Guide for Kitchen Cabinet Replacement Cost

How much do new kitchen cabinets cost? There are many factors that determine how much you’ll pay for your new cabinets, and we explore them in this guide.

Breaking Down the Cost of New Kitchen Cabinets

cabinet price guide

The first thing to know is that kitchen cabinets are available in three basic grades, stock, semi-custom and custom.

Stock cabinets are built and warehoused for retail sale through websites or home improvement stores. Their features include:

  • Affordability – they cost the least of all your options, on average
  • Sizes from 9” wide that go up in 3” increments to 48”
  • Available in a limited number of materials, stain colors, door styles, shelving types and hardware styles
  • Limited variety of corner cabinet, end cabinet and sink cabinet styles and options
  • Quality that is basic to good

Semi-custom cabinets are built in a set number of sizes, and you customize your order by selecting the options you want from a long list of them. The top features are:

  • Sizes from 9” wide that go up in 1” or 1.5” increments to 48” wide (60” from some manufacturers)
  • Good selection of woods including white oak, red oak, maple, cherry, walnut, pine, birch etc. and laminate too
  • Each wood available in several stain colors and finishes
  • Many laminate colors
  • Many more door, shelving and hardware styles
  • Better options for corner, end and sink cabinets
  • Quality is good to excellent depending on the processes used in the manufacturing plant

Custom cabinets give you maximum control over the final product. Nothing is built until you place your order. Top features of custom cabinets include:

  • Cabinets built in sizes to fit the exact measurements of your kitchen
  • Excellent selection of wood and non-wood materials
  • Can be stained with any color available on the market
  • Better options for corner, end and sink cabinets
  • Quality is fair to excellent depending on the skill of the craftsmen making them

Note on quality: The quality of semi-custom cabinets from better manufacturers tends to be quite consistently good to excellent. Processes, training and inspection protocols are developed to ensure consistency.  See our comprehensive Cabinet Remodeling Guide for a list of the top brands and lots more information.

On the other hand, custom cabinetry quality ranges from only fair to excellent. Most cabinet makers are very skilled and build outstanding cabinets. However, because each is independent, there are a minority of custom cabinet makers that simply don’t measure up. When you decide to have custom cabinets built, do your due diligence to learn about the experience and skill of the craftsmen who will be doing the work.

When to Choose Custom Cabinets Over Semi-Custom

The vast majority of homeowners find just what they want in stock or semi-custom cabinets. The two most common reasons to choose custom cabinets are when an exotic or rare wood will be used and when the kitchen’s design or dimensions demand custom cabinetry.

The best approach is to explore semi-custom cabinetry to see if what you want is available. If you can’t find it, then contact custom cabinet makers in your area to discuss your project.

The Cost of Kitchen Cabinets

Given these considerations, here are kitchen cabinet prices for each type. The costs are for the cabinets only. See below for installation costs.

Stock cabinet prices:

  • Base cabinets: $30-$70 per linear foot, up to $85 for corner units
  • Wall cabinets: $20-$50 per linear foot, up to $65 for corner cabinets

Semi-custom cabinet prices:

  • Base cabinets: $125-$475 per linear foot, up to $600 for corner cabinets
  • Wall cabinets: $100-$375 per linear foot, up to $500 for corner cabinets

Custom cabinet prices:

  • Base cabinets: $275-$675 per linear foot, up to $750 for corner cabinets
  • Wall cabinets – $265-640 per linear foot, up to $725 for corner cabinets

We’ve included average prices for custom cabinetry. Depending on the wood, design and features of your custom cabinets, the cost could be much higher.

Kitchen Cabinet Installation Costs

While the quality of stock and semi-custom cabinets differs, the installation costs are about the same. It’s different for custom cabinets because some modifications might need to be made during installation. Each custom installation job is unique.

  • Stock cabinet installation cost: $35-$70 per cabinet
  • Semi-custom cabinet installation cost: $35-$70 per cabinet
  • Custom cabinet installation cost: $35-$100+ per cabinet

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How to Save Money on Kitchen Cabinets and Installation

Using multiple tips from this list will significantly reduce your kitchen cabinet costs.

  1. Consider stock cabinets if they’re the cabinet type that fits your budge or if you plan to sell your home in the next 5 years or so.
  2. Choose low-cost options such as fixed shelves rather than pull-out shelves or a lazy Susan shelf.
  3. Install the cabinets yourself, and find an experienced friend or two who can supply tools and assistance.
  4. Get estimates for having the work done during a non-peak season such as winter but after the holidays. When kitchen remodelers are less busy, they’re more apt to offer lower prices and discounts.
  5. Request estimates from at least 3 competing kitchen remodeling companies where you live. When the companies know you’re getting several estimates, their bids will be more competitive.

We can help you get the most competitive bids in your area. Choose the option on this page, fill out a simple form, and you’ll receive written estimates from top kitchen remodeling companies in your neighborhood. They’re always prescreened for quality. There is no cost or obligation for using the service.

Kitchen Cabinet Pricing FAQ

This brief Q&A provides additional important information.

What if stock or semi-custom cabinets don’t quite fit the width of my kitchen? Do I have to go with custom cabinets?

Probably not. With cabinets made in one to three inch increments, it’s pretty easy to create a countertop package that fits quite nicely. However, if you end up a few inches short, a filler panel made from the same material can be added somewhere in the design that will blend nicely with the cabinets.

What’s the quality like on the cheapest stock cabinets, and how long will they last?

You get what you pay for in stock and semi-custom cabinetry, so the quality is only fair at that level. As you browse cabinets, you’ll notice the quality of the wood, pulls, hinges, drawer glides and tracks goes up with the cost.

How long they last depends on how hard or easy you are on them, but you can expect minor problems with door slides or hinges to begin appearing in less than five years.

Can you compare the cost of refinishing wood cabinets with the cost of buying them new?

Sure. We’ll include the cost of refacing them too:

  • Cabinet Refinishing: $17-$33 per linear foot
  • Cabinet refacing: $40-$150 per linear foot
  • Cabinet Replacement: $20-$700+ per linear foot, with an average for good-quality cabinets of about $300 per linear foot

See our Refinishing and Refacing Guides for complete details on those processes.

My kitchen contractor wants $50 per cabinet for installation, but my handyman neighbor says he charges only $30. Should I hire him?

If a handyman has good experience, he will likely do just fine. Take a look at some of the work the person’s done and talk with references, if possible, before you hire anyone for the work.

How much does replacement hardware cost?

The cheapest hinges, pulls and knobs cost just a few dollars each. For better quality hardware, expect to pay at least $7-$10 per item. The nicest pulls and knobs cost as much as $25 apiece or more.