Custom Kitchen Cabinetry Does Not Necessarily Mean Quality Cabinetry

I received some photos recently showing some custom kitchen cabinetry, and they are rather frightening.  I don’t know any of the parties involved in the construction and installation of these cabinets, and I’m not sure I want to.  Hopefully this article serves as a blanket warning to anyone shopping for custom kitchen cabinetry.

The scenario is this… someone thought that they could get better cabinets from a custom cabinet builder than they could get from a regular kitchen showroom that sells semi custom cabinets.  They wanted pine beaded doors. It’s my understanding that the folks who built the cabinets included the install as part of the price.  Lets start with the construction, shall we?    

 Daylight through the cabinet doors



See Through Doors  

Most cabinet doors are made from stock that is glued together to make a plank.  The pieces are in the vicinity of 3/4 inches thick by 2-3 inches wide.  Did I mention that they are usually glued?  These doors weren’t, but instead nailed.  You can see daylight through the door.







Daylight through the cabinet doors, part 2




Here’s another door, with the same problem:






  Custom cabinet joint with putty    


Bad Custom Door Joint

Here is a joint of a stile and rail at the bottom of a cabinet.  Rather than get a nice tight joint, the people who built this custom cabinetry slapped a couple pieces of wood together and used putty to make up the difference.  Unfortunately, the joint is still spreading.  On top of the fact that the putty is a different color and looks terrible anyway, there is a gaping crack.





The Kitchen Install Might Be Even Worse

But wait, I’ve only talked about  problems with construction.  What about the install?  These custom kitchen cabinetry makers had a different idea of what "snug fit" means, and the gaps between cabinets were as bad or worse than those in the face frames.


Buyer Beware with Custom Kitchen Cabinetry

I’m sure there are more defects in this kitchen, but I was only given a few photos.  Let these images of shoddy construction be a warning.  If you are looking for custom kitchen cabinetry, make sure you see examples of the cabinet maker’s other work.  Custom kitchen cabinetry does not by any means imply quality kitchen cabinets. On the flip side, there are many cabinet makers where shoddy construction and terrible install is not an issue; they are honorable people putting out a solid product.  Again, ask to see some samples of their work and you should be fine.



Written by:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *