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DIY Kitchen Reveal

posted by: edb2n on 07.27.2014 at 11:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

We began our kitchen facelift in January and finally finished last week. It's so exciting to have it done! I am so thankful to all of the people here; it would never have turned out like it did with out the collective wisdom of Gardenweb.

A little background: The kitchen is small and narrow. It's a builder grade kitchen; the house was built in 2005. We didn't love the cabinets, but we couldn't justify the cost (or waste) of replacing perfectly good cabinets. This isn't our forever house, so we weren't interested in a major remodel. The breakfast nook was small, and with the round table and other stuff it was basically impossible for more than 2 people to sit there. The whole kitchen was dark and yellow. So we undertook a DIY facelift. Everything except countertops was DIY.

I don't know if anyone is interested in details of our budget kitchen, but just in case:
We kept the exisiting appliances and faucet. Continued the mahogany floors from the rest of the house.
Cabinets were painted with a custom color in BM Advance and added crown molding and light rail
Counters are Kashmir White Granite
Hardware is Kraftmaid
Light fixture is Feiss (plus lots of new LED recessed and UC lighting)
Backsplash is San Dona marble hex from The Tile Shop
Wall paint is Revere Pewter (actually Behr color match)

Here is the before kitchen
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Here is the after
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Here is breakfast nook. I built the banquette and the table. The chairs are the one missing piece in the kitchen. These are just temporary chairs from our bonus room. My wife made the curtain and pillows. We love this area now. It easily seats 4, and can comfortably squeeze 6. And our 3 year old son and I enjoy sitting at the bench while my wife cooks.
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Close-up detail of the backsplash.
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I put floating shelves on the side of the pantry cabinet for cookbooks and display.
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Close-up detail of the countertop (plus an excuse to show off my sons).
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Though this was mostly about looks, we did improve the function of the kitchen as well. The eat-in area is FAR more usable now. The banquette gave us lots of extra storage, and I put in a cabinet into what was formerly empty space in a corner for additional much-needed storage.
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I also built pull-out shelves in the pantry (can't believe we lived without those for 9 years!) and drawer dividers for our far too few drawers. The B sign in the background is made from wood from a gate on my wife's grandparent's farm.
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Of course, the problem now is that the rest of the house looks dark and tired by comparison. The living and dining room are now on the to-do list!

Thanks again for all the help!


Shelves on side of pantry.
clipped on: 08.03.2014 at 11:53 pm    last updated on: 08.03.2014 at 11:53 pm

Height between pantry shelves?

posted by: alice462 on 01.16.2009 at 05:26 am in Kitchens Forum

What is your favorite height between shelves in your pantry?

I came home yesterday and my carpenter had built shelves in my new, small pantry. He only spaced the tallest 12" apart -- I could not stand a cereal box upright on this and know that they need to be re-worked and would greatly appreciate any feedback.


clipped on: 07.25.2014 at 12:24 am    last updated on: 07.25.2014 at 12:25 am

Where to buy knobs online?

posted by: buddysmom on 06.15.2014 at 09:57 am in Kitchens Forum

I'm actually looking for knobs for a bedroom dresser but I know the kitchen GW's will know:)

Can you give me some recommendations on where to get reasonably-priced knobs online?



Online Hardware Options.
clipped on: 06.25.2014 at 12:15 am    last updated on: 06.25.2014 at 12:15 am

Help me escape Blue Tape Hell - please!!!!

posted by: jellytoast on 03.04.2014 at 02:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

I am trying to get over my fear of commitment when it comes to my cabinet hardware. DH is becoming increasingly fed up with my hemming and hawing, not to mention the hideous blue tape that has been in use WAY too long, and in the interest of marital harmony, I need to move forward with this, STAT! Cabinets are light cherry shaker with slab drawers.

Because the knobs that match my pulls look way too small on the uppers, I plan to use all pulls in a variety of sizes (96mm, 128mm, and 160mm). I've picked out the pulls (see pic below), but deciding about the sizes is giving me fits. This what I have planned ...

Apply the "rule of thirds" as far as which size to use on the drawers (using 96mm on the smallest, 128mm on the medium, and 160mm on the largest).

I do plan to use just a few of the knobs, on the smaller cabinets above the refrigerator and above the range hood.

Here are the areas where I'm stumped:

1) I'm thinking it would look best to use the 128mm on the upper doors as they are quite tall (39 in.) and because the 96mm look a bit dwarfed when I hold them up. But I'm not sure about this. Any thoughts?

(2) I have some lowers that have doors beneath a single drawer (sink cabinet and two others), and I don't know which size to use there. Since they are not nearly as tall as the doors on the uppers, should I use a smaller pull (96mm) on them? Or should I use the same size that I use on the uppers (128mm)?

(3) I have a tall pantry that has a larger door on the bottom with a smaller door on top. I plan to use the largest size (160mm) pull on the large door, but can't decide which pull to use on the top portion ... 96mm or 128mm? The top door of the pantry is in proportion size-wise to the lower cabinet doors. It is right next to the refrigerator cabinet with the small doors where I plan to use the knobs.

I need some opinions. Please help!!!


clipped on: 05.09.2014 at 11:53 pm    last updated on: 05.09.2014 at 11:53 pm

Show me your cabinet knobs and pulls!!

posted by: hags00 on 08.10.2012 at 10:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

Had to keep it clean ladies and gents! Restarting this thread per a couple of requests to make it easy to find!

Show those of us in the planning or implementing phase some beautiful (and not so beautiful) pictures!


clipped on: 04.27.2014 at 01:12 am    last updated on: 04.27.2014 at 01:12 am

Partial reveal - I can't wait for counters (lots of photos)

posted by: annkh on 08.22.2013 at 12:42 am in Kitchens Forum

Electricians were here yesterday, so now I'm just waiting on my Cambria countertops. I have been putting things away, and starting to adjust to having the fridge in the kitchen instead of the living room!

I'm so anxious to share my kitchen with all of you, I can't wait until the counters are in. I think I've posted some f these before - forgive me for repeating myself.

Action shot - Jeff and Matt adjusting doors and installing hardware. This shot shows the two mistakes the shop made - the lazy susan that was supposed to be a super susan, and the drawers on each side of the range. The bottom two drawers on each side are the same height; the bottom drawer was supposed to be taller. Both issues were fixed. Oh, and there's a built-in cutting board to the left of the range:
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Flooring is done! It's Congoleum Duraceramic.
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Pantry cabinet facing the dining room. The right side is 12" deep; the left side is 20" deep. I moved the fridge 8" to the left to give myself more counter/cabinet space between fridge and sink.
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Here's the panty from the living room, obviously still in progress:
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I used to have a desk in this location; now I've incorporated desk functions into the pantry wall, with file drawers, and small drawers for pens, envelopes, scissors, etc.
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I also designated a spot for my purses:
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One of my favorite features - pullouts above the fridge:
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After the drawer size issue was resolved, I could put away my flour, sugar, etc:
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My kitchen is only 10' wide, so I put in a 30" sink base, to maximize use of the space around it. I squeezed in a cookie sheet/cutting board cabinet to the left of the sink:
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I am not doing a tile backsplash (at least not right away), so I stenciled instead.
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I practiced stenciling on the wall behind the pantry, then practiced some more behind the fridge. I like the way it peeks out in this corner:
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Thanks to GW for introducing me to Lee Valley dividers! I made these yesterday:
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Lazy susan became a super susan! I'm putting a knife drawer above it.
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Love my undercabinet lighting:
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Built-in spice rack to the left of the range:
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clipped on: 08.24.2013 at 12:11 am    last updated on: 08.24.2013 at 12:11 am

RE: Show me your cabinet knobs and pulls!! (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: sandesurf on 11.06.2012 at 09:29 am in Kitchens Forum

A la LOWES! :)


Black stove with brown cupboards. Pulls.
clipped on: 08.13.2013 at 11:38 pm    last updated on: 08.13.2013 at 11:40 pm

Journey's End - Final Reveal

posted by: gpraceman on 08.12.2013 at 09:43 pm in Kitchens Forum

Well, our kitchen remodel journey is finally over. We bought our house last summer as a "diamond in the rough". After many minor fix-up projects, we were ready for a major one. We started demo on May 16 and we finished today (August 12). It would have been much sooner had our granite fabricator not miscut our island slab. We waited over a month for the slab yard to get more of our granite in (Crema Bordeaux). Friday they came and installed the island granite, so we were able to get our cooktop, vent hood and pendants in finally.

If you want to read through our journey, check out

Below are photos of our old kitchen. Very builder basic. Honey oak cabinets with center stiles (DW hated the stiles). Small island. Laminate counters. Wasted space called a desk. Cheap appliances. Dated builder basic pendant over the kitchen table. Poor lighting layout. Pony wall that catches clutter. Only one way in/out of the kitchen.

Before photo DSC03801_zps8d59d371.jpg

Before photo DSC03803_zpsf4c24969.jpg

Before photo DSC03804_zpsd33a9f90.jpg

Before photo DSC03805_zpsf089d8c7.jpg

Before photo DSC03807_zpsa7348a73.jpg

We removed the pony wall to open up the flow. The hardwoods were refinished to a lighter color and also were carried into the family room. The cabinets are custom, made out of Cherry, with a "Spice" stain. Soft close doors and drawers. They were made by Tharp Cabinets in Loveland, CO. Price-wise, they were comparable to the Kraft Maid quotes we got, but Tharp included installation. So, overall it was less expensive going with custom cabinets from Tharp.

Finishing the hardwoods, running the gas line to the cooktop, retexturing the ceiling, and granite installation were done by others but we (DW, two teenage sons and myself) did the rest. We did all of the demo, electrical, plumbing, venting for the vent hood, appliance installation, backsplash, and even installed some of the cabinet accessories.

We saved $1600 on appliances by sale shopping and that includes $700 in rebates from Lowe's and Bosch. Lowe's price matching came in handy.

If you want to read about our inexpensive DIY UCL, check out

The backsplash is a honed travertine in a linear mosaic. We didn't want the backsplash to compete with the Crema Bordeaux granite, but we did want it to have some interest to it. The only accents on the backsplash are the copper looking outlet covers.

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36" 5 burner gas cooktop. 36" island vent hood, vented out the side of the house.

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Eventually, we will replace the refrigerator with a stainless one. It wasn't in the budget to replace it now and it works just fine. Countertop microwave with trim kit above convection oven. Extra tall drawer below oven for tall pots. Refrigerator surround extends 29" from the wall.

Refrig/Oven/Microwave photo DSC03935_zps87843cad.jpg

Regular shelved pantry for miscellaneous storage against the wall. Food pantry with pullouts next to it. Coffee and tea station.

Pantries photo DSC03938_zps6e2be9bc.jpg

Stools have too dark of wood, but for $25 each on clearance we'll live with them. We are really surprised at how much that seating area gets used. DS likes eating his breakfast and lunch there. DW likes sitting there with her laptop.

Island - Back photo DSC03943_zps715a4b6a.jpg

Decorative side panels. 15" deep cabinet for storage of table cloths and place mats. Baseboard molding wraps the sides and back of the island.

Island - Side photo DSC03929_zps2f2e2007.jpg

Island - Front photo DSC03949_zpse74772d6.jpg

Custom sized bookshelf with extra tall base. Vent grating at bottom of bookshelf was our solution for the air return that was in the old pony wall.

Bookshelf photo DSC03942_zps2112e43e.jpg

Pendant light shade. Fixtures over nook table, in our dining room and entry all match.

Light Shade photo DSC03961_zpsba1bd16d.jpg

Shutoff valve for the gas cooktop under the island granite overhang. "Hidden" granite support brackets under the overhang.

Gas Shutoff photo DSC03954_zpsb52dd942.jpg

Recharging station in back right cabinet of island so we can hide away electronics when we have company.

Recharging Station photo DSC03955_zpsaa33ec5c.jpg

We love our copper farmhouse sink. Our kids call it a bathtub. We got it from Menards on sale for $559, regularly $699, with free shipping to boot. Home Depot carries the exact same sink on their website. We also love the air switch for the disposer. The under sink filter system also supplies water to the refrigerator. The window sill is a leftover piece of island baseboard molding.

Hammered Copper Farmhouse Sink photo DSC03947_zps4a158163.jpg

Inexpensive towel holder from Rev-a-Shelf.

Towel Holder photo towelholder_zpse9109290.jpg

Bosch 800 Plus Series dishwasher. We love this dishwasher. 3rd rack for silverware is great. Extremely quiet and cleans very well.

Bosch Dishwasher photo DSC03959_zpsebf01d49.jpg

Bosch Dishwasher photo DSC03960_zpsbce0d849.jpg

We have an extra pullout on order for the bottom section of our pantry, since DW wanted a pullout in the top section. She is on the short side, at 5'4".

Pantry photo                      <BR>pullouts2_zpsd2d26e77.jpg

18" dual trash pullout with soft close from Rev-a-Shelf. Drawer above is used for trash bags. Our trash provider collection recyclables, so the back can is for those and the front for trash. I wish I could find a blue can for recyclables, as I know guests will want to put trash in there.

Trash Pullout photo pullouts4_zps3b94603b.jpg

DIY cutting board holder made from leftover island baseboard molding.

Cutting Board Holder photo DSC03962_zps64ecf523.jpg

Baking sheet pullout from Rev-a-Shelf. DIY install.

Baking Sheet Pullout photo pullouts3_zps37e5736e.jpg

We couldn't afford to do all drawer bases, but we wanted one of the regular base cabinets to have pullouts for DW's Tupperware.

Pullouts photo pullouts1_zps2bad4c89.jpg

Super Susan serves as storage for small appliances.

Super Susan photo supersusan_zps869e7ac8.jpg

Cooking utensils drawer. Drawer was scooped to fit under cooktop. It is also only 15" deep, to leave room for the gas cooktop connection and regulator.

Cooking Utensils Drawer photo DSC03956_zps882faca3.jpg

Pots and pans storage under the cooktop.

Pots and Pans Storage photo drawer2_zps615f2560.jpg

Cutlery Drawer. Custom insert from Wood Hollow Cabinets.

Cutlery Drawer photo drawer3_zps67e91c24.jpg

Dishes drawer. Racks are from IKEA. We had considered a peg board organizer, but these racks make it easy to pull out a whole stack of dishes for entertaining.

Dishes Drawer photo drawer1_zps4b96cede.jpg

Rather overcast that day, but DW loves her view of the Rockies.

Mountain View photo DSC03940_zpse69e2a45.jpg

The scope of the project grew to include the Family Room. Since we were taking out the carpet and extending the hardwoods, I wanted to do something with the fireplace. I really did not like the tile used as the hearth and surrounded the fireplace. The mantel was big and clunky (drywall over a frame of 2x4's). So, that was all ripped out and I designed and built a fireplace surround. It is inlaid with soapstone and soapstone tile surrounds the fireplace. A soapstone slab hearth finishes it off. We had oiled it, but thought that we would let it return to the bluish grey color, that is why it looks splotchy right now. For some reason, the oil hangs around better on some of the tiles and not others. We painted the wall a bluish gray to help coordinate with that color in our Crema Bordeaux granite.

Family Room photo family1_zpseef53fb1.jpg

Family Room photo family2_zps0ea09d5d.jpg

Well, the scope of the project grew once more to include the Powder Room. The hardwood floor guy asked me to remove the toilet so he could sand under it. Well, if the toilet was coming out, so was the pedestal sink that DW and I hated. So, we hunted around for a vanity that we liked. We found the one below but didn't like the top that came with it. So, I got another piece of soapstone slab and cut, shaped and sanded it. Soapstone tile is used for the backsplash. I saw that end profile on the web somewhere and just had to do it. I love how you can use regular woodworking tools on soapstone. The hammered copper sink is from the same company that made our farmhouse sink.

Powder Room photo powder_zps0d99aa14.jpg

This post was edited by gpraceman on Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 23:36


clipped on: 08.12.2013 at 11:51 pm    last updated on: 08.12.2013 at 11:52 pm

RE: Dark Cherry Cinnamon Cabs - light or dark countertops? (Pics? (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: jodi_in_so_calif on 06.23.2009 at 12:31 pm in Kitchens Forum

We went with black counters because I felt all the warms from the Cherry cabinets and dark wood flooring was too warm. I wanted to cool the look down with something akin to blue but couldn't find any blues I liked so I went with black. Love it.



clipped on: 07.17.2013 at 12:22 am    last updated on: 07.17.2013 at 12:23 am

RE: Wood as the only countertop material, would you do it? (Follow-Up #56)

posted by: Alaska123 on 07.13.2013 at 12:53 pm in Kitchens Forum

I installed a Teak wood countertop composed of individual 1" x 1"s in my kitchen 40 years ago and treat it with teak oil occasionally. It has lasted very well, but occasionally it gets black marks if you leave a wet sponge or a wet pot on it for a day or so. It is also subject to getting burned black rings on it from placing very hot pots on it. Then I get out my sander and shortly the marks are gone so I treat it again with teak oil. A few years ago I built another kitchen and in that case used an easier method than screwing together teak 1"x1"s. I used teak marine decking for the countertops. They are about 3/8" thick and about 2" wide. They work well and are easy to install. In both cases I laid an approximately 16" wide section of ceramic tile on each side of both the sink and stove to provide a surface resistant to heat and water. The teak is beautiful, repairable and obviously quite lasting.


clipped on: 07.13.2013 at 09:50 pm    last updated on: 07.13.2013 at 09:50 pm

Installing first cabinets - A few quirks with molding?

posted by: khallock on 07.08.2013 at 09:11 am in Kitchens Forum

We finally started installing cabinets yesterday. Woo Hoo!

Our ceilings are about 8' tall. And this is a complete DIY kitchen remodel. This is DH's 2nd time installing cabinets.

We have 39" upper cabinets and then a 2 5/8" molding that goes around the top of the cabinets. DH has never installed molding like this. We figured that standard countertop height is 36", right? Our base cabinets are 34.5" tall and we plan to get Quartz countertops. That will bring the counters to 36" tall I think.

I had wanted the regular 18" between counters and upper cabinets but I think we are more at 19.5". I'm not sure if this will be an issue? I am short (only 5'2") so this is not ideal to me, but its not awful either. Also I can store a step stool in a lower cabinet to help me reach the upper shelves. We've tested the molding at the top of the cabinets and with the molding placed at the top we have just enough room to open and close the cabinet doors. Thats how its supposed to work, right?

We have Kraftmaid cabinets and have the Large Cove molding.

Here is the first picture! We've only got 4 upper cabinets installed so far. Some of the doors have not been put on yet because DH still has to screw the cabinets to each other.

This post was edited by khallock on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 9:51


clipped on: 07.10.2013 at 01:25 am    last updated on: 07.10.2013 at 01:25 am

RE: Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers... (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: angela12345 on 02.02.2013 at 02:03 pm in Kitchens Forum

I have posted this other places before, but I am going to try to consolidate it *all* in one place.

My kitchen cabinets from UltraCraft are semi-custom. LOVE them. They are Frameless cabinets that allow size modifications in 1/16" increments to height, width, and depth (or all 3) at no additional cost. So, go ahead and make your uppers 13" or 14" deep for those extra large mixing/salad bowls and charger plates, and maximize your storage space for example storing glasses 4 deep instead of 3 deep. Have deeper base cabinets. Make your toekick slightly shorter so you have an extra inch or two for more drawers height. Cut down on the fillers you need by making your cabinets the exact width you need them, instead of being forced to choose from 3" increments. I like that all my uppers are flat across the bottom (no frame/dividers between cabinets), so I could install one long plugmold and one long under cabinet light, then hide it all with lightrail at the front. Also, standard is Blum full extension soft close drawer glides, soft close doors, no charge for finished sides (like end of cabinet run), all dovetail drawers with fully captured bottoms, and bunches of other stuff is standard. 100 year warranty. Yep, I LOVE them !!!

Cabinet Decisions - I emailed this part to a friend recently, so am copying here ...
1. One of the first things to decide is what cabinet door overlay you want. Inset doors or overlay doors ? Inset doors sit inside of the cabinet box frame rather than attached to the front of the cabinet box. Overlay is further broken down into traditional overlay, partial / modified overlay, and full overlay and determines how much of the cabinet box/frame behind the door you want to show. The hinges can be exposed or concealed for all overlay styles except full overlay which only allows for concealed hinges. The overlay you choose will automatically knock out some cabinet options and cabinet mfgs who may not make that type of cabinet. (My cabinets are full overlay)
See ...
And ...

2. Then you want to decide on the cabinet boxes ... framed or frameless ? Some mfgs only make one or the other, but not both, so this will knock out other mfgs. Framed cabinets have a frame on the face of the cabinet box that the doors attach to and allows for inset doors as well as all 3 overlay styles (traditional, partial, and full overlay). On frameless, the doors attach directly to the cabinet box sides instead of a face frame. Frameless are typically full overlay, but inset is also possible. I think a small partial overlay is possible on frameless if you are using semi-custom or custom cabinets - you would order slightly smaller doors so a little of the cabinet box would show. Traditional overlay is not possible on frameless because the cabinet box sides are not wide enough to show the traditional 1"-2" of the face frame. (My cabinets are frameless)
See ... BOX - construction.asp

The disadvantage of framed is you give up useable space in drawers/pullouts and ease of access on cabinets with doors. This is because the drawer or pullout has to clear the face frame that goes around the opening, so they are narrower from side to side and also shallower from top to bottom. In a small kitchen, the extra useable space from frameless could make a big difference. Estimates say frameless gives 10-15% more space, so 100 inches of framed would be 110 inches in frameless. To me, an extra 10 inches of drawer space is huge, especially when you don't have much to begin with !! Frameless cabinets with doors also offer easier access - there is no face frame creating a 1-2" obstruction on the left, right, and top inside the cabinet doors, also there is typically no center stile between double doors in frameless.

For full overlay doors, there is very little difference in the looks of framed vs frameless. From an exterior appearance standpoint, these cabinets will basically look alike. Because the doors are full overlay, you don't see much or any of the frame and would have to open the door or drawer to see if the cabinet was framed or frameless. For inset doors, the framed cabinets would have a wider frame around the door than the frameless cabinet would.

In the below two pics, the cabinet on the left is framed, and the one on the right is frameless. Looking only at the size of the opening, see how the drawer for frameless is wider from left to right and also has more open space from top to bottom. The useable drawer space is a couple inches more in each direction in the frameless. If they both had the same size full overlay exterior drawer face on them, they would look alike from the exterior. You would not be able to see the useable interior space until you opened the drawer. If they both had inset doors, the framed cabinets would have a much wider "frame" around the door and drawer.

3. The third thing to consider is the cosmetics ... the door style you like, the drawer style (slab/flat/plain drawer front or drawer front that matches your door style), as well as wood species (cherry, oak, maple, etc), and stain or paint colors, glazing, distressing, finish/sheen, etc. (My cabinets are slab drawer, raised panel door, cherry with a chestnut stain, no additional finishes or glazes)
This website shows just a few of the different door styles available ... DOOR - style.asp

4. The fourth thing to consider is stock cabinets vs semi-custom vs custom cabinet mfgs. Stock cabinets are available in 3" width increments (cabinets have to be width of 12", 15", 18", etc), filler strips fill in gaps between cabinets and wall or appliances, you have to choose from the heights and depths they offer, and there are very few options available, which can be pretty pricey to add on. Semi-custom cabinets vary by manufacturer in what customizations and options they offer, but they offer many more options than stock and allow sizing modifications. With custom cabinets, there should be no limitations including drawings for non-standard items, custom molding profiles, door styles, alternate wood species, custom stains & finishes, construction, accessories and options. (My cabinets are semi-custom)

5. Finally, you want to consider the cabinet construction. Not that this is the least important ! It is one of the most important things. Pretty much all the other stuff is just the "pretty" stuff, LOL. This has to do with how well the cabinets are made - are the drawers stapled, dowelled, glued, dovetail ? What materials are the cabinets made of ? etc, etc.

Drawer depths
My bases are 24" deep bases and are all 20" useable interior from front to back. I'm pretty sure I could have (and definitely should have!) requested the drawers be an extra 1-2 inches deep to fill up the inside of the cabinet. I *think* the full extension glides would not have pulled out that extra inch or so, but I could have lived with that !! I could have fit my 8qt stock pots 2 deep front to back in the drawer instead of having to offset them slightly in the drawer if I had even an extra 1/2".

Some people choose to have their base cabinets deeper from front to back for a number of different reasons, for example to make the front of the cabinet even with the front of the refrigerator so the standard fridge looks like a built in/counter depth. Or they may want a larger countertop work surface. This can be accomplished by using deeper base cabinets or by using standard 24" deep bases and installing them a couple inches out from the wall then covering the full space with the countertop material. If you want to do this and order deeper bases, be sure to specify the drawers are deeper from front to back as well ! Some mfgs will still only install the standard depth drawer even though the cabinet box is larger.
(in pics below, my two standard $500 ea fridges look counter depth by recessing the wall behind the fridges only)

Drawer Heights
You can get a number of different drawer combinations ... for example two drawer could be 6-24 or 15-15, three drawer could be 6-12-12 or 6-9-15, four drawer could be 6-6-6-12 or 6-6-9-9, five drawer could be 6-6-6-6-6. These are just examples of size combinations ! I have even seen linens in 8 shallow pullouts behind doors in one base cabinet.

The height of my drawer fronts do not line up all the way around the 4 sides of my kitchen, but do line up when you are looking at any one section at a time. I have 2 stacks together that are 6-12-12 separated by a stove. On the opposite corner of the kitchen are 2 stacks that are 6-6-9-9. What helps is that my stacks are caddy-cornered across the kitchen with appliances and base cabinets with doors separating them ... it would be very hard to look in any direction where you could see the "mis-matches" at one time. Some people have drawer stacks right next to each other where the drawer heights do not 'line up' and others have all the drawer bases in their entire kitchen with the exact same horizontal lines all the way around.

My one advice ... find out the interior useable height of your drawers ahead of time. My Ultracraft cabinets are frameless so have more than framed would. They have undermount glides. On the 6-12-12 stacks, the useable interior drawer height is 4, 10.5, 9.5 (top to bottom on stack). Where this becomes an issue ... I wanted to store all of my pans, pots, etc vertical on their edges in the drawers so they wouldn't have to be stacked. The middle 10.5" drawers are tall enough for all of the casserole/baking dishes and pie tins, the roasting pan, and almost all of the pans, pots, and lids to stand on edge (the 9.5" drawers are not tall enough for a couple of those items to stand on edge). Both height drawers are definitely tall enough for all of the big pots (even the 8qt stockpot) that I own, except for the huge "canning" pot which is on the top shelf of one of my 15" deep uppers.

Obviously, neither drawer is tall enough for my 12" pans/skillets to stand on edge (arrggh!). I have really been struggling with how to store these. Right now I have them flat in the bottom of the 9.5" height bottom drawer. Big waste of real estate !! I wish I had a shallower drawer I could put the big skillets in, like 6-6-6-12 so the frying pans were flat in drawers 2 & 3 and the pots were in the bottom drawer. Or even better(?!) if I had made my drawer heights 6-9-15 that would have given me 4, 7.5, 12.5 useable. My tallest 8qt pots are 7" tall, so all of them could have gone in the middle drawer and everything on edge could have gone in the bottom drawer (including the 12" skillets!). Google for images of drawers with pans on edge.

On the other side of the kitchen with the 6-6-9-9 stacks, the useable interior drawer height is 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 (top to bottom). I use the top 6" drawers all around the kitchen for silverware, spatulas and all the other kitchen gadgets, in-drawer knife block, foil wax paper cling wrap and plastic baggies, potholders, dish towels, etc. All of those things fit with no problem in these drawers including the ladle and the box grater. The 3rd drawer holds all of the tupperware and is the perfect height for this - 6 would have been too shallow and 12 would have been too deep. The bottom drawer is where we currently keep the paper and plastic grocery bags until we carry them for recycling.

(note: the interior drawer heights listed above vary slightly for the bottom two 12" drawers, the top two 6" drawers, and for the bottom two 9" drawers because of an interior cross support and space to clear the granite without scraping at the top)

ALSO: the drawer face to interior useable space ratio will be DIFFERENT depending on if your drawer face is inset, partial overlay, or full overlay, and depending on if you have undermount glides or sidemount glides as catbuilder says above. For example on my 6-6-9-9 four drawer stack ... 1.5" counter + 6 + 6 + 9 + 9 + 4.5" toekick = 36" finished height. My useable heights are 4, 4.75, 6.75, 7 = 22.5" total useable height. I lose 1.25-2.25" useable height for each drawer.
Compare to quiltgirl above inset drawers ... 1.5" counter + 5.5 + 5.5 + 6.25 + 6.25 + 4.5 toekick (assumed) = 29.5". Are her cabinets shorter than mine ? No ! Add in between each of her drawers approx 1.25" face frame. She has undermount glides as well so her useable heights are 4, 4, 4.75, 4.75 = 17.5" total useable height. She only loses 1.5" useable height for each drawer face showing so it sounds like she is losing less, but she is also losing useable height in the face frame between each drawer which is why her total useable space is less.
This is FINE !! Nothing at all against her cabinets. They will be beautiful. And she knew she was going to lose space with the inset when she chose them, but chose to do it because inset is the look she loves.

Drawer widths
The maximum cabinet width my manufacturer will do for drawer bases is 36" wide. I have 4 drawer bases at 21", 32", 17", and 36" wide. The interior useable width of these drawer bases are 18, 29, 14, 33 wide, so 3" less than the exterior width in each.

Going around my kitchen ... first I have a 6" wide pullout broom closet. Next are two 30" wide fridge/top freezers. There are full depth cabinets above the fridges with an adjustable shelf. Then a 24" full height cabinet with pantry space at the top, MW, a single oven, and 6" high drawer under oven (4.5" useable height).

The 21" 3 drawer 6-12-12 is to the left of my stove. Top drawer holds knife block, sharpener, scissors, trivets, potholders. 2nd drawer holds baking dishes on their edge. Bottom drawer is basically empty - it has one 8qt stockpot. If my drawer heights had been 6-9-15 instead (did I say grrrr?), I would have used the middle drawer as a bread drawer and stored the bakeware on edge in the bottom drawer.

Next is the stove (Whirlpool GGE388LXS Electric Range w/Dbl ovens).

The 32" 3 drawer 6-12-12 is to the right of the stove. Top drawer holds spatulas, spoons, ladles, wood spoons, basting brushes, meat thermometer, etc - things that are used at the stove. 2nd drawer holds frying pans, the smaller pots (1qt 2qt 3qt), and lids all on their edges. Bottom drawer holds 8qt pots. Also, the 12" skillets with lids, splatter screens, and griddle are all stacked in one stack flat in bottom of drawer, Grrrrrrr. If they were in the drawer with the other frying pans instead of taking up real estate here, that lone 8qt pot in my other cabinet would have been here with the other pots.

Turn the corner and next is the first dishwasher and then a 36" sink base with Ticor S405D sink (70/30 double bowl). LOVE !!! <3
Turn the corner and next is a 36" wide all door base cabinet (no upper drawer) with full depth adjustable shelves. I use this base cabinet for all my small appliances - blender, beaters, toaster, George Foreman, elec can opener, etc. Next to this base cabinet is the second dishwasher, followed by an 18" prep sink base with a Ticor S815 14x15x8 sink, and an empty space for an ice maker which is where the trash can currently resides.

The 17" 4 drawer stack 6-6-9-9 sits between the trash area/future ice maker and the peninsula and is on the opposite corner of the kitchen from the other drawer bases. The top drawer holds foil, wax paper, cling wrap, plastic baggies, chip clips, and restaurant menus. The 2nd drawer is our "junk" drawer and has some of everything including screwdrivers, clothespins, matches, flashlights, sewing kit, lint brush, etc. The 3rd drawer holds medicine, bandaids, alcohol, peroxide, as well as dish towels and plastic utensils from takeout restaurants in a tub. The bottom drawer is for "tupperware without partners" - bowls and lids with no matches (haha!).

The 36" 4 drawer stack 6-6-9-9 forms the peninsula. The top drawer holds all eating utensils (silverware and kid utensils), serving utensils, chopsticks, handheld can opener, wine opener in a strategically easy-to-access location : ), etc. The 2nd drawer holds all the other kitchen gadgets that aren't to the left and right of the stove like shrimp deveiners, graters, whisks, rolling pin, pizza rolling cutter-thingy, mashers, salad tongs, etc, etc. The 3rd drawer holds tupperware with their matching lids. The bottom drawer holds paper and plastic grocery bags until we carry them for recycling.

I don't like lazy susans or corner cabinets, so in the blind corner is a 26" all door base cabinet that opens out the backside to where the barstools sit.

We went with the same size handle for all of our drawers and also only one handle in the center for all of the drawers, no matter what the width of the drawer. They are 4" wide. We maybe would have used different widths, but the ones we liked in the finish we wanted did not come in a bunch of widths. The cabinet guy said they would look fine and they do. We have slab drawer fronts and the pulls are centered top to bottom and side to side on each drawer. We used round knobs on all doors.

Drawer Organizers
We ordered the drawer divider channels from Lee Valley so we could completely customize the interior of our drawers. They often have free shipping on orders over $40.
Google for images - lots of gardenweb members have used these. tbm=isch
Take inventory of the things you will be storing in the drawers & doors. Measure it all and plan ahead where things will go. From the FAQs that Buehl put together ...

These are not my cabinets ... examples of pans stored vertically ...

This is my kitchen ...
 photo 4-5-11-kitchen.jpg
A note on our kitchen ... this home is a vacation rental oceanfront beach house with 8 bedrooms, 6 baths, that sleeps 26. Hence the 2 fridges, 3 ovens, 2 dishwashers. We had a large portion of our family here at Thanksgiving (32 people) and had like 7 or 8 women working to prepare the feast all at one time. Thank you Gardenweb for helping design a kitchen that WORKS !!!

This post was edited by angela12345 on Sun, Feb 3, 13 at 14:36


clipped on: 06.11.2013 at 12:35 am    last updated on: 06.11.2013 at 12:35 am

Cabinet arrangement - Can you help?

posted by: mtpam2 on 06.02.2013 at 03:35 am in Kitchens Forum

We have been working on our kitchen layout for a couple years. Just couldn't decide what to do with the fridge placement, and trying to DIY which wasn't moving along at all. During my last post in January linked below, I had planned to put the fridge on the stove wall.

Former Discussion

We were finally able to get a contractor hired and had to make decisions regarding electrical placement to take advantage of when he could fit us in. At the last minute I decided I just didn't want to feel closed in by the fridge at the stove and the LR entryway, so moved the fridge to the bottom wall. All electrical was finished, ceiling and walls were textured and we discovered we couldn't do a range hood vent to the outside through our roof. (Flat roof, corrigated metal, too much snow in winter and no one who knew how to handle it.) Now to get my range hood vented, we will take it to the ceiling and then do a 90 degree converting from a 6" to a 3.25 x 10" which will run above our cabinets straight out through the upper exterior wall ( in the top right). My ceilings are 101", so will use 42" uppers and then run molding above that to hide the pipes and take everything to the ceiling.

Below is a proposed layout that we are considering. I am unsure about the upper and lower cabinet layout and could use your input.

Hendrickson floor plan

Hendrickson sink wall
Would you leave the 2 18" base drawer cabinets in the upper left, or would you convert that to a 36" drawer base?

Hendrickson stove wall
This is the wall I am most concerned about. What do you think about the uppers and lowers here? My planner wanted to keep the uppers and lowers the same, which is why she put in the 12" uppers on both the right and left of the stove. It seems a little off to me.

In this picture, the stove is located at 72" from the top corner. My electrical placement for the stove and wiring for the hood allows me to place the stove between 66 and 72 inches. I thought it made the most sense to place more distance between the stove and the sink corner. I would have like to go 69", but this cabinet line (American Woodmark or Shenandoah) doesn't have a 33" drawer base. However, maybe there is a better arrangement? I do have a 12" tray cabinet to the right of the stove, but it could go to the left if that helped.

I liked the idea of a glass cabinet, so they put one in, but not sure it looks right. Also, I am strongly considering putting a 36" Under cabinet hood in instead of a 30".

Besides the arrangement, I am also worried about the room looking too crowded or dark. We are considering using Cherry spice (a brownish color). This is what my husband wants, but I am afraid it will be too dark. We had a white kitchen for 19 years, and I liked it, so I would have been happy to go with white again.

Hendrickson refrig.wall

On the fridge wall I only have 56 inches between bathroom doorway and passageway to basement. I am putting a 12" deep, 24" wide pantry by the fridge with doors opening away. Those are fake doors on the fridge side.

Does anyone have any input on the arrangement of the cabinets, especially on that stove wall?

Thanks so much for any input. I need to get cabinets ordered soon.


clipped on: 06.04.2013 at 12:43 pm    last updated on: 06.04.2013 at 12:43 pm

Natural Cherry Barker Cabs

posted by: lucas_tx on 04.22.2013 at 09:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

Still trying to work out floor moisture issues so only a few uppers installed but thought people might enjoy seeing them since there has been a lot of discussion recently about Barker.

Lonely upper will eventually be hooked to frig surround

 photo IMG_0649_zpsb344ea7e.jpg

Range wall

 photo IMG_0640_zps965c7647.jpg

 photo IMG_0642_zps6fc0a612.jpg

 photo IMG_0643_zps1c869e09.jpg

No trim or light rail yet, working on other more functional things right now!


clipped on: 04.29.2013 at 10:52 pm    last updated on: 04.29.2013 at 10:52 pm

RE: 3 Weeks demo to DONE: Reveal!!! (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: Rebeccamom123 on 03.27.2013 at 11:08 am in Kitchens Forum

Sink light - one of my favorite features!


clipped on: 04.06.2013 at 12:55 am    last updated on: 04.06.2013 at 12:56 am

RE: Basic lesson in under cabinet lighting? Recommendations? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: lotsapatience on 03.25.2013 at 06:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

Look into Maxlite. I really liked the quality of light. We went with the 8.6 watt version (though it says 10w on the package.) I think it has 33 diodes per foot and each light bar is 12" long and are daisy-chainable. They are expensive but self contained and easy to install if you have 120v available. They are dimmable, but only with an equally expensive dimmer by Lutron. You can check their website for the "plug and play" light bars and buy on line wherever you can get a good deal. Expect to pay around $60 per 12", but they are self contained, powerful, dimmable and you won't need anything additional except maybe power cords. There are a couple version so make sure you are purchasing the one you want.


clipped on: 03.28.2013 at 01:02 am    last updated on: 03.28.2013 at 01:02 am

Everything I Wanted to Know About Drawers...

posted by: aloha2009 on 02.02.2013 at 06:31 am in Kitchens Forum

I was hoping to make this thread not only informational for myself, but that other information regarding drawers could be collected together. This is all about function.

Obviously to maximize storage and ease of use, drawers are the way to go.

Some things that are not so obvious are about framed, frameless and inset cabinets.

Another is how do cabinet manufacturers differ (if any) on the available usage.

The usage of 3 drawer vs 4 drawer (or even 5 drawer) stacks.

Determining the width of cabinets for your kitchen.

If you have answers to any of these please proceed.

Framed, frameless and inset cabinets utilize differing INTERIOR usable measurements. Please specify the type of cabinets you have (framed, frameless or inset) your manufacturer (or custom), the size of the cabinet, and what the entire TOP drawer INTERIOR measurements are (width, length, height). I stated top drawer only for comparison purposes since only the height should change from drawer to drawer. Perhaps certain manufactures have better storage in their cabinet lines.

Why did you choose cabinets with 4 drawer (and 5 drawer) stack when you did? How many do you have? How did you deal with the "horizontal lines" differences between your 3 and 4 drawer stacks? Just one aesthetic question isn't too bad.

Though wider cabinets are highly prized here, why did you choose narrower cabinets, instead of the widest available that would fit in your kitchen?

If there is anything else, I haven't though of to ask to have this thread be as complete as possible regarding drawers, please feel to add.


clipped on: 03.03.2013 at 11:38 pm    last updated on: 03.03.2013 at 11:38 pm

RE: Help with how to deal with soffits in kitchen remodel (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: monicakm on 07.21.2009 at 11:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

At some point, this is what we'll be doing. Cover the soffits in the same wood as the cabinets.


clipped on: 02.06.2013 at 11:08 am    last updated on: 02.06.2013 at 11:08 am

RE: How do I make kitchen soffits fit into my elegant vision of k (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: celineike on 08.06.2011 at 06:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

addressing only the soffits -- paint them the same color as the cabs.
I hid mine behind fake little upper doors ;o)



clipped on: 02.05.2013 at 11:55 pm    last updated on: 02.05.2013 at 11:56 pm

LED recessed cans guide for kitchen ...

posted by: davidtay on 01.30.2012 at 01:27 am in Lighting Forum

A collection of tips/ answers
Since kitchens have higher lighting requirements, I like to use 35 lumen per sq ft as a rule to compute the number of lights. If there are additional sources of light that will be used, the output (lumens not watts) from those sources can be deducted from the total.

Placement/ layout
1. Cans should be > 24 to 30 inches from the wall (on center). Most countertop spaces have upper cabinets (typically ~ 12" deep) + crown molding. The edge of the can may be spaced ~ 12" away from the edge of the crown molding (if present or cabinet if there is no crown molding) making the average distance between 26 to 30 inches.

2. Assuming the need for a fairly uniformly lit space @ 35 lumens per sq ft, the cans may have to be spaced closer together - between 3 - 4 ft apart (if all general lighting is provided by recessed lights). A fairly regular pattern is preferable to a random layout.

3. The actual layout of cans will be impacted by the location of ceiling joists, HVAC ducting, electrical wiring, plumbing, ceiling height, fire suppression sprinklers and other obstructions above the ceiling.

The Cree LR6 series lamps do not dim as well as the later models (CR6, ...). ELV dimmers probably work better with LR6 than incandescent dimmers since the total load of the lights may not meet the minimum load requirement for the incandescent dimmer.

Dimmers such as the Lutron Diva CL dimmers work well. The max output is 95%.

Some Choices (in order of preference) and notes
Cree CR6 or ECO-575 (Home Depot branded CR6)
ECO4-575 (Home Depot branded Cree CR4 4" recessed light)
The above are only available in 2700k light color.

Cree LR6 series - including the LE6.

The Cree CR6 and LR6 lamps will not fit into 5" housings.

The standard LR6 behaves more like a surface mount than a recessed light as the LED emitters are close to the surface and the recess is shallow. Some may not like the amount of light spillage (standard LR6).

There is a higher output version of the LR6 that has a much deeper recess.

To prevent the Cree lamps from falling out, the 3 prongs have to be fully extended and a slight clockwise twist made when push installing. The slight clockwise twist will ensure that the prongs are fully extended.

The Cree lamps are currently the best available today (2012).

Sylvania RT-6, RT-4. The lights could be easier to install than Cree lamps as they utilize the torsion spring mechanism. However, the lights do not look as pleasant as the Cree lamps.

The Cree and Sylvania lamps do outperform 26W CFLs (and incandescents) in a standard recessed can in terms of light spread and output as the standard bulb in a can solution traps a significant amount of light. The Cree and Sylvania recessed lamp solutions referenced above have all the LED elements facing outwards so that the effective light output is higher.

The CRI (Color Rendition Index) of Cree and Sylvania recessed lamps > 80.

There is no warm up time required for Cree recessed lamps, unlike CFL light bulbs.

Most recessed lighting is used with flat ceilings. Sloped ceilings would require special solutions such as the LE6 or some other form of lighting (i.e. -non recessed lighting).

Some common objections to recessed can lights stem from
1. looks and performance of traditional can lights (standard bulb in a can)
2. swiss cheese effect from too many holes.


clipped on: 01.24.2013 at 12:35 am    last updated on: 01.24.2013 at 12:35 am

Cabinet layout - Doorway Moving - Please Help!

posted by: mtpam2 on 01.20.2013 at 01:56 am in Kitchens Forum

Back again and hoping for your help to get the best layout of cabinets for our space. Started to DIY, but have finally gotten a contractor to come in and do at least part of it, so that helps with the decision to consider other options that might have been beyond our DIY abilities! However, he just let us know he is available within a few days (due to a postponement on another job) so we need to make these decisions ASAP.

Just a reminder - DH and myself at home, 3 girls grown and mostly gone. New siding and windows 3 years ago so prefer not to change them, but would consider. Electrical wire being replaced so can move electric stove. Sink is where current plumbing is located (and centered on the window), but will consider moving to help layout and function.

For months (years actually) I have been trying to decide where to place our fridge so I could move forward on our layout. Former Discussion Kitchen is our only eating area, although after all the input from the last discussion, we may turn part of our LR into a dining room and just keep a small table in kitchen.

After much back and forth with my husband, we have decided to go with the stove and fridge on the same wall something similar to this unless someone comes up with a better suggestion for us soon.

Question 1: How far down on the fridge wall should I move the doorway to the Living Room? Currently there is 19" between the doorway and the bottom right corner. However, to get the fridge and stove together we are moving doorway down. Contractor says no problem, but how much space do we want to leave? Picture as drawn shows 8" in bottom corner, but there will actually be 11" since we ended up NOT moving the bathroom wall as originally planned. What is the minimum space I need to leave in corner to accomodate at least 1 light switch? Do I need to use wood casing around the doorway, or could I use a rounded sheetrock corner to conserve space? How bad would it look without casing since the windows and bathroom doorway will be cased? Also, how narrow do I want to go with that passageway (between bottom wall and fridge to keep it from feeling too closed in? With 11" in bottom corner and 36" doorway and 3-4 inches before fridge enclosure I would have about 50-51 inches. Can I bring this down to 48"? Then I could add another 3" to cabinet run.

Question 2: I am concerned about room between stove and fridge since I have had zero prep space to the left of stove and prepped to the right for at least the last 17 years. Thus the 9" cabinet on the left of stove and 30" cabinet between stove and fridge. However, after further consideration, I would probably gain more functionality by putting the extra space between stove and corner rather than between stove and fridge. How narrow would you go between stove and fridge? Is 24" too narrow? If I did 24" I could turn the 9" cabinet into a 15" base, or even an 18" if I stole the extra 3" by moving the doorway further down.
What would you do?

Question 3: It seems like all my bases are small, which was one reason I had put a 30" base by stove originally. If I make it a 24" or 27" will I regret not having a larger cabinet there? On the top left corner of the Sink wall between corner and DW I am showing 2 18" cabinets. I considered a 36" drawer base there as shown in this perspective from HD that I was considering, but am afraid it might be too large up in that corner. I have never had drawers larger than 21" so 36" seems huge!HD-Perspective 1

This picture shows a 15" cabinet between corner and stove and a 24" between stove and fridge. Ignore the OTR microwave. We are having a vented hood put in and need to find another home for our microwave.

Need help on the Fridge - Stove wall especially, but any comments on cabinet placement are welcomed! I haven't even started on the wall cabinets - need the base layout first! Thanks so much for any help you can give me!


clipped on: 01.20.2013 at 01:56 am    last updated on: 01.20.2013 at 01:56 am

RE: Refrig. boxed in with drywall, pics? (Follow-Up #19)

posted by: staceyneil on 07.19.2011 at 09:20 pm in Kitchens Forum

I know you specifically asked about drywall, but am thinking maybe that's because you're looking for something easy to DIY and inexpensive... if that's the case you could consider using plywood. We did that in our last kitchen. Paint grade ply, cleat on floor inside the alcove, poplar edge to cover the raw ply, sanded and painted. We left space above to accomodate other size fridges. one side is a bookcase, Ikea cabinet above matches rest of kitchen.


clipped on: 01.04.2013 at 01:22 am    last updated on: 01.04.2013 at 01:22 am

Layout Help - Refrig Placement is Driving Me Crazy!

posted by: mtpam2 on 11.18.2012 at 03:56 am in Kitchens Forum

Hi all. I have gone back and forth on these layouts for over a year and am just not happy with them. I really need your help.

It is just my husband and myself, our 3 grown daughters have all left home again. We were going to DIY, but since this has dragged on for over 2 years with kitchen gutted to the studs, we are now actively looking for a contractor to help us out! We will continue to do what we can and since contractors are in short supply in our area, we still may end up doing most of it.

New windows were put in and new siding put on about 3 years ago so husband is reluctant to do anything that will affect the exterior. However, at this point I will consider moving or enlarging the window on the sink wall if it would help. Currently the table in the kitchen is our only eating area. We do not have a separate dining room, although our Living Room area which adjoins the kitchen is probably large enough to use as both a dining area and Living Room.

All electrical wiring will be replaced. Our stove is electric so it can move anywhere. We will be adding a vent which the stove did not have before. Since the kitchen is a single story addition to the rest of the house, venting will not be affected by moving the stove around.

We can move the sink if it will help the layout, but prefer not to. As shown the sink is in current location. Kitchen is located over a basement, so plumbing can be accessed.

Plan 1. KitchenPlan0002

Our 36" SxS FD Refrigerator is the problem. It either seems to crowd the stove (Plan #1) or crowd the table (Plan#2) and be the first thing you see when you enter the kitchen from the Living Room.
Plan 2 - Kitchen-June2012

I am not sure if we can fit it in the upper left corner of the sink wall without throwing the lower cabinets off. In order to keep my dishwasher on the left of the sink (away from the stove), it will off center my sink by 9 inches. Not sure if that will bother me or not. That is plan #3.

Plan 3 - KitchenPlan0001

We hope to start on electrical after the first of the year, so need to finalize layout. The refrigerator has been a thorn in my side since I started. Attached is a link to a former post requesting your help.
Former Thread

Which layout do you feel is most workable, or can we do anything else?

At this time, I am leaning to Plan 2 as the easiest. Plan 1 would require moving the doorway between kitchen and LR down about 8 or 10 inches, and just not sure if the fridge would be too hard to get at in the corner in Plan 3.

Suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated. I promised DH that I would make a decision soon. Thanks in advance!


clipped on: 11.24.2012 at 11:44 pm    last updated on: 11.24.2012 at 11:44 pm

RE: Kitchen columns (Follow-Up #5)

posted by: EngineerChic on 11.23.2012 at 07:29 pm in Kitchens Forum

If you need them for structural reasons, then I suggest making them look more intentional and a feature. Here are 3 examples that do this with different styles. The opening between the columns is wide enough for a generous walkway.

Interior columns 1

Interior columns 2

Interior columns 3


clipped on: 11.24.2012 at 08:22 pm    last updated on: 11.24.2012 at 08:22 pm

RE: Show me the light above your main sink, please (Follow-Up #32)

posted by: buehl on 07.31.2011 at 05:38 am in Kitchens Forum

We have natural light (daytime), two pendants, and three cans over our sink. We use the pendants the most, the cans not as often.

The pendants & cans are b/w the wall and the person working at the sink, so they don't cast shadows on the sink.


BTW...the pendants don't really block the view, they're too small, relative to the view/window size.


clipped on: 11.12.2012 at 11:04 pm    last updated on: 11.12.2012 at 11:04 pm

RE: Kitchen sink placement help needed (Follow-Up #20)

posted by: buehl on 10.21.2012 at 03:12 pm in Kitchens Forum

Regarding the setback of the sink...if the sink is installed too far back in the cabinet, you will have problems like you encountered in your previous apartment. As Motherof3Sons mentioned, I suspect whoever put in the sink did it the cheapest/fastest way possible and didn't care about function b/c, after all, they didn't have to live with it! (Similar to the attitudes of many contractors out there, btw - so be forewarned if you plan to hire a contractor to do some or all of the work on your kitchen!)

I showed a 42" corner sink base - that means it takes up 42" on each wall. There are also 36" corner sink bases out there - I have one for my prep sink. However, they don't fit very large sinks. My prep sink is 15-3/4" square interior/17-3/4" square exterior...too small for a main or only sink, IMHO.

Note that if you try to fit too big a sink in a corner sink base that the sink will have to be set back farther to fit - unless you can do some on-the-spot modifications (and shoring up) of the cabinet...I'm not a DIYer, so I don't know how much can be done.

As to using a normal sink base turned 45 degrees (like in WritersBlock's second picture):

  • A 33" sink base would take approx 48" on each wall
  • A 30" sink base would take approx 45" on each wall
  • A 27" sink base would take approx 43" on each wall

    The advantage of the normal sink base is that you could install the sink "normally" - i.e., using the normal setback. You won't have the extra volume of space under the sink that you would have under a corner cabinet, but there should be enough room for plumbing + garbage disposal.

    junicb's Kitchen #5

    The top cabinet space is now just 47", but if you're doing IKEA cabs, they can easily be modified to fit the available space. You may even have enough room for the 48", but I'm not'll need exact measurements and the cabinets in-place, I think (or someone with more knowledge.)

    Note: My main sink is a double-bowl sink with the larger bowl 21.5" wide (interior). It holds a lot of stuff...see below! So, a 24" wide sink will hold all of this and even a bit more.

    Large Bowl at Work (smaller still)

  • NOTES:

    clipped on: 10.22.2012 at 12:08 am    last updated on: 10.22.2012 at 12:08 am

    RE: Corner Drawers instead of Lazy Susan? (Follow-Up #14)

    posted by: amarantha on 01.12.2012 at 09:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

    There are a couple other options - not sure if anyone else suggested them as I didn't read every response completely.

    1. give up the corner completely - make it dead space in the corner and put in 2 banks of drawers instead. You could also possibly make the "dead corner" accessible space from an adjacent room that shares that wall. I don't know if you've posted a layout anywhere so don't know if this would work for you.
    The link below is from an old GW posting (that links to a woodworking site) that I found several years ago - I've had it filed since then and it has good discussion on the topic. Look at the post from the poster "coffehaus" -it's almost at the bottom (abitaqueenbee poster clips the same thing 2 posts below). I don't care for corner cab solutions like the susans etc and so I eliminated the corner from my layout and ran the sink cabinetry run all the way to the wall. It worked better for my layout.

    2. Consider a full step-in pantry if you have the room for it- fully framed in. You'll give up counter space but will gain it inside the pantry where you can store small appliances and extra baking dishes etc as well as food.

    Hope these make sense. Just more ideas to think about! Fun :)

    Here is a link that might be useful: older post from GW about giving up corner cabinet for more drawer space


    clipped on: 10.19.2012 at 02:01 am    last updated on: 10.19.2012 at 02:01 am

    How much working room around stove?

    posted by: mtpam2 on 06.25.2012 at 12:10 am in Kitchens Forum

    I could really use some help! The kitchen is torn out to the studs (except for our sink) and has been for close to 2 years. We have been living with a makeshift kitchen and really need to make some decisions and move ahead with this project.

    We were going to DIY to make it affordable and planned on using RTA or stock cabinets, however with the lack of progress we are considering hiring parts of it done. My husband is a great mechanic, very handy, but just doesn't like construction work, and I have never done anything except a little painting.

    I have 3 girls in their 20's, 2 of whom have been here and gone again several times in the last couple years. One here again for a few months. One grandchild and another on the way, but they live almost 400 miles away, so don't get home too often. My husband and myself both cook, although not usually at the same time. We cook almost every meal, but only bake for holidays or special occasions since the kids are grown.

    Below are 2 proposed layouts, plus a handwritten one which shows my doors, windows and tables for reference. We are re-wiring everything and have an electric stove, so it can be moved. We just replaced windows and re-sided our house a couple years ago, so my husband doesn't want to move any doors or windows, but I am at the point of considering everything.
    Kitchen1-Plan Fridge & Stove on Bedroom Wall
    The stove wall is load bearing, with the bedroom behind it, so we are pretty well stuck with the current dimensions. At the lower right is the doorway to the Living Room. It used to have a 30" door, but we took door and frame off and widened it out into an original 36" opening. We have a friend who is a GC coming by tomorrow to see if that doorway can be moved either closer to the bottom corner, or must be left where it is.
    Kitchen2-Plan Fridge on Bathroom Wall
    At the bottom right of the plan is a 32" pocket door to the only bathroom on the main floor. Also, the bottom left is a 40" walkway to our basement steps and the back door. We park in back and use that door all the time. Laundry, food storage and our daughter's bedroom is also in the basement, so that is a busy traffic path.

    On the left wall we have a 60"w x 50"H window that is only 28" off the floor. Our table sits in front of that window. No dining room, so table in kitchen is our only eating area.

    Currently have a 36" double sink where it is shown on the plans. We could probably move that if necessary.
    We have a regular depth 36" SXS fridge.I had the fridge sitting beside the door and about the 24" from the stove like in Kitchen 1 most of the winter. It was handy, but I felt very closed in. Just a couple weeks ago we moved the fridge to the bottom wall (Kitchen 2 layout) and I felt an immediate sense of relief. I really like the openness around the stove and door. However, it is definitely farther from sink to stove, and a little tighter walking around the table area, although still plenty of room to open the fridge and dig in with someone sitting at the table.

    I have been struggling with these layouts and there are things I like about each one. If you can give me input on either layout or any other suggestions for better use of this space it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much for your help.


    clipped on: 06.25.2012 at 10:09 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2012 at 10:09 pm

    Help with deciding on a kitchen window for Counter Height

    posted by: 2LittleFishies on 05.03.2012 at 10:52 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I want to do a counter height window so we are changing to a taller (4') window. I am concerned there may not be enough room if we don't do a bump out although this pic of gglks looks great... I don't know how deep the sink is. We're doing the 36" Kohler Whitehaven apron front.


    Others do a bump out of 6-8"


    I don't want to do a bay b/c that's really more depth than I need and we're doing one in the dining area.

    My other thought was a 10 degree bow. ***Would a bow and a bay be too much?***
    Andersen has a 6' bow with 3 panels.
    The depth of the middle section is 5 and 9/16" deep which may be just enough for some extra room. **Would this option end up less expensive than building a bumpout? I will talk to GC but like to gather info first.

    Here is my current plan but there are some changes not shown that i'll explain below:

    Outside Plan copy

    The window on the bottom left is the bay in the dining area and the one on the bottom right is the kitchen. Actually the present plan is that the kitchen window is now taller (4'). It consists of a 3' clear (no grilles) picture window with 1.5' casements (with colonial grilles) on either side. I thought have 6' of windows with grilles was too much. i wanted something more "clear" but since the other windows in the house have colonial grilles I can't change them much. The bay will also be clear in the middle with the windows on the side having grilles...

    Any suggestions?


    clipped on: 06.09.2012 at 01:26 am    last updated on: 06.09.2012 at 01:26 am

    RE: Is there an imported chinese cabinet that is acceptable? (Follow-Up #11)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 03.04.2012 at 09:26 pm in Kitchens Forum

    What do you mean go directly to cliq? They are selling 6 square cabinets. So you would be buying them either way.

    I did not study the site carefully.... I do know you are not supposed to sell onlinie 6 square, hence they have changed all the names of the door styles. I wanted to do it and they told me know. Cliq has to reship the cabinets to you. They must be shipped to them first and then re shipped to you. Higher rates of damage will naturally occur doing that. I am not sure you will get the lifetime warranty doing that either. The local sales rep has to do all warranty claims for the cabinet companies. If you buy from Cliq where ever they are the comission will go to the rep of there geography. The local 6 square sales rep will not be as inclined to go the extra mile with you on questionable warranty claims as he or she did not make any money on your sale.

    6 square doors are a higher quality then all wood hands down. I have the ability to sell both companies. The quality of 6 square exceeds allwood. 6 square is now a semi custom company where you can order way more colors and have options to modify the cabinets you do not with All wood. 6 Square has more overall cabinet sizes and configurations to chose from.

    Allwood is easier to sell on line from a dealers perspective.

    On a random base cabinet cliq is selling the cabinet for approx 30% profit. Most dealers are going to be 50% or higher. At the end of the day you are not going to get as good a service as you would with a decent local company.


    clipped on: 03.18.2012 at 02:06 am    last updated on: 03.18.2012 at 02:06 am

    RE: Is there an imported chinese cabinet that is acceptable? (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 03.03.2012 at 11:25 pm in Kitchens Forum

    My custom cabinets by Bridgewood in framed or frameless many times are very close the same cost as 6 Square in their cherry door styles. I sell both companies. There is so much mis information out there on this subject and most posts on here do not seem to clear up much.

    If you want cabinets that are eco friendly you need to get cabinets that are C.A.R.B certified. California Air Resources Board. They have the strictest requirements. Every Chinese factory wants to be able to sell directly to importers in that state. Most RTA lines are Carb Certified.

    JSI, Fabuwood, TSG, Allwood, 6 Square, Interstock, KCD, River Run, J Mark, IKS, Innovations, Wolf Classic (not RTA but comperable price as well as Contractors Choice made by Aristokraft) J Mark, J & K Grand,Rosewood, and GHI just to name a few.

    It drives me nuts when I hear how stupid some local retailers are about it. They ruin it for the rest of us. I have all my sample doors on walls in an area we call the selection room. I have labels at the top of the walls to specify the brand name of cabinet company I have which is 6 RTA for example. I have the brochures out on a table for all the RTA companies also. Their is no need to hide where they come from.

    I do not agree with the notion that Ikea's cabinets are leaps and bounds better then RTA in general. Every brand including Ikea has strengths and weaknesses. This nonsense that Ikea is God drives me nuts.

    If you like the feeling that you are in a doctors office when cooking I guess Ikea is the way to go.

    The problem with RTA is people do not look to local dealers to purchase it so they are left to look at websites designed to manipulate you into buying their cabinets in the name of factory direct which most of the time is not true.

    I have semi custom cabinets where 10 x 10 costs are as low as the most affordable RTA companies I chose to offer in my store. There are times when RTA is clearly the best choice for someone I meet and other times Wolf Classic or the Americana Series from Wellborn Forest both of which are american made at pretty much the same price is a better choice. Other times semi custom is. It depends on the needs of the design and what they are looking for as must haves like paint color or general door style is a must have.

    Any of the brands that CARB certified are as eco friendly as any ikea cabinet or semi custom.


    clipped on: 03.18.2012 at 02:04 am    last updated on: 03.18.2012 at 02:04 am

    RE: Is there a RTA or assembled off the shelf cab co. w/ 42 in up (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 03.03.2012 at 10:57 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Most RTA companies out there only sell the most used sizes in cabinets. For what ever reason the easy reach wall cabinet does not sell much. Fabuwood is about the only large importer of cabinets that offers an easy reach corner cabinet in all three heights in their more expensive series of door styles. Down side to Fabuwood is the Ready to Assemble part is not user friendly to some one who is not mechanically inclined, or does not have all of the following an air compressor with a staple gun, bar clamps, glue, cordless drill, and some patience.

    Most urban areas have a dealer for Fabuwood somewhere. I think it is better to pay the local person slightly more then buying off the websites. The websites all are so shady saying they are factory direct when not. The only exception would be Lilly Ann they have the business model of importing and selling direct. I saw their cabinets in their Vegas location a while back. I was not impressed with their quality. Of course I do cabinets every day so I may notice things others do not. No RTA company out there is really anything to brag about for overall quality and flexibility of sizes. I say that while I have the door samples to 6 RTA companies on the wall of my showroom. I do sell something in RTA every other month or so. I am not totaly biased against them I have worked with every major RTA company out there. They all have their good and bad days.

    I have an account with Wellborn Forest and because i do apt sales now and then they set me up with the Americana line which has 9 door styles and 350 cabinets to chose from. They offer easy reach wall cabinets for example. I had a guy ask me the other day if I could match or beat Lowes cabinets on the shelf. With the Americana series on the lower priced door styles I could match the price of the cabinets on the shelf at my local Lowes. I had 30, 36, 42, microwave wall and base cabinets, pantrys up to 36" wide, drawer base 12 - 36" wide even. Many RTA cabinet lines only go to 30" wide drawer base. I can change cabinet depth add matching interior and glass doors on anything and a lot more. Lowes for example only has 30" cabinets and 84" tall cabinets on the shelf not to mention the semi custom modifications I can do. My orders must be in by monday mornings each week and the cabinets are at my shop the following Wed - Thur. Most RTA cabinets take at least Mon - Mon.

    Since I have gotten set up with the Americana series of cabinets I am leaning more and more towards taking my RTA samples off the walls of my slection room where I have a door sample of almost all styles of every company I work with which is currently 12 from stock and RTA all the way to custom. Every one is all about the plywood construction. To me plywood in an of itself is over rated as the reason to go with RTA over something american made.

    The Americana series has twice the cabinet choices of any RTA line. Each door style has 4-5 stain colors, there are 3-4 glaze choices on top of that. I can also add blum tandem undermount soft close guides to the drawers. The only thing I would change of the americana series is they do not offer butt doors on cabinets 30" or wider. Most RTA cabinets 30, 33, or 36 will have butt doors.

    As a dealer to compensate for that you need all the RTA companies out there to offer a selection of color. No RTA company has all the same cabinet sizes available as the next company so generally you can not compare one to the next without a different design which is time consuming to re do every time. People want you to price all of them to see which will be the lowest cost.

    Once a cabinet is installed to the wall it generally will stay there! Plywood is more durrable for shipping and man handling before it is screwed in place. If you buy the matching plywood panels you can skin the exposed sides of the cabinets and have the colors match on a particle board cabinet. I can add blum soft close to the drawers and have the same lifetime warranty of any semi custom line with Blum.

    To me the overall flexibilty out weighs the benifits of plywood from an RTA cabinet. The lower cost american cabinet lines offer particle board box only. Lets face it RTA cabinets are being bought by individuals who think the cost is less then the semi custom route. TSG, IKS and JSI for example assemble their cabinets for dealers for approx $20 each as a flat rate. Fabuwood, River Run,and Interstock change the product cost which is usually an increas of 5 - 7.5%. It does not cost that much to have the assembled for you. Now wether the dealer tries to make more money on top of that is a different issue.

    People buying cabinets on line in some ways are not well educated on what they are truly buying. For example most of the replies to this post named the website names of companies selling cabinets. Most of those individuals have no idea who actually made the cabinets.I think in terms of the name of the importer of the cabinets as that is the brand name of the product for the US consumer.Even if you know the name of the cabinets from my posts on Garden Web you do not know what online store is selling what as most change the name of the door styles and do not give the importer name to be able to say it is a direct sale. Of course you are buying direct from someone like me who made a website. Lilly Ann is the exception. They sell direct at close to what the comperable dealer cost would be of the companies I get my cabinets from.

    The supply chain of RTA cabinets selling on the internet does not want you to know where the cabinets come from so you can not compare prices. The online marketing tries to create monopolies by limiting your true product knowledge of the cabinets themselves. J Mark cabinets are sold all over the internet for example. There is a guy in DC who sells them as 10 x 10's where he buys a random list of cabinets, assembles them, and puts pictures up on Craigs list.He sells the original set and then orders what you need to make it fit.

    I sold J Mark cabinets to a friend a few years ago where now the cabinets exposed to a lot water around the sink no longer have a painted finish left on the wood over all the drawer fronts and the doors. The paint did not stay adhered to the wood after exposure to the water. To be fair they are not the best house keepers so I imagine there is a lot of water all the time from being care less when using the sink with the young kids.

    I have never had that happen to any of my American products I have worked with thru the years. Of course J Mark cabinets only come with a 1 year warranty. I am buying him new ones to replace what needs to be done. Of course it is bound to repeat itself over time.

    Dealers with Debut or Legacy cabinets sister companys have a line that is similar to the Americana also. I looked into Debut last year and after messing with it a bit gave up on it.


    clipped on: 03.18.2012 at 01:55 am    last updated on: 03.18.2012 at 01:56 am

    Would you give up a corner cabinet for more drawer space?

    posted by: slc2053 on 09.30.2008 at 01:28 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I have a U-shaped kitchen and on one corner of the U we have a super lazy susan in a corner cabinet, however, on the other corner of the U- I can have the same, but at this time I have NO STORAGE in the corner, but instead have 2 three drawer base cabinets on the corner and they intersect using filler.

    My cabinet guy thinks Im wasting space not having any storage in the corner, but in order to "get storage" I would have to give up 9" to 12" in each of these drawer bases in order to fit in the lazy susan/cabinet.

    Am I crazy to want to keep my drawer space rather than sacrifice it for a corner cabinet? Anyone have any other ideas? On one side of the corner I only have about 23 inches, so was going to put in a 21" drawer base with 2" of filler in the corner so that the drawers wouldnt hit anything as they were pulled out. On the other side of that corner I have about 32" and was going to put in a 30" drawer base and, again, about 2 inches of filler in the corner to allow room to open drawers. So, in order to put in a corner cabinet, I would eat up so much of the drawer space, I believe it is better to go without.

    Your thoughts?


    clipped on: 01.15.2012 at 01:58 am    last updated on: 01.15.2012 at 01:58 am

    Which fan? (3 choices - please vote!) w/ pics

    posted by: bellajourney on 01.11.2012 at 12:15 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Disclaimer: I'm not a huge fan of Functionally, they are terrific, aesthetically - less than desirable. This was one battle that DH won. And so - we are getting a fan...

    There are 3 contenders. DH wants white, so it is less noticeable and "blends away" into the ceiling. I'm concerned that white might look out of place b/c:

    1) Chandelier over breakfast nook is ORB
    2) Faucet is chrome, appliances are stainless
    3) Hardware - undecided - but I'm leaning towards chrome or nickel (DH wants ORB) with maybe a few glass knobs

    Kitchen style goal is simple cottage with touch of elegance. (Wall paint will be light, warm green - color in photo is primer and not accurate. Backsplash will be white beadboard or subway tile.)

    Please vote for your favorite! Thank you!




    clipped on: 01.14.2012 at 12:40 am    last updated on: 01.14.2012 at 12:40 am

    RE: Under 20k kitchen remodels (Follow-Up #19)

    posted by: ZoeCat17 on 01.01.2012 at 09:40 am in Kitchens Forum

    I just finished my galley kitchen (7x14) total reno for under $20k using Ikea boxes, Scherr's doors, and doing the walnut butcher block counter and pressed tin backsplash myself.

    The breakdown was:
    - $2,500 for all the Ikea pieces (including the farm sink, faucet and integrated dishwasher)
    - $4,600 for the Scherr's doors, drawers, side panels and trim, and 5 non-Ikea corner shelves in paint grade maple with MDF panels and paint finishing (fyi, the finishing cost almost as much as the wood pieces, so if you DIY it would be significantly less)
    - $1,000 for Craft Art black walnut counters
    - $100 for pressed tin tiles
    - $500 for the cabinet glass and drawer pulls
    - $2,700 for the Frigidaire Gallery gas range and french door fridge
    - $3,250 for demolition and cabinet install
    - $2,000 for plumbing (moving the gas line and sink pipes a few inches over, install a water line for the ice maker, disconnect and reinstall sink, DW and garbage disposal)
    - $1,100 to to patch and texture the ceiling plaster, paint and repair the windows
    - $500 for electrical (adding and moving outlets)

    Here's a couple pictures before - the upper cabs and tall cab were original to the 1928 house but were so coated with paint, they didn't close properly. In the tall cab, the shelves didn't come all the way to the front edge, so they were too shallow to hold much of anything.

    The base cabs were from a "modern" renovation in 1969 (we found the permit glued to the wall when we demo'ed) that left the kitchen with only one full sized drawer and one narrow drawer. Again, some of the shelves didn't come all the way to the front edge and they were nailed in place.

    From Kitchen Before

    From Kitchen Before

    From Kitchen Before

    From Kitchen Before

    And after - I'm going to repaint the windows white (the trim in the rest of the house is brown, so I tried for consistency, but I think it detracts from the counters) and still have some little touch-ups to do but it's a dramatic improvement -- lots of functional storage and about five times as much counter space:

    From Kitchen After

    From Kitchen After

    From Kitchen After

    From Kitchen After

    From Kitchen After


    clipped on: 01.01.2012 at 05:58 pm    last updated on: 01.01.2012 at 05:58 pm

    Phone niche finished

    posted by: suzannesl on 12.11.2011 at 12:05 am in Kitchens Forum

    One of the things that had us totally puzzled in the new kitchen was what to do with the phone. The main phone/dsl line into the house is located on the peninsula wall. When the house was built, wall phones were the latest thing, so that's where the builders put it. It's 2011. Nobody has a wall phone hung in the kitchen. Newer phones will adapt to hanging on the wall, but the aesthetics lack. Big time. After much looking for options, we didn't find anything that would really work for us. I kept going back to Buehl's niche ( Remodel/Kitchen/MessageCenterNicheCloseupopening-1.jpg) though. We couldn't do exactly what she did for space and location reasons, but we did use that photo as inspiration. When the electrician came, we told him we needed to move the phone and electrical wiring to the other side of the stud on that small wall (so as not to run into electrical wiring on the back side of that wall). We'd already cut the niche out, we just needed the wiring on the same side of the stud. This is how it looked for weeks while we tried to figure out how to finish it:

    We see the electrician around town every now and then, and every time he asks about the niche. He's told everyone about it! We finally finished it.

    (The hall wall is not actually green. It's the same light blue as the back wall of the niche.) What we finally did is cut a piece of wall board for the left side that fit around the outlet and the phone jack and another rectangle for the right side. The arched top is made from wall board that has triangles cut out of the back to allow it to make the curve. There are pieces of 2 x 4 behind the arch and sides which are attached to studs or cross pieces to which the wall board is in turn screwed. All the wall board got a coat or three of joint compound. The back of the niche is painted BM Heaven on Earth like the dining room and hall walls, and the sides are painted BM Newborns' Eyes like the peninsula wall. The shelf is painted BM Bavarian Cream to match all the trim work. Seen from a little farther away:

    Thank you, Buehl, for giving us the idea, and I hope this helps anyone else who's trying to think what to do with that phone.


    clipped on: 12.11.2011 at 02:02 am    last updated on: 12.11.2011 at 02:03 am

    RE: Where does Schrock fall on the spectrum? (Follow-Up #7)

    posted by: suzannesl on 10.21.2011 at 12:24 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Something to give some thought to: renovating your kitchen takes longer than you would think or like. There's the actual physical time it takes to order, receive, build, etc., but there is also the preliminary think time. In the long run, the preliminary planning stage turns out to be really important. Consider how long you will live with your new kitchen. The baby in diapers may be going off to college before you do this again. Advice from someone your mom's age: don't rush on past the planning stages. Just sayin'.

    On the cabinet quality/price issue, here are some links from years past which address this: [Apologies on making you copy and paste all these addys, but this site thinks you're a spammer if you make a bunch of links and garbles them to foil the plot.]

    Huge comparison list (08-11):

    Many compared(08):

    Shiloh cabs (08):

    Cabs general, be sure to check lowmark's link at the end (10):

    Thomasville v. Kraftmaid (08):

    Ikea (08):

    Comparison of many (09):

    Showplace (mostly neg)(08-11):

    On discount pricing (11):

    On slippery/trickery pricing (11):

    Xpressions Plus from Costco (10-11):

    On prices (09):

    Medallion/Schuller (11):

    Mostly custom commentary (11):

    Cost of 30 ft. of cabinets (10):

    If you might be interested in Ikea (loved by many), be sure to check Ikea threads on how much they're loved and what people have done to personalize them, particularly doors from other sources.


    clipped on: 10.22.2011 at 11:44 pm    last updated on: 10.24.2011 at 10:06 pm

    Move doorway for more countertop or change it all?

    posted by: mtpam2 on 08.29.2011 at 12:02 am in Kitchens Forum

    I am trying to fine tune my kitchen design. Just a reminder that we are DIY. Stove is electric and we are rewiring everything so can be moved. Sink could possibly be moved. Outside windows replaced (along with siding) last year and husband doesn't want to move them. Former thread with more details referenced below.
    After talking to my husband, he is willing to move the doorway between kitchen and LR if needed. Here is the proposed layout.


    After drawing the above design, I decided that I won't go with 24" deep pantry and cabinets on the bottom wall as it is too tight for traffic past the table. I will either do 12" or 15" deep cabinets. Also, as drawn, the fridge butts up to the LR doorway trim. I don't think I would like that. I was thinking of either getting 2 - 1 1/2" fridge panels to put around the fridge, or building a 24" deep wall (3 1/2" wide)by the doorway to give it a more finished look from the LR.

    I was thinking of moving the doorway down about 6" to account for the 3 to 3 1/2" around the fridge and to make the cabinet between the stove and corner an 18" or the cabinet between the stove and fridge a 24". This would leave about 6 to 6 1/2" from the trim to the corner. I would reduce it by a further 3", but I need to have a light switch somewhere as I come in from the LR. Could maybe widen the doorway to 38" and just leave enough room in the corner for the switch.

    Or should I shake it up totally and consider putting my sink in the corner like this?


    I could sure use your help in making the best use of this space. Everyone in my family thinks I am crazy to be worrying about 3" here or there, but I know you guys understand what a difference it can make. Thanks so much for your help!


    Here is a link that might be useful: Former Thread


    clipped on: 10.23.2011 at 11:45 pm    last updated on: 10.23.2011 at 11:45 pm

    RE: Painted MDF doors vs Painted Maple (Follow-Up #15)

    posted by: live_wire_oak on 08.09.2011 at 06:47 pm in Kitchens Forum

    LaurenPS, no I'm not a cabinet maker. I'm a kitchen designer. The long term experiences that I've had with cabinetry have shown that MDF doors are just fine for decades with normal kitchen use. If the cabinets are to receive abuse from rowdy rollerskating kids and St. Bernard drool, then using maples stiles and rails will give you better wear over time. No material will stand up to the impact of a thrown canned good or being constantly used as an aid to climb onto the counters. Even hard maple will dent or have the hinges pull out under those circumstances. MDF center panels vs. plywood center panels is a complete tossup function wise. Pick whichever is cheaper and use the saved money for some other feature that needs a boost in budget.

    Low formaldehyde emitting materials are commonly available from many cabinet companies. Just ask them directly. There are a few companies that use zero emissions materials, but they are pretty spendy. A custom cabinet maker can source zero emitting plywood if you want, but it will be a substantial upcharge for most.

    The plywood vs. furniture board debate for the cabinet boxes is equally weighted by the propaganda that you're not getting "real wood" unless you pay 20% more for the privilege. KCMA testing shows that either construction material will outlast it's fashionableness. People will most likely replace 25 year old cabinets because they are "ugly" in their view rather than because they're deteriorating.

    Plywood IS superior to furniture board in it's resistance to deflection. It will hold more weight without sagging. That's why you don't see Euro cabinets (which have used furniture board for MANY decades with no problems) larger than 36". If you have plywood shelving, you can span further distances. If you don't have any cabinets larger than 36" or plan on storing your entire cast iron collection on a single shelf I wouldn't worry about it.

    The water resistance thing is also a bit of often repeated propaganda. If a flood/leaking faucet/water event occurs, both substances can be affected. Plywood will delaminate and MDF will swell. The degree of affectedness will depend on if the materials are fully sealed on all surfaces. Shelving should have the cut sides sealed, and many cab lines don't offer that. Same with the portions of the cabinet that touch the floor of the underside of the base. This is where using a custom maker can work to your advantage. Or, just do it yourself for the sink base and the cabinet adjacent to the DW after they've been delivered. You could use polyurethane or whatever leftover paint you already have on hand. A couple of coats on the exposed ends and then caulk the interior seam where the cabinet floor meets the cabinet walls. I'd do this on plywood or furniture board.


    clipped on: 09.09.2011 at 10:15 pm    last updated on: 09.09.2011 at 10:15 pm

    RE: Painted MDF doors vs Painted Maple (Follow-Up #11)

    posted by: live_wire_oak on 08.08.2011 at 01:06 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Real wood, even the much more stable composites like plywood and MDF, swell with moisture and release that moisture when the air dries out. That will leave minute cracks at any joints. Today's latex enamel paints are much more flexible than the old oils of yesteryear, so the cracking won't be as apparent, but it will still occur.

    "Real wood" is a term bandied about by wood snobs--not that there's anything wrong with that. :) But, realistically, cabinets haven't been constructed of all solid wood panels since plywood was invented. Solid wood panels are the most unstable form of wood that exists. Plywood was a great leap forward in furniture construction. As was MDF. Technically, MDF is just as much "real wood" as is plywood if not more so because it's able to be much denser--To have more wood per cubic inch than plywood. They are both made of cross grain wood, it's just the plywood uses layers of cross grain veneers while the MDF uses tiny wood particles where the fibers lock together like wool does to make felt. Both can have issues with moisture if exposed, with the unprotected MDF swelling and the plywood delaminating

    If you want a painted cabinet with zero cracks anywhere, get thermofoil instead. You're not really wanting the natural characteristics of wood. You want plastic. Thermofoil will give you the look that you desire. Thermofoil wraps come in many many different colors today, and they are much more durable--and attractive--than yesterday's thermofoil. Just look at Martha Stewart's cabinets. No paint there. All high tech European thermofoil that most would be hard pressed to tell wasn't paint.

    Solid MDF that mimics a stile and rail construction will be the next most stable. It will not have any real joints to move as it would be a solid piece. The downside to that is that you aren't able to achieve sharp definition at the corners, so it always looks a bit "off". It won't really save you much in costs over thermofoil though if you have it hand painted instead of sprayed. However, hand painting instead of spraying can help with the perceived "plasticy" look, as can hand applying a slight glaze over a sprayed coat. That will also be an upcharge.

    Multipart MDF with an actual free floating inner panel and separate stiles and rails will be the next most stable when it comes to cracks. It's plenty strong enough and durable enough for most situations. Just like the solid MDF, if it's hand painted instead of sprayed, It's a much more realistic look because of the multiple parts and you will not be able to visually tell the difference between it and solid wood if hand painted. If it's sprayed, it tends to look a bit "too smooth" to the experts. The average person will not be able to see nor will they care.

    Next in line in stability comes wood rails and stiles and a MDF center panel. This helps a bit with the cracking between the panel and the frames, as that is often the most apparent spot, especially if the doors were painted after assembly which is very common. The spot where the stiles and rails meet have the wood grain going in different directions, so you will still get cracking at that spot, much more than a MDF frame. As I said, with the new latex paints, it's less apparent than with the old oil paints. Hand painting with the minor errors that entails will also help it to achieve the less than perfect natural look.

    The most prone to hygroscopic behavior is solid wood--which can be a bit misleading. Most "solid wood" recessed panel doors are not really solid wood. They are plywood panels with wood frames very much behaving like the solid wood with MDF panels I explained above. There is zero advantage of a plywood over MDF for the center panel if you are using wood frames. The MDF is probably cheaper for the same look.

    "Solid" raised panel doors (or solid reverse recessed panel doors) are the most prone to potential cracking. The panels are not "solid" in that they are created out of a single piece of wood. That would expand and contract horribly! The panels are constructed of several solid pieces laminated together and then machined with a profile before being placed into the stiles and rails. In addition to all of the usual suspect spots for cracking, these add the potential of cracking occurring between the laminated wood strips. They are the most authentic construction for very old homes, as plywood and MDF did not exist 150 years ago, but they will also give you the most authentic look. That means the potential of hairline cracks pretty much everywhere.

    All in all, the less processed product that the cabinets are made of, the more "defects" it will have. The more man made and processed a product is, the more "perfect" it becomes, with little variation in construction or appearance. More "natural looking" is a polite way to say "has natural defects that would not occur in a man made product". Some people want something expensive to look "shiny and new" always and those are the people who have little tolerance for the variations found in nature. Those people are the ones that should look to thermofoil to give them their desired "maintenance free and new" look. Some want their new kitchens to immediately look as though they've been there for years---with the natural patina of time built in. Most of us are in between, and we usually have our budget interjecting it's own constraints on our aesthetics.
    Those are your choices, and I hope I've explained each of them well enough as to their advantages and disadvantages. If you have any further questions, I'll be happty to try to answer those.


    clipped on: 09.09.2011 at 10:11 pm    last updated on: 09.09.2011 at 10:11 pm

    Fridge in corner or by doorway? Please help with layout.

    posted by: mtpam2 on 07.09.2011 at 10:14 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I am trying to finalize my layout so we can move ahead with our kitchen remodel and I really need some help. We tore out everything down to the studs (except our sink) last fall, and having been living with a makeshift kitchen since then. We are DIY to make it affordable so will be using RTA or stock cabinets. My husband is very handy, but loves mechanics, not construction, and I have never done anything myself, except a little painting.
    I have 3 girls in their 20's, one of which is living with us for a few months. My husband and myself both cook, although not usually at the same time. We cook almost every meal, but only bake for holidays or special occasions since the kids are grown.

    Below is our current proposed layout. We are re-wiring everything and have an electric stove, so it can be moved. We just replaced windows and re-sided our house a couple years ago, so my husband doesn't want to move any doors or windows. The stove wall is load bearing, with the bedroom behind it, so we are pretty well stuck with the current dimensions. At the lower right is the doorway to the Living Room. Bottom of the screen is pocket door to the only bathroom on the main floor. Also, the bottom left is a 40" walkway to our basement steps and the back door. We park in back and use that door all the time. Laundry, food storage and our daughter's bedroom is also in the basement, so that is a busy traffic path. We have a 36" SXS fridge. Currently have a 36" double sink where it is shown on the plans. Husband might be willing to move that if necessary. No dining room, so table in kitchen is our only eating area. Can you give me any suggestions for improving the layout, or better use of this space?


    I also considered this layout, with the fridge in the top left corner. It gives me a better counter space around the stove, but after reading on this forum, I think I would have to move fridge further from the wall in order to open the doors (maybe 12-15"?), which means that I would only have about 12" or less between the fridge and sink unless I moved the sink further into the corner.

    Fridge in Corner

    I have been struggling with this layout all winter. Any help or suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.


    clipped on: 08.05.2011 at 01:32 am    last updated on: 08.05.2011 at 01:32 am

    RE: Any feedback on Allwood Cabinets? Or Counter Intelligence? (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 06.11.2011 at 08:46 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Prices per lineal foot seen on the place cards in a kitchen display are so far from reality they are a waist of time. Take your kitchen design to a lowes or home depot and see if it turns out to be the same price per lineal foot. I bet you $100 the cost on your kitchen design is between 50-100% higher per foot then what the card says.

    I know the costs on my cabines pretty well. I can not give an exact price but I can give you a range most of them will be in per lineal foot.

    For example most RTA cabinets that are a decent quality will be 200-250 per foot from local retail stores. They will be 150 - 200 most of the time on the internet.

    If you have an actual drawing that shows the cabinet sizes any dealer should be able to print you out an exact quote in 30 minutes or less. It takes some time to enter in the all the details of the cabinets to get a correct MSRP on them which then you are given a discount from to arrive at the exac price. If you are looking for a satin finish instead of typical semi gloss you will need to find a company like Bridgewood Custom which offers it as a standard option for all their colors or you will need a company that will produce the cabinets from any company like benjamin moore, sherwin williams etc. I have a semi custom company that will do that which is brandom for example. Bridgewood and Geppetto are my to custom companies where they will produce your cabinets in a custom color.

    You will not get RTA prices for what you want. RTA advertises at 50% less then big box stores. This is sometimes true and sometimes not. Depends on the sales going on and all the free upgrades offered and the buy more save more plans.

    Bridgewood for example almost always costs the end user with my markups 300-400 per lineal foot meaning a 10 x 10 kitchen would be 6,000 to 8,000. What drives the cost up is modifying the cabinets to a particular size in width or height. Most semi custom companies only let you change depth for a % of the cost of the cabinet for example. Drawers everywhere and lots of corner cabinets, interior finish adds 35% to each cabinet for glass doors. Drawers in the place of a lazy susan is a pricey choice.

    I happen to like Bridgewood cause they build frameless and face framed cabinets for the same price. I do not like the look of the a frameless cabinet when it is open for example. Looks very cheap to me. So I design most kitchen with frameless base cabinets and face framed upper cabinets in full overlay construction. There is only 1 or two companies out there with brand name recognition that offer frameless cabinets in the price range of Kraftmaid and Thomasville. Problem is they do not offer framed as well it is generally one style or the other.

    Your truly custom companies will offer both and inset also but your base price on the entire kitchen will be higher. I have a kitchen I am working on where we are doing frameless base cabinets and inset walls. With a few tricks of the way we are having the doors made the average person will not realize at a glance they are different. It has taken a lot of effort to get the order correct as every size of door and drawer has been changed by the owner to be just right for organizing things for them. Every pull out device is not normall size either. The customer will end up paying about 24,000 to get what they want. I think it is a good price others will think it is to high and others here will spend twice that to have bragging rights to their other rich friends who come over to visit. As for me I make about 4,000 out of it which is about 35% of the factory cost. Most dealers who can sell that type of kitchen are more established and command 50-100% mark ups instead. I think I am in a win win situation with them. They are chosing a Benjamin Moore off white color which will be custom formulated to be applied to their cabinets. At first I thought they would have to be from here everyone wants benjamin moor off white frameless base and inset walls here.

    Medalion is a respected cabinet company for the most part. I am not familar with how much you can customize their cabinets when you chose a cheaper series. When their are different series it means not everything is available in it to offer things at different generic price points.

    Most kitchen dealers open their doors find a cabinet company looking for more local representation make a deal with them to offer their products and wing it. The general attitude among those who market products to dealers with showrooms is if you put in a nice display of something you will be able to sell it and do not stress about if it is the lowest cost. Most successful showrooms are hired on trust more so then on lowest price. Big box stores are hired more on price and less on trust on the exact details of the kitchen as the trust in the name of the franchise more then the skills of the designer and others involved in the project.

    You have to be realistic about your prices though. Not everything is for free. And thanks to the the powers that be in politics and money supply the little companies get squezeed while those with first access to borrowed money leverage it to the hilt to make small margins on huge amounts of money. The result is costs for business rise and they increase their prices to maintain the same amount of profit in the form of purchasing power from their fiat money system. All of my cabinet companies have raised their prices this year on me. All the dealers I know and compete with continue to fight for work and lower prices trying to get interested customers in the door. It is a mess.


    clipped on: 08.05.2011 at 01:22 am    last updated on: 08.05.2011 at 01:22 am

    RE: daveinorlando..... (Follow-Up #2)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 09.04.2010 at 09:42 am in Kitchens Forum

    I am not afraid to give my opinion on here. I imagine many others who make a living on kitchen and bath products that read this site do not like my posts I am willing to tell you what you need to know where you and the retailer both win on price point of brands I know the costs on.

    Kabinart is a 10 year warranty cabinet made in the USA from a family owned cabinet company. They are easy to price cause they only offer the cabinets in plywood construction.

    Dealers are normally less then the Woodmark and Shennandoah brands at Lowes and Home Depot if the cabinets are sold @47% of list price. That is where I start my quotes to one time buyers but honestly I will go as low as 39% and still feel it is worth the sale.

    In the Glazed Cabinets the cost goes up 15%. The good news is you can have glazes or paint finishes for 15% extra but you get glaze for free on painted finishes if wanted.

    54% of list price is where I shoot for on paint with glaze 45% of list price is about as low as I will go. A typical 20-30 ft kitchen when I go as low as I am willing translates to about $1,000 to $1,500 profit as a store owner. You can stay in business as long as you are involed in at least 1 kitchen a week like that.

    Interstock cabinets are ok. IF it is your dream home I would consider other alternatives first that have better warranty's first.

    I know most garden web readers jump from the roof tops to save you from a Chinese product! I do not honestly know where Ikea cabinets are made but I bet it is not in the USA! Sunco is a company you should consider. They are based in the Boston Area. They import their products pre finished and put them together professionaly with machines clampls and all kinds of tools to glue them together the american way before shipping them. Their elite series is not RTA. A great cabinet for the money. You can not choose your stain color because they buy on large scale to stock the items they sell pre finished but you can not beat the price.

    6 square cabinets offers an awesome cabinet for the money. Their products are based on the same model. They offer limited Lifetime warrranty and the finish in my opinion is unbeatable. You should be able to get a price of 39% of list price or less on a 6 square cabinet. a 100% mark up on 6 square is 52% of list price. You should be able to do the math from that to figure everything out you will ever need to know to negotiate.

    Independent dealers who carry the allwood brand cabinet sold in Costco get the cabinets at 50% less then costco does. I have no idea how much costco marks it up I have not taken the time to figure it out. I will in the coming week or two. I did a price for possible customer this week with 32 lineal feet of base and wall cabinets and came up with a price of approx $8,500 to the consumer with 36" wall cabinets with crown in a raised panel with glazing. 5 piece drawer fronts with dove tail and soft close drawers, soft closing door hinges, plywood construction and limited lifetime warranty. My dealer cost was approx $5,500. I would be happy to negotiate with the customer if I feel I will be taken seriously. I marked it up exactly 50% so I know I will be less then Costco who is the biggest competition on that product. I will always be less then them at 50%. Go to their website and find a independent dealer in your area that sells it 36% of list price leaves 50% profit for dealer which should be more than enough to keep them happy and give you a better price for a product with longer warranty and great finish.

    Interstock is a good product. Their cherry hill door is the best value for the door style. It is the most elegant. Interstock has different multipliers for each door style so I will not get into the math on their products.

    If you are looking to consider RTA cabinets I would look at all of the following if I could in your area.

    Fabuwood is in NJ they are have a large selection of door styles and colors for being RTA. I do not know if they sell to the public out of a show room as the company that stocks them. A 100% mark up is 60% of list price most cabinet companies try to sell the RTA cabinets for 50-100% mark ups. If you pay 100% it should be assembled and delivered as a minimum. 50% markup is in line with companies on the internet some slightly higher some lower. Fabuwood has to be glued and stapled together so it is a little better quality over a cabinet that has plastic parts that fit together to assemble it. Fabuwood offers a 1 year warranty.

    Look at JSI before you decide also since you mentioned this is a home you want to stay in long term. JSI finishes are pretty good and there are several door styles to chose from. 68% of list price is a 100% markup. JSI offers a 1 year warranty.

    River Run in Harrisburg Va is an excelent cabinet for the price which is RTA and glued and stapled. Each cabinet has a different multplier of list price to arrive at dealer cost so I will skip teaching you where to bargain to to get a good price and leave enough money for the dealer to stay in business. 1 year warranty

    KCD in Raliegh NC imports cabinets from the same cabinet maker as River Run with a slightly lower cost to the dealer. 100% mark up on their Lenox and Tahoe doors style which is excelent price is 68% of list price. 1 year warranty
    Remeber 100% mark up should not upset you out of principle in rta products. The overal cost of the cabinets is much less than Made in the USA cabinets so the total dollar amount is generally lower than a semi custom cabinet. Generally I shoot for 50% mark up on the semi custom lines I have with the intention of providing better prices then then the starter brands at the big box stores. Conventional wisdom in our industry tells us that Lowes and Home Depot sell 50% of all cabinets Nation wide. I have no way of knowing if that is indeed true but it is considered to be true by most people I have ever talked to. So if you can beat their prices you are priced right to half of the total competition. I shoot for 25% markup on my custom cabinet products. Generally if my price on a custom cabinet product is $9,000 - $15,000 at a 25% mark up I am making $3,000 -$4,500. At this time I do not ever give out quotes that are much higer then that. I do not attract people that are looking for Wood Mode and other brands like that which are so much more expensive.

    TSG is a great company in NJ that imports cabinets they have 10 to chose from to be in competition to interstock. 1 year warranty. 100% mark up is 78% of list price.

    IKS in South Carolina is another cabinet company with a few nice door styles to chose from that has a good finish when price matters most. 1 year warranty also. 100% mark up is 68% of list price

    Sunnywood sells a great inset cabinet line in RTA if you are looking for that. 1 year warranty is also par for the course! Without my books I am thinking 100% mark up is about 78% of list price also.

    Adornus in Miami is a great price for Frameless RTA also. I do not remember their dealer cost of MSRP as I write this. 1 year warranty

    Panda kitchen and bath is another frameless company that imports cabinets and sells their own inventory thru panda retail stores. I do not know dealer cost for them. They have a lot of accessories as a general rule also.

    Smart Cabinets is an awesome made in the USA cabinet for the money when you are on a budget and want to get something nice if you are ok with flat slab Euro look, Shaker, or Raised panel. I am doing a kitchen for my friend of 20 years He got a quote from Home Depot for $30,000 to reface his cabinets. I got him full overlay shaker cabinets with dove tail drawers (plywood with laminate instead of solid wood) Plywood box construction 36" wall cabinets, shaker crown, super susan base corner cabinets, 32 lineal feet of total cabinetry, pull out spice rack, slide out trash can, roll out drawers in all other base cabinets, 24" pantry with 4 roll out trays,2 30" pots and pans drawer base cabinets built im space saver microwave on the counter next to the pantry, glass diaganol corner cabinets with interior stain and soft close full extension glides on the all the drawers. My dealer cost for his kitchen was $4,050 including shipping. I gave it to my friend for $5,000. Smart is a little known product line in the world of kitchen and bath dealers in the US. Look them up and find someone in your area that sells them. 100% markup is 72% of list price.

    Many stores in the Mid atlantic sell norcraft and aristokraft cabinets together. Those stores will also have access to aristokraft's bargain hunters line they call contractors choice. The door styles and finishes are basic but ok. You can not chose to have soft close at this time. I think that is a mistake on the part of the the management of the product line. None the less if you are considering interstock it may be worth a look for you.

    If you are going to consider kabinart you should also consider Brandom from Texas. Brandom has a nice selection of door styles but offers 39" wall cabinets and life time limited warranty. 100% dealer mark up is 68% of list price. General rule of thumb is 51% of list price should be less then Woodmark and Shennandoah. Any dealer in todays economy should be willing to sell it for less than that if they are a smaller company without huge overhead.

    When you get into the higher end door prices from Kabinart or Brandom Bridgewood Custom becomes a better deal. They offer 10 year warranty on their cabinets. 73.8% of list price is 100% mark up.

    Door components in Alabama is another great brand that is customizeable at semi custom prices. They make their own doors so changing door sizes for custom arrangements is not problem for them. 100% mark up is 44% of list price.

    Do not expect to get cabinets at less than 25% mark up in made in the USA products and 50% on imports as general rule of thumb. Those percentages leave enough money on the table for the a small cabinet company to stay alive. If there is a designer on comission and base pay and a store to pay for expect higher mark ups.

    I hope this is helpfull to someone. I gain a lot of insight in the mind to the consumer when I read the posts which is why I check the site regularly. I am happy to give back to help you learn reasonable price points and info for products I am familar with so you can go shop with confidence in your area.


    clipped on: 06.27.2011 at 12:14 am    last updated on: 06.27.2011 at 12:14 am

    RE: RTA Cabinet Help (Follow-Up #36)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 12.05.2010 at 05:49 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Conventional wisdom in the distribution network side of life says the L bracket Or metal interlocking ( both terms mean the same thing) and the plastic or metal cam lock are the easiest. The camlock cabinets have much tighter tolerances when you are placing the items together. The metal brackets are pre loaded on the cabinet with one side being left lose to snap over the other. You then install a screw thru both brackets in holes that line up to keep them locked together. If you over tighten the screw you messed it up. Every once in a while you have a hard time getting the cam locks to allow the mechanism inside to twist and lock them together. I have broken a few of these in my day.

    Everything has its risk. I would say the plastic cam lock cabinets are by far the easiest to put together and the most intuitive. All the parts are pre loaded so you insert A into B and turn the screw till it is tight and you are done.

    After getting the hang of one a wall cabinet takes about 20 minutes in the camlock or glue and staple. A interlock metal bracket system is trickier to get everything interlocked and you have 3 screws at a minimum to install or tighten. Some are pre loaded by design some you must get out of the bag and insert them afterwards. This inherently takes more time.

    A base cabinet takes longer because of the drawer. If you have to assemble the drawer this slows you down. If you have to place the drawer head on the drawer box this slows you down more. Particularly like a Fabuwood Cabinet where they are not always pre aligned in some way and you have to figure out your own measurements to get it lined up right in relation to the doors and other drawer headers around it.

    J & K which is a pretty good sized company with warehouses around the US has awesome looking door styles with a fair amount of cabinet sizes and shapes to chose from. If you listen to them you are supposed to nail the cabinets together from the outside. Very tacky. I read a post a while back where the person could not figure out how to do them.

    If you go back to my posts on here and google the names of the companies I listed you will find the pictures of the door syles. If you then start googling RTA cabinets to look at the sites selling them. Look at the pictures and you will realize that they match up in groups to many of the companies that I have mentioned. You will begin to see the dishonesty in marketing by so many of these companies using phrases intended to make you believe you are buying from the American representation of the Chinese Factory.

    I already explained many of the reasons for this. You can gauge the size of the RTA importer in many ways by the strength of their website. JSI is one of the biggest companies and no surprise they have one of the best sites.

    J & K (Grand) has a different website for each of the warehouse locations. Each inventory is independently owned by investors that compete for customers to sell their cabinets. None of the marketing is impressive and the dealers do not have well thought out catalogs or price sheets. The websites of each location reflects this as well. The show rooms I have been to in Florida and Ga look pretty good but they fail to tell you that they are a night mare to put together. There is nothing to mark the locaitons of the where to install the drawers and the rails they glide on. This makes lining the drawers up with each other from cabinet to cabinet very difficult! No one wants to tell you that to get you to buy them. Who would purposefully buy a product that is cumbersome to put together and get it right?


    clipped on: 06.25.2011 at 11:23 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2011 at 11:23 pm

    RE: RTA Cabinet Help (Follow-Up #31)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 12.04.2010 at 10:45 pm in Kitchens Forum

    Fabuwood is pretty good. I have put kitchens in my last store I was partner in for most of thier door styles. Stay away from their islands they are a nightmare to put together. Their were 3 consistant weaknesses of their product. The drawer front does not come attached to the interior drawer box.

    1 The factory fails to pre drill a hole to make it easy to get it to line up right. You end up making a bunch of measurements to get it right and do it yourself. Can be frustrating if you only put them together 1 time. There is a learning curve to getting it right.
    2. The painted white cabinets all had peeling paint on the plywood boxes. I do not know if that has been resolved. I have not assembled a painted white box from them in about 6 months. They looked similar to clay that shrinks and cracks after getting very wet and drying up.
    3. The drawer glides of the 100 or so cabinets I have personally put together are not as smooth in the ball bearing mechanism as JSI.

    If you are in the North East the dealer can order them assembled for you for. Dealers recieve a 5% discount if they order the cabinets in the box unassembled. If you live close enough to the Warehouse of Fabuwood where your dealer gets them delivered by a Fabuwood truck then they can be ordered assembled. I would go that route. Now make sure you compare possible prices each way and that you are not being ripped off by large mark up. The going rate for cabients being assembled by companies that ship out that way is $15-$18 being charged to the dealers with accounts to these companies.

    JSI has great finishes. I do not have an acount currently with them. I still get all the emails from them for promotions and orders of my last partnership. The business was mine orignialy and foolishly I gave up ownership in exchange for capital for investment. I realized I handed over the keys to a person who would close up the books and all I could do was walk away or deal with it. Lost everything I had worked for to date! AHHH! Anyhow I am not interested in adding them untill I am more invested in displays of some American companies I want. I will add JSI in the coming months again. Back to the point. I never liked the Arlington Antique White. It was way to pink like a salmon color. It is supposed to have been adjusted to a more antique tanish white color. It that is the case it should be an imporvement. I also felt the glazing was weak as well. I was able to smear it by accident a few times durring handling them in the past.

    JSI's finish other then that is very consistent. The Georgetown door styles is by far their most popular. The sturbridge is a reverse raised panel that is a great shaker door style. Fabuwood V groves the intersection of the stiles of the shaker doors and I think that is cheesy. Just my personal taste.I also do not care for the brandy color it is not a rich looking red to me.

    Fabuwood is a glue and staple cabinet that anyone who knows how to operate a compressed air staple gun can assemble. The drawer header is the only thing that is a pain. If you put a dovetail drawer together yourself few people tell you to squeeze it together with a bar clamp or something similar. That is the way to do it right. Many people pound them together with a rubber mallet. A clamp is much easier and the joint will remain clean and crisp. Beating them together will tend to create areas of wood that do not fit and you get a splinter effect. All of JSI drawer boxes are factory assembled in China. They are perfectly crisp and clean. I would say the polyurethane or like finish on the drawerbox of a JSI drawer is much better then most of the RTA cabinets available.

    Fabuwood has 2 series of cabinets the better series with the more expensive door styles uses plywood rails that go down the sides of the plywood box of the cabinet. That stiffens the box against the plywood trying to warp. JSI uses plastic corner blocks instead which is not as good also used by the cheaper doorstyles by Fabuwood.

    Fabuwood has matching woodhoods the only company I know of in the RTA market that offers those. That is a big plus if you want a high end look on a low end budget. They are not Stanici if any of you are familar with those but it is a step up from your typical RTA.

    Fabuwood also has more pantry cabinet widths and depths then most other RTA cabinets. I do not have my book here but I am pretty sure that they have some 12" deep pantrys and 12 or 15" witdths. I think they also have a 30 or 36" width. Most RTA companys only offer 18 and 24.

    JSI pantrys come in 2 boxes for all sizes. This means you set one box on the other to create the whole cabinet. I hate that. You have a horizontal joint you have to trim if the side is exposed. I would definelty order a plywood panel to skin the side of all JSI pantry and oven cabinets. The oven cabinet is sold in 84" to get a 96 you have to set a 12" box on the top. Cheesy to me. They are the only RTA company I know of that decided to import their tall cabinets this way.

    The roll out trays of Fabuwood cabinets are adjustable in height. It is a pretty simple way they do it. I had a hard time figuring it out the first time and had to call to ask how to do it. I think this is more functional then the JSI method where you have to screw the rails into the side of the cabinet to install it. If you move it you have holes to fix. JSI roll out trays are shipped pre assembled. Fabuwood you have to put them together yourself.

    Lastly you can find the plastic cam lock systems inside the cabinets of JSI. This means a know it all jerk you are all ready annoyed durring your Christmas party can figure out you have RTA cabinets in your kitchen and complain that you got poor quality things. With a Fabuwood cabinet this is not possible to figure out for sure.

    The builder series of Fabuwood cabinets allow upgrade to soft close on the drawers. The drawers are also solid wood dovetail in the builder series of door styles which is a rare. You will not find that on most american products that are close to chinese price point. Although truthfully the dealer cost to upgrade to soft close rails is $30 that makes them more expensive on the base cabinets then some other RTA cabinets which would be full overlay instead of standard or what is referred to as 1/2" meaning the door when shut is 1" wider then the opening behind it as it overlays the face frame by 1/2" on each side. A full overlay door typically overlays the face frame by 1 1/4".

    When you look seriously at RTA cabinets you need to find out which cabinet lines offer the sized cabinets you are looking for. Some offer wine racks some do not some have the width pantry you want some do not. Some have soft close some do not. Some have plate racks some have light rail molding some do not. Some have full depth base shelves some 3/4 depth (Fabuwood) some have 1/2 depth (JSI) Some soft close rails allow for adjustment to ensure the drawer is paralel with the face frame behind. So if the cabinet is racked durring install for some reason you can adjust the drawer so you can not tell. Some of the soft close drawers release by handle underneath (Fabuwood) some the rails are screwed to the drawer and take more time to remove from a cabinet(JSI) Some use a full 1/2" thick back panel. Other use a 1/8" back with a picture frame plywood structure that makes the border of the cabinet 1/2" thick and the center section only 1/8.

    If you want to be educated and you are sold on the best price. Order a door sample. If you still are happy order a cabinet you need in base and wall and put them together. If you still feel good about it order everything and you will be happy.

    Everyone will tell you there are different things that make the quality of the cabinet better or worse. Beyond the captain obvious items most dealers do not have the technical data to back up claims of which is superior to what. It is not common knowledge where the wood comes from and what species it truly is. No dealer knows in great detail what grade the plywood is in veneer qualites and methods of adhesive to each layer. Most dealers including myslef could not tell what chemical type is used for finishing the cabinets in domestic made or RTA. That is hard to find out for every cabinet you may be considering.

    Also JSI is weak in my opinion in accesory trim. They do not offer angled fluted fillers. Or fluted fillers 96" long I forget the maximum length but it seems like it is 60 something. Never understood that one. If I remeber corretly JSI has the interior finished to match the exterior of all but the Arlington cabinet. Fabuwood I believe is natural interior finish.

    This is just a comparison of 2 product lines. I have accounts with 11 RTA compaines and know of several more. This could go on forever. Each has different ways of importing the cabinets and what is available and what is not. It is very tricky if you do not have the help of someone to sort it out with you.


    clipped on: 06.25.2011 at 11:23 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2011 at 11:23 pm

    RE: RTA Cabinet Help (Follow-Up #27)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 12.04.2010 at 03:09 am in Kitchens Forum

    I would bet I can match or beat Scherrs price on the 12x12 kitchen using Bridgewood Advantage (most popular door styles of their custom cabinets all at the same price) For RTA that is not a low price. Granted the kitchen is custom sized. I find the term custom to be thrown to losely here in Garden Web. I read a post just a few minutes ago that mentioned they were getting custom cabinets 36 high 15" deep with crown. All modular sized cabinets in 30 36 and 42 are sized to fit to the ceiling heights of 84 90 and 96 without using crown. A 39" would have been a custom height to be a know it all!

    Any how. Scherrs and Conestoga have with out a doubt high quality with a price that is appropriate.

    Some one asked what was a company to recomend in low cost RTA and US made.

    RTA is tricky. If you want highest quality every time and lifetime warranty research 6 square and Allwood they will be way cheaper the scherrs and conestoga but will come fully assembled every bit as well constructed as Kraftmaid and the like.

    For lower price and you do not want to put them together still look at CNC Associates cabinets, or Sunco in Maine.

    RTA is more project specific. You will not know what cabinets will meet your needs untill you talk specifics. Each company buying in bulk makes their own decisions on what to stock. So you can not get the same cabinet list from each company.

    Adornus has the best frameless cabinets for the money in RTA format.

    JSI has best brand name recognition with great looking doors. But it uses plastic cam locks which are easy to spot after the kitchen is done. Also on the higher end in price.

    KCD is the best one out there for the money on dealer cost. Not as many online stores sell them. You have to glue it and staple it together. Very hard to tell once it is done. River Run has the best priced soft white cabinet with glaze that I know of.

    Clark and Sons has great cabinets but I can not get them at a good price. I am stay loyal to the company that offered them to me but I am charged a middle man fee. This means I just do not make sales in it and I sell other brands.

    TSG country oak is the cheapest cabinet I can get that I know of from 30 cabinet companies I have the prices on.

    Contractors choice is the best priced american made cabinet I know of. It does not show up much on google searches. It is Aristokraft kept in stock by Wolf Distributing in Pa. They only sell to kitchen dealers.

    There are a lot of cabinet companies in Alabama which are spin offs of Wellborn. Truwood, Wellborn Forrest, Legacy, Door Components etc. Each of these companies has different cabinets that are priced pretty good. Door components and Legacy are probably the lowest.

    Woodmark cabinets prices are pretty rock bottom also. Smart cabinets were low priced until recently. I am not sure if they raised the price on everyone or if I complained about shippin damage and they changed my multiplier when they released the new price book.

    I am able to beat merilats price on an apt complex using brandom cabinets they are pretty low in price on their standard overlay door styles. Kabinart is pretty low as a general rule available in plywood construction only. A particle board box cabinet will be less from other companies I have mentioned. If you can find a company that sells Bruce cabinets by Armstrong they will give you a great price also if they work on competitive margins. I would like to sell their cabinets but I do not have the abilty to stock them to meet the required investment.

    kitchen compact prices are rock bottom low also if you can find a dealer for them pretty much builder grade only door styles.


    clipped on: 06.25.2011 at 11:22 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2011 at 11:22 pm

    RE: RTA Cabinet Help (Follow-Up #19)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 11.30.2010 at 08:02 pm in Kitchens Forum

    This discussion is not personal to me. I will respond because I think it will help people see what happens in the world good and bad!

    1 I have been involved in 2 kitchen and bath stores in DC as partners. I left the DC area to to get away from those partherships. I learned the lesson to not partner with individuals I did not know for years. That was my mistake. I went to florida to start my business there and put all my eggs in one basket to develop a strong web presence and like others on here who have paid large sums of money to someone to remodel their home only to find the money and the indivuals who took it gone with the wind. We all have made mistakes in our lives. I picked up the pieces and made the decision to come to back to the market I was more familar with to move on as I lost the money I had to invest in the business model I was working to acheiving. Adjusting to my conditions is not fly by night. All of the people I worked with are satisfied and love their kitchens. Yes businesses can come and go as did mine. Fly by night is taking money for products and services not given. Moving your business to a new location after your local obligations are fulfilled is not fly by night to me. We all are welcome to our own oppinions!

    2 Let me re explain the rta business model. Either I did not state it correctly the first time or you miss understood it. If you owned your own store you would understand this.

    RTA Supply Chain From China To End User

    1. Cabinets are made in China by a independent factory who do not offer a warranty to the american buyer
    2. Cabinets are bought in bulk by American companys that in essence are investors who buy low, warehouse and re sell to either the direct public or a distribution network of retailers using independent sales reps. This company has to offer a warranty to the end user. This company will be one of the ones I listed in my original post suggesting people google them to learn more. They create the brand name of the business and product line. They risk their money to import what they believe will be popular to resell. They make the choices of what cabinet skus will be kept in inventory
    3. A kitchen and bath store usually an indpenedent small local store find companys that do the importing and request permisson to sell their products. By far the majority of companies that have websites that sell cabinets online with shopping carts are getting the cabinets from companies like the ones I listed in my original post. Generally to qualify to buy the cabinets from the importers in postion 2 in the supply chain you have to own or rent a comercial space to be allowed to open an account. The website hides the identity of this local business. They change the names of the cabinets and hide the name of the company that actually imports the cabinets. The local company does not offer the warranty, the importer who bought from China does. If you have a problem with your cabinets and you know who made them in the USA or who imported them you should contact the maker or importer and they will replace the defective product if they are a reputable company that cares about its reputation. If the local company that sold the product to the consumer has relocated like I did. The importer or US maker will replace the defective cabinets regardless.

    It is possible that the company that runs a website for online sales can go out of business. This is a worse position to be in if you do not know who actually imported them. If you buy off the internet it would be better if you were told who originaly imported them or what brand name they actually are.

    Point #3. I stated the truth what other people will not. I have personally assembled over 1,000 cabinets from 15 different imported companies. All of them will have the slightest blemishes somewhere on each one. Most of my customers do not notice them. I know they are there. I am a perfectionist and always get stressed about it. Live wire oak was correct that there is a relationship of quality and cost. It is an eternal law. RTA cabinets are not full of blemishes rather there is always at least 1 on every cabinet somewhere.

    Point 4. I have sold hundreds of RTA kitchens in my 5 year carrer in kitchen and bath store ownership. I have assembled every cabinet for every customer. The customers who bought those cabinets paid 25-50% less then Woodmark Prices. The trade off was the warranty was (1) 1 year instead of lifetime (2) choice of multiple stain or paint colors was not available (3) Their are not as many choices in cabinet sizes and specialty configurations.

    Generally stores that sell RTA cabinets to local customers double the cost and pay for shipping and assembly and deliver them boxed and ready to install to the end user. (this is how I do it for local customers of mine) Companies that sell the cabinets online from the same importers I have accounts with as general rule have the prices about 50% above dealer cost.

    American Woodmark is sold at a very low cost. Most independent stores struggle to match their prices. The buying power of the Home Depot is very large. Some door styles from the American made companies I represent I can beat the price of Woodmark with same warranty and like quality with comperable amount of choice in finish and sku selection. Other door styles I am not able to. It is luck of the draw. Woodmark makes a good product for its price.

    It does not work for everyone neither do less expensive limited brands wether Aristokraft, 6 square, allwood, or rta products. They all have their places to meet the varrying needs of the consumers in our country.


    clipped on: 06.25.2011 at 11:22 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2011 at 11:22 pm

    RE: RTA Cabinet Help (Follow-Up #16)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 11.29.2010 at 06:13 pm in Kitchens Forum

    I sell kabinart as well. It is not the least expensive brand out there but the post is correct that it is well made. Other cabinet companies like brandom that offer particle board box construction will be cheaper as a general rule of thumb. Truwood has a innovation series that is less expensive then kabinart. Smart is generally cheaper than Kabinart as well they changed their prices in a new price book released in the last month or two. Now their 10 door styles or so are probably closer in dealer cost to Tru wood it was a fair amount less. Brandom tends to cheaper then Kabinart particularly in the lower priced door styles that are column K in the catalog. Aristokraft with the lower end door styles are also pretty low in price also in this type of category.

    I took delivery of of 60 cabinets today from Brandom a well respected semi custom cabinet company in Tx. The cabinets were for an apartment complex and honestly the box construction of some of the imported like River Run Or KCD which are glued and stapled are better then Brandoms current method for base cabinets hang rails and exposed staples behind the drawer boxes on the inside of the cabient. This was the oppinion of my customer today and I agree with him.

    If people on here want to give you advice to do something a certain way they should explain to you why so you are smarter then you were after reading the post instead of trying present themselves as all successful and important and more established. That has nothing to do with the question that was orignialy asked. They also should be willing to tell you what brand they sell that is cheaper and better made then Chinese so you can learn what you should do instead of leaving you personaly in the dark and no better off then you were before. That is a big loss of creditbilty to me because your initial question of what to do with a tight budget was not helped.

    Nothing personal just drives me crazy when someone generalizes with such harshness and gives no real information to solve the original problem.

    Personally in my experience the best made cabinets with the greeatest flexibiltiy at the lowest national price is Bridgewood Custom from Hil Lo Industries. They do not offer complete custom options for anything you can dream up. But in framed and Frameless cabinets the price is unbeatable for overall value. I do 25-50% mark ups based on repeat buyers and come in with prices generally less then Kraftmaid. Comes with 10 year warranty.

    Also for the info of a person that really wants to learn something some imported cabinets are made with stained interiors to create more value for the purchase. It is considered an upgrade in an american cabinet that normally is only chosen in cabinets with glass doors. JSI cabinets interior finish is very good quality for example. Other brands like GHI I personally think it looks cheesy

    This thread is a good example of the need for this site to help the average consumer sift thru truth and distortions to make the best educated purposes. I am dissapointed how so many people spend their time trashing other people or products for what ever reason particularly without giving you postivie information to help you learn from their oppinion. I am glad to be able to post on here and read from others. I am always learning things from here and hope others are also.


    clipped on: 06.25.2011 at 11:21 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2011 at 11:21 pm

    RE: RTA Cabinet Help (Follow-Up #12)

    posted by: daveinorlado on 11.29.2010 at 02:44 am in Kitchens Forum

    I have not posted in quite a while as not many of the posts in the last month have related to my experience to make it worth chiming in. Here we go!

    First off if price matters most to you american made is the cheapest made (in $ and looking ugly!) I have a start up cabinet store in the DC area used to be orlando but moved for lack of customers. Suprisingly it is pretty rough inside the beltway of DC. Anyhow I am rejected on price constantly being told that people are able to find other prices less then me weekly. I offer RTA cabinets from 11 companies. I know of 15 but am not in a position to offer more at this time. I plan on going the networking show for my industry next year to learn what else is out there.

    Rule # 1 If you want it cheap (lowest cost regardless of style look and construction) it is on the shelf of your neighborhood Lowes or Home Depot. Many kitchen and bath cabinets there are sold for less then cost to bring you in the store and fill up your basket with other goodies that makes a lot more money.

    I quoted a 8 x 10 kitchen for a local customer last week with 15 different cabinets from my american made and RTA made suppliers. I was only able to beat the price of the Lowes on the shelf product using 1 Chinese made RTA cabinet from TSG. I could offer him 13 different cabinets about 1/3 of those american made with choice of box construction and stain color for about $1,500. Lowes was 1,200 My cheaper cabinet was oak and he wanted maple.

    Rule #2 No one who sells the cabinets on line that are RTA wants you to know where the cabinets come from. The chinese have not agreed with the idea that americans want brand name recognition with the assumption that quality comes with a name you know. Notice very few of the posts that have commented on here know much about the products in question. Conestoga makes doors for a large % of the companies everyone knows on here. I need to contact them to learn of their RTA product. I am not familar with it directly.

    I have been anoying in the past and refuted the chinese drywall comments. I will do it again. Pardon me for being rude but that is an ignorant comment. You know nothing of what you are talking about. I just read tonight that 60% of China's GDP is construction spending right now. At the peak of our boom it was 15-20% according to the article I read. They built last year 30 BILION SQFT. That requires an awful lot of cabinets. They are not as dumb as you think. There is a California Air Resources Board requirement for low emission of formaldihyde (sp?) and other chemicals that release gasses as they cure over time. Most RTA cabinets meet this standard. Many american companies are still getting equipment in place to do this. Sunco has been selling RTA and Conventionaly assembled cabinets since the early 80's I challenge anyone to find a class action lawsuit that is equivalent to the chinese drywall mess. After a divorce of the couple owning sunco one spouse started JSI in the Boston area and has become a large player in the industry. Where is a lawsuit on file with them for a large production quality control probelm? Supposedly the factory making the JSI cabinets makes the cabinets for about half of all the other competitors out there. Allwood sells cabinets to costco on a large scale I have not heard of a lawsuit with costco or allwood?

    This site is great but many times people spread the same false ideas they read from everywhere else.

    What you need to know.

    American made is cheaper then chinese
    Very few small cabinet companies can beat the price of American Woodmark cabinets at home depot or at Lowes (shennadoah brand.) I have spent 3 years as a self taught cabinet retailer to find companies that have lower cost that allow me to have a markup that keeps me in business against the price of woodmark cabinets. I am honest and run the business completely alone so I tend to attract bargain hunters. (My curse) Any how I am always compared in price to them. Aristokraft for example is low enough in price with the right door styles to be cheaper the most RTA chinese cabients. I used to have the same expierence with Smart Cabinets. I was selling them 1 order at a time. I was notified they would be raising the price on that program 30% so now RTA is generally cheaper. I work with Brandom American made in TX they have some door styles that cheaper then RTA Chinese any day of the week.

    RTA Chinese is a better buy in the high end door styles.
    Generall you get a better deal in comparision to American made cabinets on the more elaborate looking door styles. American made builder grade cabinets are cheaper then builder grade chinese.

    RTA Chinese normally have shorter warrantys
    The chinese do not warrant their product to the companies that buy it. The stocking company buying from the Chinese has to offer warranty for a product they do not make. You can imagine that is risky. Almost all Chinese RTA products are offered with a 1 year warranty from the company that imports them. Most low cost american cabinets come with 1-5 year warrantys with the exception of Woodmark Cabinets in Lowes And Home Depot with Limited Lifetime.

    Low cost = little choices
    Your choice of cabinets shapes and sizes is generally limited when you are looking for the lowest costs in either american made or Chinese.

    No one but me will tell you the name of Chinese Cabinets on the internet!
    The attitude of the supply chain is to keep you in the dark on what you are getting. People who sell cabinets struggle to find suppliers at lower costs. School of hard knox is how cabinet dealers learn where lower cost products are. They do not want to teach the competion where to get their cabinets from. The company trying to sell you the Chinese RTA cabinets does not want you to google the cabinet and figure out who may sell it cheaper at the next website. You will notice that the names are different on each website even though the pictures look very similar.

    Factory direct websites for RTA Chinese is a lie!
    Americans are not always that smart in the heat of a purchase. Everyone wants a deal so the seller needs you to feel you got a deal. The truth of if you did is not important you just need to think you did. The web is flooded with factory direct marketing to convince you that it is the best price. Truth is everyones supply chains are struggling to get competitive with the next one. I never know if my price is going to be lower or higer then the next any more. One day I am a deal the next day I am high while using the same 25% mark up to my repeat buyers and 50% to people who only shop one time with me.

    Profits in Cabinets are not as high as they used to be
    I used to be able to do 50% markup on my american brands and beat Woodmark prices or the equivelant with my better cabinet brands. Now I am lucky if I can get 25%. My voulume is not as high as it used to be either. So now I have to work twice as hard to make half as much money. Translation if I screw up it is much harder to pay for it and stay in business. So.... if you buy localy and the price is the cheapest you can find you better chech the better business burea rating of the company you are going to buy from. Many do not stand behind the sales if something goes wrong. They can not afford to and have the money to pay the bills that month. Obviously that is bad business but it happens everywhere.

    In my case if the cabinets cost me 10,000 I am happy to sell them for 12,500. If I quote out 1,250 which I have done several times over the last month they cost me 1,000 it only takes 1 cabinet that was not right to make the profit of the sale negative. I have no where to go to stay in business with mistakes.

    So yes being to cheap is dangerous.

    What you should do.

    1 Check with Lowes and Home Depot to see what is on the shelf in your area if you need rock bottom prices.

    2 Google these names for RTA education.

    Adornus (for your frameless lovers)
    Allwood (highest quality limited lifetime warranty)
    6 square (inset door styles) (highest quality limited lifetime warranty)
    River run
    J & K ( hard to put together be very handy and paitent to survive assembly)
    Clark And Son

    These are the names of the RTA and Instock cabinets that are conventionaly made that I know of where the quality is fairly consitent. RTA cabinets are handled many times in warehousing from china to the truck that brings them to you. It is common for there to be slight blemishes on every cabinet when you open the box. Surfaces the size of pencil lead or smaller on any part of the cabinet is an everyday occurance. The attitude is generally what do you expect they are imported. Going in with that attitude will save you a lot of grief.

    If you google the names above you will find the importers website as they generally are not the company that actually made them. If you contact them directly you should be told where you can locally buy them. It will be luck of the draw as to who sells them cheap and who does not if you go with a local company. If you look on the interent to purchase with shopping cart websites the names of the cabines and the importer who sells them will be hidden from you most of the time. If you go that route pick out the door styles you like the pictures of and order a door sample. After liking the price and the door sample order 1 cabinet you know you need and see if you can assemble it and are satisfied with the quality. If you still like what you see and got and are ok with the warranty then purchase the whole kitchen and you will generally be happy.

    I would not purchase from a website that does not reveal the location of the business that is collecting your money. Check the rating of the company that runs the site with the better business bureau. That will tell you a lot for the customer service. Think about it how many people who get buyers remorse after receiving the cabinets would be tempted to damage them on site to then have an excuse to return unusable merchandise? People return things to big box stores all the time knowing the return is not 100% honest. The margins in online cabinet sales do not allow for absorption of a lot of funny business. So there is a trust issue on both sides of the transaction that is not easy to maintain.

    Some of the cabinet companies I have will not allow you to advertise the name of the cabinets if you have online shopping carts to protect the ability of a local company to charge a mark up that allows profit to offer good service for the money made on the transaction.

    The quality of the consestoga cabinets will never be in question. I assume they are unfinished only. If so then you have to be good at finishing cabinets to make sure your kitchen will look good.

    Resarch the brands I have given you to find reviews of the cabinets themselves and the companies that sell them. You will learn a lot more doing that then reading most of the posts on here in respect to RTA cabinets. The industry is set up to be secret which makes the knowledge of the average consumer limited. I am not expert but I am fairly correct in this oppinion.

    Also Live wire oak posts all the time and I generally agree with him but I have to dissagree on that furniture board is just as durrable as plywood. Move the cabinets around on the floor out of the boxes of the two types and tell me again that furniture board or MDF is just as durrable. The melamine (sp) will peel much faster on the MDF and furniture board then the plywood will splinter. The compostion of the materials is just as durable once the boxes are installed. But the acutal surface of the materials are not equal. I sold used cabinets the other day that were mdf and some of the cabinets had come apart from the glue joints. I tried to staple them back together which was a bad idea the MDF just blew apart when the staple went into it. If they had been plywood the material would have stayed intact and the staple would have held together. Plywood is definetly stronger from that perspective. MDF surfaces are generally not as color matched with cheaper cabinets particularly when you suggest buying an american made cheap cabinet to be in the price point of plywood RTA Chinese. Now obviously if the wood species on the plywood is the not same as the door then it will not match either. Note that many american made cabinets use a cheaper species on the plywood then the solid wood doors making the colors slightly different in the less expensive cabinets.

    I know there are many spelling errors on here. I am not here to impress you. I do not feel like taking the time to look up the spelling of every word I do not have memorized properly. I have read the post after typing it and see there are typos. It is late and you will get the point with them!

    Be smart and open minded but question what you learn before you decide you believe what someone tells you me or anyone else. Much of the concern over the quality of a chinese RTA or cheap american made product is over lack of knowledge the industry keeps us in the dark to create market advantage for companies that know where to get cabinets at low prices. I do not like it anymore then the average consumer.

    If you want cheap inset look at 6 square and sunny wood. If you want cheap framless look at adornus. There are others but I do not know the Importers names. I tend to repost afer further comments. A lively discussion is a good discussion.


    clipped on: 06.25.2011 at 11:20 pm    last updated on: 06.25.2011 at 11:21 pm