Best Online Cabinet’s Malibu White Shaker: Flush Frame, Solid Wood: Quality RTA Cabinet
Best Online Cabinets delivers a Malibu White Shaker unit heaped with pleasant surprises around every cut and corner of the RTA cabinet. Of all the units we have assembled, this particular white shaker has impressed us within almost every category of our review system.
That’s not to say the unit is completely without flaws: no cabinet could possibly reach a perfect score based on our arduous grading system. Of all the units, however, we can happily proclaim the malibu white shaker has come the closest of any hereto listed on our website.
Wood and Finish
Door, Drawer Face, and Cabinet Frame
Unique in build and composing material, the face of the Malibu white shaker cabinet takes an approach we have yet to see in any unit that has crossed our workbench. The door is composed of a rubber-wood material that is more than capable of weathering both dry and humid climates.
The effect the seamless, solid rubber-wood door has on the paint/finish of the unit is striking. Crisp in brightness, deep white in hue, and evenly applied across all visible surfaces, the paint and finish of the Malibu white shaker are consistent on both sides of the door, every visible surface of the frame, and across the slab-style door (Picture 5). The rubberwood technology will hold onto the paint for years to come, and coupled with the fact that the door is a solid piece, the likelihood of cracking or splitting along the faux-middle panel is very minimal and will retain the integrity of the original application.
What’s more, this is the first solid door we have yet seen: this means the rails, stiles, and middle panel are a single piece of rubber-wood with no seems separating what would be a traditional five-piece. While this is not the traditional method by which white shakers are conventionally constructed, the aesthetic remains the same and the benefits are incomparable. Warping of the middle panel is of no concern, the durability of the door is ensured, and the paint/finish is consistent along the boring of the middle panel. The one thing to keep an eye on is if the initial coat of paint is thick enough to smooth out and maintain the even texture.
The slab-style drawer face is stylistically simple, yet modern and effectively timeless. Rubberwood is implemented in the drawer face as well as the cabinet frame, which is a handsome flush-frame cut of wood (but we will discuss this in more detail later). The main hiccup of the slab-style drawer face is that it requires proper alignment and attachment to the front drawer panel. This leaves room for mistakes and misjudgment, but BOC has included marks on the back side of the drawer face to assist in assembling this component properly (Picture 5).
Grade: 4.5/ 5.0
The effect the seamless, solid rubber-wood door has on the paint/finish of the unit is striking. Crisp in brightness, deep white in hue, and evenly applied across ass visible surfaces, the paint and finish of the Malibu white shaker are consistent on both sides of the door, every visible surface of the frame, and across the slab-style door (Picture 5). Because of the nature of the solid rubberwood door, the likelihood of cracking or splitting in the paint is minimal, as the wood itself (being one solid piece) will resist warping and maintain the integrity of the original application. Expect this paint and finish to last for many years to come.
Grade: 5.0/ 5.0
Cabinet Box Interior and Exterior
The side and back panels of this unit are coated in a quality laminate veneer that retains the veracity of a natural wood grain. Slightly rougher than other interior laminate coatings of white shakers, the interior is easily cleaned of any marks caused by typical wear and tear (Picture 6). On the outside of these panels, while they may not be visible once installed, the same laminate coating will adequately protect and preserve the unit regardless of climate conditions (Picture 7). The interior laminate veneer is noticeably warmer in color than the exterior, but rather than creating a muddled aesthetic, the three-toned aesthetic is overall impressive, cohesive, and elegant.
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
Box and Storage
Perhaps the most stable cabinet box of any white shaker on our review site, the side and back panels measure 5/8 inches thick and uniformly fit together as a single storage box (Pictures 8 and 9). The plywood utilized in the construction of these panels is high quality with minimal discrepancies found along the visible pressings of the wood. With a full back panel and dependable measures taken in
connecting this cabinet, we are confident in the ability of the Malibu white shaker to hold together tight and support an impressive amount of weight (Pictures 10 and 11). Wooden screws must be tacked into place along the outside edge of the side panels, and since there are no pilot holes to guide these screws in there is lots of room to make mistakes in properly aligning them so they go through the back panel without protruding out on either side.
Grade: 4.5/ 5.0
Wider than the typical drawer box found in RTA cabinets, this drawer is as impressive as the remainder of the unit. With a bottom panel measuring 5/8 inch (Picture 12), this exceeds the conventional thickness of an RTA drawer box and adds strength to the overall stability of the drawer. At the corner joints, the dovetails bite and hold onto one another with purpose after lightly tapping the side, front and back panels into
place with a rubber mallet. This gives the drawer ample functionality with smooth joints for a flashing aesthetic (Picture 13). A closer look at the interior finish of the drawer box reveals that the veneer is unevenly applied in several places, but overall looks nice and has a texture smooth enough to satisfy.
As previously mentioned, the slab-style drawer face has to be aligned and attached with wood screws between the predetermined lines measured and marked off on the backside of the piece (Picture 14). This takes some precise alignment and care to ensure the drawer properly accomplishes the “full overlay” style with the drawer face and cabinet door covering the cabinet frame (Picture 15). This modern look is the industry standard in contemporary cabinet designing, seen in Euro-style cabinets as well as Shaker styles.
Grade: 5.0/ 5.0
As we mentioned in the first section of the review, the flush-frame feature of the Malibu white shaker is notable not only for being a rare characteristic but for the functionality it presents. A European trait, frameless cabinets allow for items to be pulled out and slid back into a cabinet with ease and make the cleaning process infinitely easier (Pictures 16 and 17). For a white shaker to tout such a rare feature is something we cannot express enough how impressive and clean this characteristic proves to be for a unit.
Drawer box depth is particularly important in assessing the storage capacity of a cabinet, and the BOC white shaker does not disappoint at 3 ¼ inches deep. Additionally, the drawer box comes equipped with under-mount full extension slides, enabling supplementary storage without needing to worry about items such as ladles or tongs catching on the cabinet frame when opening and shutting the drawer box (Pictures 18 and 19).
With conviction, we can state the most striking storage feature of the Malibu white shaker is the full-body hanging box shelf. Time and time again we have received white shaker units from a host of different distributors and websites, each measuring just half the length of the box.this leaves a dearth of negative space in these boxes that is in essence unusable.
Several have reached ¾ the distance of the cabinet box length, but this is the first unit able to boast a full-length shelf. This maximizes storage capacity and, coupled with the fact the shelf is adjustable in height, allows for kitchen or bathroom items of varying heights to be stored either above or below this shelf. Finished on 4 sides, the shelf can be flipped ad reversed to preserve the interior finish on either side and maximize its life.
Grade: 5.0/ 5.0
Unlike many RTA cabinets, the hinges of the Malibu white shaker required assembly upon delivery. Pre-bored holes in the door and the side of the flush-frame assist in this process immensely. While this is a straightforward and simple process, it admittedly takes up valuable time and allows for error in the assembly of the door to the cabinet frame with the possibility of attaching the door off-level (Pictures 22 and 23).
On a positive note, the hinges are long-arm quality, ensuring the door will keep a distance from the cabinet frame and keep it from scratching against it. Also included on these Taiming hinges are metal covers on the door side. These protect the Phillips head wood screws and give the hinges a very clean look. Taiming is a European company with very good reviews online and the material composing the hinges feels sturdy and dependable, closing the cabinet door on the frame very softly to keep it from slamming against the frame.
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
We’ve previously touched on the drawer glides and mentioned their full-extension capabilities as well as the soft-close feature to protect the cabinet frame from the drawer front slamming against it. The front of the glides attaches to the cabinet frame with wood screws inserted through the top-leftmost pilot holes in the glide itself (Picture 25). This specific alignment is crucial to maintaining the full overlay style of the cabinet front and can be slightly frustrating to properly fix in place. The drawer itself fits easily on top of the aluminum slides and is held in place by means of small pegs in holes on the back panel of the drawer box (Picture 26).
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
Unique to the Malibu white shaker is the connecting parts that hold this unit together. Essential in the stability of a cabinet, the connecting parts are the foundation in keeping the panels together for a clean look, to support the weight of a countertop, and maintain the integrity of the unit once fully assembled. Separated in its own packaging and wrapped to keep it from getting mixed in with all the other pieces, the connecting parts are all contained within a cardboard box with corresponding instructions (Picture 27). Keeping these instructions and parts organized makes the assembly process infinitely easier.
The Malibu white shaker has unique cam locks not yet seen in a cabinet reviewed on our website. Small pegs fit in designated borings along the back of the flush cabinet frame for the side and bottom panels to fit snug into the cam lock receivers (Picture 28). Typically the cam locks are composed of soft or hard plastic housing that holds the panels together well enough but is exposed and unsightly. With these particular cam locks, the housing is hidden inside the back and side panels, effectively holding the unit together as well as maintaining an outward clean appearance to the overall exterior of the Malibu white shaker (Picture 29 and 30). Turning the receiving mechanisms 3/4 to a full turn clockwise will adequately bite onto the pegs and lock the panels in place.
Perhaps what is most remarkable about these cam locks is that they provide the ability to unassemble the unit and move it if necessary. This is not something we could imagine an individual needing to do, but the option to do so is worth mentioning. Wood screws are required, however, in attaching the side panels to the back panels. There are no pilot holes pre-drilled in the side panels for this purpose, so set your power drill to a low setting to avoid splitting the plywood when lining up the screws.
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
Assembly and Support
Unlike other units we have purchased, the Malibu white shaker arrived in two separate cardboard boxes containing the panels and parts of the cabinet. (Picture 31). The cabinet door and drawer face are kept in this separate packaging, which admittedly makes the handling of this unit a bit more difficult; on the flip side, shipping these two essential components which make up the face of the unit is not only logical but illustrates a great deal of care taken by the manufacturer in protecting their quality product. When the cabinet face is shipped alongside the rest of the unit, the likelihood of it receiving damage along its journey is significantly increased versus if it is wrapped and shipped in a separate parcel; not only does it arrive with less damage, but the distributor does not have to ship out nearly as many replacement parts for damaged drawer fronts or cabinet doors. Not only does this illustrate the quality of the cabinet and a confidence in the product on the part of Best Online Cabinets, but it shows they care about pleasing their clients with a more than satisfactory shipping process.
Concerning the means by which the contents of each parcel wrapped itself, we are continuously impressed by the measures taken to keep the product safe during transit. Thick bubble wrap encloses the door, drawer face, and cabinet frame while the panels tout styrofoam sheets between each plywood piece (Pictures 32 and 33). Organized in a conscientious and thorough manner, the interior layout of the two parcels is snug and prevents any of the pieces from moving or rubbing against one another. We could not find any damage to the cabinet as we inspected each panel, the flush frame, cabinet door, and drawer face. So while two packages may at first seem burdensome, the benefits of this approach keep the unit safe and organized, which also helps expedite the assembly process.
Grade: 4.5/ 5.0
Ease of Assembly
Perhaps the most difficult category to grade with this white shaker unit is the Ease of Assembly. On one hand, the sheer amount of connecting parts and various metal pegs for the cam locks and full box shelf leave plenty of room for confusion. At the same time, if the builder is patient, organized, and pays close attention to where in the process she or he is at any given time then it is not nearly as frustrating to assemble as, say, the Simply White from Kitchen Cabinet Kings.
The cam locks bite into the small metal pegs quite easily once properly aligned, a process that is tricky when performing by oneself but infinitely easier with another set of hands steadying the panels (Picture 34). Wooden pegs fit into accommodating borings in the box panels to hold these panels in place. The side panels fit first, with the bottom panel sliding into the groove located at the bottom of each panel and locking into place once touch the cabinet frame (Picture 35).
Once this step is complete, the back panel is easily slid down the backside of the unit and held in place with tongue-and-groove fittings until wood screws are tacked into the three pilot holes running along each rear vertical edge of the side panels (Picture 36). Wood screws are also used to fix the bottom panel to the side panels through designated pilot holes, which stabilize this unit to the point where it barely moves when opening and closing the
door or cabinet drawer (Picture 37). The wood screws render corner stabilizing brackets unnecessary and look much cleaner than the cluttered look wooden or plastic brackets give the overall appearance of a unit. While the assembly may take a little longer than the other units reviewed on this website, the Malibu white shaker makes every second worth the investment for the stability and class this unit exhibits once completed.
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
The customer service offered by BOC is very satisfactory. Their team sets the bar high with quick responses to live chats, emails, and immediately picking up the phone. Any and all questions I had concerning the unit were answered with punctuality, clarity, and efficiency. With a quick shipping time and an online store that is easy to navigate, we cannot recommend seeking the assistance of the BOC team in designing your kitchen. Quality products and a clear goal in making the kitchen-designing process as easy as possible for their clients, Best Online Cabinets brings levity to an otherwise stressful and daunting project.
Houzz = 2 Service Awards, a Knowledge Award, Professionalism Award, 250 client “Saves,” and an astounding 16 5-Star Reviews
The reviews for Best Online Cabinets on Houzz are consistently five-star write-ups among the 16 individuals who have taken the time to recall his and her experiences working with the company. From 2015 to as recently as last week before this review has been written, clients cannot say enough positive things about BOC, the products, the customer service, and the affordability offered. In particular, “Ed” is referenced as being essential to the completion of several kitchens in the reviews. With 250 Houzz saves and two awards from the website (Best Service 2017 and 2018), our confidence in BOC is solidified from this reputable home renovation review website.
BBB = A+ Grade, 3 Positive Reviews, 0 Neutral, 0 Negative; 3 Total Reviews with 100% positive feedback and 0 complaints filed against the company
Although there are only 3 Reviews, the length and detail each review goes into (coupled with the pure positive tone of all 3), illustrates a client base that is beyond satisfied with his and her experiences in working with Best Online Cabinets. One individual, a contactor with 8 years of cabinet installation experience, regales the solid rubberwood door approach the Malibu white shaker touts as it is resistant to the shrinkage and expansion of wood typically seen in conventional 5-piece white shaker cabinet doors.
TrustPilot = 4/5 stars with a TrustScore of 8.7 out of 10; 98 Reviews: 71% 5-stars, 15% 4-stars, 7% 3-stars, 3% 2-stars, 3% 2-stars
Overwhelmingly positive reviews give BOC one of the highest scores on TrustPilot we have yet seen from all the online cabinet stores from whom we have ordered products. The negative reviews concern damage during shipping, warped panels on larger vanity cabinets, and the longest negative review written up reads as if the builder made multiple mistakes during assembly. With so much positive feedback and so many reviews espousing the quality of the product and reliable customer service, we here at RTA Cabinet Reviews go with the quantifiable numbers, which logically lead us to the conclusion that Best Online Cabinets truly lives up to its name.
With so many features to take into consideration, the Malibu white shaker makes its presence known within the walls of our workshop and among the other units vying for the top position on our roster. To name a handful of the positive characteristics, the following caused us to turn our heads:
- Solid rubberwood door that will not shrink or expand
- Flush-frame cabinet, easily assembled to panels
- Clean, even finish all over the cabinet face
- Thick side and back panels measuring 5/8 inches around
- Full-body box shelf utilizing all available storage space
- Concealed cam locks joining side and bottom panels to frame
- Protective packaging for cabinet face
Although the negative aspects are few and far between, they are still worth mentioning for the sake of bearing in mind when optioning the BOC for your kitchen:
- Rough interior laminate finish, looking smooth but sandy in texture
- Hinges requiring assembly to the door and interior of the side panel
- Wood screws fastening side panels to back and bottom panels, increasing the chances of splitting the wood if tightened too far
- Two packages containing the unit, protecting the cabinet face but making the handling of the cabinet slightly tougher
- Confusing layout of the steps in the diagram directions
Even considering the negative characteristics of the Malibu white shaker, there is simply no denying that this is among the higher quality white shakers we have reviewed to date. The remarkable solid rubberwood door, frameless nature of the cabinet face, full-body box shelf, and attentive customer service team truly elevate Best Online Cabinets and their white shaker right to one of the top positions in our pantheon for Best RTA Cabinet.
Overall Grade: 4.5/ 5.0