Crisp white paint coat & full back panel but no instructions with the Ice White Shaker from BOC!
On our workbench today is the Ice White Shaker, ordered from Best Online Cabinets. This unit arrived within the 5 to 7 business days allotted in their online shop, but what garners our attention most up its arrival is the fact that it comes in two separate cardboard boxes. One of these boxes contains the panels, drawer box, shelf, and hardware. The other box contains the cabinet frame, door frame, and drawer face. We’ve only reviewed one other cabinet utilizing this shipping method and that was the White Shaker from Best Online Cabinets. While quite effective in protecting the cabinet face, two boxes can prove cumbersome to handle.
Another feature that turns our heads is the use of wood screws to join together the Ice White Shaker. As can be seen in the picture above, these wood screws are tacked into place on the toe kick and panels with the goal of providing a sturdy build to the unit. Our review will go more in-depth on the pros and cons of this approach in a later section, but for now, we will start with the Wood and Frame.
Wood and Frame
Cabinet Door, Frame, and Drawer Face
With the Ice White Shaker, we see a traditional five-piece Shaker style door (Picture 1) and a middle panel composed of a combination of both hardwood as well as a high-density fibreboard (HDF). The HDF will resist expanding and shrinking situated between the hardwood rails and stiles but the material itself is of a lower-quality make than hardwoods such as birch and maple. Birchwood is the chosen material we find with the cabinet’s frame, and the frame itself is built strong, with clean cuts and smooth joints where the different parts of the wood come together
(Picture 2). In the same style as the door, the Ice White Shaker’s drawer face is also fashioned in the traditional Shaker manner, with a birch frame and an HDF middle panel.
Grade: 3.5/ 5.0
One of the major positive outcomes from packaging the cabinet’s face, door, and drawer face separate from the heavy components of the unit is that they remain protected from the threat of scraping or scratching by the heavier pieces of the unit. With no visible scrapes, wood grains, or seams where the joints meet, the separate packaging appears to be successful in keeping the face of the cabinet in pristine condition. There are no
paint globs between the middle panel and the door frame, which tells us that each of these pieces has been painted individually prior to assembly (Picture 3). We see this investment of time on the part of the manufacturer as indicative of the care and value placed in the product, so major brownie points are given to the Ice White for the exterior paint and finish of the cabinet’s face (Picture 4). The only drawback we found is on the inside top horizontal rail of the door, where a minor scratch appears to have been scuffed at some point (Picture 5). But, seeing as this will be on the inside of the unit and not visible unless directly pointed out to the eye, we are wont to count it against the final grade of the cabinet face’s aesthetic.
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
Cabinet Box Interior and Exterior
Unique to the Ice White Shaker from Best Online Cabinets is the laminate sheeting covering the interior and exterior of the cabinet’s panels. There are a few places where the laminate finish is chipping away off the plywood at the edges of the panel, and it appears this occurs very easily. Fortunately, most of these demarcations cannot be seen once the panels are assembled (Picture 6). The biggest issue we found with the interior paint is
some very noticeable dents and dings found on the back panel (Picture 7). These marks are pretty significant and noticeable, showing the weak nature of the laminate finish. Seeing as it will be at the back of the cabinet, the likelihood of it being seen ever once installed is minimal. With a bright sheen and crisp white hue reflecting light with a pop, the interior finish has a clean look but a low quality make.
Grade: 3.5/ 5.0
Box and Storage
Composed of a seven-layer pressed plywood that is quality in nature, the side, bottom, and back panels measure 1/2 an inch in width (Pictures 8, 9, and 10). This is thinner than the industry standard 5/8 inches thick, and as a result, the panels, unfortunately, have a slight warping to them that increases the difficulty in fitting them into place onto the cabinet’s frame while holding the hardware in place (Picture 11).
The result of the warping in these thin panels is that there are slight gaps between the cabinet frame and the panel; these gaps can be closed, but doing so with only one set of hands will prove rather difficult. Perhaps the most striking characteristic of the Ice White Shaker’s cabinet box is the exterior laminate finish over the frameless back panel (Picture 12). Typically we see a picture-frame back panel measuring at least 5/8 inches thick, but the picture-frame
approach takes advantage of an unreasonably thin main panel with added scrap plywood in an attempt to stabilize the weak nature of the backside of the unit. The Ice White’s finished full back panel is a significant positive feature for this cabinet box.
Grade: 3.5/ 5.0
With solid hardwood composing 5/8 inch thick side, back, and front panels, the drawer box of the Ice White Shaker is among the higher quality boxes we have reviewed (Picture 13). The bottom panel is 3/8 inches thick, which meets the industry standard precedent set in the shaker arena (Picture 14). The bottom panel slide into place in tongue-in-grooves between the side panels and front panel. A drawback of the drawer box is that the front panel requires assembly to the drawer box face, but to be noted is that there are penciled marks indicating where the
front panel needs to be attached (Picture 15). So while this adds time to the overall assembly and leaves room to make the mistake of attaching the front panel incorrectly, the penciled lines assist greatly in easing the task. A major positive of the drawer box is the clean, tight dovetailing found where each of the panels come together at the corner joints (Picture 16).
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
A deep drawer box is a key feature when determining the storage capacity of a cabinet. Typically, we see an industry standard drawer box depth measuring right around 3 inches deep, sometimes just shy of that and other drawers just over that depth. As with the other drawer boxes we have assembled and reviewed from Best Online Cabinets, the Ice White Shaker exhibits a depth of 3 1/4 inches (Picture 17). This depth, coupled with the full-extension nature of the drawer box glides (Picture 18) is impressive for the fact that it allows more items to be stored within the contents of the drawer and, thus, prevents it from catching on the frame of the cabinet when opening and closing this key component of the unit.
Another positive characteristic concerning the storage abilities of White Shaker units is the length of the shelf in the cabinet’s box. Ideally, a shelf will reach the full body of the shelf’s box from the back panel to the front of the unit where the frame is attached to the side panels. As with each other unit we have assembled from Best Online Cabinets, the Ice White Shaker has a full-body box shelf measuring 22 and 5/8 inches in length, 3/4 of an inch in thickness, and is finished on three sides (Pictures 19, 20, and 21).
Being finished on three sides, the shelf is capable of being flipped after one side of the shelf’s surface becomes scratched or dirty. Plastic clips hold the shelf in place, which may not be as high quality as other shelf pegs but are effective in adequately supporting the shelf for a short period of time. Looking in the long term, however, these clips cannot be expected to last longer than several years before age causes them to become disposable.
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
Medium quality soft-close hinges are packed with the rest of the hardware of the Ice White Shaker (Picture 22). “Onus” is the name brand shown on the hinges and these require mounting to both the door as well as the frame of the unit. Pilot holes and borings make this assembly a very straightforward process, but the time it requires to mount the hinges still adds onto the overall clock when installing a full kitchen of units. Most disappointing about these hinges is that they fail to fully slow down the door for a proper “soft-close.” The door, if it weren’t for the pads on the inside top and bottom corners, would repeatedly slam against the frame of the Ice White Shaker until eventually, irreparable damage is done to the cabinet’s face. So while these are still considered soft-close hinges, they are not as effective as the Taiming or DTC brand hinges we have mounted onto doors and frames in past cabinets reviewed on RTA Cabinet Reviews.
Grade: 3.0/ 5.0
Industry standard drawer slides, complete with full-extension glides and soft-close capabilities, are what we find with the Ice White Shaker (Picture 23). We don’t see a name brand anywhere on these drawer slides, but they are a quality build and perform with the same ability as past glides we have utilized in the past. The small plastic hydraulics found in the glides are effective in catching the drawer box and easing it into place without damaging the frame. So, while they may not be BLUM-grade hardware, we classify them just below the top tier quality in this category.
Grade: 4.0/ 5.0
A unique and interesting assortment of connecting hardware maintains the structure of the Ice White Shaker from Best Online Cabinets. For the first time, we find brass cleats used rather than aluminum or metal cleats finished to match the cabinet’s interior finish (Picture 24). The brass cleats hold together the basic structure of the side panels to the back panel and the cabinet frame, with 3/4 inch wood screws being used as the main element in strengthening the body of the unit. There are no pilot holes on the ends of the side panels to guide these wood screws into place properly, but if you carefully hold the back panel and toe kick in place while guiding the wood screws through there should be no issue in properly aligning the wood pieces.
Hard plastic drawer glide anchors attach to the back panel and support the weight of not only the glides but the entire assembled wood box (Picture 25). These anchors, which snap into place in specified pilot holes, are more than capable of bearing the weight of a full drawer box in comparison to the flimsy off-white plastic anchors we’ve seen used with other white shaker cabinets. Wood blocks are the final stabilizing component found in each corner add a further layer of support to the overall integrity of the Ice White Shaker (Picture 26). Wood screws hold these solid wood blocks in place.
Grade: 3.5/ 5.0
Assembly and Support
As mentioned earlier, the packaging of the Ice White Shaker from best Online Cabinets is extremely unique in that it arrives with two separate parcels: a smaller one containing the cabinet door, frame, and drawer box face and another with the panels, drawer box, and hardware. Only once before we have seen this method of packaging, the Best Online Cabinet’s White Shaker, and the success in protecting the parts
composing the cabinet’s face are undeniable. Single corrugated cardboard is the chosen exterior for this package, with multiple styrofoam pieces separating each piece with a thin styrofoam sheet wrapping around the contents (Pictures 27, 28). Once we remove all this protection, we find no damage to any of the components upon close inspection: the smooth paint and finish is maintained throughout, all corners and cuts have remained sharp with no dents or scratches, and the care invested in ensuring the safety of these key pieces of the unit is duly noted.
Again, we see single corrugated cardboard surrounding the exterior of the unit, arriving as a two-piece shell stapled together at the bottom and top with packing tape sealing the seams along the edges (Picture 27). Within the second parcel, we find the side panels surrounding the base and top of the unit while between these two largest components the bulk of the Ice White Shaker’s pieces are organized (Picture 28). There are no hard
cardboard corner protectors to be found, yet the corners of the parcel remain intact. A single styrofoam sheet is wrapped around each piece to keep them from sliding and scraping against one another during transit.
Along with the larger panels and drawer box, the hardware is found encased in this larger cardboard parcel. The drawer slides, anchors, and plastic clips are protected in a long single corrugated cardboard box while the cleats, wood blocks, hinges, and wood screws are separated between three small plastic Ziploc bags (Picture 31). This division of hardware assists greatly in keeping the smaller items separated and organized, making them accessible for a relatively quick and painless assembly.
While the two-package method provides more-than-adequate protection for the face of the unit (which is, after all, the valuable and visible aesthetic element for any cabinet), it requires a bit more handling to carry multiple packages and increases the chance of one or the other becoming mixed up along the course of transportation. Also worth mentioning, there are no instructions included with the Ice White Shaker so the assembly method is up to the builder, but our next section will provide you with some excellent tips on how to ease the frustration caused by this unit’s lack of an instructional guide.
Grade: 3.0/ 5.0
Ease of Assembly
As we mentioned earlier, the brass cleats are held in place to keep the side panels attached to the front cabinet face and the full-frame back panel. While these cleats don’t do much in terms of holding together the structural integrity of the unit, they hold the box in place until wood screws can be tacked into place. The wood screws don’t have the benefit of pre-drilled pilot holes to guide them into place and properly bite into the back panel, but it is not too challenging to estimate the right location toward the edge of the side panel where the perpendicular back panel is visible (Picture 32). Two wood screws on either side panel are more than enough to give the Ice White Shaker the necessary strength to support the weight of a loaded countertop.
Once all the wood screws are in place along the back edges of both side panels, the toe kick can be held in place and fixed to the bottom of the unit (Picture 33). Toe-kicks are often overlooked for their contribution to the overall structural integrity of a cabinet; the toe kick of the Ice White Shaker exponentially improves the stability of the unit and adds a key foundation to the cabinet box. The only other obstacle in assembling this cabinet is properly aligning the front panel of the drawer box to the drawer box face (Picture 34). As you can see, penciled lines indicate
where the BOTTOM corners of the panel are to be placed. When initially assembling the drawer box, we placed the TOP corners of the panel on these lines and unfortunately had to break down and reassemble the box because it didn’t fit correctly on the face of the unit. This adds time to the process and could have been easily avoided if proper instructions were included with the cabinet.
The Onus hinges are much easier to attach: pre-drilled borings and pilot holes ensure correct placement of the hinges on the door (Picture 35). Once the hinges are fastened to the door, they can be held in place and tacked to the frame of the cabinet (Picture 36). Half-inch screws or shorter are optimal for attaching the hinges to the frame, as the wood will split if the screws are too long or they simply won’t go in all the way.
Grade: 3.0/ 5.0
The customer service offered by BOC is above and beyond. 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. With quality products and a clear goal to make the process as easy as possible for their clients, Best Online Cabinets brings levity to an otherwise stressful and daunting project.
Grade: 5.0/ 5.0
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 BOC 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.
Best Online Cabinets delivers a mixed bag of a unit with the Ice White Shaker. Sifting through the positive and negative attributes of this cabinet in order to provide a breakdown of the unit, we find a number of impressive characteristics:
- Separated single-corrugated cardboard box containing the cabinet’s frame, door, and drawer box face
- An even, thick paint and finish across all surfaces on the cabinet’s face
- A quality drawer box, with nice dovetailing, thick boards, and hardwood panels composing the walls
- A full-length shelf that utilizes the available space in the box for storage
- Organized packaging that keeps the hardware separated in plastic bags
The negative features that struck us as we assembled this unit are the following:
- Weak interior laminate finish that easily chips away and falls off
- Drawer box face that requires assembling to the front panel of the box
- No pilot holes on the side panels to guide the wood screws through and into the back panel of the cabinet box
- Hinges that aren’t effective in slowing the door down before it hits the frame
- No instructions included guiding along the assembly process
The Ice White Shaker from Best Online Cabinets offers a medium-quality cabinet in terms of composition and build, with a high-quality and traditional Shaker aesthetic. The paint and finish have been well preserved due to the dual packaging method, although it does increase the difficulty in handling the cabinet. With no instructions, the assembly can be confusing at times, especially when deciding which hardware belongs to which panels. Speaking to the quality and look of the unit, we strongly feel our score adequately fits the clean appearance and challenges presented by the lack of pilot holes and indicators for the front panel of the drawer box. Recommended for those with time and patience!
Overall Grade: 3.6