American WoodMark vs. KraftMaid

itsasmallworldNovember 5, 2008

I'm in the process of replacing my kitchen cabinets. HD has done the first cabinet layout. My Home Depot KDer is highly recommending American WoodMark cabinets because of a current sale. My contractor has installed many kitchen cabinets and highly recommends KraftMaid because he's never heard of American WoodMark. Can anyone offer any opinions of American WoodMark? I don't want to make a quick decision based solely on price. I'm willing to invest more money to ensure that I get a quality cabinet that lasts long. All opinions are welcomed!

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kompy

They aren't on the same level at all. KraftMaid is a better cabinet...especially the finish.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 2:07PM
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mama2c

I've had them both and couldn't tell you the difference. I think there is some bias against American Woodmark because they also make a cheaper line that is more like a stock cabinet quality, but if you get their "semi-custom" it's along the same lines as Kraftmaid (and similar price too). The only thing I vaguely remember is that there were some extras offered by American Woodmark as standard that were upgrades on Kraftmaid, so the AW seemed like a better deal to me (sorry my memory is fuzzy on this - it's been 4 years and 3 houses ago). I really liked my American Woodmark cabinets. Ours were maple (spice?).

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 9:41PM
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chicagockd

I have sold both lines of cabinets. Kraftmaid is a better cabinet line that offers many more options. The packaging is better with Kraftmaid so the cabinets are less likely to get damaged during shipping.

The quality control for the wood and the finish are better with Kraftmaid.

However, if you are working on a tight budget, American Woodmark should be at least 25% cheaper than Kraftmaid. I think both lines have the same type of warranty.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 9:52PM
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athomewith3

We had AW installed by home depot about 5 years ago and i still love these cabs. My brother and sister in law have kraftmaid and besides the soft close drawer's not being a standard back then i honestly don't see a huge difference. Again, it has been about 5 years since our cabs were installed and i am completely satisfied still with the quality. I am sure Kraftmaid makes a high quality cab as well but be sure you are'nt paying "extra" for just the
name". Good luck!!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 1:14AM
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caryscott

American Woodmark according to its' voluntary reporting to Kitchen and Bath Busines is a 100% stock manufacturer (see link). Kraftmaid is a semi-custom line. Stock versus Semi-custom has nothing to do with the quality of the cabinet construction but will effect how verstaile the product is (semi-custom by definition should have more options than stock and more available finishes). Lines are quite different in Canada but I have never been that impressed with the construction specs for the Kraftmaid given the price point but the box stores here (Rona & HD) don't set up vignettes for Kraftmaid in store so I have never seen them in person. The stock lines at HD in Canada (by Fabritec) have better construction specs than both Thomasville and Kraftmaid IMO (quality construction in the cabinet is not the same as quality in the finishing).

I think the finishing issue may come down to expectation. If your design was done using American Woodmark it can certainly be replicated using Kraftmaid but part of what you are paying for with Kraftmaid is the semi-custom versatility so I would want to be able to do things design wise I couldn't with the stock line (or what are you paying more for?).

I looked at stock, semi-custom and custom and found I could get custom for what semi-custom would cost (this is very common in many markets). In our case we also found we didn't have to make very many compromises in our design to do it with a stock line for about a 1\3 saving (with comparable construction and materials between the lines).

As in this thread I have only heard good things about American Woodmark quality.

Here is a link that might be useful: Whos who in cabinets 2008

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 2:38AM
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caryscott

The attached link is a pretty comprehensive guide to deciphering what is what in relation to materials and construction of cabinetry. "Cabinet Type" outlines the real diferences between stock, semi-custom and custom.

Here is a link that might be useful: guide to cabinetry

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 2:47AM
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marilyn234

We looked at many cabinets before making our decision. Custom, Merilatt, American Woodmark and KraftMaid, We chose the Kraftmaid as our contractor who installs many many brands including custom said in his opinion he would definitely would go with the Kraftmaid over the American woodmark. He thought the quality and the finish was alot better on the Kraftmaid, and said he installed many of both. If money was as issue he said go with the American Woodmark. We have ours only 4 months now and so far we love them. I am really happy with the color and quality so far. This is just his opinion. Good Luck with your kitchen remodel.
Marilyn

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 10:42AM
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luckymom23

Hi,
Just wanted to add...I was at Lowe's and they are having a 20% off (apparently through the end of the year) on "Shenandoah" which are the same cabinets as American Woodmark. I am in Oregon, I would assume this is a national promotion but who knows? If you have a Lowe's you might check it out. Both the Home Depot & Lowe's KD's that I spoke with told me that the American Woodmark/Shenandoah cabinet lines are their 'best value' meaning you get alot for your dollar with those cabinets.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 2:16PM
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mountainbasketmaker

I also looked at both cabinetry lines before deciding on American Woodmark. AW has a semi-custom line and is very similar to KraftMaid. There were no problems with packaging, delivery or damage. I love the full extension drawers and have them in almost all my base cabinets. You can see pictures of my kitchen reno at the link below.
I don't think you can go wrong with either of these lines of cabinetry. Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Kitchen Blog

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 8:00PM
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mountainstateboy

Its A Small World. If your contaractor has never heard of American Woodmark, is because he either got his head in the sand to your or blind as a bat. I worked there for 30 years before moving on to another trade. I don't know about kraft Maid, when I made parts for the doors the cutter heads were shimmed to 5 ten thousnads if an inch at one time. If I had a face crack of a thousandth and inch I was making sure it was corrected. both cabinets are about equal in quality. American Woodmark Corp or(AWC). The finishes were done on the frames with a UV cured paint. Robots painted the frames. The had an on site company man from one of the worlds largest paint company every day. There were people in that plant that retired after 44 years of experience. I saw a Karaft maid dosplay on a video, not a close up and saw mineral streak in their show cabinets. you would want someone like me to look at anyones cabinets because of 30 years eperience it won't be hard to find problems. I suggest you find a more knowledgeable contractor the next time AWC was the 3rd and 4th largest cabinetmaker in the U.S. I left when they wre manufacturing over 25,000 cabinets a day or over 1/2 million+cabinets a month

    Bookmark   February 20, 2012 at 11:56PM
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