Main Line Kitchen Design
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Brighton Beaded Inset Kitchen

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 custom cabinetry on the market.

Main Line Kitchen Design is a cabinet dealer with locations in the suburbs of Philadelphia Pennsylvania. OUR SERVICE AREA IS WITHIN A TWO HOUR DRIVE OF OUR BALA CYNWYD PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE.

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


If you are price comparing cabinet lines please click here and read this first. Price comparing your design at different dealers often leads you down a bad road.

Fabuwood Kitchen

We rate cabinetry assuming each line is upgraded to the top level of construction available, usually all plywood construction. 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.

Brighton Beaded Inset Kitchen
Brighton Beaded Inset Cabinet

Main Line kitchen design acknowledges that we are dealers for the following cabinet lines: Wellsford, Bishop, Brighton, Fabuwood, Legacy Presidential, Stylecraft 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. 


Cabinet linePrice level 1-6    QualityValue
21st Century1AA-
6 Square / CliqStudiosClosedClosedClosed
Adelphia Kitchens3BB
Adornus (frameless)3BB
Alusso by Adornus (frameless)3BB
All Wood – framed2AA
All Wood – frameless1CC
American Woodmark3BB
Belmont 1900 Series Frameless4BB+
Bishop Frameless5BB+
B.J. Tidwell Cabinetry3BC+
Canyon Creek3BB
CliqStudios Reopened2.5B+?
Craft-Made Cabinetry framed5AA
Crestwood Framed5AA
Crestwood Frameless5BA-
CrownPoint Cabinetry (framed)5.5A+A
CrownPoint (frameless)5.5BA
Crystal custom5AA
Crystal semi-custom4B+ B+
Cubitac Prestige and Imperial1.5A-A-
Cuisine Ideale (frameless)4BB
Desginers Choice4AA
Diamond4B+ / A-B+/A-
Diamond Now Stock1BB
Durasupreme frameless3CC
Dynasty by Omega (frameless)4BB+
Dynasty by Omega (framed)4AA-/B+
Dynasty Pinnacle (framed)5AB
Echelon Cabinetry2B-C
Eclipse by Shiloh4.5B- / C+B
Eurocraft Frameless3.5CC+
Executive (frameless)4BB
Fabuwood (frameless)DiscDiscDisc
Forevermark (Check Delivery Times)1.5B+B
Great Northern Classic5AA
Green Forest2AA-
Hampton Bay (frameless stock)1DC+
Hanssem framed1B+B+
Holiday (frameless)3Csupply
Holiday Kitchens4Aproblems
Homestead Custom4AA-
Ideal Cabinetry2BA-
IKEA (frameless)1DC
JSI Cabinetry1B+B+
J&K Cabinets (Check Delivery Times)2 A+A-
Kitchen Compact2B-C-
Kitchencraft (frameless)3CB
Koch Classic4A-A-
Kountry Kraft (framed)6AB
Kountry Kraft (frameless)6BB
Kountry Wood2CC
Kraftmaid Vantage4A-A
Legacy Presidential3AB+
Luxor Collection Frameless4BB
Marsh (frameless)2B-B
Merit Kitchens4B+B
Mid Continent2CC
Mouser (frameless)5BA
NatureKast Waterproof Cabinets5AA
Norcraft (every upgrade used)3BD
Plain and Fancy6AB+
Plato Woodwork5AA
Poggenpohl (frameless)6BC
QCCI Quality Custom6+A+A-
QuakerMaid (frameless)4BB
RiverRun Cabinetry3.75BB-
R.D. Henry4AA
Schrock 4B+/ A-B+/ A-
ShowplaceEVO (frameless)3.5BB+
Signature Custom5A+A+
Siteline Cabinetry3.5B-C
Solid Wood CabinetsClosedBankrupt 
St. Martin (frameless)3.5BA
Starmark standard5CC
Starmark inset or 3/4″ back panel5A+A
Tedd Wood5AA
Thomasville Nouvell3DD
Tru Cabinetry3BB+/ A-
Ultracraft (frameless)2CC
Ultracraft 3/4 ply upgrade3BB+/A-
Urban Effects (frameless)3.75c-D
Wellborn4 and 5AA
Wellborn Forrest3.5B+B+
Wellsford (frameless)5BA-
Wolf Signature Series3.5A-C+
Yorktowne Now an Elkay CO4A-B+

Outside our service area?


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.


  1. pmcalary, April 16, 2021 at 2:22 pm:

    Hi Charles,
    Some of these choices might not have Navy Blue. If all things are equal I pick the colors and doors I like best. FYI J&K is having delays right now as is Legacy Presidential to a much lesser extent. Rankings are in our reviews.

  2. Charles, April 16, 2021 at 2:12 pm:

    Hi, renovating a kitchen and we have had different options from different contractors/designers. Waypoint, Wolf Classic, J & K, or Legacy Presidential. We just want a simple shaker panel, white uppers, blue lowers, soft close, and as much real wood as possible (I understand from reading this whole thread that Wolf center panel is MDF, is that the center of the door?) Also looking at tall pantry cabinets in the hallway/laundry area, although I understand it may be cheaper to do uppers and lowers with a countertop there? Cabinet budget would be under 13k preferably. Any ranking or recommendation you would go with here with these names?

  3. pmcalary, April 13, 2021 at 12:46 pm:

    Hi Grubery,
    The solid wood doors from Legacy Presidential are made by a different outside door maker and are particularly nice. They are also more expensive so closer to Bishop pricing.

  4. Grubery, April 13, 2021 at 12:41 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the advice! Yes, I have figured out the need to slow down and I am in a way starting over with the cabinet process – we are getting used to a makeshift kitchen (already 3 months into this ordeal)! I did notice that Legacy Presidential offers just a few solid wood doors and was interested on your experience with those. The kitchen center I visited did not have a solid wood door sample from Legacy to check out and the KD had not seen one. The solid wood doors from Bishop and Medallion Gold were very nice – I like the grain and variation of the solid wood. Thanks again!!!!

  5. pmcalary, April 13, 2021 at 9:51 am:

    Hi Grubery,
    First I know you had a flood but consider slowing down. Rushing is responsible for poor decision making and usually makes your project cost much more. Giving yourself an extra few weeks can allow you to get bids from other suppliers and contractors and the final kitchen you get may be very different from the rushed one.

    That being said, Bishop is a much nicer but more expensive brand than Legacy Presidential. Veneered center panels will not have the stripes on the panel where one piece of wood is glued to another, so some people might prefer a veneered panel to a solid one. However the legacy plywood center panels are quite thin so be prepared for that if you choose Legacy.

  6. pmcalary, April 13, 2021 at 9:39 am:

    Hi Christina,
    Wolf also has solid wood doors with only the center panel MDF. We would recomend those. A complete fiberboard door will look nice to start but will be damaged easily.

  7. Christina, April 13, 2021 at 9:06 am:

    I’m looking at purchasing Wolf classic cabinetry and noted that their brochure states the painted doors are made from HDF with MDF panels. Is this consistent with the Wolf cabinets reviewed here? Is there an advantage/disadvantage to using HDF versus solid wood for the cabinet doors and drawer fronts?

  8. grubery, April 13, 2021 at 8:08 am:

    Hi Paul,
    I am renovating an entire medium size kitchen (results of dishwasher flood, not by choice in this renovation frenzy/pandemic situation right now) and down to wanting Natural Cherry and trying to choose between Bishop and Presidential Legacy, both brands that you also offer. In your experience, what are the main deciding factors that your clients choose one over the other? I am also trying to figure out if I really need solid wood door with the choice of natural cherry as the veneer center panel can have a different look, but again not sure how much this matters. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  9. pmcalary, April 9, 2021 at 7:22 am:

    Hi Chaya,
    Most of the well constructed inexpensive brands offer solid wood painted white shaker doors. The recessed panel in many will be MDF but the rest of the emtire cabinet will be solid wood. A MDF shaker panel is a good thing a MDF door is a very bad thing. Fabuwood, CNC, Wolf, J&K (long lead times), and many others offer this.

  10. Chaya Ungar, April 9, 2021 at 5:18 am:

    Hi, which affordable company has shaker white painted but on solid wood? Thank you

  11. pmcalary, April 8, 2021 at 2:26 pm:

    Hi Linda,
    How about brands 1/4 step down like
    Fieldstone, Diamond, or Decora
    or one step down like:
    Timberlake or Homecrest or Legacy Presidential.
    Upgraded these brands will be well constructed but less custom.

  12. Linda, April 8, 2021 at 12:13 pm:

    Thanks for the feedback Paul on Candlelight. Having a difficult time finding cabinetry for under 30K. Luxor came in at $36, Holiday Kitchen was originally the same but ruled them out baecuse of issues. Haven’t repriced Kraftmaid Vantage but was reluctant because of feedback from dealers about quality issues. So am at a loss. I prefer Maple(that’s what we currently have) but was considering Hickory although afraid might be too “grainy”. We have Hickory floors throughout and they are beautiful just not sure if I would like it in kitchen cabinets. Any suggestions as to other brands we might consider

  13. pmcalary, April 8, 2021 at 11:58 am:

    Hi Linda,
    There are many well made cabinets that are less than Candlelight. Candlelight cabinetry is beautiful, but I don’t think it makes any sense to splurge on expensive cabinetry and then cheep out on less expensive construction in an expensive line. Maple and Hickory are very opposite type looking woods. Be sure you understand the difference before ordering.

  14. Linda, April 8, 2021 at 11:45 am:

    Now looking at Candlelight Cabinetry. Any concerns with that company. My only concern is the duraplex box construction. My husband prefers all plywood but we are trying to work within a budget and so far the line has met our budget with the Duraplex cabinet boxes. They are saying delivery time is 10-12 weeks. Looking at either stained maple or hickory.

  15. pmcalary, April 6, 2021 at 6:04 pm:

    Hi Trish,
    They look like a well made cabinet brand. Remember to upgrade to all plywood construction. Pricing we can’t know until consumers compares them to other brands we know.

  16. Trish, April 6, 2021 at 5:06 pm:

    I have a kitchen designer recommending Bridgewood for slab
    front cabinets. I didn’t see it in your rating. Can you give me an idea of the pricing and quality comparative to your list? Thanks so much!

  17. pmcalary, April 4, 2021 at 9:19 am:

    Hi Brittany,
    Thanks for the update on J&K. Covid is reeking havoc with some cabinet plants but usually not with the North Jersey ones. This is concerning.

    US Cabinet Depot is normally a less expensive line but well constructed. We have thought about carrying that line as our lower priced builder grade line. We have been waiting for them to work all the bugs out in their new assembly plants. I heard they were doing OK. Please let us know what kind of experience you have if you chose them.

  18. Brittany, April 3, 2021 at 8:53 pm:

    Hi! This forum is excellent. We are building a new house and we were supposed to be getting J&K white shaker cabinets. Today our supplier informed us, that J&K is not committing to delivery times. Orders that were supposed to arrive in 4 weeks may now take 3 months. We were offered to replace our order with US Cabinet Depo white shaker. Any thoughts on quality and cost compared to J&K cabinetry? Thank you!

  19. pmcalary, April 2, 2021 at 2:20 pm:

    Hi Spnky,
    All cabinets are upgraded to the top tier of the line. KitchenKraft is a frameless line so it can’t get a better than a B construction rating and I believe it is also less than 3/4″ sides so it won’t do well on our reviews.

  20. Spnky, April 2, 2021 at 12:21 pm:

    Hi, Great blogs! Looking at KitchenCraft (with plywood upgrade) and Waypoint for our upcoming kitchen remodel. Which KitchenCraft cabinet style is 2020 rating based on, furniture board or plywood upgrade? Thanks

  21. pmcalary, April 2, 2021 at 7:56 am:

    Hi LisaMarie,
    All painted cabinets are easily nicked, scratched, and damaged by water. Don’t ever paint over painted cabinets have them touched up by professional furniture refinishers like Guardsman Furniture Pros. They can usually touch up a whole kitchen for around $500. Use a damp cloth with a mild dish soap solution to clean cabinets. Here’s a great link on cleaning painted cabinets:

  22. LisaMarie, March 31, 2021 at 9:44 am:

    Hi Paul, great info! I just bought a house with 3 year old White Linen Waypoint Cabinets with plywood and soft close drawers. I love them except for the small dings and scratches you get with painted cabinets. What do you recommend for cleaning these and also what can be done to fix? Also, how often do painted cabinets need to be repainted and do you have recommendations as to spray vs hand paint ? TY!!

  23. pmcalary, March 29, 2021 at 9:29 am:

    Hi Tim,
    Plywood and stained will be the most durable. Medallion has nicer looking finish stains IMO.

  24. Tim, March 29, 2021 at 9:27 am:

    Medallion or Wellborn for Master bath cabinets if pricing is similar?
    Plywood or MDF?
    Stained or Painted?
    Again this is for the master bath

  25. pmcalary, March 28, 2021 at 10:49 am:

    Hi Dan,
    No information on Mantra Cabinets. At a quick glance, it looks like a new import line owned by Masterbrand. If you are considering a line like this I would stick with the brands that have been doing it for a while like Fabuwood, Wolf, J&K, CNC, and others. This type of line is not a Masterbrand sweet spot.

    You do get a better designer to work with since the designers will usually sell other Masterbrand lines and that will make them more knowledgeable. Because of this I think Mantra would be a better choice then buying online, or at Costco and Ikea. But I would still stick with the first generation of US import and assemble companies.

  26. pmcalary, March 28, 2021 at 10:36 am:

    Hi Bill,
    Fabuwood, Wolf, CNC, and most other US Brands that import doors and fronts from Vietnam and other Asian countries had delays early on due to both Covid and Tariffs. Presently Fabuwood and most of these type cabinet brands that import from Asia are caught up and there are no delays.

    100% US brands and US brands importing from Mexico are presently having delays primarily because their plants are in Covid hot spots. Almost all these brands have factories in rural locations and the politics in rural areas and the lack of following strict Covid guidelines in the plants is taking it’s toll.

    All cabinet brands are having some quality control issues. This is because customer service people are working from home, Trucking companies are stressed due to Covid and high shipping volume, and sales in the cabinet industry are way up at a time when it is more difficult to stay on top of things.

    Customers can make things worse too. Renovating a kitchen is a stressful endeavor under ideal conditions. When people are stressed from quarantining and other Covid problems and you add the stress of a complex renovation, it sometimes only takes minor delays or inconveniences for them to melt down. Having customers call every day over a minor delay or wanting to track every delivery in process adds to our workload. So in addition to the added work from minor cabinet and delivery delays and issues, our designers and customer service people field double the calls and concerns from our customers. Most customers are understanding but some are quite the opposite due to this stressful time.

    This is a very busy time in cabinet world. For example, in the first quarter of 2021 Main Line Kitchen Design sold the same amount of cabinetry as in the first 2 quarters of 2020.

    So be patient if you are renovating a kitchen. Your designer and cabinet dealer will appreciate it.

  27. Dan, March 28, 2021 at 10:34 am:

    Hi Paul,

    Do you have any information on Mantra cabinets? Thank for the enclosed chart, it is most helpful.


  28. Bill, March 28, 2021 at 1:11 am:

    Hi Paul, I just found this wonderful blog this evening.

    For imported cabinets in general, and Fabuwood in particular, what effect is the Covid having as of early 2021 on quality, shipping time, and delivery lead time?

  29. pmcalary, March 26, 2021 at 8:36 am:

    Hi Paul,
    Upgraded there isn’t much difference in durability between Kraftmaid and American Woodmark. The price difference you are paying for in Kraftmaid is for the ability to customize, to have more door styles and finishes, for nicer looking finishes, and for better quality control. However the pandemic has reeked havoc on many companies quality control. More damages and mistakes slip out of the factories so more replacement cabinets are needed.

    If Durability is your biggest concern DO NOT get painted cabinetry. Painted finishes in EVERY cabinet brand are less durable. easily scratched, and easily damaged by water. Natural or close to natural stains hold up best over time.

  30. Bill, March 25, 2021 at 12:11 pm:

    Your website has been a huge help in trying to understand the many variables to deal with in getting kitchen cabinets. In our area of NY we are finding mostly American WoodMark Cabinets and Kraftmaid Cabinets. The price for the Woodmark Cabinets is considerably less then the Kraftmaid but the cost isn’t the deciding factor, we are a large family of 7 with 4 children under the age of 14 living in our forever home, we need durability as the cost will not let us do this again. What are you thoughts/pros and cons as far as selecting between Kraftmaid and WoodMark.

  31. pmcalary, March 24, 2021 at 11:14 am:

    Hi Trish,
    Omega makes Dynasty frameless cabinets which we rate. They are better made that KitchenCraft and can be upgraded to plywood construction. Diamond and Homecrest do not make frameless cabinets as far as I know. We would only recomend getting a frameless cabinet if your were getting slab style doors.

  32. pmcalary, March 24, 2021 at 10:41 am:

    I don’t like the 1/4″ back on a Quality cabinet. It is definitely a big step down from Upgraded Diamond Vibe.

  33. Sandy, March 23, 2021 at 10:49 pm:

    I was wondering if you have any input on Quality Cabinets? We are preparing for a kitchen renovation and are deciding between two cabinet stores, one that sells Quality and one that sells Diamond Vibe. We like the kitchen designers at both but the Quality Cabinets are significantly less expensive for similar layouts and features so having a hard time deciding. We’re going for a simple white Shaker style cabinet, full overlay, all plywood constructions. I was told the Quality Cabinets dealer gets a good deal on the particular door style that we like which is why it’s so well priced.

  34. Trish, March 23, 2021 at 4:29 pm:

    I’m working with a designer who carries Diamond, HOMECREST, KitchenCraft, and OMEGA. She tells me these are different companies. I do not see Omega on your list. I’m interested in frameless. She showed me a KitchenCraft display that looked ok from the outside, however your rating is a C. Can you speak about Omega cabinets and your thoughts on these brands comparatively. She tells me they are all the same. Thanks for all your information.

  35. paul mcalary, March 22, 2021 at 10:23 am:

    Hi Kristen,
    An Mdf center panel on a shaker door is a good thing. It isn’t easily dinged up and is easy to repair if it is. Most importantly it helps prevent warping and doesn’t shrink like real wood. However making the entire door MDF is a bad idea it will be damaged easily and damaged edges are impossible to repair. It will look better until you ruin it.

  36. Kristen, March 21, 2021 at 6:27 pm:

    Thank you for taking the time to provide such an informative platform. I am looking at white shaker cabinets by Schrock. The designer says that she always recommends MDF doors when painted. What is your opinion of MDF vs hardwood for painted doors?


  37. Linda Michell, March 21, 2021 at 6:13 pm:

    Thank you Paul you have been very helpful! The dealer I contacted recently said Kraftmaid was having service & quality issues of late so that is why they stopped carrying the line. He did recommend Ted Wood but did say they are a bit higher priced than Kraftmaid. I’ll have him price them out & see where we stand. Trying to keep the cabinet cost under $30K. Luxor was $36K inclusive of tax & delivery but we are going with the distressed look so that is what is increasing the cost. We may have to compromise on that a bit to keep the cost close to the budget.

  38. pmcalary, March 19, 2021 at 7:41 pm:

    Hi Linda,
    Tedd wood is a good line. However problems a line might have during Covid we don’t hear about until things get bad.

    Part of the problem with many cabinet companies is that they are in rural locations and because of the politics in these areas people are less Covid compliant. So the cabinet workforce is affected and the cabinet line suffers.”

    I predict that with end is in sight that people in these rural communities will become even less careful than they were before. We have begun to notice this in the lines we carry. Early on their workers were fine but in the last month or so several plants have had outbreaks. The lines in more metropolitan areas suffered early but have since recovered and put tough rules in place.

    Ask the dealer about how things have been lately. That’s the best information on how the pandemic is affecting the line.

  39. Linda Michell, March 19, 2021 at 5:30 pm:

    Ok so the recommendation was to go with Kraftmaid Vantage versus Holiday Kitchen & Luxor. I contacted a few dealers & they no longer carry the Kraftmaid Vantage line because of service & quality issues. One place recommended Ted Wood cabinets. Anyone have any experience with Ted Wood cabinets and how are they priced compared to Kraftmaid Vanatge & Luxor Collection.

  40. Fred Eberly, March 18, 2021 at 1:00 pm:

    Thank you for providing this very helpful guidance.
    My supplier carries Holiday, Haas and Schlabach which is an Amish built cabinet from Ohio.
    We see from your listing that Holiday is having supply issues.
    We are leaning towards the Haas in a stained Hickory. Although we are only replacing an old but effective layout, the Schlabach could provide some interesting and useful, although not mandatory custom features.
    We have only looked but not priced either Haas or Schlabach yet. Cost is always a consideration but return on investment is not as critical as a 5-7 year enjoyment of a much needed update before downsizing move.
    You rate the Haas poorly. Would you avoid Haas? Any knowledge or guidance on Schlabach?

    I would very much appreciate your thoughts and professional insights.

  41. pmcalary, March 18, 2021 at 8:34 am:

    Hi Shirley,
    If you are looking for a color and Door style that Wolf makes and they have all the size cabinets you need for your design, you are giving up almost nothing getting Wolf. Make sure to get the standard construction and not the less expensive version.

  42. Shirley P, March 17, 2021 at 8:50 pm:

    I’m looking at Diamond, Omega and Wolf Designer. I’ve received quotes on all. Wolf was the lowest almost too good to be true. I’ve not yet seen the Wolf Designer in person, my siding guy gave me the contact and I’m traveling to see them them this weekend. Is it worth the trip? Which would you recommend?

  43. pmcalary, March 17, 2021 at 3:20 pm:

    Hi Linda,
    Holiday has MAJOR supply and quality control issues at the moment. I would definitely go Vantage with those three choices.

  44. Linda Michell, March 17, 2021 at 2:42 pm:

    There is a Kraftmaid Vantage cabinet that we like and am trying to match. Was trying to decide between Holiday Kitchens which is what our kitchen design sells & Luxor Collection which is a line that the contractor recommended. He works with the dealer. Concerned with the durability of the Luxor frameless and have been reading about the HK supply issues. Or should I just find a dealer that carries Kraftmaid VAntage? Any preference among the three?

  45. pmcalary, March 14, 2021 at 10:39 am:

    Hi Ann,
    Melamine on the interior of a cabinet is fine but never on the outside of a cabinet as it will fade over time when exposed to light. Always upgrade to plywood with frameless cabinetry when possible. We rate Eudora by Kith higher than Kitchencraft.

  46. pmcalary, March 14, 2021 at 10:34 am:

    Hi Martha,
    Since we aren’t Hanssem dealers I don’t know if they are having delays. 6 weeks or less would be the normal lead time. However many brands are having delays due to Covid.

  47. pmcalary, March 14, 2021 at 10:31 am:

    Hi Laurel,
    Framed cabinetry should cost about the same as frameless in Dynasty. Mixing a slab cabinet base and shaker uppers in two different types of wood in two different finishes is more than just unusual. A design like this you will do for your own pleasure and you shouldn’t expect to add much value to your home as far as resale is concerned. Spending a lot of money on an expensive renovation and making style selections this unusual I would discourage. Whatever you future plans might be they can change and you might regret your choices were you to need to sell your home. Be careful here.

  48. Martha, March 14, 2021 at 10:06 am:

    Do you know the time frame on delivery for Hanssem cabinets. Contractor is telling me 6 weeks but I’m hearing from other contractors that is more like 12 weeks.

  49. Laurel, March 14, 2021 at 6:00 am:

    Wow what an informative site!
    I am just about to pull the trigger on cabinets. Working with a designer but I want to make sure I understand.

    We are looking at omega. She recommends frameless for a cleaner look,. I don’t necessarily need more space in the cabinets since there are a lot. Any way I thought the framed dynasty would be fine . Do you know if it’s less expensive?

    Cabinet I am looking at are slab stained maple base and likely shaker oak upper but maybe alder since I am trying to stay on budget.

    Speaking of budget. What should someone expect percentage wise to allocate to cabinets. In my case I am keeping appliances and design seems to be 50% of budget. Thanks in advance for any feedback

  50. Ann, March 13, 2021 at 1:48 pm:

    I have a quote from a KD who is suggesting Kitchen Craft cabinets. It states that the box construction is melamine and notes that plywood is a 10% up charge. My other option is Eudora for approximately same price as Kitchen Craft. What are your thoughts, particularly about melamine?

  51. Laurel, March 13, 2021 at 11:47 am:

    Wow what an informative site!
    I am just about to pull the trigger on cabinets. Working with a designer but I want to make sure I understand.

    We are looking at omega. She recommends frameless for a cleaner look,. I don’t necessarily need more space in the cabinets since there are a lot. Any way I thought the framed dynasty would be fine . Do you know if it’s less expensive?

    Cabinet I am looking at are stained with maple base and likely oak upper but maybe alder since I am trying to stay on budget.

    Speaking of budget. What should someone expect percentage wise to allocate to cabinets. In my case I am keeping appliances and design seems to be 50% of budget. Thanks in advance for any feedback

  52. pmcalary, March 12, 2021 at 9:41 pm:

    Hi Wendy,
    You can easily modify the Shiloh cabinetry by adding bottom and top hanging rails to the wall cabinets making up for their poor engineering. However an eight foot ceiling is too short to pull off the look you are going for and you shouldn’t stack cabinets. Not to mention that you can’t put 39″ high wall cabinetry in a 96″ high room without leveling the ceiling which is harder than you might think. Kitchens look attractive and function well when you have the space to do the design you create.

    Jamming a big island into a room too small to fit it or a big hood where it doesn’t belong won’t look or feel right no matter how much you like that look in a kitchen that can fit it. As kitchen designers we try disparately to encourage people not to put too much cabinetry in their spaces even though we sell cabinets and would make more money selling what the customers think they want.

    Main line kitchen design has even gotten some bad reviews from customers that didn’t like being advised what they didn’t want to hear. The pandemic has frayed some peoples nerves and more than a few of our recent customers have become vindictive when our designers were simply having their best interest at heart.

  53. Wendy, March 12, 2021 at 6:03 pm:

    Wow!! So glad I discovered your site.
    I really love the look of Shiloh cabinets but I’m leery because of the rating. Reading through the responses it seems related mostly to the hanger rail. If that was replaced by installer, would you increase your rating significantly? Also, what’s your thought of stacked cabinets to the ceiling with only 8’ height. I like the look of small glass door cabinet at the top with lighting, I understand it has limited function and would be mostly cosmetic. I was thinking a 27″ wall cabinet with a stacked 12″ on top to bring the cabinets near the ceiling with 3” trim? Would those proportions look odd?
    Thanks so much for your help

  54. pmcalary, March 12, 2021 at 5:35 pm:

    Hi Denman,
    Upgraded to plywood the Bridgewood box is pretty much constructed as good as it gets for a frameless cabinet. I don’t know where they fall price wise. There are some very inexpensive lines like CNC that make a really well constructed frameless cabinet. However they have only a tiny selection of doors and finishes. 3/4″ plywood sides or a plywood core and soft close doors and tracks should be what you are looking for in a frameless brand. We sell Bishop which is probably similar in price to Bridgewood and a little higher priced semi custom cabinet line.

  55. pmcalary, March 12, 2021 at 5:25 pm:

    Hi Dierdre,
    I’m not a fan of Kith Cabinets and how they are constructed. Brookhaven while a great cabinet I have concerns about the companies financial health. They went bankrupt and were out of business before being sold. They reopened only a few days before the pandemic began so not the best time for a fresh start. When cabinet companies go bankrupt customers loose all their money and get no cabinets, so banking on Brookhaven could prove dangerous.

  56. pmcalary, March 12, 2021 at 5:17 pm:

    Nice speaking with you on our podcast Lisa. Good luck with your kitchen!

  57. Deirdre Farrell, March 12, 2021 at 3:37 pm:

    I’m a cabinet / counter purchaser for the first time….comparing Brookhaven with Kith Kitchen. Small kitchen gut and all will be new. Not a cook, single, dog.

  58. Denman, March 11, 2021 at 11:07 pm:

    This information has been most helpful! Have you heard of a company called “Bridgewood Cabinetry” from Chanute, KS? I’m looking at their frameless line although I’m a bit concerned they are inherently not as solid as framed cabinetry. What is the best company for frameless cabinetry that is mid-priced at most? Thank you!

  59. Lisa, March 11, 2021 at 10:55 pm:

    I’m looking into installing the cabinets in my kitchen but was looking into a cabinet line that is modest budget. I received 2 different quote on J&K (finding out their RTA and reviews are mixed) and Waypoint 660D. J& K cabinetry came 4k less then Waypoint 10k but you gave a higher rating to J&K Cabinetry. J&K seems to fit our modest budget but will it last in durability vs the Waypoint cabinets? Or would you recommend going with another cabinet line?

  60. pmcalary, March 10, 2021 at 1:06 pm:

    Hi Respol,
    Right now I would stay away from Holiday. Their present problems are severe. Starmark and Medallion are doing fine to the best of my knowledge.

  61. Respol, March 10, 2021 at 12:48 pm:

    Hi, first want to say this is an amazing resource and have already shared with other would-be kitchen remodelers.
    Am considering Starmark(framed) vs Medallion vs Holiday Kitchens.
    My contractor’s in-house cabinet person only carrries Holiday.
    Would like to work with them because there is some synergy between contractor/dealer but am extremely concerned about the Holiday supply problem as reported by many. am now leaning toward Starmark. thoughts and advice? thanks in advance.

  62. paul mcalary, March 10, 2021 at 8:56 am:

    Hi Jane,
    Bishop and Kraftmaid will be similar in price. Upgrading Bishop to the Ultimate BOX only costs 4% and it is built like a tank. But Kraftmaid Vantage is good too. Timberlake should be about 20% less. Upgraded it is well built but it will offer less features and the finish won’t be as nice looking as the other two. All are good choices.

  63. Jane, March 9, 2021 at 9:04 pm:

    Paul, we’ve continued looking and have found a dealer close to home for Bishop. So now I’m trying to decide between this line and Kraftmaid. The third option is Timberlake. Again my. Ceilings are 9’6” and going white shaker. Your recommendations are welcomed and very much appreciated.

  64. pmcalary, March 9, 2021 at 3:25 pm:

    Hi Christian,
    Crestwood built in Salina Kansas.

  65. Christian R, March 9, 2021 at 12:34 pm:

    Paul, you gave a very high rating for a Crestwood Framed and Frameless in your cabinet ratings. Which Crestwood is this? Is this Crestwood Inc, out of Salina Kansas? Or the Crestwood line from Dura Supreme? Or some other manufacturer named Crestwood?
    I ask because I’m considering Crestwood Inc Simplicity (frameless) line of cabinets for my kitchen remodel. They meet your recommendations of 3/4″ plywood construction, Blum hinges and glides, dovetail drawers, and durable finishes. Having the reassurance that you rated them an B/A- for a frameless cabinet would be great.

  66. pmcalary, March 9, 2021 at 7:36 am:

    Hi Sarah,
    Looks like a tiny company that makes their own cabinets and doesn’t even have a website. They also get poor reviews on Google although that could mean nothing. The bigger question is why buy cabinets here? The smart thing to do is to get a known named brand cabinet line from a respected cabinet dealer and to work with a good designer. All three don’t happen at Brandom from the little I can see online.

  67. Sarah, March 8, 2021 at 7:52 pm:

    Do you have any experience and/or ratings for Brandom Cabinets?

  68. paul mcalary, March 8, 2021 at 4:16 pm:

    Hi Tamara,
    I don’t think the Kraftmaid Vantage finish will be any more durable. However the Kraftmaid are better constructed. Not sure if it’s worth 4K. If you will be in your home for many years probably. If you plan on selling in 5 or ten years probably not.

  69. Tamara, March 8, 2021 at 3:37 pm:

    Hello again Paul! Thanks so much for all of your great advice and wisdom! I am going to finally pull the trigger on shaker style cabinets with painted white on the perimeter of the kitchen and painted dark grey on the island. In your opinion is there a difference between the quality and durability of the paint on the Kraftmaid Vantage versus Waypoint? With apples to apples layouts, the Kraftmaid Vantage is 4K higher in price than the Waypoint. Is it worth the extra 4K to buy the Kraftmaid Vantage? Thanks so much!

  70. pmcalary, March 7, 2021 at 6:55 pm:

    As long as cabinetry is upgraded to all plywood construction and soft close everything both these lines will have little difference construction wise. Starmark has nicer looking stains and is more custom. if you are getting painted cabinets there will be a slight differences in the the visibility of the seams on the doors. Starmark’s seams should be less detectable. But both finishes will be equally durable.

  71. Sue, March 7, 2021 at 6:25 pm:

    Hi… Your blog has been extremely helpful. It looks like design is key and many cabinet manufacturers can get the job done. Any red flags picking Diamond Distinction vs. Starmark? Both are carried by our local kitchen designer but we could save by going with Diamond.

  72. pmcalary, March 7, 2021 at 11:22 am:

    Hi Jane,
    With a ceiling 9’6″ the cabinetry and the design would look so much better with cabinetry stacked and a two piece crown molding reaching the ceiling. I don’t think either of these lines will have all the cabinet sizes you need to do that design. Possibly building a tray ceiling around the perimeter of the room at 8″6 inches like the kitchen shown in the link below would be a good idea. The cabinets in these photos were under 15K and the look looks far more custom than having cabinetry not reach the ceiling.

  73. Jane, March 7, 2021 at 11:13 am:

    Thank you for your input about JSI. Our ceilings are 9’ 6” and our home is waterfront. How about the Forevermark line? Would that be any better?

  74. pmcalary, March 7, 2021 at 8:22 am:

    Hi Jane,
    JSI is one of many very reasonable cabinet lines that is pretty well built. I might not use this brand if I had an expensive home or 9 foot ceilings or other design challenges, but for a simple economical kitchen it is a good choice.

  75. Jane, March 6, 2021 at 8:20 pm:

    Considering JSI for my renovation. Any cons that you know of? You seem to have given them a pretty good rating.

  76. pmcalary, March 6, 2021 at 8:46 am:

    Hi Daniel,
    Crown Select would still get an A for construction and an A for value.

    Our ratings are a little less reliable due to the pandemic. There are cabinet companies that are having quality and delivery issues and if we aren’t dealers or haven’t spoken to dealers of the particular brand we don’t know if the line is experiencing these problems. I would always ask the dealer if there have been quality control issues or delivery time problems with any line.

  77. Daniel, March 5, 2021 at 11:18 pm:

    Question regarding Crown Point. Within the past couple of years (not exactly sure but recently), Crown Point introduced a more budget-friendly line — Crown Select. Basically it’s marketed as having fewer options, 3/4″ thick doors and frames (as opposed to Crown Point’s 1″), but with the same quality craftsmanship etc. In comparing the the two, I did notice some slight differences in construction.

    I am assuming your grades are for Crown Point. How would you grade Crown Point Select?

  78. pmcalary, March 4, 2021 at 3:04 pm:

    Hi BZubal,
    I am not on the same page with you here. The cabinet dealers responsibility is to give you the correct undamaged cabinets. If things come damaged they must replace them free of charge. Your responsibility is to know what you are ordering, pay for what you have had specially made for you, and then wait until any damaged products get redelivered if that is needed.

    What you don’t get to do is order a complete kitchen specially made for you and then cancel the order because you don’t like it. It sounds like you are also keeping the cabinets. Sometimes cabinets come damaged or deflective, especially during a pandemic. You should research better before you purchase cabinets for an expensive project so that you know what to expect. And the designer and dealer should help you understand what your responsibilities are so that you aren’t charging back when your unrealistic expectations aren’t met.

    I always tell customers that we give them a lifetime warranty, that we have a no questions asked policy on damages and replacements, and we do not expect them to accept any cabinetry damaged or deflective. However we do not make the cabinets or ship the cabinets so that everyone needs to wait for replacements. You didn’t order a toaster that can be put back on a shelf. The undamaged cabinets you ordered are of no use to anyone other than you. Sorry no sympathy here for anyone but the dealer. You need to wait for replacements and shouldn’t get a refund.

  79. BZubal, March 4, 2021 at 1:31 pm:

    Great forum. Thank you. Ordered frameless Showplace Cabinetry shaker style black for kitchen and teal in office. Worst quality. First 4 boxes opened, significant damage on all, paint rubbed off by packaging, broken frames. Thin cardboard covering. No protection on cabinet face or corners. Thin white security straps around cardboard cut into cabinet surface and damaged paint. Shelving with spotty areas of missing paint. Expect full refund as extensive damage, poor quality and packaging. Parts in packages were literally taped to painted surfaces. Cabinets delivered 3 weeks prior to project start and no notice prior to day of delivery. Stay clear of this company. When discussed refund, I was informed by rep that the cabinets were ‘custom’. In process of cc dispute for final 50% pay (requested by dealer prior to delivery) and other 50% downpayment by check. Colorado

  80. Mark, March 2, 2021 at 4:22 pm:

    This website is a god send. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. If I was located in PA you would be my designers. I didn’t see this brand listed on your site Aline Cabinets
    They are not custom and we have a pretty standard kitchen layout. It looks like they hit all the markers on your buying guide. Do you see any potential gotchas with this brand?

    Thank you!!

  81. paul mcalary, February 28, 2021 at 2:32 pm:

    Hi Peter,
    Actually for the less expensive cabinet brands American made means less well made. US companies can’t offer painted and some grey stains for close to the price of the US lines that import their doors and fronts like Wolf or Fabuwood. Fabuwood offers all the options most lower priced US companies do in sizes and internal conveniences. They just offer fewer door styles and finishes. If you want a painted recessed panel door style in one of the Fabuwood finishes you would be making a mistake not getting them. If you want maple or cherry stained cabinets that would be a reason to buy a lower priced US line. Make sure you upgrade to all plywood construction.

  82. Peter, February 28, 2021 at 1:57 pm:

    Waypoint and Fabuwood are both rated as 2 in price, but I have heard fabuwood does not offer that many options for differing cabinets. Our designer is pushing for waypoint because they are built in America and offer more options. I like the American made idea, but does it outweigh the rating of A to B?

  83. Laura, February 27, 2021 at 9:40 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    I enjoyed reading your comments about KBIS. 30 unicorns is quite a funny visual! I hope your team does attend the show next year. I think we’re all more than ready to get back to meeting and greeting in person, traveling, and going maskless!

  84. paul mcalary, February 27, 2021 at 11:48 am:

    Hi Laura,
    Good question about KBIS. While our company sends most of our employees and their spouses to KBIS each year, none of us attended the virtual KBIS. Partly because we are are so overbooked with work that we couldn’t spare the time, and also because when a couple of us were free and tried to logon – KBIS was down.

    I love visiting the booths at KBIS and we all learn a lot every year from the companies that are represented. However, the seminars I find amateurish. The events are usually a waste of time, and the speakers are usually also a waste. Except for Gary Vaynerchuck from several years ago.

    30 under 30 makes me crazy – The whole premise of someone under 30 being experienced enough to have any significance in our profession is far fetched. There being 30 of these unicorns is ridiculous.

    We are really looking forward to KBIS next year. Our designers getting to spend time with each other will also be great since we have become a company of Zoomers due to the pandemic, and will never go back to spending the time we used to in our offices once Covid is a memory.

  85. Laura, February 27, 2021 at 11:12 am:

    Hi Paul,
    I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on the (virtual) 2021 KBIS? It’s always interesting to hear your perspective!

  86. Shawn, February 26, 2021 at 9:56 am:

    Hi. Thought it right to put in a correction about Fabuwood. Fabuwood does have real solid wood door/drawer 5-piece frames, cabinet face frames, and drawer box! I was inadvertently misled.
    Since my last comment a few days ago, I confirmed with another dealer, and realized my sudden suspicion/misconception was a result of reading a faulty Fabuwood Allure Series Construction Specifications paper dated 03.03.19, which was give me by a different dealer. That paper does state “solid plywood stiles and rails,” and “solid plywood dovetail drawer box” while also stating “solid wood” door and drawer front frames and face frames. Must have been typos not caught!

  87. paul mcalary, February 25, 2021 at 7:36 am:

    Hi Jeannne,
    For a kitchen it would be a bad idea to have cabinets made. For a library or entry area with a bench and cubbies where cabinet lines don’t specialize i the pieces that you might need it could make sense. But you are giving up durability and the whole engineering process that custom lines have in a kitchen. Here’s a blog on the topic:

  88. Jeanne tanner, February 24, 2021 at 9:20 pm:

    Hi Paul!
    What’s your opinion on hand made cabinets?
    I found a guy that will build my cabinets and his work is beautiful and not too much more than ordering a name brand cabinet.

  89. pmcalary, February 24, 2021 at 7:32 am:

    Thomasville cabinets are misleading. They are not made and have no relationship to the Thomasville furniture company. Home Depot bought the right to use the name and has had several companies make these cabinets over the years. For the last 10 or so Masterbrands has made them and they are essentially Diamond cabinets to the best of my knowledge.

  90. Dorinda, February 23, 2021 at 7:03 pm:

    In your list of cabinet ratings, why is there an asterisk next to Thomasville*

  91. Paul McAlary, February 22, 2021 at 5:36 pm:

    Hi Shawn,
    You need to call us on Friday 2 – 4pm EST and ask this many questions during our podcast. Two quick answers – No cabinet is ever truly solid wood. The sides, shelves, and backs will always have plywood. Center panels on painted doors are fine.

  92. Shawn, February 22, 2021 at 4:39 pm:

    Tricky language descriptions for homeowners:
    “solid wood” v “hardwood”. “Solid wood” can be plywood, I believe.

    Door and drawer or cabinet face frames: Most cabinets I see say solid wood (which I now believe can be plywood,) or say hardwood (meaning not plywood, I believe.)

    5-piece Drawer and door frames or fronts:
    Some brands say they have “solid wood,” but it is tricky.

    Fabuwood is an example of solid wood meaning plywood, I believe.

    If getting white painted shaker, Does plywood frame or face on the front of a framed cabinet, or comprising the 5-piece door or drawer front, make a difference in any way v hardwood maple or other species wood on door and drawer frames?

    Now in the Drawer box:
    Dovetailed “solid plywood” (Fabuwood) v. Dovetailed maple or hardwood. Again, any difference if getting white painted shaker?

    I am considering your suggested Fabuwood for its excellent construction and finish, so I’m thinking it may not make a difference, but would like to bring it up.

    Like you have said somewhere, if the more expensive cabinet lines’ stains, specialty finishes and custom options are not going to be used, it doesn’t seem to make sense to pay so much more for a brand which charges more because It offers that which isn’t needed. I note that some more expensive cabinets DO have hardwood frames, maple or hardwood doors and drawer frames and drawer boxes, I believe.

    In the beginning of my cabinetry thoughts, I thought that in order to be good lasting construction and finish, plywood could not be used all over. I thought
    cabinet face frames- should be a solid piece of wood, not like plywood,
    and that 5-piece wood doors and drawers fronts -should be made of a wood species like maple,
    and that drawer box -should be maple or birch .

    It seems Fabuwood Allure is all plywood with cabinet face frame, 5-piece door and drawer frame/front, and drawer box.

    I came to Fabuwood last in my efforts, and, to illustrate potential savings, in a preliminary design in shaker style, comparing to Fabuwood’s shaker Galaxy,Frost color:

    Kingswood Kitchens was 25% more
    Starmark was a little less than double,
    KraftMaid was more than double
    Kountry Kraft even more than that.

    Fabuwood has mdf recessed panel. Others have mdf, mdf covered with wood veneer, or plywood covered with wood veneer, or just hardwood (not plywood.)

    Regarding mdf recessed panel, any issues with spills getting moisture into that recessed panel causing it to swell and cause problems? Anything else?

    Thank you for all your expertise and help. So good of you. Thank you!!

  93. pmcalary, February 22, 2021 at 8:57 am:

    Hi Laurie,
    Because every company is affected differently by the pandemic and we do not carry either brand and so have no inside information, it is best to trust the dealer regarding these type of questions. When the dealer is encouraging you to spend less money it makes me think that they have your best interests at heart.

  94. pmcalary, February 22, 2021 at 8:25 am:

    Hi T,
    They appear to be a small totally custom built manufacturer. I know nothing about them, but if your designer is very good and you have the budget, they could be a good choice. Not enough information for me to truly know. It does appear that like many companies in the Pennsylvania custom cabinet world that the owners are Pro Trump politically. But in the cabinet industry the majority of the manufacturers are, so it is difficult to bring politics into decision making when it comes to buying cabinets. My rule as a dealer is that as long as everyone I speak with is professional and doesn’t EVER bring their politics into our conversations I will not judge.

  95. T, February 21, 2021 at 11:15 pm:


    Thank you for an exceptional resource! We found your cabinet line ratings to be exceptionally helpful. One of the local kitchen designers have recommended Premier Custom-Built Cabinetry. Do you have any experience with them or have a perspective on their cabinets?

    Thank you,

  96. Laurie, February 21, 2021 at 8:43 pm:

    Thanks for the response re: Plato.
    Any thoughts on Countryside vs Starmark in terms of quality? The dealer said if I don’t want to splurge on the Plato, they think Countryside is better than Starmark, even though it is less expensive.

  97. pmcalary, February 20, 2021 at 11:50 am:

    Hi Laurie,
    Another customer just brought up our 4 level pricing for Plato. I thought that we had gotten unusually low pricing for a Plato kitchen quote and that was why we had rated them as a 4, but I’m starting to think it might be a typo from our 2018 reviews that we just copied onto out 2020 reviews. Apologies, I’m looking into it now and will update the Plato pricing.

  98. paul mcalary, February 20, 2021 at 11:31 am:

    Hi Jeanne,
    A veneer is probably what you want on a slab door. A solid wood door would not have the grain go across the whole door and would have stripes where pieces of wood were glued together. In a contemporary style that wouldn’t be a good look. Actually the cabinets also look a little better and are a little more expensive when the grain on the drawers goes up and down like on the doors.

  99. Jeanne tanner, February 19, 2021 at 9:10 pm:

    Hi Paul!
    I talked to you today about my Ins. Renovation, lake house in Michigan.
    I really like the great northern cab line. I like the slab door style but found out it is a veneer.
    I want an oak or maple slab modern style.
    Should I be leery of veneer? It is MDF with veneer on top. Looks like a solid oak or maple door

  100. Jeanne tanner, February 19, 2021 at 9:09 pm:

    Hi Paul!
    I talked to you today about my Ins. Renovation, lake house in Michigan.
    I really like the great northern cab line. I like the slab door style but found out in is a veneer.
    I want an oak or maple slab modern style.
    Should I be leery of veneer? It is MDF with veneer on top. Looks like a solid oak or maple door

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