Main Line Kitchen Design
Call us at 610-510-2024

Fabuwood Kitchen

Below is our comprehensive ratings for 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 ranked from 1 to 6 with 6 being the most expensive custom cabinetry on the market. These Cabinet reviews were compiled and rated by our team of highly experienced kitchen designers.

6-17-2021 NOTICE Many less expensive brands priced at the 1 and 2 level presently have OUT OF STOCK ISSUES AND EXTENDED DELAYS Check with dealers for timelines. Generally most higher end semi custom brands at the 3,4,and 5 price point are delayed from 6-8 weeks to 10 to 14 weeks. High end custom brands can now take 12 to 24 weeks, or longer.

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 Helpline and Podcast Fridays 2-4 pm 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. If price is no object, then we recommend ignoring the value rating in the cabinetry priced in the 6 price point.

Butler's Pantry
Brighton Beaded Inset Butler’s Pantry

Main Line kitchen design acknowledges that we are dealers for the following cabinet lines: Wellsford, Bishop, Brighton, Fabuwood, Legacy Presidential, Timberlake 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-
6Square Out of Business 2
Adelphia Kitchens3BB
Adornus (frameless)3BB
Alusso by Adornus (frameless)3BB
All Wood – framed 2AA
All Wood – frameless 1CC
American Woodmark3B+B
Belmont 1900 Series Frameless4BB+
Bishop Frameless5BA
B.J. Tidwell Cabinetry3BC+
Cabinet Depot 2B+B+
Canyon Creek3BB
CliqStudios Reopened2.5B+?
CNC 1.5A-A-
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 1.5B+B
Great Northern Classic5AA
Green Forest 2AA-
Hampton Bay (frameless stock)1DC+
Hanssem framed1B-C+
Holiday (frameless)3Csupply
Holiday Kitchens4Aproblems
Homestead Custom4AA-
Ideal Cabinetry2BA-
IKEA (frameless)1DC
JSI Cabinetry 1B+B+
J&K Cabinets 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+
LifeArt 1C+A
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
ProCraft 1AA-
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
Stylecraft 6AA
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, June 17, 2021 at 8:05 am:

    Upgraded all these lines are pretty well made. Wolf Classic is the Wolf line we rate. Yorktowne will be way more expensive than the other lines. An MDF center panel on a recessed panel door style is a good idea. An entire MDF door will be inexpensive and look great to start but will get damaged too easily for a family that is rough on things. Don’t worry about the water – cabinet doors are warrantied against warping but not the nicks, scratches, and water damage likely to happen in a kitchen with MDF doors.

  2. Kellee, June 16, 2021 at 6:35 pm:

    Hi Paul, It looks like you are still responding to this post so hope you see this. Bought a house in Petoskey, Mi. that needs updates throughout entire home. 1988 Kitchen needs to be gutted. Been looking last two months for quality reasonably priced Kitchen cabinets since house needs remodel almost everywhere. Follow your ranking and blog and have seen you rank Green Forest high quality and lower price. Found one I like. Dealer I’m using also carries Marsh, Wolf, Yorktown. Seen negative reviews on all. I would love to know your thoughts. We are close to water so I’m told we would be better off going with a MDF front panel due to humidity. Thank you!

  3. pmcalary, June 15, 2021 at 8:16 am:

    Hi James,
    24 deep for cabinets would be the minimum for a permanent island. A movable table or cart, when you really don’t have the space for an island at all, is a better decision.

  4. pmcalary, June 15, 2021 at 8:09 am:

    Hi Joby,
    Don’t know anything about this line other than what I can tell from the website. That they are an inexpensive tiny import line sold only by J&S. J&S wouldn’t be qualified to design a kitchen as they simply sell cabinet boxes and replacement windows in different sizes.

    This is what is so wrong with the kitchen business. Homeowners, flippers, and contractors often feel that they just need to find cheep cabinets that won’t fall apart. While that may be fine what they need more, even though they are too uninformed to realize it, is good advice, expert design,and a qualified kitchen design professional to help them from conception to completion. Saving at most 20% buying these type of cabinets on a renovation project that will spend possibly 20 times that amount and will eliminate the one person who’s knowledgeable about kitchens and design is foolish. Our funny video tries to make this point.

  5. joby k, June 14, 2021 at 11:33 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Do you know anything about Major Cabinet? If yes, how’s the quality although I don’t see it in your list

    Thank you

  6. JamesB, June 14, 2021 at 11:32 pm:

    OK. 🙂

    What’s the minimum island depth that works?

  7. pmcalary, June 14, 2021 at 10:29 pm:

    Hi James,
    Fabuwood does custom panels.

    There is no way to make a 21″ deep Island look anything but silly. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you should get it. Kitchen designers are not magic so some spaces should just not have islands. That’s why you want a good designer – to help you make sensible decisions and not to just give bad design choices you feel you must have.

  8. JamesB, June 14, 2021 at 6:22 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    We were hoping to have wood panels for a side-by-side professional (24″ deep) refrigerator (KitchenAid) and the dishwasher (Miele). Can you do that Fabuwood? If not, I was wondering if we could have customer panels made by one of the custom kitchen cabinet companies to match to Fabuwood door style and cold. What do you think of that?

    Also, can we build-in the KitchenAid pro in a Fabuwood kitchen.

    One your previous comment, what is the best way to build a 20-21″ island. We have 36″ in either side. One side faces that fireplace, the other side faces the range and sink. We really want seating for three at the island.

    Thanks again for sharing your expertise!


  9. pmcalary, June 14, 2021 at 1:07 pm:

    Hi Simone,
    We have found just the opposite – that Fabuwood has been more reliable, certainly time line wise, that the other brands we sell and know of. Diamond Vibe should be more expensive and even upgraded to plywood construction still not as well made as Fabuwood. When other dealers have problems we don’t experience there is often something going on we can’t know about. Such as a bad relationship between the dealer and Fabuwood.

  10. Simone, June 14, 2021 at 11:59 am:

    Hi. I just met with a KD and told him I was interested in their Fabuwood cabinets. He said Fabuwood has been one of their most popular lines but he does not want to recommend it because it has been rather unreliable since the pandemic hit. Instead he suggested Diamond vibe. Is that true about Fabuwood? Is Diamond vibe in the same price range as Fabuwood? Thank you!

  11. pmcalary, June 13, 2021 at 10:57 am:

    Hi James,
    Fabuwood has any depth cabinetry. However a 15″ deep base cabinet for an Island is not possible, particularly with a 20″ countertop. I think you need some major design help. Definitely send us the design and call in before purchasing your kitchen.

  12. JamesB, June 13, 2021 at 10:39 am:

    Great idea. Will do.

    Does Fabuwood have a 15″ deep base cabinet? We need to build a 20″ wide island because our kitchen in narrow and we have an old colonial fireplace on one wall.

    Thanks! Look forward to doing the podcast.

  13. pmcalary, June 13, 2021 at 10:26 am:

    Hi James,
    I don’t think any of those lines will come in that time frame. However I doubt there will be sizes Fabuwood doesn’t have that you need. You should have us vet your design during our call-in podcast most Fridays between 2 and 4 pm Eastern Standard Time.

    Just call in to 610-500-4071 and leave a message during those hours and we will call you back when your turn comes up. All calls are returned even after 4pm. We review plans free of charge on the podcast – simply have them ready to email before you call.

  14. JamesB, June 13, 2021 at 9:19 am:

    Hi Paul,

    We’re meeting with the local Fabuwood dealer you recommend in our area. Thanks for the lead!

    We’ve made the big decision to not wait 4 months for a fully custom cabinet. We’re going to install the new kitchen before we move in, rather than wait and do it while we’re living in the house. So lead-times will determine when we can move in.

    If we can’t make the stock Fabuwod cabinet sizes work in our space (we have a fixed line of lower cabinets between two walls) is there a semi-custom cabinet line that you would recommend (painted, full overlay) that can deliver in 6-8 weeks?

    What about Medallion, KraftMaid Vantage or Decora? Or KraftMaid from Lowes?

    Is there one you would recommend that can deliver in 6-8 weeks?

    Thanks again!

  15. pmcalary, June 12, 2021 at 9:13 am:

    Hi James,
    On a framed cabinet 1/2 plywood sides are fine. You definitely want all soft close preferably Blum hardware.
    Fabuwood is 4-6 weeks depending on whether you get direct “tailgate delivery” or if they deliver first to a separate facility that delivers directly into your home.

  16. joby king, June 11, 2021 at 11:40 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    what is the difference between Frameless and Frame Cabinet? Any Pros and Cons among the two?

    Very grateful for your continuing support

  17. JamesB, June 11, 2021 at 10:30 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    That makes sense. Thanks.

    If I am ready to give up the inset cabinet, and wanted something with a short lead-time, let’s say 1-2 months, rather than 4+ months, who should I look at for high quality, mid-price. All 3/4″ plywood, solid wood doors, Blume hardware, etc.?

    Do you know what Fabuwood is quoting for lead times right now?


  18. pmcalary, June 11, 2021 at 6:00 pm:

    Hi James,
    Inset cabinetry requires Custom or close to custom cabinetry. While I don’t know the lead times for all brands I suspect they are similar and there are no inexpensive brands that can do inset well. Bishop might be the closest thing to what you are looking for and they will be 3 months and not as nice as the more expensive lines for inset.

  19. JamesB, June 11, 2021 at 5:45 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    This is James in Virginia again. We’ve met with the Brighton rep, and we have a rough quote and we’re waiting on the final design. We’re also getting a quote and design from Signature. Both for a beaded inset cabinet, recessed door, painted. Thanks for your great help so far.

    It’s looking like our kitchen cabinet layout opens up the possibility of using standard, non-custom cabinets to get the look we want. We can work with standard size cabinets. That would save both money, and the long manufacturing time for custom cabinets.

    I think Fabuwood has nice, cost-effective painted cabinets, but only full overlay.

    Is there a non-custom beaded, inset cabinet that looks good, is reasonably priced, and doesn’t have the long 4 month lead time?

    Again, thanks for the wonderful advice. I hope my questions is useful to others.


  20. pmcalary, June 11, 2021 at 5:07 pm:

    Hi Wilt,
    Sorry Not sure how we missed it. JWQ doesn’t say how their cabinets are constructed so I can’t advise you, but Fabuwood is the best in this class of cabinetry so I might get a quote from a dealer in that brand. As always the design is the most important thing and what’s usually ignored by consumers.

  21. Wilt, June 11, 2021 at 4:21 pm:

    Hi. I posted this question a couple of days ago. Not sure if you saw it. But I wanted to ask again– any opinion on JWQ cabinets? It’s not on your list of cabinet brands. This was one of the brands offered by a cabinet dealer near me. Price looked reasonable and I’m considering it. Thanks!

  22. pmcalary, June 10, 2021 at 3:17 pm:

    Hi Simone,
    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.

  23. Simone, June 10, 2021 at 2:14 pm:

    Any thoughts on Mantra Cabinets? It’s a relatively new line and there’s not much reviews online. I just came from a cabinet dealer and it’s their most affordable brand because you can’t customize which is fine by me.

    I don’t want anything fancy. I just want something durable that will not look like crap in a couple of years. Thank you for all your assistance to people like me who are buying cabinets for the first time and don’t know what we’re doing!

  24. pmcalary, June 10, 2021 at 7:59 am:

    Hi Joby,
    I don’t know much about MK. I looked at their web site and they don’t say how the back of the cabinet is made. Everything else construction wise with all the cabinet styles that come with dovetail drawers looks OK.

  25. pmcalary, June 10, 2021 at 7:53 am:

    HI Don,
    Thanks for alerting us to the Hanssem construction changes. Either we misread the back panel as 3/8″ plywood originally for our review, or more likely they switched to 1/4″. Or they eliminated a hanging rail. I have changed our review to rate them under their present construction.

    And yes, unless you are flipping a home and not staying for many years, I would eliminate them from consideration.

  26. Don, June 9, 2021 at 9:51 pm:

    hi Paul,
    Thanks for creating this incredible resource for so many people who probably wont be your customer, very generous! I am considering Hanssem cabinets, their website shows 3/4″ box construction with a 1/4″ back panel. There does not seem to be an option to upgrade. Is that reason enough to eliminate them from as an option in your opinion?

  27. joby king, June 9, 2021 at 12:42 pm:

    I hope you are doing Paul.Do you know anything about MK Wood Cabinet? They have office in New jersey

    Thank you

  28. pmcalary, June 8, 2021 at 7:50 am:

    Hi Wendy,
    Upgraded all these brands use the same hinges, tracks, and drawer box construction. Finishes between brands is equally durable as well. However the more expensive brands have more attractive colors and more customisation available. The quality control will also be better on more expensive cabinets. However they are all warrantied. Cherry wood becomes redder and darker over time. Maple turns more yellow. In a dark finish though the changes in the wood will not be noticable.

    FYI very dark stains like espresso for kitchen cabinetry is growing less popular and may look dated over the years. More natural finishes always hold up style wise over time. Think of the dark purple cherry cabinets, the dark brown oak cabinets, and the pickled white maple cabinets from 20 to 40 years ago. They are now all terribly dated while natural color woods all retain their appeal.

  29. Wendy, June 8, 2021 at 4:53 am:

    Hi Paul – thanks for taking the time to review all the cabinets. We are looking at Medallion, Kraftmaid and American Woodmark cabinets, in darker stains. I am wondering if there will be a difference in hardware quality/durability for drawers and soft close across the brands? Does American Woodmark hold up against these more expensive brands in quality and finish? And lastly, should I expect color change with a dark finish in either cherry or Maple? Tha is!

  30. pmcalary, June 7, 2021 at 7:01 pm:

    Hi Rick,
    Don’t know the brand but Charlton cabinetry looks custom and Chung Hua look less sophisticated. Not a good combination. Having less than 4 stars on all their review sites isn’t inspiring either.

  31. Rick "Rude", June 7, 2021 at 6:18 pm:


    Does anyone know about Charlton Cabinetry? I reside in New York City however I do not know much about the company.

    I am planning on doing a complete gut renovation in my kitchen.

    I am doing business with Chung Hua Kitchen & Cabinet.
    Chung Hua Stone & Kitchen has served many of the east coast areas including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, etc for more than 10 years.

    Since alot of kitchen cabinets are made overseas. Does anyone have any history with them? If you care to share.

    Thank you!

  32. pmcalary, June 7, 2021 at 5:17 pm:

    Hi Chamomile,
    Lots of red flags here:
    First good contractors don’t sell you cabinetry. Nor should they be designing your kitchen. Neither you or a contractor are qualified to make good design decisions without the help of a kitchen designer. Particularly if you are removing walls. Secondly both these contractors are pricing the least expensive brands out there, without a designer and without detailed pricing. Get away from both these guys and go to a kitchen place and get your kitchen designed first and pricing for cabinets, countertops, and the other materials you but such as appliances, flooring, fixtures etch. Then get contractor to bid on the construction.

  33. Chamomile, June 7, 2021 at 4:29 pm:

    First of all, thank you for such an informative website. I wish you were closer to my area.

    I’m having a kitchen reno done – walls knocked down, flooring and lighting changed, new cabinets and countertops. I got estimates from 2 contractors. Neither one of them gave me a breakdown for their estimate even though I requested one.

    So here is my question. Contractor A is giving me LifeArt Cabinetry and Contractor B is giving me 21st Century- both in white shaker style. Everything else is the same – quartz countertop and vinyl floors.

    Contractor B’s price is $12,000 more than Contractor B. In your list, both these brands have a level 1 rating for price so they are both inexpensive.

    I know 21stCentury is rated higher in quality so I was wondering if there is that big of a price difference with Lifeart. I cannot tell if Contractor B is just being greedy or if Contractor A is cheaper and might cut corners.

  34. Wilt, June 7, 2021 at 1:52 pm:

    What’s your opinion on JWQ cabinets? I don’t see it on the list. Does that mean it’s not a recommended brand? Thanks!

  35. Josi, June 7, 2021 at 1:19 pm:

    Hi paul,

    another question, does the sink has to be centered to the Window?

    Thank you

  36. pmcalary, June 7, 2021 at 7:30 am:

    Hi Josi,
    Yes that would be my guess without seeing the design. Make sure to vent the microwave hood outside.

  37. pmcalary, June 7, 2021 at 6:58 am:

    Hi Laine,
    I don’t know much about Mantra cabinets they are a Masterbrands import I assume. American Woodmark we rate well. Remember to upgrade to plywood sides and soft close doors and drawers. I think that usually American Woodmark gets poor reviews because The Home Depot designers don’t explain, design, and order the cabinets correctly for customers. I’d call in on a Friday during our podcast and have us check the design you are considering.

  38. Laine Gillespie, June 7, 2021 at 5:53 am:

    I live in a rural area and options for affordable cabinets are limited. Can you talk about Mantra Cabinets vs. American Woodmark from Home Depot? I am very concerned about buying from HD due to bad press from just about everywhere, but currently they have a local long-standing installer who is affordable and available way before other local contractors.

  39. Josi, June 7, 2021 at 12:40 am:

    Thank you again. My kitchen is L-shape 6×11 so you think a Microwave hoods over the range is better than Hood. is that correct?

  40. pmcalary, June 6, 2021 at 10:01 pm:

    Hi Jeff,
    Surprisingly I might pick the Fabuwood for a white shaker door and it’s the least expensive. All brands paint can yellow but the only yellowing I have heard of with Fabuwood has been with their crown moldings. I recomend doing white crown moldings in pine and color match painting with all cabinet brands anyway though. That way moldings can be repainted and touched up as needed when seams open up. With white cabinets seams are instantly noticeable.

  41. Jeff, June 6, 2021 at 7:52 pm:

    We are looking to do white shakes cabinets. Finish wise, which manufacturer will have the nicest finished – Candlelight, Showplace, Homecrest, or Fabuwood? Is one likely to be more durable than another?

    I have read things about white paint yellowing, specifically with Fabuwood. Have you had any of your clients complain about this issue?

  42. pmcalary, June 6, 2021 at 7:33 am:

    Hi Josi,
    Kitchens are too complicated to make blanket statements without seeing the space or having any measurements.
    However generally:
    Sinks in the coroner are a bad idea. In only 1 in 100 kitchens would this ever make sense.
    Microwave hoods over the range are a great choice in very small kitchens. In large kitchens a hood is better.
    Ideally appliances should be separated for looks. Certainly you would need at least a dishwasher end panel between a dishwasher and a range to hold up the countertop.

  43. Josi, June 6, 2021 at 12:56 am:

    Hi Paul,

    My KD suggested to put sink in the corner which is a blind corner still next to window and he showed me a few kitchen in the showroom with that setup that looks nice. Also said not a fan of putting Microwave on top of the stove but rather to put hood. Lastly, not to put appliances on top of each other such dish washer next to stove.

    What is your take on that?

    Thank you in advance for the great work

  44. pmcalary, June 5, 2021 at 2:03 pm:

    Hi Lisa,
    Their cabinets look beautiful, however I don’t like the 1/4 inch back panel. If they can increase the back to 1/2″ I would like them, otherwise I’d stay away

  45. pmcalary, June 5, 2021 at 1:59 pm:

    Hi Josi,
    I’d stay away from SK cabinetry. I know nothing about them.
    Thanks for following our blog
    We respond to questions from outside our service area free of charge either on our blog via comments on the blog or by phone during our call-in podcast most Fridays between 2 and 4 pm Eastern Standard Time.

    Just call in to 610-500-4071 and leave a message during those hours and we will call you back when your turn comes up. All calls are returned even after 4pm.We review plans free of charge on the podcast simply have them ready to email before you call.

  46. pmcalary, June 5, 2021 at 10:50 am:

    Hi Josi,
    We rate booth these lines well in this blog. 21st Century is slightly better constructed however it really is an RTA cabinet so who is putting it together is important. Forevermark has slightly nicer looking finishes but check on availability of both these lines there could be out of stock issues.

  47. Josi, June 5, 2021 at 3:06 am:

    Hi Paul,

    How do you feel about Forevermark cabinetry?

    same question for 21st Century cabinets

  48. Josi, June 5, 2021 at 2:55 am:

    Thank you for such great info. We’re in the process of redo our kitchen and we do have a design and on budget. I’ve been to over 15 Cabinet store in North Jersey and countless online research on cabinet and other details

    What would you recommend in term of quality, durability and finish for Raise Panel, Cherry for brand like

    21st Century cabinets
    Select Kitchen In NJ Inc

    And why one over the other. Also, how I do send my design over to you for brief review

    Thank you,


  49. Lisa, June 4, 2021 at 4:16 pm:

    What are your thoughts on Stoffer Home for inset cabinets?

  50. pmcalary, June 2, 2021 at 7:47 am:

    Hi Diane,
    Wow these cabinet dealers have selected only one line I think is a good value and that’s the Procraft. However Procrat is a VERY inexpensive brand so it is limited. I would still pick it over Arristocraft but Shiloh is far more beautiful – unfortunately just poorly engineered. I would look for a different dealer. Sometimes when contractors “reccomend” dealers they are in cohoots with them, and getting an independent company to work with that has good online reviews makes more sense. Particularly in this case, where the dealer doesn’t seem to value good cabinet construction, I worry that the contractor will exert presure on the dealer to rubberstamp a poor design that makes his job easy. Making the contractor happy at the expense of the home owner and good design is common with many dealers that specialize in working with contractors or architects. Main Line Kitchen Design always treats the end user as our customer over the company that reffered us. Sadly this is the opposite of many dealers.

  51. Diane, June 2, 2021 at 6:20 am:

    Good morning. We are doing a remodel of a lake house abd the contractors cabinet people are recommending Aristokraft. I do not see very good reviews with these. They also sell Shiloh and Procraft. Which do you recommenc?

  52. Diane, June 2, 2021 at 6:20 am:

    Good morning. We are doing a remodel of a lake house abd the contractors cabinet people are recommending Aristokraft. I do not see very good reviews with these. They also sell Shiloh and Procraft. Which do you recconebf?

  53. paul mcalary, May 29, 2021 at 10:04 am:

    Hi Olga,
    Unfortunately Fabuwood no longer does that color. Many of these US owed and built import lines are having stock issues. J&K is one I believe. Possibly Wolf Classic would be an alternative that has what you want and still has stock.

  54. Olga, May 28, 2021 at 10:05 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for taking my call today and pointing me in the right direction with my design. Regarding cabinetry, I know you sell Fabuwood and also rate J&K highly. For a painted white shaker cabinet, are there differences and is one better than the other? For a similarly priced (if possible), nicely finished stained Shaker cabinet (in a tone like the former Fabuwood Pecan) what would be your choice(s)? I’m on the fence between aesthetics and durability.

  55. pmcalary, May 27, 2021 at 7:15 am:

    Hi Dennis,
    All good choices if you are comparing Bridgewood framed cabinets to the others. Make sure to upgrade the exposed sides of the cabinetry to plywood in any line. Beyond that I’d pick the door style and finish I liked the look of best.

  56. pmcalary, May 27, 2021 at 7:09 am:

    I took a quick look online. Strasser Cabinets looks like preassembled, rebranded, ready to assemble vanities sold at The Home Depot. These look like the bottom of the barrel in the cabinet world. Lowes has some better made in stock Vanities.

  57. Gordon Hall, May 26, 2021 at 6:48 pm:

    What about Strasser cabinets

  58. Dennis, May 26, 2021 at 11:30 am:

    Trying to decide on new bathroom vanities for three bathrooms between Diamond Reflections, Yorktowne and Bridgewood. They will all be painted any suggestions for which is better?

  59. pmcalary, May 25, 2021 at 5:56 pm:

    Hi Melissa,
    Masterbands never tells how their cabinets are made so I’m not sure what the Entra comes with. But you should upgrade to 1/2 plywood sides and soft close doors and drawers. You will have lots of beautiful stains and paints to pick from.

    However, if you are getting a simple white or grey paint I would get Fabuwood. They are a better value for the limited colors they do. They don’t have the slab drawer front.

  60. Melissa, May 25, 2021 at 2:46 pm:

    We are looking at the Schrock Entra – Ingalis full overlay. Are there specific must-haves or upgrades that we should be asking for before ordering these cabinets? Would you consider this a good investment vs. Forevermark, Fabuwood, and Waypoint?

  61. Emily, May 25, 2021 at 10:24 am:

    Thank you for the pointers Paul! That’s very helpful.

  62. pmcalary, May 24, 2021 at 1:04 pm:

    Hi Emily,
    Upgraded to all plywood Construction Schrock is a way nicer line than Waypoint. I think Durability and warranties are’t problems for any of these brands.

  63. Emily, May 23, 2021 at 9:42 pm:

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for all the great info on the site. We are torn between several brands and are hoping that you can weigh in. We are working with a sales rep from a retailer who gave us quote on Waypoint painted cabinets initally with upgrade to solid doors. The price tag comes to about 15K. We had concerns whether Waypoint will be durable. So we ended up asking for quotes for Schrock and Omega as well for similar styles and the sales rep told us both would be in 20K range but would think that Omega would be a better choice in that price range. However, from conversation, it seems that the rep was hinting that Waypoint is the way to go. We also got a quote of only 15.5K for Schrock from a different retailer.

    So our questions to you are

    1) Which one would you recommend in terms of value?

    2) Is there any major difference in terms of longevity of the cabinets and how well different brands honor their warranty?

  64. pmcalary, May 23, 2021 at 8:25 am:

    Hi James,
    Vanities take much less stress than kitchen cabinets and there are usually no wall cabinets hanging on the walls with heavy objects (like plates) inside. As long as the exposed cabinet sides are plywood and the drawers are solid wood I think you are fine. Not sure what type of vanity you are looking for but if it is a furniture vanity then premade will be a better value than custom made. I like Fairmont Furniture vanities and have this one in cherry in our master bath.

  65. pmcalary, May 23, 2021 at 8:11 am:

    Hi Chi,
    First, hyper focusing on color usually means a customer is not focusing anywhere close enough to the more important design and layout of their kitchen.
    Second that color at least on my monitor does not look that unique. Fabuwood Horizon looks close for example. See links below:

  66. JamesB, May 23, 2021 at 8:11 am:

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the heads up on Brighton. The local dealer also warned me, but we have structural things to do in the house so the timing will be OK.

    On vanities. How would you compare the quality and price of Brighton and Fabuwood to one of the pre-made, big box vanities, such as James Martin. Is it worth the time investment to have custom vanities made, pick out the countertop, sink, faucet, etc. and install everything? How do prices compare?

    Thanks again for sharing your expertise!


  67. Chi, May 23, 2021 at 12:23 am:

    Good day. This is a great resource! I am facing a bit of an issue. We just settled on what seems to be the ideal cabinet color (Maple Steel Grey) from Merillat, but based on these ratings and some feedback I have seen on another site, I am worried that we will be dealing with serious issues.

    I have not been able to find a similar color (gray/blue/brown tones) from another line. Kind of close is the Duraform Texture Drift (Waypoint), which is a little to woody and obvious multi-colored. Is it best to avoid the Merillat line, or is there an upgrade I can get that helps to mitigate the issues? If the answer is to move on, what is the best way to get a similar looking cabinet?


  68. paul mcalary, May 22, 2021 at 11:48 am:

    Hi James,
    Fabuwood makes bath Vanities. FYI Brighton is 12 to 16 weeks for delivery

  69. JamesB, May 22, 2021 at 11:45 am:

    Hi Paul,
    We found our local Brighton dealer and we’ve started the ball rolling. So, thanks for the advice!

    On bathroom vanities, we don’t need custom cabinets or inset doors. I looked at Fabuwood, but they don’t do bath vanities.

    Do you have a recommendation for a good bath vanity company? High quality, full overlay door, painted, but not ultra luxury.

    Thanks again for your advice. I hope other people find my questions useful.


  70. pmcalary, May 19, 2021 at 5:22 pm:

    Hi James,
    We sell Brighton as a quality custom cabinet brand that isn’t overly expensive. Medallion, Starmark and Fieldstone would be similarly priced. Less expensive brands that do inset acceptably but not to the same precision level would be Decora and Bishop. We rarely sell Bishop beaded inset. They have a disclaimer on inset. We usually encourage customers to spend a little more and get Brighton. However when adjusted properly most customers might find little difference between Bishop and Decora versus the more expensive brands.

  71. JamesB, May 19, 2021 at 5:14 pm:


    Great response (as always) on the difference between inset and full overlay cabinets. We’re still leaning toward beaded, inset, but don’t want to go with one of the really expensive, luxury brands. Because we aren’t in your service area, I wanted to ask which cabinet manufacturers you would recommend for inset. That way, we can start with the manufacturer and find their dealer/designer in our area — Northern Virginia. We’re looking for nice, but not crazy expensive. 🙂


  72. pmcalary, May 19, 2021 at 8:51 am:

    Hi Majorie,
    Mastercraft is a less expensive and less custom line. They have knotty alder but not a less rustic alder. For alder and for construction I like the other lines better. Medallion or Chrystal will be less expensive than Plato I would think. If she sells all these lines than she will know what line is best for your design and also which lines have the shortest manufacturing delays and problems. Many cabinet brands are experiencing long delays presently.

  73. pmcalary, May 19, 2021 at 8:43 am:

    Hi Ashley,
    Some cabinet brands will have aa almost opaque stain in a light color that looks almost like a paint and will be more durable. Kraftmaid, I believe still has one of these finishes. We haven’t noticed a difference in durability between any major cabinet brands in painted finishes. However small custom shops where carpenters make cabinetry will always have less durable finishes as they don’t bake their finishes on, or use conversion varnishes. This is why as a cabinet dealer we don’t call these lines “custom” they are “homemade”.

    As always – when cabinet lines are close in quality and price expertise of the kitchen designer and the design itself is what matters most. I would recommend calling in to our podcast with the design you are considering on a Friday 2-4 pm EST. We can help prevent you from making the design errors that we see routinely every Friday.

  74. pmcalary, May 19, 2021 at 8:15 am:

    Hi James,
    Good questions! Inset cabinetry must be bought from more expensive cabinet brands because the very few inexpensive brands that try to manufacture inset cabinetry do a terrible job. This is because inset cabinetry must be made more exactly. In the more expensive semi custom and full custom brands that sell inset cabinetry the inset and beaded inset styles will be additional charges for each. Generally, the more expensive the cabinet brand the better a job they will do building inset cabinetry.

    Inset cabinetry is the “tell” that a cabinet line is higher priced. Some people like the inset look more than full overlay cabinets, it is a more traditional appearance and people “in the know” will appreciate the more custom look. However if you like a more modern full overlay style, buying custom cabinetry could be spending money needlessly if your kitchen design doesn’t require custom sizing or you are getting a type of finish that is easier to do in a less expensive brand. For example, painted finishes in an inexpensive brand like Fabuwood are almost indistinguishable from custom cabinetry in a full overlay door style. Stained finishes tend to improve as cabinetry gets more expensive with very expensive custom brands having stained finishes that look like fine furniture.

    Drawers work the same and are almost always the same size for inset and other framed cabinet door styles. However the hinges work very differently. Finial exposed hinges are far less adjustable than inset 6 way adjustable consealed hinges. The exposed hinges allow roll outs to be wider and access to the cabinetry greater but because they are less adjustable be careful getting inset cabinetry with exposed hinges in damp locations or in any environment where a home might settle. This is why inset cabinet doors and drawers can get out of square and in severe cases rub or no longer open.

    The most confusing thing for customers to understand is that the cost of cabinets and how durably they are made is not related. So some well made inexpensive brands could be more durably built than a very expensive brand. Inset cabinetry is not more durable than full overlay cabinetry and it often requires more maintenance and adjustments as a kitchen ages. In custom cabinetry or inset cabinetry you are paying more for the look.

  75. Ashley, May 19, 2021 at 8:01 am:

    What a valuable website! I’m in PA too, but more west so sadly not an option for me either. If you had the choice between Kraftmaid, Bertch and Schrock, which would you pick and which line of theirs? I see they’re rated close here. Lots of cabinets including a row of tall pantry cabinets. Looking at painting white, but biggest worry is chipping quickly. Is stained white where several of pure white and no grain showing possible? I appreciate your time!

  76. JamesB, May 18, 2021 at 6:14 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    I am sadly outside your service area, and really appreciate that you share your knowledge. Can you share your thoughts on inset vs. full overlay face-frame cabinets in terms of value, efficiency, and appearance. For example, are inset cabinets more expensive than full overlay? Do drawers work the same way and provide the same storage?

    Are there cabinet makers who specials in inset cabinets, and are better at making them?

    Are there semi-custom inset cabinets, or are they all custom?

    Any thoughts would be really helpful!


  77. Marjorie Wax, May 18, 2021 at 3:03 pm:

    Wow – this is the most amazing information on the internet! We have a cabin in Colorado in desperate need of a kitchen update – especially the cabinets. We are working with a designer but having a hard time comparing different brands. She recommends Crystal, Medallion, Plato and Mastercraft. We like the shaker styles using Alder wood. Do you have any opinions about the best, least expensive choice for us?

  78. pmcalary, May 17, 2021 at 3:35 pm:

    Hi Jamie,
    Many cabinet brands only give a 5 year warranty. It has nothing to do with how well the cabinets are made. For example Bishop gives a 5 year warranty and IKEA gives a 20 year one. It is a marketing decision concerning how long brands are willing to field crazy customers complaints. Most warranty issues would happen in the first 2 years so real issues rarely come up after that. Retail places like Home Centers and IKEA want customer for the long hall even if there complaints aren’t valid. We warranty all the cabinetry we sell for a limited lifetime warranty even the brands like Fabuwood, because we know we aren’t really giving much away except fielding complaints about nicks and scratches which aren’t covered by anyone anyway.

  79. Jamie, May 17, 2021 at 3:23 pm:

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for offering your time especially in these blog posts and comments. I’m looking at Fabuwood through a local dealer in the DC Metro Area, and noticed they only give a 5 year warranty compared to other companies which give “limited lifetime”. Was wondering if you can comment on that difference, we were worried that the lesser warranty duration might suggest they don’t stand by the quality of their cabinets > 5 years.

  80. pmcalary, May 14, 2021 at 3:44 pm:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Timberlake is an inexpensive brand but well made when you upgrade to a plywood box and soft close everything. For a painted finish the seams will be noticeable on the doors and drawers. It doesn’t mean they are less durable. Just that on a less expensive line the doors are not sanded as smooth as with more expensive lines. For a natural finish the finish differences between Timberlake and the more expensive brands will be less noticeable. If you can see a Timberlake door in the finish you like you should be able to tell if the difference bothers you. Durability is not a factor.

  81. Jennifer, May 14, 2021 at 12:26 pm:


    Thank you so much for this wonderful resource. My husband and I are in the process of building a semicustom home with a production builder. The builder’s standard is Timberlake cabinetry in the Portfolio line. We can upgrade to any brand the builder’s vendor sells, which are Wellborn, Bertch, Crystal, and Merillat. Price is something we are trying to take into consideration, but we have possibly an extra $7,000 to upgrade cabinets. We intend on going with a super simple shaker door without much detail in either a painted white or a natural finish. If we upgrade to all plywood in Timberlake are these cabinets going to stand the test of time? Or would you suggest just going with one of the other brands the builder’s vendor offers? I see that Bertch and Wellborn are rated better than Timberlake on your website. Thanks.

  82. pmcalary, May 8, 2021 at 10:21 am:

    Hi Chris,
    We don’t have enough information to rate Woodland. Stained cabinets are harder to scratch and chip than painted cabinets. All the other brands you list get good reviews across the entire spectrum of pricing. The expensive brands will offer more choices and customization.

  83. Chris, May 7, 2021 at 12:09 pm:

    Thank you so much for your reply.
    I do have great lighting in the kitchen, just not natural lighting. So it looks dark when the lights are off. You would recommend getting a wood stained cabinet over a painted one? Is that why you had said that the gray would be more durable. This is a list of cabinets that my local designer carries
    Woodland Cabinetry
    Decora Cabinets
    Koch Cabinets
    Schrock Cabinets
    Cubitac Cabinetry
    Wolf Home Products
    They have just been approved for the fabuwood

    What do u think of woodland cabinets as they have a very nice slab door one? Are they durable, well made? Pricing? They r not listed on your reviews
    Thank you

  84. pmcalary, May 7, 2021 at 7:54 am:

    If you are redoing a kitchen you should be redoing all the ceiling lights and over lighting the room so that the light can be adjusted to any brightness. I don’t worry too much about a light grey vs white in that case and the grey will be more durable. Fabuwood is sold all over New Your so you just need to find a dealer. Home Depot and Lowes both have inexpensive well made lines such as Shenandoah at Lowes and American Woodmark at Home Depot. Upgrade to plywood sides and soft close everything.

  85. chris, May 7, 2021 at 12:23 am:

    Hi. I live in NY and there are no designers recommended near me. I am really having a difficult time figuring out which cabinet (brand) would be a good fit for me. I am having a light/med gray luxury wood vinyl flooring installed but my kitchen doesn’t get much light so i am concerned that a gray or stained wood would be too dark. I have oak cabinets now that I really don’t like. i have been liking the white cabinets, but am drawn to the new grayish stained ones like the galaxy horizon in fabuwood. i am concerned that it would be too much gray and too dark.
    I have a Home Depot and Lowe’s and maybe two cabinet designers but neither carry fabuwood. i would really appreciate any advice or feedback you could offer on recommendations for a good solid cabinet that will look nice, last and not chip or get damaged easily. i am truly open to suggestions of cabinets that you could recommend. i can find something i like in most lines so i would appreciate any feedback — advice u can offer. thank you so much

  86. pmcalary, May 6, 2021 at 8:42 am:

    Hi LisaMarie,
    You can have a painted kitchen repainted a different color professionally but it is expensive (possibly $8000 for an average size kitchen) and less durable. If you chose a dark color like Navy blue over your white cabinets when you got scratches and chips the original white paint would show through. This is why getting custom colors from inexpensive cabinet brands is a bad idea. The custom color is painted over the original finish making the paint thicker and easier to chip and the original white paint color shows through.

  87. pmcalary, May 6, 2021 at 8:18 am:

    Hi Ally,
    Upgraded Chrystal is a great cabinet line. I would get shaker maple doors with a reverse raised MDF center panel on the upper cabinets. Making the whole door MDF will make them too easily damaged and unrepairable.

    Walnut is a beautiful wood but it will be very “stripey” as each piece of walnut is a very different color and grain. Make sure you are prepared for what this will look like and how distinctly different the bottom and the top cabinets will be. Here’s a link describing wood species.
    Below is a link to a walnut kitchen:

  88. Ally, May 5, 2021 at 7:45 pm:

    Hello! This is a wonderful site. I am looking at Crystal Cabinet works. Want to do white shaker uppers (painted) and walnut (stained) lowers. I want insert style. Can you let me know your thoughts on the brand? Also, I have to choose between MDF painted uppers or painted maple. We live in Colorado and I’m hearing that MDF is best for our climate

  89. LisaMarie, May 5, 2021 at 5:56 pm:

    Hi Paul. Thanks for your response.
    Are you saying that you can never have your painted cabinets professionally painted?
    If I wanted grey cabinets in 5 years would I need to reface or could I get professionally painted!?

  90. pmcalary, May 4, 2021 at 1:42 pm:

    Hi Fran,
    I don’t worry about starting a kitchen now but I do worry about giving a contractor a large down payment. A 20% deposit is the largest deposit we would allow a contractor to ask from one of our customers prior to the demo work on the renovation beginning. Cabinets should be ordered and a 50% deposit is standard although home centers charge 100% up front but that’s fine as they are reliable. You should be able to get reliable lead times from everyone before ordering anything or signing a contract. Never pay contractors too much money up front. They might spend your deposit and not have the money to begin your renovation when the time comes. Why do contractors disappear? They run out of funds and need their next deposit to complete the job they were working on.

  91. Fran, May 4, 2021 at 11:11 am:

    Hi! Another question. After reading the recent articles about cabinet and appliance delays and microchip shortage in the New York Times and hearing the same in your recent webinar, I am becoming very concerned about signing the contract for the work I was planning for my kitchen. I can’t see paying a large deposit now for work that potentially will not start on time (currently projected for July.) My contractor never mentioned delays in the many conversations we’ve had, so that makes me extra wary. What are your thoughts about starting a kitchen remodel now? (The kitchen is currently perfectly functional and still looks nice enough.) Do you think waiting until January 2022 for a spring start date makes more sense, or will it just put us further down a long queue?

  92. pmcalary, May 3, 2021 at 3:20 pm:

    Hi Chary,
    Cabinet prices have not gone up that significantly lately. Probably up 5% in the last year. Higher costing cabinetry is not more durable it is more custom. However construction costs HAVE gone up significantly although waiting won’t bring prices down only a recession will.

  93. Chary, May 3, 2021 at 3:08 pm:

    The pandemic has really resulted in a lot of delays and supply shortages. I am in sticker shock at the price of lumber even cheap particle board. Are we seeing this trend in cabinetry? Should I wait for a kitchen remodel so I can afford the higher quality cabinetry? I am wondering if the cost is significantly higher and I’ll be priced out of a remodel.

  94. pmcalary, May 1, 2021 at 9:02 am:

    Hi Thomas,
    I looked MasterCraft up and added a review for them to our list. They will be way less expensive than the new revamped Yorktowne. They get B’s using our rating system. They do have some advantages for an inexpensive cabinet brand, such as, they offer Maple and Cherry cabinets and some interesting door styles. They only offer builders grade particle board sides so this is a good line for selling a home, but a poor one to choose if you plan on ling there for a long time.

  95. Thomas Dudley, April 30, 2021 at 2:32 pm:

    I live in Colorado so I’m out of your service area but maybe you can help with this question. I’m looing at Yorktowne which has a decent rating from you, Also looking at Mastercraft but I don’t see your rating for them. Are you familiar with this company? Thanks.

  96. pmcalary, April 30, 2021 at 7:41 am:

    Hi Brenda,
    ALL Painted cabinets chip and scratch easily. It doesn’t matter how expensive they are. They can easily be touched up though. Frameless cabinets are not a durably constructed as framed cabinets so they can have hinges fall out, doors sag, and drawer tracks pull out of the sides of the cabinets more easily. However the shiny white laminate slab doors that will ONLY come with frameless cabinets will not chip because they are not paint and will be easy to clean and difficult to damage. So you have to pick your poison.

    Generally the laminate doors will cost significantly more. Since it sounds like you are on a tight budget I would recomend Fabuwood for a framed cabinet and if you really want the laminate and are willing to spend the money then Ultracraft upgraded for a frameless laminate door stlye. An inexpensive alternative with a similar look would be with CNC cabinets in a white gloss foil slab door. They will be much less expensive but the finish will not be as nice looking. We sell CNC and they have had shipping issues lately since they are very busy and their delivery people are inexperienced and often damage the cabinets during shipping. So expect some frustration with CNC.

  97. brenda, April 29, 2021 at 5:28 pm:

    I am struggling trying to pick out cabinets that won’t chip and will last. I’m looking at Waypoint or fabuwood. Any suggestions would help. My dream kitchen is the frameless shiny white cabinets. Any suggestion on the best maker for European cabinets. Any suggestions will help

  98. pmcalary, April 28, 2021 at 11:12 pm:

    Hi Stacy,
    Most cabinet lines have many different construction levels. Even the most expensive brands can be purchased poorly made if you ask for cheap construction.
    This is why it is so important to work with an expert kitchen designer that can explain our industry to you. Upgraded at their top level Bertch makes a great cabinet. However, as with most cabinets, a unscrupulous designer could sell you junk that looked good if you didn’t know any better. Please read our warning about comparing cabinetry that we give on this blog. Link below:

  99. Stacey, April 28, 2021 at 7:19 pm:

    HI! Thank you so much for the information. My Contractor is recommending Bertch Cabinetry. Your review is A/A-, which is great. When I saw the cabinets in person, they seemed flimsy and poorly made. I cannot find any specs on their website to check on how they are made. Can you offer any insight?

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