Shenandoah Vs. Kraftmaid Cabinets: Which One Is Better?

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

The cabinetry in your kitchen has the ability to really pull the rest of the room together. Make the wrong choice and it stands out in stark contrast to the backsplash, appliances, and flooring. Finding a quality cabinet that comes in the styles you love is of the utmost importance.

Two of the more notable brands out there are Shenandoah and Kraftmaid. These are two names that have been in the cabinetry industry for a long time, but how do they stack up? Shenandoah is considered to be a solid, quality mid-range cabinet. Kraftmaid, meanwhile, provides greater versatility and pricing options ranging from their cheap all-plywood to a more sturdy (but costly) option.

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Shenandoah vs. Kraftmaid

When comparing these two noteworthy brands, there are more than a few things to consider. Among them are the product offerings, quality, warranty, and the most common complaints against each company and its line.

Generally speaking, both brands receive quality reviews. Shenandoah may have an advantage in market exposure for the simple fact that they are exclusive to Lows home improvement stores.

Shenandoah Cabinets

In the wood crafting business for years, Shenandoah has its line of cabinets featured at Lowes, a major international home improvement chain. Lowes works with them throughout the entire process, starting at construction and going through fitting.

Their brand is promoted as an All-American company that has All-American values. They strive for better quality and providing homes with a storage solution that is cost-effective. By working with Lowes, they keep a close eye on the production from beginning to end.

Product Line

Shenandoah offers a wide range of finishes and cabinet styles. They have a Beautyguard finish that is best for resisting water and easier cleaning. Their Tuffguard finish where the cabinets are sealed, sanded, and painted to improve durability and protection.

Their styles also cover a broad spectrum. Shenandoah offers popular styles including coastal, classical, farmhouse, contemporary, rustic, and modern. After selecting a style, the finish would be chosen. There is Oak, Cherry, and Maple, though there is a whole range to choose from.

They also have more modern features like fully concealed hidden hinges and even soft-close drawer functionality.


The overall quality of Shenandoah is somewhat in question. For the most part, they are seen as decently solid cabinets. They won’t stack up against some of the big boys in the industry, but they aren’t generally seen as bottom of the barrel, either.

That said, there have been some complaints about the overall quality of Shenandoah cabinets. Some have complained that they lacked quality and durable. Others still have loved their cabinets, saying they look as good as when they were installed. The quality is somewhat of a hit or miss.


The warranty is another important aspect to consider. Shenandoah offers a lifetime guarantee on their products for as long as you own the home in which they are fitted. The warranty covers defects with materials or workmanship.

It is important to note that most Shenandoah cabinets will see natural changes and aging in the wood over time. Check with your Lowes agent before buying but the lifetime warranty should provide reassurance about the quality of their cabinetry.

Common Complaints

There are two common complaints when it comes to Shenandoah cabinets. The first has to do with their condition on arrival. Some door and drawer faces have arrived with defects in the wood, damage, poor finishes, and uneven staining. Given the fact that Lowes handles the shipping, this should come as no surprise.

The second is the overall quality. When there are complaints about the cabinets themselves, they are largely about the quality. Some have even called them “inferior quality.” They are more prone to damage and wear and tear than some of the other models on the market.

Kraftmaid Cabinets

The Ohio-located Kraftmaid Cabinets has been in business for just north of 40 years. They started out as a modest carpentry shop in their area and has since grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of built-to-order cabinetry in the United States.

Kraftmaid has 100 different door styles, 70 finish options, more than 200 storage solutions, and a whopping 800 decorative enhancements. Kraftmaid prides itself on its versatile offerings and has a certified inspector look over your order before it gets shipped. That is just another layer in the process that helps Kraftmaid stand out.

Product Line

The possibilities are nearly endless when going with Kraftmaid. They have over 100 different door styles, making for some truly unique and interesting combinations. You can spend hours trying out all of the different looks that Kraftmaid provides and still be nowhere close to the end.

Through their website, users can narrow things down a bit to find what they are looking for. They can sort by color, room, and style to nail down their own personal aesthetic. After all, there is nothing like getting cabinets that feel custom-made without having to pay the custom-made price.


If there is one thing you will not hear about Kraftmaid, it is a complaint about their quality. Their standard cabinets have shelves that are adjustable, making it easier to fully utilize them. Each of their doors has a 6-way Whisper Touch Hinge that is adjustable, enabling doors to close whisper quietly.

Each unit has rounded face frames. The face frames keep you protected from scratches and even mimic the appearance of fine furniture. The interior is made of birch laminate, which is durable and aesthetically pleasing. That said, upgrades can be applied if you order the all-plywood construction.

Kraftmaid also offers six different types of wood. Their cabinets can be made of Maple, Alder, Birch, Oka, Cherry, and Hickory.


Kraftmaid also offers a pretty great warranty. Any cabinetry is protected from defects in workmanship or material for as long as the cabinets are owned by the person who made the purchase. Through this warranty, Kraftmaid has the option to either repair or replace the cabinet depending on their assessment.

Having this kind of extensive warranty is invaluable to have. Despite the fact that Kraftmaid has durable cabinetry, it is good knowing that should something go wrong, you are covered for as long as you own the cabinets.

Common Complaints

Like any other company out there, Kraftmaid is far from perfect. Though Kraftmaid makes a highly durable and attractive cabinet, there have been noted issues with the customers. The good news (or bad) is that they largely have to with customer service and not the product.

That said, there have been inconsistencies in some of the finishes on Kraftmaid cabinets. Not only that, but it is not unheard of for parts to arrive flawed or damaged. If that is the case, you will have to deal with customer service, which has a less-than-favorable reputation.

Kraftmaid also explains through its website that its natural wood products are prone to hairline cracks. These cracks occur at the joints, though they do not weaken the overall strength and integrity of the joints.

What Makes for a Quality Cabinet?

Now that we know more about these two companies, it is time to ask another important question: what makes for a good cabinet, anyway? There are more than a few characteristics that you should consider before making your next cabinet purchase.

Find out if it is cheaper to build your own cabinets.

All-Plywood Construction

One of the first things to consider is what the cabinet is made of. The two common choices are particleboard and plywood. Plywood is much stronger and the best quality cabinets make use of plywood on the backs and sides. Plywood also helps the cabinets to keep their shape during transportation and fitting.

Full-Height Back Panels

A collapsed cabinet can be a huge mess to deal with. The back panel is the biggest reason for this catastrophe. The back panel construction contributes to the overall strength of the cabinet and is quite easy to install.

Soft-Close Hinges

More and more cabinet makers are implementing this feature and for good reason. Who hasn’t been startled by the unexpected slamming of a door? These hinges make it so that you won’t hear your drawer closing, nor will you run the risk of damaging the counters by applying too much force.

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Which is the Better Choice?

Both companies make a sturdy, fashionable cabinet. They would not have established themselves as favorites in the market offering anything else. But how do the two compare to each other? Which is the better choice?

For a better overall value, Shenandoah is the way to go. Their cabinets are solid and durable and they have plenty of options to choose from. They have a wide array of cabinet sizes and styles that can fit most modern kitchens. Just be aware that there may be issues with the quality of the cabinet compared to other manufacturers.

Kraftmaid may have the best overall cabinetry, however. They have a wider range of offerings, with an affordable plywood cabinet as well as their higher-end offerings. That means something for everyone and in a wide range of styles and colors. Kraftmaid is the more expensive option of the two, challenging some budgets but all in the name of improved quality.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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