Review Detail

 
Diamond
Diamond Featured
Kitchen Cabinets
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Finish 
 
4.0
Durability 
 
8.0
Warranty 
 
5.0
Custom Options 
 
8.0
Price / Value 
 
1.0
Quality 
 
2.0

Run far. Run fast.

Overall I'd say the materials used for these cabinets were fairly decent (only because I paid through the nose for all the upgrades) but in most other respects, they were just a hair above atrocious.

Issues basically fell into three categories:

1. GEOMETRY/ALIGNMENT ISSUES

I've seen far better alignment and tolerances on generic stuff from cheap, big-box furniture stores. I also do plenty of my own cabinetry, and I know how closely one can measure (1/64" isn't hard), and I know how accurately I can drill a hole by HAND (1/32" isn't hard). Diamond seems to be lucky to be within 10 times that, even though they have (or sure as heck should have) a factory, with jigs and templates, and all kinds of machinery set up to make these things predictably, over and over again. There is absolutely no excuse for the kind of appalling workmanship and misalignment of parts that I found on my cabinets. Oh, Diamond, let me count the ways that I do not love you...

First, one of the three cabinets was fully 1/4" out of square. Are they gluing these things together on a shifting sand dune?

Second, panels were not flush with one another. In several cases I had to sand the joint to make it even.

Third, fully half of the brackets holding drawer rails at the back were too high, yielding canted drawer rails and therefore canted drawer fronts. This is NOT an adjustable setting. I had to unscrew everything and mount the brackets properly, which takes a ton of time. It is extremely hard to move a hole at the back of a cabinet to a location near the original hole. It's very difficult to reach, and the drill or screw simply wants to slip back into the old hole, unless you also take the time to plug the old holes, which takes even more time.

Fourth, drawer rails were also not mounted at equal depth. Again, this is not adjustable. The screw slots do not allow for motion on this axis, and this was plenty enough to account for some of the drawer fronts' failure to sit flush. Again, I had to move screw holes around.

Finally, many of the drawer fronts were also mounted at an angle and/or with no consistency of vertical offset from the top of the underlying drawer box. The false front under the sink was fully 1/4" off center. Absolutely pathetic. I could do better with my eyes closed.

2. FINISH/DAMAGE ISSUES

There were many nicks and dings around the face frame. Perhaps they figured I wouldn't care because they are hidden when the drawers are closed, but they're perfectly visible when the drawers are open. Far worse was the massive chip out of the veneer in the corner of the decorative plywood end for which they'd had the audacity to charge me $125 (more on that later). To be fair, some of the smaller dings around the face frame might have happened during shipment when drawers shifted and smacked into the sides of the frame, but why wouldn't they protect against this with a tiny shim of foam or cardboard? They used a truly ludicrous amount of foam and cardboard to double pack the cabinets on the whole. Could they move just 2% of that gratuitous packing material into a small shim that keeps the drawers from shifting during transport? Pretty clearly a case of just not caring.

3. PRICING ISSUES

These things were not cheap, and the "upgrades" were even worse. Apparently dark brown is a "premium" finish for reasons that totally escape me, and for which they added nearly 15% to the cost of the whole darn order! The "flush plywood end" cost an unconscionable $125. The ONLY thing that means is that this little piece of plywood is just 1/4" thicker than the plywood used everywhere else. I know what the incremental cost of an extra 1/4" of thickness is for plywood, and it sure as heck isn't $125 for a small fraction of a full sheet. Try something closer to $5. 25x is a pretty indefensible markup. Almost as bad is the $100 they charge for a quart of stain. Really? I can buy a quart of any other stain for something like $10-15. It takes a lot of gall to charge six times more for a stain that I'm sure they acquire very cheaply in large quantity.

SUMMARY

If Diamond is going to charge five times what a generic cabinet costs, they better darn well have quality and tolerances that are 5x better, not 5x WORSE. In their defense, I did eventually wrangle a credit for about 10% of the order, but that took several weeks, lots of pictures and email, and it's a pittance compared to the time and effort I spent (and still have yet to spend) fixing their shoddy work. I personally have no data on other brands of semi-custom cabinets, but I can say for sure that you should run as far and as fast as possible from Diamond until they decide to take even a passing interest in the quality of their product.

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