Custom cabinetry is a big investment. At Deslaurier, we understand that our customers want to know their investment is protected.
That’s why we’re upfront and transparent about our custom cabinet warranty.
In this article, we’re explaining our company’s warranty policy from start to finish—in layman’s terms. By the end of this read, you’ll know what is and isn’t covered under warranty and what to expect if you need to make a claim.
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20-Year Cabinet Warranty
A Summary of the Deslaurier Warranty
All Deslaurier cabinets purchased by residential buyers are warrantied for 20 years.
If you’re a homeowner re-doing your personal kitchen or have purchased a new home from a builder with Deslaurier custom cabinets, your warranty covers any defects in workmanship or material for 20 years from the date of payment.
As for the underlying hardware (drawer tracks and hinges), those are covered by a lifetime warranty by our premier suppliers.
Worth noting, the 20-year warranty is only valid for residential initial buyers. So, if you’re renovating multiple kitchens for rental properties, you’d be considered a commercial buyer and your purchase wouldn’t fall under the 20-year warranty umbrella. Commercial buyers get a 1-year warranty from the time of delivery.
Both warranties are valid only for the original buyer. That means if you recently bought a house from someone who renovated with Deslaurier ten years ago, the warranty does not transfer from the property seller to you. Although, you can still contact Deslaurier for repair assistance.
For both residential and commercial buyers, the installation warranty is 1 year.
Solid surface countertops and all hardware are not included under Deslaurier’s warranty. Those items are warrantied by the respective manufacturers.
For more detail, click to read Deslaurier’s official certificate of warranty.
The Evolution of Deslaurier's Warranty
Right from the beginning, the Deslaurier warranty has been about customer satisfaction and peace of mind.
About seven years after the company was founded in 1979, a 5-year limited warranty was created that had almost exactly the same inclusions as the present-day warranty.
Founder Jim Deslaurier said:
It was important to me that the warranty never exceeded the number of years I had worked in the business—I wanted to prove that our product was backed by experience.
So, about fourteen years later, when he had over two decades under his belt, Deslaurier then extended the policy from 5 years to 20 years.
When asked about the decision, Jim said:
It was easy for me to do because as I looked back, I couldn’t remember an issue brought to our attention that we hadn’t fixed. In fact, I found that many homeowners, although they had original Deslaurier cabinets—some of which I built in the shop myself—came back around the 15-year mark ready to update their interior with a new design and aesthetic. To this day, I believe the warranty covers anything that would need to be done due to a default or manufacturing issue that might occur. The customer can rest assured that their cabinets will serve them well and look good for a very long time. —Founder Jim Deslaurier
What Is and Isn’t Covered Under Warranty
You may be wondering what’s included in the phrase “defects in material and workmanship”. It’s a great question.
Deslaurier’s products are manufactured from genuine wood products and MDF products. Because wood is a live product, some natural occurrences in cabinets are not considered material or workmanship defects.
Let’s take a look at a situational breakdown of what is and isn’t under warranty.
The following hypothetical situations WOULD NOT BE covered under Deslaurier’s warranty:
- With everyday normal use, hairline fractures have begun to appear at the joints of your cabinet doors.
WHY: Hairline fractures happen, to varying degrees, in all cabinet doors (the only exception being one-piece MDF doors). As a natural material, wood “breathes,” and ever so slightly expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity. MDF does this too, but to a lesser extent than wood. Those marginal movements over time can cause small fractures at the joints of doors, where the stiles and rails meet.
- After several years of normal use, you notice your cabinet doors have begun to crack.
WHY: As a natural product, wood reacts to very humid and very dry conditions. If your home is too humid, your cabinets may start to swell. If your home is too dry (which can happen during cold Ottawa winters), your cabinets may start to crack. To best care for your cabinets, maintain an indoor relative humidity level of 35-50%.
- With everyday normal use, you notice fingernail scratches on your cutlery drawer and garbage pull-out cabinet.
WHY: Finger or hand scratches are considered normal wear and tear. Cutlery drawers and garbage pull-outs are high-contact cabinetry components and prone to scratches (even if you don’t have long fingernails!) because of the sheer amount of traffic they see every day. Think of it like your car’s door handle—the driver’s side handle is typically the first to fail because it’s the one that gets used the most.
The following hypothetical situations WOULD BE covered under Deslaurier’s warranty:
- After cabinetry installation, there is a misalignment or fault in the stability of the cabinets or components.
CONTACT US: At Deslaurier, every effort is taken to ensure installation meets our stringent standards for quality, but mistakes do happen. Contact us and our installers will arrange a time to fix the installation issue. Installation is covered for one year.
- A few months after installation, you notice your cabinet’s painted finish has begun to peel.
CONTACT US: Painted finishes can peel due to regular wear and tear, but typically not a few months after the installation date. Although very rare, finish failure can occur due to a chemical coatings or application process failure. Contact us and we’ll arrange a time for a qualified inspector to assess the cause of the damage.
- Several months to a year after installation, your cabinet’s clear coat over stain becomes cloudy.
CONTACT US: Although extremely rare, moisture can sometimes get trapped in the substrate during the manufacturing process. In this unlikely event, the trapped moisture is slowly released, causing the clear coat to cloud over at around the 6-12 month mark. Contact us and we’ll arrange a time for a qualified inspector to assess the cause of the damage.
How to Make a Claim for Your Kitchen Cabinet Warranty
If you’d like to make a claim, contact Deslaurier within 20 days of the time you first became aware of the defect. You can contact the Deslaurier team in one of two ways:
- Send us an email at email@example.com.
- Dial our toll-free number at 1.800.267.8815 and follow the extension for the warranty claims department.
The more information you can provide, the better. In your email or over the phone, describe the issue you’ve encountered. If you have the original paperwork, you should also send details such as the work order number, and, if you purchased the home through a builder, the lot number address.
Upon receiving your request, the Deslaurier team will reach out to you to schedule an in-home re-inspection appointment where a qualified inspector will assess your cabinetry and deem whether or not the item is warrantied.
Next, the inspector will put together a report and offer you a quote for either a repair or replacement. This step generally takes a few business days.
If the item in question is warrantied, the parts will be non-chargeable, and you’ll only pay for the labour involved. If the item was deemed ineligible under the warranty and you’d still like it fixed, we’ll quote the cost of the job including materials and labour.
To match your existing cabinets as accurately as possible, the Deslaurier team may need to take a small part of your kitchen (ex. a drawer front or a cabinet door from a discreet location) back to the manufacturing facility.
From start to finish, the warranty claims process, including the inspection, manufacturing time, and repair/replacement, can take anywhere from 3-6 months to complete.
How to Care for Kitchen Cabinets
3 Cabinet Maintenance Tips
You want to keep your cabinets in tip-top shape well past the 20-year warranty period: what do you need to know? We’ve assembled our top tips for cabinetry care here so that you can keep the wear and tear at bay for as long as possible.
For more detailed cabinetry care instructions, read our Deslaurier cleaning instructions brochure.
Tip #1: Keep Cabinets Away from Moisture
Moisture is the highest offender in the realm of cabinetry damage. Stay on guard against moisture damage by:
- Carefully mopping kitchen floors. If you don’t ring out your mop head well enough, your cabinetry toe kicks may absorb too much water. This can cause the parts to swell and blister.
- Paying extra attention to the sink. Kitchen sinks are a red-flag area for moisture damage. Take care when washing dishes to wipe up water splashes as soon as they happen. Otherwise, water may trickle down from the sink and pool on the top of your cabinet doors, penetrating the finish or joint grooves.
- Directing/ventilating steam properly. Never turn on the kettle or boil water directly underneath your upper cabinets unless you have an adequate ventilation system in place. The steam can rise up and damage your cabinet’s finish.
Tip #2: Beware of Direct Sunlight
Over time, excessive sunlight can cause your cabinets to fade. This is true not only for cabinets but many elements of your kitchen, like flooring. If you have large windows in your kitchen, be aware of how the sun falls in the room. If you’re very concerned about colour fading, consider using curtains.
Tip #3: Understand Your Design and Finish Selection
It’s important to understand how your design selections impact the longevity of your cabinets. For example, any cabinet door larger than 41” is almost guaranteed to warp or twist over time. Why, you ask? A wood rail and panel of that length is inevitably weak in the middle and may react by warping over time.
Consider warping issues when designing your cabinets.
Similarly, you should familiarize yourself with the characteristics of your finish selection. Paints and stains show regular wear and tear differently. Generally speaking, painted finishes tend to reveal scuffs and scratches more than their stained counterparts.
If you’re set on using a vibrant colour but you want a low-maintenance kitchen, you might consider swapping paint for an alternative colour coating made from a manmade unfinished product like thermofoil or polyester. The technology developed in these products over the years has made them more resilient than painted doors and they still boast an extensive colour palette.
Click to read more about painted cabinets vs. stained cabinets.
Contact Deslaurier Custom Cabinets
Deslaurier’s 20-year warranty is a testament to our pride in our products. We truly believe in the products we offer, and it only makes sense that we provide our customers with a quality warranty to protect them.
Explore the full suite of our cabinet designs by booking a free consultation with a kitchen designer in Ottawa or Renfrew. If you live outside the city, you can also use our website to find a dealer near you.