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Seaman 307 Elm St Print 2

NOTE: The NEW 2021 more comprehensive Main Line Kitchen Design Cabinet Review is now available CLICK HERE

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.

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.

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. 

Seaman 307 Elm St, Kitchen

kitchen

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 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.

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 Closed
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.

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

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

100 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

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

  7. 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.

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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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…..

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

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

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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

  26. 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.

  27. 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!!

  28. 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.

  29. 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.”

  30. 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

  31. 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

  32. 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?

  33. 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?

  34. 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.

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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

  47. 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

  48. 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.

  49. 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

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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!

  53. 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.

  54. Kathleen, October 25, 2019 at 8:15 pm:

    Hi Paul, Wow, this is a great website, and so much important information you are offering, so thank you for the help you give to people.
    We are doing an addition to our house, by adding 10′ more of kitchen. We live in a modest neighborhood in the Denver area. It is super exciting, but picking cabinets has been the hardest task!!! We have met with various kitchen designers, because we have had problems trying to compare the specs on different cabinets lines and I am hoping you can give us your 2 cents. We have looked at Showplace, Karman, Elmwood and then Kraftmaid at Home Depot. Kraftmaid ends up being about 20-25K less than the other brands. Is it worth it? That is a huge savings, so it feels suspicious. Is going with a store like Home Depot come with more problems, etc? Plus I don’t feel that Home Depot designers have the expertise of smaller companies. Out of the other brands, which one would you suggest?
    Also, Plywood boxes important?, Real Maple vs a generic hard wood for the drawers important? Paintable hardwood vs painted maple important?
    I have a lot of questions…hopefully you can help answer some of issues hanging us up.
    Thanks so much!!

  55. paul mcalary, October 24, 2019 at 4:57 pm:

    I would not have a contractor build cabinets for doors ordered elsewhere. You will have no warranty and you would be asking for trouble. Buy cabinets from a dealer that sells whole completed cabinets. If you were on a budget I would recommend the Fabuwood Prima as a very nice white high gloss laminate. Acrylic doors would be over most customer’s budget.

  56. ITSAdmin, October 23, 2019 at 11:31 pm:

    Hi Cindy,
    The stain will not be perfect but it will look great for the price. The Nexus will be perfect but paint is less durable than stains, This is for all cabinetry. I would get the finish I liked best. You can pay to replace a few doors if the dealer is not as accommodating as we are for the stain and hire professionals to touch up the paint in ten years if it gets nicked and scratched.

  57. ITSAdmin, October 23, 2019 at 11:26 pm:

    There is better value out there than Aristocraft. If you don’t upgrade them they are a pretty bad. For example, I worked in a showroom that sold Aristocraft and it represented 30% of the companies sales. In the 4 years I worked there I never found an occasion that called for selling that brand.

  58. Cindy Aronson, October 23, 2019 at 8:25 pm:

    I have beach style home and want to buy fabuwood cabinets. My husband and I like the Allure Onyx Horizon but are not sure if the stain will be uneven, if the cabinets will fade or if they are less desirable for future resale than the Allure Nexus Slate. Which would hold up to wear better?

  59. Vickie, October 23, 2019 at 6:20 pm:

    I just purchased Aristokraft cabinets for a small kitchen and the price was very reasonable! Now I’m reading reviews online for these particular cabinets and not liking what I’m reading! What is your opinion of these ? Special order and I’m so nervous now!

  60. Eva, October 23, 2019 at 10:20 am:

    Hello
    Yes I was talking for a slab high gloss door with frameles boxes . I was told also to look at a company called spagnol cusine. They have laminate doors and my kitchen guy said that he will build the wood boxes and order the doors from Europe. Is it laminate better than acrylic? And how do you feel about Downsview for quality.
    Thank you

  61. ITSAdmin, October 22, 2019 at 7:22 pm:

    Hi Katelyn,
    Center panels MDF is a good idea. Whole doors made out of MDF won’t show cracks but they will damage too easily.

  62. ITSAdmin, October 22, 2019 at 7:16 pm:

    The best buy here is Fabuwood Fusion Blanc if you like the door style and finish. All good choices though.

  63. ITSAdmin, October 22, 2019 at 7:15 pm:

    You don’t give a door style. I’m assuming you are looking for a slab. I might try Fabuwood Prima Blanco for a frameless line with a gloss white laminate. They have a plywood core but you can’t laminate a frameless box if it is all plywood.

  64. eva, October 22, 2019 at 9:54 am:

    Hello
    Can you please help me. We are looking to replace our kitchen cabinets. There are 10 cabinets all together. We have a small kitchen. I am looking for a high gloss white cabinets. I am considering acrylic. is that a good choice or I should look at laminate also. I looked at Ultracraft and Downsview. What is your opinion. I want wood boxes. I appreciate your help. And if you can give me some recommendations for a cabinet company.
    Thank you Again

  65. Paul McAlary, October 21, 2019 at 6:01 pm:

    Don’t know the line but 84 Lumber is getting too close to Costco as far as a designer is concerned. Yes well constructed cabinetry is important but more important is how good the kitchen designer is. 84 Lumber is not known for having very experienced designers. However some other lumberyards do have some good designers.

  66. Mac, October 21, 2019 at 11:09 am:

    Hi Paul, thanks for providing such a great source of information. Are you familiar with or have any thoughts on the quality of Ardito cabinets which is the in-house supplier for 84 Lumber? I searched but couldn’t find anything about them on your site.

    They are 1/2″ plywood boxes, solid face frames, dovetail drawers, soft-close drawers and doors (can’t find it Blum or other), and I think generally check all the boxes for quality build.

  67. ITSAdmin, October 20, 2019 at 9:24 am:

    Hi Gayle,
    Masterbuilt cabinets looks like a small kitchen showroom that doesn’t make cabinetry and just sells cabinets. tops, hardware and other kitchen materials. They say nothing about the brands of cabinets they carry. The fact that only 4098 people have ever been on their web site is also not a good sign. We get more than this many people on ours in a only a few days. They could be fine, but with so little information I would recommend working with a more established company.

  68. ITSAdmin, October 20, 2019 at 9:16 am:

    Thanks for the positive feedback. This Spring we will release our 2020 more comprehensive rating of the top 100 cabinet brands. Our team will travel to the National Kitchen and Bath Industry Show KBIS in Las Vegas for the 8th straight year to asses cabinetry, countertops, appliances, fixtures and what’s new in our Industry.

  69. Gayle C, October 20, 2019 at 7:48 am:

    What about MasterBuilt cabinets?

  70. sarah peterson, October 19, 2019 at 5:01 pm:

    thank you for this comprehensive list. this helps consumers like myself to make a more informed decision…

  71. JS, October 19, 2019 at 8:12 am:

    Hello, We are looking to do a kitchen addition and are selecting cabinets. If you had to pick between Kraftmaid Vantage, Diamond Vibe, Fabuwood, or Wolf Desginer Line, which would you pick based on quality and which is the best value for the money spent? We are looking to get painted maple with glaze, recessed, full overlay framed cabinets. We know that anything we buy would need to be all plywood construction so any upgrades needed would be done. Thank you!

  72. Katelyn, October 18, 2019 at 9:11 am:

    I am looking at Wellborn vs Homecrest cabinets for my kitchen. What is a better product for the price? Looking to do a white shaker cabinet painted white. Most people I have talked with suggest wood over mdf for quality despite the “cracks” that will eventually show on the doors. If just the doors are mdf, is one recommended over the other? Quality is most important to me.

  73. Emma, October 15, 2019 at 11:42 am:

    Paul, Thank you for this great website. I’m now considering fabuwood galaxy frost(About $7000), American woodmark leesburg maple painted from homedepot (upgrade to plywood construction, about $8400) and lowes Shenandoah white shaker cabinets ((upgrade to plywood construction, about $8400). Are three about same quality? which one do you suggest? I feel safer to buy from lowes or home depot. Thank you

  74. ITSAdmin, October 13, 2019 at 11:51 am:

    Depends on the door style and finish you like but Fabuwood is made just as well as the other two lines AFTER you upgrade them to all plywood construction.
    Just a warning too that painted finishes are more easily scratched and damaged by water independent of the cabinet line.

  75. Ryan, October 13, 2019 at 9:37 am:

    How are you… my family of 6 just moved into a new house and are currently renovating the kitchen. Went to a cabinet plane recommended by a friend that want $22,000 for 18 homecrest cabinets. That was too much. Have had two other companies come in and measure. One is suggesting Fabuwood and the other Shenandoah. We are purchasing Kitchen air appliances and want the kitchen to look nice, be durable with 4 young kids and not completely break the bank. Any suggestions and thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  76. ITSAdmin, October 10, 2019 at 8:20 pm:

    1 is the least expensive and 6 is the most expensive. For some perspective a 6 level cabinet will be more than double the price on a 1 level.

  77. ITSAdmin, October 10, 2019 at 8:19 pm:

    From what I know they both will use that same process. Note Dynasty comes Framed and Frameless. We prefer the framed upgraded construction.

  78. ITSAdmin, October 10, 2019 at 8:17 pm:

    As it’s shown in our reviews above we like Decora much more. It’s a great line.

  79. Ryan, October 9, 2019 at 9:22 pm:

    Trying to decide on Showplace or Decora kitchen cabinets for a full remodel. Would you recommend one over the other? If so, why?

  80. Doug & Joan, October 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm:

    Hello, Paul… Wonderful tool- your site. Wife and I are stuck between ordering Omega (Dynasty line), and Starmark framed cabinets, primarily because Omega literature doesn’t provide enough information concerning the method by which they finish stained wooden (oak) cabinets. Starmark does a great job of this- Omega doesn’t. From your experience, do you know if Omega employs a similar oven-cured catalyzed conversion varnish finish process on their cabinet components? And, last, which manufacturer would you recommend- Omega or Starmark? Thank you for your kind efforts to educate us all.

  81. ITSAdmin, October 9, 2019 at 9:30 am:

    Sorry I never heard of Marquis. The Amish line would worry me if it wasn’t built in a real factory setting and the builder was an individual.

  82. Alaina, October 8, 2019 at 10:25 pm:

    Wow! This blog is amazing and has helped me so much in choosing cabinet lines to look at or stay away from. I found a designer I love and got a price on Holiday cabinets. I was looking for an price point a little lower than what was quoted but I was ready to go in a decide if/where I could shave a little off. My designer just told me today that they started carrying a new line called Marquis. I dont see it rated on your list. Have you heard of it? The company my designer works for carries Holiday, Fieldstone and Amish built (for their top of the line). I feel like all of those are great lines so it seems like they wouldn’t choose to add a poorly constructed line….but I have relied on your ratings so much I feel lost without a rating for this Marquis line. Haha. Any help would be much appreciated! Thanks!

  83. Paul McAlary, October 8, 2019 at 9:32 am:

    Changemaven,
    You didn’t mention the cabinet brand. But it’s starting to sound like these are homemade cabinets from a small cabinet maker and not in fact what kitchen designers refer to as custom cabinets.
    We have a blog on this topic:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/custom-cabinets-handmade-or-homemade/

  84. Changemaven, October 7, 2019 at 11:35 pm:

    Yes they are slab doors. The fronts aren’t stripey. The cabinet sides and tall oven box side and refrig side is. Thank you very much for your advice.

    Yes color names were not clarified. And the sample did not have a label. Adding to the confusion.

  85. Paul McAlary, October 7, 2019 at 10:54 pm:

    Are the doors slab style with no frame? If the whole door is a slab it also shouldn’t be stripey. If the door is a slab sanding might be possible. If not it’s definitely not a good idea.

    What cabinet line is this that calls a finish “Natural” that is actually a tinted stain? That sounds strangest of all.

  86. Changemaven, October 7, 2019 at 9:55 pm:

    Paul, no the Natural is actually a tinted stain. The no-stain had no name. It’s Clear without any added color to the oak. The confusion happened because we too thought the name Natural meant something it did not.
    So they were all built in Clear when we ordered Natural rift oak.

    Can you advise if veneer doors can be sanded down and re-stained?

    Thank you for responding.

  87. Kristy Herring, October 7, 2019 at 8:25 pm:

    I apologize if the answer to this question should be apparent and I’m just not seeing it but…on the price levels, is 1 the high end or the low end?? Thanks.

  88. ITSAdmin, October 7, 2019 at 2:13 pm:

    Kraftmaid Vantage would be my choice here.

  89. ITSAdmin, October 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm:

    You are picking from lines that we do not love. I guess we prefer Kemper.

  90. ITSAdmin, October 7, 2019 at 2:09 pm:

    I am confused. Natural and Clear are the same thing. The stripey you get with all solid wood cabinets. Sounds like both you and the designer were lax in helping you understand what you were buying and what it would look like. I wouldn’t expect much of a rebate if in fact clear and Natural are the same finish as they are with ALL the brands I know of.
    Sorry,
    Paul

  91. changemaven, October 7, 2019 at 1:49 pm:

    Please help me know what to do with my custom cabinet dilemma. Our new rift oak cabinets were delivered last week. We originally wanted ‘clear’ finish. Sample door delivered last month was “Natural tint’. After much deliberation, we told the company on the phone we want to go with Natural, a slight reddish tint. They said ok. Cabinets for entire kitchen was delivered in Clear. Some panels are so stripey, like a zebra. We don’t like that.

    We did not receive new paperwork to sign approving Clear. We did not receive a sample door in Clear. We were told we got a voicemail saying too late, they’d already been sanded down. But we never got a message.

    Cabinet company is coming tomorrow for a meeting. Help!

    The doors are oak veneer, and might have already been sanded once. Worried the veneer would be too thin if sanded again.

    Upper cabinets are white/maple doors. I’m tempted to ask them to remake them in all white.

    What should I expect and offer as resolution to this giant problem! I think they should either…
    1)return them to the factory and remake them, but not sand them.
    2) offer a giant discount and re=make the cabinets sides that are very stripey.
    3) remake all lower oak cabinets in white.

    I do not expect to pay more. We still owe 50%.

    Please someone help us know what is our best option here. And what we should negotiate and/or settle for.

    thank you in advance…

  92. Rukaiya, October 6, 2019 at 5:38 pm:

    We are looking at Kemper vs Mid Continent cabinets in a white shaker door maple. I’m not sure which Mid Continent Line you rated but do you have a preference between the two?

  93. A Smith, October 6, 2019 at 4:19 pm:

    We’re getting ready to remodel our kitchen. What are your thoughts on Kith? Our designer says these are the way to go. But the remodel is at 40k and I just want to make the best decision. Other brands they use are kraftmaid vantage and merillat. Out of those 3 which is the best? Would you recommend another brand?

  94. ITSAdmin, October 5, 2019 at 1:23 pm:

    Every Brand is different. Some manufacturers like Masterbrands carry from expensive well made cabinetry to very cheap poorly made cabinetry. We rate the brands.

  95. John Rumm, October 5, 2019 at 12:16 pm:

    Great blog, very helpful. But I’m confused when I try to compare ratings among different lines, which leads me or ask several questions, which may already have been asked and answered, but can you clarify the difference between a “cabinet manufacturer” and a “cabinet brand”? A given manufacturer—say, Norcraft or MasterBrand—may carry as many as a dozen or more different “brands.”That being the case, is it generally true that things like body construction tend to be standard within a given manufacturer’s brand family, but styling may vary between the different brands? And lastly, is it better to compare among different cabinet manufacturers, or within one brand family, among different brands?

    Thanks for your assistance!

    John Rumm

  96. Gladys Vanegas, October 3, 2019 at 2:39 pm:

    Thanks you Paul.

  97. Paul McAlary, October 3, 2019 at 1:10 pm:

    Hi Gladys,
    We rate St Martin in this blog.

  98. ITSAdmin, October 3, 2019 at 10:30 am:

    Thermafoil is very sensitive to heat so I would not use a professional range or cook-top with a thrmafoil door style. 3/4″ plywood would be the best for a frameless cabinet line. I don’t know Serenity and I’m not sure if you can upgrade DesignCraft to that.

  99. RB, October 2, 2019 at 2:43 pm:

    I am building a new home and the builder uses Yorktowne cabinets. I want a more contemporary look, full-overly, frameless more European style kitchen. I may be able to use other brands within the ACPI family. How do Design Craft and Serenity compare? Also, should I stear clear of thermofoil?

  100. Gladys Vanegas, October 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm:

    Hi Paul!
    Thank you for this informative blog! We are remodeling our kitchen and are looking into St. Martin cabinets.Would you be so kind and give me your opinion/ expert advice on this cabinet brand. Thank you!

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