Cesar Cabinets - Italian Cabinets experience

vatobkMarch 4, 2014

We have received a quote for Cesar (Italian brand) cabinets. I had never heard of the company prior to wandering into the retailer's store. Love the look and functionality of the cabinets. We would be doing a combination of materials: laminate, on the bottom, lacquer, on the top.

Has anyone had experience with Cesar or similar companies? Also, has anyone gone the custom route and felt that it worked out better in terms of quality than the European cabinet makers? I'm told that US laminate and lacquer generally is not as durable as the mid - high end European cabinet makers.

We have young children, cook quite a bit and entertain often. So, we're looking for a modern kitchen that will wear well.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

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In another time of my life I was dealing with a high end Italian and German manufacturer, the products were fantastic, great designs and fantastic hardware...always bugged me that they Euro companies have access to the latest and greatest hardware way before if is available to the US market!

The box construction was not ideal for my area (New England) people are pretty set on using all plywood construction and not all that open to going to a particle board cabinet box, the boxes from both companies were made with 3MM backs and people thought they were flimsy compared to some of the American cabinets.

My opinion on the box construction is that they were fine, the average person will never have a problem with them....I liked the fact that the melamine surface was extremely durable, if you have any doubt about that just take a coin or a key and scratch a piece of prefinished maple plywood and do the same to a piece of melamine

Couple negatives:

In both the Italian and German company there is too much disconnect from the end user (or dealer) if there is a delay their attitude is much different then dealing with a local manufacturer...there were times that our order was supposed to be getting loaded into a container on a certain day that had been planned for several weeks and at the last moment they would email and say sorry it is going to be two more weeks! And there was no amount of complaining/yelling that could change that...

Missing pieces were always a problem, many weeks to get them

Changing something once it gets released puts you at the back of the production line

If something gets ordered wrong, again it will be several weeks to get the replacements

In my opinion there is no truth that the laminates wear better then the US brands....the Italians typically use Abet laminate is readily available here in the states, and in my opinion Nevamar/Formica etc wear just the same if not better

The Europeans do have a nice aluminum banding that they use on the laminate doors, I do not know of a US company that is offering that (but that doesn't mean there is not one)

In general it is hard to compete with the Euro finishes as far as quality, most use a very high performing Urethane or acrylic that is applied perfectly and baked in a line oven to cure it very nicely..the two companies that I used had a fantastic polished finish that I have never seen duplicated by a US shop

Make sure that if you do go the Italian route that the dealer has his/her own installers that they use on a regular basis....the average carpenter will struggle with the installation if he hasn't done it before

Sorry for the long winded response!

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:46AM
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Sorry I'm just getting back to you, but I really appreciated this response. It gave me lots to consider. I've narrowed my choices to Cesar and Henrybuilt. If you have thoughts on the comparison, I'd love to know. Decisions, decisions.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:56PM
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"I'm told that US laminate and lacquer generally is not as durable as the mid - high end European cabinet makers."

If you are a European lacquer or laminate manufacturer, you market your products in the United States or you'd be out of your mind. It is inconceivable that American cabinet manufacturers would not have access to the same materials.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 10:33AM
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