When planning a kitchen remodel, one of the biggest decisions homeowners face is choosing new kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets make up a significant portion of the overall cost of a kitchen remodel, so before hiring a kitchen and bath contractor, it’s important to understand all the factors that go into pricing.
Below we’ll break down the different factors that impact kitchen cabinet costs so you can determine the best option for your kitchen and budget.
Types of Kitchen Cabinets
The first major factor impacting the cost of new kitchen cabinets is the type of cabinetry you choose. There are three main options:
Stock kitchen cabinets are mass-produced in standard sizes and configurations. They are the most affordable cabinet option but offer the least flexibility in terms of materials, colors, sizes, and design preferences.
Stock cabinets typically range from $100-500 per linear foot including installation. While very budget-friendly, stock cabinet quality and selection are quite limited. They are best for homeowners looking for an inexpensive cabinetry solution.
Semi-custom cabinets provide more flexibility than stock cabinetry. They are mass-produced but offer some customization options. With semi-custom cabinets, you can select from a range of materials, custom colors, door styles, and more to get a more customized, built-in look while keeping costs down.
Semi-custom cabinets range from $200-1000 per linear foot installed. This allows for an upgraded look and better quality while remaining budget-friendly.
Fully custom cabinets are built from scratch specifically for your kitchen. This allows for complete personalization of the design, from the cabinet dimensions to the choice of woods, finishes, hardware, and every detail.
Custom cabinets typically start at $800 per linear foot and go up significantly from there. While very expensive, custom cabinetry adds tremendous value and gives you exactly the look you want. Custom cabinets are a worthwhile investment for some homeowners, particularly those doing high-end renovations.
Factors Impacting Kitchen Cabinets Cost
Beyond just the type of cabinetry, several other factors impact the overall cost of new kitchen cabinets:
Higher quality cabinets made with all plywood boxes cost more than lower quality particle board boxes. Quality internal components also add cost.
Additional features like rollouts, lazy susans, and specialty storage add cost per linear foot. Plan them carefully to maximize value.
Solid wood fronts add cost over veneers. Exotic and imported woods raise the price significantly over domestic wood species.
Simple slab door styles are generally the least expensive. Decorative raised panel doors and those requiring multi-step finishing cost more.
Finish and color
Custom finishes and glazes add cost over standard paint and stain options. Choosing a stock color over custom matching helps reduce costs.
Well-known luxury cabinet brands charge a premium over lesser-known brands, even when build quality is comparable. Selecting wisely can save money.
Cabinet costs are typically 15-20% higher on average for coastal regions versus inland. Shipping and material costs increase prices in Hawaii, Alaska, and other remote locations.
Average Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets
When undertaking a full cabinet replacement for your kitchen remodel, most homeowners spend $15,000-30,000 on average for semi-custom cabinetry installed. Here’s how that breaks down:
$8,000-15,000 for new semi-custom cabinets for a typical 10×10 kitchen
Kitchen Cabinet Installation
Around $150 per linear foot for professional installation, approximately $4,500-7,500 for a 10×10 kitchen
Additional costs for new countertops, backsplash, sink/faucet, flooring, lighting, painting, and other finishes will add $2,000-8,000.
Going with stock cabinets can shave $3,000-5,000 off the price, while custom cabinets will increase the total cost to $25,000 on the low end and up to $50,000 or more for very large, high-end kitchens.
Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets Per Linear Foot
To calculate the cost of replacing kitchen cabinets, it helps to think in terms of cost per linear foot rather than overall project cost. This allows you to multiply by the linear footage of your cabinets.
Here are rough estimates for cost per linear foot:
$100-300 per linear foot for materials. $100-200 per linear foot installed.
$200-500 per linear foot for materials. $300-700 per linear foot installed.
Custom kitchen cabinets
$500-1000+ per linear foot for materials. $800+ per linear foot installed.
These numbers help provide a rough estimate, but getting quotes for your specific project will give you a more accurate number. Be sure quotes include all cabinetry including blind corner cabinets and lazy susans to account for the higher price of specialty cabinets.
Cost to Install Kitchen Cabinets
One major cost in a kitchen cabinet replacement or refacing project is the installation labor. This will run approximately $100-200 per linear foot depending on your location and the complexity of the installation.
Some factors that can increase installation costs include:
Difficult access like down a narrow staircase or around corners
Lots of existing utilities/pipes/vents require working carefully around
Out of square walls or poorly aligned existing cabinets
Specialty cabinets like angled cabinets or custom oven cabinetry.
Simple, straightforward cabinet installs in new construction may run closer to $100/lf while complex renovations or difficult site conditions can run up to $250/lf or more.
Be sure to get a few quotes from a professional cabinet installer. A poorly done install can ruin your new cabinets, while a top installer can make even budget cabinets look high-end.
Ways to Save Money on New Kitchen Cabinets
While kitchen cabinets are a significant investment, there are kitchen cabinet ideas to keep costs down:
Choose stock or semi-custom over customed
Opt for frameless cabinets over framed cabinets
Select a simple shaker-style door over ornate raised panels
Use a wood veneer instead of solid wood
Go for a stain-grade look versus paint, which requires more steps
Consider ready-to-assemble cabinets to save on labor costs
Installing kitchen cabinets yourself if you’re fairly handy
Shop sales, closeouts, and auction sites for deals on quality brands
Choose a mid-priced cabinetry brand over premium names
Compare quotes to find the best value installer
Prioritizing where to splurge and where to save can help you maximize your cabinet budget for the kitchen of your dreams.
What are the most cost-effective cabinet boxes?
The cabinet box construction greatly impacts cost. Opting for particle board instead of plywood or using a frameless design over framed cabinet boxes can reduce costs significantly, often by 30% or more.
While not as durable as plywood, particle board boxes with a veneered wood front can provide a low-cost cabinet solution for many homeowners.
What cabinet styles keep costs down?
Simple shaker-style cabinets are generally the most budget-friendly option. They utilize easy-to-construct slab doors made from wood veneer or MDF. Fancy-raised panels or inset cabinets require more materials, construction steps, and labor, increasing costs.
What cabinet upgrades add the most value?
Investing in soft-close hinges and full extension drawer glides makes kitchen cabinets function like new for longer. Opting for solid wood doors over veneer also improves durability and resale value. While adding cost upfront, these useful upgrades increase your home value.
Replacing your kitchen cabinets is a major undertaking that calls for thoughtful planning and budgeting. From selecting cabinet materials and styles to accounting for installation fees, there are lots of factors that impact the total cost of new kitchen cabinets.
The price per linear foot for stock, semi-custom, and full-on custom cabinets varies widely based on materials used, construction techniques, specialty features, and more. While custom cabinets give you free rein over design, stock, and middle-ground semi-custom options offer a budget-friendly solution for most folks. Mixing and matching economy boxes with solid wood doors or small custom flourishes can provide excellent value.
When all is said and done, careful shopping and strategic design choices make it possible for many homeowners to upgrade their kitchen with gorgeous new cabinets without blowing their budget. Focusing on maximizing value for your unique kitchen layout rather than getting hung up on luxury brands can yield dramatic gains in function and style for $15K to $30K, depending on your specific taste and needs. By getting a handle on all the elements that influence kitchen cabinet costs and planning smart, you can take on your kitchen reno with confidence.