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How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

If you are looking to replace or install new kitchen cabinets, there are a number of factors you’ll need to consider, including look, finish, size, and of course price. In this article, we will review the average kitchen cabinets’ cost, as well as factors that affect price, and affordable alternatives to new cabinets.

Average Price for New Kitchen Cabinets

While the cost to install or replace kitchen cabinets will vary based on the project, the overall average cost of installing new cabinets is $4,000-$6,000.

In the scope of a larger scale kitchen remodel, installing new cabinets typically takes up about 40% of most kitchen remodel costs, according to Better Homes & Gardens. In the scope of your kitchen, your cabinets, which include upper and lower cabinets, as well as all drawers, take up a lot of space. So the high percentage of total cost in understandable.

Suffice it to say that your kitchen cabinets are a long-term investment. You can expect to put down a decent amount of money, but to fully understand the process, let’s break down each of the factors that affect the kitchen cabinets price breakdown.

Factors that Affect Kitchen Cabinets Cost

There are a number of specific factors that affect the total cost of kitchen cabinets. Here are the most signficant price factors you can expect to encounter.

Removing Existing or Old Cabinets

To install new kitchen cabinets, you must first get rid of your old or existing cabinets. While this is something that you can do yourself, if you are into “do it yourself” projects, most homeowners opt to have a professional remove existing cabinetry. Especially since the tear down and removal process can be quite extensive, and you don’t want to run the risk of damaging a surrounding wall, kitchen counter, or other element that juts up against the old cabinet.

Plus, many cabinet installation professionals and contractors will bundle in the cost of removing existing cabinets into your overall project cost, and even then, it won’t cost you very much. On average, the cost of professional kitchen cabinet removal is $300, but that number can fluctuate higher or lower depending on the size of your kitchen, the intensity of the cabinet setup, and other miscellaneous factors.

There’s no way to skirt the cost of removing your existing cabinets – in order to install new cabinets, you must remove the existing ones. However, if you’d rather not go through the hassle of teardown and rebuild, then you can also consider the option of refacing or refinishing your current cabinets, which will be detailed later on.

Cost of Installation

Similar to removal of existing cabinets, you will also have to pay for the installation of your new cabinets. This is a job that should be reserved for professional installation specialists who have been trained to install cabinets both securely and safely.

The average cost for kitchen cabinet installation ranges from $3,000-$4000, but installation costs will depend on the size of your project, and the rates of your specific contractor.  As a rule of thumb from Cliq Studios, you can expect the installation cost to be 50% of the total cost of your new cabinets.


One factor for kitchen cabinet cost that you have significantly more control over is the level of customization you choose for your new cabinets.

While most homeowners choose ready-made or “stock” cabinets that can easily fit into their existing kitchen design, you can opt to buy custom cabinets and create them specifically to match your home. Of course, choosing custom kitchen cabinet styles is the most expensive kitchen cabinet option. According to HGTV, you can expect to pay around $500 and $1,200 per linear foot for custom cabinets, with the average custom kitchen cabinet unit landing around $800.

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, then your best choice is stock cabinets. Stock cabinets are also the easiest to find, either from large home improvement and furniture retailers or online. These types of cabinets are fully prefabricated and sold as-is by these retailers. Stock cabinets are also the best choice if you are on a tight timeline, as you can usually take them home same-day, or within a few days at the most. For this reason, stock cabinets are favored by the majority of homeowners, as well as those in the home improvement and house-flipping business.

Compared to custom cabinets, stock cabinets are significantly cheaper, with the an average cost per linear foot at around $60 to $200 per linear foot. So you can see why many homeowners favor this price range! Plus, even though they are “stock,” there are so many options available for purchase today in the stock cabinet space, so you’ll likely be able to find something that fits both your budget and your aesthetic, no matter what you are looking for.

If you’re looking for something in between stock cabinets and the price of custom cabinets, the third option you can choose is semi-custom cabinets. Semi-custom cabinets allow for slightly more customization, so they can be a nice in-between option for homeowners looking to create something unique with lots of storage space.

Like custom cabinets, semi-custom cabinets typically require a longer lead-time for build and assembly. From a pricing standpoint, semi-custom cabinets range from $100 to $650 per linear foot, according to HGTV, so they provide a nice financial middleground between stock and custom kitchen cabinetry.

When we look at all three kitchen cabinet options side by side, and add up costs for an average-sized kitchen, here is the average cost of new kitchen cabinets for an average kitchen for each cabinet type:

Type of Cabinets Average Cost of Kitchen Cabinets in 150 Square Foot Kitchen
Stock Cabinets $3,000-$4,000
Semi-Custom Cabinets $6,000-$9,000
Custom Cabinets $15,000-$20,000

Data supplied by Cliq Studios

Choice of Materials

An additional factor under the umbrella of types of kitchen cabinets that will affect the price for kitchen cabinets  – whether you opt for stock, custom or semi-custom cabinets – is materials.

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, wood and wood-based materials are the most popular for construction. The most popular materials for kitchen cabinets  include: hardwood, plywood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), particleboard, and wood veneer.

Over the years, hardwood has come to be the most popular type of materials for high quality kitchen cabinets. But since hardwood is expensive, and also more pliable and less water-resistant than other types of woods, it is typically paired with other materials, or applied as a veneer over a plywood or veneer base.

Some different types of hardwood options available for kitchen cabinets according to Better Homes & Gardens, are red oak, white oak, hard maple, hickory, cherry, birch, ash and pine.

True hardwood kitchen cabinets are appealing, but your best bet is to opt for an engineered wood material or composite wood product, where you still get the benefit of the hardwood finish and look, but also the durability of an engineered product. Plus, true hardwood or plywood cabinet boxes tend to be more expensive than engineered materials, so you can save money on your bottom line by opting for engineered material cabinets.

Size of Kitchen

A major factor that will affect the cost of kitchen cabinetry installation is the size of your kitchen. It may seem obvious, but installing cabinets in a larger kitchen will cost more money than installing the same type of cabinets in a smaller kitchen.

If you want to determine the number of cabinets that your kitchen will need, and get a benchmark of cost based on just the size of your kitchen alone, follow this formula from ImproveNet: measure how many linear feet require cabinetry, and then, “multiply that number by $100 for basic cabinets, $200 for mid-range cabinets and $300 for upscale or custom cabinets.”

Other Factors Affecting Kitchen Cabinets Cost

In addition to the factors listed above that affect kitchen cabinets price, you should also consider your geographic region and home location, as well as how quickly you need the project done by. Anytime you need to “rush” a project, you can expect increased costs. Same goes for if you live in a particularly affluent neighborhood or region.

Other Options for Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re not ready to fully commit to brand new kitchen cabinets, you have other options you can pursue. Namely, you can choose to refine your existing kitchen cabinet setup by either refacing or resurfacing. Here we break down the differences between each on.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Rather than replacing kitchen cabinets, you can just reface them by applying a new veneer covering to your existing cabinet setup. The full range of refacing varies from project to project, but refacing typically includes all exposed parts of the cabinet frames, the kitchen cabinet doors  and fronts of cabinet drawers.

There are three options for cabinet refacing when it comes to materials you can choose from. In order of highest quality and most expensive to least, they are:

  1. Solid Wood
  2. Laminate
  3. RTF (fiberboard coated with a tough vinyl film)

Solid wood tends to be the most popular option due to the high-end appearance it creates, but laminates offer a number of options for homeowners to choose from, in tandem with maximum durability.Cost of Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Compared to installing new kitchen cabinets, on average, refacing existing cabinets will cost you about $3,200.

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Another option for improving your existing kitchen cabinets is refinishing, which improves your existing cabinets’ exterior by either staining or painting. This tends to be the cheapest option of all for improving your kitchen cabinet set up, even more so than refacing.

If you want to pursue refinishing, you need to take a look at your existing cabinets and decide which type of refinishing would work best. For example, if you have wood cabinets, then staining is a preferred option (although painting would work too – you may just need to do some sanding first, especially if your cabinets are older). Staining is the easiest refinishing option.

Painting is the other popular refinishing option – a good coat of paint can make cabinets look new again in a matter of hours! And, it’s a process you can do completely on your own – no professional help needed.

Cost of Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Compared to installing new kitchen cabinets, on average, refinishing existing cabinets will cost you about $2,264.

How to Decide Between New Cabinets, Refacing Cabinets and Refinishing Cabinets

When deciding between the options of new cabinets or refacing or refinishing existing cabinets, there are a few major factors you should take into consideration. Ask yourself the following questions to help you make your decision:

  • What is your budget like?
  • Are the existing cabinets in good condition?
  • Is time a factor?
  • Are you willing to invest for the long-haul?
  • Do you want to complete the process by yourself?

If you have a sizeable budget and want to make significant changes for the long-haul, then new cabinet installation may be the best route for you. If you are short on time and looking to spruce up a rental, then refinishing by paint is probably your best choice. The bottom line is that you have options, and they all have varying price points for you to consider.

How Much to Spend on Kitchen Cabinets

In addition to deciding on which kitchen cabinet option to pursue, you also need to determine how much you’re going to spend on the process. Take into account factors like: length of time you have lived (or are planning to live) in your home, whether you have children and pets and the value of your home and neighborhood.

Weighing these factors will help you determine a viable budget for your kitchen cabinets, and decide which kitchen cabinet option may be right for you and your family.

As you can see, there are many options for upgrading your kitchen cabinets, and they all have different price points and use cases. Take some time weighing which option may work best for you, determine how you can get your best price for kitchen cabinets, and get ready for a serious kitchen remodel upgrade! For more information on home renovation projects, feel free to contact our San Diego remodeling company today.








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