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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

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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 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. ITSAdmin, October 1, 2019 at 10:08 am:

    Hi Kristy,
    We researched Koch before and this was our response:
    Koch is a pretty good cabinet. I think when we researched last we gave them a B+ for construction on their framed line but since we weren’t sure on pricing so we left them off our list.

  2. Kristy, September 30, 2019 at 3:11 pm:

    I have seen some references to Koch Cabinets. But I don’t see where you have given your opinion on that line. Do you have an opinion on that line? Thank you.

  3. Paul McAlary, September 26, 2019 at 7:30 am:

    I Know less about 21st Century and they give less information on their site. I’d stick with the Fabuwood if you plan on living in your home for a while.

  4. Rashid, September 25, 2019 at 9:14 pm:

    Thanks for your response. However you did not say anything about 21st Century. I see that one is on the top of your list as A, A and 1 for price level.

  5. ITSAdmin, September 25, 2019 at 3:49 pm:

    Hi Rashid,
    Fabuwood is the best cabinet and the best value here. CNC is about 20% less and still well constructed if you are truly on a severe budget. However since your entire kitchen is built around the cabinets I wouldn’t splurge on appliances and quartz countertops without getting at least Fabuwood quality cabinetry. If you are flipping a property then CNC might be the best value.

  6. ITSAdmin, September 25, 2019 at 3:44 pm:

    Hi Kathy,
    We researched Koch before and this was our response:
    Koch is a pretty good cabinet. I think when we researched last we gave them a B+ for construction on their framed line but since we weren’t sure on pricing we left them off our list.

  7. KathyC, September 25, 2019 at 12:32 pm:

    Hi, Paul..Are you familiar with Koch kitchen cabinets? I would love your opinion on them.

  8. Rashid, September 25, 2019 at 8:24 am:

    Thanks for wonderful educational blog. We are pricing between 21st Century, Fabuwood and CNC. Which one will you rate the best value?
    Thanks

  9. Tracy, September 25, 2019 at 7:43 am:

    Thank you so much for your valuable advice!!

  10. Paul McAlary, September 25, 2019 at 7:33 am:

    Those are nice colors and not out of style. In fact far from it. Definitely Always upgrade cabinetry. It is better to get a well made inexpensive cabinet line than an expensive one not upgraded and so built poorly.

  11. Tracy, September 25, 2019 at 7:26 am:

    The timberlake painted cashmere is the color that I was told is no longer available. I asked if there would be a replacement color, but they did not have that information yet. I am looking at the painted Safari in the Yorktowne. Is the standard ‘furniture board’ construction ‘quality’ or should I upgrade to all plywood?

  12. Paul McAlary, September 24, 2019 at 2:47 pm:

    Yorktowne recently upgraded and improved their cabinets and raised their prices. Upgraded all these lines will be good. However I do have a concern. What is the finish that was discontinued? Popular finishes are never discontinued. Usually only finishes that have gone out of style are discontinued.
    .
    If for example you were getting some kind of oak finish or a whitewash that would be a terrible investment as far as the value of your home was concerned. White Thermafoil would be another out of date finish.

  13. Tracy, September 24, 2019 at 2:02 pm:

    I had originally planned Timberlake cabinet (my builder’s line) but the color I wanted has recently been discontinued. Another option from the builder’s designer is Yorktowne. I was told Yorktowne is an upgrade from Timberlake. Are you familiar with Yorktowne and how comparable is this line to Kraftmaid? Do you offer any recommendations? Wellbourn is another option, but I understand these to be an additional upgrade.

  14. Tracy, September 24, 2019 at 1:56 pm:

    I had originally planned Timberlake cabinet (my builder’s line) but the color I wanted has recently been discontinued. Another option from the builder’s designer is Yorktowne. I was told Yorktowne is an upgrade from Timberlake. Are you familiar with Yorktowne and how comparable is this line to Kraftmaid? Do you offer any recommendations? Wellbourn is another option, but I understand these to be an additional upgrade.

  15. ITSAdmin, September 23, 2019 at 3:07 pm:

    Hi Alisa,
    Be careful. Wolf has different quality levels now. The lower levels are not the lines that we are giving the good reviews to. Fabuwood would be a better choice here, for quality and for colors.

  16. Alisa Genovese, September 23, 2019 at 2:52 pm:

    Hi Thank yiu so much for this information. I just bought a house and I’m putting a kitchenette in my basement for a rental. I would like to get I’m on mid range quality cabinet that will last mini years but it’s doable but not super high priced. I have been looking at the wolf classic line the Hanover which is part of their insight series. However the Hanover doesn’t come in white or light grey which I hoped for. The expression series seems a big jump in price. I like the ratings of wolf but wondered if you might recommend any alternatives in this range that are comparable to Wolf. I like a shaker style lighter cabinet but quality is important. I want framed.
    Thank you

  17. Terry in FL, September 19, 2019 at 1:56 pm:

    Would you please give me a professional comparison between Wellborn Estate and/or Premier vs Fieldstone? Does Fieldstone have different lines as well? Trying to work between two local dealers that carry different products. Want to compare apples to apples, so to speak. Thank you in advance!

  18. Paul McAlary, September 19, 2019 at 6:58 am:

    We rate both lines in this blog. Aristocraft is inferior to Kraftmaid in all aspects. It is still a favorite some of the older lower priced contractors and builders as it was the good looking by poorly made cheap builder grade cabinet of choice for a couple of decades.
    .
    Like many of the lower quality US made lines it may have upgraded it’s construction recently in order to compete with the US owned import lines. However those lines like Wolf, Fabuwood, CNC, J&K, and many others are a much better value for a less expensive line. Contractors that understand little about cabinetry will want to stick with what they know over what better products are available.
    .
    This would make me leary of your builder. Kitchen renovations are complicated. And the contractors that would push for Aristocraft will make other poor decisions. Typically these type of contractors will keep outdated soffits over cabinets, recommend unpopular styles and materials and take a lazy approach to their work.

  19. Jeff, September 18, 2019 at 10:15 pm:

    I am looking at Kraftmaid cabinets (although the construction company is really pushing Aristocraft). The drawer bottoms appear to be only 3/16” thick. I was planning on having several large drawers which will likely fill up with heavier items. Is this going to be a problem? It looks like Kraftmaid bottoms are thinner than some of poorly rated cabinet companies. Any comments on Aristokraft?

  20. ITSAdmin, September 18, 2019 at 8:13 pm:

    I do not know the cabinet line but all painted cabinets are easily damaged.

  21. Kathy Culler, September 18, 2019 at 7:58 pm:

    I am looking at JSI Yarmouth or Trenton door style (white) I was carrying a sample around and it seemed like some of the paint finish was rubbing off or it was unevenly painted. I’m not seeing many reviews on this company’s cabinets. I’m wondering if you know of anyone who has ordered these cabinets and are finding the durability of the finish. We’re planning on sellling our home in 3-4 years, so I’m trying to get the reasonable selection without breaking the bank!

  22. ITSAdmin, September 18, 2019 at 7:47 pm:

    Hi Liselotte,
    Brookhaven was a 5 and Woodmode was a 5 or a 6 depending on the doorstylle and finish.

  23. Liselotte Schroth, September 18, 2019 at 7:32 pm:

    I have to replace my Woodmode Cabinets due to an insurance claim and the fact that Woodmode is out of business. I see that Woodmode Cabinets were rated “A and A-“, but was was the price level on those cabinets?
    Much appreciate any help I can get!
    Lisette S.

  24. ITSAdmin, September 15, 2019 at 5:34 pm:

    Belmont is a frameless line and so not one we would advise for any styles other than contemporary slab styles. I also can not find specifications on their construction.

  25. ITSAdmin, September 15, 2019 at 5:28 pm:

    There are many cabinet lines that will be close in quality and price to Brookhaven. Among them Medallion, Starmark, Fieldstone, and maybe a little less expensive but still very close will be framed OMEGA Dynasty, Decora, and then possibly a little less than those Kraftmaid, Diamond and others.

  26. LBoland, September 15, 2019 at 3:32 pm:

    Who is comparable to Brookhaven now that they are no longer available? Thank you!

  27. LBoland, September 15, 2019 at 3:30 pm:

    Hi there. Have you heard of Bellmont Cabinets? They have 3 lines of cabinetry and would love to see how they rate among your team? Thank you!

  28. ITSAdmin, September 15, 2019 at 8:18 am:

    They would get the same rating as IKEA. So just about the worst decision you can make purchasing cabinetry unless you want very contemporary styling and are flipping your home. However Flipping a home with contemporary cabinetry would only make any sense in an Urban setting and usually in a highrise building. Contemporary cabinetry is really only popular in cities despite what many people want to believe.

  29. Teresa, September 14, 2019 at 8:52 pm:

    Any opinion on Urban Effects cabinetry? I didn’t see it on the reviews or in the comments. We are hoping for a modern slab-front look but I’m a little nervous about quality.

    Thanks so much for this blog and all you do.

  30. ITSAdmin, September 14, 2019 at 9:18 am:

    Hi Mary Beth,
    Diamond has dramatically improved their cabinet construction and what they offer over the last few years. So your designer might know better than I on a close choice between the two brands. From what I know the Diamond reps have smaller territories so they can be more responsive.

    Something to consider when color matching is that yes you will get the custom color you want at only a small upcharge but down the road any replacement parts you might need will need to be also color matched again and that color match could be slightly off. Also touch up kits will not be readily available for custom colors.

  31. Mary Beth, September 14, 2019 at 9:04 am:

    We met with a Lowe’s kitchen designer- planning to go with upgraded Kraftmaid cabinets for a remodel in my 27 year old kitchen. He said that he prefers Diamond cabinets over Kraftmaid as he believes they have better customer service from the manufacturer, better finish on the painted cabinets and the ability to match the paint color due to it being Sherwin Williams. I wonder your thoughts on that.

  32. Paul McAlary, September 13, 2019 at 11:59 am:

    After a quick recheck of Designers Choice I notice many negative reviews in the last year. Not sure what this is about but it gives me pause. The Presidential is their best constructed line. All plywood construction, 1/2″ plywood sides and solid wood dovetail soft close drawers and drawers are a must.
    Ask the dealer you are working with about the negative reviews and check the reviews on the dealer. The dealers reviews are the most telling.A dealer with less than 4 stars is a serious problem.

  33. Mark, September 13, 2019 at 11:28 am:

    Hi- regarding the Designers Choice cabinets, is there a better line in their family over another as far as quality and construction? Also, you mentioned making sure it it “upgraded” – can you speak to exactly what upgrades you feel are important/must haves?

  34. ITSAdmin, September 13, 2019 at 7:30 am:

    Hi Allie,
    The designer collection would get a B for construction. The other Cardell lines would get very poor ratings. The bigger issue here is that buying a kitchen from Menards is like buying one from IKEA or Costco. Their are no qualified kitchen designers at these retail locations. Home Centers like Lowes and The Home Depot usually have staff that has some limited level of experience up to experienced and even occasionally very good kitchen designers.

  35. Allie, September 12, 2019 at 8:31 pm:

    Does anyone have reviews on Cardell Cabinets sold at Menards?

  36. ITSAdmin, September 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm:

    Hi Terry,
    Sorry I don’t know the line. Their web site doesn’t give much information but the finishes look nice.

  37. Terry in FL, September 12, 2019 at 4:50 pm:

    I don’t see a Kemp Cabinet line on your rating list. They are an Amish company out of Indiana. Are you familiar with the product line and/or quality? They offer both an inset and a frameless model. My designer is recommending them over Fieldstone for value. Thanks for your ever helpful reply!

  38. ITSAdmin, September 11, 2019 at 6:53 pm:

    Hi Emma,
    Sorry but this whole plan made no sense from the beginning. I have no idea how to advise you other than to get the help of a good local kitchen designer. I’m sure there are many more bad decisions than the tip of this iceberg reveals.

  39. Emma, September 11, 2019 at 6:08 pm:

    Thank you very much for the extremely helpful information. I recently moved and decided to change all the base cabinets and kitchen island, but keep the wall cabinets. They are Timberlake Fairfield nutmeg. After I ordered, I found out online very bad reviews for Timberlake. Fairfield is also the cheap line. I am wondering is it even worth to put on the granite countertop? Will these cabinets be able to hold the granite? I am even thinking not to pick up these Timberlake cabinets and get better ones? Maybe fabuwood? Any suggestions or comments for Timberlake Fairfield cabinet? Thank you very much

  40. ITSAdmin, September 11, 2019 at 4:24 pm:

    Hi Holly,
    I don’t know Pioneer. Merillat Masterpiece is pretty good construction. I would make sure I was in the Masterpiece line if I was getting Merillat. I like Kraftmaid much better and it is another Masco line so the designer might also sell Kraftmaid.

  41. ITSAdmin, September 11, 2019 at 4:11 pm:

    Hi Tonya,
    We found DuraSupreme to be a disreputable company to work with when we briefly carried their brand. They did not honor their commitments to our customers or to us. That being said their inset cabinetry upgraded is very well made. I would make very sure that the cabinet dealer you are buying from has a sterling reputation as it will be their integrity that you will need to rely on should any problems arise.

  42. Tonya, September 11, 2019 at 3:51 pm:

    Thank you very much for this wonderful resource, I have been studying it for months now but it is now time for me to order cabinets. My major concern is finding a quality cabinet that offers inset doors and drawers. We found a local kitchen design company (the only one in our area) and they offer inset cabinets from Dura Supreme. After scouring the internet for reviews about these cabinets, I’m a little concerned about the quality of their product and the company standing behind their product! I do plan to upgrade from the “furniture board” to the 1/2″ plywood cabinets but was wondering if you had any thoughts on this brand before we order/pay. Also if you have any additional recommendations for cabinet companies that offer inset options? Thank you so very much!

  43. ITSAdmin, September 11, 2019 at 6:09 am:

    Hi Mark,
    Designers Choice is a well made brand assuming it is upgraded. Paying more money for cabinetry has nothing to do necessarily with quality and durability. The door style, color, and the upgrades you choose are more important when making a cabinet selection. Since many custom home builders know and care little about kitchen design you should be getting help making these type decisions from a knowledgeable kitchen designer that works for a cabinet dealership that carries many lines. The designer can help you pick the cabinet line that gives you the best fit for the design, door style, wood species, and finish that you want.

    Most importantly we know from the terrible designs we receive from people building new homes that 90% of the time the kitchens desperately need to be redesigned to make them functional and attractive. Find a good kitchen designer first and let them help you navigate all these decisions. Spending your budget wisely is a function of far more than picking cabinet brands.

  44. ITSAdmin, September 11, 2019 at 5:51 am:

    Crestwood looks like a small custom plant with little details available on line. They would not have been my second pick.

  45. Mark, September 11, 2019 at 4:06 am:

    Hello and what’ a great resource and website! We are building a custom home in Delaware and our builder is recommending Designers Choice Cabinetry for our entire home. It’s a 6 bedroom house with office, mud room, lots of cabinets. My question is the quality and craftsmanship of Designer Choice as it relates to the kitchen in particular. Do they make a solid, well-made cabinet to put in a high end custom home, or would we be better off using them elsewhere in the house and spending more for a better cabinet in
    the kitchen? Thanks!

  46. Gayle B., September 10, 2019 at 11:00 pm:

    When Woodmode closed down, we ended up with Crestwood Cabinetry out of Salina, KS jumping in to fill the gap. They are in three Kitchen Design businesses in close proximity to each other. What do you know about them?

  47. Tracy, September 10, 2019 at 10:18 am:

    Thank you for the input!!

  48. ITSAdmin, September 10, 2019 at 8:41 am:

    Hi Tracy,
    Upgraded Timberlake is a well made US cabinet at the mid to low price point. There will be some less expensive US Import lines like Fabuwood, Wolf, or J&K, that might look as nice or nicer and cost a little less. And there will be more expensive lines that offer more customization and have nicer finishes. But at that price point Timberlake is a good choice if you do not want to get a US import.

    Warranties do not reflect quality for example IKEA has a 20 year warranty and it is junk compared to upgraded Timberlake. And negative reviews of a cabinet line are also usually meaningless. Here is a link to a blog on the topic:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/hard-compare-kitchen-cabinet-brands/

    The important people to check out reviews for are the cabinet dealers you are buying your cabinets from. They are the people handling damages and cabinet problems. They are also the people that honor warranty issues. You do not contact the cabinet companies directly for that. This is also why some homeowners write bad cabinet company reviews. They are mistakenly blaming their unresolved problems on the cabinet company when the issue is with the designer, the cabinet dealer or the installation.

  49. Tracy, September 10, 2019 at 8:18 am:

    My builder uses Timberlake. I have seen a lot of negative reviews and this makes me apprehensive to go with this line especially since they only offer a 5 year warranty. Can you provide any insights to Timberlake cabinets. I want to go with painted cabinets. Thank you.

  50. HollyAnn, September 9, 2019 at 5:21 pm:

    We are building a new home in Michigan. I am considering options from two different designers both in a white shake style finish. One designer is using Merillat which I see gets a poor review on your list. The other is using Pioneer which I don’t see rated. What would be the biggest concern for Merillat? Do you have any feedback on Pioneer cabinetry?
    Thank you!

  51. ITSAdmin, September 9, 2019 at 5:09 pm:

    Omega Dynasty is rated and Omega Pinnacle. You don’t say the style cabinet you are getting or if you want framed or frameless. In general Fabuwood should be much less than these other two lines. It will be constructed at least equal to the the other lines but offer fewer door styles and finishes.

  52. Lauren, September 9, 2019 at 4:21 pm:

    Any input for Omega cabinets? I do not see them ranked here. Trying to find the right cabinet for the right price between Omega, Fabuwood, and Medallion. Thanks.

  53. ITSAdmin, September 9, 2019 at 3:05 pm:

    Hi Deb,
    All good cabinet choices upgraded. Homecrest is less custom and will cost less than the other two. Best suggestion would be that design trumps all else once the cabinet lines are well constructed. So find the best designer available at a respected local cabinet dealer.

  54. Deb, September 9, 2019 at 2:45 pm:

    Excellent blog and very informative. Looking in the Knoxville, Tn area. Can you give any suggestions in comparing Homecrest vs Starmark or Decora cabinets

  55. ITSAdmin, September 5, 2019 at 2:51 pm:

    Great question John,
    Many of the less expensive cabinet lines can be ordered assembled in the factory or unassembled. We recommend and would only sell factory assembled cabinetry. Cabinet assembly is usually not very expensive ($25 per box is common) and having the factory build the cabinets assures that the people that are the most experienced building the cabinets are the ones doing it. Most reputable cabinet dealers will only sell assembled cabinetry.

    In fact, when people complain about one of these lines they are most often complaining about cabinetry that is without warranty as it was assembled by the dealer or the contractor. Trying to save this small amount of money is telling. And so usually the dealers and the customers attempting to save this way are making other equally foolish decisions. As we say in the cabinet world “lighting strikes the same people over and over again and for good reason!”

  56. John, September 5, 2019 at 2:19 pm:

    Thank you for this website! Very informative and nothing else matches it.

    Question about Ready-to-Assemble (RTA) cabinetry. It seems like RTA is highly discouraged yet when I’m researching some of the less expensive recommendations like CNC and J&K I learn that they are RTA!

    Are there different categories of RTA? Perhaps you could help distinguish between RTA and non-RTA?

    Thank you!!

  57. ITSAdmin, September 4, 2019 at 1:00 pm:

    Yes that’s a typo and our rating. We must have gotten a spec book to rate them. And they are frameless.

  58. Gladys Vanegas, September 4, 2019 at 12:30 pm:

    On the top list you have a company Adormus I’m wondering if the name is misspelled..? or is Adormus an actual company? thank you for you quick response:)

  59. ITSAdmin, September 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm:

    Sorry never heard of Adornus. They appear to be frameless cabinetry so we would prefer Fabuwood. The warranty don’t mean much in the cabinet world it is simply a marketing tool. Some of the worst cabinet lines like IKEA have the 20 year or lifetime ones.

  60. Gladys Vanegas, September 4, 2019 at 12:11 pm:

    Hi Paul, Great blog with so much information! thank you. We are remolding our kitchen and we were looking into Fabuwood cabinets. The dealer we are working with also recommended Adornus because they have a 10 year warranty. Can you please provide your feed back on Adornus. I specifically like a door/color they have but I don’t see much information online as far as quality.
    thanks

  61. ITSAdmin, September 3, 2019 at 7:40 am:

    I would not recommend frameless cabinetry for any door style other than a very contemporary slab door style. I’m sure you are also getting other upgrades with the Wellborn Forest when you upgrade the tracks. I go Wellborn Forest here.

  62. ITSAdmin, September 3, 2019 at 7:36 am:

    As of March 2019 all cabinetry sold in the US meets Carb2 Compliance. The federal government began enforcing almost the same Carb2 criteria under a different name. So the companies advertising low-VOC are touting the same standards that all cabinet lines are now forced to meet. I would stay away from companies advertising this way as it is misleading.

  63. ITSAdmin, September 3, 2019 at 7:28 am:

    There are no inexpensive well made cabinets that aren’t imported. So you need to readjust your thinking. Tariffs only slightly level the playing field.

  64. LDM_newhomewoner, September 2, 2019 at 2:57 pm:

    Hi, great blog. Looking for stock cabinetry that is made in the USA. We do not need semi custom or custom and are looking for quality, well-made, durable cabinetry. We would like to avoid the tariffs hence looking for stock made in the USA. Thanks

  65. PR, August 31, 2019 at 1:43 pm:

    I am looking for low-VOC cabinets; a kitchen store carries Forevermark and Choice cabinets. They say they are greengold certified. I don’t see these listed on your website, how would you rate these in terms of quality of cabinets and durability?

  66. ITSAdmin, August 28, 2019 at 9:21 am:

    Hi Amy,
    You would have to supply us with a web site. I don’t see Signature Select on line.

  67. Amy, August 28, 2019 at 1:47 am:

    Hi. I see you rated Signature Custom highly. Is Signature Select the same thing or a completely different company or line? Thank you.

  68. Jennifer CC, August 27, 2019 at 10:12 am:

    Hello, I am quoting a kitchen right now. I have been quoted executive cabinets for $15k, Forte $14,200 and wellborn Forest $11,800. The Wellborn Forest quote does not have full extension drawers though, it is 7/8 extension which I do not like. If I add the full extension then I am at $14,000. All are wood doors and boxes. The Executive is Euro. Which one is the best made cabinet? My designer really likes Executive as he says it is the most sleek look and he can do custom sizes. I look forward to your feedback.

  69. ITSAdmin, August 25, 2019 at 1:12 pm:

    Hi Bruce,
    There are lots of well constructed cabinets sold on line. However buying cabinets unassembled and without the help of a good professional kitchen designer is a bad idea. You need a good local kitchen designer to help you through all the varied phases of a kitchen renovation. This is why even though we are asked EVERY day we do not sell kitchen to people who’s space we haven’t measured ourselves. Saving at most 20% on cabinets by buying them online guarantees that you don’t have the quality help that everyone needs. Particularly the people who don’t believe that they do.

  70. Bruce, August 25, 2019 at 12:53 pm:

    We are considering frameless cabinets with shaker style natural maple finish, full overlay but now I might choose framed after reading your blog. Any thoughts on Cabinets.com?

  71. ITSAdmin, August 25, 2019 at 10:14 am:

    Hi Lauren,
    It looks like you can now upgrade the Midcontinent Signature series to a better made cabinet. How much better made is not clear from their web site. However MidContinent even if it could be upgraded to a B+ in construction is not close to the quality and versatility of Kraftmaid. It should be significantly less though. Now that these upgrades are available in MidContenent we should update their rating but figuring out how much is tough with so little information available.

  72. Lauren, August 24, 2019 at 3:57 pm:

    We are working with a kitchen designer and looking at MidContinent and Kraftmaid both upgraded to all plywood in a shaker style painted cabinet. On your review, MidContinent doesn’t rate very well; is this for the non upgraded cabinet and if not, what is the reason for the low rating? Thank you soo much!

  73. ITSAdmin, August 14, 2019 at 3:27 pm:

    Hi Susan,
    Kraftmaid may have slipped slightly as a cabinet line but they are still a good value and sold at reputable dealers all over the US. Covered Bridge appears to be a very well made line but I don’t know it well. Schlabach I have never heard of and their web site gives no specifics on how they make cabinets. This always worries me.
    .
    One thing that is certain when you are working in higher priced lines is that how good the kitchen designer is usually outweighs the difference in cabinet lines. Amish workers can be great craftsman but I have never met a good Amish or Mennonite kitchen designer – so working with the factory could have disadvantages. In general the people that make the cabinets and install the cabinets are poor designers of kitchens.

  74. Susan Shepard, August 14, 2019 at 1:59 pm:

    Hi! Like so many others I find your site – so so helpful. I am in Ohio and am torn whether to use Kraftmaid, Schlabach, or the contractor’s recommended Covered Bridge Essential line. I am doing about $25K in cabinets, which is a lot for us! I am familiar with Kraftmaid and Schlabach (Ohio Amish brand https://schlabachwooddesign.com/custom-kitchen-cabinets.html) but I’m not very familiar with the Covered Bridge line. Some folks in Ohio feel that Kraftmaid isn’t what it use to be – hopefully that will be rectified!! Schlabach will actually send their Amish workers to install b/c I am w/n an hour and half of their factory – saving me Ohio tax. My contractor friends tell me to go with Covered Bridge it is a good line and my kitchen will be done quicker. As you seem to be an unbiased expert, do you have any thoughts?

  75. pmcalary, August 14, 2019 at 10:35 am:

    Hi Kalex,
    Designing kitchens is far more complex than non kitchen designers understand. Spending money on cabinetry wisely always requires an experienced kitchen designer’s assistance.
    .
    There are several well constructed cabinet brands sold at Costo, buy direct discount shops, and online. However saving at most 10% to work with a someone that can’t be a good kitchen designer and is using your (or even worse your contractors or architects amateur measurements) asks for the trouble you will surely get. Many people believe that they don’t need a designer. But much like the people that represent themselves in a court case have a fool for an attorney, people that don’t get the help of a good kitchen designer have a similar problem.
    .
    Below is a video and a blog to think about if you truly believe you don’t need a kitchen designers help. For what it’s worth the people that send us designs to review have major mistakes in their designs over 95% of the time.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxJgxCeeNTo&t=
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/ikea-effect-physiological-phenomenon-drives-kitchen-designers-crazy/

    Home Depot and Lowes are far better than Costco, IKEA or these other alternatives. But there are also independent dealers that will be no more expensive than home centers. Those dealers will usually be more knowledgeable in helping you design a kitchen that improves the value of your home and in spending your budget wisely. But if you can not find a good dealer locally stick to a home center.

  76. ITSAdmin, August 14, 2019 at 8:53 am:

    Hi Colleen,
    Very interesting two questions. The confusing one first:

    No cabinet store sells cabinets by the linear foot. Cabinets are always sold by the individual cabinet, molding, panel, and part.
    25 years ago Home Depot (I believe) created a mythical kitchen that was an L shaped kitchen 10′ x 10′. This kitchen had a big window and a big refrigerator and so two large spaces without cabinets to price. It had 4 small 30″ wall cabinets. Blind corners in the corners, no molding, no roll outs, no panels and was all particleboard with the cheapest hinges and tracks that each cabinet line offered.
    Home Depot then added up the cost of all the cabinets in this tiny kitchen and divided by 20 (10 + 10) to create a starting linear foot price for that cabinet line in that door style. The corners in this calculation were also counted twice.
    .
    This linear foot price is sort of like the ads you see for a new car “nothing down and $100 per month for a brand new car”. We all know this deal doesn’t exist. When you get to the dealership it turns out that to get the deal you have to trade in a two year old car with low mileage and qualify for veterans, senior, and return buyer discounts. Oh and that car was sold off the lot yesterday.
    .
    The reality is that once you upgrade and price an actual kitchen in your size home in the door style and finish you select with moldings and simply the extras that you have to have, like a pots and pans drawer base and maybe a lazy susan or a trash pull out, you will find out that you are most likely closer to double the linear foot price. And for big kitchens with tall ceilings and with lots of panels and roll outs – far above double the price.
    .
    So there is no such thing really as a linear foot price. Crystal is a very good but not an inexpensive cabinet line. You should make sure that you upgrade in an expensive framed line particularly to 1/2″ plywood sides and soft close doors and drawers. Why cheap out in an expensive line? Choose a less expensive line and upgrade instead, it make more sense.
    .
    Once you create an actual kitchen in a real Crystal upgraded door style in a normal and not tiny kitchen, with moldings possibly glass doors and everything else you want that’s extra, I would think you find that if you did the silly math you would be paying 3 or 400 dollars or more per linear foot.
    .
    Is there bargaining at cabinet places. The answer is generally not. Paying in cash or by check instead of by credit card might get you a break at some places. Asking for discounts if you upgrade or buy your countertop at that location too might be worth a shot. But don’t press the issue. Customers that constantly press for discounts usually annoy their designers and designers have the ability to charge whatever they want at every cabinet dealer. Including home centers like Lowes and The Home Depot. And management always rewards designers with higher profit margins so being a pest never helps the price. Unlike a car it is very difficult to compare cabinet prices from one location to another in possibly different lines. The price you get at at second location after you tell them to give you “their best price” is often missing all the intangibles that customers are not savvy enough to account for. Such as upgrades, flush or paneled sides, moldings etc.
    .
    By the way, huge Discounts that you see at cabinet places like 25% to 50% off are all fake. No dealer sells cabinets for list price and most cabinet lines are sold for between 25% and 50% off of list price every day without any added discounts. There are sometimes sales for cabinets at different locations but these sales will be for free or discounted upgrades or at the very most 10% off. Anything more will certainly be fake and should alert you to be especially careful as you are being deceived.

  77. Colleen, August 14, 2019 at 12:38 am:

    Question on crystal cabinets I got a price that seems rather high. Is there a range of price by linear foot that I should expect? Is there any negotiation when it comes to price of cabinets? Thanks

  78. Kalex, August 13, 2019 at 9:34 pm:

    Hi! I was wondering if you could share your opinion on the kitchen cabinets that Costco sells. The line is called Tuscan Hills.

  79. pmcalary, August 13, 2019 at 5:22 pm:

    Quartersawn white oak will automaticly put you into custom cabinets or at least expensive high end semi custom cabinets. That wood and finish is not popular enough for anyone to mass produce. Mid Continent is not a line we review well. You have many other better choices for cabinet lines. Finding a good dealer that carries several lines would be a good place to start.

    Even the wood you love will be wasted if the design itself is not well done. You might want to run the layout by one of our designers on a Friday betwee 2-4 pm My email is Paul@MainLineKitchenDesign.com

  80. Jennifer, August 13, 2019 at 4:46 pm:

    Hello, I am building a new home in Tampa, FL and our building process has come to a screeching halt because I am struggling to find a cabinet supplier. I fell in love with the look of rift sawn white oak cabinets with a natural, light stained finish that are all over instagram right now and would like todo this for a kitchen island and my master bath. All other cabinets in the house will be a painted finish. Our contractor took us to MidContinent directly, with no other options. They do not have that species of wood or anything that is similar. I also have reservations on using MidContinent for the painted cabinets because of inconsistency of finish with the door samples we ordered. We went to a custom cabinet company for a quote for just the kitchen and master bath and the price was exorbitant. Our budget for the kitchen cabinets is max $50k which I thought was generous. I cant seem to find an in between semi-custom line that carries a rift sawn white oak cabinet line in the area. Do you have any advice you could give me? I am in awe by your professionalism and the dedication you have to your blog. Thank you for your time.

  81. Bill, August 13, 2019 at 11:04 am:

    Appreciate the quick reply. I’ll keep poking around.

  82. ITSAdmin, August 12, 2019 at 4:48 pm:

    Hi Bill,
    I don’t know the line and there isn’t enough information on line to make any evaluations. They are in no way related to the larger company Legacy Cabinets in Alabama that we carry.

  83. Bill, August 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm:

    Hi Paul & Team,
    A builder we’re considering working with typically uses Legacy Custom Cabinets out of Mifflinburg, PA for their kitchens and I can’t seem to find much in the way of any opinions on them. Any thoughts? Thanks a ton – this site & comment board has been great.

  84. ITSAdmin, August 11, 2019 at 9:27 am:

    Rip Ped,
    Again unusual information. There was more miscommunication and mix ups here than an out of date sample.
    .
    Maple would be the normal wood that would be painted and not oak. So if you wanted a solid wood painted cabinet every cabinet company would offer a solid wood painted maple cabinet. Painting oak would be extremely unusual. For example, in 30 years I have only sold 1 kitchen in painted oak but thousands of painted maple cabinets. A showroom even having a painted oak sample to view would be unusual. We would have insisted on making a sample door for a customer to see first before ordering such an unusual selection for an entire kitchen.
    .
    Warning customers when they make unusual selections or insist on poor designs is what good kitchen designers do. Simply giving people what they ask for is the lazy road for a kitchen designer. Quite often customers become annoyed when we give them sobering speeches about the choices they want to make. Several times sitting at my desk warning my customer about their choice I have heard two other designers giving similar warnings to their customers at the same moment in the offices next door. It is what we as designers are supposed to do.
    .
    As good designers our most common battles are:
    .
    Customers wanting to put too much cabinetry in their kitchen making spaces far too tight. Insisting on an island that doesn’t fit is the most common issue. Or cabinets that are too tall not allowing for the ceiling being out of level is also a battle we have to wage on almost a daily basis.
    .
    Customers that want to keep their present terrible design “because they are used to it and it works for them” is another big issue. Helping people see the merits of a better design that will of course work better than the bad design they are used to is frustrating for both the designer and customer. Customers can buy the kitchen they want no matter how bad it is as long as it is not dangerous, but we aren’t being professionals if we aren’t being honest about how bad a choice is from a professional’s perspective.
    .
    Very unusual or out of date color or style selections also need to be talked about openly and honestly. If a customer wants an oak door much less a painted oak door we would need to warn them that that choice would have little or no resale value. The worst would be arched doors, pinkish white stains, or white raised panel thermafoil kitchen cabinetry that is so out of fashion that it eliminates the value of the renovation. Customers are being done a disservice if we as professionals aren’t making this clear to them before they spend a fortune on their project.
    .
    One of my customers has a great sense of humour. She always confirms her appointments and lets me know that she will be wearing her boxing gloves. She understands that without any sparring the kitchen that she gets will suffer.

  85. Rip Ped, August 10, 2019 at 2:22 pm:

    ITSAdmn: Nope. No more to the story than what I previously described. We have a coastal home, and the painted oak, recommended by the salesperson was offered as the only way to get wood doors, not MDF. Since we have a lot of humidity, we were concerned that MDF might not hold up as long as solid wood. I was not trying to mislead anyone. Just sharing our experience to alert others to a flawed system in place related to outdated finish samples in the showroom.

  86. ITSAdmin, August 9, 2019 at 7:46 am:

    Painting oak is a very unusual choice. The choice itself is outdated by decades. So many times when I hear people dissatisfied and kitchen horror stories there are unusual choices involved and this makes me think that there is more to the story.

  87. Rip Ped Off, August 8, 2019 at 8:08 pm:

    We recently purchased upwards of $25K on cabinets for a remodel. We will be staying in the house, so we were comfortable with the purchase Until, the finished cabinets arrived vastly different from the (outdated) sample we were shown in the showroom. We have tried to work with both the local shop and the mfg. to no avail. Stay clear of Painted Oak from Shiloh.

  88. John, August 8, 2019 at 2:20 pm:

    Thank you very much for your input and quick response it is very much appreciated.

  89. pmcalary, August 8, 2019 at 2:14 pm:

    The 3/8″ backs are not too bad. They change our construction rating to a B+ from an A most of the time. The Legacy Presidential we particularly like and are actually going to begin selling that line shortly. We won’t sell the Upgraded Debut as it is almost the same price and offers less options and slightly lower quality. The Schrock is fine too and probably has nicer finishes than the Legacy Debut.

  90. pmcalary, August 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm:

    Hi John,
    Length of Warranty is not meaningful. Especially as both cabinet lines upgraded use the same tracks and hinges. Blum’s Bumotion and soft close hinge.
    .
    The Legacy you are getting priced might actually be the Presidential line which is only a little more than upgraded Debut but better.
    .
    Almost all homeowners are happy with the design they have independent of how good it is. When two designers are giving you the same design and one that you are initially happy with that could be a bad and not a good sign. Designers objecting to your design and proposing one you at first might reject would ring of a better designer.
    .
    For example almost 90% of our customer come to us believing that they have a good design. And nearly all are wrong and end up buying very different designs once they see better alternatives. You can always send us your floor plan or perspectives to get input from us on a Friday between 2 and 4 pm. Info@MainLineKitchenDesign.com

  91. John, August 8, 2019 at 2:01 pm:

    I just found the answers to some of my questions here. https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/what-cabinet-line-is-the-best/ SO sorry I didnt see this page on you blog sooner. I see here that the warranty that one designer was trying to sell me is possibly meaningless. So my now Im thinking that Legacy is the better choice in my scenario due to the 3/8″ backs?

  92. John, August 8, 2019 at 1:19 pm:

    I know you always reiterate that a good design is what matters most. I have a design I happy with from 2 different designers both very similar. I am having difficulty deciding on brand of cabinet to choose. Schrock APC but they have 3/8″ backs even though upgrading to APC. or Legacy Debut APC 1/2″ plywood backs. Legacy being $1100 more. Legacy limited 5 year warranty. Schrock limited lifetime. Legacy wont cover hinges and clips in warranty, Schrock will. Since Schrock is typically more money I thought they were higher quality but perhaps I am wrong?

  93. pmcalary, August 6, 2019 at 5:39 pm:

    Hi Jillian,
    No I don’t know Crestwood well. They appear to specialize in frameless cabinetry. I’d stick with Crystal.

  94. pmcalary, August 6, 2019 at 5:35 pm:

    Hi Steve,
    Sorry I don’t like being pigeonholed into giving simplistic answers to complex questions. You can call on a Friday between 2-4 pm for an explanation. In short as I said before we would recommend a less expensive line over a more expensive line down graded. I can’t think of a situation where it would make sense other than for a home builder. Usually home builders would do this so that they could offer their customers any door style and finish cheaply and then over charge them for the upgrades.

  95. Paul McAlary, August 6, 2019 at 5:24 pm:

    Hi Margaret,
    I would recommend getting less expensive well constructed cabinetry over getting a an expensive brand made with particleboard.

  96. Margaret S, August 6, 2019 at 12:46 pm:

    Thanks for the response! Are the Mouser Centra line cabinets still worth the extra cost? I see they have more particle board components than the premier line. They also appear to have corner gussets rather than I beam construction.
    Thanks!

  97. Steve G, August 6, 2019 at 11:21 am:

    I appreciate your response to my prior note. Can you add more details on my original questions, please?

  98. Jillian, August 6, 2019 at 10:47 am:

    To clarify the above – it is Crestwood, Inc. (out of Salina, KS). Thanks! 🙂

  99. Jillian, August 6, 2019 at 10:36 am:

    Hello, your site has been extremely helpful as we narrow down the designer/line of cabinets. We are in the Denver area and the two cabinet lines we are narrowing down to are Crystal and Crestwood.(Our contractor has recommended two designers and they each carry different lines.) We’ve read your rating of Crystal but having a difficult time finding much info on Crestwood cabinets, but know they are also a generational family line and made in US. Any recommendations between those two lines of cabinets? Thank so much for your site! We’ve learned so much!

  100. ITSAdmin, August 6, 2019 at 8:49 am:

    Hi Margret,
    Bellmont 1900 appears to be a frameless line. I don’t know Custom Wood Products. Mauser and Grable are high end custom lines and in framed construction are far above Belmont in a Frameless as far as durability is concerned. As always working with a better kitchen designer is worth more tha na few thousand dollars. Especially with high end lines.

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