Thomasville vs. KraftMaid Cabinetry

icspotzApril 28, 2008

I've been getting conflicting advice on these two brands of cabinetry and would like opinions from those of you who have experience with either.

I'm interested in the maple slab door style.

The info I received from the Home Depot person was that KM was a better product overall but especially because the door is solid wood. She said the Thomasville slab door was veneer. I can't find information online to verify or dispute this.

On the other hand, the woman designing the plan for our new house says KM is junk and Thomasville is the superior product.

I've searched online for reviews and haven't found anything helpful so I'm hoping someone this forum can help me.


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My GC thought that our Thomasville cabinets were a very good product overall. He had no problems installing them. The ONLY negative things he said about them were:

1) Your shelves are held up with plastic shelf pins. (He suggested that once we're sure we want them in certain places, he could come in and brace them a little better.) Be sure, though, to use ALL of the shelf pins and don't miss one or you could have a shelf fall down.

2) Your sides are not solid good wood, most are particle board. However, they are good wood and solid where they need to be.

We had two different KD's at Home Debit. Both said that the Thomasville was considered their "top of the line", American Wood Mark was their bottom of the line, and KraftMaid was "near top". But as someone said in another thread, that could be because of incentives that they were getting to sell TV vs KM.

Overall, I'm happy with our Thomasville. I've got photos of the open cabinetry on page 5 of the photo album I've linked below, if you'd like to see the insides.


Here is a link that might be useful: Donna's kitchen from start to finish

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:18PM
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We had Thomasville cabinets from Home Depot in our old house. We were very pleased and thought they gave great value. I'd buy them again in a second. Great advice about using all the plastic pins, though. We had a shelf fall in the middle of the night and scare the bejeezus out of us after a plumber took out and "replaced" one of the shelves when he was doing some work.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:48PM
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We just had out Thomasville installed a few weeks ago, and are quite happy with them. The plastic shelf pins that we got have a metal thing that runs through them. Is that the same ones you said broke on yours, jebtb?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 11:45PM
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We love our Kraftmaid but mainly picked it as I fell in love with our door style and didn't really look at anything else. I commented about the incentives. I never found HD or Lowes helpful and we bought ours through Just Cabinets as Washington Checkbooks rated them slightly cheaper.

I just looked and our pins are metal, but I can imagine you can't go buy metal ones vs. using the plastic ones if that is a concern.

I can say our KM is not junk and we are very happy with them. (I'm sure some people had bad luck and theirs are junk but that happens with any big mass producer with any product).

Get what you like and make sure to pay by credit card just to protect yourself in case you have a problem.

And, with KM, I would upgrade the sink base (in case water gets to it) to plywood sides as well as any cabinets with exposed sides but those not exposed (interior cabinets) go with the particle board - no one will know and we've had no problems. Our doors are solid wood (we drilled through them for the knobs).

I can't speak to Thomasville but I probably would have considered them too if I hadn't been so determined with this one door style.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 11:52PM
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What bothers me about Thomasville is that it is exclusive to Home Depot and KraftMaid can be purchased from other retailers. This is not to say that Thomasville is a bad product it only means that you will not be able to shop around for a better price. I also wonder who actually makes the Thomasville line. The fact that you can only purchase the line through HD causes me to believe that Thomasville licensed their name out. Maybe a different line from the same manufacturer would be just as good or better for less money beacuse you wouldn't me paying for the famous name. Just something to think about.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 12:37AM
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The KD we dealt with at HD told us that Kraftmaid were "better" based on her experience. She had fewer problems with Kraftmaid and when she did the company stood behind them. I think her opinion was strictly based on what she has seen in her particular store with her customers.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 6:50AM
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don't know thomasville, but happy with KM at our house. because ours are outlet specials, one cabinet was missing the shelf and shelf pins. we were able to choose from a wide selection of metal and plastic shelf pins in the hardware aisle of our local HD. this was a new display i am sure, because i looked for those little pins a few years ago and they didn't have them. they come in bags of 10 or so and they are pretty cheap. you could just replace the plastic with metal if you like thomasville...
the plastic pins are a problem though...we also had a shelf collapse, not in the kitchen, but on a different piece of furniture. good luck kren

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 8:58AM
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MasterBrand is the parent company of Thomasville. At Lowe's the same exact cabinets are sold under the Diamond brand.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 10:12AM
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I do not know anything about Thomasville, but we do have KraftMaid Cabinets. We purchased them in the summer 2006 through a local cabinet shop, not through a big box retailer. We did upgrade to all plywood construction and the pins are metal, except the clip pins on the shelves in the tall cabinets - those are plastic. We are happy with the construction, the finish and the look. Overall the quality of ours is good and I consider myself fairly picky about the details.

You will read complaints about the quality of KraftMaid cabinets (construction, finish, service) from others on this forum though. After following these KraftMaid quality discussions on the board for quite a while, DH and I can't help but think that there may be a different spec for the mass production of cabinets for the big box retailers at Kraftmaid than for their other independent distributors. Or that the sheer volume of production required for the big box orders causes the factory to go too fast and "short" the quality control on those production runs. It sure seems that the people with major complaints about KraftMaid on this board, purchased them through a big box retailer. OTOH, it could be just the percentages of problems are the same but the numbers sold through big box stores are so much bigger, that the number of complaints heard from that segment of the market are larger.

I'm not sure this helps!! Just what I've been thinking. We like our KraftMaid cabinets very much. -Kim

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 11:16AM
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RE: "After following these KraftMaid quality discussions on the board for quite a while, DH and I can't help but think that there may be a different spec for the mass production of cabinets for the big box retailers at Kraftmaid than for their other independent distributors. Or that the sheer volume of production required for the big box orders causes the factory to go too fast and "short" the quality control on those production runs. It sure seems that the people with major complaints about KraftMaid on this board, purchased them through a big box retailer."

Several years ago I met an executive from a company that made stuff you'd buy at hardware or big-box stores. He said that he couldn't do business with the big-box guys because (this is an exact quote) 'they won't let you earn a profit'. He wouldnÂt do business with them because they wanted him to cut the price; he said the only way to do that and still make a profit was by cutting the quality. His company was founded on quality, so he wouldnÂt do it.

If the supplier/manufacturer wants access to the big distribution company, they must have a way to manufacture their products for less, or ship 'junk'. Take a close look at the quality of ceramic bath fixtures sold at the big-box stores. High-end manufacturers selling top-of-the-line designs for a big discount? Why would they do that? They do it because they can unload the stuff that comes out of the mold incorrectly. A lot of it has flaws, some only Âcosmetic (e.g. the front of a sink that has a bulge) and some actually functional (e.g. a toilet that doesnÂt sit correctly on the floor). Many of these problems are subtle, so you donÂt notice until the thing is installed. YouÂre a ÂDIYSÂer, so you think you did something wrong when it starts to leak. Or youÂre so sick of the project you live with the Âwavy sink because you canÂt bear to reinstall a good one. If you look carefully, you can see the poor quality in floor models on display at some stores!!!! So, in this sense, at least for some products at the big box stores, you get what you pay for. Be really careful to inspect before you install, and be ready to spend lots of time and energy complaining like crazy to get the quality you expect from the name brand company. At some point, it makes sense to spend an extra % to get shipment from a small distributor whose existence depends on having a stellar reputation in their market area. IÂm not in the business, but IÂve had/seen/heard about lots of REALLY frustrating experiences. I'm thinking I'll get my new cabinets from the local lumber guy rather than the HD or Lowes in my town.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 3:41PM
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The Thomasvilles were bought 2011, and the KraftMaids were bought 2003. I should have asked more questions instead of assuming that the 2011 edges would be veneered like the 2003 ones had been veneered. The 2011 edges either were painted -- in the case of two of the wall cabinets -- or left raw on the base cabinet. To make things even worse, instead of the toe-kick board capping the ends on the base cabinet, it was set into the ends, leaving the ends' raw edges exposed. What KraftMaids are like now, I can't say, but I can say that I'm disappointed with the Thomasvilles.
Now to Home Depot: Please do not take your Home Depot Kichen Designer's word that what you want is what got ordered. Because the Thomasvilles would be going in a bathroom, we asked for and were assured that we would be getting all-plywood construction. One piece out of 5 had plywood ends. Everything else, including the base, had "Furniture Board" ends and backs, the Thomasville term for chipboard. Because the contractor would be arriving soon and because of the complications of making a return and reordering, oil-based urethane on raw surfaces has been the solution. When you order from Home Depot and if you want all plywood construction, there will be separate lines on your HD Special Services Customer Invoice with "PLYWOOD" spelled out. If those "PLYWOOD" entries are not there, you're getting the default "Furniture Board"/chipboard unless you get the misorder corrected.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 2:48PM
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We just had our Thomasville cabinets installed today. Our cabinets are maple, with solid maple, raised panel doors. We chose Thomasville over KM because TV had some features that KM did not offer. We wanted solid wood full overlay doors, all plywood boxes, quiet close doors, and heavy duty drawer glides. Some of these things were upgrades. We liked that we had many options to customize, so we got exactly what we wanted. I am happy with them so far. Ask me again in a few months when I have had a chance to use them for a while.

Our cabinet have labels on them that say they were made in Arthur, IL

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 12:32AM
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We put a KM vanity from HD in our bathroom a couple of years ago. The doors are slab maple. I don't remember making a solid vs. veneer decision, but I just looked at them and they look solid to me. The vanity isn't used as heavily as a frequently used kitchen cabinet, but we're happy. They look nice and function well. We have soft close doors and drawers. We went with KM because the designer at HD said KM was the top of their line and I think she said Thomasville came in second.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 3:24PM
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