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Kitchen Renos


rgruby
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Has anybody in the GTA reno'd a kitchen recently?

I'd be grateful for any suggestions on places to look at for appliances, cabinets, kitchen design advice, etc.

I'm at the very early stages of deciding what I'm going to do. New cabinets are a must - the kitchen has almost no storage. Thinking about an island. I would like to put in a gas range, but might live with the current electric stove for a bit (will likely depend on how much of the budget goes for cabinetry).

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

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You could try Canac on John St. in Markham for cabinetry/layout/etc....

I purchased my appliance from Appliances Canada on Jane St, North of Hwy 7 on the east side. They were okay. Nothing too high end though, but they do have Sub Zero fridges, Miele appliances and even indoor grills, as well as the usual lines (Whirlpool, Kitchenaid, etc...). County appliace on Yonge south of Steeles, on the west side, used to offer good service. They carry Amana, Maytag, Miele, Whirlpool, as well.

A miele or Bosch dishwasher is a must.

Mark

Edited by Librarian_chef (log)
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On the subject of appliances, when I did my place I followed the Miele/Bosch advice and I can tell you that a Bosch is vastly over rated. After 3 years, I have spent about $400 in repairs (all under warranty for parts too). Furthermore, it lacks the functionality of other models. It does however clean dishes very well. The Mercedes of dishwashers is the two drawer Fisher and Paykel. Not sure of your budget, but if you have a large family and you entertain a bit it's the must have.

I also have a Kitchen Aid Fridge. A huge one at that. The water dispenser/ice maker mechanism broke after 12 months and the fixed it twice ($150 per visit). The third time it broke they brought me a new fridge, no questions asked. The thing has worked since so I clearly had a lemon.

Good luck and remember to keep you sense of humor. A reno of any type is a stressful event.

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Ham?

Lisa: No.

Homer: Pork chops?

Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.

Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal. (The Simpsons)

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On the subject of appliances, when I did my place I followed the Miele/Bosch advice and I can tell you that a Bosch is vastly over rated.  After 3 years, I have spent about $400 in repairs (all under warranty for parts too).  Furthermore, it lacks the functionality of other models.  It does however clean dishes very well. The Mercedes of dishwashers is the two drawer Fisher and Paykel.  Not sure of your budget, but if you have a large family and you entertain a bit it's the must have.

I also have a Kitchen Aid Fridge.  A huge one at that.  The water dispenser/ice maker mechanism broke after 12 months and the fixed it twice ($150 per visit).  The third time it broke they brought me a new fridge, no questions asked.  The thing has worked since so I clearly had a lemon.

Good luck and remember to keep you sense of humor.  A reno of any type is a stressful event.

I have only had experience with Amana, Whirlpool (what I own), Maytag, Kitchenaid and Miele dish washers. The latter worked the best. They do lack a garburetor so cleaning the trap is a must though. Bosch has been recommended by a number of people to me, basically for people who didn't want to fork out the extra cash for the miele.

GE fridges are garbage. My mother has one and the compressor has blown twice. I own a Whirlpool Gold side by side and it is adequate, but not state of the art. I really love those sub zeros that can blend in with the cabinetry. Its too bad that you couldn't fit a restaurant walkin in your kitchen.

Mark

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Good luck and remember to keep you sense of humor.  A reno of any type is a stressful event.

GE fridges are garbage.

Mark

I hear you about the sense of humour. I'll add monk-like patience as another thing that might come in handy. The reno is to a reasonable sized (15ish by 11ish) but storage short - space in a house we'll be moving into in a couple of months. I'm going to try and keep what I can, as I think it is a very workable space with a couple of additions. (In other words, this isn't quite like Varmint's ordeal that is being described in great deal elsewhere here on egullet. Not even close. Varmint's kitchen reno - the sequel) There is an obvious area for cupboards/ pantry that is now open shelving. I think there is enough space for an island. Perhaps with a bit of above counter cupboards as well, my storage needs should be very well taken care of. With an island, even a smallish one, I should have enough countertop work & plating space. Work and storage space are the priorities.

Re: the appliances - there's a Maytag dishwasher in there now. It'll probably be staying for a while unless it is total junk. Not sure what the fridge is, but it is bigger than what I'm using now, so it'll probably stay at least for a while. (I'd heard mostly good things about the GE fridges by the way - at least the upper end ones). The oven and cooktop have to go. Glass top. The gas line extends under the kitchen, so I'm thinking switch the cooktop over to gas. I'd want to anyhow, but as it'd need only 6-8' more gas line, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion. I prefer electric ovens, but we'll see. There's no vent in the kitchen right now. I'll need one of those, gas cooktop or not. Right now, the stove sits on an outside wall, so shouldn't be a major problem to put a hood up there.

The stove sits right beside a window at the moment. Actually, it doesn't quite fit. It may be tricky to fit a stove and proper backsplash in that area. If that proves the case, a rethink of the whole kitchen may have to happen. And, as much as I'd love a gas stove, if it is going to be difficult or make the the whole layout of the kitchen more difficult, I can live with electric. Not ideal, but I can live with it.

Ok, thanks for all the ideas, advice, debate, sources etc. Keep 'em coming folks.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

Edited to add link to Varmint's kitchen reno thread

Edited by rgruby (log)
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We're building at the moment, Appliance Canada was recommended to us as well. Also look at Tasco on Dufferin south of Lawrence. I came across a place called Caplan's today that seemed to have the usual lines plus Gaggenau, AEG and so on. Have not visited them. For appliances, what our builder has told us is, it's a very competitive business so make sure you get quotes from all of them.

If you are looking for design ideas, visit Canac, Paris Kitchens and Downsview Kitchens - between them you get a pretty good idea of what's out there. Downsview are at Yonge and Eg, Canac and Paris somewhere along Hwy 7, if memory serves.

Enjoy the reno! :blink:

Tracey

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Anybody gone the Ikea route for cabinets?

On some of the other kitchen reno threads, Ikea has been mentioned as good bang for the buck, but also quite good on the quality end of things as well. I'm assuming the product we get here is the same as in the US?

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Anybody gone the Ikea route for cabinets?

On some of the other kitchen reno threads, Ikea has been mentioned as good bang for the buck, but also quite good on the quality end of things as well. I'm assuming the product we get here is the same as in the US?

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

My wife worked for a couple that had an IKEA kitchen reno. It turned out to be very expensive and they regretted it. The build quality wasn't bad though, but they felt that they could have gotten more bang for their buck somewhere else. This was awhile back though, maybe 7 years ago.

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We ended up at Tasco for the Appliances - very happy too.

We had a very small place for the kitchen so hired an architect to redesign the space (he taught at Stratford Chefs School). Not cheap but we're very happy with the results-he worked closely with our contractor. But we had made the decision to stay in the house for 20 years, so were prepared to do it right.

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We ended up at Tasco for the Appliances - very happy too.

We had a very small place for the kitchen so hired an architect to redesign the space (he taught at Stratford Chefs School). Not cheap but we're very happy with the results-he worked closely with our contractor. But we had made the decision to stay in the house for 20 years, so were prepared to do it right.

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Hi I have to outfit a small college program for up to 20 studnets and have a limited idea of what will be required as faras appliances go. i was wondering though if there are any contacts out there that know of web sites that would help in this endeavour...freddychef

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  • 7 months later...

I thought I'd bring this thread back to life as the kitchen reno will soon be proceeding. I hope. I've found dealing with kitchen design places frustrating for the most part (I dunno, but if I'm proposing doing something that's going to send you $30k worth of business, you might want to call me back or respond to emails??)

So, I finally went to Ikea. I figured they'd be cheaper for cabinetry, but I was astounded by how much so. A step down in quality? Maybe - a bit. I'll repeat, maybe. They still have a 10 year warranty on their cabinets. A few limitations in what they offer- sure - it's not custom built. However, it looks like we'll be going Ikea for the cabinetry.

Ikea also had a granite countertop I liked. That is, if I don't go soapstone. There's a thread.

For appliances, it's down to Ventahood or Zephyr for the vent hood, and GE profile dual fuel for the range (unless I go for a spendy one like Viking or Bluestar).

I have no idea re: lighting or backsplashes. Any ideas where to get advice on those two areas is appreciated.And sinks/ taps as well.

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

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Hey Geoff, I actually used a contracter when we redid our kitchen a couple years ago. You're right, it IS frustrating at times, but in our case it seemed the way to go. We ripped everything out to the bare bones and I didn't feel I had the patience, time or experience to vet and hire all the various trades needed.

Backsplash - are you going to do the work yourself? If so, you have the option of choosing various tile, marble etc. and installing it. I have a tumbled marble backsplash that I initially questioned, but have been very very happy with it. Looks good, easy to clean etc.

Lighting, again if you can't do it yourself, then you have to find a good electrician. I love having under the cupboard lighting combined with pot lights, but my work area tends to be somewhat dark (long, narrow kitchen)

Even Home Depot have good selection of sinks and taps unless you're looking for something high end.

I have no idea if this helps, what do you want the end result to be like and how "high end" do you want to go????

Barbara Laidlaw aka "Jake"

Good friends help you move, real friends help you move bodies.

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Geoff,

From a quality POV, I'd seriously suggest you rethink the IKEA route. I've been a kitchen designer for 15 years, and I've lost count of the number of IKEA kitchens I've taken out. It seriously has nothing to do with the doors (which are really nice I agree) but the hinges and slides they use. I've been dealing with BLUM hinges and slides for years. They come with a lifetime warranty and in 15 years I've replaced 1 hinge due to defect.

I wish I had a designer in TO to send you to. What I'd suggest is visiting the NKBA Web Site (National Kitchen & Bath Association.) On the main page is a "FIND A PROFESSIONAL" section where you can enter your postal code and find a certified designer near you.

Hope this helps

A.

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Backsplash - are you going to do the work yourself? 

...

I have no idea if this helps, what do you want the end result to be like and how "high end" do you want to go????

Not sure how high end we want to go. There definitely is a budget. Our kitchen, while reasonably large (11 x 15 or so) has virtually no cupboard space. (The previous owners kept their cutlery and dishes in a hutch in the living room - 2 rooms away. Seriously. I should post a picture) So, we need cupboards, pantry etc. etc. Wow cupboards are expensive! There's currently no vent hood. That is actually the most pressing need. And, I want to get rid of the electric range and replace with gas (the previous owners had a gas range and pulled it out - I don't think they cooked much).

I'd love to keep the budget under 30k. I figure range and vent hood in the 5k-6k range installed if I go GE for the range. Granite counter from Ikea @3.5. If I go soapstone it will be closer to 6k. Even with soapstone that leaves 18 grand for cabinets, lighting, backsplash, sinks and taps, plumbing, electrical, surprises, and if anything is left over, a new coat of paint. Even going the Ikea route for cabinets, I think it's going to be tight given our budget. So, I may have to consider doing some things myself - like the backsplash, and painting. But, I'm not that handy - painting I can do, the backsplash? I don't know.

We need a window guy too (we're going to make the kitchen window smaller so we can put a counter there), so any advice on that front is welcome too.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Geoff,

From a quality POV, I'd seriously suggest you rethink the IKEA route.  I've been a kitchen designer for 15 years, and I've lost count of the number of IKEA kitchens I've taken out.  It seriously has nothing to do with the doors (which are really nice I agree) but the hinges and slides they use.  I've been dealing with BLUM hinges and slides for years.  They come with a lifetime warranty and in 15 years I've replaced 1 hinge due to defect.

Thanks for the heads up Arne. I actually was very hesitant to even consider Ikea, even though there are generally positive comments about their cabinets on egullet. However, there are higher priorities for me that I don't want to compromise on - vent hood, range and countertop. I might be able to save a bit here and there by painting myself, etc. but the major cost after my above listed priorities is the cabinetry, and I doubt we can do anything close to what we want unless we go Ikea. That being said, they do have a 10 year warrantee. I'll have to inquire further whether that applies to the hinges and slides. (I did also visit a couple kitchen design places. One didn't bother to email me back after I spent about an hour in their shop talking to them about what I want, budget etc. I get the sense that a 30 grand budget is small potatoes for a lot of these places. The other place I spent a bit more time with has given me a ballpark figure between 35 and 40 grand - before appliances - every time I talk to them it seems to go up. We can't really justify that. So, Ikea it is I think. And, to be fair to the one design place, they did suggest I at least check out Ikea.)

So, is it possible to go with Ikea cabinets, and replace their hinges and slides with Blum or something of similar quality down the road? How interchangeable are hinges and slides?

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

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Anybody gone the Ikea route for cabinets?

On some of the other kitchen reno threads, Ikea has been mentioned as good bang for the buck, but also quite good on the quality end of things as well. I'm assuming the product we get here is the same as in the US?

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

I've fitted at least 6 IKEA kitchens into apartments without incident. Still fairly sturdy after a few years.

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Geoff,

From a quality POV, I'd seriously suggest you rethink the IKEA route.  I've been a kitchen designer for 15 years, and I've lost count of the number of IKEA kitchens I've taken out.  It seriously has nothing to do with the doors (which are really nice I agree) but the hinges and slides they use.  I've been dealing with BLUM hinges and slides for years.  They come with a lifetime warranty and in 15 years I've replaced 1 hinge due to defect.

So, is it possible to go with Ikea cabinets, and replace their hinges and slides with Blum or something of similar quality down the road? How interchangeable are hinges and slides?

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

I think the way Ikea prices things, you actually pay for every single item individually - including things like hinges (not positive about slides though). So, it may still be possible to go Ikea, but purchase higher quality hinges and slides. (Not sure if I get Ikea to do the install whether they would install third party hinges and slides or not). I will look into this further and report back. This does depend on hinges and slides being relatively interchangeable (I'm guessing the positioning of the screws would be the major factor - assuming they're the same, changing one for another should be relatively straightforward?)

So, Arne, or anyone else - can Ikea slides and hinges be directly replaced by something higher quality like Blum? Anybody out there done it?

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

PS - thanks Arne for your help and comments on my various countertop threads!

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So, Arne, or anyone else - can Ikea slides and hinges be directly replaced by something higher quality like Blum? Anybody out there done it?

I don't think so Geoff ... but I haven't looked closely at IKEA cabinets lately. The problem comes with the drilling for the hinges & slides (i.e. how they are attached to the doors and/or cabinet). It may not match the Blum hardware, and you'd end up with what we refer to as the "Swiss cheese effect". Besides, by the time you've switched everything over I think the time & money you've invested will make those IKEA cabinets a lot more than you think.

Have you been to Home Depot? They carry a line called "Thomasville" in-stock in a few doorstyles. Price point was pretty good IIRC and they're well built. To save money in other areas, I usually suggest to my clients that they can remove the old cabinets, tile the splash (attend a DIY seminar at Home Depot ... very easy) and do the paint.

Keep us posted!

A.

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So, Arne, or anyone else - can Ikea slides Have you been to Home Depot? They carry a line called "Thomasville" in-stock in a few doorstyles. Price point was pretty good IIRC and they're well built. To save money in other areas, I usually suggest to my clients that they can remove the old cabinets, tile the splash (attend a DIY seminar at Home Depot ... very easy) and do the paint.

Keep us posted!

A.

Haven't been to Home Depot - well I have, and very recently, but I thought they'd be a step under Ikea kitchen-wise (dunno why - just did) so I haven't looked at their kitchen cabinetry. I'll definitely be looking very closely at the hinges and slides now, but I'm not sure exactly what I should be looking for.

Thanks though for the advice.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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Backsplash - are you going to do the work yourself? 

...

I have no idea if this helps, what do you want the end result to be like and how "high end" do you want to go????

Not sure how high end we want to go. There definitely is a budget. Our kitchen, while reasonably large (11 x 15 or so) has virtually no cupboard space. (The previous owners kept their cutlery and dishes in a hutch in the living room - 2 rooms away. Seriously. I should post a picture) So, we need cupboards, pantry etc. etc. Wow cupboards are expensive! There's currently no vent hood. That is actually the most pressing need. And, I want to get rid of the electric range and replace with gas (the previous owners had a gas range and pulled it out - I don't think they cooked much).

I'd love to keep the budget under 30k. I figure range and vent hood in the 5k-6k range installed if I go GE for the range. Granite counter from Ikea @3.5. If I go soapstone it will be closer to 6k. Even with soapstone that leaves 18 grand for cabinets, lighting, backsplash, sinks and taps, plumbing, electrical, surprises, and if anything is left over, a new coat of paint. Even going the Ikea route for cabinets, I think it's going to be tight given our budget. So, I may have to consider doing some things myself - like the backsplash, and painting. But, I'm not that handy - painting I can do, the backsplash? I don't know.

We need a window guy too (we're going to make the kitchen window smaller so we can put a counter there), so any advice on that front is welcome too.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

We just renovated our kitchen (13 x 9). The cost of the custom made cabinets was $8,300 + tax (includes installation). The granite countertop (49.2 sq.ft) was $3150+tax (installed). Then of course you need to add the appliances (we got a new dish washer and a hood at Caplans) and a new sink + faucet ($1400 +tax at Dupont Plumbing). Finally, you need a contractor to remove the old kitchen, install the backsplash, hookup the sink and dishwasher and install the under cabinet lights and ceiling lights. Originally, the contractor quoted $2500, but of course, we added many more things (not all of them kitchen related) so the contractor cost was about 3 times that. We are very happy with the results. The only thing I was dissapointed was with the hood (too noisy).

Hope this helps.

Salomon

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Backsplash - are you going to do the work yourself? 

...

I have no idea if this helps, what do you want the end result to be like and how "high end" do you want to go????

[snip]

We just renovated our kitchen (13 x 9). The cost of the custom made cabinets was $8,300 + tax (includes installation). The granite countertop (49.2 sq.ft) was $3150+tax (installed). Then of course you need to add the appliances (we got a new dish washer and a hood at Caplans) and a new sink + faucet ($1400 +tax at Dupont Plumbing). Finally, you need a contractor to remove the old kitchen, install the backsplash, hookup the sink and dishwasher and install the under cabinet lights and ceiling lights. Originally, the contractor quoted $2500, but of course, we added many more things (not all of them kitchen related) so the contractor cost was about 3 times that. We are very happy with the results. The only thing I was dissapointed was with the hood (too noisy).

Hope this helps.

Salomon

Some corrections:

1) Cost of cabinets didn't include installation (installation & delivery is 20%).

2) Contractor cost for kitchen related work: $4,500 (he supplied the materials, i.e tiles, pot lights, etc).

Salomon

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Backsplash - are you going to do the work yourself? 

...

I have no idea if this helps, what do you want the end result to be like and how "high end" do you want to go????

Not sure how high end we want to go. There definitely is a budget. ...

We just renovated our kitchen (13 x 9). The cost of the custom made cabinets was $8,300 + tax (includes installation). The granite countertop (49.2 sq.ft) was $3150+tax (installed). Then of course you need to add the appliances (we got a new dish washer and a hood at Caplans) and a new sink + faucet ($1400 +tax at Dupont Plumbing). Finally, you need a contractor to remove the old kitchen, install the backsplash, hookup the sink and dishwasher and install the under cabinet lights and ceiling lights. Originally, the contractor quoted $2500, but of course, we added many more things (not all of them kitchen related) so the contractor cost was about 3 times that. We are very happy with the results. The only thing I was dissapointed was with the hood (too noisy).

Hope this helps.

Salomon

Thanks for chiming in. If you'd be comfortable passing along contractor &/or cabinetry recommendations please do (you can always pm me if you don't want to do it openly on the forum).

And, which hood did you decide on (noisy is bad!) - I'm leaning towards Vent-aHood at the moment.

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

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We just renovated our kitchen (13 x 9). The cost of the custom made cabinets was $8,300 + tax (includes installation). The granite countertop (49.2 sq.ft) was $3150+tax (installed). Then of course you need to add the appliances (we got a new dish washer and a hood at Caplans) and a new sink + faucet ($1400 +tax at Dupont Plumbing). Finally, you need a contractor to remove the old kitchen, install the backsplash, hookup the sink and dishwasher and install the under cabinet lights and ceiling lights. Originally, the contractor quoted $2500, but of course, we added many more things (not all of them kitchen related) so the contractor cost was about 3 times that. We are very happy with the results. The only thing I was dissapointed was with the hood (too noisy).

Hope this helps.

Salomon

Thanks for chiming in. If you'd be comfortable passing along contractor &/or cabinetry recommendations please do (you can always pm me if you don't want to do it openly on the forum).

And, which hood did you decide on (noisy is bad!) - I'm leaning towards Vent-aHood at the moment.

Thanks,

Geoff Ruby

I sent you a private email message with the details.

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  • 2 months later...
So, Arne, or anyone else - can Ikea slides and hinges be directly replaced by something higher quality like Blum? Anybody out there done it?

I don't think so Geoff ... but I haven't looked closely at IKEA cabinets lately. The problem comes with the drilling for the hinges & slides (i.e. how they are attached to the doors and/or cabinet). It may not match the Blum hardware, and you'd end up with what we refer to as the "Swiss cheese effect". Besides, by the time you've switched everything over I think the time & money you've invested will make those IKEA cabinets a lot more than you think.

Have you been to Home Depot? They carry a line called "Thomasville" in-stock in a few doorstyles. Price point was pretty good IIRC and they're well built. To save money in other areas, I usually suggest to my clients that they can remove the old cabinets, tile the splash (attend a DIY seminar at Home Depot ... very easy) and do the paint.

Keep us posted!

A.

I went to Home Depot & Ikea today.

I thought the Thomasville doors looked a bit better than the Ikea ones, and maybe felt a bit more solid. The hinges for Thomasville were Salice. They looked nice - but I'm no expert on hinges. The hinges at Ikea were Blum! And at least some of the sliders were too (some of them didn't have names on them, so I couldn't determine whether or not they were Blum as well). The sliders on the Thomasville drawers looked quite solid, but the ones for the pull-out drawers seemed quite flimsy.

I have to say, comparing Ikea with Thomasville cabinets within a few minutes of each other, I came away highly impressed with the Ikea product. And it is considerably less expensive as well.

Cheers,

Geoff Ruby

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