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



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


  1. pmcalary, May 24, 2019 at 9:14 am:

    Hi Polly,
    Those are three very good choices. Your builder sounds like he knows a lot more about cabinetry than most. I would pick the dealer with the best reputation or the designer with the most experience when picking between three very good lines.
    Make sure that you are comparing apples to apples in each line and you have to be extra careful if a new company and new kitchen designer is selling you cabinets. All the conversations you had with the original designer did not happen with a new one. Make sure they measure the space and take responsibility for the design working and fitting.
    You don’t want one person ordering another persons design without going through at least some of the talks you already had with the first designer.

  2. Polly, May 24, 2019 at 8:36 am:

    I was about to place an order with a kitchen designer who works with Wood-Mode but the company closed. Doing white shaker framed look. Builder suggests Wellborn, Crystal, or Omega Pinnacle. What do you suggest?

  3. Patti, May 23, 2019 at 11:59 pm:

    Hi, Paul,
    I am a retired Kitchen Designer with 20+ years of design experience and have sold many of the cabinet lines you have reviewed and agree with your reviews. I could not agree more with you when you talk about getting good design and designer. Please, those of you asking questions and for advice, this is the most important thing you can do—get a great designer! There are so many little details that go overlooked that a great designer will take care of and your project will go so much better. There have also been quite a few comments about RTA cabinets. Again, please listen to Paul. DYI is not for everyone. The design shows on TV make it look a lot easier than it is and you may end up spending more than you save correcting your mistakes. That being said, I am using RTA cabinets for my kitchen remodel BUT I am a Kitchen Designer who knows how to measure and do creative designs, I worked in a custom cabinet shop where I had hands-on experience in the cabinet assembly, my husband and I have built our own cabinets in the past, and my husband is a contractor…and, yes, I’m still a little nervous about using them. I think I have done my research and picked a great company. 🙂
    Thanks so much, Paul, for a WONDERFUL site and being so available and patient in answering all the questions as well as giving us some valuable resources.
    Best wishes to everyone with their remodeling projects!

  4. pmcalary, May 21, 2019 at 9:09 am:

    Hi Trish,
    The Yorktowne of old was nowhere near the quality of upgraded Yorktowne today as we have just learned from Jonathan. You list all good cabinet choices. Prices for Fabuwood should rise shortly. My guess would be that Fabuwood would go up around 11% July first along with many other brands known to be imported as well as many brands thought to be US that are in fact not. Masterbrands and many other US lines that import cabinet fronts and doors will be hit.
    Just like the last wave of price increases expect even strickly US brands to increase in price as the pressure from the lower end of the cabinet market becomes less intense. My guess is that all cabinet prices increase at least 5%. Watch out too as lower priced cabinets switch to production in Vietnam from China. There are always bumps in the road when new plants startup.

  5. pmcalary, May 21, 2019 at 8:55 am:

    Hi Jonathan,
    Thanks so much for your input. We are totally reevaluating both Yorktowne and Medallion due to the Elkay Corporation merging the lines to a certain degree. Not being dealers for either line makes it hard to be fair. I updated and upgraded Yorktowne temporarily. Further revisions will be needed but I suspect that you are right on with pricing and construction. As a Rep for the lines you should know. Sorry I took your comments with a grain of salt initially. We get so many dealers and reps trying to post advertisements for their products on the blog that when we get honest that differes from what we think we know it is hard to evaluate. Updates to your lines will follow shortly. Also it is nice to see US lines becoming better made and more price sensitive. The newest tariffs will throw the market in a tizzy but US lines may be helped in the long run. A competitive market is better for everyone even if things cost a little more.

  6. Trish Fletcher, May 21, 2019 at 8:32 am:

    Thoughts on covered bridge cabinetry? Tedd Wood? Also, when might Fabuwood costs increase? I am all over the place with cabinets. We purchased Yorktowne 13 years ago and we were extremely happy with the cabinets and I loved the finish. I feel like their finishes are now very shiny and I much prefer the matte. We had the color antique white with ebony glaze/highlights. Plan for Fabuwood in laundry area just really want a reliable kitchen cabinet (Looking at Decora, Crystal, Medallion/Yorktowne, Durasupreme). I’m open to suggestions!

  7. pmcalary, May 20, 2019 at 10:33 am:

    We like Fabuwood, and Wolf which are a little more expensive. However all of these lines are about to have price increases due to the tarrifs.

  8. Madeline, May 20, 2019 at 10:22 am:

    Do you recommend another cabinet line over JSI of similar price range, good plywood construction and door style as Yarmouth raised panel I can get in Massachusetts?

  9. Madeline, May 20, 2019 at 10:19 am:

    I’m sorry I meant Yarmouth raised panel in ivory.

  10. pmcalary, May 19, 2019 at 4:41 pm:

    Hi Madeline,
    We rate JSI well for an inexpensive line. The Yorktown door style is not on their web site. For what it’s worth all panted cabinetry is more easily damaged than stained cabinetry. However it is much more popular at the moment.

  11. Madeline Tejada, May 19, 2019 at 4:29 pm:

    Hello! I ‘m considering JSI cabinets assembled and delivered for my new home. I’m looking at Yorktowne door which is a soft ivory frame but am afraid of the lighter cabinets since I’ve never had light colored cabinets before only wood stained. As far as construction I have experience with JSI assembled cabinets for a remodel I did in my current kitchen 2.5 yrs ago. I ordered Georgetowne door in Cherry finish. They seem to be very sturdy cabinets. So far no problems. I’m just nervous about ordering the yorketowne because of the color. Do you have any experience with this line and door style??

  12. pmcalary, May 19, 2019 at 11:48 am:

    Hi Carol,
    From designing kitchens and listening to customers for 30 years I definitely get the vibe that your design is likely to have problems. Why don’t you send it to us to look at and we can tell you the mistakes we see providing you call and email on a Friday between 2-4 pm EST. My email is and you can call my direct line 610-500-4071 on Fridays between those hours to discuss the design. Anyone else outside our service area reading this is also free to call or email between those hours but we DO NOT take any calls or answer any emails from people outside our service area except during those hours.

  13. carol, May 18, 2019 at 8:34 pm:

    Thank you for your response. In my case, the design was done professionally with very specific feedback on “requirments.” Mine is a big remodel job with a price tag for labor alone in the 25-35K due to flooring issues. The cabinets coming out are Brakaur custom solid cherry that have really not held up in the 15 years since the house was built. I am more into functionality and durability than making a statement with a “name” stamped somewhere–but resale is important. I really don’t want to waste hard earned money. My choices are All Wood Framed preassembled [18K on 30% off Costco special], All Wood RTA online [12K], J & K [20K], a local Chicago manufacturer “Builders Cabinet [??],” and Holiday Kitchen [26K]. I will probably sell the house in 5 years or so. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I am tired of agonizing over this, lol. Again, the design was not done by any of them.

  14. pmcalary, May 18, 2019 at 5:36 pm:

    Hi Carol,
    All these cabinet places are selling the same cabinetry, we assume, since the Logo for the cabinets is the same. Costco design services are probably pretty rough. That is the real issue with these cabinets. Not how they are made but who is doing the design. There is no question that the less experienced and less professional the designer the less valuable the renovation.

  15. Carol P, May 18, 2019 at 5:20 pm:

    Hi. Please comment on where to get the “All Wood” framed cabinets that you rate. They get a 2/A/A. When I search, there is a company called “All Wood Cabinetry” in FL and one orders through Costco offers an additional discount on these and the company provides design services to Costco members. This company appears to be owned by Ideal Cabinetry. There is also a second company called “All Wood Cabinets” out of NJ. They appear to be a distributor and sell rta cabinets that look like they are well made. I would greatly appreciate a clarification on which “All Wood” you are speaking about. Thank you for your time and help.

  16. pmcalary, May 17, 2019 at 11:49 am:

    Hi Becky,
    Yes we can look at plans Fridays between 2-4 pm EST.
    It is not the cabinet line that makes the paint get beat up it is paint itself. Paint is far more easily damaged than stains. It can be touched up easily by professionals. We haven’t noticed much of a difference in any of the cabinet lines in their durability of painted finishes. Except that some of the least expensive lines will paint over their light colors to make their dark colors and the pant just shows the scratches more dramatically then.l

  17. Becky, May 17, 2019 at 10:12 am:

    Hi there,
    I intend to send you my kitchen design for your feedback today between 2 and 4 if that is still something you offer? Wondering your thoughts between three well rated lines..starmark, decora or wellborn forest upgrades to all plywood. Shaker style, maple painted white with a contrast color on the island. I am really concerned with durability of the finish over time as I have seen friends with not so old cabinets that look pretty beat up after only a few years. Also important for me to work with a reputable company that stands behind their products. Thank you in advance!

  18. pmcalary, May 17, 2019 at 7:55 am:

    Hi Marissa,
    Yes those lines are much less expensive and don’t do inset cabinetry or the finishes that Wood-Mode was known for.

  19. pmcalary, May 17, 2019 at 7:47 am:

    Hi Poly,
    All wood means Plywood sides, shelves and either a sold wood hanging rail or plywood back. Doors, drawers, drawer box, face frame, are all solid wood in aa “All Wood Cabinet”. There is no problem painting an all wood cabinet. If you are getting a recessed panel on your door style then having the recessed panel be MDF is fine – if not prefered. Otherwise no MDF or particleboard would be best.

    Never heard of Sole Design Cabinetry and their web site is pretty skimpy and says nothing about cabinet construction. Usually if cabinet companies have something to brag about about their cabinet construction they tell you. Your either misunderstood your designer or they don’t know what they are talking about or worse they are making stuff up so that also does not bode well.

  20. Polly, May 16, 2019 at 10:48 pm:

    Hi Paul, thank you for this very helpful blog! How would you rate the Sole Design Cabinetry line ( compared to some of the other lines here? Also my designed mentioned that if I selected painted cabinets they could not be all wood due to warping and paint issues. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood what is meant by 100% wood? (I understand back/sides are plywood.) Thanks for your help!

  21. Marissa, May 16, 2019 at 10:46 pm:

    Hi Paul, thanks so much for your response. From what I understand, the other cabinet lines carried by the dealer we were working with (Ultracraft, Hanssem) would not be as good quality as the Brookhaven would have been. We can look for another dealer, but the process feels a bit overwhelming now, so I think my husband or I may in fact reach out to you just to get a better understanding of our options. We can wait until your open 2-4 time tomorrow (Friday) to get in touch. Thanks again!

  22. paul mcalary, May 16, 2019 at 7:48 pm:

    Hi Bonnie,
    I don’t know those lines and they give no specifics on their web site

  23. Bonnie, May 16, 2019 at 5:27 pm:

    Hi Paul so would Advantage by Bridgewood and Bridgewood Custom be ranked 4 and 5th after Collier, Kraftmaid and Wellborn Forest?

    Thank you!

  24. pmcalary, May 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm:

    Hi Bonnie,
    If everything is upgraded to the same levels I would rate from top down Collier/ Kraftmaid/ Wellborn Forrest.
    With 10 foot high ceilings I would consider building a 6″ or 12″ tray ceiling. We would really need to see the design to comment further.

  25. pmcalary, May 16, 2019 at 4:51 pm:

    Hi Marissa,
    In this extreme case where you have a complete kitchen designed and the cabinet line goes under usually the dealer you bought from can sell you another line. For example we sell 4 different custom lines. If this happened to us we would apply your deposit to one of the other custom lines and even give you a discount for the trouble.

    If that isn’t possible you should be able to take your plans and get another local dealer to sell you cabinets. If you are in a bind we would sell you cabinetry but the problem is you would have to see the finishes, door styles and other cabinet lines all the way in Philadelphia to make selections. Especially when time is of the essence long distance designing and selecting is probably not the best plan. However if you want to consider buying a kitchen from us feel free to call and I can explain the process. My direct line is 610-500-4071.

  26. Bonnie, May 16, 2019 at 4:34 pm:

    My husband and I are considering a kitchen remodel. Our current L-shaped kitchen is 19 years old with contractor-grade cabinets. We are planning to remove soffits and include design changes to accommodate replacing the existing pantry with built-in pantry cabinets. We are looking at painted (antique white/ivory), raised panel doors and drawers, mostly drawers on the base cabinets and 42″ uppers. We are considering a stained island in a darker shade. The cabinet lines we are considering are: 1. Advantage by Bridgewood, Bridgewood, KraftMaid, Wellborn Forestry, and Collier. Can you please provide: 1) your cabinet preference order and 2) Would stacked cabinets with crown molding to the ceiling look correct if installed on 1 side of the kitchen? We have 10 feet high ceilings. Thank you!

  27. Marissa, May 16, 2019 at 3:11 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so much for the invaluable information on this blog. We are in the middle of a full-house renovation, with an estimated completion date of around mid-August. Two weeks ago, we put in our order and 50% deposit for a custom kitchen design (cabinets, island, sideboard with hutch) to Brookhaven. However, Woodmode/Brookhaven completely and unexpectedly shut down on Monday. We are at a loss for what to do. Is there another line that you would suggest that would be comparable? Should we try contacting one of the two designers that you have recommended in NY (we are in NYC)? We need to try to stick to our original timeline as much as possible. The cabinets were going to be shaker style with inset doors, painted and with a vintage finish. Any advice you might have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

  28. Lindsey, May 15, 2019 at 3:15 pm:

    My husband and I are currently building a new home and using Kraftmaid cabinetry. We had originally wanted to go with Diamond but after seeing Kraftmaid rated better and the pricing was much better on Kraftmaid it made the choice easy. Can you tell me if you feel there are any advantages to Diamond over Kraftmaid? Our options were Echelon, Aristokraft, Merillat, Kraftmaid, Diamond or Fieldstone.

  29. pmcalary, May 15, 2019 at 8:38 am:

    Hi Robert,
    Even though we love and carry Brighton I would have to say that the Plain and Fancy price is a bargain and the highest end line that you list. Make sure that you are comparing apples to apples because Pain and Fancy is normally 20% more than any of the other lines. With high end custom cabinets there are so many choices that comparing apples to apples is hard. Inset and beaded inset doors are the mark of the highest end lines. If you are selecting that style it could be one reason that the costs are as close as they are.

  30. Robert S, May 14, 2019 at 10:39 pm:

    I am providing an update on my search for cabinets…we received bids from Starmark (Crew Series), Brighton, Merillat Masterpiece and Plain & Fancy. All cabinets came in around the same price (within $1k-$2k – on a base price of $22.5k-$24k) with similar designs. We tend to like the design laid out by the designer and the finish on Plain & Fancy cabinets the best but wanted to get your thoughts? I understand these are high end custom cabinets and from your ratings…seems you think highly of them as well…are they as good a quality as I think they are?

  31. pmcalary, May 11, 2019 at 8:23 am:

    The high rating we gave Designers choice was for the upgraded framed Presidential Line. Their Euro Line would get a lower rating because it is frameless but for a frameless line it is well constructed.

  32. Barbara, May 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm:

    We have been working with a designer that sells Designer’s Choice cabinetry. Please share any words of wisdom you may have about this brand. Many thanks. Coming from Florida

  33. pmcalary, May 9, 2019 at 9:25 am:

    This was my first reply to Jonathan. He was correct though and all of us were wrong about the Yorktown Medallion comparison. I am leaving my first reply to keep the blog honest – and we are taking all his points under review,

    Hi Jonathan,
    We’ll consider your evaluations both shortly and when we do our next update early 2020. I do disagree but will check with other experts on your comparison between Yorktowne and Medallion. The finishes aren’t even close in looks and while Yorktown might now be upgradable to better construction it is still a lower tied cabinet in it’s ability to customize. When we get critiques rating a line (like Yorktowne here) so differently and when the poster is a rep for the company, as you are, we have to take the info with a grain of salt until further investigation.
    But thanks for the input we can’t follow all the upgrades in these lines and we need help from dealers and reps when things change.

  34. Jonathan, May 9, 2019 at 12:51 am:

    I have been a designer selling cabinets for over 24 years now. I now represent multiple brands of cabinetry and note that several of your pricing and ratings need updating. Medallion and Yorktowne are now identical in construction and finish. They both have superior finish to other semi-custom brands. They use pocket screwed construction and true wood glue where brands like kraftmaid use staples and hot melt to speed assembly. Yorktowne currently shows as a three pricewise with low quality and value scores while medallion is a 5 with higher scores. When their pricing is identical. Also, medallion and yorktowne come under Brookhaven, Dynasty, and way under Plato. In a recent pricing exercise, Yorktowne priced the same as Midcontinent when comparing apples to apples construction but the yorktowne finish is superior to midcon/wolf designer. Part of the confusion may be that Yorktowne and Medallion offer three levels of construction with upgrades available at each level. You also have showplace as a 3 when Medallion/Yorktowne price lower on apples to apples product comparisons. I represent Cabico and I agree it starts as a 4 pricewise but also has its’ full custom elmwood series. Medallion and yorktowne both price under Cabico now based on our pricing comparisons. I formerly was a factory representative and I agree with your 4-5 price rating for Wellborn. But I’d place them as B or C for quality/value compared to several of the other lines listed. I hope when you update this for 2019 that you will correct some of these as I have consumers ask me about this blog often. So kudos to you for building such an influential site.

  35. pmcalary, May 8, 2019 at 12:05 pm:

    Hi Mike,
    Yes sorry for the confusion. Cubitac has no information on their site about construction. We’ve tried several times to specs on their cabinets.

    It’s CB’s Custome Wood Products from St. Marys, Kansas that doesn’t appear to have a web site.

  36. MIke, May 8, 2019 at 11:39 am:

    I am sorry, I had a typo. It is Cubitac Cabinets.

  37. pmcalary, May 8, 2019 at 11:29 am:

    No information and I don’t even see a web site

  38. pmcalary, May 8, 2019 at 11:28 am:

    We have never been able to see a spec book on Cubitec and they give zero information on line on how they construct their cabinets. This is not the transparent business model that we respect.

  39. Mike, May 8, 2019 at 11:12 am:

    I am currently in the early phases of planning a kitchen remodel and have been researching cabinets that are sold by kitchen design firms in my area. Do you have any information with regards to price and quality on Cubitac cabinets?

  40. CB, May 6, 2019 at 4:23 pm:

    have you heard of Custome Wood Products from St. Marys, Kansas.
    If so what do you know about them and what about Kemper Choice cabinets

  41. pmcalary, May 6, 2019 at 1:13 pm:

    Either CNC or JSI. Painted cabinetry from any cabinet line is more likely to chip and be damaged by water than a stained cabinet. For value I would recommend Fabuwood over both lines. If you can afford about 15% more Fabuwood will be nicer looking and offer more customization and SKU’s.

  42. Abbie, May 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm:

    hi i am looking to redo my kitchen with white shaker cabinets on a budget
    and i was recommended to use CNC, JSI or US cabinet depot. I understand that the US Cabinet Depot has HDf cabinet doors, while the other companies have solid wood. I have two active boys who may climb or hang on the cabinets (although i try to avoid this). which company would you recommend that would be most durable, least chipping and best value? Thanks for all your help.

  43. pmcalary, May 3, 2019 at 8:23 am:

    Hi Tammy,
    Even from your list of cabinets I sense design problems. You need a good kitchen designer. A designer that doesn’t sell cabinets and just designs from their home and has you order online or elsewhere is not a professional kitchen designer. Send us your floor plan or perspectives and we can steer you in the right direction. From the cabinet list I sense you have the most common amatuer design mistake, that of jamming 10 pounds of sausage in a 6 pound wrapper to get you the things you want even if it breaks every design rule and space requirement.
    For example when designing a kitchen with 42″ high wall cabinets your ceiling should be around 102″ high which is an uncommon height ceiling. If you have the more common 96″ high ceiling the design will not work at all. And if you have the also common 108″ high ceiling the design will look unfinished with the sizes you mention and the wood hood. You can email me your design at

  44. Tammy, May 3, 2019 at 7:11 am:


    Thank you. We are buying basic white shaker doors. We do have a design and I have comparison shopped. I’ve renovated a kitchen before, but I had a larger budget and purchased semi-custom Kountry Kraft. I think I’m finding myself worried about purchasing stock cabinets. Also my designer doesn’t have a showroom which is why I’m nervous about purchasing the 21 st Century over the Fabuwood which I have seen in person. Here are the basics: 1-33″x42″ upper; 2-30’x42′ uppers; wood hood; 1-36″ base with a roll out shelf for lids inside the cabinet; 18″ trash;27″ micro drawer; 18″ drawers; 2 24″ lowers to create a coffee bar; upper and wood to surround cabinet depth fridge. I will also have a 68’x 49.5′ island which will house the sink, dishwasher and one small opening for platters. The island will have brackets or legs. I do not need any cabinets opening on the seating side. and of course fillers and crown. That is it. Not a very big kitchen.

  45. pmcalary, May 2, 2019 at 10:15 pm:

    Hi Tammy,
    I picked the line I liked best in general. That’s why we carry Fabuwood. You still are not telling me the door style and finishes you like so choosing another line makes little sense without this important information. The fact that you aren’t considering anything but price and don’t even mention door style, finish, or the design itself tells me that you need help with your design. Consider sending us your deign to evaluate and calling for an appraisal on a Friday between 2 and 4 pm EST.

  46. pmcalary, May 2, 2019 at 9:59 pm:

    Hi Zack,
    We actually sell CliqStudios cabinetry under another name so we obviously like the cabinet line. That being said. American Woodmark (which we don’t sell) upgraded is equally well made and I think that buying even well made cabinets online is a mistake. When you buy cabinetry online, there is no professional guaranteeing the measurements or that the design works in your home or a place to come out and inspect any problems. Buying a toaster online can be fine… a kitchen – not so much.

  47. Zack, May 2, 2019 at 4:51 pm:

    Hello are you familiar with cliqstudios on online cabinet company? Are there products any good? Debating between them and American Woodmark upgraded to all plywood from home depot. Prices are similar. Thank you!

  48. Tammy Romano, May 2, 2019 at 2:33 pm:

    Thank you. I’ve been working with a cabinet person I’ve used in the past and he only sells 21st Century & Hansen. 21st Century is about 25% less. I think Hassen is coming out similar to Fabuwood. Just curious as to why you would pick Fabuwood.


  49. pmcalary, May 2, 2019 at 12:47 pm:

    Hi Tammy,
    I think All three are good. Depending on the door style and finish I would usually pick Fabuwood over the other two which is why we carry that line among the ones we sell.

  50. Paul McAlary, May 2, 2019 at 10:56 am:

    I pick either depending on whether I like the Omega finish enough to pay the added cost. If you like the finishes equally I’d save the money.

  51. Tammy Romano, May 2, 2019 at 9:55 am:

    Hi. I’m trying to decide between Fabuwood, 21st Century & Hassem cabinets. We plan on staying in this home for about 10 years. Any advice would be appreciated

  52. Ashley C, May 2, 2019 at 9:41 am:

    As a follow up the Omega is the Dynasty line. Renner door style with a W outside profile. They are a plywood framed construction. 1 1/2″ face frame.

  53. pmcalary, May 2, 2019 at 9:04 am:

    Hi Ashley,
    You don’t say what type of door style and finish you are considering or if the Omega cabinets are framed or frameless. If the Omega are frameless I go with the JSI and save money. If the Omega upgraded and framed construction I pick either depending on whether I like the finish enough to pay the added cost. Expect possibly more shipping damage with the JSI but everything is warranted and will be replaced if damaged.

  54. Ashley C, May 1, 2019 at 3:24 pm:

    I have continuously returned to your website throughout my remodel planning! I am purchasing through my kitchen cabinets through a lumber/design company and am debating between two cabinet lines; JSI and Omega. Both cabinets would be fully assembled (even the JSI), dovetail construction, all plywood, soft close drawers, etc. Omega quote is $9,500 and the JSI is $7,500 with less color choices. Do you have a recommendation or a list of pros and cons to consider?

  55. pmcalary, May 1, 2019 at 6:09 am:

    Hi Jody,
    As far as the cabinet box is concerned you should upgrade to plywood sides with soft close doors and drawers. The door itself is probably maple with an MDF recessed panel which I prefer to a maple panel that can shrink. As long as the frame of the door is solid wood you are fine.

  56. Jody Phelps, April 30, 2019 at 11:30 pm:

    I just found out today when I was about to write the check to order our Brookhaven cabinets that my designer was planning on ordering MDF vs maple cabinets. The cabinets are square edged presidio recessed, with a vintage white finish. I know the pros and cons of MDF but I am having trouble saying yes to anything but real wood. What would you do? The contractor wants me to put in the order to stay on our timeline so I don’t have time to do much research. Thanks!

  57. Paul McAlary, April 30, 2019 at 2:07 pm:

    Hi Julie,
    Decora is a great line. It is usually around Starmark pricing but when homeowners get quotes they are never apples to apples because some designers will be including flush sides, extra moldings, and other upgrades you aren’t aware of.

  58. Julie Kautzman, April 30, 2019 at 1:08 pm:

    Hi Paul, Julie Kautzman here again. Another question and I know your company has not seen our design yet, but I have a cabinet question. As you know I’ve looked for quite sometime trying to find a wood cabinet I like. I found one in Mid Continent that was so so and you told me your thoughts on that. I also understand that home center sales don’t mean a lot in terms of if you’re getting a decent deal. I have finally found a Maple wood cabinet shaker style that I like the color. A lot. It is a Decora cabinet from HD. The quote for the cabinets was $2,000 above Starmark. Thoughts? I cannot find a coloring I like in Starmark is an issue for me, but of course I don’t read much negative press about them, but do find more negative comments online about Decora. I think you are a fan of Decora from what I’ve read, just wondering if a quote that much more than Starmark seems reasonable for Decora quality and craftsmanship? I believe Lowes sells Diamond which is the same cabinet and colors (different names) but I assume their prices would be similar to HD. Thanks so much as always!

  59. Paul McAlary, April 29, 2019 at 7:26 am:

    Hi Samantha,
    We don’t rate cabinets sold on line for several reasons.
    The first and biggest reason is that it is not really possible to do an even adequate job designing a kitchen in an existing home without visiting the home and measuring the kitchen and surrounding space personally. Checking walls for stack pipes, determining what’s in soffits, seeing how square and level a kitchen is is also important.
    When an online cabinet company takes your measurements and design ideas and makes them a reality they are using measurements taken by someone not qualified to measure and making the customer happy through implementing ideas unfiltered through a qualified professionals lens.
    At our company I tell all our designers to not listen to our customers while working on their first design and to create the best design for their kitchen within the customer’s budget. The design can be changed from that point, but customers will never see the best layout for the space if we simply create the design they ask for. By showing customers what they didn’t ask for and couldn’t have envisioned without our help we give them a design starting point that as they make changes to they better understand why they might want to keep many of the trade-offs the designer selected.
    The resulting compromise kitchen is always far better than a customer would have selected without our help. The best kitchen designers try to steer customers away from their bad ideas even at the expense of losing their business.
    The problem many customers have is that they falsely believe that they are competent to measure a kitchen and that the design they envision is a good one. This is due to the IKEA EFFECT. Please read up on this very common delusion.
    While not all professional kitchen designers are competent and very few designers are great ones many if not most customers believe they are capable of designing their kitchen without a kitchen design professionals help. As professional kitchen designers we know this is ridiculous and in fact the more peripheral knowledge a customer has for example being an architect, an engineer, or a contractor usually the worse their kitchen design is. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

  60. Samantha, April 29, 2019 at 6:15 am:

    This is this most helpful post on the internet when looking for Cabinets. I’ve been through it a few times and checked all the comments and I don’t see anything about the Deerfield line from The design they gave me is perfect, the customer service has been great. I’m wondering how you would rate the cabinets? They do come assembled and the specs seem good? Thanks!

  61. pmcalary, April 28, 2019 at 12:27 pm:

    Hi Christina,
    You don’t say what style and finish cabinetry you are choosing nor do we know the design you are considering which effects what cabinet line makes the most sense. 30% off sales at home centers are not real. Some home center sales like free finish upgrades or free plywood sides are real promotions that are from the manufacturers. A 10% off sale might be possible but still unlikely unless it was at the end of the year and designed to bump up sales in the forth quarter for the home center. 30% off sales are just referring to 30% off list pricing. No cabinet dealer sells cabinet for list price and list price isn’t even meaningful as some cabinet companies make their list price very high just so dealers can advertise up to 50% off.

    As always especially when you are working with home centers we would worry most about your kitchen design being a good design. Removing soffits, moving doorways, windows, or walls are always better investments than the cabinet line once you are talking about well built lines like the ones you mention.

  62. Christina G Bromante, April 27, 2019 at 8:06 pm:

    We are going to do our kitchen and would like to do know for the money which of these brands are the best. Fabuwood, Kraftmaid, Decora or Waypoint. We have a good size kitchen and don’t want to break the bank. Which is the best at a reasonable price? Kraftmaid and Decora at Home Depot are on sale at 30% off.

  63. Robert S, April 26, 2019 at 1:16 pm:

    Thank you for the insights…agree with Deb that sharing your knowledge with us is greatly appreciated…will likely have more questions as we start to get bids in…too bad you do not serve the westchester ny area…would definitely be doing business with you…

  64. Deb, April 26, 2019 at 11:13 am:

    Scott, I just want to say thank you. You are very generous to share your knowledge and experience, and most especially your time to answer all these questions. I don’t know why you do this but you are awesome!

  65. pmcalary, April 26, 2019 at 9:30 am:

    Hi Jason,
    They are a good value in an inexpensive line. Typically assembled they are sold for very close to the price of IKEA cabinetry unassembled and far far better constructed. There are many lines around this price point and quality of construction. The weakness of these lines tends to be that the stained finishes are not as attractive as more expensive US lines. If you like the finish you are selecting than that’s all that matters. Why pay a lot more? Also in less expensive lines shipping problems such as damages in transit are more likely because the companies use less expensive carriers. Cabinets are warranted against shipping damage but it can be annoying and inconvenient.

  66. pmcalary, April 26, 2019 at 9:20 am:

    Hi Robert,
    1 Merillat Masterpiece uses a 1/2″ hanging rail on their wall cabinets which makes them less well constructed than the other lines. 1/2″ plywood sides are fine 3/4″ is great but not normally needed in a framed cabinet.
    2 The Starmark and the Brighton finishes are probably slightly more durable but all paints and conversion varnishes can chip. We don’t notice much difference in this across any lines. Stains are unquestionably more durable than any type painted finish. So don’t judge painted finish durability by your present cabinets. You have no issues with your present wall cabinets pulling off the wall? If not you must not be overloading the wall cabinets. That would be my worry with Merillat.
    3 A MDF Center panel if flat is both a better idea and value.

  67. Robert S, April 25, 2019 at 11:10 pm:

    Your Blog is fantastic…its so difficult to navigate all the cabinet brands out there…your website has helped me narrow down the list! We are redoing our kitchen after 20 years…We are looking for painted cabinets (white and blue)…still undecided between flat or raised panel but leaning towards flat panel…we have been looking at Starmark (both standard series and Crew series – primary diff is 3/4″ plywood v. 1/2″ plywood box and ~25% cheaper if you like the styles the Crew series offers), Brighton, Merillat Masterpiece (btw our current kitchen are Merillat Classic maple natural finish cabinets and we were very happy with their durability) and Crown-Select or Crown Point (which you can only buy direct — the crown select is ~ 25% cheaper with limited choices and slighly lesser construction)… I have 3 questions I was hoping you could help us with…we have not received all prices back yet and we have a good sized kitchen…

    1. The construction of the cabinets for all these brands appear to be solid (even the reduced price series mentioned for Starmark and Crown) but $ for $ which of these brands do you like?
    2. Starmark indicates that they use a varnish for their cabinets while the other brands use paint finish… is there a difference in durability (ppl have told us paint can chip)?
    3. Lastly, all of these brands use a veneer and MDF on the center panel for some of the recessed panel doors (except Brighton I believe but not sure) …and all the designers tell us it does not sacrifice the quality of the door but as you have mentioned keeps from showing seams in the door panel…is the veneered MDF good quality? Should we pay the extra $ for all wood panels? Is it worth it? I am assuming from these manufacturers the doors would have to be of high quality?

    Thanks for your great site and providing all this information and insight into a very expensive proposition! Greatly appreciated!

  68. Jason Yardley, April 25, 2019 at 9:33 pm:

    We just had someone recommend JSI Cabinetry for our kitchen. I see on your ratings there are a 1 , B+, B+. This seems like good quality at a reasonable price. Is there anything we should know about the quality or what to look for with these cabinets? Thanks! Glad I came across this blog.

  69. pmcalary, April 25, 2019 at 7:04 am:

    Hi Scott,
    On a stained finish some of the more expensive better made lines will have nicer finishes so spending more for cabinetry might be worth it. However there are lots of mid level priced cabinetry that we give a better rating to. HomeCrest, Timberlake, American Woodmark at Home Depot, Shenandoah, at Lowes etc. If you are getting a dark stain there will be some US owned imported cabinet lines that will be less expensive that you might like such as J&K, Fabuwood, or Wolf. The light finishes on Maple look better with the more expensive cabinet lines. The dark finishes can be done on Birch less expensively and the price of the cabinet line has little bearing on how well they are constructed. Some expensive cabinet lines are poorly constructed and some inexpensive ones very well constructed.

  70. Scott Harrison, April 24, 2019 at 8:57 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for the response. Yes makes sense and a good question to ask. I am looking at the Addison 5 piece door with a stain. Great sight and valuable insight. Thank you.

  71. pmcalary, April 24, 2019 at 4:42 pm:

    Hi Pete,
    We don’t really review any RTA lines other than IKEA as we believe kitchen designers and dealers are needed to design kitchens. Dealers that built their own Conestoga cabinetry would need to be rated individually. The Conestoga product can be a good value depending on who designs and sells the cabinets. Often though the companies that assemble their own cabinetry have less capable and knowledgeable designers and are focusing on just selling boxes.

  72. pmcalary, April 24, 2019 at 4:31 pm:

    Hi Scott,
    Without researching again I would guess that the cabinet box in some way (probably the back or hanging rail) does not meet our minimum construction requirements to get an A for construction and since many inexpensive cabinet lines do they would automatically get a poor value rating. You don’t say what door style and finish you are looking for which can effect what lines make sense.

  73. pmcalary, April 24, 2019 at 4:21 pm:

    We like Brighton for the value. It has more ability to customize than Starmark and is a little less. But those are fine selections too.

  74. JDC1983, April 24, 2019 at 1:48 pm:

    After looking at reviews and reading the comment stream, I’m still undeceided on what would be the best value for an a white inset cabinet. The kitchen is large so value is going to play a big part. I have not recieved pricing back yet, but have been told by a number of people that Mouser or Starmark would be my best bet. Any others that you would recommend that provide a budget friendly inset white cabinet? I appreiate your help.

  75. Scott, April 24, 2019 at 1:03 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Can you share a bit more on what drove the rating for Echelon? I have a quote that is 1.5x less than Cabico with 1/2″ ply, dovetail drawers, soft close, full extension, etc. Your rating concerns me a bit with the B- quality/C value. Quoted in Maple. Thank you.

  76. Pete Sadowski, April 24, 2019 at 9:23 am:

    Have you heard of Conestoga Cabinets? They are RTA cabinets, made in the USA, buy Conestoga Wood Specialties, who also make most of the doors and drawer fronts for most of the major cabinet manufacturers, such as Kraftmaid, etc. I sell them, and I actually sell to a lot of custom cabinet shops, who turn around and sell them as their own. I personally of never seen better cabinets. They offer custom sizing w/o an up charge. You should check them.

  77. Paul McAlary, April 23, 2019 at 5:28 pm:

    Pioneer cabinets from their on line description would not do well in our rating system. The 1/4 inch backs and MDF box would get a C at best. Not a good value here.

  78. Jay, April 23, 2019 at 4:23 pm:

    Hello again, thanks for your response. Do you know anything about Pioneer Cabinets?

  79. pmcalary, April 23, 2019 at 10:53 am:

    We occasionally sell CNC cabinetry but only to people flipping homes and contractors for rentals. If you are at all picky you should pay 10 to 20% more for cabinets and upgrade to a slightly more expensive cabinet line like Fabuwood, Wolf Classic, J&K, or Procraft. Also in the cabinet world neighbors may not be doing you any favors. It is rare that cabinet dealers place their potential customers best interest above there own. And designing a kitchen in CNC will limit what designs are possible.
    Your neighbor could be like many cabinet dealers and not actually be a good kitchen designer, just a good businessman. That is a dangerous relationship to cultivate. Often business owners of cabinet dealerships are the most clueless of all. I remember the fights I used to get into when I worked at a very prestigious dealership owned by a non-designer. The dealership would not allow my business cards to say “Kitchen Designer”. They wanted my cards to say”Cabinet Sales”. They believed that design had little value and we should only be concerned with sales. Of course if you are a great designer you will sell a lot of kitchens and have happier customers but that was a dynamic they placed no value on. And so they would sell any design no matter how terrible and actually encouraged bad design and selling shoddy cabinetry.
    Even dealers that sell exclusively the most expensive custom cabinetry often place zero value on design and only want to sell the designs that there wealthy customers and their architects come up with no matter how amateurish. They believe that it’s better to simply give people what they want than to explain what designs might be better and risk alienating a customer or architect. This is one of the reasons I started my company and why we use a completely different business model. We place design above all else, and risk losing a customer by insisting they at least see better designs than what they might at first believe that they want. This way final designs are most often compromises between the designers ideas and the customers. Losing a few head strong potential customers is outweighed by the people that love us for helping them create a better kitchen.

  80. Jay, April 22, 2019 at 7:49 pm:

    Great info.! We are looking at CNC and like the way they look. I am working with my neighbor who owns two cabinet shops. Our home is $500k plus. I asked him if it was worth it to spend more if we are selling in 14 years and he said no. Am I being cheap? We are looking at the Concord Harmony line. I was not concerned until I read this thread and no finish seems to raise a concern for me. Your thoughts?

  81. pmcalary, April 22, 2019 at 9:07 am:

    Hi Sue,
    You might be confused on a few issues:

    First that you need to spend a lot of money to get a well made cabinet. The price of cabinetry has little to do with how well it is made. The least expensive RTA cabinets could be very well built if put together correctly, while some of the most expensive cabinetry would be terribly made if you didn’t upgrade the construction.
    Second that home centers don’t sell some very well constructed cabinetry. Upgraded most of the more expensive lines sold at Home Depot and Lowes are very well made. This includes Kraftmaid, Decora, Schuler, Diamond, and some other brands. The issue with home centers is that the designers are often very inexperienced and prone to creating poor designs and making mistakes.
    Third any cabinetry that comes distressed will not be mid price ranged as only the more expensive brands distress cabinetry and distressing adds up to 25% to the cost of the cabinetry.
    Lastly I don’t see that much correlation between a distressed cream color and showing off light hickory floors. Most finishes other than a light wood close in color to the floors would contrast the floors and so highlight both. A light cream color works but so does almost any painted finish and any stains that are not close in color to the floors.

  82. pmcalary, April 22, 2019 at 8:46 am:

    Hi Sam,
    Karman are frameless cabinets with particleboard sides. Not a fan of frameless cabinetry in general unless used for the most contemporary doorstyles. There are better options available. And yes for a bathroon all the MDF is probably not a good idea.

  83. Sam M, April 21, 2019 at 5:28 pm:

    Does anyone have thoughts on Karman painted cabinets?I’m concerned about the MDF as the cabinets will be in a few bathrooms.

  84. Sue Tipler, April 21, 2019 at 2:12 pm:

    Hi! We’re looking to replace our kitchen cabinets at our cottage and would appreciate some input. We know we want something mid-range in price but is still good quality. The house is in Beaverton, Michigan and are clueless as to finding the right dealer. The big box stores have products that look nice on the outside but aren’t the best construction. We’re thinking of a distressed cream color that will show off the light hickory floors. Any suggestions?

  85. pmcalary, April 20, 2019 at 4:54 pm:

    The dark stained Oak from Clique Studios is very nice and quarter-sawn Oak. It is regular oak in lighter stains that is so out of fashion. 3/4 inch sides are actually overkill on a framed cabinet. While it is better I would have gotten it free on my own kitchen and didn’t bother. The most important thing here is that the oak is quarter-sawn in a similar espresso stain to the Clique Studios, and that the kitchen designer is talented and experienced. We never recommend ordering cabinets on line so I would pay a little more and order 6Square from a dealer (it is Clique Studios under another name) and have a true kitchen designer to work with. If you like the color and doorstyle there is no need to pay more unless your design calls for sizes not available in a less expensive cabinet line.

  86. Suzanne P, April 20, 2019 at 3:32 pm:

    Your website is a goldmine!. We are doing a whole kitchen remodel. Not a ‘forever home’ but want something we will love and will last, because who knows. We have Two all custom (cabinetmaker himself builds) quotes (one at 49k, another at 30k), Designers Choice cabinets at 29k, Clique Studios cabinets at $16k. I’ve asked for 3/4″ plywood construction, framed cabinets, slab fronts, dovetail joinery, softclose, in each case. Also waiting on a Kraftmaid quote. We wanted black stained oak door fronts but in a prior post you advised against this? Any comments on the pricing/cabinets mentioned.

  87. Paul McAlary, April 19, 2019 at 6:51 am:

    Hi Em,
    I would get Kraftmaid because whatever dealer you bought from could possibly improve or fix your design. You could also send us the design you are considering to check for errors. I would not trust any person that designed kitchens that didn’t work for a dealer and certainly no one at Costco is qualified to sell custom cabinetry. Nearly every customer that tells us that their design is fine they just want great cabinets has a design full of mistakes when we see it. Feel free to call on a Friday between 2 and 4 pm EST. You can email your design to us and we can check it for issues.

  88. Em, April 19, 2019 at 12:05 am:

    Just to clarify my earlier comment,Tuscan Hills offers Costco customers a discount.

  89. Em, April 18, 2019 at 11:34 pm:

    Hello,again! Thank you for your info. My kitchen is just a small galley and I am working with a contractor and kitchen designer. The design is straight forward. Like you recommend, I don’t need real high end cabinets, but want to make sure the cabinets I get will stand the test of time. Any recommendations? Thx!

  90. saj, April 17, 2019 at 11:19 am:

    Thank you very much!

  91. pmcalary, April 17, 2019 at 9:59 am:

    Hi Saj,
    While both of these custom cabinet lines give no specifics on how they manufacture cabinets, I would assume that since they are full custom cabinet lines that they will make cabinets any way you ask them. They will have a standard construction for both framed and frameless cabinetry but neither tells you what that is. As I have said many times, if you are getting custom cabinetry you should be selecting door styles and finishes that custom lines do better. IE inset cabinetry, furniture like stains, unusual finishes like glazes, brush strokes or distressing, unusual wood species like Walnut or Bamboo, ect. Getting painted, off white, shaker, full overlay door style in custom cabinetry is just throwing money away unless the design need custom cabinetry. Examples of designs that would need custom cabinetry would be very complex designs with combined stacked cabinetry, wainscotting panels built into cabinet sides, custom hoods, unusual cabinet dimensions like extra tall base cabinets or 38″ high wall cabinets. Generally, unusual widths are not a reason to get custom cabinetry however sometimes in small kitchens custom widths can make a design more symmetrical.
    Since custom cabinetry will be between 70% and 300% more than well constructed but inexpensive semi custom cabinetry I would make sure the added money I was spending was being appreciated. Nearly all customers can not notice a difference between a custom cabinet and a semi custom cabinet in full overlay painted cabinetry.
    And if you are not working with a very experienced kitchen designer and are working with an architect then custom cabinetry is almost certainly being used ineffectively.
    One of my greatest frustrations as a kitchen designer has always been when architects bring their very wealthy clients into the showroom to select the most expensive custom cabinetry that the kitchen showroom carries. Then when they give us the plans to quote the price of the cabinetry that their customer selected the design is ridiculously amateurish.

  92. saj, April 17, 2019 at 8:21 am:


    Thank you for this site.
    What s opinion about DeWils and Woodland Cabinetry in quality?

    Thank You

  93. pmcalary, April 17, 2019 at 7:31 am:

    Hi Em,
    Thank you for bringing to my attention the fact that Costco is now selling custom cabinetry. The craziness of homeowners valuing cabinets over kitchen designers has reached the highest level of insanity.
    Most kitchen designers with 10 years experience designing kitchens 40 plus hours per week could not design a kitchen in custom cabinets that both took advantage of the custom features available and did not have mistakes. The need for custom cabinetry or even a more expensive cabinet lines like Kraftmaid only makes financial sense when the layout of the kitchen has been altered to create the best design by moving doorways, walls, windows and other construction elements. Once those things have been done to create the layout needed then splurging on custom or high end cabinets, appliances, and the most expensive countertops can make sense. This is because the layout and design are what make a home valuable and not the materials splurged on. And well made inexpensive cabinetry is available so why spend extra money on a bad design when spending a few thousand dollars on the extra construction could fix the layout of a poorly designed home.
    Selling homeowners custom cabinets without the help of an experienced kitchen designer is taking advantage of the homeowners ignorance about the complexities of kitchen design.
    We are given terrible preliminary designs everyday done by architects, interior designers, and contractors that believe they know enough to design a well thought out kitchen project. We see a successful design attempt from these pseudo kitchen design professionals only a couple of times a year, if even that. I can’t even fathom the craziness of the designs created when homeowners are ordering custom kitchen cabinetry without the most experienced and talented professional kitchen design help.

  94. Em, April 16, 2019 at 11:02 pm:

    Thank you for all of the good info on this site. What do you think of Tuscany Hill cabinets (Costco)compared to Kraftmaid?

  95. pmcalary, April 16, 2019 at 5:59 pm:

    We do not rate any RTA or cabinetry that can be purchased online. Not because they are not well constructed. For example the Highland line from US cabinet depot is. But because not having a kitchen designer measure your home and help you with the most expensive home renovation you will likely undertake in your life is foolish.
    Thinking that you do not need professional design help redoing your kitchen is common but also both arrogant and ill advised. Even worse that allowing inexperienced people to order a kitchen they designed is giving them design software to create a kitchen design. I would compare it to giving a loaded weapon to a child without training. Calamity is almost certain to ensue.

  96. Fdalsani, April 16, 2019 at 5:05 pm:

    Hello! I don’t see a review of US Cabinet Depot. What can you say about their quality?

  97. pmcalary, April 16, 2019 at 8:15 am:

    Ted Wood is a custom cabinet line that looks nice but doesn’t give specifications on their web site so we can not list them.

  98. Jamie, April 15, 2019 at 5:45 pm:

    Hi Ted,

    What do you know about Ted Wood cabinets?

  99. Julie Kautzman, April 11, 2019 at 7:51 pm:

    Ok thanks Paul!! I am just particular about the shade of wood I like and I haven’t found it. I have looked at Home Depot and Ziggy’s more than I care to and have ordered sample after sample. I like the design, I just don’t like the color of cabinets, guess I am looking for something quite particular. I would think Mid Continent was no worse than American Woodmark from what I’ve been told. Our contractor told us no go on American Woodmark but I haven’t talked to him about Mid Continent. From reading your blog over and over it seems that when it comes to cabinets in the end it’s less important than design, meaning that if you upgrade construction on most cabinets they will be ok vs not liking your design. I am happy with our design. I just don’t like the wood shades and I have looked at a lot of them. Thanks for your input, always appreciated!!

  100. pmcalary, April 11, 2019 at 6:17 pm:

    Hi Julie,
    Why are you choosing between two extremes? Starmark is very expensive and Mid Continent is inexpensive, poorly made, and not a great value. There is lots of middle ground. Home Depot sells American Woodmark for example.
    Also when people have a hard time selecting colors it usually also means that they don’t have great design abilities so I worry that your design is poor and that you don’t realize it.
    I would encourage you to email us your design before you buy your cabinets and to call on a Friday between 2-4 pm EST to discuss any design mistakes we see.

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