Houzz Logo Print

struggling btwn Kraftmaid/Anerican Woodmark - and Veneer inserts

12 years ago

I cant sleep at night deciding btwn cabinets....we have all been there. I am definitely on a budget and AW has some amazing promotions. I have put together a AW kitchen with every upgrade. ALL PLYWOOD construction, glazed finish, all soft close full extension drawers, free hardware, free sink base, free trash pullout etc. The shaker style I like is also ALL WOOD. My potential deal breaker here is I happen to like the KM finish and color on their shaker but its a veneer center vs full wood.....will I regret it later? Both have lifetime warranties. The one think I noticed and its about the only thing really, is the drawer boxes on the AW are 5/8" vs 3/4" that such a big deal? Everyone is talking about custom, how big box stuff is junk, and so on..... but I cant beat the pricing and my kitchen now is 40 years old and I cant imagine it not being satisfactory compared to my 1/4" off the track kitchen now :). Nothing price wise touches Home Depots pricing on this kitchen. Most places before install were in the 7k range for the 11/12 cabinets I priced. Im at 4800ish tax/delivered.

Thoughts on brands....pricing, etc?

Comments (24)

  • 12 years ago

    if the thickness of the drawer floor is the same, I wouldn't worry too much-however-overloaded big drawers in day to day use...uhm...

  • 12 years ago

    If the prices are close to the same, I'd pick KM all day long and twice on Sundays over AW. They use a higher grade of wood, which is one of the reasons they are able to offer natural cherry vs AW only offering medium to dark toned cherry in their line, and their finish quality is much much better. It's sanded smoother on the edge grain as well as the face grain. The stain itself is more carefully preconditioned and applied and therefore is more consistent and clear. Consequently, it's feels better to the touch and just plain looks better. A veneer flat panel is fine. Many woodworkers prefer veneering flat panels because they will expand and contract less leading to an overall more stable cabinet door. Plus I hate that AW uses mostly center stile cabinets and doesn't even offer butt cabinets in some of their cabinet sizes. Make sure you are getting all butt cabinets! However, I wouldn't waste my money on all plywood construction. Take that 20% and save it or put it into more upgrades for your cabinets.

  • 12 years ago

    Elitex, Which styles are you considering of both brands since I had been looking also at both but my kitchen designer kept telling me that Woodmark had better promotions so I stopped looking at KM but I did like their finishes better and I also wanted the shaker look but the AW did not come in the shaker look if I wanted an off-white look unless I went with their wide style flat drawer style. My favorite was the Townsend but it did not come in off-white.

    I have a recessed door panel now on my builder grade particle board side cabinets that held up for 20 years but now that I am thinking of painting them, I worry the veneer will crack.

    I did not know that KM had a sturdier frame and better quality wood. Both I felt were very nice for the price after all the promotions if you find your own installers.

    I also did not know that KM allowed cabinets to but up against each other and WM required a corner unit. I never price out the KM since I was told it was more but it sounds like it is frameless?

  • 12 years ago

    Lynn! Sameeeeee exact position. Love the Townsend but want offwhite glazed finish. I also like that the full extensions actually extend a bit farther out. May downgrade to mdf inside as it seems all plywood isn't totally necessary. There are good promotions with KM also. Getting a 2nd quote today and will compare. I think we can get into the KM we want within the price range. Keep you posted. Keep me posted.

    Liking lighter cabinet. Probably gonna go with darker wood floors. I like that contrast. And my last kitchen in my old house 7yrs ago was a cherry shock cabinet I did so im thinking something a little different.

  • 12 years ago

    Elitex, I have priced out other cabinets now and even unfinished wood by the installer today and now I am backing to liking the Woodmark and the KM all over again for all the organizing stuff they give you for free including hardware and they look nice their full extension soft close drawers. My first love is Shiloh but the price comes to a lot for my kitchen with not much of a different layout than I have now. So I have to decide to save until my busy season ends and wait for the next sales and hope Shiloh does not increase their prices that much and Home Depot and Lowes has the same specials again or do something now.

    I am tempted to just install the tiles, get all the recessed lighting I want to have these two costly things out of the way and not go under the cabinets but buy extra tiles if I need to go under when I do the cabinets.

    I am tempted to paint the cabinets and get new counters since I like the layout I have and all my fairly new stainless steel appliances but I really dislike the blind corner cabinet, the cabinets too high up, the soffit and not enough drawers. But my doors have that recessed look and was the exact door the contractor brought over to show me that he could paint for me. But I could not believe his price was for unfinished red oak when I told him MAPLE to paint. He said the price difference was $4,000 to $5,000 which showed me that the painted maple at the big box stores when they have one of their big sales is a good price as long as you don't use their installers or just have them install and not remove cabinets, soffits, appliances and install floors.

  • 12 years ago

    On HD (and other's) deals: best I can tell there's always a deal going, it just changes in the particulars from month to month. I suspect some times of the year have better deals because it's the slow season for kitchen remodels. Considering the price of cabinets and how long you'll live with them, it's really important to get your choices right: what goes where, drawers vs. doors, pull-outs, that sort of thing. If you're not sure just yet on your final plan, don't get stampeded into placing an order just because of a "deal." There will be another deal coming along as sure as the sun will rise in the morning. When we ordered cabinets last summer, HD was offering their own incentives on top of the manufacturers' incentives. I don't think that was unique, maybe it's a summer thing.

    elitex, big box isn't by definition junk. Some people have just found that local cabinet makers can sometimes beat big box on custom, price, and quality. In other areas that doesn't seem to be true, like in mine. I'm totally jealous of those who live anywhere near Amish craftsmen. If you're finding what you're looking for at HD, go for it. Do be sure you're looking hard at the quality of build and finish vs. the more interesting stuff like colors and styles. I'll also point out that there's this ongoing dispute on the plywood vs. "furniture board" thing, but that many are comfortable that they don't need to have plywood to have a quality product. Just sayin'.

  • 12 years ago

    Also just got a quote for UltraCraft......that was another 1000 lol. Every time I turn around im adding another 200, 200, 200, 200, and befure you know it your way over budget. I agree Ill have these for a while, but on the flip side my kitchens like 40 years old so, anything is better then what I have now. I do also now feel that all plywood isnt sooooo important, I would get sturdy cabinets even with MDF, the interesting thing is I save more money stepping up to APW cause of the tiered discount. I think I need to pick the TOP LIMIT im ok with spending and get what fits. All have lifetime warranties so if something does happen id suspect AW, KM and so on will stand behind their product.

    Now its picking out a finish. I was thinking wood, maple, with glaze finish but the more I look at kitchens I think I may go white/off white with coco glaze of some sorta. I dont want it to look dated, like the old school white kitchen but im loving the contrast btwn dark floors and light cabinets which is how I think I want to go. Granite color will be what im worried about. I used to have cherry maple cabinets (old house) with black granite and wood floors and it was nice. I want contemporary/traditional mix, is that possible all over the map.

    Bottom line im doing something, not sure what but will be putting this project together this month to begin next.

    Thanks for all the input, keep it coming!

  • 12 years ago

    FWIW, here is what Consumer Reports says about cabinets. It may help you decide whether the cost of an upgrade is worth it.

    Cabinet boxes: Best is 1/2- to 3/4-inch furniture-grade plywood. Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is OK, but avoid 3/8-inch coated particleboard.

    Doors: Most manufacturers offer a similar range of door-style options for all their price levels. Look for a solid-wood frame surrounding solid-wood or plywood panels. Veneered particleboard or an MDF panel is OK, but avoid laminate or thermofoil over particleboard.

    Drawers: Well-built drawers are critical, because they get the most use. The best ones have solid-wood sides, dovetail joinery, and a plywood bottom that fits grooves on four sides. Avoid stapled particleboard.

    Hardware: Full-extension drawer guides are better than integrated side rails or under-mounted double-roller designs. Some premium models have a "soft close" feature that stops drawers from slamming shut. Many cabinet models allow you to upgrade the drawer guides. As for door hinges, we didn't find any significant differences among the different types.

    Shelves: Look for 3/4-inch plywood or MDF. Lesser-quality 5/8- or 1/2-inch particleboard shelves may sag.

    Mounting strips: Ask the contractor to use 3/4-inch hardwood strips or metal strips with bolt holes. Thinner wood, MDF, or particleboard can be a concern with heavily loaded wall cabinets.

  • 12 years ago

    Thank you mpgamom for this great information about what Consumer Reports says about cabinets.

    Elitex, which style and manufacturer do you think you will go with to get the finish you want at a good price?

  • 12 years ago

    mpagmom....sounds like anything im getting will be good from the report your relaying. also agreeing mdf isnt the end all but really it works out for the better with the way the pricing is. if i could choose though and it fit within the budget i would of course opt that way.

    lynn....well, right now i like the look of the townsend but it doesnt come painted so if i go that route i may change the face to a less shaker style to get a painted with glazed finish look. if i go with KM id do sonora with a glaze finish. its shaker style with a little more detail, check it out. if i go with ultracraft i have to further investigate.

    this is TOTALLLLY not what id typically pick, i used to be comtemporary so hoping to mix that side of me with some traditional (gotta grow up sometime :) i think hardware can make the difference. I think im going with darker wood floors, lighter cabinets, i like that contrast vs wood cabinets/wood floors. and i may look at some gray granite, or maybe even something darker with a little blue through it? so all over the place......gotta make a decision. just dont want to get white and have it look like don johnsons house from miami vice 20 years ago :)

  • 12 years ago

    KD here. Another vote for KraftMaid!

    Also check out Medallion Cabinetry's Silverline! I sell both KM and MED. Silverlines Lancaster and Carlisle doors are practically all that I sell anymore. Fletcher is another doorstyle that is in the same price range.

    I just sold a kitchen in Lancaster Maple (chestnut finish).
    7 42" high wall cabinets
    5 base cabinets (includes 1 drawer base, pot/pan drawers and a supersusan!)
    Fillers, Toekick, Scribe and a double stacked crown up to the ceiling.

    $3509 plus $260 (discounted upgrade for softclose guides)
    $245 tax
    $65 Delivery

    In real estate you hear, 'location, location, location'. In my business, I say 'finish, finish, finish'

    Medallion....even their Silverline....has the best finish of all three. They use the SAME finishing process on Silverline as they do on Designer and Designer Gold. So, you are getting a Semi to Custom finish on an entry level product! People that see our display can't believe it's entry level, which is why I sell so much of it.

    Be sure to upgrade all exposed ends to wood veneer....even on KraftMaid...and AW if it's available.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Silverline Doors

  • 12 years ago

    Elitex, I like the KM Sonara style doors. Which white and glaze did you plan to go with? If you went with WM, which white door would you go for?

    Kompy, thanks for the information on the Medallion Cabinetry!

  • 12 years ago

    Veneer in a central panel is actually the way to go. It's protected on the edges so the fact that it's veneer won't be an issue, and veneer is usually a better-looking piece of wood.

  • 12 years ago

    OK, got the KM quote. really well priced, really leaning towards that. may not go all plywood construction, from what it sounds like its not totally a huge deal especially once mounted. again lifetime warranty it a huge deal? its a 600ish more, i know not alot but it all adds up. what i do like is the thicker drawer boxes, totally noticeable when comparing. and the doors actually extend alllll the way out vs. being called full extension but shy of all the way out of the cabinet. the reason i think the price came in so close is in the style i chose its not full wood, its vaneer center panel which is just how this style comes. i think for 5260 all plywood / 4677 without.

    its 11 or 12 cabinets.
    full extention
    soft close everything
    glaze finish
    pullouts on both lowers.
    pullouts next to fridge on bottom of pantry.
    crown included.
    trash pullout
    cutlery divider

    thats all i can remember but for the money i think its a good value. thats tax/delivered.

    i think i am going to also add the matching sink base for the bathroom right off the kitchen which is why im probably not going all plywood. i think i can get all the cabinets for 5k.

    seems a slight bit better then AWM and if i go non plywood its basically less. the only additional thing is AWM included handles, im on my own for hardware

  • 12 years ago

    elitx, how big is your kitchen since that is a great price! My cabinet price came to $8,400 with the American Woodmark Charlottesville for all plywood for my 10 X 14 size kitchen.

    I would rather have the door style you have and that price but I would need all plywood due to my allergies to formaldehyde that I feel would be more in the particle board than the plywood, although both will have it but in small amounts as the Woodmark website seems to indicate they are very green.

    I would rather buy my own handles and have a lesser price so I could get what I want.

    Which painted white did you go with and which glaze?

    So happy for you! You must not live near Northern NJ or NY to get such a great price? I am curious if you have not many drawers but mainly pull-out shelves? Any lazy susan's or super susan's? Any pantry closet? To have crown included, frameless, full extension soft close door, I would have went for the deal at your price and hired an outside installer. My $8,700 is without sales tax and before shipping so your price is amazing!

  • 12 years ago im Michigan :). 99% sure im going to go with all plywood because its cheaper with the way the incentives work out, go figure :). most likely going with the Sonora style, sorta shaker with a small little detail, style and color below. I think I like the canvas, not stark white, has a little earthy tone to it. (34yr old guy here, what do I know lol)

    Door 1 - dove white

    Door 2 - Canvas with cocoa glaze (favorite)

    Door 3 - Biscotti with cocoa glaze

  • 12 years ago

    Elitex, I love your door style and 5-panel drawer so much! I like both the dove white and the canvas with the cocoa glaze depending on what else is in your kitchen. I do not like the Biscotti with the Cocoa Glaze since it is too creamy. I know you will be very happy! Now I would like to see what I can get this door style at with the promotions. You have good taste and the cabinets will look nice in your home.

    What counters are you planning on doing (type and color)? Will you have wood floors or tiles?

    I also found out by spending more, the total cost become less due to the incentives and deduction off if you are pushed into their next bracket.

    I thought Michigan was expensive also so I am surprised you got such a great price.

  • 12 years ago

    Also a few things. 12 cabinets total. molding included, handles not. the AWM was the other way around but I agree id prefer to get moldings and pick my own handles that are probably not terribly expensive knowing I like a plain simple look. KM is not frameless, but im ok with that, i think framed is probably sturdier anyway but I dont have any big openings. lowers have roll-outs on both (left and right side of a door base cabinet). pantry has roll-outs on the bottom 3/4 shelves. the other base cabinet is a trash pullout. side of the stove is a 9 inch plain for cookie sheets. uppers are corners, above micro and fridge. kitchens is like 10x11 ish....give or take.

    Agree the biscotti is to creamy and dirty looking, probably going with canvas.

    Floors are going to be darker wood, something to pull out the cocoa glaze, i think im really digging that floor/cabinet contrast.

    Counter tops, granite for sure. Im still struggling with that too. Either dark (maybe even black-ish or something with some blue? kinda weird I know but I have something in my head) or gray. I know its alot of color, but Ive seen examples of dark wood/light cabinets/grayish counter tops....opinions?

  • 12 years ago

    I looked at KM also, and I'm here in MI also. I liked the mushroom color, no glaze. We ended up going custom with a company in sterling heights, they matched that color to BM oc-11..clay beige....I wanted light, not white cabs. Went to dwyer, mont, and TM to look at granite. Found granite at mont, using a fabricator in Detroit....was at his shop yesterday looking for remnants for the fireplace.....he had a lot of stuff...he actually had 3 full slabs of a dark black/white/gray granite that you might like! Good luck!

  • 12 years ago

    OOhhhh boy another choice. How were the custom prices. And how were your granite prices. Would like your local opinion. Can you also forward me both names and info so I can get in touch? Thanks a million. Was totally set on KM at the moment.

  • 12 years ago

    I never had the KM priced, I priced the decora line at HD....that came in at 16k, I priced dynasty/omega at great indoors....that came in at 20k, custom pricing from ultra craft (I think) in sterling heights was 18k.....that was through the KD place I am using, I bet there is a mark up profit in there for them.....I wonder what the price is off the street...they are a beautiful cab...3/4 ply, frameless, all soft close....and the KD priced in a ton of organizers, ect...that if I were buying by the cab or option I probably would have thought twice about, I am definately paying for the convience of having her do all the work! I have no idea what the granite is priced at....I had a budget through the contractor, and she worked it out with the fabricator....which is superstone in Detroit.

  • 12 years ago

    Elitex, I think dark counters with dark floors would look great in your kitchen. Please post pictures when you have started and are completed. I was willing to go with Shiloh and Woodmark and both have frames.

    Christine40, Please post pictures when you ave started and are completed. The cabinets sound beautiful.

  • 12 years ago

    Thanks Lynn, I sure will post pics! Demo is scheduled to begn right after Christmas! Sooooo excited!

  • 12 years ago

    ok so ....95% going kraftmaid dove white with glaze. got the samples delivered and i like the canvas but it looks dirty/off white. redid my layout, added some do i get the peg drawer organizer or not :)!
    Should order before next weekend, nervous but excited!

EA Home Design
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars71 Reviews
Loudoun County's Trusted Kitchen & Bath Designers | Best of Houzz