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Covid-19 Updates: Designing Your Kitchen Remotely

Below are our comprehensive kitchen cabinet ratings for the top selling 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 Kitchen Cabinet reviews were compiled and rated by our team of highly experienced kitchen designers.

See updated ratings for 2022

03-07-2022 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 and 4 price point now take from 8 weeks to 14 weeks or longer. Most high-end and custom brands at the 5 or 6 price point now take 18 to 24 weeks, some even longer.

Main Line Kitchen Design is a cabinet dealer located 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 61O-5OO-4O71


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.

Big barn house kitchen with lots of natural light, windows and a big wooden island. Designed in highly ranked Fabuwood cabinet brand.


Fabuwood Kitchen

How the ratings work

Kitchen cabinet ratings assume 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 its 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 its 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 Highly rated Brighton Cabinetry


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 line Price level 1-6     Quality Value
21st Century 1 A A-
6Square Out of Business 2    
Adelphia Kitchens 3 B B
Adornus (frameless) 3 B B
Alusso by Adornus (frameless) 3 B B
All Wood – framed 2 A A
All Wood – frameless 1 C C
American Woodmark 3 B+ B
Aristocraft 2 C C
Belmont 1900 Series Frameless 4 B B+
Bertch 4 A A-
Bishop 4 A+ B++
Bishop Frameless 5 B A
B.J. Tidwell Cabinetry 3 B C+
Bremtown 6 A+ B
Brighton 5 A- A+
Brookhaven 5.5 A B
Brubaker 5 A A
Cabico 4 B B
Cabinet Depot 2 B+ B+
Candlelight 4 A A
Canyon Creek 3 B B
CliqStudios Reopened 2.5 B+ ?
CNC 1.5 A- A-
Collier 5 A B-
Craft-Made Cabinetry framed 5 A A
Crestwood Framed 5 A A
Crestwood Frameless 5 B A-
CrownPoint Cabinetry (framed) 5.5 A+ A
CrownPoint (frameless) 5.5 B A
Crystal custom 5 A A
Crystal semi-custom 4 B+ B+
Cubitac Prestige and Imperial 1.5 A A
Cuisine Ideale (frameless) 4 B B
Decora 4.5 A B
Desginers Choice 4 A A
Design-Craft 4 B B-
Diamond 4 B+ B+
Diamond Now Stock 1 B B
Durasupreme 5 B+ B-
Durasupreme frameless 3 C C
Dynasty by Omega (frameless) 4 B B+
Dynasty by Omega (framed) 4 A A-/B+
Dynasty Pinnacle (framed) 5 A B
Echelon Cabinetry 2 B- C
Eclipse by Shiloh 4.5 B- / C+ B
Eurocraft Frameless 3.5 C C+
Executive (frameless) 4 B B
Fabuwood 2 A A
Fabuwood (frameless) Disc Disc Disc
Fieldstone 4.5 A- B+
Forevermark 1.5 B+ B
Grabill 6 A+ B
Great Northern Classic 5 A A
Green Forest 2 A A-
Haas 3 B B
Hampton Bay (frameless stock) 1 D C+
Hanssem framed 1 B- C+
Holiday (frameless) 3 C supply
Holiday Kitchens 4 A problems
Homecrest 3 B+ B+
Homestead Custom 4 A A-
Ideal Cabinetry 2 B A-
IKEA (frameless) 1 D C
Innovation 2 C C
JSI Cabinetry 1 B+ B+
J&K Cabinets 2 A+ A-
Kabinart 3 C+ D
Kemper 4 B+ B+
Kitchen Compact 2 B- C-
Kitchencraft (frameless) 3 C B
Kith 3 B+ C+
Koch Classic 4 A- A-
Kountry Kraft (framed) 6 A B
Kountry Kraft (frameless) 6 B B
Kountry Wood 2 C C
Kraftmaid 4 A- A-
Kraftmaid Vantage 4 A- A
Legacy 2.5 B+ B
Legacy Presidential 3 A B
LifeArt 1 C+ A
Luxor Collection Frameless 4 B B
Marsh 2 B B
Marsh (frameless) 2 B- B
MasterCraft 2 B B
Medallion (Now owed by ACPI ) 5 A- B+
Merillat 2 C D
Merit Kitchens 4 B+ B
Mid Continent 2 C C
Mouser 5 A A-
Mouser (frameless) 5 B A
NatureKast Waterproof Cabinets 5 A A
Norcraft (every upgrade used) 3 B D
Ovation 4 B C
Plain and Fancy 6 A B+
Plato Woodwork 5 A A
Poggenpohl (frameless) 6 B C
ProCraft 1 A A-
QCCI Quality Custom 6+ A+ A-
QuakerMaid (frameless) 4 B B
RiverRun Cabinetry 3.75 B B-
R.D. Henry 4 A A
Rutt 6 A+ A
Schrock 4 B+/ A- B+/ A-
Schuler 5 A- B+
Shenandoah 3 B+ B
Shiloh 4 C C
Showplace 4 A B++
ShowplaceEVO (frameless) 3.5 B B+
Siematic 5.5 B C
Signature Custom 5 A+ A+
Siteline Cabinetry 3.5 B- C
Solid Wood Cabinets Closed Bankrupt  
St. Martin (frameless) 3.5 B A
Starmark standard 5 C C
Starmark inset or 3/4″ back panel 5 A+ A
Stylecraft 6 A A
Tedd Wood 5 A A
Thomasville* 4 B+/A- B+/A-
Thomasville Nouvell 3 D D
Timberlake 3 B+ B
Tru Cabinetry 3 B B+/ A-
Ultracraft (frameless) 2 C C
Ultracraft 3/4 ply upgrade 3 B B+/A-
Urban Effects (frameless) 3.75 C- D
Village 5 A A
Waypoint 3 B+ B
Wellborn 4 and 5 A A
Wellborn Forrest 3.5 B+ B+
Wellsford 5 A+ A+
Wellsford (frameless) 5 B A-
Wolf 2 A B+
Wolf Signature Series 3.5 A- C+
Woodharbor 5 B+ C
Woodmode 6 A A-
Yorktowne (Now owed by ACPI ) 4 A- 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 Replies to “Kitchen Cabinet Ratings for 2021. Reviews for the Top Selling Cabinet Brands.”

  1. Amber B

    Hi Paul, just wanted to give you a quick update. I can see why you recommend Virginia Kitchen and Bath. They are awesome! And I’m so glad I met with them as they will actually come out and do measurements at the house to do the kitchen design (unlike the other place I went to that wasn’t on your recommended list). Thank you again so much for your great website and blog. It’s so very helpful!

  2. Amber B

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so much for the speedy and detailed response. I really appreciate it.

    1. and 2. I’m replacing all the cabinets. I’ve talked to two of the four. When I told them I only wanted to buy cabinets one (MSBS) told me “Unfortunately we can’t sell whole cabinet orders to homeowners. We can sell cabinet parts to homeowners but not a whole kitchen cabinet order. Sorry to be mistaken. We usually sell cabinets wholesale to contractors or anyone in the trade which could be Architects, interior designers and contractors. Do you know anyone in the trade? Would you like for us to recommend an installer for you?”, and KBR said they only did full remodels (demolition to installation) and wouldn’t only sell cabinets. I’m still waiting to hear back from Virginia Kitchen. Baltimore is a little further away but I am planning on contacting Best if I can’t find a closer place.
    3. Gotcha on Forevermark and Greenfield. I’m curious why would you put Wolf Classic over the Designer line. I’m wanting to get the cabinets painted with a Sherwin-Williams match. One of the reasons I’m doing everything myself is so I can budget for Showplace cost level cabinetry. Unless I’m mistaken on the price of Showplace, I was figuring between 600-1000 per cabinet based on size and if I want pull outs in the cabinet. Am I underestimating the cost of Showplace?
    4. Gotcha. I’m definitely trying to keep in mind that I’m not a designer and I should listen to the professional, but I definitely want to get a second opinion for a couple of reasons.
    5. Good to know! Glad I don’t have to wait longer to get a better deal.

    Thank you again!

  3. Amber B

    Hi Paul, Thank you so much for this site. It has been so extremely helpful to me. I’m finding myself five years earlier than expected having to model the kitchen for a house I am buying due to a plumbing issue that has now gutted half the kitchen. The kitchen is still functional just missing the floor and half the cabinets.

    The sellers are giving me credits, per my request, so I can just go ahead and remodel the kitchen to how I want it now. I’m trying to find a kitchen designer and a cabinetry store that I can just buy the cabinets from, I’m planning on doing everything but the gas and electric myself with a friend who has a background in construction.

    I was hoping for your advice on five questions if you don’t mind. And for context I’m Alexandria, VA.
    1. Do you have any recommendations on a good kitchen designer who might be in the DC/northern VA/Southern Maryland area?
    2. Do you have a recommendation for a cabinetry store? I’ve contacted the stores you recommend on the other page, but the ones I’ve heard back from so far will only do full remodels and not provide only cabinets.
    3. What are your grades for the following lines (I keep seeing them come up as I keep searching but I don’t see them on your list): Wolf Designer, Forevermark, and Greenfield?
    4. Since I’m having trouble finding a store to buy cabinets (the only one I found so far, I wasn’t impressed with the “designer” they had and they are charging a huge mark up) should I just get a kitchen designer to design the kitchen and specs and then go to Lowe’s and get Kraftmaid (which I also get a military discount).
    5. Since the kitchen is still somewhat functional (I have a couple of usable cabinets, all the appliances, and a subfloor, so i wait for a particular time of the year to buy cabinets when there are better deals. For example, someone told me when getting a new roof, if you can, you should wait until the fall as that’s when roofers are trying to get rid of the last of the year’s inventory before winter sets in and there’s less business than the summer so you can get better deals.

    I know I’m getting some money for the current damage but it’s not that much (probably $6K), and I really want to get as close as i can to the kitchen I will have for the next 20 years now without blowing the budget.

    Thank you so much! Take care and stay safe.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Amber,
      1. and 2. Our best shot at referring people is the list on our site. However all kitchen places will sell just cabinetry so there is some confusion. Possibly you want to keep some cabinets and they feel that this is a mistake and want to avoid your project as we would also do even though we don’t even do installations generally.
      3. Forevermark was having delays so we aren’t presently ranking them. Greenfield while we don’t know is not a budget cabinet and should be out of the price range that would seem sensible for you. Wolf Classic would be you best choice and not the Designer line.
      4.We never recomend working with an independent designer you are paying for what the cabinet dealer would give you free. Keep in mind that when customers are often dissatisfied with a kitchen designer it is sometimes because the designer won’t recommend doing what the customer is asking for. This often is a sign that the designer is qualified and principled and that the customer is headstrong and in over their head.
      5. Cabinet companies don’t give seasonal sales. Contractors can give discounts though between Thanksgiving and New Years because this is an unusual time for people to want the upheaval of a renovation.

  4. Bob G.

    Hello Paul, I’m on Long Island and have used your web site many times over the last year as a resource in working on a major kitchen renovation. Thank you so much for all your useful advice. We actually were in Philly earlier in the year and tried to stop by to thank you personally but ended up in a shop with a similar name and had run out of time.

    My question : We have been working with a very talented and pleasant designer named Donna at Tuscan Hills (Starmark Inset for Costco customers). Very nice cabinets. Before we make a decision we decided to look at local shops and discovered Rochon, a Canadian company with a NY presence. Appear to have beautiful custom cabinets but it has been hard to get an independent assessment of the company or their cabinet quality. Do you happen to know anything about them? Thank you –

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Bob,
      Thanks for the kind words. Two things would concern me here. First the Canadian Companies usually do frameless cabinetry and not inset cabinetry, And secondly finding a good designer working for Costco would be very rare. However customers often don’t realize how inexperienced their designers are because they are not designers themselves. I would recomend sending us your design to check for mistakes before you buy cabinetry. We review designs on Friday afternoons 2-4. This Friday Chris is on duty or Ed is probably available. You could call their extensions and email your designs to one of them.

  5. Michael

    Hi Paul:
    Our designer wants to use LeVant cabinets in our kitchen remodel. Any thoughts you have on this line would be greatly appreciated.


    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Michael,
      They appear to be a small custom cabinet maker. They give no information online so I can’t give an opinion.

  6. Erik

    Hi Paul,
    We are looking at a kitchen renovation and potentially going with Fabuwood. One designer told us they are having quality issues right now and would hold off ordering from them. Are you hearing anything similar to this about Fabuwood?


  7. Kathi

    Hello, I am interested in your blog and the 2020 ratings. I see you rated Diamond a fairly high rating. I found another site ‘Kitchen Reviews” and there were horrific stories from customers/homeowners about Diamond; poor quality cabinets arriving broken, no response from their customer service etc. I’m wondering if you have experienced any of this? We are out of your service area and considering Diamond through Lowes for a master bathroom remodel. Appreciate any recommendations for reasonably priced white cabinets to include drawers and vanities for sink installation. I know your in the kitchen design business, but I’m struggling to find bathroom cabinet specific websites. Thank you

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Kathy,
      We essentially answered this question a few days ago on this blog. Here was our response:

      Hi Eileen,
      Bad cabinet reviews done by customers, especially Lowes customers are almost always not the fault of the cabinet line. Usually problems are the result of unrealistic expectations on the part of the customer, ordering and reordering mistakes and delays by the designer, or poor installation. All cabinet lines sold at Lowes get poor reviews because of this. Buying a complex almost custom made kitchen is not like buying a toaster. Expecting zero finish, shipping, ordering, or installation issues is unrealistic. Good cabinet dealers, kitchen designers, and installers minimize these issues. When you shop at Lowes often you don’t have any of the three and the cabinet company takes the blame. More importantly, the Lowes designs we see are nearly always amateurish and problematic designs even though customers don’t realize this because they aren’t experienced design professionals themselves. Consider calling us on a Friday between 2-4 pm EST and having us review your design for errors. Here are three blogs all Lowes customers should read:

  8. Susan

    Hi Paul
    Love your blog. We are in the process of building a new home and so overwhelmed with deciding on kitchen cabinets. We have met with 3 designers and narrowed it to two that seem very knowledgeable . Looking at Medallion and Ted Wood. We do know that we want inset cabinets . Would appreciate your thoughts on these 2 cabinets companies.
    We did look at candle light but it was higher priced.. not sure what more candlelight offered it worth the higher price.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Susan,
      All the lines you are considering are great. How good the designer is will be the most important element when the cabinet lines are very similar in quality. Custom lines offer the ability to design incredible spaces with wainscoting panels, custom hoods, intricate moldings and design details that less experienced designers will not be able to take advantage of or possibly even do correctly.

  9. Harriet

    I was over a friend’s house tonight – they are just finishing up their kitchen remodel. They are raving about their cabinets, which are a cabinetry line I’d never heard of. Maybe you have? Makellos? Are they any good? They looked good (but just about any cabinet should LOOK good when freshly installed) but I’m curious about their reliability/longevity over the long term.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      They look like inexpensive frameless cabinetry. Not sure how they are made but because they are frameless we wouldn’r recomend them for any door style but possibly a slab

  10. Lisa


    Any thoughts on Europa brand cabinets? I believe they are out of North Carolina. I don’t see them on your rating list.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      They are a frameless line that I don’t know well. Because they are frameless though, if we were to recomend them it would only be if you were getting a contemporary slab door style.

  11. paul mcalary

    Hi Wes,
    US Cabinet Depot is one of the low cost lines that while the cabinetry is not poorly made their lack of expertise is dangerous. Having them install is even more troubling. You shouldn’t have a kitchen designed, sold and installed by the dollar store. The value of your home will surely suffer when amateurs are supervising the most important renovation in your home. Unfortunately because customers aren’t designers they usually have no clue how bad the renovation they did is.

  12. Wes

    Thanks for your reply. Any thoughts on the brand US Cabinet Depot? I have a local company that sells those and has given me a rough quote of 11k (I’m located in the South) which includes the cabinets and installation for an average size kitchen.

  13. David/Kim

    Our contractor is recommending we use National Kitchen and Bath Cabinetry. We are concerned about the quality as they seem to be RTA-but do not see them rated on your list. Any advice is appreciated.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi David,
      You should be finding a kitchen designer and working with them before you chose a contractor. The best contractors will steer you to a good kitchen designer first, the worst contractors will recommend a cabinet brand because they know no better. A contractor commending an RTA line is trouble.

  14. Wes

    Hi, I want to thank you for this blog and taking your time to provide responses and share information. I just started my journey in updating our kitchen and am overwhelmed by the cabinet options/brands/etc. My biggest fear is not understanding what I’m paying for. I’ve researched the RTA cabinets and understand the price is cheaper for various reasons. I also understand custom cabinetry and why it’s much more expensive. I’ve recently received quotes via email (I understand your guidance to meet with a true kitchen designer) from 11k to 20k from 2 different companies. How do I know if a business is just selling me RTA cabinets that they put together themselves and sold to me for a markup or if I’m getting a legitimate brand with good quality?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We do not recommend buying cabinets RTA. Your entire renovation is too complex and expensive to not have the help of an experienced kitchen design professional. Research to find a good cabinet dealer and an experienced designer that works there. They can answer questions and keep you from making mistakes.

  15. wmacd

    I’m currently price shopping two lines and don’t know the difference in quality between them. ProCraft and Shiloh Eclipse. Both are 5 pc Shaker Style cabinets with similar specs but the ProCraft are significantly cheaper. This site seems to suggest they are a quality product and while they are RTA, they are delivered assembled by the KD I’m working with. I like the look of the frameless Eclipse but I don’t know if I like them $3000 more than the framed cabinets and does it make that much difference with a Shaker style door? Any feedback is welcome.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Bill,
      The ProCraft framed cabinets are more durable and a better bargain. You might experience some quality control issues with the ProCraft but the KD will replace any issues and they should be quickly replaced.

  16. Paul McAlary

    Hi Eileen,
    I responded previously. Diamond IS Thomasville. Worry less about reviews from non professionals and more about a design from a less qualified professional.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I Like Wolf Designer and Classic lines. I hear at the moment, they are having some quality control issues from the NON Pennsylvania plants .

  17. Eileen

    I am considering Schuler, Thomasville, and Diamond maple raised panel kitchen cabinets, with a stain and glazed finish. What are your thoughts regarding the quality of those 3 brands?
    We like the look of the Schuler but the reviews I have found suggest the quality is poor.
    Your input is much appreciated.

  18. Jane

    Thank you for the great information on your site. We are redoing our kitchen of 27 years.We know that you feel Wolf Classic is a solid cabinet. It appears that they use HDF on the outer portions of their painted shaker door style with MDF in the center panel. Any thoughts of how this would hold up in our kitchen?
    Also, any thoughts on the Wolf Designer level of cabinets?

    Thanks for your help!

  19. Eileen

    Hi Paul,
    We are considering Schuler and Thomasville kitchen cabinets. We like the maple wood with a stain with glazed finish and glass inserts on the uppers. The kitchen is a small U shape. We have a Schuler cabinet design mapped out from the Lowes designer And we really like it. We are hesitant to move forward because we have found many unhappy customer reviews about the Schuler quality. What are your thoughts on the quality of this cabinet?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Eileen,
      Bad cabinet reviews done by customers, especially Lowes customers are almost always not the fault of the cabinet line. Usually problems are the result of unrealistic expectations on the part of the customer, ordering and reordering mistakes and delays by the designer, or poor installation. All cabinet lines sold at Lowes get poor reviews because of this. Buying a complex almost custom made kitchen is not like buying a toaster. Expecting zero finish, shipping, ordering, or installation issues is unrealistic. Good cabinet dealers, kitchen designers, and installers minimize these issues. When you shop at Lowes often you don’t have any of the three and the cabinet company takes the blame. More importantly, the Lowes designs we see are nearly always amateurish and problematic designs even though customers don’t realize this because they aren’t experienced design professionals themselves. Consider calling us on a Friday between 2-4 pm EST and having us review your design for errors. Here are three blogs all Lowes customers should read:

  20. Tracy

    I’m looking for a good quality, reasonably priced bathroom cabinet. I’m currently considering
    a Thomasville Classic (upgraded to all plywood), Thomasville Artisan and Woodland Cabinetry. Do you have a recommendation about which is the best quality? Thanks.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We only know Thomasville Classic which is actually rebranded Diamond. Thanks for bringing this up as we had forgotten to upgrade Thomasville cabinetry when Diamond made their upgrades. The Thomassville Artisan I would be suspicions of if it is a lesser priced Thomasville cabinet sold at Home Depot. These are rebranded cabinets so it’s hard to keep track of who Home Depot has making them.

  21. ACoffey

    Hi! Thanks so much for providing this resource! I cannot explain how helpful it has been or how much I have learned from reading it! We are in the midst of a near total gut job on our house and the process can be overwhelming to say the least! Having this type of unbiased input throughout has been such a lifesaver! Thank you for that!

    Now my questions:

    1. We are renovating our laundry room and mudroom and will need to replace cabinets throughout. Our contractor is recommending we go with CNC. I know you have rated them well, but I’m concerned about their durability, as we are a family of five, and our laundry room gets a LOT of use! Whatever cabinets we choose, I want them to be able to withstand plenty of abuse and remain intact. If CNC does not fit that bill, can you please suggest some cabinets/manufacturers that might? I am absolutely not afraid to spend more in order to get the most durable cabinets I can!

    2. In reading through your responses I’ve noticed that you generally recommend that consumers go with the most high-end line that a manufacturer produces. How does one determine that when looking at manufacturer websites?

    3. Finally, what type of cabinet material would you recommend for a laundry room (plywood, regular solid wood, MDF? Painted vs. Unpainted/stained?)? As I stated before, these cabinets are going to be given a fair amount of abuse, and I want to make sure that anything I purchase is able to withstand the challenge.

    Thanks again for all your help! It is so, so appreciated!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      CNC we rate well for an inexpensive cabinet line. Their cabinet construction is well done and durable. However they are an inexpensive line so do not expect the type of attractive finishes that might be available in more expensive lines or very many choices in door style, finish, or different cabinet sizes and types. As with some other inexpensive lines damages in shipping and quality control can be an issue but the cabinets come fast and problems can be replaced quickly.

      As a consumer I would not make it my job weaving through which upgrades I needed in which line. This would be like researching car parts to tell your mechanic what part manufacturers you wanted when he worked on your car. I think it is better to research to find the cabinet dealer and designer that you want to work with. Let them help you find the line that they sell that best fits your needs. Contractors are often not good advisers in recommending cabinet places as they want what makes their life easy and have different priorities than you as a consumer.

      I don’t know where you are located but you could see if our list of possible dealers helps you:


  22. John Juve

    I appreciate all the information you provide, I am in California with a new construction build project. I spoke with someone who has been in the cabinet industry for 40 yrs and he recommends Jay Rambo Cabinets. I don see them on your list do you have any experience with them and how would you rate them?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi John,
      Never heard of them. They appear to be frameless cabinets but they give little information on their web site. Many kitchen designers are nuts so I am wary when a designer recommends one particular line that I have never heard of. Particularly a frameless line in California where style is valued above construction quality in LA.

  23. Jamie

    Hello, could you please tell me more as to why Shiloh cabinets get a C rating for quality. My contractor has recommended them for our remodel but seeing these reviews makes me wonder if this is a good idea.

    Thanks for your time and knowledge!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jamie,
      Shiloh uses an insufficient hanging rail on the back of their cabinet. It could be fixed by a carpenter in the field but unchanged they make very nice but less than sturdy cabinetry.

  24. PJ

    Hi Paul, I have no questions right now but thank you so much for all of your responses on this blog. You are quite knowledgeable and clearly love your craft. I have received quite an education from you. Also enjoyed your videos on youtube!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Thanks PJ the videos are always fun to make, although in the one’s with me, I am not a naturally gifted speaker. Doug Mottershead is much better in our videos together. My Brooklyn accent doesn’t serve me well either. 🙂

  25. Rachel

    Paul, hoping to extract some of your expert insights.

    Based on the positive recommendations on your page, I went into two different local Fabuwood dealers looking for some info and hoping to find the right KD fit for me. Standard white is fine for the majority of my kitchen, but I want a blue island, which apparently is not a standard color for Fabuwood. Both dealers said by the time I pay for the custom color, I may as well get a higher quality cabinet that offers navy as a standard option.

    They redirected me to alternate manufacturers, one Cuisine Ideale the other Hanssem. There don’t seem to be many reviews out there for either, and Hanssem’s website is terrible – no info on the construction of their products,- which raises a red flag. They are both also frameless, and after reading up on your articles, I am now informed enough to know that maybe these aren’t a good long term option as frameless cabinets are less durably constructed. Do you have any experience with either of those companies?

    I’ve since gone back to the drawing board narrowing it to framed cabinets offered in blue and came up with this list: Wolf (expression or signature series); Mid-continent; Homecrest; Omega Dynasty and Starmark. Looking through reviews for each you can find people that love and others that hate each and every one. Do you get either of those feelings from any of those names?

    I want well constructed cabinets that aren’t going to break the bank, but will last a very long time in my forever home. On this account, should I definitely rule out frameless? Hoping you can provide some guidance through this mind boggling maze.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Rachel,
      I think using Fabuwood for your main kitchen and a more expensive line for the Island is the way to go here. We do this all the time. You will have to pay two delivery charges with most dealers but it will cost far less overall than ordering the whole kitchen in the more expensive brand. Custom colors in Fabuwood are ridiculously overpriced and because they paint over existing cabinets more likely to chip. You just have to find a dealer that sells Fabuwood and another well constructed more expensive brand as well.

      I would use our reviews to rate cabinetry. Never go by reviews of cabinets from customers. So Consumer Reports that uses customer reviews is equally unreliable. See link below:

      Customers usually don’t know what they are talking about and blame dealer, designer, and contractor mistakes on the cabinet brand, They will also complain about cabinet properties they should have considered before buying. Such as paint chipping or being damaged by water, mineral streaks on maple cabinets, cherry pits on cherry cabinets and all kinds of wood variations that should be expected in a natural wood product.

      Also getting a damaged cabinet during shipping or installation is not uncommon in any cabinet line and having to wait 2 weeks or more for a replacement part is also par for the course in a complex kitchen renovation. Many customers will complain if even the slightest issue arises not understanding that buying a complex cabinetry design with sometimes a 100 cabinetry pieces is not like buying a toaster or a pair of pants. Expect at least some minor issues. Replacement parts must be built, finished, and shipped and there are no returns if you don’t like or want something you purchased that isn’t defective in some way.

  26. Wenjunshao

    I m building a new kitchen and was introduced to Shiloh and mouser. Which one is a better quality cabinet?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Mouser see our ratings

  27. Fred

    I was very interested and happy to find your rating list of kitchen cabinet brands. What do you know about Bridgewood Custom Cabinetry? It is not on your list.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Fred,
      Upgraded to plywood construction Bridgewood would get top ratings from us on construction for both their framed and frameless lines. We would love to include them in our ratings but we just aren’t sure how they price out. If they price out a a level 4 they would be a great value. At a 5 they are probably about average. They would be over priced for anything above 5. If you get a price comparison with another line that would help us getting some intel on where the price out at.

  28. T McKay

    I’m sorry. My comment was confusing. I didn’t mean 42 inches, I meant 42 cabinet boxes (to show quantity). I have a walk-through with a showroom KD today (the one suggesting Kitchen Craft, which concerns me). Thanks for the offer to review plans. The Schuler bid is the most appealing but I’m not fully confident about working with Lowe’s.

  29. T McKay

    What an amazing resource! Thank you. We are about to start a significant remodel of our kitchen. Of course, our cabinet decision has been the most difficult. We have 42 cabinet boxes and bids are all over the place! We are considering Kitchen Craft, Medallion and Schuler (from Lowe’s). We are doing a light stain on cherry for losers and painted “greige” uppers. Would you share your suggestion in this case please?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi T,
      There are several alarm bells that your comment sets off. For example:

      Using 42″ top cabinets is an unusual size for an experienced kitchen designer to use, but very common for poor designers, homeowners and builders to design with.

      The three cabinet lines you mention are unusual in that KitchenCraft is a poorly made frameless cabinet and both Medallion and Schuler are expensive framed cabinets that are literally the same cabinet line re-branded.

      Doing different color bottoms and top cabinets is more complex than most customers realize and less experienced kitchen designers will make mistakes. If you are an expert designer you can successfully navigate unusual design decisions but your project has so many amateurish “tells” that I worry that you and your designer are in over your heads.

      Feel free to call us on a Friday between 2 and 4 pm EST and we can answer questions and look at your design if you like.

  30. Laura

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you so very much for your reply! I have read just about every one of your blog posts over the last week or two, and also thoroughly enjoyed the videos you posted. Loved reading about the trip you and Julie took to Iceland, and also really appreciate your links to the ratings by Yale. Your blog is a wonderful resource and I am truly grateful for your advice.

  31. Paul McAlary

    Center MDF recessed panels are actually preferred on painted cabinets. Any of the brands that we give a B+ or A for construction are well constructed. Whether you should buy those lines is simply a matter of how much you like their finishes. Less expensive lines tend to have less beautiful finishes.

  32. Laura

    Hi Paul,
    Following your response to Dee’s recent question: is there a line of the Fabuwood shaker doors you recommend if the ones with the MDF center panel aren’t what you would suggest? I thought the Allure line was the most upgraded but I think I’m wrong about that! I see some of the Shaker doors miter in toward the center panel. I really like the look but I gather it’s not a good idea due to seams? I could let it go to avoid problems.
    Lastly, from your ratings it looks like I’m on a 2-3 budget. I see you used to carry Legacy Presidential, Do you still like it? There’s a dealer nearby with Fabuwood and J&K but their website is absolutely awful so I don’t have high hopes for their design ability. Good designers in my area carry Homecrest and Legacy Presidential and more pricey brands such as Designer’s Choice, HK, Wellborn and Diamond. I really love the Fabuwood but I believe you when you say the designer is the most important piece of the puzzle. Any advice? Thank you!

  33. Karen B

    Hi, DO you have any experience with Schuyler cabinets? Are they good quality? Durable?
    Thank you for any help

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Schuler Cabinetry is sold at Lowes and is actually Medallion cabinetry and we rate both. Schuyler I have never heard of and it doesn’t come up in a Google search.

  34. Paul McAlary

    Hi Dee,
    MDF Doors will do all of the above far, far more easily than on a wood door. Chip, scratch, dent and be damaged by water. not to mention that since they are not wood replacing a door later will be impossible because the door profile was done by a router that no cabinet line can replicate once the cabinet door is no longer sold. Simply put BAD idea.

  35. Dee

    Thanks for your quick response Paul! I will do a comparison and ask about an upgrade. Also can you explain what you mean by “an MDF door – the cabinets would damage too easily.” In what way would they get damaged, ie., water, chips, staining? Thanks again!

  36. Paul McAlary

    Hi Dee,
    I think Marsh makes a pretty good cabinet inexpensively. Exactly how nice the painted white finish is compared to Fabuwood’s I couldn’t say exactly. If you see both up close and are happy with the Marsh that would be fine. You need to upgrade the Marsh to all plywood construction to equal Fabuwoods construction.

  37. Dee

    Thanks so much Paul! I have another question, what are your thoughts about Marsh white painted shaker cabinets? The reason I ask is I went to two different kitchen places and spoke to two different designers, both of whom seemed incredibly knowledgeable. One sold Fabuwood cabinets and the other sold Wellborn and Marsh. For some reason I felt like I had a better rapport with the person who sold the Wellborn/Marsh cabinets, I thought she had some great ideas and spent a lot of time with me. I know that Fabuwood cabinets would be a lot less expensive than the Wellborn cabinets and I’m wondering if Marsh would be a good alternative perhaps in the same price range as Fabuwood? I can see that you rate Fabuwood a bit higher than Marsh. In that regard, what would you suggest?

  38. Christine

    Hi Paul. Thanks again for your response. I should have mentioned I’ve been out of a kitchen since December 2019 and a proper kitchen since May 2019 due to kitchen cabinet company going out of business and now Covid 19 delay with another. So the design yes was originally my suggestion and discussed with designers but I do agree I may not have had the right kitchen designers. The current designer is now open but charging me more money do to Covid19….he said the supplier Fabuwood went up 5% and I feel uncomfortably with his business practices reluctant to email me blueprints of the kitchen design and other things as well. With that said both kitchen cabinets were around the same price that is why I budgeted 8k. Hopefully I’ll get a kitchen soon. I will look into some of your kitchen designers suggestions in my area. Thanks again.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Christine,
      Fabuwood prices did increased 5% and this project has been dragged out 12 months so price increases were likely. It sounds like the present designer is more wary of you than you are of them and possibly rightly so. You have to pay for the plans before any good designers will supply them. People that have kitchen horror stories that drag out great lengths of time are almost always part of the reason why. In our kitchen world lightning strikes the same people over and over because they insist on doing things their way even it entails figuratively standing in a thunderstorm with a lightning rod in their hands.

  39. Dee

    Hi Paul,
    I am hoping you can help me with a couple of questions. I became interested in Fabuwood cabinets for two reasons, 1. I read online about someone who designed her kitchen with them and I thought they looked beautiful. 2. I came across your site and you seem to highly recommend them. My kitchen designer also recommended Wellborn cabinets and I’m wondering if it’s worth paying the extra money for the Wellborn cabinets? I am looking at white shaker. Also, my cabinet designer gave me quotes for both Wellborn Maple White Paint Shaker Door and Wellborn MDF White Paint Bristol Door (shaker door with simple applied molding inside). So the comparisons are Fabuwood Galaxy Frost white shaker or the Wellborn white shaker cabinets? And what are your thoughts about the MDF door which would save me about $2,500. She mentioned that people like the MDF doors because they do not show any seams. Your help would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dee,
      Generally I would not recommend an MDF door – the cabinets would damage too easily. I would chose Fabuwood over Wellborn for a painted white shaker door. Wellborn would be a better choice for a maple or cherry cabinet.

  40. Christine Zafra-Powell

    Hello. I have 8k budget on kitchen cabinets. Kitchen is small and narrow. I designed a L shape style kitchen extending the fridge (wall pocket with top cabinets) and island with cabinets underneath (48 inch pennisula) into the eat in kitchen area to maximize kitchen space and make the kitchen bigger. Kitchen area itself is 130 inches which will hold 30inch wall oven, cooktop double trash cans x 84 inch wall which holds 30 inch farm sink and 24 inch dishwasher. What cabinet line wood you recommend? Style preference is double shaker grey color cabinets. 42inch height in cabinets I have 9.5ft ceilings too. Thank you for all this information. I felt so lost but feel more confident using this site as guide.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Christine,
      The most important advice I can give you is DO NOT design your own kitchen or order cabinets without the help of a professional kitchen designer. Just giving dimensions as you do shows that you are in way over your head. Even having a cabinet budget also shows a lack of understanding. You want an overall budget which you can spend many different ways. For example having a cooktop and a wall oven costs at least $3000 more in cabinetry and appliances than designing your kitchen with a range. Using the $3000 to create a better design or free up money for more important things could make more sense. Let a professional direct you and help you make sensible decisions and spend your budget wisely. People that insist on doing complex projects without the help they need end up spending their money foolishly. Their renovations do not run smoothly because they were organized and directed by an amateur. The most frustrating part as a kitchen designer is that due to the delusion named the IKEA Effect customers that avoid getting help mistakenly believe that their kitchen that might look idiotic to anyone else is wonderful.

  41. Michelle

    Hi, We are going to be having new cabinets installed in our kitchen here soon. We are wanting a shaker style cabinet. We are considering either waypoint or wolf. Which is better in your opinion? Also if we went with wolf is there much of a price and quality difference between the classic and signature lines? Great info on this site!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Michelle,
      All three lines are made very similarly if you upgrade the Waypoint. I believe Wolf Signature just offers more options and choices than Wolf Classic. I believe it can be significantly more depending on the finish and options you choose.

  42. Julia

    I actually posted a question earlier today on the older ratings page. However, my question has changed since I have read more of your posts. We are using cabinets to build a home office/craft room. The cabinets will be white and will cover 12 feet in an L-shape with wall cabinets & shelves only above the long wall. It is a pretty basic layout, no appliances, plumbing or electrical involved. We don’t want to break the bank. Since most companies (that we can afford) don’t have a separate desk cabinet line we will probably be using kitchen cabinets. Therefore should we use a kitchen designer or a designer that does general remodel work? Since the wear & tear will de different than a kitchen would you have any suggestion on what cabinet brands we should consider? That way I can look into designers that work with those brands. Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Julia,
      I would use an inexpensive cabinet line like Wolf, Fabuwood, or CNC for the bottom cabinets and have a carpenter build shelves above down to the countertop and paint those shelves to match.Top shelving cabinets will be expensive and not really what you are looking for. The countertop could also be built and painted. You should use a kitchen designer because having all this work and look right is difficult. The designers time is incorporated into the price of the cabinets when you buy them at any reputable dealer. Buying RTA cabinetry without a designers help will compromise a project like this and I would expect it to end up looking like the work of amateurs without knowledgeable help.

  43. Sam

    Hi there. Thanks for all the valuable info on this blog.
    I’m looking to renovate my small kitchen and I really like slab door styles, and I’m leaning towards a frameless cabinet. My contractor recommended Eclipse, but I can’t find your rating on that line. Are you familiar with the line and if so, what do you think of it?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Sam,
      Eclipse uses a 3/4″ thick box so that is better than a 5/8″ box. If you can upgrade to a plywood box in the door style you are selecting that would be even better. However some laminate and foil door styles won’t work with a plywood box. For a frameless line they look like a fine choice. Remember to try and keep cabinet doors 18″ wide or less and cabinet drawer bases no wider than 30″ for durability in a frameless line.

  44. Eric

    Great blog. Makes my head spin on all the different choices available. We are building our forever home North of Dallas on the OK/TX border and the one designer we spoke with recommended Shiloh cabinets. I see they didn’t fair well in your review. Can you recommend a designer and or cabinet manufacturer for my area. We are wanting a shaker style in grey

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Eric,
      Most cabinet brands will carry a shaker door style in at least one grey color Shiloh is not inexpensive so you will have many cabinet line choices under their price point. We do recomend some dealers based on the reviews they get, the designs they show, and the lines they carry. I’m not sure if any would be close to you. Link below:

  45. Ginger Drechsel

    Hi Paul,

    My husband and I are in the beginning stages of a kitchen remodel. We are planning on white kitchen cabinets with a shaker style door. We are working with a designer who is recommending a frameless cabinet and I have read in this feed that you don’t recommend frameless cabinets with that style door. Can you share why the two don’t work well?

    Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Ginger,
      There is no question that:
      1. Framed cabinetry if it is in a well built cabinet line is better and more durably made than any frameless line.
      2. That for a contemporary slab door styles (especially in modern styles) that slab doors look better in frameless over framed cabinetry.

      Since a shaker door style isn’t a slab and usually isn’t used to create ultra modern style kitchens it doesn’t make much sense to sacrifice durability and to get frameless cabinetry. Especially since upgraded plywood 3/4″ sides on frameless cabinets is usually only available in expensive cabinet frameless lines. So if you decided to get the best made frameless lines you would be paying more than better made inexpensive framed lines. The only argument made by designers in favor of frameless lines in cases like this is for the added storage and easy access.

      Here are two blogs you should read:

  46. Harriet L.

    Great site. Several questions, if I may. We are hoping to redo our kitchen later this year or early next year. Some KDs I spoke with at a home show won’t touch a kitchen renovation unless the budget is $100K or more. I’d like to keep the budget to under $40k, but there’s a lot to be done (remove a non-load-bearing 10′ wall, new flooring, move plumbing & electrical) plus new cabinetry & countertops. My hope is to remove the wall dividing the existing kitchen and dining room to make one larger space. (each room is 10’x13′, so the new space would be 20’x13). So Question #1: Is what I’m thinking even possible in that budget?

    As far as finishes – I like a maple-species door with a medium stain, but my significant other wants everything from floors to ceiling to be stark white… but I think that would be a maintenance nightmare (teenager, cats, dogs, etc). Really have a challenge to get a consensus on the type of finish. For example, I like the kind of medium color seen on Legacy Presidential cabinets with the Amaretto stain on Maple, but the “Ash” paint isn’t bad either, to give an example of what I like. Question #2: What finishes (or types of finishes) do you find are more likely to stand up to actual real-life use by multiple people?

    Question #3: I’ve also heard that stained finishes tend to hold up better than painted – is that correct?

    Question #4: A contractor I’ve used for other work in the past is highly recommending Conestoga cabinets (he says it’s top-of-the-line cabinetry) but I can’t find enough info about it to confirm his claim… but I’m dubious.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Harriet,
      1. Budget depends on your location as pricing a project in Manhattan or San Francisco might be 50% more than say outside Philadelphia where we are located. In our area 40K would be possible but only if the contractor was reasonably priced and you were getting a well made but inexpensive cabinet brand, and and inexpensive appliance package without a lot of splurging on design features and materials.
      2. and 3. Stain wears much better than white paint in any cabinet line. However There are furnisher re-finishers that can touch up a kitchen for about $400 in our area and make a 5 or 10 year old kitchen look brand new.
      4. Conestoga makes RTA cabinetry as far as I know. We always recommend buying cabinetry assembled and working with a kitchen designer. Buying cabinetry you or your contractor designed and then assembled is starting a complex renovation with unqualified help. The job will never end up as professional as it might with knowledgeable help from an experienced kitchen designer.

      You should also complete the kitchen design first and then have at least 3 contractors that get good reviews bid on the whole project. Simply assigning a single contractor to do a job without getting other estimates assures that you are operating with less information and a non competitive bid. Hiring a contractor without a signed contract for a complete price for all the work to be preformed is also foolish.

  47. Paul McAlary

    Hi Brad,
    On a white kitchen I would normally recomend Brighton. You won’t be able to notice a difference between Brighton and Wellsford on a painted cabinet. Why spend 10% more in that case? Put the 10% difference into appliance upgrades or other splurges.

  48. Blakely Slater

    Hi, I see some comments above regarding Forevermark being out of product. I am currently working with a company that is quoting me Forevermark cabinets and we were considering going with these. Does anyone have any update on Forevermark production?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Not being a Forevermark dealer I don’t know anything for sure but I did hear from a several sources that they had long delays. The longest delay for a backorder we saw in Fabuwood was 8 weeks, and it has gotten a lot better since then. If anyone reads this and has information please post.

  49. Edith

    Thank you for your efforts to inform the consumer of kitchen remodel pitfalls.
    We have a dilemma that has left us stalled in the effort to remodel the kitchen. I expect most people go into a kitchen remodel with an expectation of some return on investment, however our property was rezoned, so the kitchen may or may not be a factor in resale. Bottom line, we want decent cabinets though not necessarily heirloom quality, yet something better than what flippers install. Any tips on prudent corner cutting.
    Are there any decent RTA lines or lines that are more manageable as a partial DIY project? How much does shipping impact the final cost? Is it better to purchase closer to home? If so, are there any manufacturers in New England?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Edith,
      Getting lower cost but well constructed cabinetry like Fabuwood, CNC, Wolf, and other imported brands assembled in the US can make sense. But you need knowledgeable kitchen design help more than you think. Good kitchen designers are the one component that should never be skimped on as they help you make the sensible decisions that make your renovation a good investment. Read this blog

  50. Brad

    Hi Paul,
    I live in the Pittsburgh area. I have not found a store in my area that sells both Wellsford and Brighton yet. I did find one place about an hour south of me that sells Brighton. I was first trying to decide on which cabinet maker I would like. As far as finishing goes they will be painted white.

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