Whether you are building a new home or remodeling an old one, unless you are refinishing your existing cabinets you will need to procure new kitchen cabinets. Obtaining kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturer can help you save some money and time. They are the same cabinets that you will find in retail stores and will be available in similar design and finishes.
Why Buying Kitchen Cabinets Direct From Manufacturers Is Cheaper
Manufacturers make cabinets and supply them to retail stores and franchise outlets. These stores and outlets add their markup to the manufacturer’s price before selling the goods to the consumers. The markup can be quite significant. Some manufacturers sell the same cabinets directly to consumers as well. However, they don’t need to add the same markup to their products as retail stores and outlets.
Let’s say that a manufacturer supplies a particular set of kitchen cabinets to retail stores and outlets for $1,000. These outlets have to cover their expenses, which may include employee salaries, rent, electricity, and utility bills, to name a few. They may also have to cover the cost of transporting the cabinets from the manufacturer to the store, and from the store to the consumer. The store may sell the same cabinets to the consumers for $2,000 to make a profit.
The same manufacturer might sell the same set of cabinets directly to consumers for $1,300. As stores give bulk orders, the manufacturer may give them a discount which might not apply to individual consumers. The manufacturer still makes a decent profit when including the cost of transporting the goods to the consumers. However, the consumers also save money as they don’t have to pay the markup established by retail stores. Therefore, you get the same product at a lower price.
Advantages Of Buying Kitchen Cabinets Direct From Manufacturers
There are a few advantages of buying kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturers:
We have already established that buying kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturers is cheaper. You can divert the cost savings to other aspects of your home construction.
Reduced Shipping Time
When you order kitchen cabinets at a retail store, the store will forward the order to the manufacturer. The manufacturer will then transport the cabinets to the store which will then send the cabinets to you. When you buy kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturers, they will ship straight to your address. It will take longer to ship the kitchen cabinets across two locations than one. You will save shipping time and ensure that your construction is completed faster.
Better Customization Options
When you buy kitchen cabinets from a store, they will already be finished. In most cases, it won’t be possible to customize them. However, when you buy kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturers, you may have the freedom to customize them. As most manufacturers sell their kitchen cabinets at the same place they make them, you can ask for alterations. They can also make cabinets customized to your requirements.
How To Buy Kitchen Cabinets Direct From Manufacturers?
There are a few ways that you can buy kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturers. Keep in mind one little factoid about kitchen manufacturers: most kitchen cabinet manufacturers count on “retail” sellers, local distributors, or retail locations to run their sales and to run their customer service. Most cabinet companies just want to be able to get accurate orders for their cabinets, make them, and ship them out. The general public is not great at ordering custom or pre-built cabinets exactly right and with all of the correct accessories. However, we have found a few different ways to purchase the cabinets more cheaply through a few channels that don’t include heading to a kitchen showroom or Lowe’s and picking cabinets out. Just to note, there is nothing wrong with going into a Lowe’s to purchase cabinets, there is just a 10-20% (at least?) markup that you are going to pay for those same cabinets that you may not need to if you are getting kitchen cabinets direct from the manufacturer. Here are the best options we found:
1. Order Kitchen Cabinets Online
If you live in an area which doesn’t have a kitchen cabinet manufacturer close by, or want to see exactly what you are ordering, then you can order cabinets online. Many websites sell kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturers. These websites will charge a small fee for their services. You will still save quite a bit of money compared to retail stores. Some cabinet manufacturers also sell on their own websites. TheRTAstore.com is one such website.
TheRTAstore.com is a nice place to shop for kitchen cabinets because they sell both RTA or “ready to assemble” cabinets (think IKEA furniture) and they sell “pre-assembled” cabinets as well. Many online stores like to sell RTA cabinets because they can keep an RTA cabinet flattened and that allows them to keep the packages smaller and keep freight costs down. If you don’t want to deal with assembling everything at home or at a project site then you do have the option of paying a little more but getting a pre-built cabinet. In addition, TheRTAstore.com has some pretty easy to use “design tools” that allow you to create your own kitchen before putting your order together.
Always research the quality of each kitchen cabinets before your purchase kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturer. Ask for detailed product descriptions and warranty information before committing to a purchase, or better yet, so see a sample installed in a showroom first before making a purchase.
2. Contact Manufacturers in Your Local Area
You can visit cabinet manufacturers in your vicinity. Most of them will be located on the outskirts of cities. Local directories and online searches can assist you in finding kitchen cabinet manufacturers in your area.
One of the longstanding associations in the US that you can use as a resource is the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA). If a cabinet manufacturer is certified by the KCMA you can trust that they are meeting a high level of quality. In addition, they have a list of manufacturers in each state through their website located at:
IKEA is probably not the first store you would think of when it comes to kitchen cabinets, but IKEA kitchen cabinets are stylish, sleek, and contemporary. There are a couple of disadvantages to ordering cabinets from IKEA: they require assembly, you need to pick up and deliver the flat boxes of cabinets yourself, and the cabinets are largely made with particleboard. However, if you are willing to live with those items then IKEA is certainly a good option for you. In addition (for a fee of course) you can have outside contractors deliver and assemble the cabinets for you.
I just ordered IKEA cabinets for both our living room and our dining room, and must say that I was pleasantly surprised with the results. The ones we installed in the dining room were used for more like a buffet, and they definitely fit more of the “IKEA” mold being more like a particle board, and a little more plain than a standard fully raised kitchen door panel. However, IKEA sells plastic laminate tops and we are planning on putting one on top and we also swapped out the cabinet hardware to class it up a bit.
What really surprised us was the quality of the living room cabinets. These were the Brimnes series and after finding these in the Centennial, CO IKEA showroom they didn’t actually seem like an IKEA cabinet. They felt more like a “real” cabinet with real wood in the front door with a factory finish, the color of the cabinets were an off-white instead of the standard bright white that we are used to seeing at IKEA, and the cabinet hardware that came with the set were “soft-close”. Sure it took us like 3 hours to put everything together but at the end of the day it was super worth it. Now I can’t actually tell you that IKEA has the same kitchen cabinets but after seeing these my perception of IKEA has certainly changed and I will definitely give their showroom a chance when we decide to refresh our kitchen in the future.
4. Order Cabinets from Costco
Costco wholesale is another avenue for low-priced kitchen cabinets. Sure, they are not technically a “manufacturer” of kitchen cabinets but they do only have one supplier who supplies their cabinets and so technically they are pretty much the same as a manufacturer. I know from first hand experience as well that they pressure their suppliers for the best pricing in the country so there are definitely some advantages to purchasing cabinets. First, this can be all-wood cabinetry. Second, Costco kitchen cabinet styles tend to be more diverse, including traditional and Euro-modern or contemporary looks. Third, although you have to be a member of Costco to take advantage of their pricing, when you purchase a high dollar item such as cabinets you can purchase an annual member for peanuts (usually $60 or less) compared to the money you would save purchasing cabinets. If Costco has buying power and is able to work their suppliers’ wholesale pricing down by 15%, 20%, etc… then at some point you just can’t beat their pricing anywhere else. We always say in our family if they sell anything at Costco try and buy it because you know that it’s high quality and they are giving you the best price they can.
Other leading kitchen cabinet manufacturers
Headquartered in Middlefield, Ohio, KraftMaid manufactures its kitchen cabinets in ISO-14001-certified facilities. The cabinetmakers deliver quality craftsmanship and use traditional woodworking skills to build each cabinet. You can trust the manufacturer’s top-grade materials and durable construction to actually last a lifetime. These cabinets can be ordered online or purchased from your local KraftMaid store. The website offers a free kitchen remodel visualizer tool that you can use to simulate designs and see what options work best for you.
KraftMaid lets you order by door style – slab door, Shaker style, raised panel, etc. It has a range of designs to support traditional, transitional, modern, contemporary, and rustic kitchens. You can accessorize your cabinets with decorative molding, under and in-cabinet lighting, glass doors, finished pulls/knobs/handles, and other shelving hardware. So, as discussed earlier, there is a huge scope for customization when you order kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturers. Also, KraftMaid has versatile and truly innovative storage options to maximize every nook and cranny. These include roll-out trays, cutlery divider kits, spice drawers, pegged organizers, tiered drawer storage, corner solutions, pantry storage, wire tray divider, reverse-a-shelf kit, multi-storage swinging shelves, and countless other possibilities to match your space!
Operating from Ashland, Alabama, Wellborn is one of the leading manufacturers of quality kitchen cabinets. It is certified by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) and has earned the KCMA Environmental Stewardship Program recognition. This speaks volumes about the quality as well as the sustainability of each cabinet that arrives on your doorstep. You can order semi-custom, Shaker, frame, or frameless cabinets that are built to last. They are available in multiple wood options and finishes, including cherry, maple, oak, hickory, thermofoil, MDF, and laminate. Wellborn’s generous color palette and door/drawer style range can easily accommodate your remodeling plans.
The company excels in custom storage accessories to help you organize utensils, cookware, dishes, and spices – which makes all the hard-to-reach areas easily accessible. There are other customization features in the form of decorative hardware like corbels, moldings, styled doors, ornamental knobs and pulls, cabinet lighting, etc. Wellborn’s You Draw It program allows you to bring it all together in your virtual kitchen before you can confirm the order.
Bertch operates from Waterloo, Iowa, and has a reputation in the cabinetmaking industry, particularly for its environmentally-aware practices. It is certified by KCMA’s Environmental Stewardship Program and is committed to reforestation, recycling, and resource management strategies. Also, Bertch products do not emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) into the air – ticking all the boxes for a satisfied homeowner. All the more reason to order directly from this manufacturer!
Kitchen cabinets from Bertch are manufactured using the finest wood, cabinet hardware, and durable finishes.
You can choose from alder, ash, cherry, hickory, maple, walnut, 3D laminate, stain, glaze, and other options. The doors are available in different styles including Shaker, slab, flat panel, raised panel, specialty, and colored glass.
We were also impressed by the custom storage designs that solve the problem of space and accessibility – so your spices and utensils come to you instead! You can select drawers with built-in cutlery trays, drawers with sliding tops, lazy Suzan cabinets, wastebasket cabinets, pull-out organizers, integrated cutting board drawers, cutlery dividers, slide-out storage, lid storage, pullout spice racks, and several other specialty cabinets.
How to Buy Kitchen Cabinets Direct From Manufacturer?
After doing our research for the best kitchen cabinets direct from manufacturer we have come to a final conclusion. The best way to buy kitchen cabinets direct from a manufacturer is by buying through through a 3rd party website such as theRTAStore.com or by establishing a relationship with a local cabinet manufacturer near you. However, it is worth pursuing some known companies like IKEA, Costco, Home Depot, or Lowe’s because they purchase a lot of quality cabinets, they can assist you in the process before you order thousands of dollars worth of product, and they have buying power because of how many cabinets they purchase in order to give you better or equal pricing compared to you just buying everything yourself directly.
Where Do The Property Brothers Get Their Kitchen Cabinets?
Many popular cabinet manufacturers like Jarlin Cabinetry and Bella IMC have a dedicated gallery section named “As seen on Property Brothers” to showcase their cabinets used by the twins and commonly featured on their show. Jonathan Scott once told The Dispatch that 80% of the kitchen cabinets they use on the show come from Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Ikea. The Property Brothers are also known for visiting thrift stores, estate sales, and vintage stores to shop for cabinet hardware and accessories. They prefer prepackaged cabinets from various big-box stores over custom cabinetry for benefits like cost-effectiveness, durability, and a range of quick designs to choose from. So, you will find more ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets from different manufacturers compared to custom units in most episodes of the Property Brothers.
Who Is The Largest Cabinet Distributor?
MasterBrand, Inc. has been ranked as the largest manufacturer and distributor of cabinets in North America. It is headquartered in Jasper, Indiana, and generates over $1 billion in sales annually – and achieves comparatively larger annual numbers than anyone else in town. The company has a vast manufacturing and distribution network that includes over 4,500 dealers and retailers, giving it a truly hard-to-chase outreach. MasterBrand has an equally huge cabinetry portfolio full of ready-to-assemble (RTA), fully-assembled, custom, semi-custom, and stock options, so customers can place orders for exactly what they need. You can find these cabinets from MasterBrand in most lumber outlets, home centers, or retail stores near you.
Is It Cheaper To Buy Cabinets Or Have Them Built?
Building your own cabinets using DIY skills is definitely cheaper IF you are good at carpentry and own the right tools for the job. Your only expenses will be for buying materials and paying for professional installation (if you are not sure how to install correctly). You can save up to 60% of costs by building your own cabinets considering that you know what to do.
Usually, with DIY cabinetry projects, homeowners build their own cabinets and add their choice of finishes like paint or adhesive veneer, so installation is the only major cost to cover assuming that the rest of the project goes smoothly.
Without proper woodworking skills, it can be very time-consuming and difficult to get the quality and durability right, and you will only end up with short-term results. It will be cheaper AND more reliable to buy ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets – preferably online to avoid the service overheads of brick-and-mortar companies. RTA cabinets are shipped as flat-packed units, cutting down on freight charges and having an overall reduced cost compared to other cabinetry options. Most importantly, they come fully constructed so that you do not have to struggle with incompatible hardware or other technical flaws. All you need to do is assemble them, and they are ready to use. You can either order directly from the manufacturer (and skip the retail expenses altogether) or consider buying from big-box stores like Costco and Ikea, as these brands provide the next-best pricing range after manufacturer costs.
For context, building your own DIY cabinets will cost you around $500 in total, whereas buying them from a big-box store can cost you up to $1,500. Buying online generally provides a good middle ground between both these extremes, so it is both cheap and efficient, all things considered.
Who Does HGTV Use For Cabinets?
HGTV mostly uses ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets from different brands for its home makeover shows. Cabinet manufacturers like Cabinets To Go, iCabinets, RTA Cabinet Store, and Umbrella Kitchens are featured on HGTV, and most of the units are the RTA type. This is because RTA cabinets are cost-effective, functional, stylish, and simply versatile for different shows. Since most of these home improvement shows are filmed in California – the state with strict indoor air quality rules – brands like iCabinets are mostly used by HGTV because of their CARB2-Compliant cabinets that are free from toxic chemicals.
HGTV relies on RTA cabinets also because of the time restrictions for each of its shows, so they simply cannot wait for custom cabinets to arrive. In addition, these shows involve working with homeowners, and there is a budget to follow, which cannot cover customized cabinetry.
RTA options are increasingly more efficient and come with a range of countertops, backsplash, and hardware choices to use. They are great for kitchen renovations and create stunning before-and-after results on the screen – which is a primary goal and does not require custom features to add that effect.
How Do I Find My Cabinet Manufacturer?
You can find your cabinet manufacturer by searching for brand logos, labels, stickers, engravings, handwriting, or QR codes anywhere on the cabinets or the hardware. The common places to search for include the outer and inner sides of the drawer boxes, the back of the drawer boxes, the sink base cabinet, and any side panel. Cabinet manufacturers generally use these areas for branding purposes and to assist with reordering in the future, so this should help you find compatible hardware and replacement doors in case you are not aware of the brand. You can also refer to any user manuals or invoices for your cabinets, assuming that you did buy them yourself and still have the documentation somewhere.
Another important visual clue is the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) sticker – usually found on the sink base cabinet like the back of the sink door or a side panel. If the cabinets are KCMA-approved, you will find such a label for sure, and it will have a code that refers to the cabinetmaker of your units. You can then use the KCMA cabinet manufacturer search tool to enter this code and find out who made your cabinets.
If your cabinets are more recent or modern, you can tell that they are from IKEA by identifying the suspension and assembly technique used. IKEA cabinets have a tell-tale assembly and steel rail suspension method for installing cabinets. In addition, it has its name engraved on metal hinges, so you can check for this as well.
Lastly, if there are absolutely no visual clues present, chances are that your cabinets were custom-built, but you can still find matching replacements by contacting your local cabinetmaker for advice.
What Is The Cheapest Way To Do Kitchen Cabinets?
There are different ways to replace or update your kitchen cabinets on a tight budget, and here are some examples.
1. Refacing. The cheapest option is to reface your cabinets if you just want to improve the look and finish and are not interested in replacing the whole unit. You can remove the existing paint, add varnish, repaint with the new color, or consider using adhesive veneer.
2. Using DIY skills. If you are good at woodworking and know what to do, you can build your own cabinets and save up significantly on buying readymade units. The only major expenses here will be for professional installation (if this is something out of your skills radar). Likewise, you can buy plain cabinet units and add your own finishing touches with DIY techniques to save more money compared to buying fully finished pieces.
3. Buying cheaper materials. Cabinets made of MDF and particle board are much cheaper than solid wood, so if you do want to buy new units and are on a budget, these materials will be your best shot.
4. Using RTA cabinets. The RTA Store, Home Depot, and Costco are famous for their customer-friendly pricing and offer some of the best RTA options for on-budget homeowners. RTA cabinetry is the top choice for renovating your kitchen without spending a fortune.
5. Use secondhand options. If you want to source cheaper cabinets and do not mind secondhand options, there are different social media platforms you can try out. Be careful while purchasing used units and check for quality and durability before saying yes. Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and Facebook Groups are common places for buying secondhand or recycled furniture. The search results are targeted, so you receive local options near you, and this saves time and money on delivery.
Is it cheaper to order kitchen cabinets online?
It is definitely cheaper to order kitchen cabinets online compared to buying them from brick-and-mortar stores. Online stores do not have to factor in overheads for showrooms and can directly ship their cabinets to your doorstep. For this reason, buying directly from online manufacturers rather than online retailers will save you considerably more, as the middleman level is skipped altogether, which streamlines transportation directly from the manufacturer to your home. Online shopping also offers good quality at a cheaper price, and you can order compatible hardware like soft-close hinges for replacements.
There are many affordable options to browse online (like the RTA Store), and most websites provide design tools for on-screen visualization to help you consider everything from cabinet color and hardware type to backsplash design and countertop material.
What kind of kitchen cabinets last the longest?
Solid natural wood cabinets are hands-down the most durable and reliable options if you are looking for something that will last the longest. Maple, oak, walnut, and cherry can easily stand the test of time. They are also the most expensive choices and perform best in areas that are not very humid. This is because hardwood is prone to warping due to moisture in the air, and long-term exposure to humidity will gradually impact the wood.
Textured melamine is the best alternative for those living in humid regions, as this material can resist moisture/water and heat. Such cabinets last the longest in humid areas and can replicate the look of wood, metal, or other finishes to bring you more design diversity at a lower price. Other durable cabinetry materials include metal and plywood. It is important to plan proper maintenance depending on the material you use to extend the overall life of your cabinets. For example, hardwood needs refinishing and resealing over the years in order to stay durable.
Regarding durable hardware, stainless steel and solid brass are ideal choices.
Apart from cabinet materials, the cabinet construction is equally important to ensure longevity, so the way the doors are attached and the dovetail joints for drawers are key technical details to look into. Frames and cores made of solid timber and plywood have a sturdy construction that lasts long and keeps the cabinets in good shape over time. The in-frame cabinet construction technique creates the most durable kitchen cabinets with better stability, installation details, and ergonomics.
Lastly, the cabinet finishes also determine how long your units will last. Make sure to look for cabinets with high-quality finishes that come with the required protective treatments like stain resistance, waterproofing, and scratch resistance.