What differentiates one cabinet company from the next is the quality of construction and the durability of the finish. Most companies will have your standard raised panel doors, your shaker type and your flat panel and quite a few options for each basic style. There are hidden hinges and exposed hinges, and door hardware pulls of all shapes, sizes and finishes. You could buy white cabinets from cabinet maker A and pretty much be able to duplicate the look from any of a number of other manufacturers including local mom and pop companies that say they are in the custom cabinet business. The brand name may have a value at the sale of your home; but other than that, your cabinets don’t wear their labels on the outside like a Cadillac motor car or Coach handbag.
So when you go to purchase cabinets for your kitchen, what makes one source better than another? Most places that sell kitchen cabinets will have a range of products – in fact, you can usually see a selection of good, better and best cabinets. Good will be good enough for lower end projects and for uses like in your basement or garage where a fine furniture finish isn’t necessary. Better cabinets are priced at a midpoint and give you a solid cabinet box and usually a one or multi-step finish process. Best encompasses the finest materials – both for the box and the materials and finish on the doors. If you are putting heavy stone countertops on your cabinets you most likely will want to stick with better and best levels of cabinets as those boxes will be able to support the huge weight that accompanies most stone products.
Finish is very important. Factory finishes are usually the most durable and can range from a few steps to a dozen steps to achieve the perfect glaze treatment or other faux look. If the finish is not durable, scratches, paw marks and other abrasions will quickly ruin the look of your cabinets in very short time and they will not look good for the rest of their useful life. Stick with the best quality finish you can afford as this will certainly extend your enjoyment of your kitchen cabinetry.