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What do $25,000+ kitchen cabinets have that $15,000 dont?

 
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 10:52 am
What are specific things $25,000+ kitchen cabinets should have that $15,000 kitchen cabinets dont?

Please dont answer "better" this or better that, because I dont know what better means.

Im looking for specifics in the way the cabinets are manufactured, thickness of wood, quality of hinges, drawers that open all the way, cabinets where you lose the least space.

Im looking for specifics, outside of more choices in door styles and cabinet finishes.

The more specific you can be, the better.

What makes a real quality kitchen, that will increase the chance of it lasting longer?

tia
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amother




Floralwhite
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 11:15 am
The quality is way better. I put in a Cubitac kitchen and My mom installed a custom kitchen with American wood etc little over 2 years ago.

much diff. The actual cabinet alignment is way better. the wood finish is chipped on mine even though I'm extremely careful. hers is not. the outside underneath of the upper cabinets is all clean. mine, when you peek under you see the raw wood and it doesn't give a neat look. the sliding shelves I have take up lots more shelve space then hers does. the actual sliding mechanism for the drawers too are much better on hers...

(and I have the 'better' end of the cheap kitchen, meaning I upgraded to soft close drawers and a few other things I forgot already.

you're getting more for you buck but depends whats important. My kitchen still looks beautiful and is the same functional as my moms is. quality matters ezpecially for something that you want to last but I still hope my kitchen will last me a long time!
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 11:19 am
thank you for asking this question.. I have the exact question as you and looking fwd to the responses.
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Amarante




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 11:29 am
You can't answer that question in the abstract. You would have to compare the exact specifications in terms of configuration as well as construction.

For example, what are the boxes constructed with? Is it 3/4" or 1/2"? What kind of hinges are used? How are the drawers constructed - are they dowel or stapled? You don't have to be a carpenter but when I remodeled my kitchen I read a bit about how cabinets are built and the differences which enabled me to evaluate different cabinets with some degree of knowledge.

Also more expensive cabinets generally have more options in terms of configuration so you will get a more functional and aesthetic kitchen.

Different wood species are more expensive if you are using a stained finish. Oak tends to be the cheapest but quarter sawn or rift sawn oak is more desirable and expensive. Cherry which isn't as fashionable now is more expensive than oak. Walnut is on trend and is costly. FWIW, high quality painted doors are often not wood because the expansion of natural wood will cause more cracking than MDF which is more stable. It is a myth that high quality MDF is inferior to wood - it depends.

Configuration is also relevant. Drawers are more expensive than doors but much more functional in a modern kitchen for lower cabinets. If you look at cheaper kitchens they generally have doors instead of drawers. Everything you add to configure a kitchen in terms of a cabinet adds to the price - e.g. a tall cabinet configured for wall ovens is more expensive than a a cooktop and wall ovens (both the cabinets and the appliances will increase the total cost of the kitchen).

The finish of a more expensive cabinet might be more durable. There might also be more choices in terms of stains and finishes.

Some shady cabinet stores advertise cabinet prices by the yard which is completely deceptive. Cabinets are not sold by the "yard" since the kind of cabinet you get is what determines the price.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:06 pm
Amarante wrote:
You can't answer that question in the abstract. You would have to compare the exact specifications in terms of configuration as well as construction.

For example, what are the boxes constructed with? Is it 3/4" or 1/2"? What kind of hinges are used? How are the drawers constructed - are they dowel or stapled? You don't have to be a carpenter but when I remodeled my kitchen I read a bit about how cabinets are built and the differences which enabled me to evaluate different cabinets with some degree of knowledge.

Also more expensive cabinets generally have more options in terms of configuration so you will get a more functional and aesthetic kitchen.

Different wood species are more expensive if you are using a stained finish. Oak tends to be the cheapest but quarter sawn or rift sawn oak is more desirable and expensive. Cherry which isn't as fashionable now is more expensive than oak. Walnut is on trend and is costly. FWIW, high quality painted doors are often not wood because the expansion of natural wood will cause more cracking than MDF which is more stable. It is a myth that high quality MDF is inferior to wood - it depends.

Configuration is also relevant. Drawers are more expensive than doors but much more functional in a modern kitchen for lower cabinets. If you look at cheaper kitchens they generally have doors instead of drawers. Everything you add to configure a kitchen in terms of a cabinet adds to the price - e.g. a tall cabinet configured for wall ovens is more expensive than a a cooktop and wall ovens (both the cabinets and the appliances will increase the total cost of the kitchen).

The finish of a more expensive cabinet might be more durable. There might also be more choices in terms of stains and finishes.

Some shady cabinet stores advertise cabinet prices by the yard which is completely deceptive. Cabinets are not sold by the "yard" since the kind of cabinet you get is what determines the price.


Thanks!

Ill probably be doing painted white doors (I dislike all the light stain colors, and dark will make my smallish kitchen look smaller), so woods w different grains is irrelevant.

Id love to take a crash course on determining/stipulating quality kitchen cabinets.

Being that I dont have that much time before I have to decide, whats the quickest book or youtube video that would give me sufficient info to know what to put into a contract?
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Amarante




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:11 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thanks!

Ill probably be doing painted white doors (I dislike all the light stain colors, and dark will make my smallish kitche look smaller), so woods w different grains is irrelevant.

Id love to take a crash course on determining/stipulating quality kitchen cabinets.

Being that I don’t have that much time before I have to decide, whats the quickest book or youtube video that would give me sufficient info to know what to put into a contract?


If you are going with white painted doors, everything I read about cabinets advised going with MDF doors because they don’t shrink and expand like wood and so they don’t crack.

I advise you to go to houzz.com forums because the people are so helpful.

Are you considering specific brands of cabinets because some are better than others of course.

What type of contract are you asking about? Your contract with the GC because my advice is that the reputation of the GC is more important than the contract. Of course you need a contract that spells out what is being supplied and done etc but if the work is so bad that you need to sue, you will be miserable. Selecting the GC is most critical
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:17 pm
Amarante wrote:
If you are going with white painted doors, everything I read about cabinets advised going with MDF doors because they don’t shrink and expand like wood and so they don’t crack.

I advise you to go to houzz.com forums because the people are so helpful.

Are you considering specific brands of cabinets because some are better than others of course.

What type of contract are you asking about? Your contract with the GC because my advice is that the reputation of the GC is more important than the contract. Of course you need a contract that spells out what is being supplied and done etc but if the work is so bad that you need to sue, you will be miserable. Selecting the GC is most critical


I'll be using a GC to tip out the old cabinets and move electricity and plumbing to suit changes, but the contract I was referring to is with the Kitchen cabinet person who will be making/ordering the specific cabinets and installing them.
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amother




Cerulean
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:18 pm
The cost of my cabinets was higher because I used "extras" to make a small kitchen super efficient. Pull outs, drawers, lazy Susan's etc
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:23 pm
someone mentioned using specific brands. which brands would you recommend?
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:27 pm
amother [ Cerulean ] wrote:
The cost of my cabinets was higher because I used "extras" to make a small kitchen super efficient. Pull outs, drawers, lazy Susan's etc


Thats the case with kitchens of all price points, im trying to get what kind of "box" (what kind of wood, thickness of wood, and any other such specs, and inner hardware, glides, etc, hinges that are very good quality, and what to stay away from.
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Amarante




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:34 pm
As I posted the species of wood will impact the cost since some wood is more expensive. It generally goes to aesthetics but since you are having painted cabinets, it doesn’t matter.

Blum soft closing hardware is considered the gold standard.

In general thicker is better because it is stronger.

Inset cabinet doors are more expensive generally but some prefer for aesthetics. Full overlay doors are considered more upscale. Certain door styles are more expensive.

But there are other elements that will impact aesthetics and functions.

You should also consider the reputation of the kitchen designer because a really good designer will produce a much better kitchen for the same or even less money than a mediocre designer.

What brands are you considering. It appears you have been given quotes for your kitchen at different price points and presumably for different brands so you are considering apples to apples. You can research the reputati9n of the brands you are considering.
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Rubber Ducky




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:36 pm
I have had 2 clients this year who did their kitchens in fully custom cabinets and another room (dining room, bathroom) in a semi-custom or a stock line, and both regretted not doing fully custom all the way.

Quality differences include assembly line vs building cabinets 1 at a time, differences in joinery, fit, quality of finish, differences in drawer slide installation even though they were all Blums, and attention to detail. Some differences you can tell by seeing a cabinet or reading specs but many are either "under the hood" or something you may not notice immediately.

This is all besides that you get many more choices in custom than stock in terms of sizes and options and can customize dimensions to fit your space better. Yes, I do space design professionally and sell cabinets.
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amother




Razzmatazz
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:44 pm
One of the big differences is that if you do custom you can chose basically any configuration whereas if you are doing cheaper stock cabinets, you don't have all the options open to you- so you can't separate those two things necessarily. If you go with stock cabinets you have to chose from the colors, sizes and types that come in stock.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 12:51 pm
Theres no limit to kitchen prices though.

$25,000+ cabinets are junkier than $35.000 cabinets and so on...

Im looking to stipulate on my contract what are considered MUSTS in a kitchen, in order for it to hold up well over the years and not get junky looking, with average or more wear and tear.
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Rubber Ducky




 
 
 
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 5:27 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Theres no limit to kitchen prices though.

$25,000+ cabinets are junkier than $35.000 cabinets and so on...

Yes, well, price really is related to quality. You do get what you pay for, but sometimes not even that.

amother [ OP ] wrote:

Im looking to stipulate on my contract what are considered MUSTS in a kitchen, in order for it to hold up well over the years and not get junky looking, with average or more wear and tear.

Then don't get painted white Shaker cabinets. Paint will chip and the 90-degree angles of true Shaker invites dents. In general, stained wood will look better over time. Also consider TTS surfaces. If you like the look of textured doors, they're very resistant to stains and scratches. It's a modern look. I can get them with a plywood box, but usually they're only offered with a furniture board/particle board box.
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amother




Hibiscus
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 6:05 pm
I’ve done a bunch of research on this bc I’m also putting in a new kitchen.
The practical difference came down to two things:
1. How custom you can get with your cabinets ie sizes, how it opens, etc
2. The finish. Custom opens you to any color and style you want, stock is limited

Aside from those, if you choose a reputable stock company, they use Blum hardware, they have good quality boxes, they are durable enough to last you a while.
Of course, be careful who you choose to do the install.
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amother




OP
 

Post Thu, Oct 28 2021, 6:18 pm
For those in Brooklyn who have done tons of research, where did you end up getting your kitchen?

tia
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