Kitchen Cabinet Costs

When planning your kitchen remodel, kitchen cabinets will give immediate visual appeal, provide functionality but can also be the biggest cost. Regardless of what your remodel budget is, the cabinet could easily account for half of that expense.

As we wander through the cabinet section of the store, it appears that these are just large boxes with doors. However, we are in awe of the cost. Making cabinets requires skill to have tight corners and seams. If one part is off, the other part will not fit properly. The type of wood used and the finish of the wood have a price tag.

However, you need to get the best possible cabinets for your budget. Here are some ideas on what you can find.

The basics

Before buying cabinets, it is a good idea to determine what type of cabinet you need and familiarize yourself with the terminology used by the seller.

MDF is a medium density fibreboard cabinet.

Base cabinets are the bottom of cabinets that sit on the floor. These project the overall design of your kitchen.

Wall cabinets hang on the wall just above the base cabinets. But your design likely has some base cabinets with nothing to hang on top. An example would be the sink area.

Framed cabinets provide a traditional look as the cabinet is framed around the outside of the box and around each door.

Frameless cabinets will have doors that meet the other door and will have drawers against other drawers. Looking at the front of the cabinet, you will see only the door or drawer, not the cabinet box itself.

Standard 10 ‘x 10’ is just a standard measurement which means 10 feet of base cabinets and 10 feet of wall cabinets. Manufacturers have used this calculation for their standard kitchen cabinets. You can still change these to meet your footage requirements, but they will be a special order rather than the standard measurements.

Buying cabinets

There are also different levels when buying cabinets. Save money by assembling pre-cut parts from the manufacturer. Since cabinets will be the focal point of your kitchen, you may prefer to have assembled cabinets that are dealer installed. The following descriptions will help you make this decision.

The cabinet manufacturer provides the RTA or ready to assemble. If the manufacturer does not incur the labor costs to assemble the cabinet, they will pass these savings on to you.

If you are going to use RTA cabinets to cut costs, you should find your cabinets early in your project. It takes time to assemble and ready to install after the flooring is installed, the paint and the wallpaper are complete.

Find a room in your house or basement to put them together. Make sure that once these cabinets are assembled, you can still get them through the door and back into the kitchen. When assembled, they will be large, bulky items to move. You will also need several people to move them.

The factory assembled RTA or inventory cabinets have been completely factory assembled and shipped to the dealer. It is a quick assembly process. If you don’t have the time or talent to assemble things, or don’t have a gathering area, this may be for the best. The dealer will provide a kit or take care of its installation.

Semi-custom cabinets are also mass-produced by the manufacturer. You have a bit more flexibility here. You can specify the size of the cabinets and choose different finishes, trim, and trim. These cabinets will be installed by the dealer.

Custom cabinets are designed, manufactured, and installed specifically for you.

While you have a greater variety to choose from, the custom term used here is really semi-custom. A true custom cabinet is possible by hiring a qualified cabinetmaker. You will have an infinite variety at a considerable cost.


Each type of cabinet has an overall budget that you can expect. Below are more details on each type and the expected price range for standard 10 ‘x 10’ cabinets.

RTA cabinets are the least expensive. The box and frameless doors will be ¾-inch melamine and the drawers will have metal sides. Since you will be installing, the cost for these is very low, approximately $ 70.00 per linear foot or $ 700.00 for your standard 10 ‘x 10’.

Stock cabinets have a significant price increase with improved materials and will be delivered and installed. Wood typically has a ¾-inch hardboard front frame and ½-inch particle board sides with hardboard-framed doors. Since you have a few more options in finishes or stains, the price can range from $ 360 to $ 432 per linear foot or $ 3,600 to $ 4,320 for standard measurements.

Semi-custom cabinets are generally ½-inch plywood with a ¾-inch hardwood front frame and are delivered and installed. Drawers are ½-inch hardwood and doors are framed and paneled hardwood. Prices range from $ 450 to $ 540 per linear foot or $ 4,500 to $ 5,400 for the standard 10 ‘x 10’.

Custom cabinets feature the same ½-inch plywood with a ¾-inch hardwood face frame and are delivered and installed. The drawers are 5/8-inch hardwood and the doors are framed and paneled hardwood. Prices range from $ 1,200 to $ 1,400 per linear foot or $ 12,000 to $ 14,000 for standard measurements.

Armed with these definitions and what they will mean for your kitchen remodel budget, you are now ready to go shopping for your new cabinets.

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