Deciding Which Kitchen Cabinet Company is the Best

People ask me all the time.  Which kitchen cabinet company is the best one?  I have a hard time answering that, and there are different answers depending on which criteria you’re asking about.  Here are a couple of things to consider when deciding on which kitchen cabinet company will be filling your kitchen.

1. What happens if there’s a defect? My favorite company lets me send a picture of the problem, and then with no questions asked sends us out a replacement.  Aside from the lead time on a whole new cabinet in one instance (there was a scratched end panel) this seems the way to go. They seem to trust that I’m not going to be making frivolous requests or bogus accusations, and they work with me when there’s real trouble.

2. What do the cabinets from this company cost, compared to others? Is there a reason one cabinet company’s cabinet are more expensive than another’s?  Probably.  The service I mentioned earlier costs something, and adds value to the finished product.  Are there more options in one company’s line than another’s?  This also costs more.  A quick example of this (I just ran into this yesterday) is Kabinart’s blind corner base cabinets compared to Bertch’s.  In Kabinart, there are no swing out shelves or sliding pullouts.  Bertch has them ( see this link ) and this makes for a more expensive kitchen.

3. What do installers have to say about a company’s kitchen cabinets? This will tell you a lot about the construction.  Cabinets with no hanging rails make me nervous.  Cabinets that wobble a lot before they get put together are another bad sign, as well as cabinets that are out of square.

4. What do other people who own a particular company’s cabinets say? Talk to folks who own Brand X’s cabinets, preferrably people who have owned them for a few years.  How do they like them?  Are they holding together all right?  If there were problems a few years after the purchase, did the cabinet company fix the trouble?

5. What is the consensus on internet message boards regarding this kitchen cabinet company? HGTV, Garden Web, and all have fairly active online communities, and there are all sorts of people who have opinions on most every manufacturer I’ve ever heard of. When you talk to anyone, make sure the opinion you get is objective, if you can.  If someone has nothing good to say about Brand X’s kitchen cabinets, is it a problem with the cabinets themselves, or are they mad that the designer they used screwed something up?  This can taint the whole experience, and is why I suggest asking someone who has had cabinets for a few years; this effect would have cooled by then.

People earning a commission on the cabinets you’re going to buy might not be the most reliable sources of information.  Then again, they might; honest salespeople do in fact exist, believe it or not. You’ll have to weigh what they say against what others are saying. If you talk to installers, make sure it’s someone who has been around a while. The answers are out there; you just have to ask the right questions.  Good luck


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