Kitchen Cabinet Cost Guides

Cabinets help define the looks and usability of your kitchen. If you have a dated or difficult-to- use cabinet design, your kitchen could be falling short of its full potential as the entertainment and meal-prepping focal point of your home. Installing a new cabinet design will improve the looks and usability of your kitchen - and boost the appeal of your overall home. Here's a comprehensive guide to choosing and installing new cabinets.

Kitchen Cabinet Construction

The construction of cabinets breaks down into three categories, each with its own price point and specific set of pros and cons:     

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  • Install Cabinets Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $1,820 - $7,971
    Average cost:
    Low cost:
    High cost:
  • Repair Cabinets Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $131 - $472
    Average cost:
    Low cost:
    High cost:
  • Refinish Cabinets Costs
    Most homeowners spent between:
    $1,660 - $3,772
    Average cost:
    Low cost:
    High cost:

Stock Cabinets: $60-$200 per linear foot

Stock cabinets are the most affordable option available to homeowners. Stock construction comes with fewer design options, but costs considerably less than semi-custom and custom alternatives. Quality and measurement issues are sometimes a problem with stock cabinets. Be sure to carefully measure the location of your new cabinets before making any purchases. If you're unsure, have a cabinet professional measure your space.

Advantage: Price.

Disadvantage: Lack of design options, occasional measurement and quality issues.

Semi-Custom Cabinets: $100-$650 per linear foot

If you have a larger budget and need custom sizing or aesthetics, semi-custom designs offer a wider variety of options for a reasonable price. Semi-stock cabinets are perfect for homeowners looking for unique, long-lasting cabinets without the hefty price of custom designs.

Advantage: Reasonable price, more design and measurement options.

Disadvantage: Lack of exotic designs and materials.

Custom Cabinets: $500-$1,200 per linear foot 

Custom cabinets are perfect for oddly shaped kitchens or specific design and functionality needs. While custom cabinets will meet your exact specifications, you can expect a substantial cost.

Advantage: Endless design possibilities.

Disadvantage: Price.

Kitchen Cabinet Materials

The materials you choose for your cabinets will depend on your budget and design. It's important to also consider the mass appeal of your materials. Exotic designs and materials can hurt the resale value of your home. Here's a breakdown of the most popular cabinet materials:

Wood: $5,000-$25,000 

The durability, wide range of looks and relative affordability of wooden cabinets make them a popular choice for many homeowners. Here's a quick look at a variety of sought-after wood types:

  • Maple: Maple has a straight, tight grain that makes it a perfect candidate for both traditional and contemporary designs. The durable nature of maple also allows it to handle both paint and stain.
  • Cherry: Cherry is a heavier wood, characterized by its straight, close grain. Many homeowners choose cherry for its elegance and natural durability. You can use cherry in both traditional and contemporary cabinet designs.
  • Oak: Oak is highly textured wood that's defined by a straight grain and natural elegance. The porous nature of oak makes it extremely absorbent. Darker stains in particular bring out the grain pattern in oak cabinets, although light stains also work well with this wood. Similar to cherry, oak is also extremely durable and long lasting.
  • Pine: Pine's long grains and visible knots give it a rugged-yet-sophisticated look. Many pine cabinets are softer than traditional hardwood, which can result in more nicks and scratches. If you're considering pine, opt for the more durable Yellow pine. The lighter nature of Pine makes it a popular choice for contemporary kitchens.

Wood Veneer: $1,930-$13,000 

Veneers are strips of wood applied to plywood or particle board. While not as durable as actual wood, veneers offer the same look and feel of wooden cabinets without the higher price tag. Also, some veneers are more resistant to humidity and moisture than traditional wood. You can stain your veneers to match other decorative features of your kitchen.

Laminate: $4,000-$15,000 

Like wood veneers, laminate cabinets are cost-friendly alternatives to wood. Laminate is a synthetic material that's placed on particle board in both high-pressure and low-pressure procedures. High-pressure laminate is a higher quality product and is sold under brand names like Formica and Pionite.

Laminate is highly durable and stands up to the wear and tear of a busy kitchen. Also, laminate cabinets don't warp or fade like some wooden alternatives. Laminate is especially at home in modern or contemporary kitchens.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a less common material than wood, laminate or veneer. Regardless, many homeowners are opting for stainless because of its durability, great looks and extremely long lifespan. Stainless is also recyclable and non-toxic, which means it's perfect for the environmentally friendly kitchen.

Stainless steel cabinets are mostly found in modern and contemporary kitchens, but when paired with darker woods, like cherry or oak, stainless cabinets fit in with transitional and eclectic décor styles.

Stainless steel is susceptible to scratches, finger prints and dents. You can also expect a hefty price tag for stainless cabinets.

Kitchen Cabinet Design

Cabinet designs falls into two camps: Framed and frameless. Here's a quick breakdown of each:

Framed Cabinets: Framed cabinets are commonly used in traditional designs. A framed build means that the rails and stiles of the cabinet are visible at the front of the cabinet box and form a flat frame that is attached to the door front. Framed cabinets are best for homeowners seeking a traditional, full-flavored design.

Frameless Cabinets: Frameless cabinets are used in contemporary and modern designs. Frameless construction relies on a heavier cabinet box in order to hide the frame and hang the doors.

The cost of framed and frameless cabinets will vary based on the wood, construction and size of your project. Instead, the most important decision when considering design is whether your cabinets will fit your existing décor.

Additional Considerations

Not all cabinet installations are hang-and-go projects. Here are some additional considerations to include in your plan:

Moving Appliances: Depending on the size of your new cabinet installation, you may run into additional issues. For example: If your new cabinets require you to move your oven, you'll need to relocate electrical, gas and ventilation systems as well. Your cabinet pro should spot any appliance-related issues before the job begins, but it's important to keep an eye out yourself.

Proper Measuring: It's a good idea to hire a pro to take the measurements for your new cabinets. Mis-measuring your space will result in job delays and expensive reinstallations.

Hiring the right pro: As with any project, it's important that you hire the right pro at the right price. Here are a few questions to help you choose the perfect professional for your project:

  • How long have you been installing cabinets? Make sure your pro has experience installing or building cabinets similar to yours.
  • Are you licensed and insured? The proper paperwork will safeguard your home and your pro in the event of an accident or faulty build.
  • Do you have any references? Always ask to speak to past clients before you hire a pro. Most trustworthy professionals are happy to provide a list of references. Avoid hiring a pro who hesitates or refuses to share his references or examples of past work.

Questions about the builder's work:

  • Do you offer material warranties? It's nice to have a backup in case of an emergency. Ask your pro about material warranties for your project. If he doesn't offer a warranty, inquire about other guarantees.
  • Will this project require a permit? Always ask about permits before you begin construction. Your pro should know about any licenses your project will require.
  • How long will this job take? Don't expect an exact completion date before you've hired your pro. But most pros can provide a rough estimate based on the layout of your home and your cabinet's design

Share your cost experience

Help others plan and budget for their projects

jeff kackley More than 1 year ago
taking bids on kitchen cabinet install. kitchen is pretty small and should not take long. also countertops
Thomas Cole More than 1 year ago
How did it all work out and who did you eventually hire to do the job?  I have approx 12' long space in which to build cabinetry including a sink in the middle and a 30" stove at one end.