15 Top Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers and Retailers
By Lee Wallender. Home Renovations Expert
In 2000, Lee Wallender first jumped into home renovation with that classic first move: pulling back the carpet of his freshly-purchased house to see if there was solid hardwood underneath. He has been remodeling ever since.
In-between writing articles for this site, he slips away to finish basements. install floors. paint walls, take down walls, do electrical work. and everything else related to home remodeling.
How did you start writing about home remodeling?
I began as the About.com Home Renovations writer in 2006. About maintains a running list of topics they need writers for. I had just finished a massive DIY home remodel on a 1913 farmhouse-style residence in the Washington DC area. I also had a Master’s in English cooling on my shelf. I felt that the stars had aligned for me.
What do you like most about this?
It’s going to sound cliched, but I like helping people and doing so at the very base line–from a know-nothing perspective. I feel like so much home remodeling advice starts with the assumption that you already know something. The cocktail party description of my job is, “I show people first how to pick up the hammer.”
Do people really need to start at such a basic point?
Absolutely. Look, not all of my articles are, “This is a screw, it is pointy on one end.” When you consider a topic you know nothing about–deep sea hydrothermal vents, Matisse’s early works, whatever–you’ll see how spare your body of knowledge is. And how much you might appreciate someone taking you by the hand.
One example I mention often isn’t even on my site. It’s our Expert Heather Cross’ piece on how to get from JFK to Manhattan using AirTrain. It’s friendly and conversational and informative but never patronizing, things like “Go down these five stairs” and “Look for this sign placed high up.” To me, this perfectly illustrates the mission of About.com.
As for my own site, something like my article explaining what kitchen base cabinets are. I hate to admit that I knew-but-didn’t-know what they were up until some years ago. At least, I wasn’t aware that these two categories, base cabinets and wall cabinets, are a convenient jumping off point for understanding the entire world of kitchen cabinets.
What are the most popular topics on your site?
People love kitchens and bathrooms. Kitchens and baths rule the home remodeling roost. They get the most use and they are the areas we spend the most time in.
What are people less interested in?
Drywall. I’ve got tons of articles on drywall cutting, hanging, and finishing, all told from the perspective of someone who hates doing drywall. But it’s such a core skill because whatever you do with your house, all roads lead back to drywall.
Besides that “beginner’s perspective,” is there anything else you try to do differently?
I like to cover marginal areas that other sites and the “shelter” TV shows won’t cover. People often just want to make their bathtub look better and at a low cost, and that’s why things like bathtub refinishing and tub liners exist. That’s real world stuff. That’s what a lot of us really care about.
But if you follow the HGTV or DIY Network narrative, it’s “tear out the entire tub and spend $4,000 to rebuild” and nothing less. People often do want less.
Do you ever get people saying, “You did such-and-such wrong?”
I’ll take all criticism and I value it, though I’ve come to the point where I won’t entertain anyone who is mean and unpleasant. Say what you want, but just be nice. All of it makes my site stronger. Especially if it’s someone in the industry or an informed do-it-yourselfer. I don’t claim to know everything. It’s all a work in progress for me every day.
What would you tell someone just starting out with a home remodel project, say a first-timer?
You are capable of far more than what you imagine. Without sounding all woo-woo about this, home remodeling is a personal, transforming, empowering process.
You start out, frightened about the prospect of dealing with electrical wiring. You’re nervous, it’s scary, you want to call in an electrician. But you try it anyway and it all works out.
That sense of elation, of feeling stronger, of taking control of your world–that’s what home remodeling is about.
Unfortunately, it has come to the point where I cannot answer readers’ individual questions about home remodeling. The backlog has become so great that I feel I cannot adequately serve readers. If you have emergency questions, message me at my Facebook page and I will do my best to get back to you.
Updated August 10, 2016.
Kitchen cabinets play a huge role in any kitchen remodel. In fact, kitchen cabinets comprise about 30%-40% of your entire kitchen remodel budget –minimum. When you choose custom cabinets rather than semi-custom or stock, that figure rises.
With a few exceptions, most cabinets found on this list come fully assembled. RTA, or ready-to-assemble, cabinets are an entirely different category and can save you much money.
Merillat Kitchen Cabinets. Merillat; Courtesy Merillat
Like Kraftmaid, another huge kitchen cabinet manufacturer available through easy-to-access channels, such as your local kitchen remodel/design company.
Merillat, a Michigan-based company, is owned by Masco, which also owns Mill s Pride and Kraftmaid. Merillat s Inspiration Gallery of kitchen design ideas is highly recommended. More
Continue Reading Below