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. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Saj

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Never heard of these lines

  6. Alice

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

  7. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Alice – All those lines are listed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. Bernadette

    Thanks! I feel better already.

  14. 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.

  15. Laura

    Hi, we are trying to decide between J&K cabinetry (lowest quote), Waypoint (middle quote), and Holiday Kitchens (highest quote). In all cases, we’re looking at all wood cabinets. J&K cabinetry’s cabinets are made in China, so they are the lowest cost, but I’m concerned about choosing them to save money now and then having it cost us more money in the long run. I know the other two we’re deciding between that are U.S. made aren’t the top of the line so I’m not sure how much more we’re getting for the cost. Any thoughts on the cost vs. quality trade-offs when it comes to these three companies? My husband is leaning towards J&K cabinets to save money, but I’m feeling unsure. Thanks for your help.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Laura,
      IN General:
      The US manufacturers like J&K that produce parts in China to be assembled in the US are actually a better than the 20% more expensive next tire of all US made products. You have to spend about 30% more on all US made cabinetry to get back the US owned import level. There are some all Asian lines that get sold under many different labels that have little quality control. These companies have no track record so they should be avoided.

      All that being said the three lines you are choosing from have different niches. Holiday is a high end line that is great but probably 60 % more than the cost of J&K. Waypoint is in that middle ground where you get an inexpensive US cabinet that has reached the well constructed level at about 30 % more than J&K. And J&K a low cost US/Import. J&K is not our favorite of these type lines but it is fine.

      Best of all here is that your dealer carries three appropriate well constructed lines at these price points. This tells me that they know what they are doing and care about selling a product that they can stand behind and aren’t forcing their customers into lines that aren’t appropriate for their budget.

  16. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Hi Shana,
    No but you are not working with a designer and contractors give bad cabinetry and design advice. The ones that don’t work with designers are the ones that are less reputable. When you are on such a severe budget that even inexpensive cabinet lines are out of your budget this is when you especially need direction from a kitchen designer and you need to bid this job out to several contractors. This is how you save money and get a good result. Hiring the contractor BEFORE you finalize a kitchen design and are ready to buy cabinets through a reputable dealer is how people get ripped off.

  17. Shana

    Hi, our contractor is encouraging us to buy either “Kunal Kitchens” or “International Kitchen Supply”. I believe they are both Chinese lines. They are a lot cheaper then the Waypoint we were looking at, but we are a little considered about them. Do you know anything about their quality?

  18. Paul McAlary

    Hi Nicole,
    Once you are considering good lines at similar price points the cabinet dealer and the designer become what’s most important. Since it is rare that we even see competent designs from the designs customers send us try to find the best designer. Usually the best designers don’t rubber stamp a customers ideas they try to show them better ones.

  19. Paul McAlary

    I Believe we have looked up Koch before and they are a more expensive custom line and a much more expensive item than Fabuwood. We have had no discoloration problems with Fabuwood.

  20. Nicole

    Hello – I am considering Brighton, Grabill, Mouser Centra and Signature for painted cabinets. All get good quality grades from you – can you provide any points of differentiation between them? Thank you very much.

  21. Gayathri Ravichandran

    Hi
    My local kitchen modeler offering Koch cabinets.They said its very durable and good quality.But I didn’t see any reviews/Ratings for Koch.R they really good?
    Then again about Fabuwood, Many clients mentioned there s a discoloration in their cabinet doors.But here you have good rating.Whats your opinion.Thanks for your time.

  22. Sue

    We are looking to use Echelon cabinets in our new home, the ratings you gave don’t seem like that is a wise choice. Can you give any further information on Echelon? The reviews I find online are older, from 2015 or so when they weren’t yet Echelon.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      If you get every last upgrade Echelon offers in the 2018 spec book they get up to a B rating for construction. Still since these are upgrades and not standard you will usually pay more to get them making the value of the cabinet lower. Upgraded they are fine but definitely not the cutting edge of where the best values for the less expensive lines are. Some features like plastic lazy Susans and middle stiles in the wider cabinet openings are old fashioned and cheap. Better value lines in this price group won’t have this and they will also be better constructed.

  23. Rick

    Costco sells a brand called All Wood but I think it is different from the All Wood you reviewed. The site is all wood fast.com. Can you confirm?

    If they are a different company than the one you reviewed above, do you know much about the Costco product? Price/Wuality/Value? I assume since it is Costco it will be pretty high quality at a decent price. They are estimating our cabinetry (36 linear feet of kitchen at about $9k.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Buying a kitchen at Costco would be as bad an idea as having your wisdom teeth removed there. You are not buying a simple toaster but a complex product that needs expert manufacturers, designers and installers for the project to succeed. Lowes and the Home Depot stretch the limit of what makes sense usually failing but with the help of the few good designers they sometimes succeed. IKEA always fails. Costco doesn’t even have a prayer of getting anything right. Some of the knock of appliances Costco sells seam to be OK but designing a kitchen with Cosco and using their RTA cabinetry is unlikely to end in a finished project worth very much.

  24. Gayathri

    Hi Thanks for all your informations. Waypoint,schrock or fabuwood which one you prefer for all plywood contruction box?And i heard like some companies they will just mention as ‘all plywood’ and sneak MDF .Are these three are like that?

    Thanks

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Upgraded to Fabuwood standards all three are fine choices. Which makes the most sense will depend on the door style and finish you are selecting. For the popular painted white shaker door Fabuwood is the best buy. For most stains the others offer nicer choices.

  25. jjman

    Going between Marsh, Holiday, and Mid Continental. Which is the best quality, but most affordable?
    Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      If you read the blog Holiday is the choice here.

  26. jjman

    Going between Marsh, Holiday, and Mid Continental. Which is the best if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, but still want good quality?
    Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      March will be inexpensive but OK. Holiday more expensive and a much better line.

  27. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Never heard of them

  28. Patrícia olivos

    Hello one last question …
    What do you know about SOLLID cabinetry
    http://sollidcabinetry.com

    There were not on your list 🙁
    Please forgive me if I am asking for too much
    But I just love your site and even though I don’t know u I trust your judgement
    May be going outside Lowe’s into a cabinet store and they carry diamond and sollid mostly
    THabk you again
    Patty

  29. Paul McAlary

    No those upgrades should get you what you need

  30. Robert A.

    I obtained a quote on the following Fieldstone cabinets from a local dealer:

    STRATFORD DOORSTYLE
    REPOSE GREY
    TINTED VARNISH
    MAPLE WOOD
    ALL PLYWOOD CONSTRUCTION
    FULL EXTENSION DRAWER GLIDES
    SOFT CLOSE CONCEALED HINGES

    Are there any specific upgrade options I should request? Thank you.

  31. Lauren Clapp

    Hi there I am currently in the middle of a remodel. I am looking at 3 cabinet lines.
    Mouser Centra inset, Kahles and Showplace.
    What are your thoughts on these 3 lines?
    Thank you, From Massachusetts

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We review these lines. If you would like to speak to a designer further about them we take calls from outside our service area 2-4 pm EST on Fridays

  32. Eve

    I am in the process of beginning a kitchen renovation and am considering going with Waypoint cabinets. My contractor said they are a good quality cabinet at a reasonable price. I was originally considering Kraftmaid but do want to stay within budget and Waypoint would help with that. However I don’t want to get a less expensive cabinet and not be happy. Any advice?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Once cabinets are made well how happy you will be is determined by how much you like the particular door style and finish. Worry more about the kitchen designer you are working with. This will usually be your week link.

  33. patricia olivos

    thank you for your reply on kraftmaid vs schuler…
    i met with the designer at lowes and i was fairly happy.
    will continue to look at my options…
    thank u again

  34. Debbie

    This is all great information on your blog and every link I have clicked on your site. I helped build custom cabinets years ago and have been dead set on the all plywood construction and looking for better grade plywood as there can be an A-1 to D-4 rating on plywood for appearance. I cringe at the idea of RTA cabinets even if they are plywood construction, I never heard of JSI Cabinets until recently and though they look nice despite the RTA option, I did notice that you gave a poor quality rating. Can you elaborate on the issues you see, such as in the Georgetown series? This is one option that my boyfriend has found as an appealing alternative to some of the more expensive options that we have looked at. Looking at the picture on the website he found, the panels do not have the appearance of the joining but appear to be either solid across or a doctored picture. And I could not find any construction details on their website. Thank you!!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I personally reviewed the JSI assembly videos and upgraded the reviews of JSI. While I think buying RTA cabinetry is not a great idea in general JSI does a great job of explaining their assembly. And their cabinetry is definitely well constructed if built properly. That being said you are removing all professionalism from the kitchen design and assembly process to save 20% on cabinet costs. Not a great trade off IMO. Way better than IKEA though and around the same price.

  35. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    None that we are aware of. They are not a line we carry so we are not completely up to date with any factory issues or changes lines we aren’t dealer for make.

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