Cliqstudios Cabinetry Review

I’m writing this second post today because I’ve noticed that the bulk of outside hits to my blog are coming from people trying to find reviews of cabinetry from cliqstudios.com.  I know exactly what they’re going through because, when I was thinking through my cabinet purchase decision, I could find absolutely nothing about them anywhere. Ultimately, I took the plunge because I figured out that the cabinets were actually from a known brand (Six Square), the samples I received appeared to be of very good quality and the up-front customer service was really great.

So here goes…

My Rating Scale:  5 = Love it, can’t be beat   to   1 = Don’t waste your time — REALLY!

  • Pre-purchase support – 5
  • Post-purchase support – 5
  • Price – 5
  • Overall Quality – 5
  • Door Style/Color Selection – 4
  • Froo-froo innards selection – 4
  • Finish – 5
  • Viewable Wood Consistency – 4
  • Shipping – 5

Pros:  Excellent design support, quality plywood construction, better pricing than big box stores (even though theirs is lesser quality in most cases, to boot!), damage-free shipping

Cons: Note that these are strictly subjective – wish there had been a few more door styles and more stain colors to choose from, wish there were more cool cabinet innards to dress up the functionality of the cabinets. Also my finish carpenter wished aloud for markings in or on the cabinets that matched the design legend provided with the final paperwork package. The only identifiers are on the outside box label so once unboxed, it can get a little confusing.

Pre-sales support: I had a GREAT designer, Patty, to help me. Although I’ve put in several kitchens and understand a good bit about kitchen design, Patty was invaluable. I found her to be creative (she suggested using a horizontal spice cabinet without the drawers as a wine rack!), flexible and more than willing to spend time via email, on the phone and even doing screen sharing sessions so I could see precisely how decisions I was making were affecting the final design. I’d originally found a “supercabinet” from Diamond that was perfect for the master bathroom vanity and almost made me walk away from cliqstudios in order to get it. Patty helped me piece together cabinets to get the base unit that I wanted and then I purchased the froo-froo innards on my own and the finish carpenter is installing them. This arrangement saved me almost $400 on the vanity! Can’t say enough about the Pre-Sales support! I love Patty and she’s a real asset to Cliqstudios!

Post-Purchase Support: I ended up having a problem caused by my framers… after I ordered the cabinets, they were asked to move an inconsequential wall in the kitchen. The crew chief thought my pantry looked off -balance so he moved the other side of the panty wall too — he took 9″ off my available cabinet space. When the cabinets arrived, there was one that was an error based on the finalized drawings I’d approved. It was actually a God-send that it was there because after thinking about it for awhile and getting back in touch with Patty, we were able to re-work the layout using exactly what I’d received in my shipment. I ended up with a little bit of extra moulding and a spare 30″ valance but otherwise, no re-ordering or corrections were needed! I probably spoke with Patty 3 times that day and was emailing back and forth regularly. Again — I love her and hope that they have lots of clones of her for all their customers to work with!

Price: It seems like there’s always a promotion of some sort going on! I got 20% off usual pricing and now that appears to be a fairly regular occurrence on the website. Regardless, for plywood box cabinets with full extension drawers, all kinds of bracing for stability, etc., you can’t beat the price with a stick! The fact that you get free shipping with a very minimal purchase makes the package just that much more attractive!

Overall Quality: I am really happy with the quality of all the cabinets I purchased from cliqstudios.com! There were some very pleasant surprises: I ordered roll-out trays in some of the base cabinets and also ordered soft-close drawers and doors. On the cabinets that had roll-outs and had the soft-close doors, the trays were also soft-close! I’ve never seen anything like it! My finish carpenter said the cabinets were heads and shoulders above others he’s recently installed from a custom/semi-custom cabinet company. He specifically pointed out the corner bracing to keep the cabinets from wracking (or is it “racking”?!), the dovetail drawer joints and the plywood general construction. He was also really happy that the drawer glides and soft closers were extremely simple to adjust from their shipped state (probably 10% of them weren’t straight but with a simple push on the rail, they were all fine in seconds!). Note that, although the cabinets are installed, I’m not living with them yet on a day-to-day basis because we aren’t finished with construction. Regardless, I can’t imagine that my opinion is going to change much based on what I see so far.

Door Style/Color Selection: I was looking for shaker style cabinetry so I found precisely what I was looking for. Other folks may be challenged to find exactly what they want if they’ve already been to the big box stores or other cabinet shops that might have a huge selection of raised, recessed or slab doors available. Like I said, I was happy with what was available because shaker style suited me fine but for others, this might be a shortcoming. Regards stain colors, I’m happy enough with the Maple Caramel color I selected but I would really have like something darker than the Caramel and lighter than the Cherry Russet. I’m not going to cry about it but it would have been a home run if something in a mid-range tone had been available.  I’m guessing that having a smaller set of door choices for both style and color helps to keep costs down so it’s kind of hard to argue with!

Froo-Froo Innards: If you’ve maybe been to a big box store, checked out a Diamond, Thomasville or Kraftmaid cabinet catalog or have just been window shopping cabinets for awhile, you’ve probably been dazzled by the organizer specialty cabinets you can order right off the price sheet for some brands. If you absolutely have to have the cabinets with factory installed goodies, cliqstudios may be a challenge for you to embrace. But there’s an upside to the more plain-jane, utilitarian cliqstudios cabinetry insides… you can buy the fancy innards at tons of places both in brick and mortar retail stores and on-line. Almost anything you see factory-installed in a hoity-toity cabinet can be had at a pretty reasonable price from a supplier somewhere! And generally speaking, these are things that you can easily install yourself. Even if you wanted to hire a handyman to install the organizers, the likelihood is that you will save money over a factory-installed version in virtually every case. In addition to the factory installed roll-out trays and waste baskets I bought, I also wanted peg drawer organizers and tray dividers in the kitchen and roll-out chrome baskets for my wheelchair bound hubby at the master vanity. Found all of it on-line, bargain prices (and free shipping in some cases) and my finish carpenter is installing them as part of his proposal.

Finish – I love the look and feel of maple and the finish on these cabinets doesn’t disappoint. It’s kind of a satin rather than glossy feeling — it’s perfect for the shaker sensibility of the cabinets I bought! I’ve checked the cabinets over pretty thoroughly and have found absolutely no problems with the finish at all. I have my touch up kit but haven’t had to even open the package at this point! Smooth, even, consistent color!

Viewable Wood Consistency: This doesn’t really bother me terribly but it might some people… keeping in mind that wood is a natural product and that it doesn’t always grow perfectly, it’s no surprise that there would be knots, mineral deposits or other “imperfections” present in the lumber used to make cabinetry. I’m not implying that there are knots or imperfections but I do have a fair amount of mineral deposits — I think of them as a little character, not a problem that needs to be solved. If I was building a high-falootin’ house and was highly concerned that everything had to be perfect to a fine fare-thee-well, this might give me a little pause for thought. I’m guessing, though, that regular people remodeling their kitchens or building a home that they want to live in rather than have photographed for the pages of Architectural Digest or a decorating magazine will either not notice, not focus on or won’t care about this minor issue.

Shipping: Another process that they’ve got a great handle on! Product shipped from their factory in Minnesota to a local transport company nearby our new home here in Washington. That company took possession of the cabinets and then brought them to the house on a smaller, more manageable truck. My cabinets arrived precisely when expected and there was not a bit of damage to be found. Not one crushed corner, not one water stain — nothing! It took 2 guys about 30 minutes to offload all of my cabinets and they were very careful to check each box against the final item list I’d gotten in my paperwork package. Interestingly, each box listed the line item for the cabinet AND any adjustments made to it. So a cabinet that had a finished side and soft close door would have 3 stickers on the box associated with each line item on the item list. It made it really simple to assure that every last item was, indeed, delivered and accounted for.

I would caution you, especially if you have a lot of similarly sized or configured cabinets, that a roll of Scotch Delicate Surface painter’s tape would be the perfect accessory during unboxing/cabinet checking. The cabinet numbers noted on the boxes are NOT the same as the numbers on the legends provided by cliqstudios for you/your finish carpenter to lay out your install. I would recommend tagging each unit with the legend number associated with it immediately upon unboxing so that you don’t have to wonder where any of it goes later on.

So all in all, I’m very happy with my purchase. My construction manager says that he couldn’t have touched similarly constructed cabinets for anywhere near the price I paid. Our finish carpenter is impressed — and since he sees every cabinet brand under the sun (including true custom cabinetry), that’s saying something for sure. With the super-solid customer support leading to damage-free delivery of quality cabinetry that suits our needs, followed with post-delivery support when it could have been a disaster, I just can’t speak highly enough of these cabinets. I highly recommend that you consider cliqstudios.com when you’re thinking about new cabinets for your new home or your remodeling project.

I’ll be posting pictures of my kitchen, baths and utility room once they’re all finished and cleaned up — maybe my rooms will make the pages of a hoity-toity decorating magazine after all! :-)

 

UPDATE:  Here’s a link to the first pictures of our kitchen – more coming later!

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14 Responses to Cliqstudios Cabinetry Review

  1. Julie says:

    Thank you for this most thorough review! We are so excited to conplete our measurements, so we can start the ordering process. Your new home is lovely, and I enjoy your knowledgable information, updates and pics.

  2. Access Queen says:

    Hi! So glad our journey is helpful to others! I hope you’re as happy with your new cabinets as we are with ours! Best of luck — Jo-Lynn

  3. Hi there,
    I just wanted to thank you for your CliqStudios reviews. We featured it on the CliqStudios blog today! We’re so happy to hear you like your cabinets!

    - August

  4. Yan says:

    Thanks for the review. I’m going to talk to them about my kitchen. Will you post your photos anytime soon? I also like shaker door and maple caramel.

    • Access Queen says:

      Hi, we’re finally getting the house cleaned Monday and Tuesday of next week so I’ll take pictures and post them then — we’re moving into the house on the 29th so time’s getting short! We had to wait until the kitchen floor was replaced in order to show the cabinets in their best light. They’re really lovely and I’ll do my best to capture that in the photos — keep your eyes open!

      Thanks!

  5. Tomasz Banas says:

    Great review, could you please post photos?

    • Access Queen says:

      Hi, just posted the first batch of 3 photos — more will be coming as soon as I get the rest of the kitchen in order! You’d think I’d be further along after 2 1/2 months in the house…

  6. sreis1969 says:

    Thanks for all the information about CliqStudios. We are considering their cabinets for our kitchen re-model and after a year plus, wondered if they are wearing well?

    • Hi, yes — they’re wearing well and overall I’m still very happy with them and am feeling like I got a good value for our money spent! The thing I just am not enamored with are the glides on the big pot drawers — I have yet to be able to adjust them correctly so that the drawer fronts are flush with each other or straight in the cabinets. It’s irritating… I’m going to try one more time to empty them all out and try to adjust them and then I’m going to have to call in a finish carpenter and keep my fingers crossed. They ship them as “floating” and they’re supposed to be easily adjusted when they’re installed but I haven’t found that to be the case, nor did the finish carpenter who installed them — and he does it for a living, this wasn’t his first set of pot drawers. I got guidance after the face from our Cliq Studios designer and we should permanently fasten the glides in place once they’re correctly positioned… if only I could get there… Anyway, they seem to have a lot more options and choices now and they may be an even bigger value now — haven’t compared cabinets in a couple of years now though so am not sure! Good luck with your cabinet purchase, wherever you decide to get them! :)

  7. sreis1969 says:

    I appreciate the update. It will certainly help with our decision. Good to know that all arrived in good condition from Minnesota which was a concern of ours as, ironically, we just moved from Gig Harbor WA, returning to our home town of Spokane after some years away.
    Happy Holidays!

  8. nycbikerbrat says:

    Hi there! How are your Cliqstudios cabinets holding up, any issues with the finish or cabinet durability? Have you needed any additional Customer Service post-sale?

    I ask because in the pre-sale phase, I am very disappointed with Cliqstudio’s customer care, or should I say, lack thereof. Even after discussing my concerns with the Design Team Leader, I still find myself waiting 1-3 weeks (sometimes longer) for an email response (no joke) while actively attempting to finalize a layout which was for the most part, my own design, to begin with. I realize the designers can get busy, but seriously? I’ve done a few kitchens before, and find that effectively tweaking the layout requires the participation and input of an attentive KD who, in a reasonably timely fashion, will research your questions, determine what can or cannot be done logistically, and how best to meet the challenges of your specific space. At this point however, I’d be thrilled just to get an email saying “hey there Client, I remember you!”

    • Hi, my Cliqstudios cabinets have now been installed nearly 2 years and I’ve not seen any problems with them at all. Finish still looks great despite 2 grandbabies and plenty of wipedowns. Once they were properly aligned, everything has stayed that way. Getting them there wasn’t necessarily an easy process, especially those huge pot drawers, but I’m thinking that’s more a function of an installer who didn’t fine tune things before packing up his tools.

      I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time with the pre-sale process and I can absolutely understand how that would be giving you “pause for thought” as far as pushing ahead with your kitchen. I only have experience with one designer, Patty Green, and it was excellent overall. I never waited more than a day or two for an email response and usually if there was a delay it was because I was up at midnight sending emails and she was off for a day or two…

      After installation I needed to order some additional trim pieces and went right back to Patty instead of going through their “regular” customer service department so I don’t know if it would be any different. I’m sure that’s not the prescribed or preferred method of getting stuff after-the-fact but it worked for me. If I needed additional now, I’d go back to her directly again — and I would repeat until told that I couldn’t any longer.

      I do know that my son/DIL also used Cliqstudios, had Patty as their designer and had the same cabinets but in a painted finish — they had much more difficulty getting it right in the first place and they were frustrated by the process they had to go through. Once installed, they love their cabinets — especially since that last one is now white instead of linen after much uproar! — and they’re holding up very well in their home as well. They live next door and I saw them yesterday, thinking “man, those look really nice!”

      I’m in no way defending your poor treatment but I know that 2 years ago when I was starting my process with them, (like you) I went in with my own design pretty much finished and got my designer by default as she was the one who answered the phone on a Saturday. I had very little that I needed help with after having done multiple kitchen remodels previously but it DID need a little tweaking. I was amazed to have screen sharing sessions where Patty dragged cabinets around to show me options on-the-fly and each time we made changes, she supplied the updated parts list and quote in a very timely manner. I do know that they were absolutely slammed and had hired several new designers but I remember thinking at the time that they were still going to be responsible for a huge number of clients’ handling. If their business has continued to increase (which it likely has) and they haven’t added enough staff to keep up, that’s just short sighted… Fingers crossed for you!

  9. Kirk Engle says:

    Hello,
    We’re looking into Cliq and saw your review. Now after 3 years how are they holding up? Any regrets or thoughts? We’re actually 5 months out from doing the project and have considered ordering one cabinet just to see the quality first hand….wish there was something local (we’re in the Bothell area just up from you). Door samples arrived last week and looked pretty good, and the frame construction seems good looking at the videos on line.
    Any updates or thoughts would be appreciated!!!

    • Hi Kirk,

      We’ve just passed 2 years with our Cliqstudios cabinets and aside from the pot drawers which absolutely will not stay square on their runners (actually the runners are floating around), I’m very happy with the cabinets. If you want to see the cabinets in person, there are probably at least a few local vendors who carry Six Square cabinets — they’re the same thing, just the brick and mortar brand of the cabinetry. My son and his wife installed the linen color painted maple cabinetry throughout their house and they’re similarly happy with them — they had a few more quality/inspection issues up front than I did (i.e., white spice drawers sent for linen unit, poor corners on some drawer fronts, pre-finished shelves purchased for fireplace surround weren’t painted fully or correctly) — I believe all of it was corrected although some of it was painful and I know they felt that once their money was in Cliqstudios hands, they weren’t getting nearly the attention they were while their order was still pending. I had a great planner and my order went off without a hitch. The cabinets went in without incident too and the carpenters were impressed with the quality.

      If I had to do it over again, I would still buy Cliqstudios products. I would, however, think about a glaze because I find myself wishing for a little more character — but that’s just a personal preference, not really any kind of shortcoming of the cabinets themselves. I would also have the pot drawer runners/glides aligned and permanently fastened as soon as the cabinets were set — they can’t be shipped pre-fastened, sadly…

      If you’re handy with a screwdriver, you may want to forego soft closers for the doors (NOT the drawers — definitely get those if they’re not standard) but I bought a bunch of the door soft closers off Amazon and saved a ton over the installed price. Each closer took less than a minute and you can install them before you ever hang or set them so you won’t be struggling if you plan it correctly.

      If you get the recycle base cabinet (2 baskets), you’ll want to go to HD or Lowes and pick up a catch to install on the side of the interior face frame and door back so that it will click into and stay in the closed position. That drove me crazy for more than a year before I spent $2 on the catch and had a handyman install it during a Punch List clean-up. Kicking myself for waiting so long…

      All that’s just “frosting” though… bottom line is that the cabinets are a good value for the money. You’d be hard-pressed to find wood-box cabinets with nice quality door/drawer fronts for anywhere near this price. If you decide to order a single cabinet, you’re going to experience significant sticker shock at the shipping price unless something has changed since I bought. It’s really reasonable on a houseful — not so much on just one!

      Maybe if you’re going to be in our area, we can arrange a little tour of our kitchen and bathrooms!

      Best of luck,
      Jo-Lynn

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