Frequently Asked Questions

Cabinetry Construction

What kinds of materials does Tuscan Hills use?

We use only the highest quality hardwoods, plywood, and engineered materials. Specifically, all of our bright (non-rustic) hardwoods are FAS (First-and-Seconds) and Selects grade, the highest grade of hardwood lumber which can be purchased on the market. Our plywoods are veneer-core, which means they aren’t made with wood chips or oriented strands but instead with full sheets of hard and softwoods. Some plywoods that we use will have a layer of MDF before the final hardwood veneer, which is a time-consuming and expensive step that significantly enhances the quality and durability of the finish when compared to hard and softwood-only veneer core plywood. We use hard and softwood-only veneer core plywood on cabinets without finished ends as a cost-saving measure over the more expensive MDF-impregnated plywood described above.

Does Tuscan Hills offer “Solid Wood” Doors?

Yes we do. Many door styles will have a “sister” door with an MDF center panel at a less expensive price point, but we offer many of our doors in a hardwood center panel (when stained – when painted maple doors are chosen all center panels are MDF for the highest possible finish quality, see below). These hardwood panels will be constructed of high-quality hardwood staves, glued together and sanded smooth to form a larger panel.

Why don’t Tuscan Hills build their panels out of a single piece of wood?

We get this question often enough that it’s clear someone out there is misinforming potential customers. No one in the world makes cabinets out of single pieces of wood, and if they are, they’re breaking a lot of laws to do it. Consider that a 20” diameter tree of most species would be over 100 years old and would be considered protected old growth forest by responsible governments the world over. Then consider you’d need at least a 30” wide tree to cut a single board wide enough to fit some of our cabinets. Anyone who tells you they make cabinet doors out of a single piece of wood is at best, lying, and at worst destroying the environment for future generations with no appreciable reason for it. We only source our wood from responsibly managed sustainable forestry stands, and plant two trees for every tree we use.

What about so-and-so, they use single pieces of wood?

They do not. You are either looking at a wood veneer, which is very thin and standard in the industry, or you are looking at some type of structured surface – a fabricated man-made wood grain. Some high-end European cabinetmakers will use “book matched” veneers, which are real wood veneers which look fake because the grain matches perfectly. This is a tradition for high-end ultramodern cabinets, and Tuscan Hills sells only high-end traditional style cabinetry, so we do not offer book matching.

What is a tinted varnish?

Tinted varnish is the technical term for our painted finishes. Three tinted coats of catalyzed material are uniformly applied to Maple and Oak cabinetry. Light sanding between coats assures a smooth finish. The finish is oven cured for durability. Tinted varnishes last longer than paint, hold their color better than paint, and get damaged more predictably than paint, which typically peels when damaged. The kinds of dings and dents that accumulate (by themselves according to my kids) over the life of your cabinet are much more easily treated with the provided touch-up materials than painted cabinets are.

What is glazing and when is it a good idea to glaze a door?

Contrary to popular belief, glazing is not a protective top-coat that you pay extra for. A glaze is actually a second color which is applied during the finishing process and is used to accent the woodworking elements of your door. It is applied to the front of the door, and then wiped-off by hand, so that areas of heavily concentrated glaze remain in the nooks and crannies – a technical term called “hang-up.” Because of this, you may not get the full benefit of glazing from a flat slab door or a Shaker door – you’ll see a lot less of the glaze, even though the overall color is hued, because there’s nowhere for the glaze to hang up. It is a good idea to glaze a highly decorative door, as it will highlight those woodworking features.

Do Ultimo cabinets contain any MDF or Engineered materials?

Like other custom cabinetry manufacturers, Ultimo uses engineered hardwoods in some construction applications. Some door styles are made with MDF center panels (these are labeled “veneer recessed center panel” on the website). On the finished end panels of stained cabinets, the MDF veneer is the second-to-last veneer in plywood, with the last (outermost) veneer being the hardwood of your choice. This prevents the telegraphing of any voids in the inner plys from showing through to the finish. For tinted varnish cabinets, the outermost veneer on cabinets with a finished end panel is MDF. This gives the cabinet finish a smooth surface to adhere to and creates a glass-like smoothness and imperfection-free painted finish. Sometimes, if your order contains 5-piece drawer fronts, we include a ¼” hardboard (Masonite) filler to ensure that the drawer front fits snuggly and securely to the drawer box. Some specialty cabinets, like our tambour doors, will be made with engineered material as well, as it is the best available material for the given purpose. None of the stiles and rails on any of our doors come in an MDF or Particle board construction, and our face frames are always made from the hardwood of your choice. MDF will sometimes be used as backers for island panels, depending on your design. It will never be used as a structural component of your cabinetry.

Maple cabinet doors and five-piece headers with a solid center panel finished in a Tinted Varnish and its variations (i.e., painted finishes and glazed painted finishes) will be upgraded to an MDF center panel. MDF is better suited to handle the changes in temperature, humidity or atmospheric pressure that cabinets experience over their lifetime which can cause the finish to crack, the doors to swell or raw wood to be exposed. MDF center panel construction will help mitigate these effects and keep your cabinetry looking pristine longer. This change does not apply to any oak doors, slab doors, stained maple doors or tinted varnish doors with a distressed finish.

Do Ultimo cabinets come with installation screws?

The mounting screws are not included with your cabinetry and should be provided by your installer. We recommend using #8×2.5″ screws and washers. A square socket or torx drive screws are preferred to Philips head, and flat head or washer head screws are ideal. Pre-drilling is not necessary to affix the cabinet through the plywood to the wall, but pre-drilling is necessary for any screwing through every hardwood component of your cabinetry. DO NOT USE SELF-DRILLING SCREWS FOR HARDWOOD APPLICATIONS

How certain can I be that I'll receive the highest quality of cabinetry?

We strive to use only the best components in our cabinetry. Our soft close hinges are manufactured by Blum, the world’s premier operative hardware manufacturer. Likewise, our drawer glides, also made by Blum, have their highest weight rating and smoothest soft close profile available for framed cabinets. We use only veneer core plywood with high grade engineered material to prevent finish defects, with the highest grade exterior veneers for finished ends. Our face frames are cut from FAS & Selects grade hardwood lumber and all our center panel doors use a floating panel technique to help mitigate the effects of thermal expansion and contraction. Every cabinet is measured, cut, and assembled by hand at our factory in South Dakota, inspected, and packaged with care.

Cabinetry Samples

How do I order a door sample?

While you are browsing cabinet door styles, you can order a sample by clicking on the “Order Door Sample” button and adding the color swatch you wish to see to your cart. These swatches will clearly state that they are for door samples. You must then check out and vist Costco Payment Page – https://www.costco.com/.product.11677444.html whereupon you must check out for $40 per door sample. Instructions to the Costco Payment Page can be found on the costco payment page.

How long does it take to get a door sample?

It usually takes about 10 business days to ship a door sample to your home from our factory. This is because each door sample is crafted to order. Color samples, on the other hand, usually ship to your home in 3-5 business days.

Is there a charge for door samples or color samples?

There is no charge for your first 5 color samples and a door sample is only $40. Your designer will also deduct the first 5 door sample purchases from your final cabinetry purchase. Subsequent door samples are non-refundable and not returnable to Costco. We strongly encourage ordering color samples first and deciding on a color before ordering door samples.

What happens if I want more than 5 color samples?

If you are not working with a designer to finalize your purchase, color samples beyond the first 5 you order are $5 per sample, and you must check out via the payment page process described above. If you are working with your designer, they can ship an additional 5 samples at no cost to you.

Is there a shipping charge for door samples or color samples?

We provide complimentary shipping for all sample doors and color samples.

What is the size of a complimentary samples?

Color samples are 5.5″ x 4.5″. All color samples are solid wood.

What is the size of a sample door?

An overlay door sample is 13″ x 16″ and an inset door sample is 16″ x 26″. An overlay door sample does not represent the drawer front style, but an inset door will include the frame and drawer front.

Design Request

Does it cost anything to receive a design?

No- you’ll never pay a design fee! The design process is a complimentary service we offer to all Costco members who display interest in Tuscan Hills Cabinetry and who submit the required information to receive a quote. We quote prices based on the design, so it is also a necessary step to purchase cabinetry through us. Even when you’re working with your personal designer there is still no obligation to buy, and you will not be charged for our design services.

How long does it take to get a design and quote?

It can take anywhere from 3-4 business days from the time your information has been verified by one of our design coordinators to the time you receive your quote via e-mail. You will receive 3D renders along with your quote – this will represent a working design. From there, a design coordinator can schedule a phone or virtual appointment with you to meet your personal designer who can go over every detail and make changes if necessary.

I have a list of cabinets or a design from another company, can I just get a quote?

Yes, you can. However, please keep the following in mind: you will receive a comparison quote with calculated prices for Ultimo, Market Street Semi-Custom, and Market Street Value Express cabinetry along with an item list for the Market Street Value Express cabinets that make up the quote. This “quick quote” may not reflect all of what you are looking for in your design, but it will let you know approximately how much each product line would cost you (specifically, you will receive an exact quote for the items we are quoting you which may or may not perfectly match your item list). If you are comfortable moving forward at any of the prices quoted, you must then work with a designer to receive an exact design and quote before you may finalize your order.

What is needed on a floor plan to get a quote?

We require wall measurements, window and door measurements and their location. Please also be sure to include any obstacles, such as soffits, beams, bump outs, radiators, baseboards etc. Submitting pictures with your floorplan will also help our team create an accurate design which will ultimately result in a successful kitchen remodel!

Can I use photogrammetry instead of submitting a floor plan?

Our digital photogrammetry is used for verifying measurements for a final design only, and not for measuring a kitchen to get an initial quote.

What appliance information is required to get a quote?

We require at least the widths of the appliances you intend to use in your new kitchen to provide an accurate initial quote. During the design process, they can be changed if need be. We also need some idea of where they’ll be placed – it should be apparent on any design or floor plan you submit to us. If it is completely up to us, please indicate this. When we finalize your design, we will need all of the model numbers for your appliances. This is to ensure that the cabinets you are buying will indeed fit with your exact appliances.

Will I receive a floor plan with my initial quote?

Our design process is different from many show rooms or big box stores, where you’ll be handed a plan and tasked with figuring most of it out for yourself. We design with you, virtually. Once you’ve received your initial quote, if you like the price and what you see, you can work with a designer here on staff to refine your design. At this point, you’ll be seeing the plan on their computer screens in two and three dimensions. We feel that this is a much more exciting and informative way to digest the information in your design. Rest assured, once you purchase your cabinetry with us you will receive a custom annotated set of floor plans and elevations by which your installer can install your new cabinetry.

Why doesn't Tuscan Hills provide itemized pricing?

Everything we do is personalized, and to do it properly takes time. The possibilities with our cabinetry are endless, and this makes it impossible to give individualized pricing. If itemized pricing is important to you, a SKU based stock line like our Market Street Value Express cabinets is of sufficient simplicity to offer itemized quotes.

I have multiple rooms that I need cabinets for. Do I need to fill out the project planner multiple times?

Of course not! We can provide an initial design for the largest cabinet project, most likely the kitchen, and if you like what you see, your personal designer will provide designs for all other rooms.

Can you provide an estimate based on linear feet?

A linear foot estimate is just that – an estimate. We deal in quotes, not estimates. When you receive your quote from us based on your initial design that is a working quote. You could place the order that day if you choose and receive exactly the cabinets which make up that design and pay exactly what’s quoted plus any applicable state taxes. This differs from an estimate in two appreciable ways: One, an estimate isn’t a guarantee of price. It’s a number to draw you in – if you’ve heard the term “lowball estimate,” then you understand that estimates are often low on purpose to get you interested. Our quotes are for exactly what you see – there is no lowballing. Two, an estimate doesn’t give you any idea of what you would or wouldn’t get. Our quotes are complete designs tailored to your specific space and requests.”

Digital photomeasuring service

How does Tuscan Hills measure my space?

We can verify your room dimensions using a state-of-the-art, patented technology called photogrammetry. Once you are working with a personal designer, a Tuscan Hills measure tech will e-mail you a digital target and diagrams on how to take proper photos. The digital target is a standard 8 ½” x 11” piece of paper that you can print and tape flat to your walls. You then take a series of pictures of each wall following the diagrams with the digital targets visible in the photos. A Tuscan Hills measure tech can answer any questions you may have.

How accurate is photo measuring?

We guarantee that this process is accurate up to 1/8” of an inch and Tuscan Hills takes responsibility for the room dimensions and fit of the cabinets. To be eligible for our digital photogrammetry, you must be able to fit the entire height of your kitchen – floor-to-ceiling – in one digital photograph without using the panorama option. Spaces that are too cramped may not be eligible, as it may not be possible to obtain a clear reading. Digital photogrammetry is not suitable for bathrooms and other tight spaces.

Do I have to use photo measuring before placing my order?

We can use your measurements too. Photogrammetry is not a required step, nor is it particularly necessary if you are skilled with a tape measure. However, for those members who have issues reading a tape measure or physically measuring, photogrammetry is a great way to ensure that you too can purchase custom cabinetry with confidence! Ask your designer about measurement confirmation and whether photogrammetry is right for your project.

General Questions

What is Tuscan Hills?

We are Costco’s exclusive cabinetry design studio, an online design service quality cabinetry at a great value exclusively to Costco members through Costco.com. Our exclusive patented methodology allows you to work with us remotely to design your dream kitchen or bath from anywhere in the country, knowing that your measurements and design will always be accurate.

What is Ultimo Cabinetry?

Ultimo is our best-selling American made, hand-crafted custom cabinetry brand. Tuscan Hills is the exclusive dealer of Ultimo Cabinetry, and Costco.com is the only place to find Ultimo Cabinetry.

Does Tuscan Hills Offer Any Other Cabinetry?

We also design and sell Market Street Cabinetry, with Semi-Custom and Value Express options. These cabinets are more basic, with fewer options and customizable features. The quality of the cabinetry reflects their more basic price points – while they are still quality cabinets, they do not match the superior aesthetic and tactile quality of Ultimo cabinetry. These cabinets are not intended for high-end cabinetry projects, such as those with high-end designer appliances or in projects where high levels of customization are required.

Are Custom Cabinets Right For Me?

If you need the ultimate in build quality, finish quality, and customization, then Ultimo cabinetry is right for you. Our Ultimo cabinets are the only choice for high-end appliances such as Sub-Zero, Viking, Thermador, et. al. If your space is “tricky” with angled walls or other uncommon architectural details then our Ultimo cabinets will allow you to maximize the value of your investment by taking advantage of our superior customization offerings. Or maybe you just have discerning tastes, and you want the quiet elegance of a superior product in your home. Custom cabinetry is more affordable than you think, so request your quote today.

Why Buy from Costco?

Simply put: quality, service and value. Unlike local dealers, or other online cabinet vendors, we stand behind our products and our designs. Regardless of which product you purchase, you know you’re getting the best quality for the money you spend. You also know you are getting the expertise of dedicated, career designers who are dedicated to your success. From start to finish, you will be guided and informed by experts who can answer your questions and help you make the tough design decisions. Of course, our partnership with Costco means that you will receive the level of post-purchase customer service that you expect, at a value that can’t be beaten. The real question is: Why wouldn’t I buy my cabinets from Costco’s cabinetry design studios?

How can Tuscan Hills design my kitchen over the Internet?

We have a simple, three step design process to help you get the kitchen or bath of your dreams:

Step 1: Fill out the Project Planner , and be sure to attach your initial measurement documents. One of our Design Coordinators will get in touch with you to confirm your details.

Step 2: We design your kitchen, bath, or other space based on this information and send you acomplimentary 3D design and cabinetry quote. Once you’ve reviewed your quote, please call us to schedule an appointment with an expert designer and order cabinetry samples to help make your selections.
Step 3: You work one-on-one with the personal designer, on the phone and by way of virtual meetings, where you will add input to the design, and view the changes in real-time. They will get your measurement confirmation, either by having you double-check your own, or by using our Digital Photogrammetry technology. They will then help you finalize your order and pay through Costco.com.

Does Tuscan Hills go to my home?

We do not come to your home. We will design, measure, and show you the quality of our products through our website, sample program, virtual design, and digital photo measuring. We can design and provide cabinetry for kitchens, bathrooms, offices, entertainment centers, mud rooms—you name it!

Are Ultimo cabinets on display at Costco or is there a showroom I can visit?

No, our Ultimo cabinets are not on display at any Costco location. If you would like to verify colors, please order your complimentary color chips from our website, or contact us to assist you in ordering samples. If you would like to see our construction quality firsthand, we recommend ordering a door sample. You can order one from the website, or by contacting one of our design coordinators. While they do cost $40 each up front, any money you spend on samples will be put towards your final cabinetry order when you purchase.

Does Tuscan Hills Cabinetry install?

We do not offer installation, but our cabinetry does come fully assembled, unless specified by your designer, and ready to install with a guided floor plan and installation guide. We also have a dedicated member service team that can speak with you or your cabinet installer to answer any questions about your cabinetry or design. If you don’t have an installer, your designer may be able to assist you in finding one.

Can I install Ultimo cabinets on my own?

We recommend a licensed professional to install Ultimo cabinets. It’s important that the cabinets are installed secure and level. Cutting fillers and mitering moldings is also common and can be complicated even for an experienced installer.

Is there a minimum cabinetry order?

Tuscan Hills requires the purchase of at least one cabinet, and moldings and accessories are not available for individual purchase absent a cabinetry order. We will do any full remodel job for a Kitchen, Bathroom, Mudroom, Laundry Room or other cabinetry project. We will also do partial projects, however we will not attempt or are required to match, contrast, or compliment our cabinetry with your existing cabinetry.

Do you offer custom stains and tinted varnishes?

Absolutely! You can send us a 3×3 color sample on your desired wood species or we can match any Sherwin William or Benjamin Moore color- all you have to do is tell us the color name and number! Our factory will then produce a sample door on the style of your choice for your approval to ensure that we produce your cabinetry exactly as you’re expecting! Because we are formulating a finish specifically for you, a custom color overlay door sample is $300 and a custom inset door sample is $400. Your designer will deduct all sample purchases from your final cabinetry purchase.

Does Tuscan Hills offer countertops, backsplashes or kitchen cabinet hardware?

While Tuscan Hills will design and sell you beautiful cabinetry, we do not provide stone countertops, backsplashes or hardware for cabinetry. However, decorative wood tops and butcher block tops are available in limited sizes.

Do Tuscan Hills offer refacing or replacement of doors and drawer fronts only?

We do not offer cabinetry refacing and do not sell door and drawer fronts only.

What does 'Custom Cabinetry' mean?

Custom cabinetry means that we offer over 10,000 skus that can be upgraded and modified 550 different ways. We can also change the height, width and depth of our cabinetry up to 1/16 of an inch for an upcharge. Custom cabinetry also means that every item is built and finished to order specifically as you selected! For this reason, Ultimo cabinetry is not returnable.

What is 'Nomenclature'?

Nomenclature is a term used in the cabinet industry that describes the cabinet, molding or component you can think of nomenclature like a SKU number which has meaning to your designer and your installer. It is typically a human-readable code. For example, a butt door cabinet that is 36″ wide x 42″ high has a nomenclature 2W3642.

What To Expect From My Design Appointment

What does a Tuscan Hills designer do and why do I need one?

A Tuscan Hills designer will assist you with your cabinetry layout and selections, answering any questions or concerns you may have. Our designers are experts at specifying our products, ensuring appliances fit and function within your design properly, and are well-equipped to root out potential challenges that may be presented by your space. Our design services are complimentary for all Costco members, and we require you to work with one before purchasing your cabinetry, even if only to review your layout for accuracy. You will work with them through virtual appointments, phone conferences, and e-mail communication. They will also update your design and price along the way so that you can rest assured you’ve made all the right choices at the time of closing.

How long does it take to work with a designer?

Plan to work with a designer for about three weeks. This could be longer or shorter depending on your pace and preparedness, but most members will want to see a few design revisions before finalizing their designs.

How do virtual design appointments work?

Your designer will send you a virtual meeting link. You can log-in from any computer or mobile device, but we recommend a large viewing screen. Your designer will also give you a phone call. Once you’re logged in, you’ll see your designer’s computer screen and can navigate through your design in real time. You’ll be able to request and view changes to your floor plan, as well as see elevations and perspective drawings of all your changes.

How long are design appointments?

Phone appointments usually take no more than an hour. Virtual design appointments are scheduled for two hours, but seldom run that long. Your final virtual appointment will take between 1-4 hours depending on the intricacy of your design.

How do I schedule a design appointment?

After you’ve received your initial design and quote, all you must do is call or e-mail us, it’s that easy! A design coordinator can assist you.

Can I schedule a design appointment without receiving an initial design?

No, our process requires you to have an initial design and quote. Filling out the design request is easy – just click any design request button you see anywhere on the website to get started.

What happens if I need to cancel or change my order once it's placed?

To avoid any confusion, we recommend being 100% sure at the time of order placement that your design, appliances and style selections are accurate. However, you have three days to cancel or change your order. After those three days, your order will be released into the production phase and cannot be changed or cancelled for any reason as it is custom built just for you. If you absolutely must change your order after this 3 day period, you will be charged in full for any items you are removing from the order and for any additional materials you need to order. Depending on the nature of the change(s), additional fees may be assessed, and your lead time may restart.

Call Today for Exquisite Cabinetry, Exceptional Design, and Exemplary Service