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New Cabinet Flaws

Posted by happs (My Page) on
Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 3:24

I just had new kitchen cabinets from a major nationwide manufacturer installed last week and I'm noticing a few defects already. First, there is some de-lamination/peeling on the inside top part of one cabinet. I notified the dealer and a claim was put in. Not sure what that means specifically.

I have noticed with two doors on two different upper
cabinets that they appear to be warped, for a lack of a better term, as the top portion of these doors are not flush with the cabinet (they bow out). When you push them when they are closed, they make a rattle/vibrate sound vs the door right next to them on the same cabinet. Can this be adjusted by the installer or does it require a new door?
In addition, on one cabinet, the bottom horizontal
pieces on the doors are at different heights. They weren't cut evenly at the factory. The left door bottom panel has been cut 1/8" shorter than the same panel on the right door, and when these two doors are leveled properly by the installer it will become even more exaggerated to the eye, since this is the centerpiece
cabinet.

Has anyone ever experienced these flaws before and what are the best courses of action to remedy them?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: New Cabinet Flaws

Overlay cabinets? Framed? Frameless? Sound like wall cabinets? How tall, how many hinges?
For the doors it could really be adjustment )ou say "when the doors are leveled...". Have that done then start fussing


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These are semi-full overlay, framed upper wall cabinets. One cabinet that has the warp/bowing out is 42 inches, the other is 36 inches. Each door has three hinges.


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Hinges are 6 way adjustable and it sounds as though most of the issues have to do with the installer not adjusting the doors correctly. You should have him show you how to do it, because you will periodically need to "tune up" the clearances or adjustment after a few season's changes.

As far as the issue with the delamination on a cabinet box, well, sometimes you do have the occasional cabinet that sneaks past quality control. Manufacturer's are humans, and even though they try, sometimes something gets past them. It should NOT have been installed, and your installer should have brought that to your attention as soon as the cabinet was unboxed. Your KD should have stressed that to you. You don't "go ahead" and install damaged or defective cabinet boxes. (A cabinet with a damaged door, no problem. A door can be shipped to you and replaced easily.) You contact the KD and seek replacement. Replacement would have not been an issue at that point at all. When a cabinet is installed, it becomes a lot more difficult to replace. Sometimes impossible to replace without removing a lot of other cabinets. Sometimes field repair is the only option if the installer has installed something defective. And if it does have to be uninstalled and replaced, it should be on his nickel to uninstall something that shouldn't have been installed in the first place.

Overall, reading between the lines here, I'm not very impressed with the cabinet installer here.


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RE: New Cabinet Flaws

Thanks for your informative reply. The installer didn't notice the peeling. I noticed it a couple days after he left and don't know if this can be repaired "in the field." Here are some photos of the peeling and of the door panels that aren't cut evenly.


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Cabinet Peeling Photo 1


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Cabinet Peeling Photo 2


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Cabinet Peeling Photo 3


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What happens when the kitchen designer/dealer "issues a claim" to the manufacturer?


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It depends on the manufacturer. If there is a certain % of issues, the rep will want to pay a visit to the home to see the problems in person, regardless of what the resolution might be. For minor issues, usually an immediate replacement part is dispatched, no questions asked.

As for your issues, I'm not sure exactly what I'm seeing here. Are the cabinets melamine rather than stained wood? The peeling looks like an opaque coating rather than a stain and topcoat, and it's unclear as to where it's peeling from. It could be that just a sharp utility knife to slice it off would be all that were needed. Or, the boxes could need to be replaced entirely. An in person inspection would be needed.

For the other issue of the uneven cuts, I'm not seeing anything???

As far as your cabinet installer not noticing that, he would have to be BLIND. He should have seen that as soon as he opened the boxes. If not then, then he HAD to see it when he was screwing the boxes to the walls. To not mention it shows a real lack of professionalism.


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RE: New Cabinet Flaws

  • Posted by happs Arizona (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 16:36

I appreciate your response. There is an issue of uneven cuts. One panel is 1/8" higher than the other and it's definitely noticeable when you are standing in front of it and also sitting down at the island looking at it. The installer noticed the unevenness too and he mentioned that bad cuts do happen at the factory and that he has seen it before. I don't know why the installer didn't notice the issue of the peeling. The cabinets are stained wood.

Another issue I just noticed is that the top portion of the drawer box piece that is attached to the face of the cabinet is beyond rough and "chewed" looking. The same piece on other drawers do not feel like they have been sanded smooth and there is a wide range of color variation in them. On the other hand, in the bathroom vanity cabinet that same piece of wood that is attached to the faceplate absolutely uniform in color on the drawers and super smooth.

At this point, should I direct all my complaints to the dealer/kitchen designer only, or should I independently contact the manufacturer as well?

This post was edited by happs on Thu, Jun 27, 13 at 16:54


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What brand cabinetry is this? Was it an expensive line?


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That looks to be a stapled drawer box, and I wouldn't expect to see something of that quality sanded smooth in a lower cost line. Nor would I expect to see cabinet grade wood wasted on it in any line. Drawer boxes aren't doors. They can have a higher amount of mineral streaks, pinholes, knots and some checking and still be perfectly functional.

Have you put an actual tape measure on the uneven cuts so you can post an accurate picture of the differences in them? I'm not seeing what you're talking about there either. Doing that would be a good pic to send to the manufacturer. If the tape measure tells the tale, then there should be no issues getting replacement doors from most major makers.

It looks as though instead of a true stain that a tinted topcoat was used over the cabinets to tone down any variations in the use of heart and sapwood. That's a technique used by some budget cabinets so they can mask the stripes from using lesser quality wood. It also looks as though something didn't adhere to something correctly. I agree that the cabinet installer shouldn't have installed that cabinet and would have had to be blind to not notice the issue. When you get a replacement, he should donate his labor to replace it instead of charging you more labor. As long as the crown molding hasn't been installed, and the cabinet isn't in the middle of the run, it ought not take him more than a quarter day to do. And it will teach him a lesson to open his darn eyes and speak up when something isn't right.

IMHO, the cabinet with the peeling should have the box replaced entirely. The cabinet company rep would need to make a visit to your home though to be able to approve that if there is more than one cabinet with that issue, but that shouldn't be a fight after he sees that. If it's just the one cabinet, then you probably won't have any issues with them ordering you a replacement without the rep having to visit.

Other than that glaring issue, what I mostly see is a budget cabinet being a budget cabinet and you possibly not quite having an understanding of the level of quality that you purchased and expecting more. And I also see an installer that doesn't quite know what he's doing. One example beyond not noticing the peeling cabinets is that the holes for the hardware for the drawers should be countersunk. That's what a professional would have done, anyway. Then there's the other very obvious issue that one of those installation screws isn't penetrating a stud and isn't doing anything. You've got one single screw holding that cabinet to the wall.


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These are not budget or apartment grade cabinets. They are mid-grade KCMA certified cabinets common in tract homes. They have soft close doors and drawers, which are dovetailed, not stapled. The specie of wood is maple and the uneven cuts are 1/8" off. The ruler/tape measure proves this and so does looking at it right on, from an angle and from a distance. Also, when some of the doors close on the soft close parts, there is a slight creak. Will this go away in time as the door gets used?

What if the kitchen designer/dealer or installer propose taking a razor blade and shaving off the peeling part and then using the marker of the touch up kit to solve the problem? My hunch is that won't look good. That cabinet with the peeling is held up by two screws on top and two screws on the bottom.


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Studs are 16" apart. Those screws don't appear to be 16" apart. If there are screws top and bottom, then those bottom screws aren't through the hanging rail and aren't really acting as bearing supports.

As far as shaving it with a razor blade and doing a touch up, that would probably work in that location as far as appearances sake. It's not a spot that gets wear at all. I'd have to get my head up inside to look to see exactly what was peeling off and what was coated and not coated. If there was a section of the face frame without a topcoat on it, I'd want the cabinet replaced. Or, at least the face frame if the installer had the skill to manage that, which I'd highly doubt.

A good manufacturer would have already sent out replacements when the KD asked for them. IF the KD asked for them. Some are reluctant to do so. When there is "concealed damage" or defective merchandise, I've never had any issues from any company sending replacements. As long as there aren't more than a couple of issues, the replacements don't have to get bogged down by having a rep visit. It's only when there are many different issues all involving the same order does it become mandatory for a rep to become involved before replacement occurs.


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Well thankfully the installer has to come back, because the crown moulding and other assorted trim pieces are backordered, but I don't have an exact ETA on them. The kitchen designer put in a claim for the peeling issue. Perhaps it takes multiple claims to get immediate action.


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"Immediate action" is a 7-10 day lead time in some lines. Or a 10-14 day lead time in a different line. Or a 21-28 day lead time in others. That's for express response for replacement orders. Cabinets and their parts and pieces aren't pre-made sitting around in a warehouse. That would be really bad as factories aren't really 100% humidity controlled. They are made to order in a production line "just in time" as needed to fill an order only and are shipped out of that factory to the customer ASAP after production. "Backordered" doesn't exist. The KD may have forgotten to order the trim pieces and is blaming that on a backorder, but that's not the reality of how cabinets are made.

The KD should communicate with you exactly what replacement parts were ordered, and also the estimated shipping date for those parts. I'll repeat that: the KD needs to tell you what he ordered and when it will be there. The manufacturer will just take the word of the KD that the parts need to be replaced 95% of the time, unless as I mentioned, there are multiple issues on a single order in which a rep would need to visit first. It also sounds like the KD needs to step up to the plate with his communication skills here. We've all forgotten to order trim pieces before (in the beginning of the career) but not only do you have to eat that and order it at no charge to the customer if it wasn't charged, but you have to tell the customer the actual reason for the delay rather than make up some BS.


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Please tell us who the manufacture is.


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ALL manufacturers will occasionally have issues that get past quality control. It could be almost any line here that could need a replacement box and a door. (The rest of it is all installer related, not manufacturer related.) It sucks, but it happens. The who isn't as important at this point as the response to those issues. And most of that response comes from who your KD is, and is determined by the relationship that they have to the manufacturer.


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The cabinet manufacturer is Cardell. The KD ordered all the proper items necessary for install (moulding, toekick, assorted pieces) in April and it was on the manfiest when the delivery company delivery all the other cabinet boxes to my house two weeks ago. The delivery driver and KD told me these parts are backordered.


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Those drawers are dovetailed? The white side looks like melamine - is it actually painted solid wood? Strange that the front wouldn't be painted to match the sides.


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The drawer looks odd to me, with four different materials/finishes meeting the eye. The front section shouldn't be rough hewn or mismatched just because it's in a drawer. Now if you bought really inexpensive cabinets, you probably couldn't expect a whole lot. But that doesn't sound like the case and the brand is approved by the KCMA.

I don't think I would trust the finish since it's already peeling at the outset. One of the outside seams (Peeling Photo 1) looks questionable from here too.


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Yes, the drawers are dovetailed. On a few of the other drawers, the solid piece of wood that attaches to the back of the face frame matches the color and smoothness of the other sides of the drawer, but most don't.


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Not all of Cardell is mid grade. Just the Odyssey collection. Spectrum is budget grade. Comparable to other budget lines like American Woodmark etc.

It doesn't matter what grade the cabinet is though when it comes with things peeling off of it. Even a builder grade line would replace that.


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What manufacturers do you consider budget grade, mid grade and high end?


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I took a picture of all the top parts of the drawers that are attached to the back of the face frames and they vary in color and smoothness. There are two pictures of the drawer that has what looks like are saw marks on it and an unattractive finish to the wood. The two smaller sized drawers are the bathroom vanity drawers which look great and what the other drawers in the kitchen should look like and have--a smooth finish and a color to match the rest of the sides of the drawer.

193H1BUU/HII2 - ClasPics

http://claspics.com/193h1buu/hii2imej

Would it be beneficial to me to write a letter to anyone at Cardell and express my disappointment? Per the website, the only pertinent name they give is that of the CEO/owner.


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Color variation with mineral streaks, knots, and pinholes in the drawers is 100% normal and to be expected in any maker's line. It wouldn't be cost effective to put cabinet face quality material into drawers.

Sanding for the outside of the drawers varies among makers. How well it's done (If at all) is in direct proportion to the cabinet costs and quality. Many budget makers buy the drawer side stock already sanded and profiled and clear coated from Chinese sources and then cut them to size here. Then cut the dovetails and fit, and never smooth them with sandpaper at all as it would damage the clearcoat finish. Many also buy profiled molding stock from Chinese sources and finish it on their line to match. Which may be the source of your backordered products.

It never hurts to write the president of the company about issues that you have with the company. All feedback is valuable to a company that cares and helps them to improve their products. However, the manufacturer isn't responsible for the KD setting incorrect expectations as to the quality level of their product. He should have explained the two different levels of quality for the product and what that meant for the finish levels of the interior and exterior as well as the structural differences and then let you decide if you wanted to spend more money for a product with different specs.

The good news is that to pass the KCMA tests, the basic entry level product is the one that is tested. Once the issues are corrected, you should experience just as much durability from your cabinets as you would from the higher priced line. And you saved money!


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On an encouraging note, I received word that the KD/dealer contacted the local Cardell rep and asked him to make an on-site visit to look at these issues. If that were to take place, do you have any tips for me as a customer on what to say or not say to the Cardell rep? Is my KD/dealer in this scenario an advocate for me or a neutral party? When I was shopping other Cardell dealers in my area, one mentioned to me in mumbo jumbo how he is a distributor and sees all orders in my area. Could there be a chance that he is the Cardell area rep? If so, I would protest because he came out to my house for a bid and after a lot of back and forth I decided not to use him. I think he would be biased because I didn't use his KD company.


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I just looked at my bathroom cabinet drawers and compared it to the kitchen cabinet drawers and the piece of solid wood that attaches to the back of the face frame on the bathroom cabinet drawer looks like it had a "sticker" applied to it to match the rear solid wood drawer piece as well as the two particle board sides. The entire drawer looks uniform and great. The kitchen drawer cabinets don't have this "sticker" applied to the piece of solid wood that attaches to the face frame and looks unfinished, like a different color, and rough compared to the back piece and sides. It's a definite turnoff. Both bathroom and kitchen cabinets were inspected by the same person. I have no idea how these flaws passed the inspector.


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I have a meeting soon with the rep and I've been thinking about how he might be overwhelmed with all the flaws I'm going to point out and how replacement parts could end up not matching or having other problems.
What do you think about the following proposal to the cabinet rep and the dealer? I have already paid 60% of the total balance (which consists of the cabinets, install, freight and sales tax) to the dealer. 40% is due upon completion. My proposal is to pay the remaining 40% of freight and install only and then ask that the manufacturer pay the dealer the remaining balance of the actual cabinets. What do you all think of this?


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I don't think that will fly at all.

I'm not minimizing the fact that you may have some issues here, but let the manufacturer respond first. Let them see things in person, and respond to each of your concerns. You've got some issues, but I think a lot of the problems are due to the lack of information that the KD provided you as to what to expect, and the rest are installer issues.


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Happs - I can't help with the cabinet issues ... but I'm learning from your experience.

I do, however, really like your cabinet pull - would you share what it is? Thanks


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Amerock 96mm Pull Essential'Z, Satin Nickel (#BP26203G10)


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Thank you! Good luck with the cabinets.


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Thank you! Good luck with the cabinets.


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The meeting with the rep went well and hopefully the replacement parts will be satisfactory. I also brought up how some of the sides of the doors are rough and requested they be smoothed out. Hopefully this can be done without affecting the stain/color too much. What's kind of funny and puzzling is that the dealer brought a brand new upper cabinet (that got delivered to the showroom) to my house the day of the meeting with the rep to replace the one that had the peeling/delamination. We opened it up and it looked good. Did not come with doors. No problem, just have the installer remove the doors from the cabinet with the peeling problem and put it on the new cabinet. Yesterday, a FedEx truck arrives at my house with a brand new identical upper cabinet, only this one has doors. Called the dealer and was told to refuse it, which I did. Kind of funny how two replacements got ordered, one with doors and one without. At least there's a moment of laughter in all of this.


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Go to Cardell web site, suggest to them to look at this site where he is clearly loosing business
address the post to Bill Tidwell owner.
Thanks for the info, I can cross off Cardell cabinets as a potential


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I emailed the company yesterday just after I found out they closed their doors. Good luck getting any replacement parts now.

ket-trends/woodworking-industry-news/production-woodworking-news/Cardell-Cabinetry-Out-of-Business-223135881.html#sthash.8sbOxqAc.dpbs


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Here's the correct link:

Here is a link that might be useful: Cardell Closes Doors


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I'm sorry happs, that doesn't sound like you're going to get much satisfaction. I tended to think you were making a mountain out of a mole hill with the drawer box issue, but I had not seen this thread before. I don't even know what you should be hoping for at this point. Good luck.


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So basically I have worthless cabinets now that I can't get any replacement parts for them? If the replacement drawers that the factory rep ordered are bad, what recovery do I have? Do I have any warranty on the cabinets? if the company doesn't respond to my requests and the dealer doesn't agree with my on the color variations of the drawer box fronts, how should I pursue this case?


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When a manufacturer goes out of business, there goes any warranty support or replacement parts. You could hire a local carpenter to make you a new drawer box if it really bothers you. But, you do not have an issue that affects the ability of the cabinets to do the job they were designed for. The shelves aren't misaligned, or the back panel not fully stapled. There are probably people out there dealing with those issues.....or worse. You could have just received delivery of a cabinet order that had a bunch of shipping damage. You have a drawer box that isn't pretty. And that wouldn't have been covered under warranty to begin with.

Are you still missing the backordered moldings? That's a bigger issue, but not unsolvable either. A local custom shop can probably produce moldings to match with some trial and error.


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Shouldn't the dealer be responsible?


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I'm so sorry about the closing - that really stinks. But I'm curious - what happens to the 40% balance you haven't paid?

Will the bankruptcy court go after her for it and will she have to negotiate with it for her damages? If it just gets lost in the shuffle, at least you didn't pay full price for them.


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Yes, your dealer should be stepping in to help you to find someone to make the molding if that's still not done. But, you should be prepared to pay the rest that you owe to the dealer to get the job done. They generally have 30 days to pay the manufacturer, and the cost of the cabinets is more than you've paid them. So, they are out money and inconvenience as well from the company shutting it's doors. They probably have issues with more customers than you in the middle of the process, and they're probably tearing their hair out!

I'd expect them to find someone local to help you out with tweaking your cabinets, but I'd also expect that they'd want at least 70 of the remaining 40% in order to be able to help you. That would let them not go underwater on your order, and it would help with them finding (and paying) someone to fix the issues. When the issues are resolved, then pay them the remainder. I wouldn't expect your drawer issue to be covered by the dealer either, as it falls within the acceptability guidelines of a production cabinet line.


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Who (what kind of professional) can apply matching color edge banding to the drawer box fronts? Look at the drawer box front of a drawer in the kitchen, which looks terrible, vs one in the bathroom which is perfect and what I was expecting when I bought the cabinets.

http://claspics.com/w8cpnby/hmqpnrbp


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I personally think you will make matters worse by edge banding that. There is really nothing wrong in my opinion of what is there, it very well may be exactly the same wood (obviously different parts and grains) just culled from what they used for the actual faces.


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