Guest Post: More Follow Up on All Wood Cabinetry

October 26th, 2010 · 17 Comments

You might have read the original Guest Post, “Kitchen Cabinets from All Wood Cabinetry?” that led to lots and lots of discussion about the durability, quality, and design of the All Wood Cabinets that you can buy through Costco.  As part of that discussion, I’ve offered to post photos from Costco members that purchased the cabinets.  I’m hoping that this will help anyone thinking about purchasing these.  Pictures say a lot and since it is almost impossible to get a good idea of what they might look like in a real kitchen, from the photos on the Costco/All Wood Cabinets websites, I’m hoping this is useful to everyone.

The first person that sent me photos was Maria, who was also responsible for the original guest post on this topic.  So, if you’d like to see the photos from her kitchen and read her feedback, you should check out her follow up guest post.

However, this guest post and picture gallery comes from Bunty Pabbaraju, who also recently purchased the All Wood Cabinets through Costco.  He posted a really useful comment on the original post, but I’m going to repeat it here, just in case anyone missed it.

I recently had my kitchen completely renovated and put in all new cabinets. I bought the cabinets from Costco / thinking I cant go wrong. Costco usually will promote a good product.

I got the cabinets and have had them professionally installed. Here is what I think about these cabinets – I will give you the PRO’s and CON’s and you can decide for yourself.

About AllwoodFast the company:

  1. Danny the designer was very nice to work with. He is very patient and creative.
  2. The customer Service team is very responsive to issues and concerns (Christina / Jessica).
  3. This company claims their cabinets are all wood – I have to disagree – the fronts are all wood – the rest is ply wood.
  4. The company claims “made in the USA” – it appears that all the cabinet fronts are made in China for all the cabinets. They are then assembled by this company on to the plywood cabinet housings here in the USA. This is kind of misleading.
  5. The cabinets dont have to be assembled by you – they are shipped fully assembled.
  6. The packaging is excellent.
  7. The shipping was fairly quick (3 weeks).

The Quality of the Cabinets:

  1. All the wood appears to be maple (Chinese?) – with various stains.
  2. The wall cabinets usually don’t seem to have any issues with the cuts of the wood – this may be intentional, as they are at eye level – and so they make sure the quality of the wood in the wall cabinet fronts are good.
  3. Base cabinets – have the worst grades of the wood – very patchy – heavy swirls in the grain – the staining looks patchy. In my case 14 panels were so bad that I had to get them replaced – they were simply an eye sore. Why just the base cabinets ? No one tends to look below eye level.
  4. The cabinets come with hinges that will have to be adjusted – a lot of time has to be spent on aligning the doors.
  5. I had light rail molding installed on all the base cabinets. The base cabinets are not flush at the bottom – and so we have gaps in all the light rail moldings – in many places it looks real bad. You can see the light come through from between the cabinets and the molding.
  6. All the moldings – are by far the worst quality – they are made of cheap wood – with a veneer wrapping to match the shade of the cabinets. The veneer has air bubbles all over them. The crown molding and light rail molding has this problem.
  7. Now I have air bubbles showing up on the light rail moldings – above the toaster and the coffee maker – so any heat will cause the moldings to have air bubbles under the veneer.
  8. The pricing of the moldings is simply outrageous. This is where they get you.
  9. One of the draws on the base cabinets will not close shut – on one end – it appears that the slides have not been installed correctly. We are just noticing that. I have to get this addressed by AllWoddFast.

So, in a nut shell:
The companies customer service and design service is good – they are trying to help.
The product has quite a few quality issues.
The pricing is not the greatest – there are better prices and products.

Finally – will I buy from this company again – NO!
Would I recommend others to buy – NO!
The key here is quality. Everything else can be worked out. As for quality – you are stuck with it – and have yet to see how the product will hold out.

Hope this will help you with your decisions.


Tags: · Decorating · Guest Posts · Household Items · services Share

17 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Michelle F // 2015.01.29 at 12:18 pm

    I ordered the Haven Biscuit Glaze and got three shades of cream one being very yellow all the way to a tan cream. I called to complain but because I didn’t report it within 72 hours they said they aren’t going to do anything. I explained I checked them for damages etc but until you get them installed you don’t notice a color variation. I have contacted Costco to see if they will do anything. I say buyer beware!

  2. 2 Awc Kitchen Cabinets // 2014.06.06 at 5:05 pm

    […] Guest Post More Follow Up on All Wood Cabinetry Addicted To Costco source […]

  3. 3 Joe Stilwell // 2011.08.24 at 9:58 pm

    Just tried Webinetry cabinets here in Fullerton. Same design….12 to 15k. Amazing how the prices change and thats not even installed price and they come unassembled. Pretty crazy. My kitchen is pretty small and I just dont want to spend a ton of money because I still have to extend the soffit, can lighting, granite, move a wall, fill in a wall,etc. I have another place Im trying this weekend

  4. 4 Bunty // 2011.08.23 at 7:38 am

    Joe Stilwell – you are right – the Chinese have taken over the cabinet market – just like everything else. The cabinets sold by AllWoodCabinets through Costco are also made in China – meaning the wood fronts of all the cabinets come from China. The plywood boxes are made here in USA – and the fronts are attcahed to the cabinets here in the USA. I was surprised that this allows the company to claim “made in the USA” on the cabinets. Remember – costco has to make money and AllWood too – so that a nice split of allmost $4000 for Costco and Allwood.

  5. 5 Joe Stilwell // 2011.08.22 at 10:21 pm

    Well, I read a bunch of reviews and thought I would give them a try and just received a quote today. I did the initial design being I’m a general contractor and can do the installation myself. I got lots of quotes with the exact design quoted by each. First was from a local cabinetmaker to reface and of course with all new doors, etc. $10,000. Then another local quote for chinese cabinets installed, great quality which I saw at showroom $8,500. Next was with chinese cabinets again but I hav’nt seen his work in person but has a nice website and no real overhead and a very nice guy who has been doing this for years $3,500. So I decided to give Costco a try like I said and got a quote for the same design but I have to install them……price is $7,800 plus tax and thats including a 40% discount. Are they out of there mind. Poor quality for that price???? Wow!!! No wonder the Chinese have taken over the cabinet market

    • 6 Jeremy // 2012.08.07 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Joe,

      I would like to know where you found the cabinets for $3500. You mentioned a website but did not name it. Any help would be appreciated.

  6. 7 Nick // 2011.03.26 at 7:33 pm

    I just got cabinets from them also. They are not misleading on that they are all wood. But, what they don’t say is thay they are also flimsy, and the veneer on the side panels and the shelving will peel off very easily if you are not careful. I had a good designer who helped me but, if I have 90 inch ceilings don’t send me a 90″ linen cabinet that is one piece, duh! you will not be able to install it without cutting down the kickpanel as it will not clear the ceiling. My own fault, I assumed the cabinet would come in 2 pieces. Would not use them again, and would not recommend them. Pretty flimsy cabinets.

  7. 8 Carl // 2010.12.05 at 6:14 pm

    I have to agree that plywood is very desirable box construction and I think fair to call it “all wood”. The norm for most cabs is MDF, basically glue-and-sawdust. It is reasonble stuff, even semi-custom cabs are made with MDF boxes. I paid a 10% to 15% upcharge to get plywood boxes, the standard was MDF and I was spending $25k. Plywood is lighter, stronger and much harder to damage. I was told most people went with MDF and it would be fine. My plywood has a birth veneer with a coat of poly and looks great.

    I know I thought the pricing on the wood trim pieces seemed expensive, I think that is fairly normal. But I also know that is was 100% solid maple, so I think AllWood is cheating you if the trim is MDF.

    A well done kitchen remodel added to you home value and makes for a quicker sale. Now that I’ve done one when I go to an open house I look very closely at the quality of the kitchen cabs and try out the doors and drawers. I would (and did) spend the money with a local company and does the design, order and install. They take care of all issues. They should know which of their lines provide the best wood.

  8. 9 Pat // 2010.12.03 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the review. The cabinets look beautiful in the pictures. You mention that they should not be considered “all wood” since plywood is used in the construction of the cabinets. Plywood is considered all wood. Had they used the phrase “solid-wood”, then that would be misleading. Plywood gets a bad wrap as being less desirable than solid wood, but plywood is actually much more stable and much stronger than solid wood. I would much rather have plywood used in the casework than solid wood.

  9. 10 Bunty // 2010.11.11 at 1:13 pm

    Maria – Thanks for the compliments. The original design was a bit plain – with a flat line of cabinets. I had shown the design layouts to the installer – and he recommended that we create some off-sets in cabinet heights to add some aesthetics to the kitchen. So he just drew up some ideas on paper and we liked it and so went ahead and ordered cabinets accordingly. The cabinets are Lancaster Cinnamon.
    The moldings are made of really cheap wood – docent even look like pine – it has too be worse grade than pine. The moldings are finger joined – and have a plastic like veneer on the base wood. They have not been glued properly – they have air bubbles between the veneer and the base wood. The veneer is so thin that we can see the finger joints under the veneer. We now have to be careful with using the toaster, rise cooker and hot water kettle. Any heat seems to be creating bubbles under the veneer. The moldings should have been made with the same wood as the cabinet fronts – at least for what they cost. It seems like they make a killing on the moldings and sure offer the poorest quality.
    I am so disgusted with the moldings that I am now down to the last bubble – no pun intended. One more new bubble and and Im going to burst. I will get costco involved – and ask to get the entire molding re-done – or have them take their cabinets back – and will seek a full reimbursement of my money – including labor. I am just ready to had this over to my attorney and have him take care of the issue.
    I just saw another post from FRAZER on the main AllWood / blog – he has bubbles under the door fronts. I just cant imagine to have to deal with that. Hope he is able to get this straightened out. He too recommends to stay away from AllWood.

  10. 11 Maria // 2010.11.03 at 5:14 pm

    I have to say that the kitchen looks great but I think it’s fantastic that you took the time to outline your experience with All Wood. I really like the different heights of the cabinets and the shelves you created at the top – it looks really nice. Are the cabinets Lancaster Toffee Glaze or? In reading what you wrote, I have to say I agree about the moldings – they are expensive! I don’t have alot of experience on what the molding quality “should” be so I can’t really comment on that – we only had a small crown molding on the top and it functioned fine for us. Also, I’m going to go home and look at my base cabinets again to see the grade of wood! I agree completely with @Kimberly’s last post – and I too thank you for sharing your feedback.

  11. 12 Kimberly // 2010.10.27 at 9:05 am

    @Bunty, I really do want to thank you for sharing your feedback and photos with everyone. It really helps to get the perspective of a real person. I appreciate the feedback, good or bad, because like you said, everyone works hard for the money and no one wants to spend a fortune on something that won’t meet your expectations or needs.

    As far as the installation comment from me goes, point taken. I just know, sadly from my own past experiences, that no matter how wonderful the product is, if you had a so-so installer they can really make it horrible.

    I wish your experience had gone more smoothly, but thanks for sharing all the details with everyone here!

  12. 13 Bunty Pabbaraju // 2010.10.27 at 8:56 am

    Thanks for some very interesting perspectives from all of you.

    HotWasabiPeas: My note in the original post was about the quality of the product. It hurts when you spend $12k on the cabinets and they are not what they are portrayed to be – so I think I have the right to complain about them.

    Emily (Bentobloggy): Your perspective is absolutely on point. These are my exact sentiments. Its amazing how some people think Im complaining – when I spent the money and have to deal with the outcome.

    #1 Costconian : Once gain – my exact sentiments.

    Kimberly: Your assessment is right – the cabinets are dropped off at your drive way. After that you are on your own.

    As for the installation service: Sorry – I have to disagree with installing issues. I had a very experienced installer do the job. When I pointed out to him that the Light Rail had gaps between the cabinet and the molding – he thought I was pointing a finger at his workmanship and he pulled out the molding and showed me an 1/8th offset between the face of the cabinet and the plywood housing. If the plywood part was larger – he could have shaved it off – but it was the wood cabinet front that was larger – he would have to shave the front and that was a dicey job.

    I have had numerous other problems that I have not listed. The glass front mullion door for one of the cabinets were warped. The hinge cavity was placed so close to the edge of the door that hole went all the way through the wood and was visible from the outside. You would think the company would inspect their product before they shipped it out.
    Finally a new door was sent it.

    I ordered 6 v-groove panels for covering the exposed cabinets to the breakfast bar – the shades of the panels were all different – and some had thin v-grooves – some gad really thick v-grooves.

    So far I have dealt only with AllWoodFast – they have taken care of most of the things. As for the offsets on the cabinets – I don’t know what to do. I wanted to give these folks a chance to fix issues and for the most part – they have. But nothing can be done about the quality of the cabinets, the off-sets on the fronts and plywood housings, the delays in getting the replacements panels, the extra money I had to spend getting the installer out again, re-work caused due to air bubbles in the moldings.

    That’s the reason I took the trouble of telling people what I experienced. I could just as well kept it to my self – and let people deal with similar fates. I just believe – all people work hard for their money and consumers can and should unite to hail a good product – and boycott a bad product. Hopefully most will see the sense in this sentiment.

    Best regards, Bunty

  13. 14 Kimberly // 2010.10.27 at 1:29 am

    I think I know the answer, but just to confirm, you have to handle getting these installed yourself, right? AWC/Costco doesn’t do anything with regards to the installation, they just deliver them and then you or your contractor must install them , correct? Because I was just thinking one or two of the complaints possibly has more to do with the installation of the cabinets than the actual cabinets themselves.

    With regards to the hinges, I’ve had some of those on cabinetry in my house and they are a pain to get right. However, they work a lot better specifically because of the ability to fine tune them too.

  14. 15 #1 Costconian // 2010.10.26 at 9:35 pm

    The pics look great from afar….but they may not look so good up close!

    Ditto what Emily posted!

  15. 16 Emily (Bentobloggy) // 2010.10.26 at 7:35 pm

    They may look great to us, but I would also complain for all the reasons listed. If I’d spent that much money to have my cabinets replaced, you’d better be sure I’d want what was promised. I hope Costco can help make things right.

  16. 17 HotWasabiPeas // 2010.10.26 at 11:28 am

    The cabinets look great to me…don’t know why he’s complaining.

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