Main Line Kitchen Design
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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. ITSAdmin, August 6, 2019 at 8:43 am:

    Hi Steve,
    I would recommend getting a less expensive but well made cabinet line like Fabuwood in all plywood construction before getting a poorly made version of a more expensive line. You can not have your cake and eat it too.

  2. Steve Gersz, August 3, 2019 at 8:56 am:

    We are looking at Wellborn cabinets. From your blog i know you recommend upgrade to all plywood,but our budget is tight. How would you rate their standard construction? If you had to guess,what is anticipated lifespan of standard vs all plywood? What are the downsides of their standard construction? Thanks so much!

  3. Margaret S., August 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm:

    Correcting information that I included in the post above. The Custom Wood Product Cabinet company one KD recommends is out of Kansas. The other KD is recommending Mouser cabinets. Thanks!

  4. Margaret S, August 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm:

    I have been researching kitchen cabinets recommended by kitchen designers I have been consulting with in the Chicagoland area. Some of the cabinets are not on your list, but I was wondering if you were aware of them and had an opinion on them. The two companies are Bellmont (specifically the 1900 line) and Custom Wood Product Cabinets out of Kentucky. Any input you have is much appreciated.

    Another KD we have consulted works with Mauser and Grable which I can see are on your list and seem to be quality cabinets based on your assessment. The estimate for our project with this KD was made using Mauser as the cabinet. The other company’s estimate (the one who uses Bellmont and CWP) is several thousand dollars lower, and I am wondering if that is based on the quality of the cabinets. Thanks!

  5. ITSAdmin, July 31, 2019 at 7:27 am:

    Wellborn Forest is not the same company but it is an offshoot of Wellborn. It was started and is managed by a Wellborn family member and is produced in the same town. Wellborn Forrest is well made and has a reduced catalogue of door styles, finishes, and construction types available so it cab be more reasonable for what they offer.

  6. Maria, July 30, 2019 at 12:39 pm:

    Trying to find out if Wellborn Forest cabinetry is the same as Wellborn or a different company. I want a well made kitchen cabinet without the crazy high price tag. Also looking at Starmark and Fabuwood. Any thoughts and advice you have would be appreciated.

  7. ITSAdmin, July 28, 2019 at 3:11 pm:

    Hi Kathy,
    I know that Yorktown recently dramatically improved how their cabinetry was made but I didn’t realize that they were now doing beaded inset. I can’t really answer because of this but certainly I would price the kitchen in a line that has done beaded inset longer just to see where the Yorktown pricing fell. The Yorktown dealer probably also sells Medallion Cabinetry since they are both Elkay companies. Most likely it was bluring the line between the two cabinet lines that allowed Yorktowne to change so much. So you might be getting cabinetry made in the Medallion plant when you order a Yorktowne kitchen in beaded inset.
    Price the kitchen in Medallion if that is the case and if the price is now the same or close I would order the Medallion. You don’t want to be one of the early buyers (IE possible guinea pig) for a line that has changed so much unless you are at least saving some serious money.

  8. kathy, July 28, 2019 at 2:00 pm:

    Looking at Yorktowne and wanted to know your opinion…thinking of beaded inset

  9. ITSAdmin, July 28, 2019 at 10:31 am:

    Century cabinets are not made particularly well. For decades Toll Brothers used to use Yorktowne Cabinets, which also weren’t made well, and then Yorktowne upgraded how they make cabinets. Figures that Toll Brothers would now switch to a worse line. Century cabinets are the house brand of Century Kitchens. Here are their Yelp reviews https://www.yelp.com/biz/century-kitchens-malvern

    Toll Brothers also refuses to use kitchen designers to design their kitchens and instead has their on staff architects design their kitchens. Here is our blog on that topic:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/why-are-the-most-expensive-kitchens-often-so-poorly-designed/

    Tough to advise you here as Toll Brothers overcharges for upgrades and changes. Possibly getting the standard kitchen or even simply a few cabinets and a Formica countertop and trying to get a credit for the materials you save. Then actually doing the kitchen after you move in. I suspect though that Toll brothers won’t be hot on giving you credit for the cabinetry and expensive countertops you save.

    Sorry I can’t be more positive. I would be happy to look at the design on a Friday between 2-4pm when we give free advice.

  10. Cynthia Knecht, July 27, 2019 at 3:06 pm:

    Hi Paul, we are building a house with Toll Bros so we’re locked into Century Cabinets. Are they good enough to fully upgrade and go for it? (Looking at $30k+ for plywood, stacked glass, upgraded top molding, end panels, etc) Or would it make more sense to take the standard and redo down the line? Do you ever consult on new construction?

  11. pmcalary, July 22, 2019 at 8:07 pm:

    Hi Dawn,
    Lots of red flags in your story. Among them is that it makes no sense to ever glaze a shaker door style and even distressing it is both very expensive and not usual for that door style. With so many issues here I think you should try calling us on a Friday between 2pm and 4pm. We’ve also had trouble finding any place to recommend in Denver.

  12. dawn, July 22, 2019 at 6:22 pm:

    Hi, it has been great reading your blog!. We have been in the process of trying to renovate our kitchen for over 3 months. We had to take down a couple of walls before we could begin our design because our house is super old and a previous owner had done some very odd additions on the house that fooled our contractor into thinking the walls might not be able to come down. We were happy to learn after a lots of careful removal that they could come down safely and that we could actually start planning the design. Now that they have, we are having one heck of a time actually getting the design done. We are on our third designer from our third company because every single design I am given doesn’t seem right and when I asked for them to tweak it after the second or third time they get all huffy. This is a big deal and we want to get it right the first time. We are still not even convinced that our current design is right but it is the one we like the best thus far. Unfortunately you don’t seem to have anyone in Denver that you recommend for design companies so we may just have to go with the best we can. If you do have any recommendations in Denver please let me know. In the meantime we had boiled down our cabinet choices to Crystal or Homestead. Vocs are a big deal that we need to avoid. We are planning to get either a painted or stained mid to dark grey & possibly distressed-looking cabinet. Shaker style door & drawer. Our budget is quite tight, so now the current designer has recommended a third line which is sollera. However, I am very underwhelmed by their website. I was wondering if you had any input on these cabinet lines and or any design options in Denver. (Unfortunately we already got swindled by one designer who promised us a certain price and then after we put down the $1,500 retainer she jumped the price by several thousand dollars and said she “forgot” to plug in the extra finishes such as glaze or distressing we prefer the first time, even though we did say we wanted them. Her boss is on her side.) overall we have been impressed with the current design company we are working with, but after all this it is hard to know what to trust. Thank you!

  13. Paul McAlary, July 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm:

    Hi Carol,
    OK, then I’m glad it is working out for you. It confuses me why so many people ask us for an opinion when they have such strong views themselves.
    .
    Since every designer is an individual the fact that Express Kitchens gets shaky reviews doesn’t mean your designer isn’t good. Hope the good experience continues.

  14. Carol, July 21, 2019 at 2:01 pm:

    Express Kitchens have their own line of cabinetry and well as other brands, Fabuwood being one of them which was the only reason we went there. We were skeptical at first but we only went to compare the prices of the Fabuwood . The designer at Express Kitchens happened to be the best of all 3 places ( one of the places was a kitchen design place ) . We met with her several times to review the design layout and measurements . We have our own highly skilled contractor that’s doing the work for our kitchen and will be installing cabinets etc. At the end of it all , We actually got more than the other places , trim, fillers , all the panels as well as some upgrades.

  15. pmcalary, July 21, 2019 at 12:31 pm:

    Hi Carol,
    Yes we just replied to Sal:
    Hi Sal,
    Fabuwood can have some iffy dealers. Express Kitchens seems to get poor reviews on Yelp, between a 3.4 and 4.2 rating on Google depending on the location and they have no Houzz.com page I can find. So they really aren’t trying to be designers just box sellers and they don’t get stellar reviews.
    .
    Depending on where you are located Bender Plumbing in Connecticut has several locations and sells Fabuwood. They meet our criteria to recommend as a dealer. https://benderplumbing.com/locations/locations-map

    Picking the cheapest dealer for cabinetry is often a bad idea for two reasons:

    First Designs are seldom the same. Better designers may have included panels, upgrades, and moldings in their pricing and so the price was actually not the lowest where you thought it was.
    Second the designer and their experience, creativity, and integrity, is always worth more than a couple of thousand dollars. Express cabinets is telling you in their very name that they care very little about anything except selling you something quickly. Fast and quality do not live together in the kitchen world and people that rush get very “different” kitchens.
    .
    The thing that customers refuse to spend to get a great kitchen is seldom money. It is usually their own time. And when you don’t value good kitchen design and the advice of a good kitchen designer the kitchen you get is almost always amateurish and spends your budget in an ineffective manor.
    .
    Our video tries to make this point in a funny way:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxJgxCeeNTo&t=

  16. pmcalary, July 21, 2019 at 12:14 pm:

    Hi Sal,
    Fabuwood can have some iffy dealers. Express Kitchens seems to get poor reviews on Yelp, between a 3.4 and 4.2 rating on Google depending on the location and they have no Houzz.com page I can find. So they really aren’t trying to be designers just box sellers and they don’t get stellar reviews.
    .
    Depending on where you are located Bender Plumbing in Connecticut has several locations and sells Fabuwood. They meet our criteria to recommend as a dealer. https://benderplumbing.com/locations/locations-map

  17. pmcalary, July 21, 2019 at 12:00 pm:

    Hi Bonnie,
    We recommend 4 California dealers on out blog below:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/recommended-kitchen-designers-cabinet-dealers-outside-service-area/

    Or if you call on a Friday between 2-4pm one of our designers could try to find one for you closer.

  18. Sal, July 21, 2019 at 9:42 am:

    Express Kitchens sell Fabuwood at a goo price … any comments on Express Kitchens.

  19. Carol, July 21, 2019 at 9:33 am:

    After reading all your recommendations on Fabuwood cabinets, we were so happy we had chosen them based on your reviews . We went to several Fabuwood dealers in Ct and for the same design plan we got differences in quotes between of $1000- $2000 .
    We finally purchased the cabinets from Express Kitchens since we got the lowest price from them.
    Any comments on Express Kitchens ?

  20. Bonnie, July 21, 2019 at 9:15 am:

    Thanks for your response, I know you are too far away, do you have any kitchen designer, cabinet installer suggestions for my area? I live in CA. Riverside county??? I have gotten designs from a couple people, one had my trash cans across the room from my sink, $13,000, the other was completely vague on what I was getting, $30,000.

  21. Paul McAlary, July 20, 2019 at 1:21 pm:

    Hi Robert,
    If you are getting a contemporary slab style door style then there is no question that frameless cabinetry will look better and there is a compelling reason to pay a little more to get a lesser constructed cabinet. On other style doors any advantages to frameless construction is outweighed in my opinion buy the loss of durability. Well made framed cabinetry should last a lifetime and just get nicked and scratched which can be easily repaired. Frameless cabinetry must be designed to avoid stress and overloading cabinetry. And homeowners need to be gentler with a frameless kitchen since any damages to the cabinet boxes are not able to be repaired.

  22. Robert Krukowski, July 20, 2019 at 12:50 pm:

    Hi I have reviewed your comments and and we are interested in and like the St. Martin line. Why don’t you recommend frame-less construction even if St. Martin is constructed well? Is it a durability issue over time? Preference? or have you seen durability issues with frame-less cabinets?
    Thanks
    Rob

  23. pmcalary, July 20, 2019 at 7:20 am:

    Two issues here.
    First 15″ wall cabinets will be expensive and cost at least 25% more- while plates, food, and most items you place in wall cabinets will be made to fit in 12″ deep cabinets. You will also be making your counter less accessible to you and putting the cabinets under extra stress. I would not recommend “rethinking the wheel” here. Other issues will also arise that you and the designer may not think out to an attractive and workable result.
    .
    Second. Make sure you understand just how “stripey” your kitchen will look in hickory. Google Hickory Kitchens or look at them on Houzz.com to make sure you understand what the final result will look like. Very often homeowners are upset by what their finished hickory kitchen looks like simply because they failed to understand the properties of the wood they selected.
    .
    If you like rustic and extreme wood color variations then and only then is hickory for you.
    Here is a link on Houzz.com to a relevant discussion:
    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/5273128/striped-hickory-cabinets#n=66

  24. Kelly Huber, July 19, 2019 at 6:54 pm:

    Your info has been so useful and greatly appreciated. We are going to purchase stained hickory cabinetry. Thoughts between durability in schrock vs. Homecrest, both fully upgraded? And, any concerns with upgrading to 15 inch depth upper cabinets that we should consider?
    Thanks!

  25. Michelle, July 19, 2019 at 1:57 pm:

    I am chemically sensitive and am looking for new cabinets for a full kitchen remodel. Can you recommend any cabinet lines that are made with PureBond plywood or at least CARB2 compliant plywood that use water based finishes? The only one I’ve been able to find is Executive cabinets, but they are frameless, and I would really prefer framed. I’m just looking for a simple shaker style door.

  26. pmcalary, July 18, 2019 at 1:34 pm:

    Hi Jeff,
    We have not seen a noticeable difference in the durability of the painted finishes on different cabinet lines for major brands. Very small custom shops will have less durable finishes. There is no question that paint is more easily damaged by water and more easily nicked and scratched than a stain. However most populated areas of the US will have furniture refinishers like Guardsman Furniture Pros that can touch up an entire kitchen. In our area they do this for around $500 and a 5 or 10 year old kitchen will look like new. Severly damaged doors can also be replaced.

  27. Jeff, July 18, 2019 at 1:21 pm:

    We are planning a major kitchen renovation (moving walls, extending out). My wife really likes painted white cabinets. I am concerned about the durability compared to stain. I have read multiple stories of paint blistering and peeling from water splashing on them. This seems to be a frequent complaint with companies like Kraftmaid, omega, and decora. Is this a major concern or is it being overstated in complaints? Is one companies painted cabinets more durable than the others? Thank you for all the info!

  28. pmcalary, July 17, 2019 at 7:02 am:

    Hi Linda,
    Fabuwood has the nicest white finishes for an inexpensive line that I’ve ever seen. J&K is nicer than CNC. 21st centurty I don’t know that well so I can’t say.

  29. Linda, July 16, 2019 at 5:28 pm:

    This site is so helpful. I am working with a designer. I want white Shaker cabinets. I would like an excellent finish and very good quality. I am limited to the less expensive brands as much of the budget has gone into reconfiguring the kitchen. I’ve noticed that there is quite a range of shades in whites. I lean toward a whiter white. The brands that have been suggested are 21st Century, J&K and CNC. I see that you often recommend Fabuwood. What would you recommend? Any other advice? Thanks you.

  30. pmcalary, July 16, 2019 at 7:40 am:

    Hi Bonnie,
    The problem with online reviews is that the people reviewing are not knowledgeable about what they are reviewing. I read the All Wood Cabinet reviews and I have very little sympathy for the people complaining. Canceling a cabinet order after several weeks is asking for trouble and expecting no damages and pristine finishes from the least expensive cabinet brands is not realistic. All cabinetry can get damaged and will be replaced by dealers but this takes time, and expecting perfect finishes from cheap lines is not fair.
    .
    All Wood Cabinets are well constructed but the designers selling them are mostly novice designers prone to mistakes and the finish quality while durable can’t be expected to look like expensive custom cabinetry. Fabuwood, Wolf, or J&K are a good compromise if you are looking for nicer finishes than All Wood and durability. They will be a little more expensive that the least expensive brands but especially in Fabuwood’s case the finishes are similar looking to much more expensive brands.
    .
    All of these brands by the way are probably far better constructed than your old cabinets. But if you choose like most people today a painted finish do not expect the finish to be as durable as the stained finish you probably had before. All paints, even in the most expensive cabinet lines are more easily damaged by water and use.

  31. pmcalary, July 16, 2019 at 7:14 am:

    Upgraded to a plywood box Kraftmaid is the best brand here but if your criteria is strictly durability there will not be much of a difference between the upgraded versions of all three brands. The better constructed Wolf lines will cost much less and be nearly equal in durability. Of course painted cabinetry in general is far more easily damaged by water and scratching and chipping than stained cabinetry.

  32. Bonnie, July 15, 2019 at 8:39 pm:

    I am so confused now, I have been looking for, and researching different cabinet companies for almost 4 months. We had a water leak,destroying our kitchen, I am trying to find some quality cabinets, that aren’t so expensive that I have to take out a loan, then I found this site, all the cabinet lines I was thinking about, are all in one place, but then just like all the other times I thought I found a quality company, and then found terrible reviews, I did with some of your AA rated line, for example, All Wood Cabinetry….you have them with a perfect AA rating, but Yelp, as well as other sites, have horrible ratings. Overall they have a 2.3 out of 5.0. The comments that go along with these bad reviews is more than enough for me to steer clear of them. Is there no cabinet companies left that offer a quality product for less than $20,000? It’s not like the insurance company is going to fork out for custom cabinets, but we bought the house new, and the ones that were in it lasted 20 years, and it is a median level track home, nothing fancy. The cabinets I have seen, and all the reviews, I’m not sure any of them will last that long, more importantly, if you even get them. Almost 75% of the comments about All Wood, are that they have been waiting for over 2 months for their cabinets, and still having got them. I’m starting to wonder if I will ever have a kitchen again. I wish I would have known all of this before they demolished my old cabinets, it would have been so much easier to fix, and paint the ones I had.

  33. Jen, July 15, 2019 at 6:09 pm:

    Hi, just wondering if you could tell me which cabinet brand you would pick between for a recessed for style with painted maple. My options are Wolf, Kemper, Kraftmaid. I am trying to be budget conscience but want something that will last. Thanks, Jen

  34. Paul McAlary, July 15, 2019 at 5:11 pm:

    Fabuwood is assembled in a one million square foot facility in Norther New Jersey. It can also be ordered un-assembled and flat packed. We would not recommend ordering cabinets this way. Some dealers order cabinetry flat packed to assemble themselves to save on shipping costs. While a few dealers might do a good job doing this it is risky and in general usually a bad idea.

  35. Andy, July 15, 2019 at 10:22 am:

    Is it true that fabuwood comes in flat pack and needs to be assemble? It’s contradicting compare to what you stated vs what I’m getting from a designer/reseller.

  36. pmcalary, July 12, 2019 at 10:40 pm:

    Sounds like a lot of misunderstandings. In general I find that it takes two to Tango.

  37. pmcalary, July 12, 2019 at 10:38 pm:

    Hi Trish,
    All painted cabinets chip and crack along the seams to some extent. Whether you issue is extensive I would have to see to tell. We have gotten bad paint batches on occasion and our suppliers replaced in one case all the cabinet doors and drawers. But cabinets should be touched up as well by the contractors before they leave. There are also professional refinishers that will touch up a kitchen to perfection for about $500.

  38. Trish, July 12, 2019 at 5:23 pm:

    I should have mentioned the install of our cabinets is not done. The cabinet company did not measure for the fridge correctly, so it stuck out when it was installed.

    So, there are a few issues going on.

  39. Trish, July 12, 2019 at 5:20 pm:

    Dear Paul,

    Great site and Blog. I might have to move to PA. Actually if my kitchen is not done soon, a move could be nice.

    I had Mouser cabinets installed in late March. Maple cabinets painted white. The paint is cracking very badly at the seams already on most of the drawers some came in like that. I know we can expect it over time, but this is crazy.

    We were told it was completely normal. I am in Florida, but our ac is cranking at 68-70 all the time. I also wonder where the cabinets where before they got to us.

    Just wanted to give you a heads up. Our experience with mouser has not been great, so far.

  40. Amy, July 11, 2019 at 12:13 pm:

    Thank you. Can you please clarify “The 30% sale is fake”. They definitely took 30% off the price I was quoted when there wasn’t a sale. Thanks.

  41. pmcalary, July 11, 2019 at 11:06 am:

    Diamond should be upgraded to all plywood construction. That done I’m not sure if the difference in price for the Signature would be getting you much. However generally the design should be very different from a talented and experienced designer and a Lowes designer. The 30% sale is also fake.

  42. Amy, July 11, 2019 at 10:57 am:

    Hi. Thank you doing this blog….choosing cabinets is so confusing and stressful. Ive narrowed my choices down to Diamond and signature. Signature feom local shop is 26k and diamond is 18k after lowes 30% sale. I dont mind paying the difference for much better quality, but wasnt sure they were all that different. Which would u choose. Thank u! Amy

  43. pmcalary, July 11, 2019 at 10:17 am:

    Hi Lynn,
    Sorry I didn’t respond sooner. But if you are getting the gist of our message. IE “designing kitchens is harder than people think and a good kitchen designer is more important than anything else” – you are on the right track!

  44. pmcalary, July 11, 2019 at 8:20 am:

    Hi Jamie,
    If you are selling your home in 5 years and want painted cabinets here are the most important things to consider.
    .
    We have noticed very little difference in the longevity of any one painted finish over another for major brands such as Homecrest, Fabuwood, or even the most expensive custom brands.
    .
    In most areas of the US, painted cabinets can be touched up by professional furniture refinishers like Guardsman Furniture Pros. A 5 year old kitchen might cost $500 to make the finish look brand new.
    .
    The design of your kitchen is the thing that will sell your home in 5 years and not the cabinet brand. Make sure you are working with the best kitchen designer you can find. If the design you want that you worry you can’t afford is your own creation then no matter how much you personally like the design it is unlikely to be one that an experienced professional would recommend for selling your home.
    .
    Expensive appliances, interior cabinet gadgets, gimmicky pull outs, mixer lifts, magic corners, and ornate design features have little resale value.
    .
    The most common problem with amatuer designs is forcing too much into the space. Getting a gigantic island could be your dream but if your home is too small for it then creating a space that’s too tight will be the take away from prospective homeowners. Keeping your ideas and your space in perspective is the most important job of kitchen designers.

  45. Jamie, July 10, 2019 at 10:45 am:

    We’ve received a few quotes on cabinets for our new house and have a bit of sticker shock. We’ve already put a decent amount of money into the home and only plan to stay here 5 years. I do spend a lot of time in the kitchen but I’m starting to realize we’re just not going to be able to do the dream kitchen I had in mind. I would like painted cabinets and one of my worries is longevity of the finish, I want the kitchen to still look nice when we go to sell in a few years. The two brands with decent ratings on your list that we’ve received quotes for are Homecrest and Fabuwood. Homecrest seems to be the preferred from what I’ve read, but the Homecrest quote is for basic cabinets with no upgrades (aka furniture board), and the Fabuwood are at least all plywood. Between those two options, would you recommend one over the other?

  46. pmcalary, July 10, 2019 at 8:17 am:

    Hi Linda,
    I would worry about inexpensive US made cabinetry or about Frameless cabinetry made from particleboard. 6Square is not RTA it is built in a factory in Minnesota. There is a lot of misinformation and meaningless bad reviews of lots of well made US and other products on line. Finding a good kitchen designer and a responsible cabinet dealer is the most important thing. Although most customers sincerely and mistakenly believe that they “know exactly what they want and that their design has to be a certain way and that they just need to find the best cabinet.”

  47. Linda E., July 10, 2019 at 12:09 am:

    Should I worry about the quality of Chinese made components?
    I am considering 6 Square cabinets. I watched some scary videos about Chinese-made RTA cabinets, but don’t know whether
    I should worry if the cabinets are put assembled in the US.

  48. Deb, July 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm:

    This is a great resource! I’m working with a designer that sources Starmark, Fabuwood and Wolf. We started out considering Fabuwood because budget, and because we may resell as soon as 4 years and don’t want to blow up the budget too much (at first we were just going to replace countertops but I’m sure you know how that goes). On the other hand we want a cabinet that will be good enough to help resale value and don’t want to cheap out. It’s a smaller kitchen and I really cook in it, so durable and easy to clean matter too. They have recommended Wolf Designer as a step up, but I was initially really alarmed by the bad reviews for Wolf Cabinets. My question is…. how much quality difference is there among the different Wolf lines? It’s hard to tell from Wolf’s site.

  49. Lynn, July 8, 2019 at 7:50 pm:

    I found the section on your site with recommended places. I contacted one. I also found the 10 step recipe for kitchen disaster, I am currently committing at least 6. I have read your blog many times but its just now sinking in after my design appt with Lowes.

  50. Lynn, July 8, 2019 at 2:37 pm:

    I’m in the Phoenix area of Arizona. Any help is appreciated.

  51. paul mcalary, July 8, 2019 at 1:34 pm:

    Hi Lynn,
    Thinking that there is little that can be done design wise with a large space, especially with expensive Cambria contertops, 64″ refrierators, and a 250″ long wall of cabinets means you are in desperate need of knowledgeable help.
    .
    Moving plumbing shouldn’t even be a consideration in a design like that. You don’t say where you are located but we recommend places around the US. Please get help – you are way over your head here.

  52. pmcalary, July 8, 2019 at 7:52 am:

    Decora is a fine line. Most of the more expensive custom lines will do any style door inset and beaded inset. Upgraded they will almost always be well made. Other lines like Starmark, Fieldstone, Medallion, and Brighton should be around the same price as Decora.

  53. Lynn, July 8, 2019 at 5:07 am:

    You are exactly right that the Lowe’s designer isn’t very knowledgeable, after 7 hours in person thetevatevstill thingd that aren’t right. We have 250” of back wall cabinets where the stove will is. An island as Big as a jumbo slab if cambria quartz that has the dishwasher and sink and a wall that’s only big enough to house the 64” fridge. There’s really not much else that can be done without moving plumbing. Unless by poor design you mean the inner workings of the cabinets. Do you have an opinion on legacy debut vs Shenandoah? With legacy that designer recommended furniture board not plywood. Maybe they aren’t designers. How do you distinguish a real kitchen designer from one that’s not?

  54. Kathy Mcgill, July 7, 2019 at 8:22 pm:

    I like beaded inset decora Hutchinson style, painted maple. Are there any other inset brands that you recommend.

    Kathy

  55. pmcalary, July 6, 2019 at 1:15 pm:

    Hi Lynn,
    Shenandoah upgraded to plywood construction is a good cabinet but the Lowes designer may not be knowledgeable. KitchenCraft I would avoid. Kraftmaid should be upgraded to plywood.
    .
    Cabinet reviews are not reliable since the homeowners that write the reviews are not qualified to judge what the issues are and the reviews are written long before the durability of the cabinetry becomes an issue. Most importantly your layout is most likely poor even though you believe the design is “straight forward”. Typically the customer’s that tell us this are usually the ones with the worst designs. And the more adamant they are that the design needs to be a certain way the more likely they are missguided.

  56. Lynn, July 5, 2019 at 10:04 pm:

    I am so torn as to what to choose for my kitchen. Our remodel is a straight forward remodel removing brand new existing existing cabinets from our trac home builder and replacing and extending the kitchen along a bare wall. We are going with double stacked 42″ & 18″ to the 10′ ceiling. I have quotes for Legacy Debut in furniture board, Kitchen Craft in furniture board, KraftMaid in furniture board, Shenandoah in plywood, Jarlin (import) in plywood. Jarlin is the cheapest but I am hesitant on Jarlin because it is made in China. The most expensive is Kitchen Craft by far but the designer was by far the best. I was settled on Legacy but the place where I saw them the drawer was broken and the cabinet wasn’t screwed to the wall, just overall not a great impression. I cannot find any reviews on Legacy at all so it makes me hesitant. My latest quote was Shenandoah and I was surprised by how inexpensive they are, I was very excited until I got home and read all the horrible reviews. Our kitchen has a lot of cabinets so I cannot go into any very high end options, not stacking the cabinets isnt an option even though the 18’s are basically for looks. I dont want to end up with a kitchen that looks beautiful until you open a cabinet…

  57. pmcalary, June 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm:

    Hi Kelly,
    I agree that unless you are getting unusual finishes or customizations that upgraded Schrock to 1/2 inch plywood sides would be fine.

    The most popular woods for kitchen cabinetry in order are:
    Maple
    Cherry
    Birch
    Hickory
    Quartersawn Oak
    Alder
    Regular oak while incredibly popular in the 1970’s and 1980’s is almost never ordered now. Nor are the cathedral or arched doors that were popular up until the mid 1990’s.

    Exotic and more expensive woods
    Bamboo
    Mahogany or Liptus
    Walnut
    Birdseye Maple
    Zebrawood

  58. Kelly Huber, June 28, 2019 at 3:37 pm:

    Thank you for your response! What woods do you recommend to maintain resale valueon a home, and on that note, any concern with stains (light vs. medium vs. dark)?
    Finally, we also have the option of Shuler cabinetry, but our designer said there was no point in paying more than shrock trademark as the construction was the same. Any thoughts on that statement?

  59. pmcalary, June 27, 2019 at 10:28 pm:

    Hi Laura,
    None of us have never heard of Milzen. Paint staining is most likely not unique to any cabinet line if you leave sauce drippings uncleaned for an extended length of time. We have noticed that the premium paint colors in 6Square chip more easily because the paint is thicker and that the colors like Navy Blue show chips more easily because the undercoat is white.

  60. pmcalary, June 27, 2019 at 10:22 pm:

    Hi Kelly,
    I don’t know the trademark series in Shrock well but if they have half in plywood sides we would give them a better ratings than our last review. Probably a B+ for construction and due to the recent tariffs better marks for value. I would caution you that unless the oak cabinets you are getting are the more popular quartersawn oak, regular oak is very unpopular and would actually hurt the value of your home. Something to consider if resale value is important at all.

  61. Laura Perkins, June 27, 2019 at 8:58 pm:

    Hi – I am enjoying and appreciating your information immensely. We are currently deciding between 6Square and Milzen. Do you know of Milzen? I noticed it is not rated by you so maybe it is not available where you are?? Also, I heard reviews in regards to 6square paint staining from spaghetti sauce – thoughts??

  62. Kelly Huber, June 27, 2019 at 7:32 pm:

    Hello! After quite a long process, we have a kitchen design we are happy with. On to the cabinetry…our designer is recommending shrock trademark series (we would do the apc upgrade) for a stained oak shaker style door. I have read through this blog, and you do not appear to be a fan of schrock cabinets. Can you elaborate further? They seem to meet the criteria for durable construction.

  63. pmcalary, June 24, 2019 at 1:18 pm:

    Hi Evelyn,
    For a full overlay painted white shaker door you are probably paying more than you need to in these higher end lines. Certainly I don’t get less expensive versions of the expensive lines or compromise on durability if I am splurging on the line I select. So I would only get framed cabinetry and all plywood construction with upgraded drawers and soft close doors in these lines. They should be similar in quality and price once you do that. We like and carry Brighton but both are good lines.

  64. pmcalary, June 24, 2019 at 1:05 pm:

    Hi Rich,
    There are several issues here. First for the style that you like there is no question that you need frameless cabinets. Also the acrylic doors are beautiful but expensive and heavy so your designer should be extra careful not over stressing the less durable frameless cabinetry. This means no 36″ wide drawers cabinets. Cabinet doors 18″ wide at most and less gadgets like mixer bases, Pantry pull outs, and magic corners. Some of these features can be done safely but many can’t. Hafele makes the most durable gadgets for frameless cabinetry. A plywood box can help these issues but since the door finish you are getting will not lend itself to a plywood box you will need to either get a plywood core box or add acrylic panels to all exposed ends.

    I am less experienced in this style and only know the lines we sell well and how to design accordingly in those lines. My guess would be that upgraded Mouser would be the safe bet. I would definitely stay away from Home Depot designers, Thomasville, and Kitchencraft when contemplating a particularly complex and structurally challenging design. You are going to pay a lot for acrylic doors no matter what you do. Getting the least well made cabinetry, and the less experienced designer, is not a smart choice when you are paying so much more for the style.

  65. Evelyn Cumberbatch, June 23, 2019 at 9:58 am:

    Hello. This has been a very helpful site. I narrowed cabinet lines down to ratings that were generally in the “4 A A” range and then searched in my area for the lines that have dealers within reasonable distances and went to look at them. I have narrowed it further to the Brighton and Crystal (Current, semi-custom) lines. I don’t need tons of choice (I just want white Shaker cabinets), but I am a regular, active cook and I want quality & durability. Can you tell me your opinion of Brighton versus Crystal-Current lines – in terms of quality, value and cost? Thanks very much!

  66. Rich Klein, June 21, 2019 at 6:41 pm:

    Paul, we live in Chicago but your website is so helpful. My wife loves the shiny European look and is insisting on buying acrylic slab doors. We’ve looked at Home Depot’s Thomasville Nouveau line, Mouser’s Euro-style frameless cabinets in both their Premier and Centra lines, and we’re interested in seeing Europa. Can you tell us anything about how the quality of these lines might compare to each other? Thomasville Nouveau is marketed exclusively by Home Depot but I’ve found online that it is manufactured by Kitchencraft in Winnipeg. Mouser cabinets are made in Kentucky. Europa is part of the Norcraft family, which is part of Masterbrand, and Europa cabinets are made in Liberty, North Carolina. Ultracraft cabinets are part of the same family and are made in the same place, so perhaps they’re pretty much the same and there’s some branding strategy going on there.

    These brands may offer plywood construction for an upcharge – would you recommend that? Also, do you have an opinion on acrylic cabinets? Thanks so much for whatever guidance you can give.

  67. pmcalary, June 19, 2019 at 11:02 am:

    Hi Ron,
    Crystal Keyline and Dynasty Pinnacle are the top of both lines. I believe Dynasty Omega now also comes in a framed semi custom cabinet as is the Crystal Current line. You would need to talk to the dealers to get the exact specs and upgrades in the different lines, but both the lower lines can be upgraded to the better construction.

  68. Ron, June 19, 2019 at 10:31 am:

    shaker doors in painted maple in kitchen and bead board door with distressed finish in the center island. the doors are overlay style. Is Dynasty the upgraded Omega company? is there a name for the upgraded Crystal? thanks for you help!

  69. ITSAdmin, June 19, 2019 at 8:12 am:

    You don’t say the door style and finish you are looking. I do not know Smithport cabinetry but their web site shows two US flags and their cabinet construction page is blank. That combination and the fact that Tennessee is not known for having many better made cabinet lines would keep me away from Smithport. Cabico I don’t like as much as The other two brands. The Dynasty upgraded framed cabinetry and the upgraded Crystal are both very well made high end cabinet lines with their custom framed offerings on par with Wood-Mode custom cabinetry.

  70. ron, June 19, 2019 at 7:12 am:

    Hi Paul,
    We werre also going to use Woodmode until they went out of business. the job location is in Florida and our contractor came back with 4 names Omega,Smothport, Cabico and Crystal. we will visit each showroom but noticed you gave the best marks to Crystal. Is this cabonet far superior to the other names?

  71. JB, June 18, 2019 at 8:25 am:

    Can you please tell me more about your opinion of Waypoint and Shiloh cabinetry? Where I live these are the lines they carry. I’m debating between inset and full overlay painted cabinets. What did you base your quality opinions on? I’m struggling to decide which is a better quality cabinet generally speaking and for the price. Thanks for any input you can provide.

  72. pmcalary, June 17, 2019 at 9:22 am:

    Hi Tiffany,
    Executive is a European Frameless line. Woodmode made frameless cabinetry but was better known for their framed cabinetry. You don’t say what cabinet construction, door style and finish you are considering but we only recommend frameless lines for modern and very contemporary door styles. If this is what you are choosing then that seems fine and the pricing could be comparable or at least close. However if you were getting framed cabinetry or inset cabinetry in a shaker or more traditional style I don’t like the trade at all.

  73. Tiffany, June 16, 2019 at 11:46 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    I really appreciate all your research. We were ready to order Brookhaven cabinets this past week when the kitchen designer we were working with told us they had abruptly shut their doors. Needless to say my husband and I were so upset as we were confident this was the cabinet line for us. What do you know about Executive Cabinetry? The design store is now suggesting we use this line as it is a comparable line that they carry however they do not have any displays set up like they did for Brookhaven so we can’t see or touch any upper or lower cabinets as they only have a small base in the store. Also, she said it should be about the same price or slightly more and I’m wondering if that’s true as it seems like Brookhaven is a better line. I wasn’t able to find out much about Executive Cabinetry online. Appreciate any insight you may have. Thank you!

  74. pmcalary, June 11, 2019 at 4:40 pm:

    Never heard of a brand name Hickory Shaker

  75. Dan, June 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm:

    Just found this. Appreciate it so much, its hard to find out info about the cabinet business. In NJ and I’ve used Forevermark a few times as they’re local and have decent support. Now trying to actually figure out who makes/brands/distributes the “Hickory Shaker” product line. Cover Source seems to be one of the larger distributors, as does A&M Supply. But it seems to come from basically…. no where!

  76. Elliot, June 11, 2019 at 1:33 pm:

    I want to feel confident I’m getting the best possible design for my space, so any additional consultations will be done by providing a sketch and rough measurements of the empty space to enable fresh eyes and ideas. Our local source for Fabuwood seemed sort of sketchy so that’s not really an option I think; everything else locally that is mid-range is probably in the same ballpark so I’m not expecting to find a huge difference in price. Thank you so much for offering to take a look for any glaring errors in the plan I have.

  77. ITSAdmin, June 11, 2019 at 8:22 am:

    Hi Elliot,
    Crystal Current with all plywood construction is a well made cabinet and would get a B+ or an A- in construction using our rating system. My guess would be that your designer is pushing Shiloh because either she is simply more comfortable designing in that line and knows it better or she knows it will be more expensive and fears losing your business. I don’t worry too much about 36″ wide drawers with a framed cabinet it is only frameless cabinetry where 36″ drawers are a serious issue. I do prefer 33″ or 30″ drawers if the design doesn’t require 36″ drawers for esthetic or practical reasons.
    .
    Customer tend to creep over their budget as they continue to add the extras that they “must have” such as panels on the sides of cabinets, roll outs, pull outs, or silly gadgets like mixer bases, tall pantry pull outs, or magic corners. Sometimes designers add these things too without explaining the exact cost of the extra. For example a tall pantry pull out is less functional than simple roll outs and costs double the roll out price. If you are going over budget it is better to save money by eliminating some of these extras or often changing the color or door style slightly can save as much as 20%.
    .
    Leaving a designer can be problematic sometimes because all the conversations and choices you made the next designer was not privy to. Getting a better more experienced designer can make sense, but if the new designer is being asked to simply beat the price of the original designer for the same design, than most kitchen designers consider that unethical and so the designers that usually will give you better pricing for the same design are unethical themselves and may take advantage of their ability do cabinetry sleight of hand. The devil you know can be better than the devil you don’t know.
    .
    If you send us a design and call us on a Friday between 2 and 4 pm EST we can take a quick look at your design and make sure we at least see no major mistake. Simply call ready to email us your plans within that time window that we take calls from outside our service area.

  78. Elliot, June 11, 2019 at 12:05 am:

    I’m eager to see the response to this. I’ve been working with a designer who carries 4+ lines, but seems to be pushing Shiloh (over Crystal Current). When I posed same question about the cabinet back, and mentioned doubts about the practicality of using alder in a kitchen, I feel that the designer’s response was inadequate. The designer has been out to do a final measure, but I’m having second thoughts about the usability of the design after reading this blog – for example how practical are 36” wide deep drawers? Can they support the weight of dishes? Pots/pans? She says sure! But really?? I’ve shared my concern with her that the budget is creeping over the target and the designer hasn’t been helpful as of late. Do customers ever drop designers over issues like this, this far into the process? And if so, how does one do it gracefully when the designer has invested a lot of time in the project?

  79. Ela, June 10, 2019 at 2:31 pm:

    I have asked the designer about the hanging rail and cabinet back, and he said that Shiloh uses solid wood hanging rail and 1/4in plywood back, and that even though not the best in industry, is pretty standard, and mentioned that even very expensive lines such as Signature Custom use similar construction method. Is this true? Also, when I compared in price, Dynasty from Omega, which they sell as well, came in about 20% more in price. In your review, they are both 4 in price. He also mentioned that Omega has been sloppy lately and not very good in attention to detail. What would you do in my case?

  80. pmcalary, June 10, 2019 at 1:07 pm:

    Shiloh uses an insufficient hanging rail and too flimsy a cabinet back without a much better hanging rail. Add to that that their web site glosses over this and they are not being upfront which shades their review down. When they are trying to cover up one thing are there others we should know about? Getting inset cabinetry from a less expensive cabinet line especially one the is not built in a sturdy manner is particularly problematic because inset cabinets must say very square for the inset doors to look and function correctly.

  81. Ela, June 10, 2019 at 10:58 am:

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you for providing so much valuable info on your site. It is def helping me in my kitchen remodel.
    I have been to a couple of showrooms, and finally met a great designer. They carry fabuwood, shiloh and omega (dynasty and pinnacle). I really liked shiloh inset, their options and doors and colors, and their price. However when I saw your rating ( C for quality and C for value), I must say I was surprised, because it looks like a very well made cabinet. The dealer even said they liked Shiloh over Omega Dynasty,and it also came in about 15-20% less than dynasty. Can you please explain why you rate Shiloh so low? I read through some of your posts but didnt really see any info on Shiloh. Thank you Paul

  82. ITSAdmin, June 9, 2019 at 9:38 am:

    Upgraded they are both very well made.
    .
    All other things being equal, I would select the Omega Pinnacle. Being a DuraSupreme dealer for a very short while made me not trust DuraSupreme as a company. And after the closure of Wood-Mode companies that give myself and other dealers pause I would recommend staying away from.

  83. Debbie, June 9, 2019 at 8:38 am:

    Hi Paul –
    Which cabinet line would you choose between, Omega Pinnacle or Durasupream considering other things such as qualified cabinet designer and installer are the same? and why?

  84. pmcalary, June 7, 2019 at 10:42 am:

    Hi Subha,
    I don’t worry about finish and durability issues between the two lines as long as they are both upgraded. However, if you upgrade Thomasville and Kraftmaid to all plywood construction they should be only about 10 or 15% different in price. The 50% statement along with the 30% sale tells me that this designer does not have your best interest at heart. Couple that with the fact that home center kitchen designers are usually less qualified than designers from independent showrooms and I think I would shop elsewhere. Especially since you are outside a major city and should have lots of choices. We reviewed this place favorably in Dallas:
    Kitchen Design Concepts Dallas/Ft. Worth TX https://kitchendesignconcepts.com/ 214-827-9881

  85. Subha Dhesikan, June 7, 2019 at 9:43 am:

    Hi Paul,

    I really appreciate you providing the information and responding to questions.
    We are remodeling a kitchen in Dallas suburbs. We are looking at white cabinets on maple. We went to HD and worked with a designer. She has been pushing Thomasville (Jansen door style, full overlay). When I asked about Kraftmaid, she dissuaded me saying it will cost almost 50% more. She is pushing me to wrap by tomorrow saying HD 30% off is going away. I am really concerned about the finish and durability after reading your reviews and some others. Looking for your suggestions on what my alternatives are. Thank you.

  86. pmcalary, June 2, 2019 at 8:45 am:

    Hi Nick,
    This is a good point to bring up.
    Just so everyone gets this…..
    .
    ALL THE INEXPENSIVE LINES ARE IMPORTS!
    .
    This is true even when they say “built in the USA” “American made” etc.
    Most of the very inexpensive cabinet lines ARE United States companies they are just having their cabinetry built in other countries. Most presently in China and soon many will switch over to production in Vietnam. Some were going to Mexico but with even further political ajita that may change.

    So to be clear US companies like Fabuwood, JSI, CNC, Wolf (owned by the family of the Pennsylvania Governor) are all importing most of their materials from China. Simply the price of their cabinetry makes it a certiany. Completely US made lines will be at least 20% more to get the same quality of construction and that’s after tariffs.
    .
    Companies that try to mislead consumers with American flags waving on their web sites are usually being dishonest about this and who knows what else.
    When they start playing the “green” card or “family owned” card on top of the flags you really have to watch out.
    .
    Even major US brands like Masterbrands are now importing some of their doors. In fact no one in the kitchen industry is sure who is and who is not importing what. However,we can easily tell by the pricing of particular lines or door styles.
    .
    As far as JSI vs Fabuwood goes it is a close call. I know the Fabuwood line far better so it’s not fair for me to judge.

  87. Nick, June 1, 2019 at 7:20 pm:

    I’ve gotten designs from both fabuwood and jsi showrooms. Both lines seem to have some limitations on things i was looking for, they are both very similar designs and importantly in my budget. JSI being a little cheaper. My carpenter recommended jsi over fabuwood in terms of value/quality..

    I know you recommend fabuwood over JSI due to blum hardware, but what i’m wondering is, due to the tariffs if you still feel that way in terms of value?

    Also due to the tariffs, are there any US made cabinets that comparatively are a better value now?

  88. pmcalary, May 29, 2019 at 7:07 am:

    Unlike the Heartland RD Henry line Evoke does not say how they are made on the RD Henry web site so we can not rate them. Medallion and Yorktowne are now made in the same plant so their colors may be the same. Possibly you will be happy with Kraftmaid. Kraftmaid and Wood-Mode’s Brookhaven were made in the same plant briefly 12 years ago.

  89. amanda, May 28, 2019 at 8:44 pm:

    In January I had asked for your opinion between Brookhaven and Evoke cabinets. We ended up going with Brookhaven over Evoke. However, the building of our house slowed down and we only signed the contract the Saturday before Wood Mode closed, so now we are scrambling around to try and find something. At the time you said you never heard of evoke but now I notice you have the company that makes them rated (RD Henry). I see that you give RD Henry good reviews but they have three cabinet lines. So I’m wondering if now you have more knowledge of this cabinet.
    We also could go with medallion, but not a fan of their color choices. Next week we are meeting with a company that works with Yorktowne and kraftmaid. We were really happy with what we getting from Brookhaven and hope to find that with another cabinet.
    Thank you

  90. pmcalary, May 28, 2019 at 3:50 pm:

    Wolf Classic and Fabuwood are made similarly. Less expensive Wolf lines I wouldn’t get. After that I would pick the color and style I liked best. But of course who the better designer is is most important of all.

  91. Andy, May 28, 2019 at 3:04 pm:

    If you had to pick between wolf and fabuwood? Which one?

  92. pmcalary, May 28, 2019 at 12:20 pm:

    I’m actually not a fan of either frameless line. Both these companies make and made well made framed cabinets but frameless is and was not their specialty.

  93. David K, May 28, 2019 at 10:13 am:

    Hi,
    Woodmode/Brookhaven went out of business last week, and I see that you have indicated that they are closed. How would you compare Durasupreme frameless with Brookhaven?

  94. pmcalary, May 27, 2019 at 2:02 pm:

    Hi Steve,
    Yes both Wood-Mode and Brookhaven were very well made cabinets assuming you upgraded their construction to their plywood box. Their finishes were very nice as well. Their are many high end semi-custom lines that are equal to or similar to Brookhavem such as Kraftmaid, Decora, Medallion, Bishop, Fieldstone, Starmark and more. Their are very nice custom lines like Brighton that are similar to Wood-Mode in quality and their ability to customize but less expensive. And their are many lines close in price to Wood-Mode that have as nice or nicer finishes such as Grabill, Pain and Fancy, Wellsford, and most of the price level 6 lines on our review.
    .
    As always with the higher end cabinet lines, it makes very little sense splurging on these manufacturers unless the kitchen designer you are working with is experienced enough to take advantage of what these lines have to offer.

  95. Steve Smith, May 27, 2019 at 11:27 am:

    Just heard that WoodMode/Brookhaven has abruptly shut their doors. Were these good lines to begin with? if so, what manufacturers are comparable in quality and price point?
    Thanks

  96. pmcalary, May 26, 2019 at 8:40 am:

    Hi Suzannah,
    The cabinets are very inexpensive but well constructed. They will not look as expensive as other brands but should hold up well. There is a big price increase any day due to tariffs

  97. Suzannah Cain, May 25, 2019 at 6:40 pm:

    Hi
    I have been looking at JSI, Essex. The reviews are all over the place/ They are very affordable, but does that mean cheap and poor quality? I only want upper and the price variance between different vendors is really crazy. a 36×42 upper with glass doors painted white is around $433 (JSI) and over $650 with other vendors.

  98. pmcalary, May 24, 2019 at 9:51 pm:

    Hi Wendy,
    I never heard of FGM. Fabuwood has all plywood construction so whoever said otherwise doesn’t know what they are talking about.

  99. Wendy, May 24, 2019 at 9:23 pm:

    Hi! We are starting our kitchen redesign and trying to pick cabinets. We came across FGM Cabinetry (Venus design) and like the looks but don’t see many reviews on them. We are also considering Fabuwood but I read they may use MDF and not plywood? Any thoughts on these two and which one to go with? We are looking for our kitchen to last for years to come! Thank you in advance!

  100. pmcalary, May 24, 2019 at 9:39 am:

    Hi Patti,
    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Yes you are the exception to the rule and could more easily pull off an well designed and smooth RTA kitchen renovation. In fact if you are building the cabinets yourself and know what you are doing they could be built even better than in the factory.

    Still I wouldn’t have done it myself only because while saving 20% or even 30% on cabinetry is a lot of money, your time putting the cabinets together also has value, and having a dealer to work with instead of buying direct usually makes things run smoother – even when you are an expert.

    Good luck. I’m sure even if you run into a few extra hurdles going the RTA route you will be better prepared to get around them.
    Cheers,
    Paul

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