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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. GRN

    Hi, I have a MCM house in Minnesota and have been spending too much time on Pinterest thinking about a kitchen remodel.

    I’ve fallen for the look of “color block” plywood cabinets and have found that a company in Washington called Kerf Design.

    Do you have an opinion on this type of plywood cabinet and happen to know of any other makers close to Minnesota?


    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi GRN,
      Stop shopping around this way and instead start shopping for a good kitchen designer. Why people resist getting professional help and will spend huge amounts of time online getting misinformation and DIYer’s wacky recommendations never ceases to amaze.

  2. Fran Simon

    Hi again, I have another question: I have had Omega cabinets in my kitchen for 15 years. They are still beautiful and in perfect condition. They are fabulous. I don’t see them on your list (except Dynasty by Omega, but I don’t see Dynasty on their site.) Are you familiar with the line? If so, what do you think? Can you recommend a couple of similar brands? Thanks!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      they are the same

  3. Fran Simon

    Hi, I have two questions: 1) My kitchen designer is pushing Fabuwood cabinets. I discovered they are made in china and assembled here in New Jersey, and I have read there are reports of cracking in the paint. The contractor allowance is about $7K higher than the cost of the Fabuwood, so I can go with a more expensive brand. I see you give them an A on both rating items, but I am confused about your statement “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.” Can you explain Fabuwood’s high ratings and low cost? Would you put them in your own kitchen? 2) Can you recommend some brands that offer high quality and value and offer the new modern shaker (thin Shaker, Skinny Shaker) door styles?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Fran,
      Fabuwood has a better looking finish then up to 40% more expensive US brands. For the limited door styles and finishes that Fabuwood does. Mid priced US lines offer more door styles, more finishes and more wood species of woods. However seams and cracks in pained finishes will be more noticeable in the US lines all the way up until the highest semicustom lines about 50% more than Fabuwood. This is because the sanding and painting of the doors and fronts is labor intensive and overseas much less expensive. Fabuwood parts are made and finished in Vietnam and built by a US owned company in Jersey. Thin shaker door styles are NOT modern. They are in fact old fashioned and were popular a decade ago. They have gained some popularity again of late. You seam to be getting misinformation. Personally I put maple stained shaker cabinetry in my own kitchen which Fabuwood doesn’t do. If I wanted a shaker full overlay door in a paint spending more would make little sense. Here is a Fabuwood Kitchen:

  4. PMack

    I m debating.between holiday cabinets and showplace; both will be painted. Any thoughts on which is the better company and why?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi PMack,
      Stay away from Hollywood right now, they are struggling due to the pandemic and have MAJOR quality control and delivery issues.

  5. Susan

    Thank you for these reviews. Could you explain the difference in ratings for Starmark? I don’t want an inset cabinet so I am not sure if all the framed full overlay are lower rated? Also, I am looking at painted white cabinets. I read some reviews on Showplace that noted the paint yellowed. If you were to pick between Omega, Homecrest, Starmark or Showplace, would you have a recommendation? Thank you

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Susan,
      You must upgrade Starmark’s construction to a 3/4″ back panel otherwise the back panel is only 1/4″ thick and the wall cabinets are not structurally sound.
      We have not noticed a significant difference between the durability of the paint on any major cabinet brand. Homecrest is less expensive particularly less that upgraded Starmark. So it isn’t fair to compare. The finishes and the ability to customize will be not be equal to the more expensive lines. Upgraded they all will be durable.

  6. Charles

    Hi, renovating a kitchen and we have had different options from different contractors/designers. Waypoint, Wolf Classic, J & K, or Legacy Presidential. We just want a simple shaker panel, white uppers, blue lowers, soft close, and as much real wood as possible (I understand from reading this whole thread that Wolf center panel is MDF, is that the center of the door?) Also looking at tall pantry cabinets in the hallway/laundry area, although I understand it may be cheaper to do uppers and lowers with a countertop there? Cabinet budget would be under 13k preferably. Any ranking or recommendation you would go with here with these names?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Charles,
      Some of these choices might not have Navy Blue. If all things are equal I pick the colors and doors I like best. FYI J&K is having delays right now as is Legacy Presidential to a much lesser extent. Rankings are in our reviews.

  7. Grubery

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for the advice! Yes, I have figured out the need to slow down and I am in a way starting over with the cabinet process – we are getting used to a makeshift kitchen (already 3 months into this ordeal)! I did notice that Legacy Presidential offers just a few solid wood doors and was interested on your experience with those. The kitchen center I visited did not have a solid wood door sample from Legacy to check out and the KD had not seen one. The solid wood doors from Bishop and Medallion Gold were very nice – I like the grain and variation of the solid wood. Thanks again!!!!

  8. Christina

    I’m looking at purchasing Wolf classic cabinetry and noted that their brochure states the painted doors are made from HDF with MDF panels. Is this consistent with the Wolf cabinets reviewed here? Is there an advantage/disadvantage to using HDF versus solid wood for the cabinet doors and drawer fronts?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Christina,
      Wolf also has solid wood doors with only the center panel MDF. We would recomend those. A complete fiberboard door will look nice to start but will be damaged easily.

  9. grubery

    Hi Paul,
    I am renovating an entire medium size kitchen (results of dishwasher flood, not by choice in this renovation frenzy/pandemic situation right now) and down to wanting Natural Cherry and trying to choose between Bishop and Presidential Legacy, both brands that you also offer. In your experience, what are the main deciding factors that your clients choose one over the other? I am also trying to figure out if I really need solid wood door with the choice of natural cherry as the veneer center panel can have a different look, but again not sure how much this matters. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Grubery,
      First I know you had a flood but consider slowing down. Rushing is responsible for poor decision making and usually makes your project cost much more. Giving yourself an extra few weeks can allow you to get bids from other suppliers and contractors and the final kitchen you get may be very different from the rushed one.

      That being said, Bishop is a much nicer but more expensive brand than Legacy Presidential. Veneered center panels will not have the stripes on the panel where one piece of wood is glued to another, so some people might prefer a veneered panel to a solid one. However the legacy plywood center panels are quite thin so be prepared for that if you choose Legacy.

      1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

        Hi Grubery,
        The solid wood doors from Legacy Presidential are made by a different outside door maker and are particularly nice. They are also more expensive so closer to Bishop pricing.

  10. Chaya Ungar

    Hi, which affordable company has shaker white painted but on solid wood? Thank you

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Chaya,
      Most of the well constructed inexpensive brands offer solid wood painted white shaker doors. The recessed panel in many will be MDF but the rest of the emtire cabinet will be solid wood. A MDF shaker panel is a good thing a MDF door is a very bad thing. Fabuwood, CNC, Wolf, J&K (long lead times), and many others offer this.

  11. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Hi Linda,
    How about brands 1/4 step down like
    Fieldstone, Diamond, or Decora
    or one step down like:
    Timberlake or Homecrest or Legacy Presidential.
    Upgraded these brands will be well constructed but less custom.

  12. Linda

    Thanks for the feedback Paul on Candlelight. Having a difficult time finding cabinetry for under 30K. Luxor came in at $36, Holiday Kitchen was originally the same but ruled them out baecuse of issues. Haven’t repriced Kraftmaid Vantage but was reluctant because of feedback from dealers about quality issues. So am at a loss. I prefer Maple(that’s what we currently have) but was considering Hickory although afraid might be too “grainy”. We have Hickory floors throughout and they are beautiful just not sure if I would like it in kitchen cabinets. Any suggestions as to other brands we might consider

  13. Linda

    Now looking at Candlelight Cabinetry. Any concerns with that company. My only concern is the duraplex box construction. My husband prefers all plywood but we are trying to work within a budget and so far the line has met our budget with the Duraplex cabinet boxes. They are saying delivery time is 10-12 weeks. Looking at either stained maple or hickory.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Linda,
      There are many well made cabinets that are less than Candlelight. Candlelight cabinetry is beautiful, but I don’t think it makes any sense to splurge on expensive cabinetry and then cheep out on less expensive construction in an expensive line. Maple and Hickory are very opposite type looking woods. Be sure you understand the difference before ordering.

  14. Trish

    I have a kitchen designer recommending Bridgewood for slab
    front cabinets. I didn’t see it in your rating. Can you give me an idea of the pricing and quality comparative to your list? Thanks so much!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Trish,
      They look like a well made cabinet brand. Remember to upgrade to all plywood construction. Pricing we can’t know until consumers compares them to other brands we know.

  15. Brittany

    Hi! This forum is excellent. We are building a new house and we were supposed to be getting J&K white shaker cabinets. Today our supplier informed us, that J&K is not committing to delivery times. Orders that were supposed to arrive in 4 weeks may now take 3 months. We were offered to replace our order with US Cabinet Depo white shaker. Any thoughts on quality and cost compared to J&K cabinetry? Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Brittany,
      Thanks for the update on J&K. Covid is reeking havoc with some cabinet plants but usually not with the North Jersey ones. This is concerning.

      US Cabinet Depot is normally a less expensive line but well constructed. We have thought about carrying that line as our lower priced builder grade line. We have been waiting for them to work all the bugs out in their new assembly plants. I heard they were doing OK. Please let us know what kind of experience you have if you chose them.

  16. Spnky

    Hi, Great blogs! Looking at KitchenCraft (with plywood upgrade) and Waypoint for our upcoming kitchen remodel. Which KitchenCraft cabinet style is 2020 rating based on, furniture board or plywood upgrade? Thanks

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Spnky,
      All cabinets are upgraded to the top tier of the line. KitchenKraft is a frameless line so it can’t get a better than a B construction rating and I believe it is also less than 3/4″ sides so it won’t do well on our reviews.

  17. LisaMarie

    Hi Paul, great info! I just bought a house with 3 year old White Linen Waypoint Cabinets with plywood and soft close drawers. I love them except for the small dings and scratches you get with painted cabinets. What do you recommend for cleaning these and also what can be done to fix? Also, how often do painted cabinets need to be repainted and do you have recommendations as to spray vs hand paint ? TY!!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi LisaMarie,
      All painted cabinets are easily nicked, scratched, and damaged by water. Don’t ever paint over painted cabinets have them touched up by professional furniture refinishers like Guardsman Furniture Pros. They can usually touch up a whole kitchen for around $500. Use a damp cloth with a mild dish soap solution to clean cabinets. Here’s a great link on cleaning painted cabinets:

  18. Tim

    Medallion or Wellborn for Master bath cabinets if pricing is similar?
    Plywood or MDF?
    Stained or Painted?
    Again this is for the master bath

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Tim,
      Plywood and stained will be the most durable. Medallion has nicer looking finish stains IMO.

  19. Dan

    Hi Paul,

    Do you have any information on Mantra cabinets? Thank for the enclosed chart, it is most helpful.


    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dan,
      No information on Mantra Cabinets. At a quick glance, it looks like a new import line owned by Masterbrand. If you are considering a line like this I would stick with the brands that have been doing it for a while like Fabuwood, Wolf, J&K, CNC, and others. This type of line is not a Masterbrand sweet spot.

      You do get a better designer to work with since the designers will usually sell other Masterbrand lines and that will make them more knowledgeable. Because of this I think Mantra would be a better choice then buying online, or at Costco and Ikea. But I would still stick with the first generation of US import and assemble companies.

  20. Bill

    Hi Paul, I just found this wonderful blog this evening.

    For imported cabinets in general, and Fabuwood in particular, what effect is the Covid having as of early 2021 on quality, shipping time, and delivery lead time?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Bill,
      Fabuwood, Wolf, CNC, and most other US Brands that import doors and fronts from Vietnam and other Asian countries had delays early on due to both Covid and Tariffs. Presently Fabuwood and most of these type cabinet brands that import from Asia are caught up and there are no delays.

      100% US brands and US brands importing from Mexico are presently having delays primarily because their plants are in Covid hot spots. Almost all these brands have factories in rural locations and the politics in rural areas and the lack of following strict Covid guidelines in the plants is taking it’s toll.

      All cabinet brands are having some quality control issues. This is because customer service people are working from home, Trucking companies are stressed due to Covid and high shipping volume, and sales in the cabinet industry are way up at a time when it is more difficult to stay on top of things.

      Customers can make things worse too. Renovating a kitchen is a stressful endeavor under ideal conditions. When people are stressed from quarantining and other Covid problems and you add the stress of a complex renovation, it sometimes only takes minor delays or inconveniences for them to melt down. Having customers call every day over a minor delay or wanting to track every delivery in process adds to our workload. So in addition to the added work from minor cabinet and delivery delays and issues, our designers and customer service people field double the calls and concerns from our customers. Most customers are understanding but some are quite the opposite due to this stressful time.

      This is a very busy time in cabinet world. For example, in the first quarter of 2021 Main Line Kitchen Design sold the same amount of cabinetry as in the first 2 quarters of 2020.

      So be patient if you are renovating a kitchen. Your designer and cabinet dealer will appreciate it.

  21. Bill

    Your website has been a huge help in trying to understand the many variables to deal with in getting kitchen cabinets. In our area of NY we are finding mostly American WoodMark Cabinets and Kraftmaid Cabinets. The price for the Woodmark Cabinets is considerably less then the Kraftmaid but the cost isn’t the deciding factor, we are a large family of 7 with 4 children under the age of 14 living in our forever home, we need durability as the cost will not let us do this again. What are you thoughts/pros and cons as far as selecting between Kraftmaid and WoodMark.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Paul,
      Upgraded there isn’t much difference in durability between Kraftmaid and American Woodmark. The price difference you are paying for in Kraftmaid is for the ability to customize, to have more door styles and finishes, for nicer looking finishes, and for better quality control. However the pandemic has reeked havoc on many companies quality control. More damages and mistakes slip out of the factories so more replacement cabinets are needed.

      If Durability is your biggest concern DO NOT get painted cabinetry. Painted finishes in EVERY cabinet brand are less durable. easily scratched, and easily damaged by water. Natural or close to natural stains hold up best over time.

  22. Sandy

    I was wondering if you have any input on Quality Cabinets? We are preparing for a kitchen renovation and are deciding between two cabinet stores, one that sells Quality and one that sells Diamond Vibe. We like the kitchen designers at both but the Quality Cabinets are significantly less expensive for similar layouts and features so having a hard time deciding. We’re going for a simple white Shaker style cabinet, full overlay, all plywood constructions. I was told the Quality Cabinets dealer gets a good deal on the particular door style that we like which is why it’s so well priced.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      I don’t like the 1/4″ back on a Quality cabinet. It is definitely a big step down from Upgraded Diamond Vibe.

  23. Trish

    I’m working with a designer who carries Diamond, HOMECREST, KitchenCraft, and OMEGA. She tells me these are different companies. I do not see Omega on your list. I’m interested in frameless. She showed me a KitchenCraft display that looked ok from the outside, however your rating is a C. Can you speak about Omega cabinets and your thoughts on these brands comparatively. She tells me they are all the same. Thanks for all your information.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Trish,
      Omega makes Dynasty frameless cabinets which we rate. They are better made that KitchenCraft and can be upgraded to plywood construction. Diamond and Homecrest do not make frameless cabinets as far as I know. We would only recomend getting a frameless cabinet if your were getting slab style doors.

  24. paul mcalary

    Hi Kristen,
    An Mdf center panel on a shaker door is a good thing. It isn’t easily dinged up and is easy to repair if it is. Most importantly it helps prevent warping and doesn’t shrink like real wood. However making the entire door MDF is a bad idea it will be damaged easily and damaged edges are impossible to repair. It will look better until you ruin it.

  25. Kristen

    Thank you for taking the time to provide such an informative platform. I am looking at white shaker cabinets by Schrock. The designer says that she always recommends MDF doors when painted. What is your opinion of MDF vs hardwood for painted doors?


  26. Linda Michell

    Thank you Paul you have been very helpful! The dealer I contacted recently said Kraftmaid was having service & quality issues of late so that is why they stopped carrying the line. He did recommend Ted Wood but did say they are a bit higher priced than Kraftmaid. I’ll have him price them out & see where we stand. Trying to keep the cabinet cost under $30K. Luxor was $36K inclusive of tax & delivery but we are going with the distressed look so that is what is increasing the cost. We may have to compromise on that a bit to keep the cost close to the budget.

  27. Linda Michell

    Ok so the recommendation was to go with Kraftmaid Vantage versus Holiday Kitchen & Luxor. I contacted a few dealers & they no longer carry the Kraftmaid Vantage line because of service & quality issues. One place recommended Ted Wood cabinets. Anyone have any experience with Ted Wood cabinets and how are they priced compared to Kraftmaid Vanatge & Luxor Collection.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Linda,
      Tedd wood is a good line. However problems a line might have during Covid we don’t hear about until things get bad.

      Part of the problem with many cabinet companies is that they are in rural locations and because of the politics in these areas people are less Covid compliant. So the cabinet workforce is affected and the cabinet line suffers.”

      I predict that with end is in sight that people in these rural communities will become even less careful than they were before. We have begun to notice this in the lines we carry. Early on their workers were fine but in the last month or so several plants have had outbreaks. The lines in more metropolitan areas suffered early but have since recovered and put tough rules in place.

      Ask the dealer about how things have been lately. That’s the best information on how the pandemic is affecting the line.

  28. Fred Eberly

    Thank you for providing this very helpful guidance.
    My supplier carries Holiday, Haas and Schlabach which is an Amish built cabinet from Ohio.
    We see from your listing that Holiday is having supply issues.
    We are leaning towards the Haas in a stained Hickory. Although we are only replacing an old but effective layout, the Schlabach could provide some interesting and useful, although not mandatory custom features.
    We have only looked but not priced either Haas or Schlabach yet. Cost is always a consideration but return on investment is not as critical as a 5-7 year enjoyment of a much needed update before downsizing move.
    You rate the Haas poorly. Would you avoid Haas? Any knowledge or guidance on Schlabach?

    I would very much appreciate your thoughts and professional insights.

  29. Shirley P

    I’m looking at Diamond, Omega and Wolf Designer. I’ve received quotes on all. Wolf was the lowest almost too good to be true. I’ve not yet seen the Wolf Designer in person, my siding guy gave me the contact and I’m traveling to see them them this weekend. Is it worth the trip? Which would you recommend?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Shirley,
      If you are looking for a color and Door style that Wolf makes and they have all the size cabinets you need for your design, you are giving up almost nothing getting Wolf. Make sure to get the standard construction and not the less expensive version.

  30. Linda Michell

    There is a Kraftmaid Vantage cabinet that we like and am trying to match. Was trying to decide between Holiday Kitchens which is what our kitchen design sells & Luxor Collection which is a line that the contractor recommended. He works with the dealer. Concerned with the durability of the Luxor frameless and have been reading about the HK supply issues. Or should I just find a dealer that carries Kraftmaid VAntage? Any preference among the three?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Linda,
      Holiday has MAJOR supply and quality control issues at the moment. I would definitely go Vantage with those three choices.

  31. Martha

    Do you know the time frame on delivery for Hanssem cabinets. Contractor is telling me 6 weeks but I’m hearing from other contractors that is more like 12 weeks.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Martha,
      Since we aren’t Hanssem dealers I don’t know if they are having delays. 6 weeks or less would be the normal lead time. However many brands are having delays due to Covid.

  32. Laurel

    Wow what an informative site!
    I am just about to pull the trigger on cabinets. Working with a designer but I want to make sure I understand.

    We are looking at omega. She recommends frameless for a cleaner look,. I don’t necessarily need more space in the cabinets since there are a lot. Any way I thought the framed dynasty would be fine . Do you know if it’s less expensive?

    Cabinet I am looking at are slab stained maple base and likely shaker oak upper but maybe alder since I am trying to stay on budget.

    Speaking of budget. What should someone expect percentage wise to allocate to cabinets. In my case I am keeping appliances and design seems to be 50% of budget. Thanks in advance for any feedback

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Laurel,
      Framed cabinetry should cost about the same as frameless in Dynasty. Mixing a slab cabinet base and shaker uppers in two different types of wood in two different finishes is more than just unusual. A design like this you will do for your own pleasure and you shouldn’t expect to add much value to your home as far as resale is concerned. Spending a lot of money on an expensive renovation and making style selections this unusual I would discourage. Whatever you future plans might be they can change and you might regret your choices were you to need to sell your home. Be careful here.

  33. Ann

    I have a quote from a KD who is suggesting Kitchen Craft cabinets. It states that the box construction is melamine and notes that plywood is a 10% up charge. My other option is Eudora for approximately same price as Kitchen Craft. What are your thoughts, particularly about melamine?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Ann,
      Melamine on the interior of a cabinet is fine but never on the outside of a cabinet as it will fade over time when exposed to light. Always upgrade to plywood with frameless cabinetry when possible. We rate Eudora by Kith higher than Kitchencraft.

  34. Laurel

    Wow what an informative site!
    I am just about to pull the trigger on cabinets. Working with a designer but I want to make sure I understand.

    We are looking at omega. She recommends frameless for a cleaner look,. I don’t necessarily need more space in the cabinets since there are a lot. Any way I thought the framed dynasty would be fine . Do you know if it’s less expensive?

    Cabinet I am looking at are stained with maple base and likely oak upper but maybe alder since I am trying to stay on budget.

    Speaking of budget. What should someone expect percentage wise to allocate to cabinets. In my case I am keeping appliances and design seems to be 50% of budget. Thanks in advance for any feedback

  35. Wendy

    Wow!! So glad I discovered your site.
    I really love the look of Shiloh cabinets but I’m leery because of the rating. Reading through the responses it seems related mostly to the hanger rail. If that was replaced by installer, would you increase your rating significantly? Also, what’s your thought of stacked cabinets to the ceiling with only 8’ height. I like the look of small glass door cabinet at the top with lighting, I understand it has limited function and would be mostly cosmetic. I was thinking a 27″ wall cabinet with a stacked 12″ on top to bring the cabinets near the ceiling with 3” trim? Would those proportions look odd?
    Thanks so much for your help

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Wendy,
      You can easily modify the Shiloh cabinetry by adding bottom and top hanging rails to the wall cabinets making up for their poor engineering. However an eight foot ceiling is too short to pull off the look you are going for and you shouldn’t stack cabinets. Not to mention that you can’t put 39″ high wall cabinetry in a 96″ high room without leveling the ceiling which is harder than you might think. Kitchens look attractive and function well when you have the space to do the design you create.

      Jamming a big island into a room too small to fit it or a big hood where it doesn’t belong won’t look or feel right no matter how much you like that look in a kitchen that can fit it. As kitchen designers we try disparately to encourage people not to put too much cabinetry in their spaces even though we sell cabinets and would make more money selling what the customers think they want.

      Main line kitchen design has even gotten some bad reviews from customers that didn’t like being advised what they didn’t want to hear. The pandemic has frayed some peoples nerves and more than a few of our recent customers have become vindictive when our designers were simply having their best interest at heart.

  36. Deirdre Farrell

    I’m a cabinet / counter purchaser for the first time….comparing Brookhaven with Kith Kitchen. Small kitchen gut and all will be new. Not a cook, single, dog.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Dierdre,
      I’m not a fan of Kith Cabinets and how they are constructed. Brookhaven while a great cabinet I have concerns about the companies financial health. They went bankrupt and were out of business before being sold. They reopened only a few days before the pandemic began so not the best time for a fresh start. When cabinet companies go bankrupt customers loose all their money and get no cabinets, so banking on Brookhaven could prove dangerous.

  37. Denman

    This information has been most helpful! Have you heard of a company called “Bridgewood Cabinetry” from Chanute, KS? I’m looking at their frameless line although I’m a bit concerned they are inherently not as solid as framed cabinetry. What is the best company for frameless cabinetry that is mid-priced at most? Thank you!

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Denman,
      Upgraded to plywood the Bridgewood box is pretty much constructed as good as it gets for a frameless cabinet. I don’t know where they fall price wise. There are some very inexpensive lines like CNC that make a really well constructed frameless cabinet. However they have only a tiny selection of doors and finishes. 3/4″ plywood sides or a plywood core and soft close doors and tracks should be what you are looking for in a frameless brand. We sell Bishop which is probably similar in price to Bridgewood and a little higher priced semi custom cabinet line.

  38. Lisa

    I’m looking into installing the cabinets in my kitchen but was looking into a cabinet line that is modest budget. I received 2 different quote on J&K (finding out their RTA and reviews are mixed) and Waypoint 660D. J& K cabinetry came 4k less then Waypoint 10k but you gave a higher rating to J&K Cabinetry. J&K seems to fit our modest budget but will it last in durability vs the Waypoint cabinets? Or would you recommend going with another cabinet line?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Nice speaking with you on our podcast Lisa. Good luck with your kitchen!

  39. Respol

    Hi, first want to say this is an amazing resource and have already shared with other would-be kitchen remodelers.
    Am considering Starmark(framed) vs Medallion vs Holiday Kitchens.
    My contractor’s in-house cabinet person only carrries Holiday.
    Would like to work with them because there is some synergy between contractor/dealer but am extremely concerned about the Holiday supply problem as reported by many. am now leaning toward Starmark. thoughts and advice? thanks in advance.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Respol,
      Right now I would stay away from Holiday. Their present problems are severe. Starmark and Medallion are doing fine to the best of my knowledge.

  40. paul mcalary

    Hi Jane,
    Bishop and Kraftmaid will be similar in price. Upgrading Bishop to the Ultimate BOX only costs 4% and it is built like a tank. But Kraftmaid Vantage is good too. Timberlake should be about 20% less. Upgraded it is well built but it will offer less features and the finish won’t be as nice looking as the other two. All are good choices.

  41. Jane

    Paul, we’ve continued looking and have found a dealer close to home for Bishop. So now I’m trying to decide between this line and Kraftmaid. The third option is Timberlake. Again my. Ceilings are 9’6” and going white shaker. Your recommendations are welcomed and very much appreciated.

  42. Christian R

    Paul, you gave a very high rating for a Crestwood Framed and Frameless in your cabinet ratings. Which Crestwood is this? Is this Crestwood Inc, out of Salina Kansas? Or the Crestwood line from Dura Supreme? Or some other manufacturer named Crestwood?
    I ask because I’m considering Crestwood Inc Simplicity (frameless) line of cabinets for my kitchen remodel. They meet your recommendations of 3/4″ plywood construction, Blum hinges and glides, dovetail drawers, and durable finishes. Having the reassurance that you rated them an B/A- for a frameless cabinet would be great.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Christian,
      Crestwood built in Salina Kansas.

  43. Sarah

    Do you have any experience and/or ratings for Brandom Cabinets?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Sarah,
      Looks like a tiny company that makes their own cabinets and doesn’t even have a website. They also get poor reviews on Google although that could mean nothing. The bigger question is why buy cabinets here? The smart thing to do is to get a known named brand cabinet line from a respected cabinet dealer and to work with a good designer. All three don’t happen at Brandom from the little I can see online.

  44. paul mcalary

    Hi Tamara,
    I don’t think the Kraftmaid Vantage finish will be any more durable. However the Kraftmaid are better constructed. Not sure if it’s worth 4K. If you will be in your home for many years probably. If you plan on selling in 5 or ten years probably not.

  45. Tamara

    Hello again Paul! Thanks so much for all of your great advice and wisdom! I am going to finally pull the trigger on shaker style cabinets with painted white on the perimeter of the kitchen and painted dark grey on the island. In your opinion is there a difference between the quality and durability of the paint on the Kraftmaid Vantage versus Waypoint? With apples to apples layouts, the Kraftmaid Vantage is 4K higher in price than the Waypoint. Is it worth the extra 4K to buy the Kraftmaid Vantage? Thanks so much!

  46. Sue

    Hi… Your blog has been extremely helpful. It looks like design is key and many cabinet manufacturers can get the job done. Any red flags picking Diamond Distinction vs. Starmark? Both are carried by our local kitchen designer but we could save by going with Diamond.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      As long as cabinetry is upgraded to all plywood construction and soft close everything both these lines will have little difference construction wise. Starmark has nicer looking stains and is more custom. if you are getting painted cabinets there will be a slight differences in the the visibility of the seams on the doors. Starmark’s seams should be less detectable. But both finishes will be equally durable.

  47. Jane

    Thank you for your input about JSI. Our ceilings are 9’ 6” and our home is waterfront. How about the Forevermark line? Would that be any better?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jane,
      With a ceiling 9’6″ the cabinetry and the design would look so much better with cabinetry stacked and a two piece crown molding reaching the ceiling. I don’t think either of these lines will have all the cabinet sizes you need to do that design. Possibly building a tray ceiling around the perimeter of the room at 8″6 inches like the kitchen shown in the link below would be a good idea. The cabinets in these photos were under 15K and the look looks far more custom than having cabinetry not reach the ceiling.

  48. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

    Hi Jane,
    JSI is one of many very reasonable cabinet lines that is pretty well built. I might not use this brand if I had an expensive home or 9 foot ceilings or other design challenges, but for a simple economical kitchen it is a good choice.

  49. Jane

    Considering JSI for my renovation. Any cons that you know of? You seem to have given them a pretty good rating.

  50. Daniel

    Question regarding Crown Point. Within the past couple of years (not exactly sure but recently), Crown Point introduced a more budget-friendly line — Crown Select. Basically it’s marketed as having fewer options, 3/4″ thick doors and frames (as opposed to Crown Point’s 1″), but with the same quality craftsmanship etc. In comparing the the two, I did notice some slight differences in construction.

    I am assuming your grades are for Crown Point. How would you grade Crown Point Select?

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Daniel,
      Crown Select would still get an A for construction and an A for value.

      Our ratings are a little less reliable due to the pandemic. There are cabinet companies that are having quality and delivery issues and if we aren’t dealers or haven’t spoken to dealers of the particular brand we don’t know if the line is experiencing these problems. I would always ask the dealer if there have been quality control issues or delivery time problems with any line.

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