Kitchen cabinets bought and installed for cheap

When you start to plan out your kitchen remodel, selecting cheap cabinets can be a great way to keep costs down. You’ll probably keep them for at least 15 to 20 years, so making a good choice is important. Here are five ways you can save without compromising on quality.

1. Get the Best Kitchen Cabinets for the Money

The most affordable kitchen cabinets start around $30 per linear foot, with minimal features. It’s cheaper to choose standard sizes, like 24” or 30” wide. Custom options take more work, so they can be expensive. Pull-out shelves and drawers cost the most, so you may want to limit them.

For the most part, there isn’t a big difference in value between $30 and $100 per linear foot. Bargain kitchen cabinets tend to have a thinner frame and shelving, which means they can bow or sag under pressure. If you plan to store heavy tools or appliances, opt for thicker panels made of plywood.

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2. Stick With Inexpensive Cabinetry

Solid hardwood cabinets cost $300 to $350 per linear foot. By comparison, the cheapest kitchen cabinets cost $30 to $150 per linear foot. These typically contain a plywood frame with a door made of particleboard, also called MDF.

Keep in mind that cheap construction often doesn’t last as long. Aim for products with 3/4″ thick panels and screws that will go most of the way through the panel. If you’re building it yourself, extra nails will help hold it together.

Cabinet Prices Per Linear Foot
Plywood with MDF $30-$150
MDF $50-$250
Plywood $100-$350

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3. Don’t Buy More Cheap Cabinets Than You Need

You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars on budget cabinets by buying only what you need. Manufacturers set prices by the unit. Wider sizes tend to have a lower cost per linear foot. For example, selecting two 36” wide base models will probably run less than three 24” ones.

It’s tempting to fill the space with cabinets, but you’ll pay for every empty unit. Sometimes, it’s easier to thin out kitchen tools you don’t use than to build more places to store them.

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4. Save on Labor With Ready-to-Assemble Cabinets

Assembled cabinets cost $50 to $150 per linear foot, compared to $30 to $100 per linear foot for ready-to-assemble (RTA) units. You might not have as much choice in RTA products, but you’ll save on shipping or bringing them home from the store.

Remember that DIY only saves money if you have the right tools and materials and know what you’re doing. Cabinet assembly usually takes a few hours per unit and requires the following supplies not provided with the kit:

  • Protective eyewear and gloves
  • Wood glue
  • 16-to-18 gauge nails
  • Bar clamps
  • Hammer or finishing nailer
  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Wood shims, level and countertop installation materials, if applicable

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5. Shop Locally for Used Kitchen Cabinets

Since solid wood cabinets often last longer than the kitchen design, you may find people nearby looking to sell their old ones. Cabinet removal costs $15 to $30 per linear foot. To avoid this expense, some homeowners will even give them away for free instead of demolition, if you’ll get them out of the house. Before you choose used products, you should:

  1. Shop around and consider at least a few options.
  2. Inspect the condition before buying.
  3. Ask if the price includes removal.
  4. Make sure you can transport them to your home promptly.

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FAQs

How much does it cost to install or replace kitchen cabinets?

The cost to install or replace kitchen cabinets averages about $5,000. Materials usually represent at least 50% of the total expense.

How much does it cost to reface or resurface cabinets?

Refacing cabinets costs about $7,000. The process may include changing doors, as well as repainting or resurfacing the frames.

How much does Home Depot charge vs. Lowe’s vs. IKEA for kitchen cabinets?

Big box stores like Home Depot or Lowe’s charge about $30 to $150 per linear foot for inexpensive kitchen cabinets. IKEA prices are similar for preassembled or RTA units.

A private contractor may buy cabinets from the same sources, but they’ll usually add a markup of 20 to 50 percent. However, they may be able to get your job done sooner or at a higher quality.

What brands of kitchen cabinets does Home Depot sell?

The most common brands of kitchen cabinets at Home Depot are Home Decorators Collection, Hampton Bay and Eurostyle.

How many cabinets are in a 10’ x 10’ kitchen?

A 10′ x 10′ kitchen might need 21 cabinets with these dimensions:

  • 2 base at 30″ wide
  • 3 base at 24″ wide
  • 5 base at 18″ wide
  • 3 wall at 24″ wide
  • 5 wall at 18″ wide
  • 3 wall at 12″ wide

A kitchen this size usually has about 15 to 20 linear feet available for cabinetry. For these dimensions, homeowners should plan for 18 to 20 linear feet in base units and 15 to 18 linear feet for walls.

What is the least expensive wood for kitchen cabinets?

Birch is usually the least-expensive wood option. The cheapest kitchen cabinet materials are plywood and MDF.

What is the best material for kitchen cabinets?

The best material for kitchen cabinets depends on homeowner preference. Solid wood offers a luxurious appearance, but it costs up to 10x more than plywood or MDF. For the price, it doesn’t tend to perform better or last longer.

How can I get cheap bathroom cabinets?

The cheapest bathroom cabinets usually come premade with a precut countertop. The best deals come from big box stores like Lowe’s in the late fall.

The cost to install a bathroom vanity starts around $300.

What’s the best way to get cheap garage storage cabinets?

For the best prices on garage storage cabinets, look for preassembled units in common sizes at big box stores. You’ll find more sales in late summer and fall.

Custom garage storage cabinets cost $3,000 to $25,000.

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Give Cheap Wood Cabinets a New Look

If your cabinets are still in good condition, you may not need to replace them. As you browse cheap kitchen cabinet ideas, consider these alternatives:

Ready to start your kitchen cabinet project? Browse cabinet contractors near you.

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