Main Line Kitchen Design
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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.

Warning

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 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 RATINGS

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
Aristocraft2CC
Belmont 1900 Series Frameless4BB+
Bertch4AA-
Bishop4AB+
Bishop Frameless5BB+
B.J. Tidwell Cabinetry3BC+
Bremtown6A+B
Brighton5A-A+
Brookhaven5AB
Brubaker5AA
Cabico4BB
Candlelight4AA
Canyon Creek3BB
CliqStudios Reopened2.5B+?
CNC1.5A-A-
Collier5AB-
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
Decora4.5AB
Desginers Choice4AA
Design-Craft4BB-
Diamond4B+ / A-B+/A-
Diamond Now Stock1BB
Durasupreme5B+B-
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
Fabuwood2AA
Fabuwood (frameless)DiscDiscDisc
Fieldstone4.5A-B+
Forevermark (Check Delivery Times)1.5B+B
Grabill6A+B
Great Northern Classic5AA
Green Forest2AA-
Haas3BB
Hampton Bay (frameless stock)1DC+
Hanssem framed1B+B+
Holiday (frameless)3CC
Holiday Kitchens4AA
Homecrest3B+B+
Homestead Custom4AA-
Ideal Cabinetry2BA-
IKEA (frameless)1DC
Innovation2CC
JSI Cabinetry1B+B+
J&K Cabinets (Check Delivery Times)2 A+A-
Kabinart3C+D
Kemper3BC
Kitchen Compact2B-C-
Kitchencraft (frameless)3CB
Kith3B+C+
Koch Classic4A-A-
Kountry Kraft (framed)6AB
Kountry Kraft (frameless)6BB
Kountry Wood2CC
Kraftmaid4A-A-
Kraftmaid Vantage4A-A
Legacy2.5B+B
Legacy Presidential3AB+
LifeArt1C+A
Luxor Collection Frameless4BB
Marsh2BB
Marsh (frameless)2B-B
Medallion5A-B+
Merillat2CD
Merit Kitchens4B+B
Mid Continent2CC
Mouser5AA-
Mouser (frameless)5BA
NatureKast Waterproof Cabinets5AA
Norcraft (every upgrade used)3BD
Ovation4BC
Plain and Fancy6AB+
Plato Woodwork4AA
Poggenpohl (frameless)6BC
ProCraft1AA-
QuakerMaid (frameless)4BB
RiverRun Cabinetry3.75BB-
R.D. Henry4AA
Rutt6A+A
Schrock3BB
Schuler5A-B+
Shenandoah3BB
Shiloh4CC
Showplace4AB++
ShowplaceEVO (frameless)3.5BB+
Siematic5.5BC
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
Stylecraft6AA
Tedd Wood5AA
Thomasville*4B+/A-B+/A-
Thomasville Nouvell3DD
Timberlake3BB
Tru Cabinetry3BB+/ A-
Ultracraft (frameless)2CC
Ultracraft 3/4 ply upgrade3BB+/A-
Urban Effects (frameless)3.75c-D
Village5AA
Waypoint2BB
Wellborn4 and 5AA
Wellborn Forrest3.5B+B+
Wellsford5A+A+
Wellsford (frameless)5BA-
Wolf2AB+
Wolf Signature Series3.5A-C+
Woodharbor4B+C
Woodmode6AA-
Yorktowne Now an Elkay CO4A-B+

Outside our service area?

FOR PEOPLE OUTSIDE OUR SERVICE AREA OF WITHIN A TWO HOUR DRIVE OF OUR BALA CYNWYD PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE, HERE IS A LINK TO RECOMMENDED DEALERS IN OTHER AREAS. GOOD DEALERS CLOSE TO YOU CAN BETTER ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT’S AVAILABLE IN YOUR AREA.

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.

100 Comments

  1. pmcalary, September 20, 2020 at 2:20 pm:

    Frameless cabinetry and foil doors are not selections that should be made if you want a kitchen to last a lifetime.
    Themafoil is easily damaged by heat so heat shields need to be used and professional cooktops are problematic. Foil usually start to peel after around 20 years. For slab doors a laminate doorstyle will not have the problems that foil doors might.

  2. pmcalary, September 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm:

    Design mistakes are too numerous to list and too complicated to describe in detail. The easy ones to explain are:
    Using 42″ wall cabinets in a 96″ high room.
    Putting a side by side refrigerator against a wall.
    Not leaving enough space around an Island.
    Not making cabinet doors the same size on either side of a window or cooktop
    Too many narrow cabinets
    Not removing soffits
    Keeping the existing design which almost NEVER makes sense
    Having moldings on top of cabinet come close to but not reach the ceiling
    Aligning base and wall cabinets when it isn’t needed
    Using a chimney hood in a traditional style kitchen
    Almost always getting a double bowl sink
    Adding a island when a peninsula is a better design choice.
    Not making floor plan changes such a moving a doorway when it is called for.
    Trying to reinvent the wheel.

    We haven’t noticed that much of a durability difference on painted cabinetry between different lines.

  3. pmcalary, September 20, 2020 at 1:57 pm:

    With Omega Dynasty framed and Homecrest upgraded to plywood construction both lines and Fabuwood will be well constructed.
    Omega will have the nicest looking stains and the most ability to customize and be most expensive.
    Homecrest will offer more door styles and wood species and be less expensive.
    Fabuwood will offer less styles and finishes but also be cost less.

    For a white shaker door style It would be silly to pay more than Fabuwood. But if you want something else the other lines offer more choices.

  4. oscar, September 20, 2020 at 10:13 am:

    Hello,
    We are trying to make a choice on the brands that we are considering for our kitchen, we have Omega and Homecrest in our list (knowig that there is a price difference), however based on the comments that I have read here it seems that Fabuwood could be a good choice also. Is Fabuwood better to any of the two brands above, comparing quality and cost?. Your advice would be very appreaciated.

  5. Charles Frankenhoff, September 20, 2020 at 8:24 am:

    Thank you for your data. A couple of questions from a contractor.

    On design, what are the common design errors you usually find? Aside from basic measurement and allowing for opening/filler strips?

    Also, while I can’t overstate my hatred for particle board, or structural MDF, I’ve never had any trouble fixing holes in plywood, if anything good plywood holds better than hardwood. The width matters rather more – one really needs the plywood to be 3/4.

    And while not a huge fan of crystal, I have to say in real world their painted finishes are extraordinarily durable. At least the stuff from pre-2010. I’m somewhat less impressed by Mouser

  6. Marjorie, September 16, 2020 at 8:29 pm:

    Question: I am a homeowner wanting to remodel my kitchen. We are thinking about using White Flat Eclipse cabinets. We have some concerns. Does the white turn to yellow over time? Does the Thermofuse Eclipse cabinets start peeling over time? This is an investment that we want to last a long time. We are not hard on our cabinets and are so nervous to start the whole remodeling process. We hear so many different opinions about Eclipse. Please let me know what you think? Thank you.

  7. pmcalary, September 16, 2020 at 3:05 pm:

    Hi John,
    All painted cabinetry is less durable than a stained finish. We have not noticed a significant difference with the durability of the less expensive and more expensive lines.

    However customers that don’t know any better believe that their painted finish issues are caused by spending less on cabinetry and so blame the cabinet line for their mishandling of the cabinets. Had they gotten expensive custom cabinets they would of had the same issues.

    Customers that buy less expensive cabinetry tend to be harder on cabinetry then the people who buy the most expensive cabinetry. Often in the most expensive homes people don’t even cook in their kitchen on any kind of regular basis. Families are often smaller and since there are sometimes delicate furniture, paintings and other pieces in the home the whole household learns not to be hard on things. This is not how I was brought up and so I know I am very hard on our home which is one reason we do not have painted cabinetry even though I love it.

  8. John, September 16, 2020 at 2:26 pm:

    Hello:
    Thank you for sharing this “blog” and your insight. We are looking to redo our original 1956 sliding doors kitchen and have a limited budget. We started withe box stores and were presented with Diamond Reflections series and corresponding sticker price.
    We then turned to a small kitchen cabinet dealership and they carry the J&K brand and a package (cabinets, counter, installation) of 1/2 the cost. We’ve been attracted to the shaker style. Reviews of J&K Cabinets seem to be say its good cabinets but eventually rails stick and paint starts rubbing off within a few years. What is your experience and/or knowledge of how well J&K Cabinets fair after 5 years (their warranty limit)or so, and is there other brands with a price point btw J&K and Diamond Reflections that have good value and quality rating? We plan to stay in our home longer than 5 years.

  9. pmcalary, September 12, 2020 at 6:45 pm:

    Hi Erin,
    Designers Choice is rated on this blog. As I just said to Kelly below:

    I don’t think I worry about reviews from customers. All large cabinet companies get bad reviews because cranky people write reviews while happy people do not. And when it comes to cabinet brands often the complaints are actually the fault of the dealer, designer, or contractor and the homeowner is complaining about the wrong entity.

    FYI ALL painted finishes are easily damaged by water and nicks and scratches. We have not found a difference in durability between any of the major brands. So whatever cabinet brand you get be very careful with a painted finish.

  10. pmcalary, September 12, 2020 at 6:39 pm:

    Hi Kelly,
    Even though the Medallion brand changed hands a few years ago I don’t think I worry about reviews from customers. All large cabinet companies get bad reviews because cranky people write reviews while happy people do not and when it comes to cabinet brands often the complaints are actually the fault of the dealer, designer, or contractor and the homeowner is complaining about the wrong entity.

  11. ErinL, September 12, 2020 at 4:50 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you for the helpful list. Do you have any personal experience with Designer’s Choice cabinets ( or know anyone who does)? We can’t find too many customer opinions about them online – other than google reviews which don’t seem to be very positive. I’m mostly concerned about how the quality of their finish holds up. We are doing a white painted cabinet with glaze and live in the Colorado maintains. The designer we’re working with just started carrying their line so he doesn’t have much experience with them just yet, otherwise I’d be happy to believe his opinion on them.
    The other option were considering is Koch Classic.
    Thanks!

  12. Kelly, September 12, 2020 at 9:12 am:

    Hi Paul. Your content here is invaluable. Thank you!
    We have narrowed down our cabinet selection for a kitchen remodel to the Medallion Silverline vs Kraftmaid Vantage. We have upgraded the Medallion product to be all plywood and offer same features that would exist on the Kraftmaid product. We found a door style in the Silverline that meets almost all of our needs and for the few exceptions, we were able to use the same door style in the gold series for those cabinets. The perimeter cabinets will be maple painted white while the island and a bar area will be stained hickory. The pricing overall is lower on the Medallion option vs Kraftmaid. We understand the warranty to be very similar between the two companies. We are leaning toward Medallion due to the price difference but worry about negative reviews we have found recently online. Would you lean one way over the other in this situation?

  13. pmcalary, September 11, 2020 at 3:10 pm:

    Hi Jeff,
    No one’s ceiling is completely level. Your ceiling must be PERFECTLY level to get 39″ wall cabinets to work. Designers that use 39″ cabinets in a 8 foot room need to laser level the room to assure that it can work – which is unlikely. Without seeing your design I can’t see other possible issues but this one scares me since I would guess that this designer never ascertained the levelness of your ceiling.

    Normally a two piece crown molding with a riser is used with 36″ high wall cabinets in an 8 foot high room. This looks better and in most cabinet lines the 39″ cabinets are very expensive because they are an unusual size. So it saves you money in the line that was priced as well as makes it possible for a designer to design a kitchen in a less expensive cabinet line that doesn’t offer such unusual sizes. Sometimes the savings could be as much as 35% for the same design in an equally well made but less custom cabinet line.

  14. Jeff S., September 11, 2020 at 10:56 am:

    Thank you for all the excellent information here. I have 8 foot ceilings and have been recommended to get 39 inch high cabinets from a local kitchen designer with a great reputation. I know 42 inch are not recommended. What do you think about 39 inch height? Also, the price was much more than we expected. Are 39 inch cabinets generally considered custom and therefore more expensive?

  15. pmcalary, September 10, 2020 at 5:02 pm:

    Hi Bill,
    It’s a pretty well made frameless cabinet so it would get a B for construction – the highest rating were it assembled and glued. Far above IKEA cabinetry but RTA cabinets still are missing the one component that customers need but are often to stubborn or shortsighted to get. The help of a kitchen designer measuring, and designing their space.

  16. Bill Strutton, September 10, 2020 at 2:37 pm:

    Any idea where Barker’s RTA stuff fit in the rating system?

  17. pmcalary, September 10, 2020 at 12:15 pm:

    Hi Debbie,
    Upgraded all these lines are good. For a slab doorstyle you also might want to consider a frameless line and these are all framed. The cabinetry won’t be constructed quite as well but the frameless look is nicer for a slab door style.

  18. Debbie, September 10, 2020 at 10:15 am:

    Hi I’m remodeling my kitchen with either Kraftmaid, Wellborn ir Diamond. I want Maple stain in a slab door style , Any ideas on the better choice?

  19. Paul McAlary, September 8, 2020 at 8:20 am:

    Hi Laura,
    Trying to find a kitchen designer that “listens” might be part of the problem.

    The best kitchen designers don’t rubber stamp a customers ideas. Telling customers things they don’t want to hear jeopardizes keeping their business. Often the designers that have your best interest at heart and won’t compromise good design are the better designers. And customers that are the most amendment about their own ideas are almost always the least talented at designing a kitchen.

    Almost always the customers that want to defer to my ideas have good ones themselves that we often need to pursue, sometimes over their own objections. While the customers that have terrible spacial relation skills and know very little about design and styles want to both direct the design process themselves and try wild and unusual design features. As Picasso said you must “Learn the Rules Like a Pro, So You Can Break Them Like an Artist”.

    I think it is the fear and uncertainty of people who don’t have great design skills that makes them feel the need to be in control. Or even worse, the people who have a little bit of knowledge that feel empowered to “Think Outside the box”

    For example. every good kitchen designer will tell you that the worst designs we see come from architects, engineers, real estate agents and contractors. While talented customers doing research on their own and with open minds tend to wisely play it safe.

    Here is our link to designers and dealers outside our service area. If one of these places is close to you, ask for one of their most experienced designers and that could be a good place to begin.

    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/recommended-kitchen-designers-cabinet-dealers-outside-service-area/

  20. Laura Crouter, September 7, 2020 at 4:11 pm:

    I hear you. I would love to find a knowledgeable designer who listens and is not extraordinarily expensive. How do you know if it’s a quality design? I am struggling with questions like size of lazy susan corner cabinets? Do I have a space for glass fronts or open shelving? Or should it be all traditional cabinets? I am wanting to mix white and wood cabinets. We are trying to coordinate with dining room built in cabinets as well. I am stressed and overwhelmed!

  21. pmcalary, September 7, 2020 at 1:57 pm:

    Hi Laura,
    I have said it 100 times but it can never be said enough. That while the quality of the cabinetry you are buying needs to meet a certain minimum it is the design that you get that determines the value of your home. 90% of customers firmly believe that the design they are considering is good and more than just most are completely wrong. Focusing on finding a knowledgeable designer is the most important thing.

  22. Laura Crouter, September 7, 2020 at 1:30 pm:

    We are struggling with a kitchen reno. We had a contractor who used Mid-Continent cabinets. we are now talking to a designer that use Tru and Woodland. I have another designer to meet with who uses Cheaha, TruWood, Yorktown, and TSG. I am at a loss. We have waited 15 years to renovate and we want quality products.

  23. pmcalary, September 2, 2020 at 10:31 pm:

    Hi Christy,
    Here is a link to the places we recommenced around the US:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/recommended-kitchen-designers-cabinet-dealers-outside-service-area/
    You can also call most Fridays 2-4 pm to get help locating a dealer outside our service area.
    We don’t rate Ovation well on this blog, and independent designers that don’t carry multiple cabinet lines are usually a poor choice to work with. So I would recommend doing more research on finding a good designer and dealer and less focus on cabinet lines.

  24. pmcalary, September 2, 2020 at 10:22 pm:

    Hi Hilary,
    Dewils is a custom cabinet line that will make cabinets a number of ways so you must make sure you are ordering a well made cabinet from them. As they will make anything the designer specifies. I don’t know them well but the look nice they make nice cabinets and finishes. Once again – The quality of what you get is completely determined by the designer ordering.

  25. Christy, September 2, 2020 at 8:46 pm:

    Hello Paul, I have been having a great time reading all of the questions and your replies. What an incredible asset and service you give – kudos! I sure wish we could use you during this process! My question – We have a big project on a small (ish) budget. We met a super nice independent designer that carries Ovation cabinets. Should we continue to look at other designers that carry Fabuwood (or the like)? Do you give recs on designers in other areas? Specifically the DC Metro area? Again – you guys are amazing…I’ll continue to peruse your site for info.

  26. Hilary Parker, September 2, 2020 at 7:01 pm:

    Do you have feedback on Dewils?

  27. pmcalary, September 2, 2020 at 4:38 pm:

    Hi AN,
    On a painted recessed panel door I would use a reverse raised MDF panel for the best finish and no warping and shrinkage. For stained cabinets a solid wood reverse raised panel will show stripes where each piece of wood is glued to another. If you are OK with that I would get solid wood if not I would get a recessed flat plywood panel. All shrinkage and warping issues should be under warranty so I wouldn’t worry too much even though solid wood panels are more likely to have that happen. Flat panels are less expensive so there is that to consider as well.

  28. AN, September 2, 2020 at 3:46 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the quick response regarding the brands. Any insight on whether a reversed raised panel is worth the upgrade other than personal preference. Our cabinet choices are Maple painted upper cabinets and Maple or Cherry stained base and island cabinets. We got a suggestion from one of the cabinet sales guys that solid wood center panels on cabinetry have the possibility of shrinking in width during seasonal changes exposing an unfinished raw strip that sometimes moves back and sometimes does not. His recommendation is to go with a flat panel instead of reverse raised for recessed panel type door styles which is the style we have chosen. He says it would be more evident on paints & darker stains and again that matches our preferences. Do you have any thoughts on this?

  29. Paul McAlary, September 2, 2020 at 12:20 am:

    Hi Carrie,
    Last I heard the new Fabuwood colors were to be released in October. Glazing will be optional so you will like that. I saw them all but can’t remember the exact colors. However if you liked fusion without the Glaze I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

  30. Carrie, September 1, 2020 at 7:13 pm:

    Hello, Paul. I just noticed that Fabuwood is planning on releasing a new color in the Fusion line called Dove. Any inside knowledge on if this is more of a soft white or a soft gray? Or when it might be released? I really like the sample I got of the Blanc, but am not crazy about the glaze line. Don’t hate it, but don’t love it either. However, given your phenomenal education on this site, I want to stick with the Fabuwood line and would be willing to wait a little bit longer to place my order if the new color was soft white without the glaze. Thanks, in advance, for any input you may have!

  31. pmcalary, September 1, 2020 at 4:47 pm:

    Hi An,
    All these lines will be well constructed if you upgrade them to all plywood construction. Assuming the designs are the same, the difference will be in which finish you like the look of more. The Medallion has the nicest looking finishes but if you like them all the same save the money

  32. AN, September 1, 2020 at 3:08 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    First and foremost – thank you for putting these ratings together and a very informative Q & A. Kudos to you.

    We have our design finalized for the kitchen. We have decided on White painted upper cabinets shaker style and base cabinets in a greyish stain on Cherry or Maple. We love the feel of a reverse raised panel on a shaker but have heard both pros and cons of it. So we are confused about whether we should go for the reversed raised panel. Any suggestions/recommendations regarding this?

    Also, we have narrowed down the companies to Wellborn (not Wellborn Forest), Kraftmaid Vantage and Medallion. We don’t hear about Wellborn that much but it seems to be rated well in your ratings. Medallion pricing does seem to be higher even without the “all plywood” option. Is Medallion that much better than KM Vantage and Wellborn? Any insights on these three?

  33. pmcalary, August 29, 2020 at 5:37 pm:

    Hi Butler,
    The answer is yes but special ordering vanities is often not the best value. Home centers will often stock some pretty well made vanities and tops that will be a value that no one including they can beat for special ordering. Remember that Home centers in the most expensive zip codes will carry the higher end stock vanity cabinetry. Lowe’s is better in general than The Home Depot.

  34. Butler, August 29, 2020 at 4:51 pm:

    Do your ratings extend to vanities as well from those manufacturers? I’m looking for quality built, reasonably priced, stylish bathroom vanities.

  35. Dana M DeLong, August 28, 2020 at 4:20 pm:

    Thank you for the information. I truly appreciate it!!!

  36. pmcalary, August 28, 2020 at 4:13 pm:

    Hi Dana,
    Both these lines are terrible. CNC would be much better and you could work with a designer. Fabuwood or Wolf would be nicer but cost more. Costco All wood cabinets are infinitely better constructed and probably close in price, but you wouldn’t get professional design help.

  37. Dana M DeLong, August 28, 2020 at 4:03 pm:

    We are looking at putting new kitchen cabinets in our house and have a small budget. I am wondering what your thoughts are on Cardell Concepts versus Diamond Now? We are located in MI

  38. Paul McAlary, August 27, 2020 at 11:22 pm:

    Hi Vicki,
    I don’t know the Quality line so I can’t be sure about anything. And you aren’t telling me anything about the door style, finish, or layout of your kitchen. I gave you the best advice I can with the information I have.

  39. Vicki, August 27, 2020 at 6:21 pm:

    Thank you for your response. My designer said he quoted all wood, so I assume he did upgrade to plywood construction. If this is indeed the case, Do you feel like Quality would be a good choice, as it fits my budget better. Thanks again.

  40. pmcalary, August 27, 2020 at 5:33 pm:

    Quality and all three lines need to be upgraded to plywood construction. Quality looks like an inexpensive line but made just as well are the other two if upgraded to all plywood construction. The more expensive lines will offer many more door styles, finishes, and the ability to customize. Their stained finishes will be particularly nicer looking. You might not care about those features though, particularly if you are getting a painted white finish.

  41. Vicki, August 27, 2020 at 5:01 pm:

    Hi. Some advice please. I have been given quotes on Medallion Silverline, Kraftmaid Advantage, and Quality Cabinets. Medallion was the most expensive but not all wood. Kraftmaid was a little less, with all wood construction. Lastly, Quality was the least expensive with all wood construction. What are your thoughts on Quality Cabinets? They looked nice in the showroom, however, I do not see them on your list of cabinet reviews. I am planning on Shaker style with gray paint. Thanks for your help.

  42. pmcalary, August 27, 2020 at 3:46 pm:

    Hi Shirl,
    Sorry we never heard of Sollid and don’t know how they make their cabinets.

  43. Shirl, August 27, 2020 at 3:39 pm:

    Hello, A neighbor just had kitchen cabinets installed. We live in Nevada, but she said that they are made in Arizona by a company called Sollid (yes, with 2 L’s)
    Does anyone have experience with this company or cabinets? I am interested in remodeling my kitchen. Are these cabinets actually made in Arizona? What quality rating would you give them?

  44. pmcalary, August 26, 2020 at 4:17 pm:

    Hi Colin
    I don’t know Touchstone but from their spec book and photos they look like a nice cabinet line. I also have no idea where they fall price wise. It’s hard to advise you not knowing. Yorketowne and Wellborn would need to be upgraded to have similar construction to Touchstone.

    While homeowners are usually poor judges of cabinet construction quality and of kitchen designs they are good evaluators of finish quality since it is very evident. I would pick the cabinet here that had the finish YOU liked most for the price, as all three will be very close in construction when upgraded.

  45. pmcalary, August 26, 2020 at 4:03 pm:

    Hi Jim,
    A kitchen company that only sells one cabinet line is odd. We sell 8 for example. Sounds like they are contractors more than designers. The quality of a company’s design work is usually not discernible unless you are in fact a good kitchen designer. Designs can look good to non designers even when they are full of design flaws and mistakes. Contractors that sell cabinets will do good construction work but not be qualified to design kitchen. Even though they and their customers are unaware of their poor designs. Good kitchen designers don’t work for contractors they work for cabinet dealers all of whom will sell multiple cabinet lines if they are any good as dealers.

  46. Colin, August 26, 2020 at 10:09 am:

    Are you guys familiar with Touchstone Fine Cabinetry? How does it compare in price to Yorktowne and Wellborn? Thanks for the article!

  47. Jim, August 26, 2020 at 9:33 am:

    Good morning! First off, thanks for this great information as it is needed when doing an expensive and extensive renovation like a kitchen.
    I stopped by a kitchen design company/contractor in Monmouth County, NJ. Most of their work is in high end houses and their design and work appears solid. My biggest concern is that they only deal with Kemper Cabinets. I looked at the cabinet reviews and they are less than mediocre. At $21k, I want a product that will last. Thoughts, suggestions, opinions?

  48. Paul Curtis, August 25, 2020 at 1:45 pm:

    Thanks for quick response and yes I do plan to get a kitchen designer involved but at this point just looking at price points. I am involved in a remodel of a rental apartment I own so was looking for decent cabinets at a low price point.

    Is all wood also sold on allwoodcabinets.com?

    Thanks,
    Paul

  49. pmcalary, August 25, 2020 at 1:36 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Yes that is one of the sites that sells All Wood Cabinetry through Costco. However while we rate the cabinetry well for it’s pricepoint we also think that buying cabinetry without an experienced kitchen designer measuring your home, working on a design with you and selling you the cabinetry is a big mistake. Buying cabinets online and through Costco assures an armature design with usually many mistakes. We look at designs for free Fridays 2-4 and catch many mistakes on people trying to buy kitchens this way. The Blog below makes the point.
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/what-do-kitchen-renovations-and-pandemic-haircuts-have-in-common/

  50. Paul Curtis, August 25, 2020 at 12:17 pm:

    Where do I find the All-Wood framed cabinets you have reviewed. Is it http://www.allwoodfast.com. Just want to be sure that I am looking at correct company.

  51. pmcalary, August 24, 2020 at 9:52 pm:

    Hi Leanne,
    Having sold both companies cabinets and dealt with both companies I can say this.
    For a white shaker door style DuraSupreme probably has a nicer looking finish. But Kraftmaid is a more ethical and honest company with a better track record for customer service. There are also less expensive cabinet lines that will be have finishes just as nice but be limited in color, cabinet dimensions, and customizations. If your kitchen design isn’t taking advantage these more expensive options you would be better off in a less expensive line.

  52. Leanne, August 24, 2020 at 8:18 pm:

    We ar working with a kitchen designer that we like. For our price point in cabinets she told us that Kraftmaid vantage and DuraSupreme would be the best options. There is a $2,400 price difference with DuraSupreme being more. We are going with a painted white Shaker style. In your expertise are we better going with the Kraftmaid vantage product? I saw in your listings that DuraSupreme is not rated as high as Kraftmaid. Thank you.

  53. pmcalary, August 23, 2020 at 8:46 am:

    Hi Gary,
    Good question. In both the Shiloh framed lines and the Eclipse frameless line Shiloh does almost everything right except a small construction upgrade that would allow us to rate both lines far higher. The hanging rail in the framed line is too tiny and insufficient to withstand much weight or stress. In the frameless line even upgraded to 3/4 plywood the back of the cabinet has a hanging rail instead of a full 3/4 or even 1/2″ plywood back. This is why we don’t give them the top grade of B for construction in a frameless line. If you are getting frameless cabinetry you are already compromising on construction so we are judging the plywood upgrade harshly without the full plywood back in a more expensive brand like Eclipse. For comparison the least expensive frameless line we carry is CNC’s frameless which is nowhere near as beautiful as Eclipse but comes with a 3/4″ full plywood back.

  54. Gary, August 23, 2020 at 7:17 am:

    I have priced frameless Eclipse by Shiloh cabinets with an upgrade to 3/4″ plywood boxes for our kitchen renovation. Your comments indicated frustration that the Eclipse by Shiloh line did not have 3/4″ plywood. What would your quality ratings be for Eclipse with 3/4″ plywood boxes? Or would they not change? Thank you for your good site — a real asset to homeowners. Gary

  55. pmcalary, August 19, 2020 at 1:58 pm:

    HI Nick,
    Before we were using upgraded Starmark to rate. Now Starmark has several upgrades. The highest upgrade is better than the old rating. The standard no upgrades is not a good idea and never was we just weren’t rating it. There will be intermediate upgrades in between the two ratings.

  56. Nick, August 19, 2020 at 1:54 pm:

    I notice that Starmark’s rating has dropped a couple of notches, what is the reasoning behind the C grade?

  57. pmcalary, August 18, 2020 at 8:41 am:

    Hi Liz,
    Medallion and Wellborn are good cabinets when upgraded to all plywood. Medallion is more expensive generally and has nicer looking finishes and a greater ability to customize. For a shaker door style I would not recommend a frameless line like Ultracraft

  58. Liz, August 18, 2020 at 5:52 am:

    Hi, Paul and team,
    Thank you for all the information you provide on your website. We are building a home in Mooresville, NC just outside of Charlotte. We have chosen a white shaker full overlay cabinet. Almost all are standard sizes. Which do you recommend: Medallion, Ultracraft or Wellborn?
    Thank you so much for your time!

  59. pmcalary, August 17, 2020 at 3:49 pm:

    Hi Jennifer,
    AZ looks like a very small jack of all trades cabinet shop. I would avoid them and get Holiday Kitchen Cabinets if that was my choice.

  60. Jennifer, August 15, 2020 at 6:24 pm:

    Do you have an opinion on the cabinet maker in AZ called kustom cabs ? http://www.kustomcabs.com/

    And I guess more specifically, the potential quality and value difference between them and Holiday Kitchen cabinets?

    Thanks in advance

  61. pmcalary, August 15, 2020 at 11:40 am:

    Hi Kathryn,
    value is simply comparing the cabinet construction quality and their finishes against other lines in the same price point.

    This is from the blog:
    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.

  62. Kathryn Hutchison, August 15, 2020 at 10:10 am:

    Whst is the criteria you use for value? What is the difference of that from quality. This is a great resourse thank you for making it available.

  63. pmcalary, August 12, 2020 at 9:17 am:

    Hi Sander,
    I am not a fan of Aspect Cabinetry. They are a low end American made cabinet line that can’t compete with the US import brands for quality and price. Kemp cabinets says nothing about cabinet construction on their web site. The kitchens they display in their photo gallery have many design errors which concerns me a little.

    I think as is so often the case you should be researching to find an experienced kitchen designer to work with first before focusing on cabinet brands. Here is a link to other dealers we recommend around the US:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/recommended-kitchen-designers-cabinet-dealers-outside-service-area/

  64. pmcalary, August 12, 2020 at 9:04 am:

    Hi Ariella.
    The Highland Series from US Cabinet Depot appears to be another US import cabinet assembled in the US and shipped from overseas. Like many of these lines the construction quality is very good for an inexpensive cabinet. Buy this type cabinetry assembled as assembling cabinetry on site is risky and not worth the savings.

    My concerns as always about lines like this is that often everyone involved with designing the kitchen is an amateur. Contractors are never qualified to measure or design a kitchen and home owners are usually unable to judge what a good or bad design would be for their home without professional kitchen design help.

    For example, as a courtesy we look at peoples designs from outside our service area free of charge on Fridays from 2-4 pm EST and give design advice. At least 90% of the designs we see from homeowners are terrible with multiple mistakes in them. And yet these customers that are almost always calling to ask for advice on a cabinet brand choice or if we could tweak their design. They have no clue that their design is as terrible as it is, and often times will actually hurt the value of their home.

    We get asked dozens of questions about comparing this brand to that brand every week on our blog, but very few homeowners are savvy enough to be asking about their design.

    It really doesn’t matter how well your cabinets are built if you have a bad kitchen design and almost everyone focusing on brand has a bad design? WHY? It is because if you are asking about brand first it shows you are overlooking the elephant in the room which is kitchen design.

  65. Ariella, August 12, 2020 at 8:08 am:

    Hi Paul – Thank you for this wonderful resource. Have you heard of Highland Series from US Cabinet Depot? I have a contractor that has provided me a quote using this box cabinet company.

    Thank you!

  66. Sander Wechsler, August 12, 2020 at 7:35 am:

    Thank you for the ratings information; do you have any ratings or information on Kemp Cabinets or Aspect? I didn’t see them listed on your site; we liked the Kemp Cabinets, but they seem to be a very small manufacturer.

  67. pmcalary, August 11, 2020 at 7:17 pm:

    Hi Ariella,
    Evercore will look better and cost less but be less durable and more easily damaged. It really depends on how hard you and your family are on cabinetry. I have had gentile customers that they would be great for. Personally I am very rough on cabinetry so they wouldn’t be a good choice for me.

  68. Ariella, August 11, 2020 at 7:04 pm:

    Do you have any thoughts on using the Evercore vs Maple cabinet doors from Kraftmaid for painted cabinets?

  69. pmcalary, August 10, 2020 at 11:19 am:

    Hi Kelly,
    These are frameless cabinets so we would only recomend them for contemporary slab door styles.
    The Combination plywood box would be the best construction and would get the line the highest grade for construction on a frameless cabinet a solid B.
    I don’t know the line pricing well enough to know where they fit price-point wise.

  70. Kelly, August 10, 2020 at 11:02 am:

    What is your opinion on the brand Soliid/Envii cabinetry out of Tempe, Arizona? I have seen some displays at a few local design centers. They seem to offer three grade levels. It is spelled -Soliid with two i’s not the Solid Wood company you have listed as Closed/Bankrupt. Input from anyone would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  71. pmcalary, August 10, 2020 at 8:02 am:

    Hi Sophie,
    Eclipse is made by Shiloh. Much like Shiloh, Eclipse offers great finishes tracks, drawers, and customizations but is lacking in their construction compared to some other lines.

    The good news is that the box they use is 3/4″ thick and not like IKEA and some other poorly made frameless lines and only 5/8″. The bad news is that there is no plywood or plywood core upgrade as far as I can tell.

    The frameless lines we normally offer all come with a 3/4 inch PLYWOOD box. Even CNC the LEAST expensive line of ours that has nowhere near the quality or versatility of Eclipse for door styles and finishes is still made with 3/4″ Plywood on top of having a better designed box.

    It frustrates me that Shiloh makes such beautiful cabinetry but does not value good cabinet construction.

    The 3/4″ Eclipse box I would rate a B- or C+ for construction and I’m giving the value rating a B just because the cabinets look great and in a frameless line construction quality is not a top priority.

  72. Sophie, August 9, 2020 at 11:04 pm:

    Hi…so happy to have found this blog.
    Thank you for all the info you provide Paul.
    So, I know you’re not a fan of frameless but I’m def looking to do my kitchen in a slab door with a high gloss finish and I have been to a local cabinet place which I like a lot and they carry a line called Eclipse. They had some beautiful door samples and it seemed like a solid cabinet but I couldn’t find a rating by you in this line.
    Have you heard of Eclipse and if so what do you think?
    Thanks again, you’re a life saver!
    -Sophie

  73. Eric, August 7, 2020 at 7:47 pm:

    Hi Paul – Regarding Starmark cabinets, what upgrades are required to get from the (C and C) to (A+ and A) rating provided in the reviews?

    Is it just the upgrade to a 3/4″ plywood back from the 1/4″ plywood back? Or are there other upgrades that we should be considering?

  74. pmcalary, August 7, 2020 at 8:48 am:

    Hi Sheila,
    Waypoint is an inexpensive US line that simply has better constructed and better looking alternatives (for most door styles and finishes) in some of the US assembled imported lines such as Fabuwood and Wolf. Omega is reviewed under the name Dynasty by Omega. Upgraded The Omega Framed cabinets are particularly well made, but much more expensive than Waypoint.

  75. pmcalary, August 7, 2020 at 8:37 am:

    Hi Cathy,
    Both of these lines are poor choices IMO. Brookhaven will offer an upgrade to a plywood box but they just came out of bankruptcy. I’m not sure it is wise to buy cabinets from a company that could be financially unsteady in the midst of a pandemic. There are simply better values in cabinets than Executive.

  76. Cathy, August 6, 2020 at 9:25 pm:

    I have been viewing your website for my kitchen remodeling research and found tons of good info. Thank you! I am debating between Executive and Brookhaven, if price is comparative, would Brookhaven be a better option? I was concerned with the particle board box that is offered by Brookhaven vs Plywood box from Executive.

  77. Sheila, August 6, 2020 at 9:15 pm:

    Thanks so much for the info provided on your website! I am in the midst of getting estimates for a kitchen renovation, and have been looking at cabinetry. One place I visited today suggested Waypoint…why the B ratings? And do you have any ratings on, thoughts on or insight into Omega cabinetry? Thank you!

  78. pmcalary, August 5, 2020 at 8:04 am:

    Hi Adrienne,
    NAC is probably another Canadian framelesss line. They give little information so I would avoid them. Kraftmaid Vantage is the best line here. My only concern with a Kraftmaid sale is if the sale makes a customer rush to purchase their cabinetry. Rushing breeds design and construction errors on the part of both the designer and contractor. As always you are free to show us your design for an evaluation on any Friday 2-4 pm EST. Call and a designer will give you their email to send your plan.

  79. Adrienne, August 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm:

    Hi,
    Thank you for your informative site!
    I am doing a kitchen remodel and have met with 3 kitchen designers. One of them is recommending a cabinet line that I did not see a review on above. It is North American Cabinets (Nac) out of Canada. Do you have any thoughts on this brand?
    Also, the other two cabinets/designers that I am deciding between are Tru and KraftMaid Vantage. These two were similar in price. I was told that the KraftMaid was on sale. Should i be concerned about this? and between the last two, which would you recommend?
    Thank you,
    Adrienne

  80. pmcalary, August 3, 2020 at 6:07 pm:

    Hi Kristen – That is a huge jump in price and all that goes with it between those two particular brands. Waypoint is not as nice as some of the imported lines like Fabuwood or Wolf, so the disparity between the two is that much greater. Tough to call.

  81. Kristen abrams, August 3, 2020 at 4:03 pm:

    Thanks for the reply…I should be more specific in my question Our contractor recommended a design center that sells waypoint,bellmont,mid continental, and medallion. Based on what I’ve learned from here we should consider only the waypoint and the medallion. I don’t know if it’s worth the substantial price jump up from waypoint for shaker style painted cabinets but I’m concerned about the overall quality and finish of the waypoint

  82. pmcalary, August 2, 2020 at 8:16 am:

    Hi Eric,
    I had to strip your comment of the many links to Diamond cabinetry as that would be an endorsement for their product. And while Diamond construction has greatly improved in recent years I am not a huge fan of Masterbrands that makes Diamond and Lowe’s that sells it or The Home Depot that sells Diamond under the Thomasville name. Remember that the kitchen designer and the design process is more important than the cabinet line once you upgrade to the specifications that we recommend.

    Below is a blog from November of last year explaining my growing concerns with BOTH major home centers designing and selling kitchens. Since Covid-19 there is an additional reason to be concerned about buying a kitchen at Lowes or The Home Depot. It’s the amount of in-person meetings required to design and sell a kitchen in a big box store.

    Our company and many independent cabinet dealers now do all our design work with customers via Zoom. Sitting across a desk at a home center working on a kitchen design is simply added unnecessary risk for both the customer and the designer. A quick meeting for door style, finish and cabinet brand selection are the only in-person meetings that make sense between a kitchen designer and their customer in the middle of a pandemic. The blog below lists my other concerns:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/why-you-shouldnt-buy-a-kitchen-from-home-depot-or-lowes/

    You seem to have answered most of your own questions as far as construction quality goes. Cabinets with hanging Rails usually have 1/4″ backs but the thicker solid wood hanging rail makes up for the rest of the back being thin. 1/2″ and 1/3″ thick backs would not normally have hanging rails it would be overkill like a 3/4″ plywood box on a framed cabinet. Definitely better but not really needed.

    Both Diamond and Thomasville are in fact the same cabinet just rebranded under different names at the different Home Centers. And they can be upgraded to the construction rating we give them A-/B+ with 3/8″ backs the thickest available as far as I know.

    In your very long comment you don’t say what door style and finish that you are considering. This and your design would determine if these cabinet brands even made sense.

    I think you should call on a Friday between 2 and 4 pm EST and email your design to us to look at. Whoever picks up your call can give you their email. Usually it will be Chris or Myself on most Fridays. Coming from a home center I worry that your design is poor and I worry about all the appointments you must be having at home centers when Zoom design meetings could be done remotely without a Covid risk.

    Thanks,
    Paul

  83. pmcalary, August 2, 2020 at 7:39 am:

    Hi Kristen,
    I can’t find specifications for Waypoint cabinet construction online now, but we must have gotten it previously to rate the construction a B. Depending on the door style and finish you are selecting their are most likely better values out there in cabinetry. Tough to get specific without more information.

  84. Kristen, August 1, 2020 at 11:24 pm:

    What are you thoughts on waypoint with their solid wood doors?

  85. Eric, August 1, 2020 at 2:24 pm:

    Hi Paul and Team,

    First I wanted to say thank you to you and your team for all of the great content and reviews. We’re not sure what we would have done without your resources. We’re definitely way more informed about cabinet construction and quality now.

    We’re remodeling our kitchen and are trying to get kitchen cabinets with good construction (that will hopefully last a lifetime).

    We’ve been referencing your list of qualifications for quality cabinet construction (from this link https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/what-cabinet-line-is-the-best/).

    “A face frame made of 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ thick solid hardwood.
    1/2″ plywood sides, bottoms ,and tops with 3/4″ plywood shelves.
    A solid wood 3/4″ hanging rail or a 1/2″ plywood back. A 3/8″ back is OK but not preferred.
    Ibeam construction and wooded corner blocks are preferable to plastic corner blocks.
    Solid wood dovetail drawers and Blumotion tracks and soft close doors are mandatory.”

    We’ve whittled down our list of brands based on the above to a short list.

    Was hoping you could help us with some questions:

    1) Are plywood construction Diamond cabinets from Lowe’s and Thomasville cabinets from Home Depot considered good quality?

    -For these brands it seems like they meet all of the qualifications but we’re not sure about one specification from the list above: “A solid wood 3/4″ hanging rail or a 1/2″ plywood back. A 3/8″ back is OK but not preferred.” We believe they only have 3/8” backs and may not have an upgrade possible. We also can’t get information on if it has a 3/4” hanging rail. Do you need a 1/2” plywood back AND a 3/4” hanging rail or is a 3/8” plywood back with 3/4” hanging rail considered good construction? We’re sticking to framed construction based on your recommendations in the blogs.

    Here’s what we could find about the framed construction for Diamond:

    2) Are Diamond and Thomasville cabinets in plywood considered good enough quality to last a lifetime with proper maintenance and care?

    3) Also do you get better construction when you upgrade to Diamond Intrigue or Thomasville Artisan?

    vs.

    and

    vs.

    4) What are your thoughts on Starmark cabinets? Are they worth the additional cost beyond Diamond and Thomasville? And why does the standard Starmark cabinets have a C rating and then A rating for 3/4” plywood back?

    5) In this link (https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/what-cabinet-line-is-the-best/) you mention that it may not make sense to pay for things beyond the qualifications you listed. Is that guide a baseline and certain aspects are worth investing in? For example, Is 3/4” plywood worth it over 1/2″ plywood for the cabinet boxes? In other words, if the guide says 1/2” plywood, should we even consider 3/4” plywood or is it a waste of money for minimal performance difference?

    Apologies for all of the questions and thank you for the help! Hope all is well.

  86. pmcalary, July 31, 2020 at 8:04 am:

    Hi Regina,
    Kraftmaid is a much more expensive cabinet line than Forevermark. An adverage kitchen might be 30 percent (or more) in Kraftmaid versus Forevermark. But the Kraftmaid cabinetry will have many more door styles, finishes, cabinet SKU’s and a far greater ability to customize. The question is whether your particular kitchen design and selections benefit from any of those Kraftmaid advantages and whether you like the superior looking finishes more.

    Forevermark has had recent delays so also check the availability of the cabinetry you are ordering.

  87. Regina, July 30, 2020 at 11:24 pm:

    So using the cabinet rating system Kraftmaid cabinets are a little better quality and a better value than Forevermark cabinets based on costs?

  88. pmcalary, July 29, 2020 at 7:47 am:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    Both the Fabuwood and the Wellborne Forrest line are good lines. The finish on the Fabuwood should look a little smoother because it is sanded and finished in Vietnam where labor is so much less expensive. The Wellborn Forest will have more door style, size and finish options.

    There is no advantage or disadvantage to having the construction done by the cabinet dealer assuming that the design is the same from both places.

    However, Design and Build firms tend to be better at building then they are at designing. Even if they get great reviews the reviews will always reflect the building part of the project because the customer chose the design themselves so they will never consider the design poor, no matter how amateurish it is.

    Feel free to show us your design on a Friday between 2 and 4 pm Eastern Standard Time. Just call and whoever takes the call can have you email them the plan and we can check it for problems. Most often the plans we receive are quite bad and so homeowners that are worried about which cabinet line to get should in reality be more concerned with getting a better design.

    Our own customers usually come to us believing that they know the design they want but quickly find out that they have many better options. We simply wouldn’t be good designers if the designs we came up with were easy for non professionals or inexperienced designers to arrive at.

    There are an infinite number of designs for any kitchen but only a few that will make sense. Good kitchen designers are so rare that it is unlikely that the design you are considering is one of the better designs. And not being a good kitchen designer with many years experience yourself it would be impossible to know if you had a great design. Only about 5% of the designs we are asked to look at would we consider good designs.

  89. Elizabeth, July 28, 2020 at 4:09 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    I have learned so much from reading through your blog. I have been researching and have narrowed It down to 2 options for our kitchen remodel. Both cabinet dealers are well reviewed and offer many ideas. The first option Is a kd retailer/installer/custom cabinet maker who has offered designs using Fabuwood (Allure galaxy frost) & Kith Eudora cabinets. The second is a cabinet distributor (we will then need to hire a contractor to install ) who has designed a Wellborn Forest Elite kitchen. Budget wise, the Fabuwood kitchen is at the low end & Wellborn Forest is in the upper end. I guess my question is, are there any pros/cons to using the distributor/contractor vs. the all in one shop? Also, aside from a few upgraded construction features with the Wellborn Forest Elite, are there any other benefits (painted finish,…) to the upgrading? We plan to stay in our home for at least 10-15 years. We are comfortable with the Fabuwood but we are also comfortable spending a bit more as it is a long term investment. Any advice is appreciated!

  90. pmcalary, July 28, 2020 at 11:43 am:

    Hi Elaine,
    Quarter sawn white oak cabinetry will always be more expensive as it is an unusual wood and generally not sold in less expensive cabinet lines. There will be Laminate (melamine) slab doors in less expensive cabinet lines that will approximate the look but real wood will put you in a more expensive cabinet line. Sorry but no other wood species will look similar.

  91. Ellenie, July 28, 2020 at 9:23 am:

    I love the look of rift sawn white oak cabinets but have been unable to find any that are not extremely expensive. Do you know of any company that offers them? I would also appreciate your opinions on other wood choices that might offerlook similar. I do not care for the look of unpainted maple cabinets. What are your thoughts in general on alder and birch cabinets? Thank you so much for all the expert guidance you offer. It is invaluable!

  92. pmcalary, July 28, 2020 at 7:32 am:

    Hi Nick,
    This is a tough question to answer for two reasons. First I cannot find any description of how the Crystal Current box is made and do not know if you have upgraded it to plywood which would be required to come close to the construction of the other lines. Second you give no information on door style or finish which suggests that you will have a very difficult time understanding what you need to compare apple to apples. Please read this blog:
    https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/price-comparing-kitchen-cabinets-and-why-it-is-a-bad-idea/

    Remember as always working with a good designer and getting a better design is the most important choice when you are selecting from better made cabinetry. We critique peoples designs from outside our service area on Fridays between 2 and 4 pm and most designs we see are absolutely terrible. However these same customers are contacting us to help choose a cabinet line not realizing that the design they are considering is poor and mistake riddled.

  93. Nick, July 27, 2020 at 4:26 pm:

    Hi, I’m looking into different cabinet vendors within the Northern VA area such as NV Kitchen & Bath/A&S Interior Design/BMC SMOOT and the quote we got so far was $15k for kitchen cabinets for the Crystal current cabinet line and same price for Wolf Designer line vs Fabuwood which is about $1500 less. What are your thoughts on the comparison of these cabinet lines since we are leanings toward the Crystal Current line. Thanks for your time.

  94. pmcalary, July 24, 2020 at 11:39 am:

    Hi Vish,
    Lafata appears to be a very small custom shop that designs, builds, and installs cabinets. Generally we believe that it is better to be buying from a dealer that sells several cabinet lines and not ordering cabinets from the people that make them directly and having them design and install as well. The problems that get created this way seem to be evident based on the reviews the company gets on Google.

    Good designers don’t make cabinets. Good installers don’t build cabinets. Good cabinet makers usually do poorly at both design and installation. You can’t be good at everything and thinking you can is a problem in of itself.

  95. Vish, July 24, 2020 at 11:07 am:

    Do you have any review for Lafata cabinets in Michigan

  96. Momo, July 22, 2020 at 10:17 pm:

    Hi Paul, thank you for your response. I have been comparing reviews on Houzz, Google and personal references from friends and family including from my GC. You have definitely helped me narrow down my choices now to two local companies that carry a number of brands at different price points (and well reviewed on your list) Not knowing whether I will need standard stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets or which brand/line of cabinets makes coming up with a reasonable budget for my kitchen renovation a bit of a challenge but I sincerely appreciate your expert advice. Best wishes!

  97. pmcalary, July 22, 2020 at 9:00 pm:

    Hi Mike,
    Lots of bad cabinets to pick from and a possibly dangerous contractor. Yikes! I’d rethink who you are working with and get several estimates from contractors and kitchen cabinet dealers.

  98. pmcalary, July 22, 2020 at 8:58 pm:

    Hi Mike,
    My first question would be why is your contractor even involved in what cabinet line you get. Home builders limit you, but contractors should stay out of this. My recommendation would be to have your kitchen designed professionally by a cabinet dealer and then to bid out the kitchen to several contractors. Signing a contract for a kitchen as yet unprofessionally designed is a mistake. Contractors that encourage this can be dangerous.

  99. Mike Maggio, July 22, 2020 at 6:40 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Meant to include this in my first message. What’s your rating for Merillat Masterpiece series? You only show Merillat but they have a standard line, Classic and Masterpiece. Thanx Mike

  100. Mike Maggio, July 22, 2020 at 6:24 pm:

    Hello Paul
    We are in Illinois and our contractor gave us some options for cabinets, one being a company named Decor Cabinet CompAny ( not Decora). They have different brand names they use: Allura, Burton Allen, Cynergi, Fina, Dream Rooms, Sorrento, Taylor and Zonavita.
    None of which are rated on your list. Wondering if you have any feedback on them? Thanx.

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