Kitchen Cabinet Installation Costs
Naturally, the most common question we hear is, “How much will my kitchen cabinets cost?” The second common question usually asked is, “How much will it cost to install my kitchen cabinets?”. Well, much like the first question, the answer to the second is, “It depends.”. There are several variables that will affect what it costs to install your kitchen cabinets, and it is important to understand them all and how they will affect your budget.
Size & Shape
The first variable is simply the size and shape of your kitchen, and how many cabinets you’re installing. If there are any odd angle or corners that will require a contractor or carpenter to accommodate, you can expect to pay more. Larger kitchens with more cabinets will always cost the most. Smaller kitchens will cost less overall, however, the “per box” price may be the same across some smaller spaces due to economies of scale.
Another major aspect that will affect kitchen cabinet installation costs is your location. Depending on where you live in the USA, our research shows a wide range of cabinet install pricing. Here are some of the numbers:
- Averaging slightly under $100 per box in small towns and cities in the south and midwest.
- Averaging nearly $300 per cabinet on the coasts, in major cities, and from premium installers.
- The most quoted price for installing cabinetry is 10% of total cost.
- The most often quoted total price range was between $2000 and $4000.
- Installing floating shelves instead of full wall cabinets, or base cabinets only, may alter these figures.
Custom or Semi-Custom
Another variable to address is the cabinets themselves. If the cabinets are fully custom, it may be impossible to separate the installation costs alone. Although the majority of the boxes would be built off-site in the cabinet shop, depending on the kitchen’s shape and level of customization, some of the cabinets may end up being built on-site. In many instances, a custom cabinet shop insist on installing their products. In this case, installation costs is part of the overall design and build quote.
Semi-custom, pre-built cabinets can be the easiest to hang, and simple for installers to quote. These types of cabinets are engineered to be built in a factory setting, using construction methods that mimic those used in their much more expensive custom cabinet cousins. They’re also designed to remain stable during shipping, meaning they’ll stay strong and true during installation as well. Although the cabinets may arrive fully built and ready to go, be mindful of any additional molding, trim, or finish work which may add to the cost of installation.
Ready-to-assemble cabinets are another matter altogether. Putting the parts and pieces of RTA or “flat pack” cabinets together falls on the shoulders of the homeowner or the contractor/installer. Assembling one of these styles of cabinets can range anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour or more. For larger, more intricate pieces assembly often takes over an hour. If your cabinet installation professional will need to assemble your RTA cabinets in addition to actually installing them, it means more time spent on the job, meaning a higher price tag.
It’s also worth noting that sometimes RTA products aren’t as sturdy as already built cabinets. This depends on the assembly and the style of hardware used to hold the pieces together. Due to this instability, wall cabinets can be particularly tricky to hang. Installers may even require additional staff be on site to help. Take note, this may increase the cost even further.
Regardless of what types of cabinets you will be installing or where you live, there are several important things to keep in mind when seeking bids to install your kitchen cabinets. The answers to these questions will likely have the greatest influence on the prices you see for cabinet installation:
- Does this contractor specialize in cabinet installation or kitchen remodeling? Do they have all the right tools, such as nail guns, miter saws, etc?
- Will the contractor handle any necessary demolition? Do they remove your old cabinets? Who will dispose of the old cabinets?
- What does the site prep include? Will drop cloths be used to protect your floors? Do the walls need any special preparation to hang the wall cabinets?
- Does the quote include installation of door knobs and drawer pulls? If necessary, what about door hinges and drawer glides?
- Does the quote include all the finishing work, such as crown molding, light rails, toekicks, etc?
You may hear contractors giving rough estimates as a “per box” cost. However, an installer’s actual quote is likely to be one final figure for all the services they provide. Any figures mentioned in this article are to be used as a guide only. Please do your own research, in your own area, for your unique project, and make sure to know what each quote includes.
What kind of cabinet installation costs have you seen where you live? Please tell us in the comments below!