Need help deciding between cabinet companies!

leennpNovember 4, 2013

We have received quotes back on several different cabinet lines for very similar layouts, and we now need to narrow down decisions. All quotes included all wood cabinets, soft close doors and drawers, which are up charges on some lines but were standard on others. The three cabinet quotes are all within about 4 thousand dollars of each other. The least expensive is Midcontinent, in the middle is Starkmark, and at the top end is Medaillion. Can anyone comment on these three different lines as far as construction, finish, durability, or ease of dealing with company? Can anyone comment on the differences between a paint finish from Mid Continent or Medallion versus the tinted varnish that Starmark uses.
Thanks for any help!

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I've looked at all three cabinets, paying particular attention to paint finish. Of course pricing is regional: what your quotes are would differ for my major metropolitan area.

I can say that Mid-Continent uses a spray painting technique (may be pre-catalytic opaque varnish) in several layers to build their coat. One GW member (nina) has them and likes them very much. I didn't go their route because I wanted a post catalytic paint finish (different chemical finish, very durable).

As you say Starmark uses (post-catalytic) tinted (called opaque) varnish, I can tell you so does Medallion, an Elkay company. I liked both cabinet manufacturers. I had a huge order with four large glass cabinets (requiring the interior to be painted), and in the end the Elkay company came in with a better quote. The post-catalytic opaque varnish finish in white has a lovely satin sheen to it (not plasticky) and seems very resistant to stains to date.

So it all depends what you want. Some time ago I wrote on the difference between pre and post catalytic varnish in painted cabinets, as they both have pros and cons. The main one being with a pre-catalytic varnish, if a major event occurs in the paint finish there's a chance you can do a reasonable on site correction. This is not so for post catalytic opaque varnish, but it has the advantage of being more resistant to yellowing as well as damage overall. It's very durable.

Hope this helps a little. I remember when I was starting to learn about this myself. Use the GW search at the bottom of the page with key words to help you further.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 10:23PM
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Thanks for the great info. Was not aware the Medallion finish was the same process as the Starmark, the cabinet rep just said "paint". Any other comments regarding finish or cabinet construction between the different lines?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2013 at 7:37PM
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We got 3 bids and all 3 were way different in pricing. First bid was from Costco. The bid was outrageous, but the sales guy kept reinforcing the quality of their granite. I also think since They were using the Costco name they were taking advantage of the customer. I'm a loyal Costco member and love their merchandise which is why I really trusted this guy and almost signed that night but something in my gut told me to wait. The next guy that came out gave me a quote that was half of Costco's quote, we were thrilled. Ok, so we're getting the price down. Then I called my girlfriend who I remember had her kitchen remodeled about 4 years ago. She went straight to a cabinet maker and found a place who sold the granite and installed it. So I Ended up going this route. Yes it's more leg work but I saved myself over $4,000 and got some custom cabinets that are 100% wood. I was able to extend one of my cabinets which the other 2 sales guys said would have been extremely expensive and didn't even want to give me a quote for this. Also, I'm having to hire my own plumber and a person to install floor. We just had our cabinets installed today and they are absolutely gorgeous. I have never seen cabinets that look so beautiful. Maybe it's just I was so use to my old kitchen. Anyway, I would try finding a cabinet maker and see how much he charges. I will be adding before and after pics soon. Good luck to you.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 1:13AM
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we chose Woodharbor, and would so choose again in a heart beat. Beautiful finishes. Not cheap, but very high quality.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 1:13PM
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Would be very interested to hear what line you go with as we are in the same position. We have looked at similar lines and Kraftmaid as well. Mid continent is coming in 3-4K cheaper than the rest. All plywood construction was adding 20% to the cost so after some research we've decided that veneer-over furniture board aka MDF will suffice. Cost difference takes it from 12-14k up 17-18k for plywood construction. We live in Alaska if that makes a difference. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:53AM
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