Why Are Kitchen Cabinets So Expensive? (Find Out Now!)

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

Building or renovating a home is going to be very expensive. People have to save for years to collect the money they need for their new home. Even then, they may still have to take out a loan to pay for everything.

It’s hardly a surprise to learn that constructing a new home is very costly. However, you may be caught off guard by how much specific items such as kitchen cabinets cost. Kitchen cabinets cost thousands of dollars and some even reach five figures.

The high cost of kitchen cabinets is related to the materials used, how they were made, and their overall design. Custom kitchen cabinets may also take longer to build, thus increasing the associated labor costs. Saving money on the cabinets is possible, but it will require making certain sacrifices or rendering extra work.

Cabinets, especially the custom ones, can be fantastic additions to any kitchen. They can be expensive though. Take the time to see if they’re worth paying up for by reading the rest of this article.

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Explaining the High Cost of Kitchen Cabinets

Given the high cost of new kitchen cabinets, it’s hard to blame anyone for experiencing some form of sticker shock. But why are kitchen cabinets that expensive?

Several factors play a role in determining the final cost of kitchen cabinets. We’ll go over those factors below.

The Materials Used

Among the factors that play a big role in determining the price of a kitchen cabinet is its material composition. You have numerous options to choose from.

On the low end of the price range, you have the wood veneer cabinets. What’s interesting about wood veneer cabinets is that they are fashioned out of different materials.

Most of the wood veneer cabinet is typically made from either particleboard or plywood. The cabinets are then finished with panels made from solid wood to enhance their appearance. Expect to spend around $2000 to cover the 20 linear feet of space present in a typical 10 x 10 kitchen.

Laminate cabinets are quite similar to wood veneer options in terms of their composition. Often, the cabinets will be made out of either particleboard or plywood while laminate is added to elevate their appearance. Homeowners can save some money by opting for laminate cabinets. A set of laminate cabinets is usually available for about $4000.

Different types of wood are used to create solid wood cabinets. Among the most popular options used are maple, oak, and pine. Those wood types have their own pros and cons so take the time to examine them closely before making a decision.

On average, 20 linear feet of solid wood cabinets will run you about $5000. Oak also tends to be more expensive than either maple or pine due to its distinctive look and durability.

Stainless steel kitchen cabinets are very expensive. Even the cheapest stainless steel cabinets cost about five times more than their solid wood counterparts. So, is paying $25000 for stainless steel kitchen cabinets worth it? That will depend on how much you value their easy-to-clean nature, stylish appearance, and inherent durability.

Custom or Pre-Made Cabinets

Whether your cabinets were custom-built or pre-made will be reflected in their price. The gap between them is actually pretty big.

The stock or pre-made kitchen cabinets are more affordable. On the low end, pre-made kitchen cabinets will cost about $100 per linear foot. That amounts to a price tag of $2000 if you have a standard 10 x 10 kitchen.

Keep in mind that $2000 is the price for the most basic stock cabinets you can get from home improvement stores. If you want something more elaborate, you can easily spend about $6000.

Prepare to make a big investment if you want custom cabinets inside your kitchen. The cost of getting the most affordable custom cabinets installed will settle at around $10000. $10000 is already a pretty sizable price tag. High-end custom cabinets will easily cost homeowners around $25000.

The Size of the Cabinets

Thus far, the price points we’ve been providing here refer to standard 10 x 10 kitchens. Obviously, not all kitchens are that big. For a kitchen with about 24 linear feet of space to cover, you may have to spend $2500 on cabinets. That’s the low end of what you’ll have to spend.

Some kitchens have irregular dimensions and that makes figuring out the amount of space to cover more difficult. You can figure out the number of linear feet you will need to cover by performing some measurements and simple calculations.

Do that by measuring the length of the space your kitchen in inches and dividing that number by 12. The answer you get is the amount of linear feet you need to account for when choosing your kitchen cabinets.

Framed or Frameless Cabinets

You will have to decide whether you want framed or frameless cabinets. There’s no real benefit to either option available here. You won’t be able to save space by going for one option over the other.

This is more about what you prefer in terms of design. Many homeowners like the frameless cabinets because of their modern, minimalist look. They fit in better inside modern kitchens.

Framed cabinets feature a more conventional look. You can make them work if you have a more traditional kitchen. In terms of cost, the frameless cabinets tend to be more expensive. The difference between the two options is about $1000.

Related Guide: Insert vs. Frameless Cabinets: What Are The Major Differences?

Amount of Work Required

Lastly, the cost of installing your new kitchen cabinets will also be impacted by the amount of work required. Stock cabinets are cheaper because the professionals only have to worry about installation. A lot more work obviously goes into the creation of custom cabinets.

The cost of your new cabinets may also go up if your old cabinets are still in place. You’ll have to pay extra to get them removed by the professionals. Save yourself some money by removing those cabinets when you have the time.

How to Save Money on Your New Kitchen Cabinets

After learning how expensive kitchen cabinets can be, we don’t blame you for having second thoughts about your planned purchase. They may not even be realistic purchases for you at the moment if you underestimated their cost.

Do note though that there are things you can do to cut down on costs while still adding new kitchen cabinets. Keep the following tips in mind if you want to save some money.

Figure Out How Much Closed Storage Space You Really Need

Before purchasing the new cabinets, take a look at your kitchen and see how many cabinets you will really need. You don’t have to cover all the available space in your kitchen with cabinetry. Leaving some space open is an option and you can still store some containers and other items there.

By removing a cabinet here and there, you can wind up saving a good amount of money. The closed storage provided by kitchen cabinets is certainly useful, but you don’t need it for everything.

Use Shelves in the Place of Some Cabinets

This follows the same line of thinking as the tip above. Instead of covering the upper half of your kitchen with only cabinets, go ahead and use shelves too.

You can even use the shelves to hold some decorative elements such as potted plants or use them for cookbooks. Some well-placed shelves can also double as additional working spaces while you’re cooking.

Keep the Cabinets Simple

Builders can now add all kinds of custom elements to kitchen cabinets such as organizers, longer slides, and decorative handles. Those can be great additions for sure, but they are not essential. You can save more on your kitchen cabinets by keeping their design simple yet functional.

Build Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

You can save a ton of money on your kitchen cabinets by building them yourself. Building your own kitchen cabinets means you’ll only have to spend money on the materials.

Obviously, not everyone is skilled enough to build their own cabinets. Still, if you can pull it off, the savings are more than worth your time and effort.

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Related Questions

How Long Do Kitchen Cabinets Last?

Examining the prices of kitchen cabinets is no fun. The good news is that you are likely going to get a great return on your investment.Well-made kitchen cabinets that are also properly maintained can easily last for up to 50 years. Those cabinets are likely going to outlast all the other fixtures in your kitchen as long as you care for them.

How Do You Maintain Kitchen Cabinets?

Maintaining kitchen cabinets is pretty easy for the most part. Whenever they get stained, wipe them clean with a rag and a cleaning agent madeĀ using water and white vinegar. Wiping the cabinets clean should also be done regularly to keep them in good condition.You should also try to keep the cabinets away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. If they get scratched, patch up the opening as soon as you can. Lubricating the hinges every now and then is also a good idea.Do those things and your kitchen cabinets should last for a long time. Even if they do sustain significant damage, you can still repair them.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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