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KraftMaid vs Merillat Cabinets - Which Is Better?

KraftMaid vs Merillat Cabinets – Which Is Better?

by Jessica Miller

The subject of KraftMaid vs Merillat Cabinets has drawn much attention as people realize the vital role that cabinets play in shaping the aesthetics and functionality of a home.

While cabinets may appear as simple storage solutions, the brand you opt for can have far-reaching implications. KraftMaid and Merillat are both esteemed names in the cabinet industry, each offering a unique set of benefits and challenges.

This article aims to provide a thorough comparison between the two brands, helping you make an informed decision for your home improvement project.

Quick Comparison

Company BackgroundPart of Masco Companies, also contributes to Brookhaven line for WoodmodePart of Masco Companies
Finishing SystemDuraKraft Plus systemEdge profile sanding technique
Grade OptionsCustom, Semi-Custom, StockMasterpiece, Classic
Finish OptionsPainted, Color-match, Translucent, Stains, Weathered, AgedStained, Glazed, Thermofoil, Distressed, Painted, Vintage
Design and Build3/4-inch hanging rail, I-Beam construction3/8-inch particle board sides, plastic corner braces
Product Lines and QualityKnown for excellent quality, deep drawers, adjustable shelvesKnown for good quality, quiet drawer operation, automatic closing hinges
Construction and DurabilitySolid wood construction, scratch-resistant face framesHardened steel front frames
MaterialRobust materials even in un-upgraded versions3/8″ particle board sides and plastic corner braces in classic line
PriceHigher priced due to upgrades and innovationsMore cost-effective
Warranty ConditionsLifetime limited warrantyLifetime limited warranty and 25-year limited warranty
Brand Perception and Quality IssuesMixed reviews, concerns about corporate changes affecting qualityMixed reviews, concerns about corporate changes affecting quality
Customer ExperiencesVaried; some issues with customer service but also praise for qualityVaried; some praise for durability but also quality concerns

Key Features and Attributes

The crux of choosing between KraftMaid and Merillat lies in understanding their respective features and attributes.

Here, we compare and contrast these brands based on company backgrounds, grades of cabinets offered, finishing systems, and material and build quality.

Comparing Company Backgrounds

Both KraftMaid and Merillat operate under the umbrella of the Masco Companies. However, they have distinct histories and market focuses.

  • Shared Parent Company: “Masco Companies”
    • KraftMaid: Founded in 1969, primarily targets the premium market segment.
    • Merillat: Established in 1946, caters to a broader market, including entry-level consumers.
  • Notable Contributions to Other Lines
    • KraftMaid has been instrumental in pioneering premium cabinets with innovative design.
    • Merillat has diversified its portfolio, offering other lines like countertops and interior fittings.

Note: Understanding the company background may help consumers align their choices with the brand’s market focus and product lines.

Exploring the Different Grades

Both brands offer a range of grades, tailored to fit different needs and budgets.

  • KraftMaid’s Custom
    • Features include soft-close doors, full-overlay design, and nearly unlimited customization options.
  • Semi-Custom, Stock Options
    • KraftMaid also provides semi-custom and stock options, albeit with limited features.
  • Merillat’s Masterpiece and Classic Grades
    • Masterpiece caters to higher-end consumers with features like dovetail drawer construction.
    • Classic is the budget-friendly line with fewer customization options.

A Close Look at Finishing Systems

The finish on your cabinets plays a significant role in both aesthetics and durability.

  • Merillat’s Aging Technique
    • Incorporates an aging process that imparts a unique, rustic look.
  • KraftMaid’s DuraKraft Plus System
    • Uses a multi-step process that includes both staining and sealing, resulting in a durable finish.

Note: The choice of finish can greatly influence the cabinet’s longevity and aesthetic appeal.

Material and Build Quality

Both brands vary considerably in terms of materials used and build quality.

  • KraftMaid’s Robust Construction
    • Primarily uses solid wood and plywood, making for a sturdy, long-lasting product.
  • Merillat’s Use of Particle Board and Plastic Braces
    • Makes use of less expensive materials like particle board and plastic braces, especially in their Classic line.
BrandMaterialNotable Features
KraftMaidSolid woodDuraKraft Plus finish
MerillatParticle boardBudget-friendly Classic line

This examination of key features and attributes equips you with the necessary insights to make a well-informed choice between KraftMaid and Merillat.

Read Also: Klearvue Cabinets vs Ikea – Seriously Compare

Key Differences and How to Choose

Determining the best cabinet brand for your needs involves analyzing several factors such as price, durability, design options, and customer experiences.

This section will guide you through these critical aspects, comparing KraftMaid and Merillat along the way.

Price Points and What They Mean

Price often becomes a defining factor in choosing between KraftMaid and Merillat.

  • Is Merillat More Cost-Effective?
    • Generally, Merillat cabinets are less expensive, primarily due to the use of more affordable materials like particle board.
  • Are KraftMaid’s Upgrades Worth the Cost?
    • KraftMaid’s higher price point is reflective of its more premium offerings, such as custom-built units and a vast array of finishes.
BrandPrice RangeNotable Inclusions
KraftMaidHigh-endCustomization, solid wood
MerillatMid to low rangeParticle board, plastic

Note: A higher price does not always equate to higher value. It depends on what features you prioritize.

Durability and Long-Term Value

A cabinet’s life expectancy is crucial when weighing KraftMaid against Merillat.

  • Insights into KraftMaid’s Durable Construction
    • The use of solid wood and robust finishes assures longevity, even if the initial cost is high.
  • Merillat’s Reputation for Durability
    • Merillat offers reliable durability, especially in their Masterpiece line, albeit at a lower price point.

Note: Durability should be considered alongside price to determine long-term value.

Finish and Design Options

Both brands offer a variety of finishes and designs, but they cater to different tastes and needs.

  • Comparing the Aesthetic Flexibility of Both Brands
    • KraftMaid provides a broader range of finish and design options, suitable for various interior design themes.
  • The Importance of Exterior Finish in Your Choice
    • Merillat’s finishes, particularly the aging techniques, might appeal to those seeking a more traditional or rustic aesthetic.

Note: Your choice of finish and design will have a lasting impact on your home’s overall look and feel.

Customer Experiences and Brand Perception

Customer feedback plays an influential role in choosing between these two brands.

  • Quality Concerns for Both Brands
    • Both brands have had complaints, but they differ in nature. KraftMaid concerns often relate to the high cost, while Merillat’s usually focus on material quality.
  • How Customer Feedback Could Influence Your Decision
    • Positive reviews for KraftMaid often highlight the brand’s longevity and superior build, whereas Merillat reviews commend its cost-effectiveness and functional design.
BrandCommon Positive FeedbackCommon Concerns
KraftMaidLongevity, superior buildHigh cost
MerillatCost-effectivenessMaterial quality

Being cognizant of these key differences between KraftMaid vs Merillat Cabinets can aid you in making a choice that suits your specific needs and preferences.

Read Also: Shenandoah Cabinets vs Kraftmaid – The Definitive Comparison


We’ve reached the concluding part of our analysis comparing KraftMaid vs Merillat Cabinets, tying together the key differences and recommendations.

While KraftMaid excels in higher-end customizations and durable materials, Merillat is more budget-friendly, offering practical designs without compromising much on quality.

The final verdict is not universally applicable; the better choice depends on individual requirements and budget.

Armed with this comprehensive review, you are now better equipped to make a well-informed decision that aligns with your specific needs, be it the elegance and robustness of KraftMaid or the affordability and efficiency of Merillat.