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Old 02-25-2010, 12:13 PM   #1
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Chinese Kitchen Cabinets


My wife and I are rehabbing our kitchen from top to bottom on a $10,000 budget. It doesn't sound like much until you figure that we got granite for $5/sq. foot and will only cost us 500 for fabrication and install for a grand total of about $1000 for 40 sq. ft of granite being installed!!!

We're trying to do it as cheaply as possible without sacrificing much quality (even if it seems as if we're more budget oriented than quality). I will not buy cabinets from the big 2 (lowes or HD) due to the runaround and the extra cost. However, my wife and I found some cabinets by a company called K & B and we fell in love with the Easton Rope cabs. We can get the 10' x 10' set we need for about $3500 total (full extension undermount drawers, European hinges, full overlay maple doors, full plywood construction of the boxes, and even soft-close drawers).

I'm leary of buying Chinese....anyone had good, bad, or decent results if buying similar imported cabinets? Similar cabinets from Merillat would run us in the neighborhood of $7,000, which is crazy for our $180,000 split-level home.

Thanks!

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Old 02-25-2010, 01:51 PM   #2
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Anything imported from China is a gamble.
Google "chinese drywall" and you'll see what I mean.
Local forests, local mills, local cabinet shops, and local distributors will yield the best quality and most responsible product.

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Old 02-25-2010, 03:49 PM   #3
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Never heard of ,"K and B" cabinets. Google search turned up nothing about the company. Who's selling them? What guaranties do you get with this distributer. Low cost can bite you in the ass if issues develope with the cabinets and everybody just shrugs their shoulders.
I've had sales reps from companies all over the US come to customers houses to deal with various issues over 30 years in the remodeloing business. Who will handle your issues?
Can you post some contact info about this company so we can look at it?
Ron
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Old 02-26-2010, 07:45 AM   #4
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"Save now - pay later"

That old song...you know it is particularly true of natural stone - and you mentioned granite here. The initial price of the item is many times only a fraction of the total cost of the item and people always seem blinded and swayed by this oftern overlooked fact.

I am not going to congratulate you on buying a cheap granite countertop as I don't know the details - and for all I know you bought a good stone - but I'll bet you're in for more headaches that you realize. Same for the cabinets. ~$175 a linear foot for kitchen cabinets is a common price to pay, but the final costs to you in terms of money and headache may well exceed that by double.

But down deep you know that; I'm just reminding you of it.
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Old 02-26-2010, 09:06 PM   #5
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Fish,
I don't have time to type the whole story, but I quoted a job for my son's former boss in Kraftmaid. He ended up getting the chinese cabinets along with a crew of hacks that destroyed his kitchen and trashed half his house doing it. He begged me to come over and fix it. I went over and looked and told him the only way I could fix this s&*t job was to tear everything out and start all over. His kitchen was still not finished a year later. If the granite you are looking at comes from the direct import people, I think it looks cheap. It's a thinner stock on a substrate only available in a handful of ugly colors. Bottom line, it's your money, but imho, the chinese cabinets are junk, along with thier granite. If you can't afford to do it right, probably better off not doing it.
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Old 02-27-2010, 11:25 AM   #6
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Welcome ,
There are a ton of cabs to choose from and it can get overwelming.

I recently purchased kitchen cabs myself. They are made by an American company called Master Brand and are well made. If you buy Thomasville cabs from Home Deepot then you would actually be getting a Master Brand cabinet with the Thomasville name slapped on them. You could then take advantage of the NO INTEREST and NO PAYMENTS for one year with the promotions HD keeps having these days.

I would not buy a Chinese cab because you stand a much greater chance that the stains used or other chemicals used on them may be very bad for your health as someone mentioned earlier about drywall made in China.

BTW: The Thomasville support has been great so far. The rep ordered 2 new cabinets for me just because I didnt like that there was a little split in the wood on the back of the cabinet no less.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:12 PM   #7
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Are you able to install and repair the cabinet? If he answer is yes then the import is a gamble you may want to take.( I'd just order 1 first to see if I liked it) I suspect there are no return, help, after sale support with these.

Option 2 buy from box store Less of a gamble than import. You will only get to return in the case of a major screwup. Pay them to measure it puts all the burden on them not you.

Option 3 call good contractor and all the problems are theirs.
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Old 02-28-2010, 09:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Five Arrows View Post
Are you able to install and repair the cabinet? If he answer is yes then the import is a gamble you may want to take.( I'd just order 1 first to see if I liked it) I suspect there are no return, help, after sale support with these.

Option 2 buy from box store Less of a gamble than import. You will only get to return in the case of a major screwup. Pay them to measure it puts all the burden on them not you.

Option 3 call good contractor and all the problems are theirs.
Option 4-
Check with some of the smaller local cabinet shops. Many will handle 5 or 6 different lines of cabinets from builder's grade to custom. You will normally get better design services and a better installation.

Mike Hawkins
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:12 AM   #9
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Chinese Kitchen Cabinets


I'm also trying to renovate a kitchen on a budget and am considering Chinese cabinets as well, except I've been looking on www.rtacabi.net (they're likely made by the same manufacture as your brand). I ordered a couple of samples to get an idea of the quality, and, overall, I think they're worth the money. The wood and finish were not that great (a lot of flaws and blemishes) but they have a lot of great features like you mentioned (solid ply box, european hinges, soft close drawers). I would recommend that you order a sample cabinet (not just a sample drawer) to make sure it's what you want.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:53 AM   #10
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In Seattle there are about 20 different places that sell these cabinets. I have seen these cabinets up close. On display in one store, one of the shelves was damaged and I could see why. There was a large void in the plywood. Are they all wood? Sure are, I am just not sure what kind of wood. Is the plywood solid? Not from what I've seen. Could have been a fluke but I doubt it. I have not recommended these cabinets to my customers. The finish isn't that great either. For those who are on a small budget this is the cabinet for you. They are priced cheap but there is a reason.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:06 AM   #11
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Find a local cabinet shop and see what they can do for you. We all whine about losing American jobs, then go and save a few bucks by buying Chinese crap. Then we expect our government to spend tax dollars to create jobs.

How much will you enjoy that Chinese kitchen when YOUR job is gone?

Sorry for the rant...
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:25 PM   #12
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I have worked in the kitchen business for more than 20 years, and installed thousands of cabinets. I do feel uncomfortable with the influx of Chinese kitchen cabinets. The main reason is that the importation is not as regulated as you might think. There are quite a few chemical compounds used in the manufacturing of cabinetry including arsenic among others. Off gassing of compounds is another worry. The fact that they are flat packed and assembled here means quality control can be spotty. The experiences I have had installing these types of cabinets usually end with panel match issues and well as panel slippage (The center panels shift and expose unfinished areas). With all things being equal, I find that the golden rule applies here:
You get exactly what you pay for.
Please look for items that are KCMA certified, and check the NKBA web site.
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Old 02-02-2011, 05:13 PM   #13
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Most Chinese wood products are assembled using imported wood products (plywood, dimension lumber, etc.) because China does not have wood as a large resource and import from the U.S., Canada, Russia and SE Asia. They even import wood for cheap violins for export from elsewhere and use their valuable domestic wood for the expensive ($5,000 plus) violins.

The standards of products imported from China are determined what the importer has as standards. - It is just a bet depending on the sellers/retailers requirements imposed on the manufacturer. It is an internation market that is driven by the purchaser and just the manufacturer.

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Old 02-25-2011, 09:12 AM   #14
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Does anybody have an opinion about IKEA kitchen cabs? I've looked at them and I'm very tempted about the price and seemingly good quality.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by This Old Spouse View Post
Does anybody have an opinion about IKEA kitchen cabs? I've looked at them and I'm very tempted about the price and seemingly good quality.
In the RTA catagory, these cabinets give you a good bang for the buck. To see if they are good for your application, draw up a kitchen design and see if they make the cabinet sizes and types you want(or you can do the reverse, see what they have and design around the limitations).
You can always add internal organizers from third party sources if they don't have,say, mixer lift shelves.
You might need to be flexible in your design to use these cabinets.
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