When it comes to kitchen functionality and aesthetics, cabinets play a pivotal role, and choosing the right kitchen cabinet maker can make the difference between feeling at home in your kitchen or dissatisfaction every time you enter the space.
The best kitchen cabinet makers provide millwork built from quality materials in a variety of sizes and finishes. Many makers also offer semi-custom cabinets that are built to order and allow for a range of possibilities. The largest number of options will come from a custom kitchen cabinet manufacturer, but the price tag quickly climbs as you vary size specifications, hardwood choices, and finishes.
You’ll also have decisions to make on whether you’re shopping for framed or frameless cabinets. Many kitchen cabinet makers in the United States focus on American-style designs, which are characterized by a wooden face frame that is visible between the door and drawer. However, some manufacturers offer both American and European-style cabinets.
Best Kitchen Cabinet Makers of 2023
Best Overall: KraftMaid
Why We Chose It: Semi-custom cabinets by KraftMaid have a reputation for quality and are available in more than 100 different door styles and 14 different wood species. You can order custom sizes, details, and finishes from a national network of retailers.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Extensive options
- Exceeds KCMA testing standards
- Not available to order online
- No frameless cabinet options
KraftMaid is a leading kitchen cabinet maker that stands out for its wide selection of options and limited lifetime warranty. It offers semi-custom cabinets featuring quality construction and details, like ½-inch plywood construction and 3/4-inch wood face frames. All drawers feature full extension rails and have 3/4-inch wood dovetail joints. You can also put confidence in KraftMaid’s limited lifetime warranty since these cabinets exceed the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) testing standards.
Aside from proving to be sturdy and durable, KraftMaid cabinets are available through a variety of retailers and come in an impressive amount of options for semi-custom designs. You can shop KraftMaid cabinets at Home Depot and Lowe’s or through a network of independent dealers. Keep in mind that product lines and options may vary by retailer.
The brand's emphasis is American-style cabinets—fans of the frameless Euro-style will have to look elsewhere. However, the options for framed cabinets include slab and shaker doors with a huge variety in color options and finishes. Every cabinet is built to order and assembled in a KraftMaid facility before arriving at your home for installation.
Best on a Budget: Ikea
Why We Chose It: If you’re looking for affordable and accessible options, Ikea is a one-stop-shop for ready-to-assemble cabinets. Often, you can even pick up cabinets in-warehouse the same day.
- Online kitchen planning tool
- Available in-warehouse or shipped to home
- Stock cabinet sizes only
- Extensive assembly required
- Particleboard materials
Ikea is best known for flat-pack furniture you build yourself and the concept extends into the kitchen with budget cabinetry. Ikea’s Sektion cabinet line is a popular option and comes in over 10,000 customizable options. Be prepared to navigate the finishes, each with an individual series name like Bodbyn, Askersund, and Havstorp. These ready-to-assemble (RTA) kitchen cabinets are easy on the wallet; a basic 10x10 kitchen layout starts at around $1,700. An even more affordable option is the Knoxhult modular kitchen system with mix-and-match wall and base cabinets that come in basic white.
Ikea offers an online design tool to help you plan a cabinet layout that is functional and appealing. In addition, you can book an in-store session with a designer to help you make the right selections. The instant gratification of going to the warehouse and picking up in-stock RTA cabinets is appealing but comes with a trade-off: Assembly can be challenging, and you might opt to hire someone to handle construction and installation.
Keep in mind that Ikea’s cabinet systems rely on materials like particleboard and melamine. Most kitchen cabinet manufacturers use plywood boxes and hardwood face frames for durability. However, Ikea is confident in the longevity of its kitchen cabinets and offers a 25-year warranty on select Sektion cabinet varieties.
Best High-End: Starmark Cabinetry
Why We Chose It: The hallmarks of Starmark Cabinetry include quality, precision, and durability. Cabinets are custom-made to order, offering flexibility in size and finish while using hardwoods to build cabinet components that will last a lifetime.
- Hardwood construction, including 3/4-inch solid plywood side panels
- Custom finish colors are available
- Cabinets can be manufactured to 1/16th of an inch
- No online planning tool
- Each Starkmark dealer will decide design fees
Step up your selections with the semi-custom and custom designs available from Starmark Cabinetry. This high-end maker builds American-style cabinets to order in their Sioux Falls, South Dakota factory. These cabinets are built with hardwood construction, including plywood boxes, 3/4-inch solid hardwood face frames, and birch or walnut hardwood drawers with dovetail joinery. Starmark’s cabinets have earned the KCMA seal of approval for durability and carry a limited lifetime warranty.
When you order from Starmark Cabinetry, you can receive design assistance to create the high-end cabinet layout of your dreams. Each Starkmark dealer will have their own policy regarding any design fees. The options for doors include slab, inset, raised, and more. In total, there are more than 1,000,000 combinations of doors, wood, and finish options. If that’s not enough, you can also request custom finish colors from Starmark.
Best for Customization: Wellborn Cabinet
Why We Chose It: There are plenty of possibilities with semi-custom and custom cabinets from Wellborn. The company stands out for its You Draw It program, which makes it possible to order cabinets in special sizes or with unique modifications.
- You Draw It program allows for unique cabinet configurations
- Estate cabinet series comes standard with all plywood boxes
- Limited website functionality
- No online cabinet planning tool
Most kitchen cabinets are available in standard sizes with a select number of finishes. But if you have a unique vision or need a design with specific dimensions, the search must extend beyond stock cabinets. Wellborn Cabinets is a maker that prides itself on quality and customization. All pieces are made in-house at the company’s factory in Alabama. You can order semi-custom or custom cabinets from its network of dealers and specify the dimensions, finishes, and features that will be a perfect fit for your kitchen.
The You Draw It program is Wellborn’s approach to turning concepts into cabinets. Whether you are looking for demi height cabinets, a baker’s pantry, a custom hood for your range, or an integrated pet center, you can work with a Wellborn Cabinet dealer to sketch your ideal layout and dimensions. Your best bet for exploring Wellborn Cabinets is to work within its network of dealers since the website offers only a limited glimpse into product lines and features.
Best for DIY: CliqStudios
Why We Chose It: A user-friendly website and free expert design assistance make it easy to put together your own kitchen cabinet layout from 24 styles available with CliqStudios.
- Free shipping on orders over $3,500
- Complimentary calls with a designer
- Limited style options
- Stock sizes only
Take control of the kitchen design process by partnering with DIY-friendly CliqStudios. This online kitchen cabinet maker produces ready-to-assemble pieces in the most popular styles, including shaker, inset, and slab cabinets, with a handful of color options for each. The site is easy to browse, and free calls are available with a designer to help you plan and prepare to receive your new kitchen cabinets.
Depending on the style you select, cabinets are constructed with hardwood frames, faces, and dovetail joint drawers with plywood boxes. Choose the finish that matches your kitchen decor, but keep in mind that these are stock cabinets. Unlike semi-custom or custom cabinets, sizes and finish options are standard.
This DIY manufacturer only ships to addresses in the lower 48 states. It’s worth mentioning that shipping is free for orders over $3,500. The average cost of a CliqStudios order is about $5,000 for small kitchens and $11,000 or more for larger kitchens with more space or specialty cabinets.
Best Ready to Assemble: The RTA Store
Why We Chose It: The RTA Store has an inventory of ready to assemble and pre-assembled cabinets that can save you money and time. It also stands out for offering free shipping on orders over $2,500.
- 15-day price match guarantee
- Free shipping on orders over $2,500
- No quick-ship product lines
- Orders may arrive in multiple shipments
Ready-to-assemble cabinets are a popular option for saving money since they are packed flat and save on labor costs—assuming you finish the job of putting them together yourself. Shopping for RTA cabinets is usually straightforward since they are only available in stock options and finishes. The RTA Store specializes in ready-to-assemble and pre-assembled stock cabinets and stands out for offering myriad styles.
Use the online kitchen planner or receive a complimentary 3D rendering from a design professional. The RTA Store offers both American and Euro-style cabinets, though frameless cabinets are in the minority. The pieces are constructed with plywood boxes and solid wood door frames; a 20-year warranty backs up the workmanship of this manufacturer. Since one of the main goals of RTA cabinets is to save money, you can outfit a simple 10x10 kitchen starting at about $2,000. Adding to the savings, The RTA Store ships orders over $2,500 for free in the lower 48 states. Sales are frequent, and the company offers a 15-day price match guarantee.
Best for European Style: Porcelanosa
Why We Chose It: Porcelanosa offers sophisticated European-style kitchen cabinets, made at their factory in Spain. The designs are sleek and simple, and you can work with its design team to transform your entire kitchen into a contemporary space.
- 30 showrooms nationwide
- Design options for countertops, tile, and bath as well
- Limited product information available online
For true European-style kitchen cabinets, consider the contemporary designs of Porcelanosa. This high-end home design company is known for creating sleek and stylish kitchens but also offers bath, tile, and countertop transformations. You can get up and close and personal with the style and quality of these euro cabinets at one of the 30 showrooms nationwide.
European-style cabinets are also known as frameless cabinets. The doors attach directly to the cabinet box, instead of to a face frame, with little gap between the drawer and doors. The result is a more flush cabinet appearance that gives cabinets a modern, streamlined look. Typically, quality euro-style cabinets feature plywood box construction but may have MDF (medium-density fiberboard) doors, since a high-gloss finish is often achieved with thermofoil application. Porcelanosa produces its Euro-style pieces in Spain and a designer will help you make decisions regarding cabinet configurations, hardware, and finish choices.
Kitchen cabinets should be functional, durable, and beautiful. With that in mind, KraftMaid is our top recommendation for a kitchen cabinet manufacturer. It offers semi-custom designs that check all the boxes while offering an impressive assortment of styles, materials, and finishes to create a kitchen that meets your style and budget specifications. In addition, you can shop KraftMaid from popular home improvement retailers or through a network of independent retailers.
However, if you’re taking the DIY approach and want to shop from ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinet makers, The RTA Store is your best bet. The website offers a simple shopping experience, and an online planning tool and expert design assistance make it easy to compare options and choose the best layout.
How to Choose the Best Kitchen Cabinet Makers
It’s important to compare kitchen cabinet makers in key areas to find the best option for your project. While many of the most popular companies may offer similar styles, differences in materials, finishes, and warranties should be carefully considered before a decision is made.
Materials: Most kitchen cabinets are built from a combination of hardwood and plywood construction, but the thickness and quality of joinery used may vary even between product lines from the same manufacturer.
Customization: Stock cabinets offer no customization, while semi-custom cabinets are built to order and allow for choosing finishes or size specifications from pre-set options. Custom cabinets offer the most freedom of choice but are usually the most expensive.
RTA vs. Pre-Assembled: Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets can save you money but will need to be assembled before installation. Pre-assembled cabinets save time on that step but will often incur additional shipping expenses compared to flat-packed RTA cabinets.
Warranty: The length and terms of cabinet warranties can vary widely. Since kitchen cabinets withstand daily use and represent a significant investment in your home, be sure to note the warranty period and exceptions for any manufacturer you consider.
Kitchen Cabinet Makers vs. Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
In many cases, homeowners use a kitchen designer to help plan cabinet configurations. Sometimes these designers work for the manufacturer exclusively; in other cases, you might retain an interior designer as part of a larger renovation project. On the other hand, DIY kitchen cabinet design is an option. You can plan and select standard, semi-custom, or custom cabinets from many major kitchen cabinet makers. However, the most popular route for DIY projects is to buy ready-to-assemble cabinets. These tend to be more affordable, though you’ll need to be handy enough to assemble the cabinets or prepare to pay someone to do the job for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Kitchen Cabinet Makers Offer a Wide Variety of Styles?
There are many different styles to choose from when picking kitchen cabinets, though the size of the selection may vary by kitchen cabinet manufacturer. Cabinets that fit traditional, contemporary, and modern interior design styles are available. Specific terms to become familiar with when comparing cabinet styles include full overlay, partial overlay, and inset cabinet doors. You can further narrow down your selection by picking from popular styles like shaker, slab, raised panel, and recessed panel doors.
Do Kitchen Cabinet Makers Allow You to Customize Your Own Designs?
Custom kitchen cabinet makers allow for the most customization. Many custom builders will work with your specifications and style preferences to create unique cabinet configurations. Another option is to choose a semi-custom manufacturer. Semi-custom cabinets come in a range of dimensions and finishes, and since every cabinet is built to order, you can make more selections than what is typically possible with stock kitchen cabinets.
How Much Do Kitchen Cabinet Makers Cost?
Kitchen cabinets are usually one of the largest expenses in a kitchen design project, but how much you spend varies depending on the size of your space, along with the type of cabinets, materials, and finishes you choose. Generally speaking, purchasing from a kitchen cabinet maker will cost around $1,800 to $20,000 or more.
To narrow down the field of options for the best kitchen cabinet makers, we considered 22 leading companies. All of our choices are available nationwide, and many offer design assistance to help you sift through cabinet choices and configurations.
While specific materials and construction details vary widely (even among the product lines from the same manufacturer), we took note of companies that have passed ANSI (American National Standards Institute) durability testing standards. In addition, we categorized makers based on the type and style of cabinets they produce, including stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets, along with American-style or Euro-style options. Where possible, we compared the relative affordability of kitchen cabinet makers using a standard 10x10 kitchen estimation.