anyone know refutable RTA cabinet company?

curious_kittySeptember 17, 2008

Anyone know good RTA kitchen cabinet places that carry cream/ off-white color cabinets?(raised panel, maple preferred) many of them seems to be carrying the stained wood type, but not the cream color cabinets that I am looking for

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Ikea has the boxes... You could have a cabinet maker fabricate the selected front.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 4:03PM
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I wished I found your reply(somehow I never received email from here that I had reply to my posting!)before I placed an order from :( I bought refrigerator panel $58 plus $78 shipping and got them today. I cannot believe they lied about their product. It is all plywood(they said its all solid wood), it was bent, because it was only 1/2" thick instead of 3/4" as they said it was. I am soo angry. I think I am going to bite the bullet and return it bc it is useless to keep them. Is there no reputable RTA kitchen cabinets? if so, do you suggest I stick with IKEA and stop looking for reputable RTA company?

Here is a link that might be useful: pictures of RTA kitchen cabinet nightmare

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 1:27PM
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I looked at RTA extensively for off-white doors and drawer fronts and best source appeared to be Conestoga Woods. They sell doors and drawers and a separate line of knockdown cabinets. They are not cheap but they do offer paint grade wood as a standard substrate for lacquer finishes which is a lot cheaper than painting maple that is suitable for finishing. When I looked (Canadian distrubutor is Northwoods) the offered face frame only cabs in 3 grades including solid wood cabinets. You pick door style and finish but there are limits to the cabinet finishing - at that time they said they were looking into doing the face frames in the lacquer finishes but it wasn't available. You can get full overlay doors as well as buy the lacquer. I was never clear if you could get the cabs unfinished. If you go paint grade and with a simple door style price isn't bad (I only priced the base furniture board cabs) though the lacquer really drives up the price. Attached company was the US retailer I located Conestoga has its' own website where you can inquire about dealers in your area they don't sell directly to consumers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabinet Maker's Choice

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 2:12PM
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Both TBA and JSI have an off-white glazed R/P RTA Maple. I know the TBA piece is all-wood and I've heard the JSI piece is also. I've included a link to a local TBA distributor, who I think can special-order JSI.

Unfortunately, he doesn't have shopping cart, so you'll have to e-mail a list and wait. Further, I'm fairly certain the TBA refridgerator panel is going to be the 1/2' thick w/front stile variety like you already have. JSI probably is 3/4' plywood, as that's the standard construction. They use a 'cam-lock' like IKEA, but it's in veneered plywood instead of Particle Board which is the standard IKEA offering. I suspect IKEA offers the plywood as an upgrade.

Here is a link that might be useful: Greenville Cabinet Distributing's website

    Bookmark   September 29, 2008 at 2:58PM
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I used the company Scherr's Custom cabinets for my kitchen. They do completely custom, RTA cabinets of the highest quality. The cabinets were very easy to assemble and install, and are sturdy and well built. I really couldn't be happier with the results.

Regarding the panel you ordered, I agree that claiming that it would be 3/4" thick and delivering something that is 1/2" thick borders on fraud. Irrespective of what they state as their return policy regarding a re-stocking fee or shipping not being refundable, or even if they have a no refunds policy, you should be entitled to a complete refund. If you paid via a credit card, you may be able to dispute the charge, however you may need some proof that the panel was supposed to be 3/4".

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 2:27PM
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Hi, I certainly will be checking out the JSI/TBA and also Cabinet maker's choice and let you know how that goes.

I emailed the rtacabinet company, his response was basically, you can ship it back(the panel wa $58 bucks, plus $78 shipping). He had a nerve to disagree with me. He told me that it was all wood as he stated on his website(i looked it up, and supposely, it is legal to state that plywood is still... all wood) and the trim piece was still 3/4" as the website stated. He also said plywood is much stronger than the solid wood. As I am a no expert on wood, I dont know if any of this is true. I do know is that plywood is bent and I tried to straighten it out and it just would not hold. I went to homedepot, and their rfrigerator panel was not 1/2" thick. It was 3/4" thick!!
I had to shell out $78 shipping to ship the item that costed $58. I als did check out their return policy, and they dont refund shipping/ and also charge restocking fee. SO I am already out of $78+$78, to get $58 back(minus 25% restocking fee).
Let my mistake be your lesson folks.. in a way, I am glad I only ordered 1 piece instead of entire cabinet from this company. You shouldnt go by the description because they are misleading and outright lies! their website has specifically stated that the panel was 3/4" thick( I wouldnt have ordered this if I knew it was only 1/2 thick plywood. I would rather spend $299 on panel at HD knowing it will be solid wood at 3/4" thick. Argh.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 2:50PM
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It is odd that they say they are made of solid wood and stained to match which realy implies solid wood when in fact they are really ply veneered to match. I have to say with that particular kind of piece you are probably better off with an industrial grade particle board which doesn't warp.

In terms of Conestoga my thinking was that many of the stain glaze mixes look very opaque and they can be applied to the cabinet stiles to mach the doors unlike the solid colortones. You would have to order a sample but you would do that anyway. Not sure where you are located but Northwoods does sell Conestoga to the US as well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Garden Web link about JSI

    Bookmark   September 30, 2008 at 3:51PM
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Hey! Now don't get me wrong I have things from all over the world (my backsplash tile is from Turkey and I am sure more than an object or two comes from China) in my kitchen but cabinetry has a big manufacturing base in North America. I'm Canadian and I passed on the formerly Canadian Canac when I discoveed they progressively closed all of their Canadian manufacturing facilities after they were bought by Kohler and went with Fabritec a Canadian company with Canadian suppliers. I didn't compromise on quality and I respect the bottom line but all thing being relatively equal I would encourage you to buy American (or at least North American) amidst this downturn. Narrow minded provincial lecture over and best of luck with your kitchen.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 6:51AM
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I looked at their website and would agree that it's extremely borderline to call a plywood product "solid wood". (Technically, it *is* wood, and it *is* solid, but those two don't usually go together to describe plywood.)

The 1/2" versus 3/4" issue is right out there, and I'd be in touch with my credit card company to cancel the payment. (They didn't ship you what you ordered and refuse to ship the right thing. *** The diagram on the website -- print that soon! -- shows 3/4"***. End of story.)

Really though, you probably don't want what is commonly called "solid wood". By this, I mean lumber, edge glued together into a 24" wide sheet. This can be done, but it will move seasonally if freestanding.

Are you sure that your panel isn't usable? A batten down the back wall might straighten it out.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 8:18AM
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I see plywood called solid wood for cabinet boxes all the time. I wouldn't expect a big panel to be of anything other than plywood.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 9:02AM
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Plywood, particle board and MDF can all be called 'solid wood'. You have to study the construction details of each & every mfg. and each & every line of every mfg to know what you're getting.

I would expect a refrig panel to be some sort of sheet goods. Plywood is a step up from MDF & particle board because a refrig panel is something that you're probably going to want to help carry some weight (like an extra deep cabinet over the refrig) and have good screw holding capability.

I would NOT want a solid glued up slab of wood here. Besides being prone (much more than sheet goods) to warping & twisting, you have other factors like the heat from the refrigerator compressor playing havoc with the glue joints. That, and a solid glued up piece would be quite a lot more expense.

That said, you should receive a full refund--including shipping--because the panel was advertised as 3/4''. I would NOT return the panel at this point. If the company refuses to make good, I would protest this with the credit card company. If the company wants the panel back, then they need to pony up the shipping charges.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 9:54AM
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I even laid flat with bow side down in the hallway for few days, hoping that would help with bowing. no such luck. it just bows right back. 3/4" thick might have helped againt bowing though.

I buy things off ebay on regular basis, and I thought I was pretty savy shopper. I always pay close attention to item description) because you can't inspect it in person. Thinking that glass is half full and not half empty, I am glad I only bought 1 piece instead of whole set. For those of you(like me) who is looking into buying RTA kitchen cabinets online,I would suggest to order an inexpensive piece first before ordering the whole set.
I would've been okay with panel being plywood if it was 3/4" thick. 1/2" thickness just bows because it cant stand againt gravity, being 84" tall. This panel was going to house the subzero...
Now Iam thinking how I am going to recycle this piece of junk; even thought about burning it in the fire place but it has veneer. The thing is, I could've purchased perfectly straight solid wood panel from homedepot/lowes for $199-299, but it had waiting time and I wanted it quicker(my impatience really paid off this time). It never occured to me that people could make 1/2" thick panel to be used to house refrigerator.. or can they? I wanted this to be a lesson learned for people(like me) who is looking into purchasing RTA cabinets over the internet- you should order 1 piece first to check their contruction quality.
now I am going over the catalogue from Conestoga Woods from cabinet maker's choice website(they carry off-white cream colored cabinets that I liked). they will prob cost more than RTA cabinets, but I dont have to second guess their quality and construction. I never knew plywood can legally be called a 'solid wood'(really?) until now. I never liked lawyers(no offense) and I felt like a victim of foul word-play.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 10:19AM
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I'm not sure why I'd waste the time, but I found some interesting coincidences related to the people above that misrepresented the thickness of their product and questionably represented the materials of their product.

Most of the articles in the "links" section of the rtacabinetstore dot com website are written by "Gary Nealon - Expert Author". This Gary Nealon talks about how he's helped friends with cabs; how he's used such-and-such for his rental properties; and in one unlinked but available article, describes himself as a contractor (see the link below). Never does he describe himself as being employed/ associated/ anything with rtacabinetstore, though he links to them generously.

Now, curiously enough, if you do a whois lookup to see who registered the rtacabinetstore dot com domain name, it is... somebody named "Gary Nealon", who resides in PA.

If, and that's an unproven IF, these are the same person, one selling cabinets and the other advertising cabinets as if he's an independent third party, then I would think this is a shady business. But that would be for you to decide.

Here is a link that might be useful: Someone named Gary Nealon says he's a contractor...

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 10:23AM
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.. who sold me the panel. I remember reading this article while I was looking up some RTA cabinets online. I wonder why I never put it all together. bc his email is his name, nealon52 at aol. and it was shipped from PA.
I am willing to take the loss either way(I am going to file a complaint with my credit card company, nonetheless). I emailed him back and tole him to state the description truthfully on his website. I also let him know that I will be sharing my experience with other fellow kitchen members. I dont care what you sell, but your item description should be accurate and be clear to customers who is looking into buying.

1 Like    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 10:58AM
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In talking to the credit card company I don't think you need to make any mention of the solid wood vs plywood issue, or the being bent issue. I think it will be sufficient to show the image from the web site that clearly shows the panel will be 3/4" thick, and then your image clearly showing the panel to be 1/2" thick.

In addition to what justnigel posted the "contact us" link on the rta website lists three email addresses. The first of them being "Gary-" Anyone care to make a wager as to this particular Gary's last name.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 11:57AM
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Well, curious_kitty must have gotten their attention, as they've changed their website to reflect the 1/2" and plywood construction.

Aside to curious_kitty: I've saved the previous version of their webpage, if you need it for the credit card company. Or maybe my intuition was wrong and Gary will settle his debt with you honestly and it won't come to that.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 1:06PM
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This has been so mentally exhausting; not particularly this panel problem that I have but I thought I found a great way to save $$$ by ordering RTA cabinets offered online.. now I just am not sure anymore. I am now making list of wall cabinets/base cabinets that I need, so i can send them off to cabinet maker's choice for a quote. I emailed Neal( think that's his first name), and told him that I'd be willing to take a loss on this, but Id also be sharing this particular experience with folks who's interested in RTA kitchen cabinets. He kept on telling me that all I needed to do was ship the panel right back for refund for the item. But that just didnt make sense why I would want that option: panel costed $58, plus $78 shipping. It weighs like 18 lbs, not to mention its 84" long! I mean... it didnt make sense to ship it back(costing $78 shipping), to receive $58 refund. Basically, he isn't telling me that he wont refund my money. He will refund it as long as I ship it back. Sigh, what would you do???
For Justnigel: Thank you! I just visited the website, and he had already changed the website description.. I am going to call the credit company tomorrow. In case they require me to provide any proof about misrepresentation of the item, I'd be grateful if you can email the old website page? my email is curious_kitty324 at yahoo dot com. Sorry about immature email login.. I named it after my cutest(but also a big trouble maker) tuxedo cat that I simply adore :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2008 at 7:36PM
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ericheinsohn distributor for Conestoga
Extremely helpful customer service and very patient with the most detailed questions, both by email and phone.
They sell glued and spline RTA cabs, much higher quality than cheap quater-turn and click "screw" type by Ikea, et al.
Also offer a range of quality to fit budget, from MDF to plywood boxes and standard to select grade hardwood for doors

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 9:24AM
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This is the same product Cabinet Maker's Choice and Northwoods sell. I don't know where curiouskitty hails from but if she picks a Conestoga distributor closest to her she could save some shipping costs. I contacted the other two distributors but we didn't go this route and it is alway better to use a place where someone has had a good experience. I think the base Conestoga Pioneer line is 1\2 inch particle board (probably Industrial grade ANSI rated M-2) not MDF. They provide the best and clearest specs I have ever seen on the construction and materials of their product.

To anyone:

If your buying cabinets be aware that particle board comes in many grades and assuming a cabinet is cheap or poorly made because the construction uses particle board is misguided. You need to consider materials and design relationally. A cheaply assembled plywood cabinet will not last longer than a well made medium grade particle board one.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2008 at 11:47AM
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did you order from cabinetjoint? Do you have pictures? I just received sample doors from a company called Advantage Cabinet Doors and they're the wrong size, by a crucial 1/16th of an inch. They're very cheap (5.75/sq ft) but they need to be both cheap and usable!
did you order sample doors or did you just assume your order would be correctly made? I'm ordering 43 doors, so I'm a little anxious.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2008 at 11:24PM
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I just received sample doors from a company called Advantage Cabinet Doors and they're the wrong size, by a crucial 1/16th of an inch.

Trav86--You need to be aware that the tolerance for finished doors is 1/4''.

From Advantage specifications:

"Tolerance of finished wood doors is plus or minus 1/8th inch."

    Bookmark   November 21, 2008 at 7:26AM
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Melissa Houser

Gee, I hope that Gary Nealon reads this forum, because his dishonesty with curious_kitty just cost him my entire order. Hubby and I are waiting on the mortgage company to send our insurance proceeds check, which we should probably receive on Tuesday, according to the guy I've spoke with at the lender. I have my cabinet order, for both my kitchen and the new buffet area for my dining room, all written out, just waiting for the check to get here.

I guess I'll be looking at some of the other RTA cabinet manufacturers that have good reviews here on Gardenweb. I'm so glad you ladies are here and honest about things. :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 9:22PM
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1/4 " tolerance, that would be horrible. Sounds like they are using broken tape measures. Plus or minus 1/8" is really bad as well. It should be +/- 1/16" at the most. I would highly recommend the conestoga cabinet line. This is the line we have been selling for over 20 years. The quality is great and the customer service is also wonderful. However they do not sell direct and their custom products manual can be a bit tricky , so you would really need someone with experience to help you decipher it. The Cabinet systems are a little less complicated, because there is less options. Yes, plywood is commonly referred to as solid wood, because it is in fact solid layers of wood glued together. I would not use a true solid wood panel in this application anyway. It would be to prone to warping and would be very expensive. If you are installing a sub zero, you can drill holes through the frame of the frig and screw into the panel, which will pull out some of the bow. On the back side you are going to have to screw the panel into the wall and then cover it with batten, because there is no room behind a sub zero to put in a block of wood to straighten it out. You may be able to use something like a lightweight angle iron to give you the clearance behind the sub zero and straighten the panel out. I hope this helps someone, because I know it was a bit off topic. Back to the main topic, go with conestoga products, and they do come prefinished with colourtones (pigmented lacquers). Otherwise go unfinished and use a latex paint. Personally I would get them prefinished, it will cost more, but the product will look much nicer. You really can't brush the lacquers on, they have to be sprayed, and they are very finicky.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 10:13PM
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Northwoods website still says colourtone matched cabs (face frames) are planned but not available - has this changed?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 11:37PM
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They do prefinish the cabs in coulourtone now. I am fairly certain they offer inset as well, but do not quote me on that, I would have to check my manual.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:12AM
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Great to know. Thanks. Do the orders ship directly from Conestoga? Would you save any shipping money by picking your order up from the dealer?

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 9:44AM
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I am not sure how the dealers work. We install it ourselves so we always have it shipped to our shop. I know that when I place my order there is an options to ship to a different address, however I have never needed to do this. I would think that if you could have it shipped direct you could save some money, however you would need to have it shipped fed ex or ups, and they charge more than freight. If someone were buying it from me locally, I would get the order in freight and then drop it off or have them pick it up. Ups and Fed ex are pretty rough on orders, and you may get some damage. Also our freight orders are shipped without zero pack. Zero pack is a new shipping method they use, which in my opinion does not protect the items well. We specify no zero pack when we order. I am sure this confused more than helped, sorry.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2008 at 1:26PM
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Plywood is considered wood, and it is an excellent product for the carcasses (even high end cabinets use plywood). You are not going to get a solid wood panel from Home Depot. It too will be veneered (because of seasonal movement)and very likely will be MDF (very stable but a low grade material IMHO). You won't be able to tell because it will either be edge banded or a solid wood strip glued to the sides.

In my situation I was ordering pocket doors from a custom millwork shop (they wanted $1000 for 2 24" doors) and they were going to use a veneered MDF for the middle panel. If I hadn't seen the product and protested they would have used the MDF panel. Instead I got the doors from another shop that built them as I requested.

Always ask, custom doesn't always mean quality.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Just purchased cabinets from we did tons of research before making such a large purchase online. Their prices are better than the competition and after waiting patiently for samples to arrive from various companies it became clear the finish was far superior at RTA. When the cabinets arrived 7 boxes out of 25 were damaged in some way and I alerted them right away that we may be making a damage claim. After assembling them we discovered not even one of the cabinets had issues. The packaging was fantastic (and plentiful!) and this protected the cabinets from careless truck drivers. The assembly was easier than you could possibly imagine. Barbies dream house is far more complicated to put together than any of these. The instructions are lacking-crude pencil drawings at best, but there are utube videos to watch if you need to. One thing to note: the color of the "tuscany" cabinets are far more beige than the white depicted on their main page. Accurate photos are available in the feedback section of the site. I just finished assembling our entire kitchen 20 minutes ago and I'd do it all again!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2011 at 6:45PM
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I know this is probably a little late but maybe it could be useful to another customer.

Antique White Glaze RTA Cabinets
All wood construction
Half overlay raised panel door and drawer
1/2' plywood cabinet box
3/4' solid wood dovetail drawer
Full extension 120 Lb Slides
European concealed hinges
3/4' plywood adjustable shelves
Quick assembly with screw gun & glue
Perfect for Kitchens and Bathrooms

These cabinets are very high quality.

The attached site link is currently being remodeled but will be available for viewing 10/9/2011.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 3, 2011 at 11:19AM
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I know this is an old post, but I just came across it and just wanted to post an updated comment, especially in regards to "". Wish I had read this thread BEFORE I placed my order from them a few months ago for their Marquis Cinnamon cabinets. I had ordered a sample door and it looked pretty nice, so I went ahead and ordered my cabinets. They are of unbelievably poor quality, made in China. Some of the prices were missing stain in spots and polyurethane. The drawer sides are thin and cheap, pieced wood. Some pre drilled holes were drilled wrong, so we had to use a Dremel to correct in order to use the cam locks. I am still trying to get the issues resolved since January. I kept them because they are going in a 2nd rarely used kitchen in the basement that got destroyed during Hurricane Irene, but I would NEVER, I mean NEVER use these for my primary kitchen! I have photos of some of the poor quality if anyone wants to see them...I'd be happy to email them. I wish it had worked out better...I had high hopes that it was going to be a cost effective way to redo both kitchens in the house and all three bathrooms, which are all 40 years old and in need of updating. Plus my brother wanted to redo his kitchen and my mom her bathroom, so this was our trial run. Never again would I buy from them! They lost a lot of future business with this poor example of the quality of their products. Beware of!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2012 at 6:33PM
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I just bought kitchen cabinets from (they changed they're name from
They're all wood. I bought the society hill. It's a stained cabinet. They do have a white painted cabinet line.

On top of my wall cabinets I added a large crown rope molding it gives it a regal look. My cabinets are really nice.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 2:45PM
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Just love all of the SPAMMERS who do a post and disappear. NEVER buy anything from one of the companies that they suggest!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 1:46PM
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