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

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.


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. Paul McAlary

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

  2. Carrie

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

  3. AN

    Hi Paul,

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

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

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  4. Butler

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  5. Dana M DeLong

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

  6. Dana M DeLong

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  7. Paul McAlary

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

  8. Vicki

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

  9. Vicki

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  10. Shirl

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  11. Colin

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

  12. Jim

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  13. Paul Curtis

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

    Is all wood also sold on


  14. Paul Curtis

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  15. Leanne

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  16. Gary

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  17. Nick

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  18. Liz

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  19. Jennifer

    Do you have an opinion on the cabinet maker in AZ called kustom cabs ?

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

    Thanks in advance

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  20. Kathryn Hutchison

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

      This is from the blog:
      The value grade we give is not a rating about the quality of the cabinetry but a rating of how good an investment a cabinet line is considering it’s cost. For example, many of the most expensive well made cabinet lines receive lower marks on value even though as designers we think the cabinetry is the best in it’s class. These lines receive lower grades on value simply because there are competitors offering the same quality at slightly lower prices.

  21. Ariella

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

    Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

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

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

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

  22. Sander Wechsler

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

      I think as is so often the case you should be researching to find an experienced kitchen designer to work with first before focusing on cabinet brands. Here is a link to other dealers we recommend around the US:

  23. Ariella

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  24. Kelly

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  25. Sophie

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

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

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

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

  26. Eric

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

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

  27. Cathy

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  28. Sheila

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  29. Adrienne

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  30. Kristen abrams

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  31. Kristen

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  32. Eric

    Hi Paul and Team,

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

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

    We’ve been referencing your list of qualifications for quality cabinet construction (from this link

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

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

    Was hoping you could help us with some questions:

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  33. Regina

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

  34. Elizabeth

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

  35. Ellenie

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  36. Nick

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

  37. Vish

    Do you have any review for Lafata cabinets in Michigan

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

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

  38. Momo

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

  39. Mike Maggio

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  40. Mike Maggio

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

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

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

  41. Karuna Sandu

    i don’t see any Allen + Roth in the list. Do you have any information on this cabinetry?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Karuna,
      Alan and Roth cabinets are re-branded cabinets sold at Lowes. I’m not sure which manufacturer they have making them at the moment. So I couldn’t tell you anything about them and there is nothing very specific I can find online.

  42. michael musi

    People should know – It’s been a while since I’ve written a poor review, but given what I have seen with my Cabico cabinets I have no choice, not to mention I feel a need to protect others from this manufacturer. What I received can only be described as the poorest of quality and hideous craftsmanship; including doors and cabinets which should not have left the factory. Extremely disappointed – look elsewhere for quality cabinets – for the kind of money demanded by Cabico there are better manufactures to chose from.

  43. Momo

    Hi Paul, thank you for such a thorough cabinet rating list! This has been extremely helpful as a new home owner who is looking for a full kitchen remodel in a home that should be featured in This Old Home. I am looking to enlarge my small kitchen (a dated and poorly done one from ikea) and want to include an island with banquette area. My renovations will include knocking down a wall to open up the space and bring together the kitchen and formal dining room. Fortunately all of the labor including installation of the cabinets and counter top will be done by family members who are professionals by trade in home improvement. However I still need a professional to design a new kitchen layout and reconfigure the space as there are some old home challenges. My question is should I go with a kitchen designer (they will design and supply the cabinets including some of the brands listed above or an interior designer who specializes in kitchen design but will also help with styling the kitchen and dining room? Also what is your favorite among JSI, Waypoint, Wolf and Candlelight? Thank you kindly!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Momo,
      I am generally not a fan of paying interior designers for kitchen designs for several reasons:

      First the best designers will always be people that design kitchens full time with many years of experience and to do that they must be kitchen designers working in cabinet dealerships.

      Second, almost everywhere you buy cabinets designing the kitchen is INCLUDED in the cost of the cabinets. So why pay for something that comes free from someone who’s likely more experienced. IKEA, Costco and a few other retail and online establishments don’t employ kitchen design professionals and any place that doesn’t should be avoided.

      Third, kitchens must be designed in the particular brand of cabinets you are choosing as every cabinet line has different product availabilities and nuances. Unless you are getting custom cabinets and then experience designing kitchens is even more important.

      Forth, pricing a kitchen is almost an art form. Knowing how even custom lines calculate their pricing can save 10% or more on cabinetry. Expert kitchen designers know when using wall cabinets as shallow base cabinets, ordering skins and doors instead of attached panels, or upgrading to the more expensive cabinet construction when individual cabinet upgrades surpass the costs of upgrading the whole kitchen, will make the most sense. Quite often upgrades and customizations in a less expensive cabinet line will add up until at some point changing a design to a more expensive and more custom line actually cost less. THIS IS ALSO WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO WORK WITH A CABINET DEALER THAT SELLS SEVERAL CABINET BRANDS.

      Main Line Kitchen Design designs and sell 8 different cabinet lines because each line has it’s own strengths. For example: If you are getting standard cabinet sizes and a white shaker full overlay door style than being in an expensive cabinet line is probably a waste of money. If you are getting navy blue cabinetry than we know you will be spending at least 30% more to be in a cabinet line that does that color well. Is it worth spending an additional 20% or 30% to be in a full custom line? Only an experienced professional kitchen designer would know.

      This is why I can’t answer you question about which brand I would pick. The brands you list are across a large price point spread. I would need to know your kitchen design in great detail and color selections and even the exact price structure of those brands to know what’s the best value for your particular kitchen.

      This is why finding a good kitchen designer working in a reputable and multi cabinet line cabinet dealership is your most important choice of all. Finding the cabinet line that makes sense for you isn’t even possible until you find a very knowledgeable kitchen designer to work with.

  44. Olga

    Hi Paul, do you still sell CNC cabinets? The only dealer for CNC cabinetry in my area said she doesn’t want to work with them right now and I’m trying to figure out why. Is this a temporary issue? Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Olga,
      Yes we still sell CNC. I can guess that a dealer might be frustrated by the added confusion that Covid creates in the ordering, shipping, and replacing parts. The less expensive the cabinet line, usually the greater the confusion, as employees and staff are paid less and are less permanent. All the cabinet companies are in greater disarray now though. So getting upset with one line you carry doesn’t mean you will find a better alternative similarly priced. We recommend Fabuwood as a better alternative to CNC but the cabinetry is generally about 15% more expensive. If you want the lower cost expect a little more confusion and a slightly less attractive product. Both lines are well constructed.


    R.D Henry and Decora, what are the differences in quality and durability of these and Which would be the better choice?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Tracy,
      They are very close and both good choices. How good the kitchen designer is should tip the scales.

      A kitchen designer that doesn’t do what the customer wants (at least to start) is always a good sign. Why the least experienced and knowledgeable person (the customer) should direct the design process makes little sense. In the end no one can make a customer buy a kitchen they don’t like so any designer that shows customers what they didn’t ask for, simply because it’s better and should at least be seen, gets my respect. In the end customers will buy what they want, but educating them on alternative choices is the mark of the best designers.

  46. Agnes

    What do you know about Kitchen Cabinet Distributors (KCD)?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      They are many different animals you would have to give me a web site to identify them. As always the designer is most important and any of these KCD’s will usually employee less experienced designers.

  47. Jennifer Jenkins

    Hello – I am sweating my bathroom vanity.
    My hope is to install a 60 inch vanity combo from Brighton. My kitchen is Brighton and I love it.

    But, the timing might not line up and I may need to order from my installer. He offers Waypoint at a comparable/slightly more expensive quote than Brighton because he then includes it in his “3 year warranty”.

    If I end up with Waypoint – will I regret it terribly?

    If Brighton timeline doesnt work, I could look into Bertch and maybe have within 4 weeks.

    I’m a quality snob and dont want to pay top dollar for quality that bugs me over time.

    But I’m also a realist and dont want to waste time chasing something that in the end wont be noticeable.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jennifer,
      Waypoint is a cabinet line that normally is at least 40% less than Brighton. So your installer is marking it way up. If you are comparing apples to apples, I would get rid of my installer. He doesn’t seem to have your best interest at heart and any warranty from someone like this has no value.

  48. ACoffey

    Hi! Thanks so much again for this resource! So, I’m in the middle of a kitchen renovation and my kitchen designer suddenly had to close his doors due to a family death. Our contractor hooked us up with another designer, but now we’re forced to quickly decide upon a new cabinet manufacturer, as this designer does not work with the same brands as our previous designer did. We’re trying to decide between either Dynasty or Wellborn (both framed styles). We had been planning to use Brighton cabinets when working with our previous designer and would like something of similar quality. I’d love to hear your suggestions/thoughts!! Thanks so much for your help!!

  49. Tommy

    Hi. I have quotes for Fabuwood and Legacy Presidential cabinets (white shaker). The prices are very comparable and they both seem to receive high marks according to your reviews. Are there any pros/cons to either brand or can you point me in a direction? Thanks.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Tommy,
      Legacy Presidential is normally much more expensive but you are paying for the diversity of their door styles and finishes so if you are getting a white shaker door they are very similar. You are probably paying too much for the Fabuwood cabinetry that Dealer is marking cabinetry up more than the Legacy dealer or as is often the case you are not comparing apples to apples. I’d read this blog:

  50. Dee

    Hi Paul, doing a kitchen and bath renovation of a modest vacation house in a NC mountain community. Resources are limited; a few cabinet dealers, the local lumber company, and several local custom cabinet makers who only do framed units with limited door styles. I want frameless because of better storage and easier to clean. What are your comments about Eclipse by Shiloh, Kith Eudora,or Cuisimax? Its not get what you like; it’s like what you can get situation.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dee,
      If you spend any time reading our web site or simply reading the ratings on this blog you will see that we don’t recommend much of you are considering.
      People often pose questions by first ignoring my advice and then asking me to pick from the poor selections they propose. I will never do it. I’ll simply reiterate:
      Find a good kitchen designer to work with.
      Listen to their advice.
      And probably get the better made cabinetry that is available to you locally for hopefully a better price.

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