Re: Cabinet Selection Struggle
You are right to be looking at manufactured cabinets.
Manufactured cabinets almost all offer catalyzed conversion varnish finishes...The reason to buy them.
Such finishes are far more impervious to the wear and tear and abuse that kitchen cabinets take, day in and day out.
Most local cabinet shops use lacquer finishes.
I would ONLY consider cabinets finished with catalyzed varnish.
Fieldstone and Plain & Fancy are higher-end cabinet lines, though not ultra-high-end.
I was a Fieldstone Dealer from 1987-1996 (though it's not what it was then).
I have the old Fieldsone in my own (1989) kitchen and it still looks and performs like new.
Most cabinet dealers/designers carry products in the low, middle, and high end, ideally with about 25% price separation between the lines.
You need to either confide your budget for cabinets to your cabinet dealer/designer (if you feel you can trust him/her with that information), or do your own research to figure out which products you can afford.
Giving the dealer your budget is definitely the easiest way to go. Then they can tell you which products they offer that will come in within your budget and you can select from those products.
If you can't or won't confide in the dealer, I have a formula on my web site for comparing cabinet prices from line to line and dealer to dealer (I no longer sell cabinets and created the formula for my design clients).
It takes a little work and relies on the dealers to cooperate, but it works very well.
And it DOESN'T require the dealer/designer to design anything for you or spend a lot of time on you.
You can find it at:
Peggy Deras, CKD, CID