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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. BZubal

    Great forum. Thank you. Ordered frameless Showplace Cabinetry shaker style black for kitchen and teal in office. Worst quality. First 4 boxes opened, significant damage on all, paint rubbed off by packaging, broken frames. Thin cardboard covering. No protection on cabinet face or corners. Thin white security straps around cardboard cut into cabinet surface and damaged paint. Shelving with spotty areas of missing paint. Expect full refund as extensive damage, poor quality and packaging. Parts in packages were literally taped to painted surfaces. Cabinets delivered 3 weeks prior to project start and no notice prior to day of delivery. Stay clear of this company. When discussed refund, I was informed by rep that the cabinets were ‘custom’. In process of cc dispute for final 50% pay (requested by dealer prior to delivery) and other 50% downpayment by check. Colorado

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi BZubal,
      I am not on the same page with you here. The cabinet dealers responsibility is to give you the correct undamaged cabinets. If things come damaged they must replace them free of charge. Your responsibility is to know what you are ordering, pay for what you have had specially made for you, and then wait until any damaged products get redelivered if that is needed.

      What you don’t get to do is order a complete kitchen specially made for you and then cancel the order because you don’t like it. It sounds like you are also keeping the cabinets. Sometimes cabinets come damaged or deflective, especially during a pandemic. You should research better before you purchase cabinets for an expensive project so that you know what to expect. And the designer and dealer should help you understand what your responsibilities are so that you aren’t charging back when your unrealistic expectations aren’t met.

      I always tell customers that we give them a lifetime warranty, that we have a no questions asked policy on damages and replacements, and we do not expect them to accept any cabinetry damaged or deflective. However we do not make the cabinets or ship the cabinets so that everyone needs to wait for replacements. You didn’t order a toaster that can be put back on a shelf. The undamaged cabinets you ordered are of no use to anyone other than you. Sorry no sympathy here for anyone but the dealer. You need to wait for replacements and shouldn’t get a refund.

  2. Mark

    This website is a god send. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. If I was located in PA you would be my designers. I didn’t see this brand listed on your site Aline Cabinets
    They are not custom and we have a pretty standard kitchen layout. It looks like they hit all the markers on your buying guide. Do you see any potential gotchas with this brand?

    Thank you!!

  3. paul mcalary

    Hi Peter,
    Actually for the less expensive cabinet brands American made means less well made. US companies can’t offer painted and some grey stains for close to the price of the US lines that import their doors and fronts like Wolf or Fabuwood. Fabuwood offers all the options most lower priced US companies do in sizes and internal conveniences. They just offer fewer door styles and finishes. If you want a painted recessed panel door style in one of the Fabuwood finishes you would be making a mistake not getting them. If you want maple or cherry stained cabinets that would be a reason to buy a lower priced US line. Make sure you upgrade to all plywood construction.

  4. Peter

    Waypoint and Fabuwood are both rated as 2 in price, but I have heard fabuwood does not offer that many options for differing cabinets. Our designer is pushing for waypoint because they are built in America and offer more options. I like the American made idea, but does it outweigh the rating of A to B?

  5. Laura

    Hi Paul,
    I enjoyed reading your comments about KBIS. 30 unicorns is quite a funny visual! I hope your team does attend the show next year. I think we’re all more than ready to get back to meeting and greeting in person, traveling, and going maskless!

  6. paul mcalary

    Hi Laura,
    Good question about KBIS. While our company sends most of our employees and their spouses to KBIS each year, none of us attended the virtual KBIS. Partly because we are are so overbooked with work that we couldn’t spare the time, and also because when a couple of us were free and tried to logon – KBIS was down.

    I love visiting the booths at KBIS and we all learn a lot every year from the companies that are represented. However, the seminars I find amateurish. The events are usually a waste of time, and the speakers are usually also a waste. Except for Gary Vaynerchuck from several years ago.

    30 under 30 makes me crazy – The whole premise of someone under 30 being experienced enough to have any significance in our profession is far fetched. There being 30 of these unicorns is ridiculous.

    We are really looking forward to KBIS next year. Our designers getting to spend time with each other will also be great since we have become a company of Zoomers due to the pandemic, and will never go back to spending the time we used to in our offices once Covid is a memory.

  7. Laura

    Hi Paul,
    I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on the (virtual) 2021 KBIS? It’s always interesting to hear your perspective!

  8. Shawn

    Hi. Thought it right to put in a correction about Fabuwood. Fabuwood does have real solid wood door/drawer 5-piece frames, cabinet face frames, and drawer box! I was inadvertently misled.
    Since my last comment a few days ago, I confirmed with another dealer, and realized my sudden suspicion/misconception was a result of reading a faulty Fabuwood Allure Series Construction Specifications paper dated 03.03.19, which was give me by a different dealer. That paper does state “solid plywood stiles and rails,” and “solid plywood dovetail drawer box” while also stating “solid wood” door and drawer front frames and face frames. Must have been typos not caught!

  9. paul mcalary

    Hi Jeannne,
    For a kitchen it would be a bad idea to have cabinets made. For a library or entry area with a bench and cubbies where cabinet lines don’t specialize i the pieces that you might need it could make sense. But you are giving up durability and the whole engineering process that custom lines have in a kitchen. Here’s a blog on the topic:

  10. Jeanne tanner

    Hi Paul!
    What’s your opinion on hand made cabinets?
    I found a guy that will build my cabinets and his work is beautiful and not too much more than ordering a name brand cabinet.

  11. Dorinda

    In your list of cabinet ratings, why is there an asterisk next to Thomasville*

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Thomasville cabinets are misleading. They are not made and have no relationship to the Thomasville furniture company. Home Depot bought the right to use the name and has had several companies make these cabinets over the years. For the last 10 or so Masterbrands has made them and they are essentially Diamond cabinets to the best of my knowledge.

  12. Paul McAlary

    Hi Shawn,
    You need to call us on Friday 2 – 4pm EST and ask this many questions during our podcast. Two quick answers – No cabinet is ever truly solid wood. The sides, shelves, and backs will always have plywood. Center panels on painted doors are fine.

  13. Shawn

    Tricky language descriptions for homeowners:
    “solid wood” v “hardwood”. “Solid wood” can be plywood, I believe.

    Door and drawer or cabinet face frames: Most cabinets I see say solid wood (which I now believe can be plywood,) or say hardwood (meaning not plywood, I believe.)

    5-piece Drawer and door frames or fronts:
    Some brands say they have “solid wood,” but it is tricky.

    Fabuwood is an example of solid wood meaning plywood, I believe.

    If getting white painted shaker, Does plywood frame or face on the front of a framed cabinet, or comprising the 5-piece door or drawer front, make a difference in any way v hardwood maple or other species wood on door and drawer frames?

    Now in the Drawer box:
    Dovetailed “solid plywood” (Fabuwood) v. Dovetailed maple or hardwood. Again, any difference if getting white painted shaker?

    I am considering your suggested Fabuwood for its excellent construction and finish, so I’m thinking it may not make a difference, but would like to bring it up.

    Like you have said somewhere, if the more expensive cabinet lines’ stains, specialty finishes and custom options are not going to be used, it doesn’t seem to make sense to pay so much more for a brand which charges more because It offers that which isn’t needed. I note that some more expensive cabinets DO have hardwood frames, maple or hardwood doors and drawer frames and drawer boxes, I believe.

    In the beginning of my cabinetry thoughts, I thought that in order to be good lasting construction and finish, plywood could not be used all over. I thought
    cabinet face frames- should be a solid piece of wood, not like plywood,
    and that 5-piece wood doors and drawers fronts -should be made of a wood species like maple,
    and that drawer box -should be maple or birch .

    It seems Fabuwood Allure is all plywood with cabinet face frame, 5-piece door and drawer frame/front, and drawer box.

    I came to Fabuwood last in my efforts, and, to illustrate potential savings, in a preliminary design in shaker style, comparing to Fabuwood’s shaker Galaxy,Frost color:

    Kingswood Kitchens was 25% more
    Starmark was a little less than double,
    KraftMaid was more than double
    Kountry Kraft even more than that.

    Fabuwood has mdf recessed panel. Others have mdf, mdf covered with wood veneer, or plywood covered with wood veneer, or just hardwood (not plywood.)

    Regarding mdf recessed panel, any issues with spills getting moisture into that recessed panel causing it to swell and cause problems? Anything else?

    Thank you for all your expertise and help. So good of you. Thank you!!

  14. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Hi Laurie,
    Because every company is affected differently by the pandemic and we do not carry either brand and so have no inside information, it is best to trust the dealer regarding these type of questions. When the dealer is encouraging you to spend less money it makes me think that they have your best interests at heart.

  15. T


    Thank you for an exceptional resource! We found your cabinet line ratings to be exceptionally helpful. One of the local kitchen designers have recommended Premier Custom-Built Cabinetry. Do you have any experience with them or have a perspective on their cabinets?

    Thank you,

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi T,
      They appear to be a small totally custom built manufacturer. I know nothing about them, but if your designer is very good and you have the budget, they could be a good choice. Not enough information for me to truly know. It does appear that like many companies in the Pennsylvania custom cabinet world that the owners are Pro Trump politically. But in the cabinet industry the majority of the manufacturers are, so it is difficult to bring politics into decision making when it comes to buying cabinets. My rule as a dealer is that as long as everyone I speak with is professional and doesn’t EVER bring their politics into our conversations I will not judge.

  16. Laurie

    Thanks for the response re: Plato.
    Any thoughts on Countryside vs Starmark in terms of quality? The dealer said if I don’t want to splurge on the Plato, they think Countryside is better than Starmark, even though it is less expensive.

  17. paul mcalary

    Hi Jeanne,
    A veneer is probably what you want on a slab door. A solid wood door would not have the grain go across the whole door and would have stripes where pieces of wood were glued together. In a contemporary style that wouldn’t be a good look. Actually the cabinets also look a little better and are a little more expensive when the grain on the drawers goes up and down like on the doors.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Laurie,
      Another customer just brought up our 4 level pricing for Plato. I thought that we had gotten unusually low pricing for a Plato kitchen quote and that was why we had rated them as a 4, but I’m starting to think it might be a typo from our 2018 reviews that we just copied onto out 2020 reviews. Apologies, I’m looking into it now and will update the Plato pricing.

  18. Jeanne tanner

    Hi Paul!
    I talked to you today about my Ins. Renovation, lake house in Michigan.
    I really like the great northern cab line. I like the slab door style but found out it is a veneer.
    I want an oak or maple slab modern style.
    Should I be leery of veneer? It is MDF with veneer on top. Looks like a solid oak or maple door

  19. Jeanne tanner

    Hi Paul!
    I talked to you today about my Ins. Renovation, lake house in Michigan.
    I really like the great northern cab line. I like the slab door style but found out in is a veneer.
    I want an oak or maple slab modern style.
    Should I be leery of veneer? It is MDF with veneer on top. Looks like a solid oak or maple door

  20. Laurie

    Hi there! I see you have Plato woodwork as a 4 in pricing. I’ve been quoted $32k for Plato cabinets in a 10×10 kitchen, and they said StarMark would be the next line down in price, but I see you have them as a 5? They also said they would actually recommend going with the NEXT step down – Countryside, due to quality issues with starmark, which aligns to your ratings. So is Plato really a 4? And Countryside isn’t on your list, how would you rate them?

  21. kathy

    Hi! After following for a month, I took your advice and hired a KD. We have our plans and are considering 3 cabinet lines. Brookhaven and Dura Supreme are very close in costs, around 38K. We are going with an inset painted cabinet design. I have an option of going with Plato but I haven’t been able to get a quote yet. I will more than likely cross Dura Supreme off the list based on what I’ve read here, it is however the one line our KD is a dealer for. Do you think Plato would be worth looking into? One surprise to us was that our local cabinet maker came in with a quote of 57K. I’ll also be calling tomorrow, I’m questioning one part of the design and would like to run it by you. Unfortunately we do not live close to any of the KD you recommended. Thank you so much!!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Kathy,
      I’ll speak with you tomorrow. Both DuraSupreme and Brookhaven make good cabinetry but DuraSupreme has proved ethically challenged and Brookhaven financially challenged. I would worry buying either line. Plato is another good line.

  22. Jeanne tanner

    So we recently had a flood from a bathroom pipe. our insurance is replacing the whole kitchen. I am meeting with a builder/contractor who says he represents many cabinet companies . I’m so naïve to anything with the kitchen remodel I’m afraid I might let him talk me into the cabinet I’m not happy with ? I love a clean modern slab style cabinet. Can you suggest a brand that you know is tried and true for a slab style wood cabinet ?
    I’m going to remove some walls to open up a galley style kitchen focus more on the design of the kitchen rather than the brand of the cabinet like you suggested.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jean,
      First I would recomend getting an independent adjuster to help you negotiate with the insurance company to get enough money to pay for your kitchen replacement.
      Recommending a cabinet brand is less help to you as there are many good brands and most will not be carried by cabinet dealers near you. I would also start with a cabinet dealer and not a contractor and have the dealer design the kitchen and then a number of contractors bid on the construction. Lastly the slab door you like could make getting a well made cabinet much more expensive so you need to get a budget together to see what cabinetry and renovations you can afford once the insurance company gets you a number on what they are willing to pay. I don’t know where you are located so I can’t recomend dealers but here is a list of some places that might be a good starting point.

  23. Jim

    On a percentage basis, how much more would Medallion be than Diamond for comparable, non-custom cabinets?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jim,
      Normally about 15% more depending on dor style finish and customization.

  24. James Kent

    We are considering a kitchen renovation, replacing the original cabinets with either Diamond or Medallion. For the same size/style/color cabinets, approximately how much higher (%) would the price be?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Normally about 15% more depending on dor style finish and customization.

  25. Rob

    We are putting in $100k worth of cabinets in new home, I am evaluating obtaining pricing from Plato Woodwork also…current quote is from Plain and Fancy…is the quality and fit similar between products?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Rob,
      These brands are both in the highest level of the cabinet world. Spending this kind of money only makes sense with the most sophisticatedly designed kitchens. No architect would be able to design a kitchen that justified a 100K cabinet budget without many modifications and changes made by a high end kitchen designer. For a new home, the best kitchen designers would routinely need to move doorways, windows, and often walls to create the kitchen space that would justify a 100K cabinet budget. The architect needs to get the home initially planned but you should expect changes in the kitchen and baths to correct shortsighted planning. Builders and architects never give the attention to detail necessary to make a newly constructed home the best it can be. This is true of all homes but even more so with the most expensive ones. In homes valued over 5 million I would certainly recomend using not only a top tiered kitchen designer, but also a separate closet specialist, a home theater specialist, and an electronics and audio visual expert.

      You can not be an expert in all these fields. Recognizing that you can’t be an expert in everything is the hallmark of the best professionals. When our customers need closets or home theaters designed I know that the people that do those projects exclusively and everyday will do a far better job than I would. Trying to sell the cabinetry to our customers for these projects would do them a disservice. Just as would having the architect design their kitchen and my simply selling them cabinetry for that preliminary design.

      Feel free to send me the architectural drawings for your home ( and in calling in for a quick phone call during our Friday 2 -4 pm EST call-in. I can not redesign your kitchen in a phone call but I can tell you the issues that should be addressed by the kitchen and bath designer to create a design that justifies such a big budget.


    Thank-you so much for this opportunity to ask questions to the kitchen experts, I wish I lived in PA! We are in the planning phases of re-doing our kitchen. I am so overwhelmed by cabinets. We have a $300,000 house so we don’t want to put $75-100k into the kitchen. We have talked to a local cabinet store (we are in STL) and they recommended Waypoint or Kabinart (between 15-20K) but I am so scared they are both junk. A friend has Kith, I love the finishes but reviews don’t look good. We had a quote from a different company on Shiloh cabinets and they were going to be between $30-40k but you all seem to not like them and I don’t know that they are worth twice as much as Waypoint. Bottom line, I would like to spend the least amount for the best quality. What would you recommend?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Kim,
      There is almost no relation between how well a cabinet line is made and how expensive they are. Most of the cost for the most expensive cabinet brands comes from their ability to customize and the cost of their beautiful stained finishes or other unusual surfaces. Many homeowners however now choose simpler painted door styles that can be done well in inexpensive brands, and their designs do not call for unusual customization so that spending money on the most expensive brands is unneeded. There are many very inexpensive brands that do shaker white or gray door styles better than semi custom lines offering more customization at a 40 or 50% higher price. So what door style and finish you are looking for determines the line that offers you the best value. Fabuwood, Wolf, J&K, CNC, and many other inexpensive brands are ones that do these simple paints and door styles well. Shiloh while offering beautiful finishes and the ability to customize still makes a cabinet with construction deficiencies in my opinion. So without a carpenter modifying their cabinet I would not recomend it.

      As always the most valuable thing in renovating a kitchen is a good design. We answer cabinetry questions and review peoples designs on our Friday call-in from 2-4 pm EST. Callers constantly focus on what brand they should get while their kitchen design is terrible. They tell us things that drive me crazy like “my kitchen has to be designed this way” or “we can’t afford removing a wall or moving a doorway” an yet they are getting expensive cabinet brands, professional appliances and quartz countertops. Spending money on these upgrades has very little impact on what your home is worth. However, fixing bad design features in your home like removing soffits, enlarging windows, removing walls or other major layout changes can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your home, while costing very little compared to the material upgrades.

      Consumers focus on materials, color, and brands because these are easier to grasp. A great design most people might not appreciate until they saw it in 3D. And some wouldn’t truly appreciate their new space until the kitchen renovation was complete. This is why we get customers telling us “you have to see our new kitchen!” See blog below:

  27. Mike

    I see Fabuwood makes a few lines, is this the galaxy line reviewed above?

  28. Jacqueline

    Please heed Paul’s warnings on Cliq Studios. They are marketing wizards, not cabinet makers. In evaluating cabinetry, I was invited by them to visit installations in two references. Both indicated problems, and one said to me, “My kitchen is cute, but the cabinets were not the best.” They complained of delays in getting materials; the lack of custom fitting made their cabinetry for the microwave look amateurish and off the rack. Also, nothing he did himself looked custom. He was limited by funds but was very honest.

    The staff and designers (by that I mean the people who give you the 3D models) are whiz-kids at making the kitchen look great on paper. But you are on your own in getting everything to fit, be assembled properly etc. I don’t advise from what I saw.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jacqueline,
      I wory more about them going out of business and design issues ordering online than quality. Customers often have unrealistic expectations on what to expect especially when they by cabinets on line. For example all cabinet brands will have delays replacing parts and the microwave cabinet looking amateurish is the designers and installers issue and wouldn’t look that way if it was designed well in the cabinet brand.

  29. Mike

    I see Medallion makes three lines. What line is reviewed above?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mike,
      I’m not sure if all three lines can be upgraded to all plywood construction and soft close doors and drawers. I think the top two can and so they would get the reviews we give. Unfortunately the Medallion website doesn’t give construction specifics that I could find this time around.

  30. Teri


    We are considering ordering Crystal Cabinets (Camden doors in cherry wood with Wheaton finish).

    If anyone has any pros/cns please share. We also thought about Qlikstudio, but imagine Crystal to be superior?


    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Chrystal is a much better cabinet assuming it is upgraded to plywood CliqueStdios has already gone bankrupt once I would worry about it happening again and loosing my money.

  31. Mary

    We are looking at RD Henry cabinets for our kitchen remodel. I see it is well regarded by your rankings. Have you used them, and do you feel they can survive heavy use?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Mary,
      No I have never sold or used them personally they aren’t a common brand in our area. Bur dealers I have spoken with that do sell them are very happy. Cabinet finishes are not that different across the more expensive lines. They are well constructed.

  32. Beth Moskat

    I got a price for Eudora Cabinets (Kith Kitchens) for about $8,000. Can you tell me what other brands would be similar in price range? My kitchen is not huge.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Beth, Kith is a price level 3 so 2’s and 1’s would be less 3’s similar and higher numbers more.

  33. Danielle

    This blog has been super helpful as I’m in the process of shopping around for new cabinets for my kitchen. Have you heard of Northpoint Cabinetry? A local kitchen and bath shop here in Maryland uses this brand of cabinets but I haven’t found much info on it. I’m curious about the quality of it if you have any insight.

    The contractor said it’s 3/4 thickness in the front and 1/2 on the side and that they use paint, not veneer for custom colored cabinets.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Danielle,
      Northpoint is an RTA brand I don’t know, but I don’t like RTA cabinetry in general. NO NOT ever get a custom paint RTA,

  34. Paul McAlary

    Hi SBanks,
    I don’t know the prices you are getting, but if Waypoint is upgraded then simply pick the cabinet you like best for the price and don’t worry about construction.

  35. SBanks

    Hi (again)! So I am trying to decided between Waypoint and Capital (from Wellborn Forest). Based upon your knowledge and expertise, is one better than the other in terms of price, quality and value?

    Thanks again for your help!

  36. Paul McAlary

    Hi Sbanks,
    It is the Wellborn Forrest Capital series. It is a less expensive version of 9 maple door styles with some construction tradeoffs that I don’t think hurt the overall durability of the cabinet. So I think it is a good value especially for stained finishes that can’t be done less expensively in the US built import brands.

  37. Paul McAlary

    Hi Jane,
    I like Kraftmaid but I wouldn’t get Evercore. A painted partilcle board door is asking for trouble. I also wouldn’t order online. So Wolf is maybe the best choice.

  38. Jane

    I have limited options for cabinets in my area. I can go to Lowe’s, order JSI online, or get Waypoint or Wolf from a local cabinet dealer. Lowe’s is trying to sell me the Kraftmaid Evercore doors in white painted shaker. I’m iffie on that. I think overall even with 30% off total order from Lowe’s it may be more than I’m willing to spend. Do you have any input on my situation? I’ve looked at the ratings. Thank you for your great resource blog!

  39. SBanks

    Hi! Thanks for your response. I just want to clarify that I was asking about American Capitol under the Wellborn Forest brand. Do you have any feedback on this line of cabinets in the Wellborn Forest family?

  40. Mike


    Have you all reviewed Wynnbrooke American Collection?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I don’t know the line but it looks like a well constructed frameless brand.


    Wow Paul, I can’t believe all the great comments and answers. You are certainly correct that hiring a good kitchen designer should be any clients number one priority. Ask questions, listen to the answers. If you don’t understand the answer, ask them to explain it. If this was universally followed, the kitchen design industry would be one of the most respected industries out there! There is no greater feeling than to have a client thank you for taking their money and giving them a great design that they can enjoy for the next 10 to 20 years. I might take issue with a few of your ratings, but just small things that experience would teach us. Anyways, keep up the great work! Dave – The Cabinet Guy – Albertson.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dave,
      If you have any information such as updated specs or company changes that might change our reviews we welcome the information. Several company executives, Reps, or Dealers have sent us updates when cabinet brands offer upgrades or change their construction and we have adjusted our ratings. One Example: Yorktowne was upgraded when it was bought by ACPI.

  42. Pegi

    Have you ever heard of Elias Woodwork? I had a consultation with Home Depot’s Design team and this is who they use for custom cabinets.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I haven’t heard of Elias but they look like a custom frameless Canadian cabinet company. First, even entertaining a frameless custom cabinet would only make sense for a slab contemporary door style, Second I’m not sure there are more than a handful of Home Depot designers I would trust ordering a frameless custom kitchen. If you want a frameless contemporary custom kitchen you should also be going to the expense of moving windows and doorways and removing walls if this makes a better kitchen. It never makes sense to spend a huge amount on cabinetry or appliances and not be getting the best layout possible. Home centers are usually not comfortable getting involved in more major construction.

  43. SBanks

    This site is very informative. Thank you for providing this! I refer to it constantly as I am researching kitchen cabinets for our remodeling project. By any chance, do you have any input on American Capital cabinets? I am having a hard time finding much information online.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      This looks like an online cabinet site. No qualified professional would order cabinets online so non professionals certainly shouldn’t.

  44. Erynn Fishman

    This is an amazing resource, I have Yorktown cabinets in my kitchen that have not worn well (stain came off the more highly used cabinets within ~1 yr around the draw pulls and cabinet handles). I’m now renovating my bathroom and am looking for a cabinet brand that will stand up well with steam in the bathroom. Are there any high quality recommendations on your list that you wouldn’t recommend for a bathroom?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Erynn,
      Yorktowne is a more expensive brand since the line was bought by ACPI. However even in it’s cheaper form that shouldn’t happen with any major cabinet brand’s finish. Especially on a stain and not on a paint. Either the finish was defective or you are cleaning the cabinets with something caustic. For baths paint is less durable than stain and a laminate or foil would be the the least effected by steam. On a stained cabinet any of the higher end semi custom brands should hold up equally well. Including present day Yorktown. I’m at a loss as to what happened with your kitchen cabinets. They are under warranty so I’d call the dealer.

  45. Amy Swint

    Thank you for this resource! Amazingly helpful. I am curious about your Kraftmaid rating. I have heard designers I’ve visited with talking down about it. Lowes online lit. seems to indicate they sell the 1/2″ particleboard version standard, but then there are upgrades of a) 1/2″ plywood ends, b) 1/2″ plywood everything (back and shelves as well) and c) 3/4″ plywood ends. Which of these versions earns a 4/A/A in your ratings above? Max upgrades only? I also wonder about their ‘wood pattern sticker’ on the bottoms of drawer boxes and on shelf surfaces? Is this a decent product in your opinion or is real veneer better wearing on those surfaces?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      We rate Kraftmaid with an all plywood 1/2″ sided box. The 3/4″ box while even more durable is seldom sold. It’s a little over kill IMO. I have Bishop cabinets in my own kitchen. I could have gotten a 3/4″ box for for free, and didn’t bother. I might be wrong, but I think when you get the Kraftmaid all plywood box and not the “plywood sides” option that the shelves will come real plywood. I don’t freak out about the plastic wood patterns on the inside of cabinets, as long as the exposed outer sides are real and the cabinet box is plywood. The real wood definitely looks better but the durability in a cabinet’s interior seems close. Some people might like the plastic as it could collect less germs.


    Have not made the decision about Fabuwood yet. I have heard about the warranty issues with dura supreme which is why I asked in the first place. Would you recommend another brand other than these two cabinet makers?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Peter we rate 100 cabinet lines on this blog.

  47. Karol Kaczmar

    Hi Paul:
    Just a suggestion, but when rating cabinet mfgs. I believe it is important to take into account the quality of what is actually going out the factory door. A company can look great on paper – their construction is top-notch, the materials, finish, and joinery that are employed are of decent or high quality, it’s a great value for the money, etc. However, all of this is a mute point if they cease to have a quality control department and the dealer and homeowner has to deal with replacement after replacement of defective products (not shipping damage).
    Poor management, lack of communication, lack of integrity, and the manufacturer’s unwillingness to stand behind their product can easily take the value of the cabinet line way down.
    Quality and value of the actual product do not matter very much if the manufacturer is consistently shipping nightmares.
    Just because someone can “play the part” of designer or is well educated in a related field doesn’t necessarily mean they are a competent, well-informed kitchen designer.
    The same principle applies when looking at cabinet brands.
    I realize there are oftentimes unfairly harsh reviews directed towards manufacturers or designers by homeowners who simply do not fully grasp the realities of a renovation project. On the flip-side, I have recently experienced a situation with a manufacturer who has been receiving atrocious reviews who deserves every single one of them and then some. They knowingly shipped multiple kitchens where the majority of the doors and drawers in the kitchen had egregious defects when they left the factory. I (dealer) am now footing the entire bill for one of those kitchens. (there was also box defects or noticeable flaws on 25% of the cabinets on this order). (I didn’t have much of a choice. The homeowner was not interested in having a mfg. who would actually ship cabinets in this condition try and correct their mistakes. It would have taken them months to do so. I had to refund their money in-full. The manufacturer refuses to speak with me about the issue. All the rep is good for is to repeatedly say “I’m sorry.”)
    While I am certainly extremely empathetic to the many adverse factors they experienced at one time, I cannot be sympathetic to them throwing their own customer service department, their own dealers, and multiple homeowners under the bus.
    There’s a headache factor that needs to be taken into special consideration when purchasing kitchen cabinets/doing renovations, both on the dealer side and the homeowner’s side.
    Thanks for the advice a couple of weeks ago.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Karol,
      We do take these considerations into account when we rate a line. Not sure what line you are referring to but the Holiday line has been having issues.
      We put zero stock in customer complaints as customers often have unrealistic expectations. However a dealers input we will take a face value. We do try to get conformations of problems before throwing that line under the bus so to speak. If you email me directly at you can tell me the line in confidence.

  48. Russ

    Ever here of US Cabinet Depot ? RTA all plywood box. How would you rate them ?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Russ,
      We don’t like to encourage people getting RTA cabinetry because even if you build the cabinet well when you account for the time it takes to build the cabinet it is less of a savings than you think. Most importantly you are not working with a competent kitchen designer. All this being said US Cabinet Depot cabinets when assembled correctly are one of the best of the least expensive RTA brands. Ratings would be 1 for cost and A for construction. Value is subjective here.

      I would send us your design and speak with one of our designers free on a Friday between 2 – 4 pm Eastern Standard Time. They can catch the major mistakes quickly. We take free calls and give advice as part of a podcast we are compiling. Call on a Friday between 2 – 4 pm EST with a floorplan ready to email.

  49. Nikhil

    Hi: we received a quote of about $40k for Ted Wood frameless cabinets (combination of white and black shaker style full overlay doors.) I’m looking for more budget friendly options instead. How much would I save if I were to go with a mid priced cabinet, as it seems like TW is a premium priced one.

    I assumed frameless are cheaper than framed cabinets. Is that correct? I like the look of frameless anyway and if it saves me money along the way, even better. Would appreciate any guidance you have here.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Nikhil,
      Generally frameless cabinets in all plywood construction is only available in more expensive brands so no frameless is not less than framed. However, black is also a paint color usually only available in more expensive brands. Foil or laminate frameless cabinets in black and white is more common than painted cabinets in mid priced lines. Your color choices may be forcing you into more expensive brands. And as is almost always the case, people that focus more on color focus less on design. And so often end up with terribly designed kitchens.

      Stop the shopping for cabinetry and try to find a good kitchen designer at a respected dealer. They can better direct you and get your priorities and choices in line with your budget. They can also fill in the many blanks that you are unaware of because our industry is so complex.

  50. Brenda

    Hi Paul,
    Thank you for all your guidance on cabinets. We are doing a renovation and it is so much more complex than ever imagined to buy good quality kitchen cabinets. Some that we are considering you have rated above which is very helpful. I would love to get your thoughts on Woodland and Fieldstone Forte. Are they good quality? Thank you so much!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Brenda,
      Upgraded to Plywood Fieldstone Forte is a well made cabinet and would rate equal to Fieldstone upgraded in our rankings. I don’t know Woodland cabinetry and their web site gives no construction details. I would suspect since they are a higher end cabinet line that they would offer upgrades to a well constructed box. However this is not always the case so you need to check.

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