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laraisaacs

veneer slab front cabinets look like a wreck

laraisaacs
last month

The island and the perimeter lowers look fine to me, but the upper cabinets, which I thought would be bookmatched look like a hot mess. Should I paint them the wall color? I could just cry.

Comments (41)

  • PRO
    Magnifico Profounde
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Did you pay the upcharge for bookmatched veneers to be specified? It’s a BIG up charge, and must be in the contract. Double whatever you paid for standard veneer, and a lot longer time frame.

  • lucky998877
    last month

    You are right, I would cry too. What does the cabinet maker/installer say? And the lowers definitely look much better.

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  • PRO
    The Kitchen Place
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Don't paint them! If they bother you when all is done, consider getting just new doors in acrylic or laminate in a solid color. Keep the boxes as is.


    Or see if existing doors could be routed out for glass and edgebanded.

    Once everything is in, the veneer patterns may not be as noticeable.

    Are these manufacturer or local cabinetmaker? Just curious.

    Veneers can be crazy and lighter finishes show the veneer patterns more than medium or darker stains.

  • HU-187528210
    last month

    I’d paint the uppers

  • MizLizzie
    last month

    Not sure a total ”bookmatch” is necessary. Seems to me if these two doors were replaced, it would look okay. They have the grain running on a slant. So sorry. Base cabs are beautiful!


  • laraisaacs
    Original Author
    last month

    The frames were made by a local cabinetmaker. He ordered the doors. My husband had all communication with him. I told my husband the doors needed to be grain matched. He is now saying he’s never heard of that term. Dying over here!!

  • Suzanne Seale
    last month

    could you white wash stain the uppers, so you sort of see the grain that matches but it blends in more with the wall color? I would give that a try first and if you don't like it, do paint. Now a lot of people have uppers that match the wall with lower cabinets a different color.

  • PRO
    Magnifico Profounde
    last month
    last modified: last month

    So you used a cheap local yokel parts assembler, rather than a true custom cabinet maker who builds and finishes all in house. You would have had to upgrade your “cabinet guy” choice by quite a bit on the front end to get the high end 50K+ cabinet quality that you wanted, but didn’t know how to vet.

    What does the box build look like? What is the finishing process? What was the specifications, in writing? What was the price?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    This cabinet maker has never heard of "matching the grain" ? I call BS.

    Any rube could see the grain on a few of those uppers are slanted and look completely out of whack.

    Have him redo the doors w/the worst graining.

    This is on him. You shouldn't have to specify, "I don't want to get dizzy looking at my cabinets".

    A competant cabinet maker should know this.

    hell, I'm a novice cabinet maker and even I knew how to match up the graining on my nightstand cabinets!




    don't pay him until it's done right.

  • laraisaacs
    Original Author
    last month

    Clarification: it was my husband who claims he didn’t know to specify grain matching. He’s talking to the cabinetmaker tomorrow.

  • Mark Brunner
    last month

    Wow. Get it right, make them get it corrected.

  • Fori
    last month

    Is it possible the doors were mixed up and installed in the wrong order? I don't understand how the base cabinets could be done right and the uppers so....not right.

  • Sarah
    last month

    I’m not a pro in cabinetry but I can match some
    Stripes. Maybe my eyes are deceiving me, but it may be that the doors were installed in an incorrect order. Tomorrow in excellent lighting, take some more photos and then the measurements of each of the doors. If possible, have them removed from the boxes, sit them side by side and see if you have any possible book matches (only if the door sizes are the same. Try them turned upside down too and see if they’d match that way. Deep breaths and read the contract. Once you know what was signed you can figure out the path forward. Your kitchen will be beautiful, it’ll just take a little longer. It may be that your husband made a mistake or the cabinet maker. Or the door maker. Or the installer. It can be corrected and it will just take calm negotiations to get through it. Good luck! And keep us posted especially when your kitchen is done because it will be stunning!

  • Zulu Kono
    last month

    Why are the cabinets in before the drywall's finished?

    Somebody's got the cart before the horse.

  • laraisaacs
    Original Author
    last month

    Zulu Kono, I wasn’t aware that the drywall wasn’t finished?

    My husband is meeting with the cabinet maker tomorrow. We will probably need to buy all new uppers.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Zulu, i'm sure they're doing a backsplash. the drywall doesn't have to be 'finished' as in, smooth coat-ready for paint, if tile is going up. Waste of work.



    lara, is this a veneer? it looks like the veneer itself wasn't put on straight. I understand the graining could have waves, but if you look at the middle cab, all the graining slopes down to the right.

    completely diff from the the cabinet on the right side.

    It's just sloppy.


    make sure when you get this redone, you look at the sheet that's going to be used. and make sure they understand what level means. If you have to take a dramamine to look the doors, something is wrong.

  • palimpsest
    last month

    Is it possible things are put up in the wrong order?

  • rebunky
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Oh yeah you’re right that is a hot mess. I would also want this lower door replaced as well. It starts out straight but then slants up on the right side. Plus it stand out as a mistake because it is darker in color then the rest. Island looks ok.


  • pricklypearcactus
    last month

    I'm wondering exactly the same as @palimpsest. Is it possible that the doors have been jumbled around so they're not paired up with their matches? That's what it looks like to me.

  • Suzanne Seale
    last month
    last modified: last month

    This is like sewing a plaid shirt. You match the plaids as you cut and put pieces together. Thinking now if these are custom and the base looks good, that the top cabinets just need to be rearranged. If they got it right on the bases, they probably did on the uppers too. If you send back all the uppers and give a drawing of which sizes are needed left to right. they should be able to get it right. They can keep ones that don't work for the next sucker and make you some new ones. You shouldn't have to pay for all new uppers. And your husband wasn't wrong in not asking for the right thing. The maker knows what needs to be done. Your husband is not an expert.

  • PRO
    Magnifico Profounde
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Bookmatching is NOT an industry “standard”. Especially when you have some guy being a parts assembler, ordering doors separately from a 3rd party door supplier. That is NOT a custom cabinet maker. That isn’t even a cabinet maker. 😕

    A true custom cabinet maker, who actually lays up their veneers in the in house vacuum press, doesn’t even do book matching without LARGE upcharge. Because if 1 door out of the series is damaged, that means all new doors for the whole. The risk is high. Only precision oriented high end shops take that risk. They also charge enough that they do not lose money on the job if damage happens.

    The price paid must reflect the client expectations. And vice versa. The client expectations must have the budget to match. You do not get 100K emberwood and anigre bookmatched cabinetry on a 15K budget. Just the veneer costs more than that.


  • laraisaacs
    Original Author
    last month

    Beth, yes, it is veneer.

    I’m going to go over there tomorrow and see if some doors can be matched better. But the cabinet maker and my husband are meeting to discuss solutions. We are tentatively thinking all new uppers and a few replacements on the base cabinets. The island looks pretty decent in person; it can stay as is.

    This house is going to drive me to drink lol.

  • laraisaacs
    Original Author
    last month

    Magnifico, we talked to several cabinet makers in our area who wanted nothing to do with applying veneer. From what I understand, it’s possible to order doors and still have a decent quality (grain matched, even with it being an up charge.). These cabinets were around $25k, which I understand is very cheap for the look we wanted. Lesson learned.

  • urchinsushi
    last month

    Hi there - you suggested painting the uppers… this would solve the issue and could be an affordable option -
    white uppers , wood lowers can look fantastic in kitchen design, even with slab fronts:

    https://www.houzz.com/photos/kitchen-contemporary-kitchen-san-francisco-phvw-vp~133115870

    https://www.houzz.com/hznb/photos/laguna-beach-temple-hills-contemporary-kitchen-orange-county-phvw-vp~126497156

    https://www.houzz.com/photos/sea-cliff-modern-kitchen-san-francisco-phvw-vp~62963

    Notice some of the lower cabinets are not bookmatched but look fine!

    I love the light and open feel in your home :)

  • rebunky
    last month

    I agree with Fori. If they could make the island look good, that proves they know how it should look. I cannot believe they thought they would get away with those upper cabs. Nice try buddy…🙄

    The one upper cabinet to the right, while not great, would not bother me too much IF the rest of the uppers matched. The red crossed out ones would make me insane. I can’t really see any doors of the same size that would work together if switched around.

    Once fixed, it will be a beautiful modern kitchen!! Sounds like you got a great deal on the price too.


  • jdesign_gw
    last month
    last modified: last month

    The gaps between the doors are almost as bad as the grain and tone match. Who ever order the doors is no experience at this trade.

  • Zulu Kono
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I wasn't talking about the drywall where the splash will be, I meant the ceiling.

    Could be just the way light is reflecting off it, but it looks unfinished.

    Concerning the veneer, is it bamboo?

    Should be spectacular, but yes. kind of an eyesore.

    Is there a chance the installer mixed up the doors?

  • Suzanne Seale
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Looks to me like the ceiling just needs paint. I also see some gaps between doors are larger than others but I know a few screw adjustments on the hinges will fix this. Love the house and the wood grain really adds warmth. I see why you chose it.

  • Connecticut Yankeeeee
    last month

    Oh my word, this would make me crazy! Laraisaacs, you say you spent “only” $25k on these certain-look cabinets. That’s still a lot of money! I am sorry you’re dealing with this. Don’t beat yourself up as we all must live and learn. I send you good wishes!

  • jdesign_gw
    last month

    There are no “screw adjustments“that make cabinet doors wider which is what needs to happen here. we build cabinets everyday. If the gaps is a little more than an 1/8” i’m making the door over.

  • doods
    last month

    following

  • Suzanne Seale
    last month
    last modified: last month

    If they are the correct width, the screws in the hinges center the door, moving it left, right, in, out, up down. At least this is true with all the cabinets I've seen in the last 10 years. We can't assume they have been adjusted or are made badly without trying the adjustments. We can see on the island, they are perfect. It take extra work to make things unique. I believe all doors were cut the same. Even Ikea doors are completely adjustable.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting
    last month

    My first thought was the doors were mixed up and I guess that is where I would start to see if that is a possibility . I think if that is not the case then new doors made properly is the solution and I would never paint anything that is veneered . The adjusting part is a whole other item. BTW these are not custom and for sure the "book matching" if done by anyone who cared would not have left the shop. I have done veneered dressers better than that mess.

  • PRO
    The Kitchen Place
    last month

    The reason I say NOT to paint them is because they are slab style with edgbanded doors. They have a VERY square edge!!!! Painted slab wood cabinets typically have a slight radius on the door perimeter to prevent chipping. If you paint those, they'll look good for about a week! They will chip horribly!!!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    last month

    Zulu, I believe that's the ceiling.

    good point though, why wasn't the ceiling primed and painted prior to the cabinets being installed? So much easier to spray when nothing has to be taped and covered.

    however, since they're going to remove those doors, now would be the time to tackle that ceiling

  • Fori
    last month

    If you must settle for painted (and you aren't there yet!) do note what Kitchen Place wrote. You won't want to paint THOSE doors. You'd order NEW doors with a shop finish and correct shape. And the door company that can't do veneers right all the time would make them for you happily.


    But don't give up on the veneered doors yet.

  • Suzanne Seale
    last month

    Seeing the place from a distance, I see the beauty in the uppers matching the base cabinets. I think sending them back and someone understanding the problem, they can pick out ones that will look best together without remaking them.

  • tozmo1
    last month

    Don't paint them. Get them right somehow. I was looking for a mindless task so I clipped each door and tried to match them. Not sure it's possible with these as they go from very large to small grain and there isn't enough in the middle to have a nice transition.

    Here's the best I could do. The lighting in the photo makes it hard, but why don't you take the doors down and lay them on the floor and move them around. I even turned some of them upside down. It still doesn't look right but since it's not true custom but maybe with the real doors, you can get it close.

    Here's my kitchen done by a custom cabinet maker. He did it the opposite, he orders his boxes and meticulously does the veneer matching. It was pricey. So, I did a mix of cabinets to help reduce the cost, some walnut, some birdseye maple and some lacquered in his studio.

    Maybe you do a smaller grain wood or go with a lacquered color done in a factory, to make it look right. I think you got lucky on the lowers. My GC friends tell me he can't believe what is coming through as acceptable quality on so many things right now. Maybe you have to switch gears.



    Good luck, a hard pill to swallow I know.

  • laraisaacs
    Original Author
    29 days ago

    Thank you, everyone. And tozmo, wow! Thank you for your effort! Apparently some of the doors were damaged during shipping, so the cabinetmaker ordered new ones which of course aren’t grain matched to the rest of the run. We are going to order new doors for the upper cabinets and keep our fingers crossed.

  • Suzanne Seale
    29 days ago

    ah, damaged. That always works to get new ones. Good luck.