How Much Are Kitchen Cabinets Really Going to Cost?

How Much Are Kitchen Cabinets Really Going to Cost?

Kitchen cabinet costs can account for 15%-35% of your overall renovation budget. While company websites may provide some insight, numbers alone don’t give a full picture.

Compare quality when making your selection. Cheap cabinets typically use cheaper materials for their carcasses while more expensive models use solid wood as opposed to cheaper plastic or faux-wood alternatives.


Different materials are used for cabinet surfaces, each offering different advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your desired look, durable woods like cherry or solid birch might be more suited for cabinet construction; softwoods such as poplar or pine might work better. Red oak is also popular due to its moderate price point, strength, and attractive grain patterns.

Melamine cabinet materials consist of pressed wood, MDF or plywood topped with paper coated in heat-fused melamine resin that comes in an assortment of colours and styles – including convincing faux wood grain textures – making this material both durable and cost-effective.

Stainless steel cabinets offer long-term resistance against both heat and humidity. Unfortunately, their niche style often costs 20 percent more than traditional framed cabinet designs.


Kitchen cabinets serve more than one function – they also act as a canvas to express your unique design style and personality. There are various cabinet finishes and options, such as glaze, painted or stained finishes that can change their visual appearance dramatically.

Paint is the go-to finish for kitchen cabinetry, since it is easily wipe-able and comes in an array of colors. Some homeowners may opt for high-gloss finishes – popular among Euro-styled kitchens – which show every smudge or stain on the cabinets; however, high gloss may show every mark or fingerprint more visibly than its matte counterparts.

Stain is another option for cabinetry that can enhance the natural grain patterns in wood while altering its hue. Stain finishes may take 24 hours to fully set before drying process begins.

An alternative finish that adds shine and water resistance is Polyurethane (PU). Suitable for humid areas, this coating offers durability while remaining flexible to handle spills or wear and tear.


Cabinet knobs and pulls add to the overall cost, as do speciality pieces like roll-out or utility shelves. Latches can make cabinets appear substantial while protecting them from children who might try opening drawers or cabinets themselves.

Framed cabinets, which feature visible rails and styles surrounding the face of the door, typically cost approximately 15 percent less than more modern flushed or inset doors, according to Klassen. Hinge type such as basic recessed or concealed can have an effect on final cost as well.

Custom cabinets can be the most costly option, costing upwards of $20,000 per linear foot with installation costs. Even semi-custom options, which allow more customization than stock models and include pantry or built-in desk options as well as extra features like spice rack drawers and trash bins can drastically increase overall project costs.


Cabinets are sold based on linear feet – an estimate of their coverage along a wall. To calculate this measurement, add up all of your base and wall cabinets without taking into account gaps for appliances or doors – subtract this number from 1000 to get your linear footage estimate.

Material selection also plays a key role in cabinet costs. Particle board and MDF carcasses tend to be less expensive than solid wood while laminate and veneer fronts often cost less than acrylic or solid wood models.

Other design features can either increase or decrease cabinet prices. Framed cabinet styles tend to be 15-20 percent less costly than flushed or inset designs; pull-out options such as lazy Susans and pantry shelves may also add additional costs.

If you are replacing existing cabinets, it’s essential that you take into account the cost of dismantling and disposing of the old ones. Some installation companies charge for this service while others may offer it free or at a reduced rate as an incentive to get your job.