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The 10 Factors That Affect the Price of Cabinets

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As cabinet and countertops specialists, we understand our customers are in many stages of life, and situations. We know everyone has a budget and the right kitchen remodeling company will respect that investment amount. The question “how much will my cabinets cost” is actually a complicated answer. There are many factors that determine what your final cost will be. However, we can give you an idea of how cabinet companies get to the final answer to this question.

 

In this article, we will break down the features that can affect the final price of your design so you can go into your kitchen renovation with knowledge and confidence. Whether you are wanting to start your project immediately, or in the next year, we would like to help prepare you for what will be your kitchen renovation journey.

1. Stock vs semi-custom lines

Stock lines are mass produced, typically overseas in a high-output manufacturing environment. These cabinets are limited in color, style and come only in increments of three inches. The door style and color can’t be mixed and matched to suit your taste in cabinets. In other words, what you see is what you get.

You might be stuck between custom vs semi-custom cabinets, and before you make the smartest choice for your kitchen remodel you should know in detail the differences between the two. Stock cabinets are about half the cost of semi-custom cabinets which is great on the budget if you’re OK with a lesser quality product, shorter warranty and less flexibility on design.

Semi-custom lines cost more and are of higher quality. There are 5-10X the color options than those of the stock lines. You are also able to customize the cabinets and style types as well as customize the cabinet sizes down to ⅛” in some lines.

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2. Particle board boxes vs all-plywood box construction

Depending on the cabinet box construction you select, the price can swing by about 15%. Particle board has a reputation that is not the best due to its ability to soak up moisture. This leaves more opportunity for warping and deformation than with plywood. However, it can really be a good option for certain customers who are trying to keep the cost down.

Although a more expensive cabinet box choice, wood is typically the best choice for framed and frameless cabinets. A typical plywood panel has a top wood layer veneer of a higher grade than the core veneers. It binds resin and wood fiber sheets to form a composite material sold in panels. The real wood layers are glued at different grain directions, which holds it from four, six, or even more directions. This means much longer-lasting cabinets holding up better over time and wet conditions. There are pros and cons to both, with cost being a huge factor.

3. Painted cabinets vs stained cabinets

Painted cabinets, regardless of the color you pick, are about 10-15% more expensive than stained cabinets. This is due to the finishing process. The painting process has more cabinet finishing steps and more labor than a traditional stain would.

Stained cabinets provide more durability and are easier to touch up if damaged. Due to scratches or scuffs being easier to blend in a wood-grain surface, over a solid color paint. What’s popular in 2022 is painted cabinets mixed with wood stains. When you see photos on Pinterest or Instagram, you’ll see a variety of new cabinet design ideas.

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4. HDF doors vs wood doors

For painted cabinets, it’s very common to use a high-density fiberboard door due to its very smooth surface. This makes it clear of any imperfections that natural wood has. Since a very smooth surface is usually preferred for painted cabinets, this material is the Cabinet IQ choice for painted cabinet door material.

When choosing HDF, you will save around 12% over a solid wood door. Wood doors are typically chosen for stained cabinets as the stain is transparent and allows the natural wood grains to show their true character.

5. Door style

There are many kitchen cabinet styles for you to choose from. The simpler the door style, the less expensive the door ends up being. It’s not uncommon to spend an additional 20%+ for complex door styles like raised panels. The trend these days is more contemporary like a shaker style or slab front door, so this works to your advantage when considering overall cabinet cost.

The more aesthetic options are of course more expensive, but potentially an intricate door style will make the space look more upscale and would create a happier long-term future.

6. Cabinet accessories

If you want your kitchen to stand out from a base line, you will want to add internal kitchen cabinet accessories. How your cabinets look from the outside is just the beginning of the budget and design of your kitchen remodel process.


There are certain accessories that we find people saying are a “must have.” For example, roll-out garbage cans near their sink, spice racks, a special cabinet for small appliances, and so much more.


Some other commonly used accessories are cutlery dividers, lazy Susan inserts, appliance garage, or mixer lift shelf. These accessories can add $50-500 per item but are well worth the money if you plan on staying in the home a while and really enjoying the utility of your new kitchen.

7. Doors vs drawers

Drawers contain more wood, hardware, and labor to manufacture. For this reason, drawer base cabinets are typically 60-100% more expensive than their standard door and drawer counterparts for the same width. They are more detailed, and require more labor, and more intricate to make.

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8. Cabinet Trim Add-Ons

Besides the cabinet with doors and drawers, there are add-on items that make the cabinets look more decorative. These upgrades are crown molding above the upper cabinets, light rail below the upper cabinets, decorative side panels on the exposed cabinet sides.

Decking out your kitchen with these add ons can be as low as 5% and up to 25% so it’s certainly a consideration during budgeting. These are small details that are quite noticeable when the project is completed. Certain touches really make a kitchen look premium, or base line.

9. Glass Cabinets

Glass door fronts are a popular way to add style and a premium look. They do, however, come with a price tag. There are lots of different glass cabinet options in the semi-custom cabinet lines such as clear, frosted, rain and other glass patterns. A glass cabinet is on average 30% more than its standard counterpart.

 

When used sparingly as design elements, this price increase isn’t hard on the pocket book and a nice touch of class. It is also a way to showcase your beautiful kitchen accessories such as fine China, glassware, or family heirlooms that deserve to be displayed.

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10. Cabinet Hardware

Hardware is the jewelry of the cabinet. Like jewelry, the price can vary greatly. Your option for hardware are knobs with 1 hole or handles that have 2 holes. Labor is typically billed per hole making cabinet knobs the cheaper option. The hardware costs can range from a $1.50 knob to a $75 large handle. The larger the hardware, the more expensive it will be for your kitchen remodel. On average, a kitchen has 75 places to put hardware. Doing the math for your own kitchen, this could add hundreds or thousands of dollars to your project when selecting large, high-end cabinet hardware.

To get a rough budget range for your cabinets based on your kitchen dimensions, you can use our Cabinet Budget Calculator. We created this tool for your convenience of knowing a range of what will need to be spent to obtain your ideal kitchen. We have two convenient locations located in the Austin, Texas metroplex. If you are still unsure about pricing of cabinets, or any other industry questions, we would love to be of assistance. We want all of our future and current customers to have the knowledge that is necessary to have a 6 star experience.

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