Industry Ed with Richard: Pre-Finished Cabinets

After the flood two years ago, prefinished cabinets were almost a necessity in the Baton Rouge area. Many people simply did not have the time to wait for custom cabinets to be created for their homes. The disaster gave locals a new respect for prefinished cabinets. 

For a long time, pre-finished cabinets have had a bad rap. “Particle board” construction has long scared away homeowners – as a material, it can be difficult to work with, and it does not always age well.  But today’s prefinished cabinets are far more sophisticated, both in material and construction. New construction techniques mean they can be customized to a greater degree than ever before. These cabinets can be a welcome addition to your next project, if you know how to work with them.

If you’re planning on using them in a job, there are a few things you should consider. 

For Builders and Contractors


  1. Come to jobsite finished; some brands have automotive-quality finishes 

  2. Can be installed at any point in the job, which makes them less likely to get beaten up or scratched during the rest of the job

  3. Interiors come finished as well   

  4. Don’t have to worry about overspray on your hardware        

  5. Once installed, they are completely done 

For Homeowners

  1. Nearly unlimited options for colors and finishes

  2. Come with a high quality finish

  3. Easy to match colors or hardware when something needs to be replaced

  4. Endless options for customization (add wine racks, slide out drawers, under cabinet lighting, etc.) 

  5. Reflect popular and modern styles, including slab doors and frameless styles 

If you’re planning on incorporating prefinished cabinets into your next project, be sure to work with a reputable dealer. This will help you avoid getting products that are made from low-grade particle board or that have variances in hardware. Look for the The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, or KCMA, certification to ensure that your cabinet manufacturer is using high-quality materials.


Some things, like inferior materials or hardware, can be avoided by working with the right company. 

At Ourso Designs, we are a dealer for Wood-Mode, a high-end prefinished cabinet brand. These cabinets aren’t made from poor particle board; the materials Wood-Mode uses are great, and their range of customizable features means that you can find something to suit any homeowner’s needs. Wood-Mode is one of the founders of the KCMA. I highly recommend working with them for your next project.

This is not to say that we don’t use custom cabinets in our projects. We have a longstanding relationship with the team at Baton Rouge Custom Cabinets; I cannot recommend those guys enough. They do a great job, from choosing quality materials and hardware to installing at the jobsite. Custom cabinets can be the right choice for the job. 

It’s always a good idea to know your options, so that you and your client can make an informed decision for your project.   

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