Consumer Reports and Cabinets

bonsApril 26, 2008

Hello -

I'm going to be replacing my kitchen cabinets and countertops, and I'm looking for information on quality of cabinets. I don't have a huge budget, so I'm looking for decent quality cabinets at a reasonable price. I've been reading a lot in this forum, but what I'm interested in seeing is the Consumer Reports article from a few years ago that rated cabinets - kind of as a starting point.

Does anyone know what CR issue it was? I subscribe to CR online, but have not found it there - probably it's too old.



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

August 2004. To save you some time & trouble, Omega was rated very, very high, then Fieldstone 1/2 inch, then Diamond Platinum and Ikea, then Thomasville and Shenandoah...Kitchen Classics (not Select) was ranked far, far lower than anyone else. Also, CR has a brand new kitchens specialty issue available right now on the shelves.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 7:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks. That's somewhat helpful. Unfortunately the new kitchen issue online talks about what to look for in kitchen cabinets, but doesn't actually review brands. I'll look up the old issue at the library.

Interesting, because the KD at Home Depot told me she thought that Kraftmaid was a better quality cabinet than Thomasville. Wonder what she based that on $$ ??


    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 7:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would guess most of the brands are about equal in the basic price range and some of it is just luck that your cabinets got made well on the day they are being made... some of us, like my husband and I, had a great Kraftmaid experience and others get duds. We picked ours based on the door style and absolutely love them. We didn't really look at much else as I really wanted the door style. Be careful about someone guiding you one way vs. another as they may be getting a kick back or another bonus for that month.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are going with Omega based on that article and statements I read on this forum. We also priced out Kraftmaid at Just Cabinets just to have that as a comparison and it was higher than the Omega cabinets.

Our experience with Kraftmaid wasn't good. We installed Kraftmaid cabs in our Master Bath and the drawer fronts were all wonky and couldn't be adjusted to look right because of the way the hardware was put on. After contacting them they sent out new drawer fronts that took my GC 4 hours to replace. They did not reimburse us for that $$$. Also Lowe's wouldn't stand behind them either. They both just kept shifting responsibility to each other. That did not sit well with us.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2008 at 10:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've subscribed to Consumers Reports for over 25 years, and, unfortunately, their review of kitchen cabinets and higher end appliances is far, far from comprehensive, and in my view, cannot really be used.

If you are going to be spending a lot of money, you especially need to do a lot of homework, and CR's guidelines are a great place to start. It is almost impossible to compare apples and apples, so I suggest you make up a chart or spreadsheet comparing the various features and costs. Do not eliminate custom--many shops can produce cabinets as good or better than the large brands for less money.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 10:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The KD at Home Depot is probably under the impression that Kraftmaid is of better quality than Thomasville for several reasons. Thomasville use 3/8" construction vs. Kraftmaid's 1/2", which is industry standard. That being said the finish on the Thomasville is generally more consistant and less likely to have the issues Kraftmaid seems to have. I have never heard anyone complain that their 3/8 " cabinets gave them a problem, but have heard many complaints about the quality of Kraftmaid inattention to detail when it comes to finishes, especially when a door is glazed.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you're right about differences in Kraftmaid experiences. We did our whole kitchen in Kraftmaid's bisque glaze maple, and our bathroom in their white painted cabinets (both Shaker style), through Lowes, and they have been wonderful. The finish is great, I haven't had any door, drawer, etc. issues in the past two years, and they continue to look lovely. But a number of folks on the forum have had terrible experiences with the same company - must be a quality control problem.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2008 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Kraftmaid is 1/2" construction? And that's considered *good*?

My Canyon Creek are nominally 3/4", thogh they actually measure out to 11/16". But nobody every mentions them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 12:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have Omega cabinets. Have the base cabinets installed but not the upper ones yet. I absolutley love them! They are solid and study.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 7:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Has anyone used Fieldstone cabinets ? Specially painted white. I wonder about the quality .

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 8:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I thank everyone for this post as the Home Depot Kitchen Designer also told me Kraftmaid was better than Thomasville but I thought maybe Kraftmaid is giving better commissions are year end bonuses on how many cabinets the KD sells? I wonder how Innermost rates. I will have to look at Omega Cabinets also.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 10:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Lynn - unless things have changed in the last 2 years, Home Depot sales people don't get a commission on what they sell. They get a salary and that's it, so there's no monetary incentive to steer you into a more expensive line or to get you to commit before you're actually ready. I'm sure though that individual sales people have personal preferences for one line over another, or will recommend one over the other depending on the buyer's circumstances.

As it happens, we chose InnerMost and love them. If you're comparing to Omega or Thomasville, be aware that InnerMost is frameless cabinetry and Omega, Thomasville, and Kraftmaid are all framed cabinetry. We went with frameless because we have a small kitchen where every square inch matters, and frameless meets that need. If it doesn't matter to you, then don't worry about it and base your choice on other factors.

When we were in the looking stages, we were in a different HD than the one where we eventually purchased. We had a question on InnerMost and just snagged the first available sales associate. All he could tell us about InnerMost was that it was expensive, and it was apparent that he had no interest in it. He definitely would have steered us elsewhere even though InnerMost turned out to be a perfect fit for us. May I also mention that he was about 24 and probably hadn't spent 24 hours of his life actually working in a kitchen?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Suzannesl, I had the same experience at three Home Depot Stores as I have a small kitchen and I want frameless and I kept getting steered away from Innermost. After seeing your beautiful cabinets in the style and color I wanted, I got a brochure and knew that would be the way to go after my deadline as long as they were not so much more money than the Inset I loved from Shiloh but I did not buy the inset since I would lose a lot of space and have many stiles between the cabinets. I feel Innermost will be a perfect fit for me also so I will bring my measurements to a Home Depot Store and find a talented Kitchen Design person to price out the cabinets.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 4:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does anyone have any experience about Fieldstone cabinets? Particularly the painted ones.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 7:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Aparikh, I am a kitchen dealer located in Old Bridge, NJ. I do not carry the Fieldstone line but have sold them when I worked in other showrooms. . . . Fieldstone used to be the same product as Starmark . . . both are excellent products. .. . . . . painted finishes and all. . .

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you TheKitchenGallery for letting us know that Fieldstone are Starmark Kitchen Cabinets.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For frameless, you really have to have a KD that knows how to design in frameless. That wouldn't be Home Depot. HD is getting away from having anyone who knows anything in the kitchen department in favor of a centralized design office in Atlanta. I know CKDs at HD that are now selling flooring because the home office doesn't want them touching a customer's project at all. It's really sad.

As far as the Thomasville/Kraftmaid bit. Kraftmaid makes a good cabinet. I've sold them and had very few problems with them. Their customer service was always responsive if I did have an issue and their reps (when they had reps) were very helpful. I prefer the finishes from Masterbrand (Thomasville, Diamond, Kemper) over Kraftmaid.

Thomasville is also Kemper is also Diamond. the same cabinets from the same factories. Just different labels at boxing time. And their cabinetry is good also. It is NOT 3/8". It's 1/2" sides. They are made in Auburn, AL or Richmond, IN. Their finishes are top notch for a mid grade line, as is the ability to do many semi custom alterations without making the price sky high.

Their lesser featured lines, like the Martha Stewart, Kemper Echo, and Diamond Vibe, all produced at the Winchester, VA plant, are the 3/8" construction. And that's perfectly fine with framed cabinetry construction. They are all a great value for a budget customer.

I currently sell Omega fully custom cabinets, and Dynasty, (same as Embassy) their semi custom part of the equation. It's very nice how the two dovetail into each other. I can do a whole kitchen in Dynasty at the lower price point, and just do one or two custom pieces in Omega and have them build them to the same specs as the Dynasty. I've been to their plant in Waterloo, Iowa, and can truly say that every employee that I met there really cares about producing a quality product for happy customers. I'm not trying to sell anyone anything here. Just relating my personal experiences to help those with decisions to make.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's funny you asked about Fieldstone because that name just came up this past week. My mother-in-law is redoing a kitchen in her new house and wanted the same cabinet manufacturer she used in her last kitchen - Fieldstone! They were installed about 25 years ago and she loved the way they held up. She had stained cabinets, not painted. I can attest to the fact that they still looked terrific and when she changed out her counter to granite 8 years ago, the cabinets looked like they were new too!

1 Like    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you Live_Wire_Oak for this information. Thank you phillyfeet for the information you shared also. We all learn from one another.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 9:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We Bought over $26,000.00 of cabinets from Home Depot, Thomasville brand. The designers at Home depot completely maldesigned the plan with missingt pieces, veneers missing, flutting short of the cabinet height and the paint finish uneven or even missing on the maple cabinets. The design was so flawed that our appliances could not fit into a cabinet and Home Depot manager and designer did nothing about it. Indeed the designer told me that it was our imagination that things were not fitting into the cabinet. The Thomasville cabinet doors and drawers do not even close properly. The contractor was so frustrated with the missing pieces that he stopped working on the project half way and now we have a non operational kitched with a bunch of boxes and cabinets sitting in the middle of it and Home depot does not respond. I highly discourage anyone buying Home Depot cabinets since their designers are not ell trained and Thomasville does not check their design and its legitemacy. We had to bring in a cabinet maker to make two toe kicks for the cabinets since the designer missed out on it. It has an absolute nightmere and the price would have been less or same if I bought omega Dynasty or Medallion from a local cabinet shop. Home Depot services are just disasterous. there is no accountability. A very bad company to expect any respect or decency from.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 3:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

TaraTabesh, thank you for letting us know. Each individual Home Depot is independently owned I think so some stores have talent and others do not. So sorry about your bad experience that will be a warning to make sure I do not go with Thomasville Cabinets!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 12:16AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

1) No Home Depot Stores are NOT independently owned.

2) I just finished a $42,000 kitchen install in my home with Home Depot. They were excellent in every step of the way, from design to last-minute cabinet adjustment. I used them to install, using their selected contractor. Am extremely pleased.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Home Depot Stores each have different prices. I have four Home Depot Stores all within 12 miles of me and each has a different price for certain items. I had thought it was because they were independently owned but apparently they are not Franchised. But I do know that each has different Kitchen Designers with some more knowledgeable and talented then others and each will give you a different kitchen price. I did not realize I had my number lock off so the 12 miles did not show up so I edited the post.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Depot Stores each have different prices

This post was edited by lynn2006 on Thu, Nov 21, 13 at 20:58

    Bookmark   November 21, 2013 at 8:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Any updated news on Omega Cabinets, I am just about to place the order and then read some bad reviews, dug a little further and read some good ones?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 7:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm in the process of updating our island and for budget reasons we went with Thomasville. I only need 3 cabinets- a trash cabinet, a standard single door cabinet and a 3 drawer pot/pan base. Well the finish was awful. It's a stain finish and it was as if they didn't fully cover the top edge of the drawers and there was something stuck in the clear coat finish on the finished end panel. There was a chip out of the bottom of one drawer and some kind of scratch on another one.

We called home depot and they are ordering a new drawer base so that's another 3 week wait time and delay in our project. I hope the next one is acceptable.

After we got home and I inspected things further and I thought even the trash bin finish could have been more uniform on the top edge of the pull out, but then I feel like I'm getting picky so I'm accepting it. Fingers crossed it was a fluke.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 9:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you live wire oak for your information. I need to order cabinets and you just gave me the best idea .....go with Dynasty and get a few Omega to sweet and easier $$$.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 10:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Excellent old thread to re-surface.

LiveWireOak, any updates on the brands you work with most?

Have any new cabinet makers appeared on the scene?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2014 at 1:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To clear up a few misconceptions:
Half inch sides (end panels) on a cabinet will do a fine job of holding up granite countertops, however, homeowners are more comfortable with having 3/4" sides.
Fieldstone Cabinetry and StarMark Cabinetry are two different brands. The parent company is Norcraft Companies in Eagan, MN. Both are high quality, made with care, and carry a lifetime warranty.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Beware Medallion does not honor their warranty! We purchased $18,000 of cabinets from them. Not one single cabinet out of the box is good. Open miters on every door & drawer front, cracks all over the place gaps inside the cabinets, and the stacked cabinets don't match up at all. The range hood is cracked and scratched so badly we didn't even take it out of the box all the way. They are only offering us $5,000 credit towards a new set of cabinets. #medallionfailsoncraftmanship

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 11:27AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Baker Cherry Shaker doors vs IKEA Laxarby doors
Please advise on Baker doors. I am going to get IKEA...
Question for those who have Painted Conestoga Cabinets?
Curious if you went with mdf or paint grade center...
Help on Cabinet Approach / Selection
Hi, I've actively scoured the forum for useful tidbits...
Help with kitchen layout - main issue is where to put the ovens
I need to finalize my kitchen design so all feedback/suggestions...
What does this tile say to you?
I am still in the planning stages of a small, U-shaped...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™