Cost Considerations for New Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are the foundation of your kitchen design. They affect everything in your kitchen and often account for the largest single expense in the kitchen. With so much riding on your kitchen cabinets, it’s clear why they cost so much.

Whether you need upper cabinets for a kitchen remodel or are installing kitchen cabinets for a new construction project, costs matter. In this post, we’ll discuss the cost of new kitchen cabinets and what to consider.

Types of Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets come in three main types: stock, custom, and semi-stock. Although they all have pros and cons, it’s up to you to decide the ideal cabinet for your kitchen remodeling project.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are the least expensive and standard option if you’re in the market for affordable kitchen cabinets that will still improve your kitchen’s overall appearance. You can find stock cabinets readily available at various stores. They either come ready to assemble or preassembled.

Although manufacturers sell stock cabinets in numerous styles and designs, ultimately, you have limited options, and you end up buying cabinets that look the same as everyone else who purchases them. Stock cabinets start at around $80 to $100 per linear foot.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets offer a slightly higher-end choice than stock, and the higher price tag reflects that reality. The cost ranges from $75 to $400 per linear foot for the cabinets minus installation costs.

The blend of ready-made and customizable options means you can get your semi-custom cabinets faster than full custom options. It also means you can get a better-tailored fit for your kitchen than with stock cabinets that have limited dimensions.

Custom Cabinets

With custom cabinets, the sky is the limit in terms of design possibilities and prices. Custom cabinets cost anywhere from about $200 to $300 per linear square foot. Since custom cabinets require skill, labor can be expensive, costing anywhere from $50 to $200 per square foot.

Whether you choose to splurge on custom cabinets or save money with stock cabinets, you should choose cabinets that fit your style, durability, and storage needs.

Why the Cost of New Kitchen Cabinets Varies so Widely

When shopping around for new kitchen cabinets, the price range often depends on the size of the kitchen, the type of cabinets and materials you prefer, and the labor and installation costs.

Material Selection

Think carefully about the cabinet materials you choose for your kitchen renovation. Some materials take time to source, making them significantly more expensive than others. Hardwood, for example, makes for the most costly cabinets, while veneered particleboard is the least expensive.

Most manufacturers construct cabinet interiors with fiberboard, particleboard, or plywood and make the front and door of the cabinet from a different and more durable material.


The kitchen cabinet design affects its overall cost. Kitchen cabinets are either framed or frameless. Frameless cabinets have no visible rails and typically cost more than their framed counterparts.


The size of your kitchen often determines how many new kitchen cabinets you need to install. For instance, larger kitchens require more storage, making it more costly to install new kitchen cabinets than in a relatively smaller one.

Color and Finish

Custom colors and finishes typically cost more than standard ones as cabinet makers make them to order. Painting new cabinets also costs more due to the labor and materials involved. However, many stock and semi-custom cabinets are available in popular colors and trendy finishes.

For example, you may opt for a veneer or wood finish that mimics the type and color of wood you prefer, lowering your overall costs.

Labor and Installation

Labor and installation rates can cost as much as half the total cost of your cabinets. If you opt for stock cabinets, installation costs typically equal the cost of the cabinets themselves. If you enjoy a DIY project, you’ll save on kitchen cabinet installation costs but need extra time and commitment.