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How to Figure Out Your Average Cost of Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the most visible — and often most costly — aspects of a kitchen remodel. But there can be a wide range of pricing depending on a few critical factors. Here are specific ways to figure out the average cost of kitchen cabinets for your space.

Kitchen cabinets often account for about 25 percent of the total cost of a kitchen remodel. It sounds high, but they do make up a considerable part of the kitchen and endure a lot of wear and tear, so they need to be built to withstand that. Even so, there can be significant price differences in cabinets, and that mostly comes down to 3 key factors:

  1. Components
  2. Customization
  3. Fit and Finish

1. Components

A big decision when it comes to the components of your cabinets is the type of material: laminate or wood.

Laminate

A laminate cabinet generally comes with an MDF or HDF box with a white melamine interior. Melanine is a durable product that is heat, stain, moisture, and abrasion-resistant. Overall, laminate cabinets are usually less expensive that wood ones, but they can be less durable and difficult to repair if they get chipped.

laminate cabinet
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Wood

Higher end wood products generally come with a plywood and maple or basswood interior. Wood can provide a nice look and feel to the space, they typically last longer than laminate, and can be more easily repaired if damaged, by sanding them down and refinishing.

wood cabinet
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Drawer box

The construction of the drawer boxes can also play a role in price. Options include metal, wood dovetail, and higher end dovetail drawers with sanded ends to provide a sophisticated, upscale impression.

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Soft close

Pretty much every kitchen remodel we do these days includes soft close cabinets where the doors and drawers will ease shut rather than banging closed. It’s a bit more expensive than regular cabinets, but it can really help prevent damage and wear in the long run.

Another nice thing about soft close cabinets is that you can adjust the amount of “easing” you want. You can increase it for those larger cabinet doors, so the soft touch activates a bit more strongly and there’s less chance of closing too quickly. For smaller doors, you can tune it down to it’s not as stiff and doesn’t take as long to close. Without soft touch, those doors and drawers can simply slam shut.

Customizations

Another factor that can affect the average cost of kitchen cabinets is the level of customization available, and how much customizing you’d like to do.

Many lower end cabinets, while still durable and effective, often come with fewer color, size, and finish options. They will help with your budget, but may limit you if you’re going for a specific color scheme, finish type, or have very specific measurements you need to meet in your space.

You’ll have much more flexibility with higher end cabinets. From nearly endless paint and stain color options to custom dimensions — if we can draw it, they can be built. This lets you match specific colors and dimensions in your home to achieve a more cohesive design.

average cost of kitchen cabinets: cabinet finishes
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Fit and Finish

A third cost factor when it comes to your kitchen cabinets is the fit and finish.

For example, the finish on higher end drawer boxes is often a bit thicker and feature a smoother interior with sanded dovetail joints.

On midrange and lower end cabinets and drawers, the materials are often prefinished and a bit rougher to the touch. These are small things and don’t make a functional difference, but it just feels nicer and can appear a bit sleeker, so if that’s important to you, consider the higher grade boxes.

When it comes to fit, the small things can matter however. Some factories have standards that allow for a dimension tolerance — or allowable variance in measurement — of 1/16″ or 1/32″. This sounds small, and it is, but if you have several cabinets lined up next to each other and each one is wider by 1/16″ or more, the result may be a wall of cabinets that doesn’t fit in the space provided or they can seem off kilter.

acceptable cabinet tolerance
unacceptable cabinet tolerance

Average cost of kitchen cabinets: A Real world example

So how do these factors play out in actual kitchen remodel scenario? Below are renderings of a kitchen remodel for one of our clients.

average cost of kitchen cabinets: kitchen rendering
average cost of kitchen cabinets:

This space called for about 18 cabinets. A midrange laminate would run about $8,600, or about $475 per box.

A high end wood product with mathcing grain thoughout the doors and drawers will cost about $23,000 for this space, or roughly $1,300 per box.

So that’s quite a big range. To calculate for your space, simply determine the number of cabinets you’ll need in your space and divide by your available cabinet budget. That will give an idea of what sort of quality and finish range you should aim for.

Are you thinking about doing a kitchen remodel and aren’t sure where to start? We’re happy to discuss your project. Simply schedule a conversation with us!

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