How good is the kitchen cabineet warranty?

Today we’re going to talk about warranties. Are they needed? Is longer better?

Most of us are familiar with they way warranties are sold and serviced from our experiences purchasing and owning a car. In the car business, it’s a big deal how many years or miles your warranty lasts. Does it last for the useful lifetime of the vehicle in your opinion? Does it cover bumper-to-bumper. Does it cover big ticket fixes? And typically, the answer you hear to most of these questions from the dealer is a resounding “yes”!

However, once you start getting into the fine print of the warranty coverage details that most owners don’t read (until it’s too late), you find out the repair isn’t covered and you find yourself paying for a huge repair bill only two into ownership.

With cabinetry, your typical warranty options will be 1 year, 5 year, life of buyer, or a limited lifetime warranty. The “lifetime” warranty can be tricky and the length of this “lifetime” will most likely be legally defined by the state of residence. It could be 5 years, 7 years, or 10 years. Warranties defined as “life of the original consumer”, also contain some tricky fine print. The point is, what you assume the warranty may cover, may not be.

In most cases, cabinetry warranties typically cover hinges, drawer guides, the finish, and drawer and door fronts. Most companies will specify that warranty service for their products are provided as a “repair, then replace” warranty. Meaning attempts to repair the issue must be completed before replacement becomes an option. A well trained service technician can resolve most warranty repair issues. However, most of the manufacturer’s warranties will cover the parts, not the labor to install the replacement parts.

Obviously, a warranty provision is a plus for the consumer, but they are also a beneficial means of the protecting the manufacturer as well. In the end, the best rule of thumb is to ALWAYS do your homework up front to understand what your warranty will, or will not cover. The warranty is only part of what you are buying. Having as much information about the way the cabinets are built, where they come from, the mechanism used inside, and the process of the finish goes a long way in insuring you’ll get quality cabinetry. These factors along with the warranty, remove the guess work and helps eliminate the risk factor.

Cabinets can be the most expensive portion of your kitchen renovation, so make sure you are covered. If you have to spend a little more to get the warranty coverage you need for piece of mind, it is definitely worth it.