Kitchen Cabinet Ratings for 2021. Reviews for the Top Selling Cabinet Brands.

Replies to “Kitchen Cabinet Ratings for 2021. Reviews for the Top Selling Cabinet Brands.”

  1. Rachel

    Hello- We are designing a kitchen (20×18, 9ft ceilings, modern European design). We know we need custom options. We have pushed back with the builder whose supplier offers only Merrillat and Dura Supreme. They recently started to offer Medallion. Quick Google reviews aren’t great but it looks like the company has new owners and you rate them high. Can you share where we should focus e.g. gold/platinum line, plywood, etc. The large kitchen is one of many rooms getting cabinets and we will need to save money somewhere. Thank you.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Rachel,
      Always upgrade to all plywood construction and soft close everything. I think that can be done in both lines but it might be a better value in the Platinum. Whether you need custom cabinet sizing would depend on your design, but if you are having small wall cabinets on top of other wall cabinets you might need a more expensive line like Medallion. Medalion doesn’t make frameless cabinets so European style slab doors won’t look as nice in a framed line but the cabinets will be better constructed. As always. it’s tough to give advice with limited information.

      From recent reviews it looks like as with many brands, Medallion is having supply chain and other issues. However, I still choose them over the other two brands for shaker or any other non-slab door. For slab doors it’s a tough choice since frameless cabinets look better with slab doors. We found DuraSupreme to be a dishonorable company when we carried their line briefly. I shudder to think about choosing then is a supply chain crisis.

  2. Ben

    Any thoughts on Wellborn Forest, specifically their supreme line? Hearing mixed things online, and our contractors preferred kitchen designer for cabs/counters only offers this brand.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I like Wellborn Forrest as a mid-priced well-made line. Upgrade to soft close everything and all plywood construction. Very strange for a kitchen cabinet dealer to only carry one line. Tough to give advice with so little information. Also, I don’t know if WF is having any supply chain issues since we don’t carry that brand.

  3. vince

    Hello Paul

    We are in the midst of a kitchen replacement and our contractor recommended and planned around Executive Cabinetry who has just informed us of a 20 week delivery schedule which may cause a major, major problem. The cabinets are frameless plywood, maple doors, painted. I see our contractor is a Marillat dealer. A third party verified Marillat is running <14 weeks which would alleviate our problem. Would the Masterpiece Collection be comparable to Executive line. We are in a Fla coastal environment.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Vince,
      Thanks,
      I responded by email since I was out of the country

  4. Paul

    Hi Jennings,
    It is better to call with the email ready to send then I have it instantly in front of me and don’t have to look it up. We delete plans sent before the day of the podcast.

  5. Jennings

    Paul,
    Can you possibly send me your email address, for the Podcast, and maybe I will be able to call in this week??
    I could send you my plans in advance…
    Thanks,
    Jennings

  6. Jennings

    Paul,
    We are building a new home, and the cabinet dealer has both Mouser and Shiloh. How do these 2 compare to each other in your opinion? The Mouser is about $39,000 for our kitchen and dining area, vs about $32,750 for the Shiloh. In your opinion is it worth the extra $6,250 (20%) for the Mouser? I know that they are a better quality, but I wanted to get your thoughts and opinions.
    Thanks,
    Jennings

    PS, we are already over budget, but I am willing to spend the extra, if it is really worth it.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jennings,
      Shiloh has construction issues that make it a poor choice. Mouser is great but very expensive. There are many other brands that are probably a better fit for you. Plus giving any advice without seeing your design and knowing the color and style you are looking for makes giving good advice impossible. You might want to call our help line and podcast on a Friday 2-4 pm EST. 610-500-4071

  7. Jeff

    I had Fabuwood cabinets installed 4 months ago. When they were delivered, the 39 inch sink cabinet was on back order. It was finally delivered and we noticed that it looked like they had painted over a stained cabinet. Today I noticed a crack in the paint and peeling on one of the false drawer fronts. I wonder if it may have to do with it having been stained initially. Is this something that is expected to be covered under warranty?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jeff,
      Yes this is covered under warranty. Because you were getting an unusual size cabinet that they didn’t have in stock they had to custom refinish a cabinet so that the wait wasn’t far longer for a cabinet.
      This wasn’t ideal but everything is warrantied. They can replace any doors and drawer fronts and touch up any problems. The dealer is responsible for this and not Fabuwood directly. So contract your dealer. We actually warranty Fabuwood for life. Most dealers just give you the 5 year warranty, however Fabuwood has never not accepted a claim from us even 10 years old. Possibly the better solution would have been a 36″ sink base as all undermount sinks fit in that cabinet.

  8. Jane

    Hi Paul,

    Any thoughts on Pioneer or Schlabach? Or your top recommendation based on current ratings? Our home value is ~$800k and we are looking for custom or semi-custom cabinetry with built in wood handles for a “handless” mid century design.

    Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jane,
      Both these brands are expensive and don’t say how they are constructed on their web sites. Thier web sites also show out of date and poorly designed kitchens which is not unusual for small custom cabinetry shops but also troubling. Your comment “built in wood handles for a “handless” mid century design” also sets off some alarm bells.

      The value of your home is determined not by the cost of the materials you use in the kitchen but buy the functionality, creativeness, and good taste used in the design of the first floor and kitchen. Architects are generally the enemy of good design and sensible value trade offs. And these brands would be used more by architects than kitchen designers, so I worry about the design itself and the trade offs you are choosing.

      I would recommend calling into our free helpline and Podcast 2-4 pm EST on a Friday to see if any of the warning signs I see are valid. Just have pdf’s of your design ready to send when you call. You can listen to one of our podcasts to see how they go and how most will catch major design errors.

  9. Vikki

    Hello,

    I’m evaluating Tru Cabinetry and Designer’s Choice Cabinetry for new construction. I see Tru Cabinetry is rated a bit lower in quality and value. Is it possible to share how the contruction of these two lines differ, and which is recommended for semi-custom?

    Thank you.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Vicki,
      The difference in the reviews was in how the cabinet backs were made. The DC cabinets were assumed to be the top line Presidential. However there is no longer a spec book available on line to confim the DC cabinet construction. I’m gussing from the rating we gave it that the cabinets were 1/2″ plywood backs. You can ask the rep how the DC backs are made. The Tru line is just a little less durable than the 1/2 back. It has a 1/2″ plywood hanging rail and a 3/6 panel om back.

  10. Frank

    Hi Paul

    Do you have any thoughts on Lectus Cabinets, which is a sister brand of Merit? Our desire is for a simple, sturdy, white shaker and we have no significant need for multitudes of options or customizations—and obviously no desire to pay for such options which won’t be incorporated into our design—which is why our designer is recommending these as a value plywood box option (we would be all over Fabuwood if there was a designer/dealer within 100 miles).

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Frank,
      Lectus is a frameless line. 3/4″ plywood is the best available construction in frameless (assuming the back is also 3/4″). However, there will probably be framed lines that are more durable and also possibly less besides Fabuwood. Examples are Wolf, J&K, ProCraft and others. For a European cabinet it looks fine.

  11. Jim

    Paul,

    Appreciate the quick reply! I’m going to try another local Fabuwood designer. Glad I found your site and podcast, listened to a few episodes today.

    Have one more quick question – ceiling height is low at 91 3/4”, would you go with a 36” or 30” wall cabinet here?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jim,
      I would use 30″ with a two-piece crown molding. 33″ cabinets would look best but the only brands that carry that size will be very expensive. For white cabinets I would use unfinished wood and paint the moldings to match. Paint stores can color match perfectly now. It looks better is easier to install and save a lot.

      1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

        Hi Frank,
        Lectus is a frameless line. 3/4″ plywood is the best available construction in frameless (assuming the back is also 3/4″). However, there will probably be framed lines that are more durable and also possibly less besides Fabuwood. Examples are Wolf, J&K, ProCraft and others. For a European cabinet it looks fine.

  12. Betsy

    Hi Paul,

    I’m really curious. Which brand would you put in your own house? 🙂

    Thanks

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Betsy,
      Which brand makes the most sense is all about the kitchen design and what finishes you want. If you don’t need custom sizes and want popular styles and colors, then I would get Fabuwood.
      My wife and I chose Bishop because we wanted light Maple cabinets and didn’t want inset or beaded inset styles that need to be custom. Had we wanted Cerused rift cut oak or inset cabinets we would have selected Brighton or Wellsford.

  13. Jim

    Great info! We’ve been researching cabinets and calling around for quotes after having a designer draw up some generic plans. It’s come down to Fabuwood Galaxy & American Woodsmark (upgraded to plywood).

    At the same price point, is there an obvious choice here?

    For whatever reason, the bid room at Home Depot came within 5% of the quote we had for Fabuwood from two dealers.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jim,
      We sell Timberlake which is the same as American Woodmark. The cost of the regular shaker white Maple doors are 20% more than Fabuwood and not as nice. They have a quick ship door style that is only 5% more but it has less sizes and is a simplified version made by waypoint. Not sure what’s getting quoted but for White shaker Fabuwood is generally a better value. American Woodmark would be the choice for stains in Maple, Cherry, etc and they have a nice green.

  14. John

    Hi Paul – Great website and thank you so much for putting in the time to share this information.

    A local kitchen design shop is recommending QCCI or Mouser for our project. They felt Mouser, though semi-custom, had great quality, a lower price point and offered near full customization that would be sufficient for our project. The online reviews for QCCI seem uniformly great, Mouser has some bad reviews. Would love your take on either brand as that would help guide the decision.

    Also considering a local cabinet maker with a good reputation who we would work directly with. His prices are higher than QCCI custom. Do you think there is much value in considering those options given the higher price, or is there little be gained beyond QCCI?.

    Really appreciate it

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi John,
      Reviews from customers in the cabinet world have almost no value. Customers aren’t qualified to review a brand because they don’t know what to expect and what’s acceptable and who’s fault any problem is. Almost always customer complaints are the fault of the cabinet dealer first, The kitchen designer second, the contractor third and very rarely the cabinet brand itself. For example, homeowners complain about the durability of a cabinet brands painted finish not understanding that ALL painted cabinets scratch, chip, show seams, and are damaged by water.

      Mouser is a fine brand as is QCCI most likely, but I don’t know QCCI. A small cabinet maker is not usually a good idea as their finishes would be less durable and their production not as vetted. Again, good reviews from non-professionals would be meaningless IMO. Plus, there are no qualified kitchen designers that work with cabinet makers.
      Here’s a blog on the topic:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/custom-cabinets-handmade-or-homemade/
      The most important person in your kitchen remodel is the kitchen designer you are working with. How good they are determines

  15. RB

    Hi,

    Can you give some specifics as to why Shiloh Cabinets was rated a C for quality and value?

    Thanks…rb

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi RB
      The hanging rail on Shiloh cabinets is insufficient in my opinion to support the cabinets. Why such an otherwise nice cabinet brand uses such an unusually skimpy hanging rail is a mystery to me. While a carpenter could fix the problem easily on site we rate cabinets as they are sold. The problem does show a lack of understanding of simple engineering which is also troubling.

  16. Christine Kleiber

    Hacker is now being offered through Home Depot and other dealers as a fully custom high end cabinet line offering “all the best of German engineering.” Thoughts on this brand?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Christine,
      First selecting a frameless brand only makes sense if you are getting a contemporary slab door style and so you are forced to get a lesser constructed cabinet to get the style that you like. In all other door styles you would be better of with a framed cabinet.

      European engineering in the cabinet and appliance world has some beautiful styling but the construction, durability, and functionally is eclipsed by the US brands.

      For example, we just had a customer spend $160,000 on their European appliances. They look beautiful but you can’t fit a turkey or a pizza in any of the ovens.

      Secondly, designing in frameless lines is less common and more difficult than framed lines for almost all kitchen designers, so selling a custom frameless line at a home center sounds like an ill-conceived idea. Someone at Home Depot Corporate will look like an idiot once the smoke clears on that decision.

  17. Olivia Lang

    Thanks so much for all of the information on your blog and website–so valuable in this confusing world of kitchen cabinetry. We are looking at Dewils Cabinetry….where would they fit in in your ratings list? Thanks for any information

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Olivia,
      Dewlis is a custom brand that makes both framed and frameless cabinetry. Because it’s fully custom you can get cabinetry made any way you like so the construction would be the best in both framed and frameless brands assuming you asked for it. Cabinetry will be expensive, but I have no idea how expensive.

  18. Teresa

    Would you move your store here? Hmm, okay, then insted perhaps some ideas? the best of course would be, how do i choose a kitchen designer with your expertise?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Teresa,
      You can call into our Friday helpline and Podcast. Or we list some places here:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/recommended-kitchen-designers-cabinet-dealers-outside-service-area/

      I always check the reviews on Google for any place I would consider working with.

  19. Marilyn

    Hi. Thank you so much for the information you provide on this website. It is very helpful. My designer is recommending Columbia Cabinets (Abbotsford, Canada). She says they are a better quality cabinet than what box stores provide, and currently lower priced because they haven’t caught up to the Covid increases in the US. I can’t find any information on the construction of the cabinets anywhere on the internet. Additionally, the manufacturer is located outside of the US. How much information should I expect to get from my designer? Also, can I expect cabinet specs before I agree to purchase? Do you have any thoughts on these cabinets? We are looking to spend about $15K.
    Thanks again.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Marilyn,
      I don’t think that designer is too transparent. The cabinets look like frameless cabinetry so they can’t get better B for construction from us but if you are getting slab door that might be what you want. The fact that they are touting being carb compliant after everyone was legally obligated to be suggests that Columbia is also not being transparent.

  20. Serena

    What are your thoughts on Highland Cabinets?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Serena,
      They look like a nice US assembled import brand. Based on their colors and their distribution they might be rebranded Procraft cabinetry with a smaller catalogue of door styles. Many of these brands are having backorder issues. Ask the cabinet dealer about availability.

  21. Darrin

    We noticed in your grade of Merillat that you have it as a 2 on cost and gave it a C and D and quality and value. Did you review Merillat Basics, Merillat Classic or Merillat Masterpiece? We have seen negative reviews online but can’t tell which line folks are refering to. We don’t care as much about custom design or style but want to find a product that is consistently well built. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Darrin,
      According to the Merillat website if you don’t upgrade to plywood even the Masterpiece line is a D or F under our rating system. Upgraded to plywood the back of the cabinets are still inferior and don’t rate well. There are less expensive brands made 200% better. I would highly recommend AGAINST buying these cabinets for anything other than a home flip.

  22. Dara

    Hello, my local cabinet seller/maker/installer is working with the brand Bridgewood. I see that you have not reviewed Bridgewood in this blog post. Can you offer any insights into the quality and value of this brand? Additionally, the person suggested I not go with painted cabinets – he feels they get worn-out looking too quickly. However, I don’t think stained cabinets would look good in my kitchen because we are planning on using butcher block counters and cork flooring with a wood grain look, so it would end up looking like wood top to bottom. Any thoughts/insights?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dara,
      Upgraded to plywood construction Bridgewood gets top grades for construction in both their framed and frameless box. Since I don’t know the pricing and their finishes or how much they customize I can’t grade them for price or value. Upgraded they are very well made. If you got a price for a similar line that would help us get closer to rating them.

  23. Dan C

    Hi there

    We are working on a larger kitchen renovation. We were advised that the Omega was 30% more for our design choices over the Schrock.

    I am trying to determine if the build quality is any different. We plan PM being here 15+ years. Have 3 kids. And are not highly concerned about the money, though I don’t want to buy the higher price just because.

    Any insight. Price equal is there a true increase of quality in your opinion? Are the box, doors, drawers all equal?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dan,
      Omega makes a lot of different cabinets with different types of construction so comparing them to upgraded Schrock that really has only one all plywood upgrade is difficult. In the framed Dynasty by Omega the cabinetry is a little bit better constructed but not very different. The price difference is because there are so many mnore door styles and finishes. Plus the finishes are a little nicer looking. Durability really isn’t a factor when choosing between the framed upgraded Omega and Schrock.

  24. Carol Grierson

    Hello, today I received a bathroom vanity cabinet, Homecrest brand. I am in a house I purchased 4 years ago. I built a house back in 2000 and used an independent designer shop and installed Kraftmaid in the whole house. Those cabinets are still beautiful and still performing as new in the kitchen and bathrooms. My son lives there now and a busy, boisterous 6 year old boy lives there, as well as a teenager. In deciding on a bathroom vanity cabinet for my current house, I got in touch with a local kitchen/bath design shop as I didn’t want the goods from Home depot for the reason of quality construction. So, my first impression of Homecrest is some disappointment in that the “full overlay” doors have a gap, the drawer hardware was loose and has plastic parts, and albeit slight puddling marks of stain, which will not eventually be seen when the top goes on. I did order dovetailed drawers and plywood box construction, in what is now called frame less. I paid a nice amount for this cabinet, even adding a side wood panel. It’s nice looking to be sure. It will be installed in the coming days and I’ll know more then. I’m going to be remodeling the kitchen in the next year. I have followed Kraftmaid on FB (online posts have not been favorable to the company, and I know to take with a grain of salt), and I know of course that they aren’t sold via independent design shops any longer but in the big box stores now, i.e. Home Depot, etc…and with store staff as the designer. After saying all this, I am curious about the quality of the Kraftmaid cabinets, hardware as well as construction, and the all important finishing today, year 2022 as it compared to year 2000? I’m also aware of parent company being sold in recent times, and I still note they continue to publish a message about a long timeline, now attributed to the trucking shortages. Can you comment to this issue? Thanks.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Carol,
      You are confused on several points. First Kraftmaid is still sold at local independent dealers besides both home centers. The Kraftmaid Vantage line sold at independent dealers is simply upgrades everyone should be picking pre-selected. Full overlay doors on Framed cabinets are the same size. Possibly the gap just needs to be adjusted. Neither Homecrest or Kraftmaid makes a frameless line. There is no difference in available quality between home centers and independent dealer if you pay for the upgrades. Homecrest is a 25% less expensive brand than Kraftmaid so you should never have expected a better cabinet in Homecrest than Kraftmaid. Finally Kraftmaid as with other lines is having supply chain and delivery issues but I wouldn’t put stock in customer reviews as homeowners often get confused and have unrealistic expectations. The Kraftmaid finishes are the same in today as they were in 2000, although the company is not a customer service oriented as they once were. Expect delays in this environment.

  25. Marina

    Hi Paul,

    We have an 18×18 kitchen and are looking for a more traditional design. Came down to either 21st century perla cabinet and k&b crème glaze cabinets. Difference is of 5k between the two with k&b being more. I was told that the only difference between them is k&b is a solid wood door and 21st century has solid wood with an mdf panel.

    Just want your take on the two brands. 5k isn’t little money for me but if the difference in quality is significant, I guess I wouldn’t mind paying the 5k. Want something of good quality that won’t start coming apart in an year or two.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Marina,
      First It looks like you are selecting a mitered door style with an off white painted finish. I would always recommend not doing this as over time the seams on the doors will open from expansion and contraction. A mortise and tenon door style is much better for a light painted door. However in these inexpensive brands that may not be available.

      Also this French country door style hasn’t been popular for 20 years so be aware that there is little resale value with a style that isn’t very popular.

      I have never heard of the K&B brand cabinets and when I Google them no website comes up so I can’t advise other than to say I find that troubling.

      As always, please consider that most home owners focus on Brand when design is what they should be considering first. Both of these lines are not usually carried at better cabinet dealerships so the kitchen designers that work there are often not that great. How good your designer is determines how good an investment you are making. You might want to consider showing us your design on our Friday helpline and podcast just to make sure that your design doesn’t break any of the rules less experienced designers routinely make.

  26. Drew

    Hey Paul,

    Do you sell much painted Timberlake, or do you mostly only use them for maple and cherry? I’m looking for an affordable semi-custom line that can do custom colors but not end up in MDF land on painted doors.

  27. Angela

    What is the scale for the price? In other words, what is the difference between 1 and and 5? Is 1 cheaper?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Angela,
      1 is cheaper. Probably at least half the price of a 5. 6 can be go up to VERY HIGH prices

  28. Craig

    Have you heard of Makellos Cabinetry and what would you rate them?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Craig,
      Sorry never heard of Makellos. They are sold out of our area so that doesn’t bode well. They look like an inexpensive import being assembled in Philadelphia.

  29. LMM

    We have worked with a recommended kitchen designer on a kitchen/dining room remodel. We really like and appreciate her design which includes things we wouldn’t have thought of. We chose the Signature line of cabinetry while in her showroom. I see Signature rated A+ on your list. The price quote is higher than we hoped. As an alternative at 10-15% of the Signature cost, her studio also carries Siteline which isn’t rated very well on your list. As a 3rd option, my husband has explored KraftMaid at Home Depot. I also note that we are looking at greige Shaker style which you have suggested isn’t worth paying for at higher-priced lines. We want high quality as we are planning to stay here for another 20 years, but have a lot of other house projects (HVAC, windows, etc.) we need to do in our old New England home as well. Thanks in advance!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi LMM,
      Homeowners constantly ask us what’s the best cabinet for their money. The answer is very complicated and not the simplistic answer people look for. There are inexpensive well-made brands that offer standard cabinet sizing in popular door styles and finishes. Shaker white or grey colors are the best example. These US owned brands have their doors and fronts built and finished outside the US where labor is a fraction of the cost. We think Fabuwood is the best of these brands, but there are many very similar other brands as well.

      If you want light-stained finishes, wood species like cherry, maple, quartersawn or riffed oak, hickory and other woods these less expensive mass-produced brands will not offer these choices and so you mut spend more. Spending 25% more will place you in a cabinet brand that probably offers some these type choices in a well-built cabinet, but the quality of the finish will be less attractive because the labor costs and material costs coming from the US are so much higher. For example, we sell Timberlake (also sold as American Woodmark at The Home Depot and Shenendoah at Lowes) but there are many other brands like Homecrest that will offer more colors, door styles, wood species and some additional sizing. These brands are the best choice for people on a budget that want what the less expensive brands don’t offer. But you will usually be taking a significant step down in the looks of the finish particularly on a painted cabinet.

      Only after you spend about 50% more on cabinets does the overall finish rival the less expensive better made brands. But once you are spending this much the cabinet brand will offer nearly custom sizing, almost unlimited finishes, and a dizzying combination of door styles and wood species.

      Finally, once you spend 60% more than the less expensive well-made brands like Fabuwood you will begin to reach the price level of near custom and custom cabinetry. These type bands will build almost any cabinetry you want in any size, color, wood species, and with special finish techniques, like distressing, glazing, rubbed of edges, and brush strokes in their paint. Cerused riffed oak finishes that are popular now become available in these lines.

      Once you are in these VERY expensive brands the more expensive the brand generally the more beautiful the finish. The cabinetry in the most expensive brands is really fine furniture.

      All this being said if you want the same thing that most people want IE shaker full overlay white or off-white cabinets, and your design requires no unusual sizing you would be throwing money away getting the most expensive brands.

      So, selecting the cabinet brand that is best for a customer is the function of a dozen criteria’s which is why Main Line Kitchen Design carries 8 nationally distributed cabinet brands across nearly all price points. Each line offers a niche that will be right for some customers. From people flipping homes or renting them to people with nearly unlimited budgets looking for the most custom designs, styling, and materials.

  30. Farah

    Hello, thank you for your cabinetry ratings. I am remodeling my dark cherry kitchen to a white kitchen. We are looking into the tru cabinetry line. Would you share your thoughts on the quality ? We have selected the door style ( Forsyth which my husband likes very much ) and going with white for color. I asked my designer today about the material of the boxed frames and she said it was all plywood. Is this true for all cabinetry brands ? My current John Weiland cherry kitchen seems to be made of real wood. It has lasted 20 years with no issues. I know tru cabinetry does not have a lot of selections and I am ok with that, I just wondered about the quality and durability. Thanks

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Farah,
      Tru cabinetry seems to be a pretty well constructed framed US line. Your problem is that Forsyth is a mitered door style. I would never recommend getting a mitered door style in a white paint. Over time the seams on the door frame will open up due to expansion and contraction and they will look like black cracks in a white paint. On painted white cabinets get mortice and tenon doors. No cabinets are solid wood by the way the sides back and shelves are at best plywood. Your designer should also know better than to sell a mitered white door.

  31. Keri Courtney

    I was referred by my GC to a cabinet guy who said Wolf Designer would fit my needs. I was all excited, but now just read reviews of Wolf & poor craftsmanship, poor quality, & falling apart after a few years. I am ready to pull my kitchen & bar, or am I making a bigger deal? I do cook heavily and bake, so my kitchen will be getting a workout. I previously had a custom kitchen, but I felt that the expense was not worth it. Any suggestions?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Keri,
      Wolf Designer is an inexpensive line but durable and well made. They may have supply chain issues and damage during transport as many of the lower priced brands are experiencing right now but I would never listen to online reviews. I read the reviews on Houzz and most of the customers are complaining about issues that are either the designer or the dealer’s fault or they had unrealistic expectations. Fabuwood is a more reliable inexpensive brand but Wolf is a good value for what it is.

  32. Elaine Borras

    Hi Paul,

    We were ready to place an order of Superior Cabinets in stained Rift Cut White Oak (Putty stain) and door style in Arizona. We pulled back because they don’t upgrade to plywood boxes for wood doors.

    Are they any brands you would recommend with similar or better quality, price point, and style that can be upgraded to plywood?

    Thanks,
    Elaine

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Elaine,
      Rift cut white oak is an expensive selection. I can’t even imagine a company selling that wood species and not having a plywood upgrade. Any other brand you select will probably have everything you need. Quartersawn Oak will look very similar, and cost a little less. We like the Brighton line we carry but there are many good brands that will offer this.

  33. Mike Schaper

    Hi Paul! The ratings here are very helpful! I think I remember seeing Designers Choice being rated lower last year but now when I look they are rated with As. Curious if I’m remembering incorrectly or if something changed that caused the ratings to be raised. Also, I have one designer recommending Designers Choice and another recommending Kabinart. Obviously the ratings on this site cause me concern with Kabinart. Curious what might be driving those lower ratings.

    Thanks!
    mike

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mike,
      Cabinet brands upgrade all the time and when we are notified, we update their ratings. We may have been a little heavy handed with our ratings for Kabinart, but so many brands offer better construction that you have to really differentiate the brands that aren’t quite up to the same level. 10 years ago they would have been rated much better.

  34. Elizabeth

    Are you familiar with Omega cabinetry at all? And if so what are your thoughts on them?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Elizabeth,
      They are rated in this post. Dynasty by Omega and Dynasty Pinnacle are the Omega lines.

  35. Michele

    Hi, Paul,
    I love reading your knowledgeable and honest responses. It’s clear you know what you’re talking about. We’re just starting to plan a remodel for our very long kitchen and have spoken to a representative from Candlelight and another from Fabuwood. How do they compare? We don’t want to sacrifice quality, but we also don’t want to spend a fortune.
    Thanks for your time and expertise.
    Michele

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Michelle,
      Candlelight is a much more expensive brand than Fabuwood. It is also a well-made brand that we review well. However, price is not related to quality. Expensive brands can be poorly made, and inexpensive brands better built than brands twice their cost. Generally, price reflects the versatility of a brand, the most expensive brands will offer many more door styles, wood types, stains, paints, and far more customization.

      People getting white shaker door styles or other popular styles and colors, and not needing the cabinet sizes and customizations available in the more expensive brands, just throw money away paying for the availability that they aren’t selecting. This is what good designers should be helping them with.

  36. Michele

    Hi, Paul,
    I love reading your knowledgeable and seemingly honest responses. It’s clear you know what you’re talking about. We’re just starting to plan a remodel for our kitchen and have spoken to a representative from Candlelight and another from Fabuwood. How do they compare? We don’t want to sacrifice quality, but we also don’t want to spend a fortune.
    Thanks,
    Michele

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Michelle,
      See earlier reply

  37. Greg

    Hello from Connecticut, Stopped at a Wren kitchen design center today in Milford Connecticut. There showroom is impressive with over 65 displays but as I was checking out the bases I noticed all of them seemed to be particle board or MDF.
    There drawer hardware seems very cheap and flimsy. The cabinet doors are MDF and with the recessed doors you can see the raw material painted or sealed over if you look good. Wondering if you ever heard of them. They are a UK company trying to get a foothold in the USA. The price quoted was over $33k so there not cheap. I was talking to a counter/granite fabricator and he more or less said that your paying a high price for a mediocre cabinet . wondering if you ever heard of them.

    Thanks and have a Great weekend

    Greg

  38. Mary

    I’m planning to add a mother-in-law suite to my house. I am considering white shaker style kitchen cabinets by either Fabuwood or Wellstone. While the Fabuwood is more budget friendly, I am concerned about the durability. Are there differences, other than price, i should be considering?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mary,
      Less expensive brands like Fabuwood are not less durable they are less expensive because they offer fewer door styles, finishes and size customizations. You actually have to upgrade more expensive brands to reach the Fabuwood level of durability. And it is not until you reach US brands about 30% more expensive that you get back to the finish quality that Fabuwood offers in the limited colors choices. This is counter intuitive to non-industry professionals. If you want the same thing as so many others, IE a painted white full overlay shaker door in standard cabinet sizes, you are throwing money away paying for more expensive cabinetry. See this Fabuwood kitchen

  39. Wendy

    Hi, Chris:

    Thank you for the good review. Do you have any input on durasupreme vs. fabuwood? Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Wendy,
      As a former DuraSupreme Dealer we found that they did not honor their warranties. They are the only cabinet company I know of that has complaints from their own dealers with The Better Business Bureau.
      DuraSupreme is a much higher end brand than Fabuwood so they offer far nicer finishes and more customization, but I would be careful buying them and only work with a dealer that has an impeccable reputation. If you have any problems, the dealer will be your lifeline as the manufacturer might not.

  40. Dave

    Can you please provide more specific information addressing your “average” rating for Shiloh?

    We are having our upcoming kitchen remodel done using Shiloh which were highly recommended by the designer.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dave,
      While the Shiloh finishes and door styles are extremely nice and their ability to customize is also equal to other expensive brands, howvere, the cabinet hanging rail is insufficient to support the weight of their wall cabinets securely in our opinion. Contractors could easily add a second larger hanging rail to their cabinets however we review cabinets as they are sold.

  41. Stephanie Pamnani

    Hello,

    I have a very standard kitchen not to big . I don’t need anything customed.

    I have 9 foot ceiIings and am looking to have my cabinets be flushed to ceiling. Can you tell me which line of cabinetry is the best? Fabuwood or Kraftmaid?
    Also does white finished cabinetry chip? Is there any particular one you really recommend?

    The ex dealer we had did wrong measurements on everything and the cabinetry was badly chipped and looked used. This was St. Martin brand. We are in a desperate situation right now an without a home.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Stephanie,
      ALL painted cabinetry chips and is damaged by water. Usually more expensive brands like Kraftmaid are needed to reach 108 inches with moldings. Here’s a blog on the topic:
      https://www.mainlinekitchendesign.com/general/the-108-inch-ceiling-height-dilemma/

  42. Carlton

    Any experience with Milzen Cabinets? My contractor is recommending them and I’m not finding much information online? Thanks

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Carlton,
      Never heard of them. However, contractors are not knowledgably about cabinet brands. It’s not what they do.

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