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How Do I Compare Kitchen Cabinet Costs?

The Best Ways to Compare Kitchen Cabinet Costs

what is the average cost of kitchen cabinets

Whether you are designing your home, redesigning your entire kitchen, or are just interested in getting some new additions for your home, deciding on what type of cabinetry you want can be incredibly daunting. Between choosing what materials you are going to use and how large they will be to deciding on the face or fronts, cabinet hunting is not an easy task.

Luckily, we’ve got our fair share of know-how when it comes to comparing cabinets. In this breakdown, we’ll go over the various types, sizes, and qualities of your cabinets so you can decide exactly what is right for you and your home.

What to Look for When Cabinet Shopping

There are a few key factors worth considering when making a decision on what type of cabinet you are looking for. Many people imagine that all you need to know is what is the average cost of kitchen cabinets. And while that is indeed important, it’s only a part of the equation. People often focus on what fits their budget first and foremost, ultimately settling for something they don’t want simply because the price was right.

Before determining how much you are willing to spend, you need to know what it is you actually want. Take a look at your kitchen and find out exactly how much kitchen space you actually have to work with. Also, consider the color and style. Having a general idea of what you want can ensure you are starting the process in the right headspace instead of a “take what you can get” scenario that many people have when focusing on price first.

Step 1. Measuring Out Your Cabinet Size

Your first step is to measure exactly how much kitchen space you have available. It doesn’t matter how your budget is or how impressive the quality is; if it can’t fit properly, you’re going to have a problem.

Making accurate measurements lets you know exactly how many cabinets you are going to need as well as how large you want each individual cabinet to be. Knowing how much space you actually have can allow you the freedom to decide whether to have three or four larger cabinets, or six or seven smaller ones.

Step 2. Determine Your Cabinet’s Materials

Next, have an idea of what cabinet material you want to use. If you plan to purchase stock cabinets or semi-custom cabinets, you’re going to be a bit confined to the different types of material available. More often than not, expect wood veneers on the lower end and laminates and stainless steel cabinets on the higher end.

Wood Veneer is the most affordable option and is made from plywood or particleboard that has strips of wood applied to its face. These are the most common when buying in stores or as pre-built stock options. They give much of the same look as wood without many of the costs and setbacks that can often come with wood. They are also more easily customized in terms of your own specific color design.

These generally range between $2,000 and $15,000.

Laminate is the higher-end version of wood veneer and is often sold in brand-name stores. They are also primarily made from synthetic materials and have many similarities to wood veneers while being much more durable and less likely to warp or fade.

These can range between $4,000 and $15,000.

Solid wood is much more common among custom-built cabinets and generally is meant as a specialty item. While higher-end laminates and veneers work just as well, very few people can honestly argue against the innate craftsmanship that comes with solid wood cabinets.

There are various types of wood that can be used, each roughly around the same price with only a $5 per foot difference from one to another. Some of the most popular wood types include Bamboo, Cherry, Maple, Oak, and Pine. Expect to pay between $5,000 and $25,000 on average.

Stainless Steel is one of the more modern options that has grown in popularity. They are much more durable than any of the wood or wood veneer options and have a considerably longer lifespan.

These are likely to cost between $25,000 and $38,000.

Acrylic cabinets are very similar to a veneer or laminate, with the exception that they can be applied to any base material rather than just synthetic materials. It acts as a high-gloss finish that comes in a variety of colors and visual designs. Regardless of the material, an acrylic coating offers a higher and more durable coating that makes the cabinet less likely to warp or suffer wear and tear.

The price has the widest range depending on the base materials. They can generally range between $5,000 and $20,000.

Step 3. Work with a Kitchen Designer

Once you have a solid idea of what you actually want your cabinets to look like, consider working with a professional kitchen designer to help fine-tune your options. They’ll ask several questions to get an idea of what is most important to you while sorting through what you want in comparison to your actual budget. If you are going the custom-built route, be sure to show them any designs you are particularly interested in emulating, as those will need to be factored in and considered in the ultimate price tag.

Comparing Cabinets

Once you have a full understanding of the type of cabinet you want and are aware of the general pricing, you can now put scrutiny on the cost and exactly what you are willing to spend. Again, the reason this needs to be last is that, by knowing exactly what you want in the beginning, you can slowly make concessions at the end. This ensures that you keep the majority of what you’re interested in as opposed to less.

Think of when you look to purchase things online. You add everything you want to the shopping cart, and only after you see the total do you make a point of deciding whether to pay for everything or if you should take some of the less important things off your list.

The areas that you need to focus on the most are cabinet size and cabinet design.

Cabinet Size

This is largely based on the measured size of your kitchen compared to how large you want your cabinets to be.

10×10 Kitchen Cabinets can range between $2,000 and $24,000 depending on the materials being used. You need at least around 20-25 linear feet available.

12×12 Kitchen Cabinets fit the average size of a kitchen today and are between $2,500 and $29,000. These are also the general size of the most stock and semi-custom cabinet options.

Customized Kitchen Cabinets are fit to your kitchen’s specifications. You can expect the prices to vary wildly depending on your materials as well as the design you decide on. To get a rough estimate, multiply the price per foot by your total linear cabinet feet.

Cabinet Design

Now that you have the size, material, and space all figured out, the last pricing to factor in is the cabinet’s design. There are a few different design options. However, most people are either going to get framed, frameless, or inset cabinets.

Framed cabinets are the most common and can range between $5,000 and $20,000. These cabinets have visible rails on the front and create the outer frame for a cabinet. The majority of stock cabinets are in this category, and it is the most traditional of the three.

Frameless cabinets are less common than framed and are often a part of more modern or contemporary designs. These can range between $6,000 and $30,000. This is largely due to the fact “frameless” cabinets are just made with a larger and heavier face that effectively hides the frame from view.

Inset cabinets (also flush cabinets) are almost always exclusive to custom and semi-custom cabinets. As a result, you should expect to pay between $150 and $1,200 per linear foot. They are around 20% more than their framed counterparts, even with everything else being equal.


Now that you have a strong understanding of exactly what you should put your attention on, get out there and make it come true. By knowing exactly what you want and THEN seeing how it fits within your budget, you ensure that you are getting as close to everything you want in your new cabinets as possible with virtually no sacrifice and very little compromise.