our roof was recently damaged by hail the size of racquetballs – no fun at all! Our conversation turned to other home projects, and I mentioned that I would like to remodel my kitchen, someday. That’s when he mentioned the Tischlerei line that he uses, so that’s when I looked up reviews and found yours.

    I will read your reviews and comments more thoroughly as I continue this process. Thanks again!

  9. Tia

    Hello, I am looking at a budget kitchen remodel after having a contractor take payment and run with it. I located a RTA cabinet company named Barker Cabinets out of NJ i believe. I am looking at their cabinets and they appear to be of good quality for the price. Can you weigh in on them versus 21st century, solid wood or wolf?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We do not recommend buying cabinetry RTA. Barker is well built when correctly assembled for a frameless cabinet so they would get a B in our rating for construction. Wolf and Fabuwood would be the best values in factory assembled framed cabinetry.

  10. Skye

    Hi Paul,
    I recently decided that a kitchen remodel may be in our near future, and I stumbled across your blog – what a great find – thank you for this information! I had an initial meeting with a contractor and he said that he gets his cabinetry from Tischlerei – a quality “German-engineered” line, manufactured in the US. In reviewing their website, they seem to include all of your recommendations as “standard”, which is a good sign. Are you familiar with this manufacturer? Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I don’t know the line but they are custom and so more expensive. You should definitely NOT be getting quotes from contractors first you should be interviewing kitchen designers. After you select a good designer and determine the cabinet line they recommend for your budget then you can interview contractors. Good kitchen designers will know about removing walls and any other construction questions you might have during the design process. Getting quotes from contractors before the design is complete guarantees that you get higher construction quotes and that the contractors are not bidding apples to apples. If the design you are considering is something you came up with then you know that it is not professional and needs to be improved by someone who is. We have a funny blog about homeowners that go down this bumpy and well traveled road. Link below:

  11. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    I think J&K is a good line. Their shelves are only 5/8″ thick plywood but that will only create a shelf sagging issue on cabinets over 30″ wide. You could get thicker shelves for just those cabinets from J&K if that’s possible or brace them.

  12. Olga

    Wow! Thank you so much for your advise ! I am so glad I asked:)
    I have found so much valuable information here 🙂

  13. Derek


    My wife and I are trying to decide between Schrock or Showplace cabinets. We have a large kitchen and got prices for Brighton and Candlelight but couldn’t justify the cost of spending $35k and up for cabinets with all the other work we’re doing to our home. We’re looking to go shaker style with painted white perimeter cabinets and either a painted/stained or natural quartersawn oak island. We’re looking to stay between a $20 – $30k budget. We did like the Showplace cabinets but there was not much on their website about how their boxes were constructed and as we await a quote.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Derek,
      If you are on a budget why not get one of the better made US lines with imported parts like Fabuwood, Wolf. 6 Square, or some of the others. You will usually save at least 20% and you will get a better constructed cabinet and often a nicer looking painted finish?

      That is the problem. The mid range all US made lines like Schrock or Kraftmaid need to be upgraded to their best construction to equal the imports. That makes them 20 to 40% more and then you are very close in price to the really nice high end lines like Brighton. The reason we recommend the semi custom US lines is to get the the different types of woods such as Cherry, Alder, Hickory, Maple and the nicer looking stains you get from the semi custom US lines. You don’t seem to have to have these woods or finishes so you might be wasting a lot of money for little if any improvement in construction or finish.

      And as always I will reiterate that the design itself outweighs all these considerations and so working with a really good kitchen designer is most important of all. Very few kitchen designers are good so finding one that is, is not that easy. If a kitchen designer simply prices out the kitchen the way you tell them or the way an architect has drawn it you can be certian that they are a poor designer.

      There is almost no way a non professional could design the best kitchen for a particular space. Often because moving a doorway, plumbing, a gas line or even a window to get a better kitchen design costs very very little compared to the the cabinet upgrades you are considering. There are an infinite number of bad designs for any space and probably only a couple of truly good ones. Good kitchen designers will find that good design. They redesign peoples homes 40 hours a week for decades. Thinking that you could find that good design without that level of experience, knowledge, and the talent that the best kitchen designers will have is the mistake that most people make.

      Every day I have hear the same comment from probably 60% of the people we first talk to. That their kitchen is small, or they are constrained by the locations of doors, windows, or budget, and that there design sort of has to be the way they have envisioned it. Of course when they actually buy their kitchen 90% of these same people will have chosen a design very different from what they at first thought. That’s why they need us. The video below makes this point in a funny way.

  14. Olga

    Hello, I have been Working with a designer and t looking at Omega frameless cabinets. I like the simple shaker cabinet door style. I also have an ultracraft cabinetry dealer in the area. I certainly would like a cabinet of higher quality than IKEA and now learned there are many other options for frameless cabinetry. My kitchen is fairly small and I like the look of frameless cabinets and thought I would be gaining cabinet space by going with this style. Which cabinetry brand would you recommend for a quality frameless style? Thank you 🙂

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Olga,
      For a shaker door style I would recommend a framed cabinet. For these reasons:

      1) Cabinet storage is the same except for drawers where the width and depth of drawers are 1 1/2″ narrower and usually 1 1/2″ shallower. However since drawers can take more weight and can be safely used in wider cabinets because the drawers are attached to solid wood instead of particleboard or plywood this makes up for the storage issue to some degree.

      2) The shaker style door is not enhanced visually by the 1/4″ tighter gaps between doors and drawers in frameless cabinetry. Slab doors do look better in a frameless line.

      3) In the less expensive price points better constructed all plywood framed cabinetry can be 40% less than frameless cabinetry upgraded to plywood construction.

      If you still insist on frameless cabinetry then I would pay the additional 40% and get a 3/4″ thick plywood box. Many of the higher end frameless lines offer this option. I believe OMEGA does.

      Remember that the best level of construction offered in frameless cabinetry is a “B” in our rating system and a kitchen should be designed for the construction limitations of frameless cabinetry. Namely:

      No base cabinets wider than 30″, No wall cabinets wider than 36″. No doors wider than 18″ so that means no 21″ wide cabinets. Avoid heavy internal gadgets like mixer lifts and magic corners. No spice racks on backs of doors. The best kitchen designers will know this but many will not. This is because cabinet companies deny that these are needed design considerations. The cabinet industry never admits any weaknesses in their products and naive kitchen designers “drink the Koolaid”

  15. Ruth

    Have you heard of J & K cabinetry? I don’t see it on the reviews.

  16. Audrey s.

    Can you tell me anything about Bridgewwod custom cabinetry out of Kansas. Their a division oh Hi-Lo industries. They say all wood 3/4″ with real birch veneer interior. 1/2″sides top&bottom by dado joints sidesmshelves,&bottoms are3/4″. My designer said to make sure they have this thickness when we are comparing products from other dealers. I like Ridgewood American advantage line for the color lines.i want a bright white and grey bottoms,advantage is more money. I’m so confused.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Audrey,
      Although I have never heard of them they looks like a nice Custom line. The Advantage semi-custom version of the line looks good too. However when you say they have 3/4″ sides that usually means a frameless cabinet and Bridgewood makes both framed and frameless. We recommend framed cabinetry for all door styles unless you are choosing a modern slab door. Framed cabinetry is better constructed but frameless looks nicer when you have slab doors.

  17. Clint

    I’m looking for cabinets for a rental – I definitely need them to be affordable and durable – I’d like for them to last 15 years.

    I see these have quality ratings of A or A- and price <= 2.

    21st Century
    Solid Wood Cabinets
    All Wood – framed

    When I google these companies, I can find Fabuwood, Wolf, and your previous post provides the website for solid wood cabinets. But some could be a couple of different companies. Could you confirm:

    21st Century – – if not, then what site?
    All Wood – framed – – if not, then what site?

    How long should A+, A, and A- each be expected to last?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      All these cabinet lines should last a lifetime but just get beat up over time. The finish will determined which kitchen looks the best the longest.
      Painted cabinets get damaged the most easily so for a rental I would get a stained wood. A light stain or a natural finish shows the least scratches and are the most popular colors. Fabuwood and Wolf are the lines with the most choices and the least amount of quality control issues. But for a rental any of these lines is fine.

      Yes those are the correct web sites but I would never buy cabinets on line. Buy your cabinets from a dealer that can be responsible for problems and damages, prevent design errors, and help you spend your money wisely.

      Much like the legal saying about people who act as their own lawyer having a fool for an attorney. “People who design there own kitchens have an incompetent for a designer.”

  18. Talya

    Thank you for this great information. I am currently working with a designer that sells Showplace and another firm that sells Benedettini cabinets. I have not been successful in finding information on Benedettini cabinets. What would your rating be on Benedettini cabinets.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I have never heard of Benedettini cabinets. But they appear to be a custom cabinet maker that makes both framed and frameless. They give no information on their web site about how their cabinet box is constructed.

  19. Ruth

    Can you give me a list of Fabuwood dealers around Atlanta(GA) area. I contacted Fabuwood but they only gave me one. I am wondering if there’s any other dealer(s) around. We are going to completely remodel our kitchen and I am kinda deadset on using Fabuwood because of your reviews. I might go to Lowe’s for comparison. Thanks for your help.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      No we are not given a list of dealer. Googling “Fabuwood dealer” or “Fabuwood” and your town might find others.

  20. Paola

    Thank you Paul. Very helpful advice for considering Artcraft Cabinets.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Thanks Paola,
      Another piece of advice would be that natural stone tops look odd as the cabinet style gets more modern. I’d choose a Quartz or other synthetic top for my cabinets. Same with the backsplash- as the style goes modern more contemporary style tiles and sheets look best. Glass tile is no longer so expensive and can be very nice.

  21. Cody

    Trying to pick between three Cabinet brands. 21st century vs Wolf Classic(Dartmouth or Saginaw) vs Fermawood cabinetry which is not rated but is an alder wood cabinet. Do not know which one I’m going to get the best value out of.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I would pick between 21st Century and Wolf. I would also only buy cabinetry that is pre assembled in the factory. So if one is not coming assembled choose the other. Beyond that I can’t be sure since we are not dealers for these lines and I don’t know if there are any current factory or shipping issues to consider. These lines are close. The Dartmouth in Wolf is a standard overlay doorstyle ie the door does not cover the front of the cabinet. This size door is less popular so if you are considering resale value I would not pick it.

  22. Maria Mariencheck

    Any info on Marquis cabinets based in Kansas? It appears (but I’m not sure) that they are related to Koch cabinets. Our designer is recommending them vs Kabinart for our budget – and your review of Kabinart is not encouraging. Please help!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Sorry The Marquis web site offer no information on how their cabinets are made. We usually assume in this case that there is nothing to brag about.

  23. Paola

    Hello Paul – What is your impression of cabinetry from Artcraft Kitchen out of Canada? Our design is contemporary, with slab style doors. Looking at LP Laminate for bathrooms and Veneer or Wood, Walnut grain for Kitchen. There were too few reviews to get an opinion and most seemed to be around installation. We are working with a designer who is a designated dealer, but looking for balanced reviews.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Artcraft offers no information on how their cabinets are made. If they can be made with 3/4″ plywood or a plywood core with MDF skins that is the top construction grade for a frameless cabinet and gets a B otherwise B- or c+ for construction is the best they could get with particleboard sides. Once you are getting frameless cabinetry if the sides are 3/4″ it is more important to design for the cabinets construction vulnerabilities then the overall rating for the cabinets construction. this means for example:

      NO CABINET DOOR WIDER THAN 18″, NO DRAWER BASES WIDER THAN 30″. Do not over load cabinets, be careful with interior cabinet gadgets like Magic Corners or Mixer lifts.

      Modern cabinetry can be beautiful but you must design for it and treat it more delicately.

  24. Alice

    So Starmark and Brighton each use hanging rails on a 5/16″ back (Starmark) and 1/4″ back (Brighton) respectively. My probable contractor advises against hanging rails – full back seems to be more desirable.

    So … that suggests I go to another brand (and spend more!) unless you think that hanging rails are really OK which I assume you DO think since Starmark and Brighton are ranked highly. Maybe it’s an issue of durability?

  25. Paul McAlary

    Ahh then we got the specs when we listed it. It is a well constructed but very inexpensive cabinet since it is a price point level 1. Expect cheaper looking but durable finishes and some quality control issues with cabinets at this price point.

    This shows that when blog readers keep asking about cabinets already listed as they do often we will eventually not realize one of us has already done the research and rated the cabinet line.

  26. Craig

    It is the very first rating on your list for your 2018.

  27. Craig

    Cabinet line Price level 1-6 Quality Value
    21st Century 1 A A-
    6 Square 2 B+ B+

    Here it is Paul……right from your report. Perhaps your rating was in error?

  28. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    HI Alice,
    Reviews from home Owners don’t count in our opinion. And reviews from Consumer Reports and JD Power are even less meaningful. For these reasons:

    People usually post when they are disappointed. So big cabinet companies will always get bad reviews even if 99.5 % of the time they do a great job and have no damages.

    Homeowners blame cabinet companies for mistakes made by their contractor, designer or for information they didn’t receive or understand from their dealer.

    Many complaints Home Owners have they should have expected but they weren’t informed or their expectations were not realistic.

    JD Power and Consumer reports rate Customer Satisfaction right after the kitchen is delivered and not 15 years later when cabinets are falling apart. This is why the worst cabinet line IKEA wins in customer satisfaction time and time again. See our blog on this topic:

  29. Alice

    I am so discouraged by the awful reviews I read of even your highly-rated cabinet brands. Seems as if a tremendous amount of cabinetry comes in damaged with poor quality control and the manufacturer unwilling to replace most of the time. Makes me want to find a way to live with my ugly 50-year-old cabinets! Also found out that Starmark won’t make a solid back panel instead of hanging rails except for inset cabinetry. Sigh.

  30. Craig

    Good Morning Paul:
    I see that you answered Sam’s question from August 7th about 21st Century cabinets by saying that you never heard of them, yet you rated them as an A for quality and an A- for Value. I know they are not the same quality as Kraftmade, but I was looking for a decent quality, low cost cabinet for a flip that I am doing. I know that they are RTA imports but need to keep costs down. I was going to consider 21st Century because of your rating, but may now reconsider. I’ve used CNC in the past and thought their painted finish was a little sloppy.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Craig,
      Where did we Rate 21st Century Cabinets an A for quality and an an A- for value? Not on our 2018 ratings form. If one of us was able to look them up for a customer and see their construction detail we might have rated them in a previous answer to a question on our blog. However their specifications are not available online for me to review them now. Possibly a customer forwarded their specs to us in the past.

  31. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    It’s not the quality of the stains it’s simply the look of them. If you like the stain then it is fine. Upgraded Starmark will be fine and they should also do a solid panel if you like.

  32. Alice

    I’m still pondering Candlelight, Brighton and Starmark, all with stain on maple. Starmark has the best prices, Candlelight probably the best construction. Starmark’s veneer center panel is much cheaper than their solid wood center panel. You recommended that the veneer center panel is often better because it looks more uniform on a recessed panel. I don’t know if Candlelight does a veneer center panel. Do you know?

    I’m a little concerned about Starmark’s hanging rail construction. My question: is Starmark’s hanging rail construction good enough to feel secure that the cabinets are sturdy and will last? I won’t be doing another kitchen remodel (but not mentioning my age!).

    I’m also concerned as to whether Brighton’s stain is good based on your comments since I don’t want paint.

    None of these lines has a stain color I love but it will really increase the cost to go to a custom color but I haven’t yet ruled it out.

  33. Sam

    Hello..How would you rate the cabinets and construction of 21st Century to Kraftmaid?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Never heard of them and they give no information on their web site. They look like inexpensive RTA cabinetry and so far from Kraftmaid.

  34. Steve

    Thanks for this site! When you rate Medallion, are you considering all of their lines, Silver, Gold and Platinum? We are looking for inset cabinets and were considering Medallion Platinum, but they are quite expensive but they look like very high quality. We are also looking at Brighton and Brookhaven. Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      When we rate any line we are assuming the line is upgraded to the top construction level. Getting Medallion not upgraded is a mistake. All the lines you are pricing will be similarly priced. We like the Brighton best for the price especially for painted finishes. Which is why we carry them. However they are all good and the Medalion has the more beautiful finishes for stained cabinetry. The choice here with everything upgraded would really come down to the door style and color you like the most considering price.

  35. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Thanks Toni,
    That makes me feel better about recommending the place in Maine. Not being willing to take a customers money when they are too far away is a sign of integrity. Less ethical dealers will take anyone’s money. Taking 100% of someone’s money up front is creepy.

  36. Toni

    Paul – thanks so much for the reply to my question. Good to hear that my instincts were right and normally small dealers do not get 100% upfront. I contacted the dealer you recommend – unfortunately they don’t service the southern area of Maine, they are more central Maine. I will continue my hunt for cabinets, etc. BTW – your blogs are fantastic!

  37. Toni

    Had a kitchen design done – good design – choose fabuwood Horizon. The whole thing fell apart when I sat down with the dealer to have final discussion and sign the contract. The dealer was supplying the cabinets, doing installation, supplying & installating quartz counters and I was going to purchase all appliances thru him also. He wanted 100% of the contact price upfront. I was not comfortable paying for everything before anything was delivered or installed but would pay portion now and payments when things were delivered or installed. Dealer said it is standard in the kitchen design industry to pay for everything upfront. I got a definite sleeze feeling and walked away. Can find no other fabuwood dealer in the area. Do you know who in southern Maine or NH is a reputable Fabuwood dealer?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Toni,
      It is not standard to pay 100% up front EXCEPT at home centers. I think that is fine as Home Depot and Lowes don’t want to deal with non payment issues and I don’t think either is going anywhere.

      Private dealers nearly all charge 50% to order and 50% upon delivery. If paying a final balance by check some dealers do require certified check but that is unusual. If you are paying the final balance of cabinets, tops, and appliances by credit card most dealers process the payment of each delivery the day before the delivery.

      I don’t know a Fabuwood dealer in Maine but here is the dealer we recommend nearest to you:
      Kitchen Solutions Portlannd ME 207-520-2311

      They were the only company that seemed to barely meet our criteria for recommendation near you. Not an overwhelming indorsement I know.

  38. Valerie

    Can you give me your opinion on Ultracraft frameless. Would you have an alternative to that brand as I have read some disturbing reviews. On the other hand some are great. We are not looking at the melamine product but are looking at the maple fronts.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We rate it in this blog. Why get frameless if you are getting anything except a slab modern door?

  39. Drenna Edelman

    Hello!! First let me say Thank you for providing this amazing blog where common non-industry folks can come and get informative reviews etc. My husband and i are building a home in the Lewes Delaware area and we have been trying to find a well made cabinet that will not break the bank. We have been looking at Mousser, Waypoint and Starmark. Most of the reviews for Starmark are positive but they are very expensive. I have very heavy dishes and serving platters and am concerned about a comment you made regarding the thickness of the hanging rail and cabinet back. I am waiting on estimates for Mousser and Waypoint as well. However, Waypoints reviews are all over the place. According to your list, Mousser out-prices Starmark so I’m afraid of what that estimate will look like. Your review of Wolf made us take a gander at them. Oddly enough Wolf’s website works the best for seeing the cabinetry in it’s raw state. I preferred their designs to the more expensive brands we have been seeing but upon speaking with dealers, I am not hearing good things at all. We need some guidance – can you help??

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      You should be working with an experienced kitchen designer at a reputable dealer. They can explain in detail the advantages of different lines. This blog is not meant for detailed discussions.

  40. Jeff in Texas

    with all the tariff talk and implementation, have you seen price increases for the Fabuwood or other semi Chinese product?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Fabuwood and the better made inexpensive lines like Wolf etc are all US companies so tariffs don’t apply.

  41. Saj

    What’s your opinion about Bridgewood cabinets from Kansas?
    How do you compare Woodmaster (from Newmanstoen, PA) to Wellsford.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Never heard of these lines

  42. Alice

    OK. Thanks. I must have looked past Starmark but I see it now.

  43. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Alice – All those lines are listed.

  44. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    No cabinets are actually sold using linear foot pricing. ANYWHERE. It is a formula for estimating cabinetry costs. And liner foot pricing is both good and misleading.

    It is good because it shows you a good way to see which cabinetry is less and which is more. The percentage difference is usually pretty close. It is misleading because actual cabinet pricing for a real kitchen can end up double or more than the linear foot price.

  45. Alice

    Yet another question. What do you think of the “price per linear foot” as a general guide to understanding a cabinet line’s price level?

  46. Alice

    I asked about a comparison between Candlelight and Brighton but actually the four on my list that I want to compare are Candlelight, Brighton, Starmark and KraftMaid. Other than your general ratings (Starmark not on the list), I don’t know how they compare in price at this point much less in quality. Would so appreciate your advice. Thank you.

  47. Laura

    Thanks! You mentioned that J&K is not your favorite of that type of line. Are there specific ones you like better? Fabuwood, or am I mixing up lines?

  48. Alice Gordon

    I know you don’t like the first question to be which cabinet line … it’s not my first but still ….

    Candlelight vs Brighton cabinetry?

    How do they compare in quality of construction, finishes and price? Thank you.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I would guess that Brighton was less than Candlelight and it would depend on the finish which would make the most sense. For a painted finish I would select Brighton and I think some of the stained finishes will be nicer in Candlelight. Whether they are worth the extra cost to you will depend on how much more you like them.

  49. Bernadette

    Thanks! I feel better already.

  50. Bernadette Felch

    Thanks for all of the information you make available. I refer to your site all the time. The builder we are considering has referred us to a kitchen designer who sells Waypoint, Showplace, Homecrest, and Candlelight cabinets. We are planning a full remodel with some construction to add a box bay window. We want to spend our money wisely. We are looking to do a combination of a painted cabinet in an Ivory kind of color, and wood – possibly cherry. A shaker or similar profile, full overlay. We want to stay and enjoy the house a while longer, but then hope the kitchen will still look good when it comes time to sell. You seem to consider all 4 cabinet choices to be pretty good. Would you have any suggestions to steer us to a good choice? Thanks again!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Based on the lines they carry I’d guess the kitchen designer works for a good company.

      The mantra in our industry is that it’s all the same money. That means that it is better to spend more money on better a design moving doorways and windows than on upgraded cabinets, countertops, and appliances once you are talking about a good cabinet line like the lines here. So adding glass doors or nicer moldings or legs on the island anything that makes the design nicer and more expensive would be better than getting the most expensive cabinet line with a worse design without the extras. Keep that all in mind and then get the best design in the cabinet line door style and finish that you can afford.

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