Master Bathroom Cabinets Custom or Off the shelf?

happsJanuary 10, 2014

I would like to replace my master bathroom cabinets and small bath cabinets and was wondering if there are any other mid priced cabinet companies I should consider besides Merillat (the Classic line) and Timberlake (American Woodmark)? How does QualityCabinets by Masco compare to Merillat Classic price and construction/durability wise?

I would like to keep the same configuration in the master bathroom with a 24"W x 96"H Linen or Utility closet. The remaining 94"-95" length span I'm debating either the following options:

1) One VCD6035 (double door, eight drawer) and one VSB3335B (vanity sink base butt door)

2) Two 36" wide two door two small drawer vanities separated in the middle by a 22"W bank of four drawers.

I'm thinking Option 2 would be more expensive but would look better because there is more symmetry.

The small bath needs a VSB6035-2D.

For this master and small bath cabinet replacement job, would a custom cabinet maker be competitive in price to major brand off the shelf brands?

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Sophie Wheeler

Why not just paint what's there? It looks to be in good shape, and a coat of paint in white, ebony, or even a pretty french blue would be fabulous.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:09AM
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The countertop is buckling, the cabinets are too low (only 30" tall) and the veneer end panel skin is delaminating.

Would a custom cabinet maker in the same size boxes be less expensive than a mid-priced off the shelf cabinet line?

    Bookmark   January 11, 2014 at 2:31AM
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Well I've made some progress on bathroom cabinet research and have obtained a few estimates from Timberlake, Waypoint and Aristokraft dealers and was surprised at how much more expensive Aristokraft is vs Timberlake and Waypoint. A Bridgewood dealer is coming over soon to price out Bridgewood Advantage cabinets. Here is what I specified and obtained a bid on for Waypoint Style 730 Maple Cognac

1) Master Bath
Two VDB1234H
Two VSB2734H BUTT.
One VDB1534H
One UT2424X96 AS BUTT.

  1. Small Bath.
    One VAN6034HBK

Utility Cabinet has 1.75" crown moulding. Scribe and toe-kick included. No shelves for utility cabinet and no furniture end panels. The cabinets alone, without tax or installation are $3194.

TIMBERLAKE (same parent company as Waypoint) Portfolio series Lausanne door style Cognac color

1) Master Bath
Two VDB1234H
One VDB2134H
One UT24x24x96 AS BUTT

2) Small Bath

Includes 1.75" crown of utility cabinet, shelves for utility cabinet, scribe, toe-kick and three furniture end panels for $3012 including installation, before tax.

ARISTOKRAFT---Teagan Maple Rouge Select Series with plywood ends where exposed

1) Master Bath
Two VSB3935
One VDB1535
One UT2496

2) Small Bath
One VSB6035

Includes trim, toe-kick, filler, installation, no shelves for utility cabinet, no crown for approximately $4200.

Why is Aristokraft so much more expensive than Waypoint or Timberlake for less cabinets? I received another Aristokraft bid which was also around $4000. So far the Timberlake bid for $3012 seems like the no brainer, but am I missing something? Is a 6pc master bath cabinet set-up not going to look as good as a 4pc Aristokraft? Is Timberlake a lot worse quality? The specs and features of the Timberlake, Waypoint and Aristokraft line are very similar. Aristokraft does have dovetail drawers and undermount guides

I have Cardell Spectrum 360 kitchen cabinets and I am seeking something close to that quality for the master and small bathroom.

Are there any other companies that would be price competitive to Waypoint or Timberlake? I am thinking a custom cabinet maker would not be price competitive. What do you all think of the Timberlake bid?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 3:29PM
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With cabinetry, you get what you pay for. Want cabinet-grade plywood or particleboard? Self-closing, full-extension drawer guides? Standard cabinets or personal features?

We updated our Master Bath in 2012. Original cabinets were stock Aristokraft, overall 60", built of two 24" and a 12" drawer bank. Too much lost counter with the layout and faux marble basins. Also only 30" high.

After checking several stock cabinet options, it turned out that building custom was in the same price range, superior materials with personal features. We felt 36" would be too high so our new vanity is 34".

Adjacent Linen Cabinet was fit into the previous closet and constructed to match the vanity.

It's been too long for me to recall overall pricing, but I recommend that you check out a local cabinet maker too.

You have more space to work with than we did so whatever will look nice. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Master Bath

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:19PM
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Sophie Wheeler

You said mid grade. You're looking at builder grade. You need to move a level or two higher if you want mid grade. Kraftmaid, Diamond, Shiloh etc.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 5:34PM
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A few members on the kitchen forum have used Scherrs custom cabinets with great results.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 6:07PM
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I thought Ikea and generic no name in stock cabinets at a discount cabinet store that are imported from China are builder grade. I'm happy with builder grade then, just surprised there's so much price difference between Timberlake/Waypoint and Aristokraft.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:41PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

Since you have a configuration and know the dimensions, it seems to me that you could get a pretty accurate estimate from a local cabinet builder. Sometime you can just send them an email with a photo and dimensions and ask for a ball park price. Won't cost you anything to get a quote, then you will be better informed before you decide.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 8:19PM
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I remember when you were unhappy with the finish on your Cardell kitchen cabs and then they went out of business. Are you sure you'll be happy with builder grade? You seem to expect top quality in your cabinets, but you get what you pay for.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 11:53PM
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I would get an estimate or two from a reputable local custom builder. We just had our bathroom redone and used a local guy who was quite reasonable for a black stained alder - box framed vs the frameless which most of the standard frameless you get with builder grade, etc. He could do about any stain, paint or style desired, soft-close drawers, some custom designs inside, etc. I posted the results a couple of weeks ago and you can see what they looked like. We had a 'his and hers' vanity and my vanity is not too dis-similar from your layout with the linen tower (mine is a single tower and single sink). The total cost (without the countertops which was a separate cost) was around $2500 for both.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:19AM
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I have no idea why you were quoted so high for Aristokraft. I sell it, and in the Select series, what you are asking about is $2355, and there's no way that there is $1800 worth of install there. Maybe they included counters? Even putting the whole order in the All Plywood Cabinet line with the full extension drawers, I only come to $2829.

Also, Aristokraft is a builder grade stock cabinet line, as are the others you are looking at. Meaning there is no way to "upgrade" Select to APC. You do the order in one or the other. A pantry comes from the kitchen line and will be 24" deep, not 21" deep like the vanities. A 24" linen tower is available, and is what I used for clearance sake.

I can do the whole thing in Kemper, which is a true mid grade cabinet line, for $3880. It has 1/2" sides instead of 3/8" (with better construction), upgraded to all plywood (only 5%) with standard soft close drawers and doors (with better quality hardware), in a standard stain on a maple slab door (Caprice). With the listed accessory parts. No crown, but add another $100 average for a stick of crown. The only changes are a 21" wide linen tower (as wide as they make) and an 18" wide drawer base. (To use the 3" lost on the linen tower.)

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Will you do it yourself (the install)?
Maybe consider an RTA cabinet. That is what we did.
Just search "RTA cabinets" and see what you find online.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 12:33AM
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Live_wire_oak: Thanks for the tips and information. Do you know anything about Bridgewood cabinets and how they compare to Waypoint or Merillat Classic price-wise?

kirkhall: No, I would use the dealer's installer. The RTA option isn't for me.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:27PM
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Last year, I purchased new kitchen and bath cabinets from a competitor mid priced cabinet company that is out of business and obtained 549 linear feet of cabinetry for $7000. This master and small bath cabinet project is 202 linear feet for $3600. Are master bathroom cabinets more expensive than kitchen base and uppers? Or is the fact that I have a lot of drawers involved bumping up the cost?

I'm thinking of going with the Waypoint configuration.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 10:20AM
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We priced a linen tower and vanity in your configuration v. a longer vanity with a counter cabinet, and the linen tower was much more expensive. This was from a local cabinet shop, and he told us that building vertically is always more expensive than building horizontally.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Sophie Wheeler

You had a builder grade line for your kitchen, not mid grade. We've already covered that in the Kitchen Forum. An actual mid grade line would have been about double what you paid for your kitchen.

Waypoint is no different. It's NOT a mid grade line. It's not bottom of the line builder grade, but the specs and potential size offerings are not that you get with midgrade lines. The finishes on it are one good reason to upgrade to a better quality line. Just feel the cross grain and how rough it is compared to a better line. The hardware is off brand too.

It's basically just American Woodmark/Shenendoah/Timberlake that is now being sold at independent dealers instead of just box stores and builder centers. Kraftmaid/Merrillat Masterpiece sold at those same box stores is mid grade. So is the Diamond/Thomaville/Schrock/Kemper suggested above.

Get the Waypoint if that's what you want, and it fits your budget. Just don't delude yourself that you're buying something that it's not like you did with your kitchen. You don't get what you don't pay for. TANSTAAFL.

This post was edited by hollysprings on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 11:11

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Have to agree with Holly as I remember your hand-wringing over the Cardell drawer boxes. What is that saying.... "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me can't get fooled again." GW Bush

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Why not consider RTA cabinets as kirkhall suggested? You should be able to get the quality you want at the price you want, and you could pay someone to assemble them. The sink bases aren't much work, and you could do one large drawer base. I priced Barker Cabinets here in Oregon after reading so many good things about them on the kitchen forum. You can customize the sizes, get them painted, or get natural cherry with conversion varnish finish. For one drawer base and one sink base, they were about $300 cheaper than Kemper, Kraftmaid, and Schuler, medium-grade vanities at local cabinet and big box stores. I'm pretty sure he builds linen towers too. Also, the vanity companies don't install them for you, so you'll need to DIY or hire someone. Installation is no big deal. You just level them and attach to the wall. Took my DH about 30 minutes to fuss around with our Kraftmaid vanity.

Another suggestion is to keep the linen closet and replace the doors to match the vanity.

This post was edited by may_flowers on Sun, Feb 2, 14 at 12:40

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 12:38PM
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Ok, I won't call Cardell and Waypoint mid-priced anymore. I went on Barker's website and when you consider installation, it's the same as Waypoint, plus I didn't see a vanity linen closet taller than 84". I also obtained an estimate from a "general contractor" for the roughly the same price too. His specs for locally made custom cabinets are "New cabinet drawers are 5/8" baltic birch plywood dove-tail boxes with full extension under-mount soft-close drawer slides. Standard interior of all new cabinets is to be maple melamine." They are not KCMA certified. Would you expect these to be in the same quality level as Cardell, Waypoint or Aristokraft?

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:04PM
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You'd stack a two-door upper on a two-door pantry. They make end panels up to 96". Chad at Barkers is very helpful over the phone and e-mail, according to those who used them for their kitchens.

The locally made ones sound good, but you need to go to the cabinet shop and look at the construction, get references, and go see an installation in someone's home. We did our homework before we went custom with our kitchen, so no bad surprises came our way. One of the nice things about going local was problems were addressed within a day, but YMMV.

If you're only replacing the vanity and closet, you shouldn't need a contractor. Our cabinet company had an installation team. You can hire the plumber. The countertop fabricators install the sink. You may want an electrician to rewire the light if you want to use two lights over the sinks.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 11:00AM
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