lstryerNovember 19, 2013

Hi everyone. We are beginning our cabinet selection. I would like your input on four lines: Ultra Craft, Brookhaven, Signature, Rutt Regency.
How do these compare in price and quality? Customer support and warranty? Are white cabinets always maple? Are other woods too grainy for white paint? I believe maple is softer than cherry or mahogany. How does it hold up over time? We will be doing frameless, painted white, cherry or some mahogany. Your thoughts are most appreciated.

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I can't speak to the type of wood/paint question, because I have stained walnut, but I do have views on the cabinet lines. I did my kitchen last year and used Rutt. I was originally going to go with the Regency line but upgraded to the Classic at the last minute. The Regency is really nice and about 25% less than Classic. It just doesn't have some of the extra touches. The Regency line is comparable to the highest line from Signature, I am pretty sure. When I was looking at cabinets, I actually called Signature directly and asked them to compare themselves to Rutt. Their then newly introduced Custom line was a clear effort to compete with Rutt Regency. Whether they are quite as good, I am not sure because I just made the decision to go with Rutt regardless.

My sister has Brookhaven, which is the mid-priced line from Wood Mode. WM is comparable to Rutt Classic I believe. Her cabinets are painted and are very nice. She is quite happy with them.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2013 at 9:50PM
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Thank you so much for your reply. I believe Classic does not have frameless cabinets. I am surprised by how difficult it is to find a distributor. I am in MA and there is only one. Two listed on their website but that's incorrect. It struck me that perhaps they are not stable as a business but perhaps there is another explanation. What other lines did you consider?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 1:32AM
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Only Rutt and Signature. I wanted to use Bilotta, a very high-end design shop in the Architects and Designers Building. They sell Rutt, Signature and a very modern brand. I loved their showroom and the particular KD they assigned to my job, so I didn't shop anymore. I also wanted inset cabinets with exposed hinges. Rutt is top of the line. I would not worry about stability, seriously. But if you can't find a distributor, look at brookhaven.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 7:03AM
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I really appreciate your input. I like one of their doors and apparently it's made in-house. I also like the fact they carry mahogany which prices out the same as cherry. The rest is design and layout. Do you think for a 13 by 17 size kitchen with an island, I could get by under $30 thousand?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 1:06PM
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I doubt it. My kitchen is smaller. It is about 20 x 7 with an L. I posted pictures of the finished kitchen and there was also another thread with almost finished pictures. Just google "nycbluedevil walnut calacatta".That will give you an idea of how many cabinets I have.

This is pretty much what I have:

1. On the range wall, I have two 30" three-drawer stacks on either side of the range, a cabinet for my speed oven with one drawer under it to the right of the range and a narrow cabinet under my peninsula to the right of the speed oven. The two 30" double-door wall cabinets on the range wall are stacked to the ceiling (one cabinet but two doors) with a panel over the range hood.

2. On the sink wall, for base cabinets I have two 33" three-drawer stacks on the ends, a 24" double trash pullout, a 33" sink cabinet and a dishwasher panel. Wall cabinets on that side are also stacked to the ceiling--single-door cabinets on either end that come down to the counter with a small drawer in each and three double-door cabinets with glass panels.

3. On the fridge wall, I have my Sub-Zero french door fridge panelled (three panels0, a 36" cabinet above the fridge, a shallow 24" pantry with upper and lower double-door cabinets (again to the ceiling), a 24" wall cabinet to the right of the fridge and an enclosure for my wine cooler under the counter below that cabinet.

4. On the window wall, I have a piano-hinged window seat cabinet and a small bookcase.

All cabinetry is inset walnut with walnut drawer interiors. I have two-piece ceiling moldings all around and all exposed ends including the back of the peninsula are panelled. I have base moldings too on the outsides of the cabinets. There are other miscellaneous nice details too.

So all that cabinetry I outlined above came to about $52K in the Regency line. That did include about $7K of installation costs. When I went up to the Classic line, I didn't change any of the cabinetry, just the line and spent a bunch more money. I figured in for a penny, in for a pound.

Stlil, even without all the bells and whistles, I don't see how even my smaller kitchen would have come anywhere near $30K in the Regency line. Maybe somewhere in the mid to high 40's.

I would really recommend that you look at Signature and Brookhaven if $30K is your budget for cabinets. They are both really nice and Signature has a few lines. There are also quite a number of mid-priced lines that others on this forum really like. Rutt is really expensive. Personally, I think they were worth it but you can't spend it if that's not your budget.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 5:02PM
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Hi Ev2012,

Have you considered using a local custom shop?

I am a small developer in Boston and have used a couple of the local shops for the custom one off work we sometimes get, one I have used recently and have been thrilled with the quality and professionalism is called Bespoke Woodwrights the owner is Doug Prohn and he can be reached at 617.901.8620

Good luck

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Your kitchen is stunning! I was aiming for a similar look but in mahogany. I did not realize I would be that much off. Still deciding stain or paint. I was told by the KD that in paint, Rutt provides poplar and not maple. Can upgrade. I was surprised because maple is the preferred option. Will meet with the KD this week to get some numbers even though my layout is still evolving. He quoted under $30 some time ago but have no clue what he included. I also will be looking for some layout assistance very soon. Thank you so much. By the way, my preferred door is also the New Yorker and what hooked me to Rutt. No one else seems to carry this door!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 7:29PM
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Thanks Ev. In my bathrooms pre-remodel a couple of years ago (bathrooms are what got me started on GW), I had painted poplar cabinets. They got a lot of dings. Poplar is a relatively soft wood.

Also, my first visit to a KD was a shop that sold Signature as its highest-end brand. I went in with a sketch and she estimated about $20k to $25k. Now that was just a preliminary sketch and there were no details, but the number and size of cabinets was pretty much the same. After all, the space is the space. I suspect that if I had gone with that shop, by the time we would have refined the design, that estimate would have ended up with a quote of close to 40k. All the extras are what add up. There was probably an element of low balling the estimate in order to get me to sign on with a retainer. I don't know how final your design was but I suspect it was preliminary because you said that you will need layout help. Btw, the folks here are great with helping on layouts and are really generous with their time and suggestions.

The New Yorker is a great door. It has just the right amount of detail for me. I get loads of compliment on the cabinets.

My personal view on stain vs paint is that stain is easier to touch up and lets a wood with a beautiful grain be the star of the show. It can be challenging though because it can be a strong element and you can't have too many of those in the room. So, in our case, going with stained walnut cabinets meant that we couldn't really do a wood floor which I had thought I wanted. (We ended up with Marmoleum which I love.). If we had gone with paint, we could have carried through the wood floors from the rest of the apartment. But I wanted the walnut more. So everything is a trade off.

Looking forward to seeing your progress!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 9:47PM
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Maple is harder than Mahogany and Cherry wood. Looking forward to finding out what your decision ends up being.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 11:09PM
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Lynn, thank you. I forgot that maple is harder and thought it was the softer wood of the three. So if it's the hardest, are painted cabinets more durable than stained? Can paint crack or peel?

Nycbluedevil, I know I want hardwood floors, oak natural stained, as the rest of the house. We live in a 1920's colonial with classic features like hardwood floors, detailed moldings, some arches, etc. Most of the wood in the house is painted white, except for the doors the lead to foyer, hallways, which are stained mahogany and the stairway baluster. I have a stunning mahogany built in bar in the basement, which is seldom used now, but when my boys were young if was their favorite play area. How they built the houses in those days!

My current kitchen is about 50 years old, white painted cabinets, custom built on site. Solid wood. The kitchen feels like 3 separate section: eating nook, rear house entrance, tiny pantry leading to half bath and dining room, etc. So I will be removing some walls to maximize the functionality of the space. I plan to post a rough lay-out next week. May start a new thread for the layout. Hope to see your input.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 12:02AM
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ev2012, I know that Canadian Maple is harder than Cherry, poplar, pine and oak cabinets. I am getting white painted cabinets but someone needs to answer the question if paint can crack or peel as I right now still have the builder grade oak cabinets that I dislike that I lived with for 15.5 years.

We all can't wait to see pictures to help give you input in your layout and design ideas!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 9:17PM
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ev2012, I know that Canadian Maple is harder than Cherry, poplar, pine and oak cabinets. I am getting white painted cabinets but someone needs to answer the question if paint can crack or peel as I right now still have the builder grade oak cabinets that I dislike that I lived with for 15.5 years.

We all can't wait to see pictures to help give you input in your layout and design ideas!

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 10:40PM
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