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Contractor
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4,733 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
someone gave me a job to do-started w/ 4 boxes and a 5' mitered counter. The kraftmaid cabinet-2 were out of square-one was a full quarter inch out of square (front to back)-so bad that I can't do anything to fix it. Is this typical? I usually stick w/ Aristokraft boxes, but wasn't consulted during the planning stage.
 

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JumboJack for president!
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747 Posts
You should hear some of the horror stories that i hear from some of the workers at Kraftmaid. I love close to the headquartes in Ohio. The factory workers will tell great stories of what goes on and what comes out of the place. Would not surprise me to hear cabinets are a mess. All of the stuff that is returned or cracked etc is sold at a large warehouse every other Saturday or something and it packs with people and product. SOunds like everything that comes out is crap.
 

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KemoSabe
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14,233 Posts
I've seen this problem with several cabinet manufacturers. Had a corner wall cabinet with a faceframe that was 5/16 out of square, which was directly related to the box being twisted. PITA to say the least. 8 weeks to get the new cab, so I was told to install as is and mill the light rail and cheat the crown to hide it.:furious: Cha-ching.:laughing:
 

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special ed
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39 Posts
kraftmaid cabinets are C rap you are lucky it was only a1/4" out. I have had them be out as much as a inch out from front to back and 1/2" from left to right on a 12" base cabinet.
 

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Carpe Diem
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20,712 Posts
I've seen this problem with multiple manufacturers of stock cabinets. The worst I've dealt with was Thomasville from Home Craphole. I suppose the difference between them is the customer service.
For stock cabinets I now use Midcontinent exclusively. I've had only 1 box that had an issue over the past 4 years but I did have a replacement on site within 5 days.
 

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Builder/Remodeler
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3,707 Posts
Dittos with most stock manufacturers.

Stock cabinets are stock cabinets--you get what you pay for. I've installed dozens of Kraftmaid kitchens and they are among the better of stock manufacturers.

Some cabinets you have to "persuade" a little more than others to get them level, plumb and square... :shifty:

Like an old carpenter who worked for me used to say, "It ain't no hill for a climber..."
 

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Curmudgeon
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11,706 Posts
They are the only "in stock" boxes
that I can find with any selection.
So far they don't seem any worse than
other ef'ed up ones I have to wait for. :laughing:

One kitchen of German customs was
every bit as screwed up, except I had
to listen to how many millions of
dollars worth of precision computerized
machines they used to screw them up. :rolleyes:
 

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Sawdust Sweeper
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690 Posts
I am just getting into more cabinet installation, doing some simple office with 3-4 cabinets and the like... I found it surprising that the cabs (kraftmaid in the last case) fit and finish was not as great as I thought they were going to be. It is a little intimidating, you got an out of square cabinet, that cost somebody some serious $$ and takes weeks to get a replacment for, causes me to be a little hesitant to "encourage" the cabinet.
 

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Administrator
Maker of Fine Sawdust
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50,455 Posts
This is one of the reasons why I will only offer my own cabinets. I know how they are built, and I know they will be square within 1/32" corner to corner, usually closer. But my findings on installing box cabinets is usually they can be tweaked into being square by screwing and shimming. Shouldn't have to do it, but it has to be done. If the side of the box is out of square you will be out of luck.

This is one of my selling points on cabinets. I tell them that the box cabinet will look good, some of them damn good. But the quality of the boxes are way below par. 3/8" particle board sides with vinyl interiors and some have 1/8" masonite backs. Just screwing these things to the wall can cause them to self destruct.
 

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The Remodeler
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1,535 Posts
I wish I could install my own cabinets in every kitchen I build, but it just doesnt work out that way.... I generally push for the Kraftmaid line when the customer wants to go the semi-custom route. I also insist on getting their APC upgrade (all-plywood construction). The boxes at least have 1/4" ply for the backs.

I've sent enough people to one particular Home Creapo designer, so he takes care of me when they screw up the order.. (Notice I said "when", not "if" ) I get replacement doors within a week, no questions asked...
 

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strat hd
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1,695 Posts
Maybe kraftmaids quality has gone down in recent years. I put them in my own house 12 years ago and they were'nt that bad. Not perfect of course but not bad for what they are.
 

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Interior Remodeling
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1,275 Posts
Wellborn stock cabinets aren't all that bad. Have installed Dura Supreme cabinets with good results as with Dutch Made for the more custom lines. But nothing still beats an all plywood toungue and groove construction box from my shop!
 

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Pompass Ass
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2,090 Posts
I've seen this problem with multiple manufacturers of stock cabinets. The worst I've dealt with was Thomasville from Home Craphole. I suppose the difference between them is the customer service.
For stock cabinets I now use Midcontinent exclusively. I've had only 1 box that had an issue over the past 4 years but I did have a replacement on site within 5 days.
Midcontinent cabinets are cheap crap, Kraftmaid is quite a bit better, but the Kraftmaid that Howme Depot and Lowes sells are a diffrenet grade than what the dealers sell, I can have very good quality custom made cabinets made for about the same as what I pay for Kraftmaid.

Thomasville cabinets are not made in the Thomasville plants in NC, Thomasville licensed the name.
 

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Carpe Diem
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20,712 Posts
Midcontinent cabinets are cheap crap, Kraftmaid is quite a bit better, but the Kraftmaid that Howme Depot and Lowes sells are a diffrenet grade than what the dealers sell, I can have very good quality custom made cabinets made for about the same as what I pay for Kraftmaid.

Thomasville cabinets are not made in the Thomasville plants in NC, Thomasville licensed the name.

I respectfully disagree about Midcontinent. Yes, they have their low budget builders special line but what I order (Signature Series) has been just fine. I upgrade to APC with dovetail soft close drawers. This year they added more sizes to the catalog; height, width and depth. I have many, many options when it comes to them. Are they custom? Hell no. Are they cheap crap? Hell no. Like I said, I've had 1 box that I've had issues with in 4 years. It was a 9" lower. Other than that, I'll get a warped door every now and then but that doesn't stop my installs. Further more, I can get my complete order from them in 10 days. Any replacements are 5.
I routinely price compare what I can offer to what's sold at Home Depot and every time, I can get more cabinet, better options and delivered way faster. I'm usually 20% cheaper too. That's a hard deal to beat.
I'm not trying to sell Midcontinent to anyone. They're what have serviced my mid-range customers best for almost 5 years. If something better came along, I'd consider it. So far, nothing has. Midcontinent is under the Norcraft umbrella. I've had 0% issues with them. I've even used UltraCraft once and those were fine also (another Norcraft brand).

I do know Thomasville (furniture) does not make the Home Depot sold cabinets. It's a shame. People go there thinking they're getting "furniture" style cabinetry and what they get is far from it. :rolleyes:

I'd be very surprised if Kraftmaid had a totally different product line sold at Home Depot or Lowes. They may have 1 but I don't think ALL sold there are different from what you'd get at a dealer. That has been a myth for years that HD or Lowes sells lower quality products from national manufacturers. I've even see a manufacturer chime in on CT about that. Not always true.
 

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Project Manager HFH..
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3,711 Posts
I've had good luck with Medallion.
And I've never had a problem with Kraftmaid...I don't get em from a big box though.
 

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Interior Renovations
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253 Posts
Wellborne is goog. Les Care makes a good mid-range semi custom line...I havent used them in a few years though. I have been using Denla for the last few kitchens. A bit more expensive but they are very nice cabinets. I installed a Craftmade (with a "C" not a "K") kitchen a few months ago. Beautiful cabinets.
 

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Contractor
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4,733 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
oddly enough, the KM cabinets I put together for the aforementioned job were BROUGHT to me from HD...I purchase my KM cabinets througth the a local yard with delivery typically in 3 days for quick ship options.
 

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Registered
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416 Posts
Good quality with these lines...

We sell 8 brands of cabinets. Have essentially regulated five of the eight to the back. Picked up Armstrong recently for low-end and mid-range. First couple of kitchens have been pretty good, I'm impressed.

Dynasty semi-custom and Omega custom (by Master Brands) are great. Only problem is the price point competing against a lot of what everyone has described. I have a set of Dynasty, one of the lesser expensive styles they have, on order for my mother's house. When compared to an upper range Armstrong cabinet with a few upgrades the price was marginally less for the Dynasty. In other words, Dynasty at the lower end is about the same or a little less than doing a lot of the mid-range brands with upgrades, and you get a better cabinet with Dynasty.

I find if someone wants a good quality cabinet Dynasty is a strong contender price wise. The problem is customers start loading up all the extras (and they are beautiful cabinets) till they price themselves out of their budget. At that point they run off, often buying KraftMaid cheapies that aren't half the cabinet. If a client has a realistic budget both Dynasty and Omega are competitive. Wellborne is about the same price range, and I've compared against other custom and semi-custom cabinets and found Dynasty/Omega were from a little bit more expensive to as much as 23% less, just depends on the exact configuration and who the other guy is.

Dynasty is 1/2" plywood ends standard, Omega is 3/4" plywood, both have soft close drawers as standard, dovetails are standard.Pricing can get real detailed if you have speciality finishes and/or lots of options.

From what I hear, Home Depot bought the Thomasville NAME, then went to Mills Pride (who makes ultra cheapies) and had them produce a cheap line and stick the Thomasville name on it. I despise the box stores for that kind of stuff.
 

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Registered
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I would estimate that I have installed over 70 kitchens with Kraftmaid cabinetry. I could count on one hand the number of times I had to request a new cabinet due to a cabinet being more out of square then my ability to rack it into shape in the field. Kraftmaid was my favorite national brand - their quality control over the time period I was involved installing them (5 years) was much better than any of the other brands I encountered.
 

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We use a fair amount of Merillat cabinets and have never had any problems to my knowledge. However, my locally dealer's install prices are too good for me to pass up. It simply is not worth my time to install a kitchen for the prices they charge.

When we do a bar with just a few cabinets, I'll put them in and never run across any real issues. We also recommend/use the plywood upgrades whenever possible.
 
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