Re-starting Cabinet Search- what do I ask?

AGK2003January 8, 2014

hello all, i am in brooklyn, ny and my hubby and i are in the midst of a home reno. we should have decided on a kitchen ages ago and actually had settled on a custom cabinet maker recommended by a family member. the only problem is he does not really do design. i tried to get someone to just do design through craigslist but it did not work out. i think we are going to go another route and start looking at cabinet lines this weekend. can someone point us to lines we should be looking at and possibly recommend specific places to go? i think a mid range line would be good for us. also what should we be asking cabinet makers or kitchen designers to determine quality? i've heard people talk about plywood boxes but have no idea. thank you!

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kompy

-If you want middle of the road....specifically ask for semi-custom cabinet brands (ie Medallion, Dura Supreme, Shiloh, Showplace....etc)

-Ask for soft close drawer guides. Blum guides in particular are the favorites here at GW.

-Tell them you want wood ends on all exposed ends...and possibly matching doorstyle end panels, if budget allows

-Plywood boxes as an optional line item only. This is not necessary as long as exposed ends are wood veneer or solid wood doorstyle. On average, upgrading to plywood box with wood veneer interior will add $800 to $1500. Some brands have furniture board w/ wood ends and vinyl interiors....this is still fine. A wood interior is really a luxury that's not required and will only increase your budget.

-Ask them who has the best finish of their mid priced lines...and go with that.

Finish is key. Most brands can upgrade drawers and boxes....but the finish is the finish...and you'll want the best you can get.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:59AM
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PRO
Sophie Wheeler

You simply ask the KD what their mid range line is. No need for you to do a whole lot of research at all in the initial phase. Be sure that your definition of mid range is actually accurate though. Plan on spending 20-30K for the cabinets for your space for a mid range project.

Once the KD tells you what products that they have that fit the bill, then you can compare a few based on if they provide you with the look you want, and how well you sync with the KD. That's more important than the nits of the details. Pretty much all mid range cabinets will provide you with a good product that will last. The really important differences at that level are mostly finish related. Some makers are better than others in that regard, but none are so fabulous that it's worth working with a butthead to get them.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 10:09AM
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AGK2003

thank you for the advice. i like the idea of asking for the best finish. regarding construction, are most of these lines "solid" or particle board?
i had received a quote for design craft at one point for about 20-21k. does anyone know anything about that line?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:50AM
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sjhockeyfan325

How big is your kitchen? We just did a small galley style kitchen (one 13' wall of cabinetry, including panels for the refrigerator/freezer and dishwasher) and a 10' island) using Bellmont's 1900 line (customizable plywood boxes, soft-close drawers), and the total cost for the cabinets was around $14,000 (plus some inserts we bought after-market).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:43PM
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AGK2003

it is a U shape roughly 13' x 11' but we are also doing a 7' peninsula. that quote did not include paneling the fridge (though we are now considering it).

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:50PM
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nycbluedevil

Where in Brooklyn are you? Are you happy to go to Manhattan or do you want to find a cabinet shop in Brooklyn? What do you consider mid-range? If you want Manhattan, there are a few shops that I interviewed, including a couple in the Flatiron District, where there are lots of kitchen and bath places. I ended up with Bilotta in the A&D building in midtown. Even though they do a lot of high-end stuff, they also sell lower-priced brands and have very good designers. And of course, the design work is built into the cabinet price.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:20PM
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DaisyTN

I will be installing Schuler cabinets (from Lowe's but same company as Medallion). The upgrade to plywood was 12% (I'm not sure if this varies by region). They are a good mid range cabinet that many seem to really like. I was impressed with the drawer glides and soft close and they seem very solid with beautiful finishes.

As for design, have you asked for help here? I posted a picture of my layout and received some fantastic suggestions. I took my time to research and make notes about all of the custom items I wanted in my kitchen. The Lowe's kitchen designer was floored at what I knew about cabinets from my research here and the advice of all of the wonderful people that post. It saved me from having to hire a KD.

Best of luck!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:32PM
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annkh_nd

I designed my own kitchen - I brought my layout to a cabinet maker, and he built what I wanted. But I had been working on the plans off and on for about 15 years!

I think you could get a lot of layout help here. Start with your existing layout, and tell us why you want to remodel. What works in your kitchen now, and what doesn't? Are you looking for more storage, more counter space, different appliances? More efficient work space?

I look forward to seeing your current kitchen and wish list.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:35PM
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AGK2003

nycbluedevil, we are currently in bay ridge but moving to mill basin. we are fine going into the city. i just figured brooklyn might run less expensive. did you see any shiloh dealers? i put in a request through their website but haven't heard back yet.

daisy & annkh, i have previously posted a bit about layout here. i will try to do that again. our current kitchen is a small apt kitchen, which honestly has worked fine, though we haven't entertained all that much. we are moving to a house and renovating everything. it was a short sale and in bad shape so we had to redo exterior and interior. one of the big problems is that we have to do custom since we have two levels of soffits- it was the only way we could raise the ceiling height.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 4:46PM
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kelticpiper

There is only 1 Shiloh dealer in nyc area, Westchester kitchen and bath on saw mill river rd , Yonkers ny. There are none in Long Island or 5 Boros, you may find one in New Jersey . Good luck in your cabinet search.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 9:12AM
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AGK2003

thank you kelticpiper. can you (or anyone else) recommend a cabinet store in nyc?

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:11AM
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nycbluedevil

I really loved working with Bilotta, especially the particular KD with whom I worked (Tom). I also interviewed a couple of others, including NYKB and Atmosphere. NYKB carried Rutt and Signature which were the two lines I was looking at, as did Bilotta. I chose Bilotta because of the KD. gearing Atmosphere, they carried Signature and one other brand which I don't remember. Their owner was knowledgeable and responsive but their showroom was not quite as appealing. Maybe not the best reason to cross them off, but I had two other good choices, and I preferred Rutt anyway.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 10:23AM
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nycbluedevil

There is also Broadway Kitchens, which is also in the Flatiron District. They carry Plain and Fancy, among others.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 11:32AM
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AGK2003

thanks nycbluedevil. we are going to check out broadway kitchens tomorrow. bilotta was closed on saturdays, so broadway it is :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 12:17PM
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nycbluedevil

NYKB is open on Saturday too. You might as well check it out since is is only a couple of blocks away. They have a really nice showroom too.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2014 at 1:29PM
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AGK2003

kelticpiper, thanks for the reco for westchester kitchens. we are getting a quote for the shiloh after visiting them on saturday.

thanks also to nycbluedevil. we visited broadway kitchens and are waiting for an estimate there too. they are also pricing P&F cabinetry for us, but i'm sure it will be out of spending comfort zone for cabinets.

wanted to ask on opinions of the painted finish of shiloh cabinets. thanks!

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 12:51PM
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patty_cakes

If you haven't been to Ikea lately, please check out their cabinets, including countertops, and appliances. I was very impressed with what I thought would be 'chintzy' and cheaply made cabinetry, but they're substantial, and the variety/sizes very appealing. I'm including a link of one persons review, but there are others. Also go to the website to view/read about the product.

I'm not affiliated with Ikea in any way, shape, or form, just a once-in-awhile customer.

Here is a link that might be useful: Review

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 1:48PM
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Awnmyown

I don't work there, but if you can figure out a layout you love (Ikea, or find a local lumber yard to design it for you and then just use their plans...), kitchensforless.com has AWESOME pricing on cabinets. I bought their Somersby line, all plywood boxes, maple 5-piece drawers (means the drawer fronts aren't just slabs), and they're lovely. Lovely. Zero issues with the company, saved a bundle, and it was so easy! :) Can't wait to finish painting so I can hang them and show them off!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 2:13PM
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kelticpiper

Your welcome AG, I actually haven't decided myself on which cabinets , but Shiloh seem very nice and have always read good things about them on here. I was dealing with Sandy. He was nice to deal with . Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2014 at 3:43PM
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