Kitchen cabinetry is not cheap, and this type of investment will become more expensive each passing year.
What is the current cost for custom kitchen cabinets? There is no such thing as an exact or definite estimate of the cost of every linear foot of stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets, and custom cabinetry. The type of cabinets will be dependent on the type of wood and wood types from real wood veneers, to other wood species and materials that, for example, use a combination of plywood. Common cabinet materials are a good choice as they will help bring your total price in line with your budget.
In recent years, frameless cabinets have become popular in the American kitchen and this has been an important factor in custom kitchen cabinets cost planning. Frameless is a European concept that does away with the frame with just the box remaining. Are they good? Functionally, you get more storage and accessibility but the additional features come down to the sleek European style for cabinets of higher quality.
However, a cabinet maker can charge you anywhere around $10,000 to $25,000 to install custom cabinets in standard-sized kitchens. You can find a cost guide online, but kitchen cabinets’ average cost will depend on your zip code.
Table of Contents
- RTA Cabinets
- Factors Affecting Custom Cabinet Pricing
- Stock Cabinets
- Semi-Custom Cabinets
- Custom Cabinets
- Average Cost of Custom Cabinets
- What does a Custom Kitchen Cabinet Cost Include?
- Benefits of Custom Kitchen Cabinets
- Tips in Choosing Custom Kitchen Cabinets
- Watch Out for Special Deals and Sales
- Frequently Asked Questions
RTA Cabinets has design choice options for your kitchen layout. They sell online for less, from stock cabinetry to cabinet features, upper cabinet and base cabinet door style, and toe kicks.
What I Like about RTA
You can get matched with a designer means you can get everything sorted with professional feet. Your budget and square feet might be the only things to sweat over. I also like their new 3D immersive assembly instructions. That’s a great way to play around to get a sense of the average cost of kitchen cabinets. Plus they have a 3-day quick ship guarantee. What’s not to like? In a hurry, give them a call at tel: 800.580.5535
Factors Affecting Custom Cabinet Pricing
Several factors can affect custom cabinet pricing. These include the specific types of cabinets you want, labor costs; the materials for your new kitchen cabinets such as solid wood and any other kind of wood or stainless steel; how many linear feet are required; and installation costs.
You might even want to use appliance panels to blend and discretely hide appliances with a custom cabinet design. Custom Wood Products, with experienced craftsmen, provides an excellent Youtube video highlighting the look and quality of their handcrafted cabinets. It looks fabulous!
[cleveryoutube video=”q28KisWretc” style=”1″]
Please continue reading below to get a good idea of how much it will cost you to install your custom upper and lower cabinets.
Suppose your old cabinets need replacement soon, or you are planning a complete kitchen renovation. In that case, you need to know that there are three main types of kitchen cabinets with distinctly different cabinet prices.
You should know this is important. Each price point has a significant effect on the final look of your kitchen space and the overall long-term value of your cabinets.
Take a look at these different storage solutions.
Stock cabinets are probably the most affordable option out of the three different types. You can buy these mass-produced stock cabinets for your kitchen at big box stores like The Home Depot and ready-to-assemble online dealers and retailers.
These cabinets may be cheap, but it doesn’t mean that these are also cheap in quality. You can also find these in a wide range of designs and styles, but your options may still be limited in the end.
When you buy these cabinets, you will get something that looks like every other homeowner purchases from the store where you got them.
Prices for stock cabinets range anywhere around $50 to $200 per linear foot. If you factor in labor, the cost can increase to approximately $100 up to $300t per linear foot for the installation and the cabinets themselves.
The estimated cost of stock cabinets from domestic manufacturers for small kitchens can range between $12,000 and $16,000.
However, many things may come into play here, such as the ceiling height. Most of these cabinets are built at 7 feet, leaving a gap on top that you need to dust regularly. But cabinets can also go as high as the ceiling, which requires more materials and work.
The additional accessories will also affect the final price during the cabinet installation project. Options like matching panels for the appliances and pull-outs for the recycling bins will impact the final installation and supply cost.
Semi-custom cabinets, just like stock cabinets, are also factory-manufactured in standard sizes. The main differences are more decorative features, finishes, and woods to blend with the overall design of your kitchen. These cabinets can have a maximum width of 60 inches, and there are also other options such as drawer inserts, sliding shelves, and pantry units.
Semi-custom cabinetry offers a slightly higher-end or more excellent option than their stock counterparts, and how much you pay for them will reflect this. These cabinets can cost anywhere around $75 up to $400 per linear foot just for the cabinets alone. The cost goes up approximately $200 to $500 per linear foot for the installation and cabinets.
Semi-custom cabinets strike the perfect balance between individuality and budget. You will find some top-quality brands that even offer customizable options.
This unique combination of customizable and readymade options means you can enjoy your finished cabinets right away compared to getting full custom cabinets.
Of course, this sounds excellent because you will get cabinets tailored specifically for your kitchen, which might not be possible with stock cabinets with limited dimensions.
Buy your semi-custom cabinetry from a cabinet firm that sources products from local makers rather than large manufacturers. The cost may be higher than standard cabinet installation and purchase.
Custom cabinets have the most options available and get designed, crafted, and installed to be tailored-fit to your kitchen space. Professional kitchen designers will help you plan a more efficient layout. Intricate details, period styles, and exotic woods will add to the cost of delivery time and custom kitchen cabinets, resulting in a unique kitchen you will love.
The word custom indicates that this specific type of cabinet comes with the highest price. But the best thing about custom work is that there are endless design possibilities and customization options available at different prices. A bigger budget helps a lot.
These custom cabinets are the priciest at $200 up to $300 for every linear square foot. The required labor may also be more expensive since this custom approach needs more skill, resulting in prices ranging from $50 to $200 for every square foot.
Custom cabinets give you limitless options, like adding glass doors or having a space for lazy Susans. Working with a skilled carpenter can bring your ideas to life. Although some brands offer factory-made custom cabinets, most get made by a single craftsman in a local workshop. But expect that this level of service will always come at a price. These are the most expensive cabinets that also take more time to build.
Average Cost of Custom Cabinets
The best way to get a more accurate estimate of the price of cabinets you need for your kitchen remodel is to consult a reliable cabinet manufacturer.
As mentioned earlier, customization will let you choose your preferred materials, such as natural wood veneers. Custom kitchen cabinetry works best in kitchens that are more design-oriented. The average prices of custom-built cabinets are around $250 to $1500.
Several factors can affect the project’s total cost that may still result in a lower or higher price accordingly. However, your chosen materials and labor cost will significantly affect these average prices, and it is essential to get customized price estimates from your chosen cabinet manufacturer.
Custom Cabinet Cost Per Linear Foot
Custom kitchen cabinet prices mostly range from $500 to $1200 per linear foot. The price may differ depending on the hardware, material, labor, maintenance, and accessories. Cabinet services or installers calculate the cost after factoring in all related expenses.
Cost of Cabinet Materials
Probably the best thing about custom cabinets is that you can design them using different materials, and the most common of them include the following:
- Cherry wood
- Medium-density fiberboard (MDF)
- Stainless Steel
Metal and hardwood often have a high cost, unlike MDF, particleboard, and laminate, which are cheaper and a better choice for an average homeowner. Wood is also pricier than wood veneer and plywood.
Here are the prices of using these materials for standard-sized kitchens:
- Laminate cabinets – $4,000 to $15,000
- Cherry, Maple, Pine, or Oak cabinets – $5,000 to $25,000
- Stainless Steel cabinets – $25,000 to $38,000
- Wood Veneer cabinets – $1,900 to $13,000
Cost of Custom Cherry Cabinets
For the most part, the cost of custom cherry cabinets ranges from $16 to $123 per linear foot. Cherry is among the most popular woods used for custom cabinets, and this wood is known for its reddish color, getting darker over time. Sunlight and humidity can also affect the color of cherry wood.
Cost of Custom Maple Cabinets
The cost of custom maple cabinets is between $13 to $19 per linear foot. Maple wood is the standard material used for light-colored cabinets, and maple cabinets are strong and durable. The color can vary from light to honey and golden brown color.
Cost of Custom Stainless Steel Cabinets
Stainless steel kitchen cabinet costs $1000 to $1500 per linear foot. So far, this is the most expensive type of material you can use for custom cabinets, and the fabrication cost is often cheaper than the cost of the material itself. While there are less pricy steel cabinets, these are often of lower quality with thinner corners.
Cost of Custom White Oak Cabinets
The cost of custom white oak cabinets ranges anywhere from $15 to $22 for every linear foot. This material has a natural gray or blue undertone. Ask any kitchen designer, and they will surely tell you how easy it is to work with white oak for cabinet boxes and cabinet doors.
Cost of Custom MDF Cabinets
The cost of custom MDF or medium-density fiberboard cabinets ranges between $10 and $15 for every linear foot. This material combines wood pulp and resins, and MDF cabinets are also called laminate cabinets.
The MDF material is also one of the cheapest ways of getting custom cabinets. This material also needs paint, making it a good option for those who prefer painted cabinets. The only downside is that MDF may be tricky and challenging to repair.
What does a Custom Kitchen Cabinet Cost Include?
Custom-built kitchen cabinets for standard-sized kitchens cost $15000 up to $25000. This price includes customized lower and upper cabinets and contains appliances panels, spice racks, pantry cabinets, moldings, and pull-out organizers.
Some cabinets also provide specialized sink base cabinets. The length can also be customized. Of course, this will depend on your needs and the size of the kitchen, which may be taller or shorter than average.
Add-ons and Features of Custom Kitchen Cabinets
Additional custom add-ons and features can lead to a higher cost. The good news is that these can help optimize the overall functionality of your cabinets and personalize their style. Other extra add-ons and features to consider are:
- Crown molding
- Decorative wood inlays
- Interior lighting
- Glass doors
- Knife block
- Pull-out spice racks
- Stemware rack
Cost of Cabinet Trim and Molding
Additional cabinet trim and mold cost approximately $70 for every 8 feet. Installation of crown molding costs $4 to $15 for every linear foot. It can cost you $100 to $200 if you add finishing to the rough ends, including material and labor.
Average Custom Millwork Cost
Considering that the manufacturing process of cabinets may be rigorous, opting for custom molding needs extra planning. Millwork offers storage space and further improves the design for a more modern and sophisticated look. As stated earlier, MDF is an excellent choice for new cabinets, and this can cost $2000 to $7000 for standard-sized kitchens.
The combination of wood veneers and plywood costs $9000 to $30000. Quality plywood is also a great choice because of its laminated construction. MDF and plywood come in varied qualities, and the price can differ depending on the quality of the material.
Cost of Cabinetry Maintenance
Quality custom kitchen cabinets are designed and crafted to last for years. You can expect your cabinets to last much longer if you use durable material combined with a high-quality installation.
Keeping your cabinets clean is the best way to maintain them. As long as you take extra care of your cabinets, they will retain their original condition for many decades. If the time comes that your kitchen cabinets require some repairs, below are the potential cost of maintenance:
- Cabinet repair – $30 to $60 per hour
- Countertop maintenance – $15 to $50 per hour
- Refinishing – $40 to $60 per hour
Benefits of Custom Kitchen Cabinets
You will enjoy several benefits with customized kitchen cabinets, and some of these include:
- You get the chance to choose the finishing product you want.
- Customized kitchen cabinets often have superior construction and quality
- You have the opportunity to choose more quality material for the hardware.
- You can select the layouts and design for the cabinets.
- You can choose the quality and type of material based on your needs.
- You can design a fully customized kitchen with limitless options.
- You can have your kitchen cabinets fitted based on your available kitchen space.
Tips in Choosing Custom Kitchen Cabinets
With some idea of costs for custom kitchen cabinets, it is time to learn a few tips to help you choose the best-customized cabinets for your kitchen.
Aside from the style of cabinet, here are other things to remember:
Pick the Right Material
There are different ways to cut back the cost of customized cabinets. To get started, consider your chosen materials, especially as lumber prices continue to increase. Some materials are harder to source, which means they are pricier than others.
Considering the market conditions right now, you can choose to apply a fresh layer of paint on your cabinets rather than replacing them altogether. You can also opt to add new doors that can still do wonders to transform how your cabinets look.
Blending the open shelving style with cabinets is another hot trend. Here, you need to remove some cabinets and add open shelves as a replacement. It combines two looks, letting you use the closed cabinets for storage purposes while the open shelves are perfect for display.
Plan Everything in Advance
Given the labor concerns and supply chain issues that affect the remodeling industry and the whole world, experts claim that the steep prices for kitchen cabinets won’t go down soon. It is almost certain that future prices will be even more expensive, like real estate.
Cabinet prices are higher than they used to be last year but might be cheaper than they will be next year. I recommend you plan properly ahead of time if you are serious about upgrading your kitchen cabinets soon.
Most contractors and shops are extremely busy and booked for months, which means that now is the perfect time to plan and lock in the price at the soonest time possible.
Watch Out for Special Deals and Sales
If you are not really in a hurry and don’t plan to buy high-end custom kitchen cabinets, it might also be wise to wait for sale promos of semi-custom or stock cabinets are retailers. Most retailers often have promos to sell off more products, usually held during holidays and at the end of the month.
Remember, however, that if you buy from these retailers, their stock cabinets are often 7 feet high when most homeowners usually need cabinets with 8 feet or more. If the wall in your kitchen is higher than this, you might need to leave some room to stack cabinets that may affect the aesthetics or even look bad when done wrongly.
Another secret tip to save on your customized kitchen cabinets is to have more expensive cabinets in most areas and install less expensive ones in a small portion. For example, you can have customized upper cabinets while the base cabinets are of cheaper quality, which can help you save more money for the project.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you save when getting custom kitchen cabinets?
If your budget prevents you from replacing dated kitchen cabinets, you can consider refinishing or refacing them.
Cabinet refacing is more involved and is also pricier and involves swapping out the drawer fronts and doors together with the new hinges, molding, and hardware. Its main advantage is getting brand-new-looking cabinets without dealing with any major construction.
Meanwhile, refinishing is better for DIY fans since it only involves cosmetic fixes like a fresh coat of paint on existing doors or changing the stain.
When is the best time to splurge on your custom cabinets?
Aside from aesthetics purposes, one of the best times to splurge on custom cabinets is if you want to make your everyday life easier. If you decide to sell your house, you can look forward to getting anywhere from 65% to 80% return on your kitchen remodel and cabinet investment.
Why do the prices of custom kitchen cabinets vary a lot?
The cost of customized kitchen cabinets varies significantly due to different factors such as materials, construction, modification options, where you live, and where you buy them.
To determine the best cabinets for you, make sure you don’t just consider the price tag. Kitchen cabinets must suit your style, offer the storage solutions you need, and offer durability that suits your home and lifestyle. Consider brands that provide your preferred options but remember, more features will add more costs.
While setting your budget and checking the costs of different cabinet types, you also need to factor in the overall quality. A specific cabinet brand might be cheaper than others. However, higher quality cabinets with more options for customization might be of better value in general. Comparing different cabinet costs can help you pick the right choice for you.
How should you budget for fixtures, appliances, and other final touches?
Never forget those final touches when setting a budget for your kitchen remodeling project. These items like fixtures, appliances, and others add up fast and make sure you understand their specific costs to avoid unexpected expenses in the long run.
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John Thompson, Writer and Commentator, EvolutDesign.com
Soldier, writer, researcher, consultant, and bon vivant, John Thompson is the author of numerous columns, op-eds, reports, briefs, short stories and books as the “Felicity Files” and “Spirit Over Steel: A Chronology of the Second World War” (version III). Often found hunched over his computer, or in his garden, and now often found doing both. His diverse talent has led him to work in industries and projects such as energy, security and home construction and renovation.