What Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

Picture of a two-tiered Lazy Susan corner cabinet storing pots and bowls

Kitchen cabinets vary greatly in cost, depending on materials, construction quality, and specialty features.

The cost of kitchen cabinets is not a simple thing to explain—it depends on the materials used, the quality of the cabinet construction, plus any any add-on organizational or design features. This article will answer frequently asked questions about kitchen cabinet costs.

Contents

  • What do kitchen cabinet cost?
  • How much does it cost to install kitchen cabinets?
  • How much do CliqStudios cabinets cost?
  • How do I compare kitchen cabinet costs?

What do kitchen cabinets cost?

To the first-time kitchen remodeler, the question ‘How much do kitchen cabinets cost?’ is a riddle similar to the question ‘How long is a string?’ The price for cabinets varies so drastically that it seems they could cost anything from $3,000 to $30,000! How is it that a set of wooden boxes could be so expensive?

You can compare shopping for cabinets like shopping for a vehicle. You could buy a basic Kia for $11k, or a Mercedes-Benz for $40k. Both cars will take you from A to B; both cars have engines, windshields, and tires. But only the Mercedes has all-leather seats, four-wheel drive, built-in GPS, 5-year complimentary service, and superior miles-per-gallon.

Why do people get so many upgrades if the basic models do the job? The answer is because most people understand the importance of getting what they want the first time so they don’t have regrets later on. Because Americans spend an average of almost 50 minutes in their car per day, they want to make sure that their vehicle will provide them with comfort, quality, ease of use, and longevity.

The same principle applies to home fixtures like flooring, furniture, and cabinets. Most kitchen remodelers expect their cabinets to look great and work flawlessly for ten, twenty, or even thirty years. Picking the right cabinets with the right options the first time is critical to ensure maximum enjoyment with minimum maintenance.

Picture of built-in wooden storage in a white cabinet utensil drawer

Consider your utensil drawer, opening and closing a thousand times a month. The burden falls on the drawer’s glides, which, if low quality, will quickly deteriorate.

Unfortunately, there are shoppers who focus on finding the cheapest possible cabinets, sacrificing quality, warranty, aesthetics, and easy-maintenance. This quite often leads to regret—especially considering that a set of cabinets is difficult and costly to install, and unlike a vehicle, cannot be traded-in if one is dissatisfied.

Some of the common upgrades found in the purchase of kitchen cabinets include:

  • All plywood box construction
  • Hardwood, dovetail-joint drawer box
  • Soft-close hinges and glides
  • Full back panel
  • I-beam support
  • Designer colors and glazes
  • Waste basket cabinet
  • Kitchen island
  • Roll-out trays
  • Drawer bases
  • Lazy Susan
  • Crown molding
  • Glass doors
  • Pull-out storage
  • Range hoods
  • Depth modifications

As you can see, there are a host of options that relate to quality and designability. Talking to one of our kitchen designers can help you get educated about the costs and benefits of each option. They will help you identify its overall importance to the success of your project.

So what’s the average cost of kitchen cabinets? In an average kitchen with area of 150 square feet, or about 25 linear feet of cabinets, replacing your old cabinets with new ones start at $3,000 to $4,000 for stock cabinets ($100 to $200 per box), $6,000-$9,000 for semi-custom cabinets ($250 to $650 per box) and $15,000 to $20,000 and up for custom-made cabinets ($750 to $2,000+ per box).

Note that the categories “stock,” “semi-custom,” and “custom” refer to the manufacturing process of the cabinets, rather than their quality. It’s possible that the stock cabinets produced in a factory are better quality than the custom cabinetry out of your neighbor’s garage. The key is to understand that when you buy custom cabinets, even if you want the most basic box, you pay for the option to customize it with any thinkable upgrade, color, or shape.

How much does it cost to install kitchen cabinets?

The average cabinet installation costs $4,899, with most homeowners spending between $1,944 and $7,931, according to actual project costs reported by HomeAdvisor. Installation costs will depend on the size and complexity of the project, as well as the time and skills of your installer or contractor. As a rule of thumb, expect the installation cost to be 50% the cost of your cabinets.

For information about the installation costs of other kitchen elements, view our guide on the kitchen remodeling budget.

How much do CliqStudios’ cabinets cost?

CliqStudios is a team of cabinetmakers and kitchen designers that designs and builds cabinets for kitchen projects of all sizes. We promise top-notch cabinetry that includes all the quality upgrades expected of premium constructed semi-custom cabinets. And we do that 20-40% cheaper than the other cabinet manufacturers offering similar products.

In 2017, the majority of our cabinet orders ranged between $5,000 and $13,000, with an average cabinet sale of about $8,000.

Graph displaying the cost-curve of CliqStudios kitchen cabinet orders in 2017

If you’re looking an exotic wood species, or luxury electrical modifications, then we’re not your cabinet company. But for the cabinets we do offer, there’s nothing in a higher-priced cabinet that’s higher quality.

Why are our cabinets so affordable? We bundled together an all-in-one factory, supply chain, design studio, and online store in order to maximize value for our customers.

We manufacture our own cabinets. We source our own lumber. There is no company, dealer, or retailer in the middle marking up our product. Even though we offer fewer styles and colors than some other cabinet companies, we focus on the most popular, so that we can specialize in producing the highest-quality cabinets in those select styles and colors.

With no brick and mortar overhead, no superfluous paints or styles to upkeep, and no dealer-middlemen taking a cut, we create huge savings for our customers. That’s the smarter way to your designer kitchen.

How do I compare kitchen cabinet costs?

Graphic of a 10' x 10' L-shaped kitchen displaying a warning sign

The 10′ x 10′ kitchen is the standard way to compare kitchen cabinet prices. But it often underestimates the real cost.

If you’ve spent time shopping online or at home improvement centers for kitchen cabinets, you’ve probably seen comparisons of “10’ x 10’ kitchens”. This L-shaped, bare-bones kitchen is formed by two perpendicular 10-foot walls. It’s often used as a comparison of kitchen costs.

Alongside the 10′ x 10′ kitchen, you may also see the cost per linear foot measurement. To calculate the cost of cabinets by linear foot, add up sum total of cabinet costs, then divide that number by the total kitchen length (20 linear feet in the 10′ x 10′ model).

Its standardization and ease of use has made the 10’ x 10’ kitchen the yardstick by which to compare cabinet prices. But this measurement can be dubious or even misleading, because they tend to underestimate the real cost of the kitchen.

For example, the 10’ x 10’ price may not figure open wall space, window space, appliances, and other variances into its linear foot price. It also assumes an L-shaped kitchen. The price of a U- or G- shaped kitchen won’t be accurately estimated from the 10′ x 10′ model. You might also notice that the 10’ x 10’ kitchen is usually constructed from low-cost particleboard and completely stripped of decorative accents or storage features that homeowners typically expect.

To understand the problems of the 10’ x 10’ kitchen, look to its origins. The 10′ x 10′ measurement comes from big box home improvement retailers who wanted to help shoppers compare the prices of cabinet styles and brands; the problem was that the cabinet manufacturers and retailers, having adopted a comparison metric, proceeded to cut corners, skimp, and obscure their real offerings in order to make their prices look as “competitive” as possible.

While linear foot prices are a helpful starting point for getting a price estimate, the number you get is not always a straightforward number. The best option to compare costs is to first get a kitchen design, then take that design to different cabinet makers for exact itemized quotes.

Remodeling a kitchen is a highly personal process. Our experience shows us that once people start paying attention to cabinet quality, they quickly learn to appreciate beautiful design, superior quality, and great value—not just the cheapest price.


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Showing 1 comments

  1. Beth Philips Reply

    I have been working with a designer and looking at cabinets and colors online for a a couple of months. I have ordered samples in 6 different colors and borrowed my neighbors sample to make sure I got color I want. Today I was told that the color I chose would be a 25% upcharge. It was listed in color choices for my style Austin with no mention of it being so much higher. I chose bright white. I am disappointed that I spent time and money on that color sample without knowing about upcharge. My quote was near 12,000 so 25% surcharge is out of question.
    Very disappointed.

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