Why are select grade cabinet doors from Cutting Edge so expensive?

Why are select grade cabinet doors so expensive? Select grade material has higher quality expectations, increasing the price. Other factors also affect the cost.

Slabs of wood glued together in a glue press.

Have you ever quoted on a project with your usual pricing, assuming that would be fine? Then, you placed the order and discovered that your project should use select grade material.

“That’s OK,” you thought, “I’ll change the order to select grade. That won’t be a problem.”

And then the pricing on your order recalculated – and it was a lot more expensive than you had planned. Like, at least 20% more expensive.

Suddenly, your project is way over budget, and you have the choice of using the wrong grade of material for your cabinet doors or losing money on the project.

Why are select grade cabinet doors so expensive? And what projects should you plan on using select grade materials for?

We work with raw lumber every day at Cutting Edge Doors & Woodworking. Over the past 20 years, we have noticed that different projects have different quality expectations. 

So, as a team, we created specific material grades for our cabinet doors to make it easier for you to ensure what you are ordering will work best for your project.

One of the grades we created is our ‘select grade’.  

In this article, you will learn why select grade cabinet doors are more expensive, and when you should order select grade material. You will also learn why people choose select grade material despite the drastic price difference.

Select grade is more expensive

Upgrading to select grade material will cause the cabinet door price to increase by at least 20%, depending on the door style and profiles. As a rule of thumb, the more solid wood a door needs, the more the price will increase.

But why does the price increase so much? 

It all comes back to what select grade material is. Our select grade material is sorted for consistent color and grain pattern. We aim to have no noticeable differences from one cabinet door to the next.

Intense sorting of the raw lumber leads to increased material waste

Achieving the needed level of consistency requires the basic lumber to go through a more rigorous sorting process.

Because of the increased vigilance on a select grade order, more raw lumber gets rejected at the first couple stages of our production line. Approximately 60% of the lumber we receive isn’t up to the quality requirements of our select grade material. 

For comparison purposes, approximately 20% of raw lumber is unusable for our standard grade material. Upgrading to select grade material means the waste increases by about 40%.

Increased attention to detail means more doors get rejected

At every step of production, select grade orders go through a more intense quality inspection. 

When we look at a select grade cabinet door, we ask ourselves:

  • Is the color consistent?
  • Is the grain pattern similar across the entire door?
  • Are there any noticeable details that could draw the eye?

 If the cabinet door has inconsistent color or grain pattern or has a detail that could draw attention, it is rejected and remade.

In summary, select grade orders incur extra expense at every stage of the production line because additional labor and materials are needed to ensure that every cabinet door in the order meets the select grade requirements.

When you should order select grade cabinet doors

Now you understand why select grade materials are more expensive. But when should you choose select grade over a less expensive grade?

As a rule, if your customer wants highly consistent color and wood grain, you should order select grade cabinet doors. Some customers want their solid wood kitchen to look almost perfect, like veneer or thermofoil. 

In cases like this, it is vital to ensure you choose a select grade material to make sure your customer is happy with the end product.

More generally, you should choose select grade material for any orders getting a light stain finish, a clear lacquer finish, or a whitewash finish. Those finish options don’t hide color variation in the wood, so it is important to have consistent wood color.

When you should NOT order select grade cabinet doors

There are some cases when you don’t need to order select grade cabinet doors, regardless of the finish type. If your customer likes the natural characteristics of wood, and wants those characteristics to shine, you shouldn’t choose select grade materials. 

Why people order select grade cabinet doors even though they are more expensive

While it’s true that select grade cabinet doors are a lot more expensive, people still request and pay for them. Why?

If the kitchen design your customer wants requires consistent color, select grade material is the best option available. Your customers will accept the cost if the style or design they want is important to them. Or, they will adjust the design if the cost is too great. 

Either way, it is vital to understand that great color consistency comes with a higher cost. You can’t compromise on the price and still expect the same quality and color consistency.

Select grade cabinet doors are worth the extra cost

In the past, you didn’t understand why or when to order select grade cabinet doors, or how to convince your customers of the value of upgrading to select grade materials. Because of this, you have likely had orders that didn’t meet your customer’s requirements or their idea of what their kitchen would look like.

Now, though, you understand when to use select grade materials. You also know why it costs more and why your customers should be willing to pay the extra price to get the cabinet doors they want.

In the future, you can avoid scenarios like the one we discussed at the beginning of the article. You have the knowledge you need to budget accurately, and you can communicate with us to make sure the cabinet doors you order are what you need.

With this knowledge, you can place your order knowing that the high quality of the select grade cabinet doors is worth the additional expense!

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