Shenandoah Cabinets vs. KraftMaid: Which are best?

We’ve been hammering away at our kitchen renovation project for some time now. Remember we started with removing our old kitchen cabinets. Then we went on to remove our kitchen island. And now we have moved on from the tearing downstage to the rebuilding stage. We decided on a glass top stove to fit the kitchen’s aesthetics after debating whether a glass top stove is more efficient than a coil stove. Now, we’re discussing another essential issue. Should we choose Shenandoah cabinets, or should we choose Kraftmaid?

Shenandoah Cabinets vs. KraftMaid: Which are best?

Shenandoah cabinets offer the most value at an affordable price. So, if you have been working on renovating your kitchen but plan to move, this choice may be a good option. However, if you are remodeling your kitchen to make it more enjoyable for you and your family, Kraftmaid, though more expensive, may be a better investment.

So, like with the glass top stove and the coil stove, the better choice lies in what the person who is choosing wants out of the product. In our case, we want a durable option, so for our renovation, we chose Kraftmaid. However, we want to take the time to share some helpful information about both types of cabinets and cabinets in general so that you can decide on which cabinets work best for your kitchen renovation.


Things to Consider When Installing Cabinets

I know you may be eager to dive right into purchasing your cabinets for your kitchen renovation. However, you may want to take a moment to consider some general things about cabinets before you go out and start looking. Think about the style you want, the space you have for the cabinets, and most importantly, your budget. Read on to learn more about what to consider before installing your new cabinets.


Don’t be sold on the hardware alone. Remember, you can always change out the hardware on cabinets. Try to concentrate on other aspects of the cabinets that make them a quality investment. Look at how they were constructed. What type of wood did the manufacturer use? Are they connected using a finger-jointed method, nails, glue, or some other binding method?

Size Does Matter

When looking at the perfect cabinets at the store, don’t fall in love too quickly. If your space is huge, those adorable cabinets in the store may drown once you install them in your renovated kitchen. But, on the other hand, you don’t want overpowering cabinets, either. This could lead to appliances not fitting correctly or entryways being blocked by cabinets. So, a good thing to keep in mind when choosing cabinets, especially prefabricated ones, is whether they will fit your kitchen space well.

Standard Overlay vs. Full Overlay

This is a minor detail, but it can have a significant impact. Standard overlay cabinets are the kind that you can open the door with your fingertips because there is a large amount of the cabinet face behind the door. A full overlay is the type of cabinet that will require hardware because it will nearly be impossible to use your fingertips to open the doors. Some homeowners may not want hardware, and in such cases, a standard overlay is a good choice. However, if you know you want hardware for your cabinets, a full overlay may be the better choice.

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Framed vs. Frameless

To frame or not to frame – that is the question. If you’ve never had framed cabinets, the adage “you can’t miss what you never had” may apply here. You may want to consider them in your new, chic kitchen renovation, however. We decided to go with a glass stove because we felt it would make the space look more modern. You may want to go with framed cabinets for this very reason. Framed cabinets give your kitchen a much more decorative feel. However, if you use your kitchen primarily for function and you need more cabinets space, then it may be a good idea to get frameless cabinets.

Cabinet Features

Do you need a lot of space to store things but don’t want a cluttered mess? Cabinets with compartments inside to help organize the stuff you want to keep hidden are a great choice. For instance, try not to look for cabinets that are big enough to put all your pots. Instead, see if some allow you to hang your pots in an organized manner so that they won’t pile up and become a mass of clutter.

Another helpful feature that you may want to consider with cabinet drawers and doors is a soft close feature. This feature prevents you from hearing all the commotion that someone makes as they open and close doors. Not only is this feature great for minimizing noise pollution, but it also prevents spouses from sending subliminal messages to each other by how hard they slam the door cabinets and drawers. What a great invention!

Are you the type of person who wants a seamless kitchen in which certain things aren’t obvious? For instance, would you prefer to keep your unmentionables out of sight, such as your trashcans? Then you may also want to consider cabinets that hide the trashcan. This not only keeps unsightly trash from being observed as soon as someone enters the kitchen but may also minimize horrible smells from spreading throughout the house. These cabinet features can also hide your pet’s food bowls and even hide your appliances. This is an excellent feature to consider if you want certain parts of your kitchen to be obscure.

Space Above the Cabinets or Not

This may not matter to some, but a few homeowners like to use the space above the cabinet as a place to store things. Others prefer to show off their decorative skills by placing lovely showpieces here like decorative plates, wall art, plants, or kitchen appliances.

Kitchen cabinet

What is Your Budget?

This will be one of the most important considerations when it comes to buying cabinets. Cabinets can cost a few thousand dollars to several thousands of dollars. The high price of cabinets shouldn’t send you running in the opposite direction, however.

Remember, your home is an investment, and putting high quality into the kitchen can raise the value of your home. So, avoid scrimping when it comes to buying quality cabinets. Remember, these will be a significant focal point in your kitchen. So, if you don’t want friends, neighbors, and colleagues coming over for your get-togethers and thinking about those “god-awful, cheap-looking cabinets in your kitchen,” think twice about low-balling your cabinet renovation project.

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Should You DIY Cabinets

If you have an unusually shaped kitchen, you may have to go with the DIY cabinet option. I won’t go into too many details about this topic. After all, this article is about choosing between Shenandoah and Kraftmaid cabinets. However, this option can provide more versatility and may even be more cost-effective.

Shenandoah Cabinets

Shenandoah cabinets are a very popular type of cabinet. Their cabinets are typically sold separately and come as wall, base, pantry, and arcadia cabinets. Here is more about Shenandoah cabinets.

About the Company

Shenandoah cabinets are a brand of American Woodmark, which is headquartered in Winchester, Virginia. Alvin A. Goldhush, the founder of the company, used to be a dentist in long island in the 1950s. He created cabinets that were used to house his tools and other accessories for his trade. Eventually, he gave up dentistry and focused his attention on cabinet making, growing the business that was once known as Raygold.

The company experienced another name change to Boise Cascade. However, in 1980, the company became American Woodmark and went public. Now the company operates 18 manufacturing plants throughout the United States and Mexico.


Shenandoah creates high-quality cabinets that display a high level of craftsmanship. You can choose from many types of cabinets that coordinate with the look you want to achieve with your kitchen renovation. This includes farmhouse, modern, traditional, minimalist, transitional, contemporary, and more.

The cabinets are affordable, but they still have financing options for those who may not have the money upfront for their kitchen remodeling project. They also offer a one-year warranty on their products. The cabinets can be painted in various colors, and they can also be stained or glazed. Shenandoah provides high-quality customer service, and its products are environmentally friendly.

While there are some great qualities about their products, there are some complaints about them, also. Most people who have bought their products feel that they are beautiful, durable cabinets. However, some people have problems with the quality of the cabinets. One of the biggest complaints is that the craftsmanship isn’t all that great.

Another complaint is that they may arrive damaged, but this could be an issue with shipping, not necessarily the company itself. A few other complaints include drawers splintering, doors defective, and parts of the cabinet breaking off. Although this product does offer great bang for the buck, it’s good to consider these issues when shopping for their products.

Where It’s Sold

Shenandoah cabinets are exclusively sold at Lowe’s. They have a variety of finished and unfinished cabinet types. Each piece will run a few hundred dollars.

You can buy the parts at the store and install them yourself, or you have an opportunity to work with a designer virtually or in-store. The designer will work with you to create customized cabinets for your kitchen. They will help you determine the color, materials, style, and services you want. The designer will also determine the measurements of your space to make sure that the cabinets will fit your kitchen. Once the cabinets are designed and paid for, an installer will be sent to your house to mount the cabinets.

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Kraftmaid Cabinets

Kraftmaid cabinets are another very popular type of kitchen cabinet. Here’s more about the Kraftmaid brand of cabinets.

Kraftmaid cabinet company sign

About the Company

This company was founded in 1969 by Richard Moodie in Walton Hills, Ohio. In 1981, after much success, the company moved its operations to Middlefield, Ohio. In 1990, Masco Corporation acquired the company. In 2019, Masco sold the business to ACP products for a billion dollars. Now it is one of the largest, most recognizable cabinet brands in the world.


One thing that Kraftmaid cabinets have in their favor is the quality of their workmanship. The fact that their cabinets are built-to-order is excellent because a customer can rest assured that their kitchen probably won’t look like anyone else’s in the world. Each cabinet maker places a high level of quality and skill into the design and woodworking knowing that their work will last a lifetime.

Customers can choose from various décor, including traditional, transitional, contemporary, modern, and more. In addition, they have a Kraftmaid kitchen remodeler that is free and allows you to visualize how your kitchen will look. Kraftmaid applies the “kaizen” principle of continuous improvement with each cabinet they produce. Their hard work and progress don’t just apply to what they can do for customers. Like Shenandoah, they aim to improve the environment.

While it is hard to find flaws with one of the best, most detail-oriented cabinet makers globally, there are some issues with their products. While most people absolutely adore Kraftmaid cabinets for their excellent warranties, beautiful designs, and high-quality wood used in their projects, others have issues with them.

Some common complaints are warping with the doors, poor paint jobs, and excessive use of glue. Other complaints include splintering, broken brackets, chips, and damage on arrival. In comparison to Shenandoah cabinets, these cabinets are the more costly of the two. Therefore, these quality issues are unacceptable to many since they boast of being top-of-the-line and charge as such.

Where It’s Sold

Kraftmaid cabinets are sold at Lowe’s and Home Depot. Unlike Shenandoah cabinets, their lineup is build-to-order, meaning instead of buying pre-made pieces, the client works with a designer to customize the cabinets. You can get door replacements onsite at places like Lowe’s and Home Depot. But for the most part, their products are all tailored to the customers’ tastes. They encourage customers to determine the type of budget they are working with, gather the proper measurements for the space, and choose the style of kitchen they want from a gallery online. Once all these things are determined, their designers get to work customizing kitchen cabinets.