Learn about the cost of projects in the Cabinets category. (2023)

Cabinets help define the look and usability of your kitchen. If you have a dated or difficult-to-use design, your kitchen could be falling short of its full potential as the entertainment and meal-prepping focal point of your home. Installing a new design will improve its looks and usability - and boost the appeal of your home. Here's a comprehensive guide on design, costs and materials.

The linear foot pricing of $100 to $1,200 includes everything from off-the-shelf to high-end custom options. The construction breaks down into these three categories, each with its own price point and specific set of pros and cons:

Stock Cabinets

Learn about the cost of projects in the Cabinets category. (1)

Stock cabinets are the most affordable option available to homeowners at $100 to $300 per linear foot installed, or $50 to $100 per linear foot for cabinets alone. Stock or builder’s-grade construction comes with fewer design options, but costs considerably less than semi-custom and custom alternatives.

Quality and measurement issues are sometimes a problem with prefab types. Be sure to carefully measure the location of your new install before making any purchases. If you're unsure, have a cabinet professional measure your space.

  • Advantage: Affordable price.

  • Disadvantage: Lack of design options, occasional measurement and quality issues.

Semi-Custom Cabinets Cost

If you have a larger budget or need custom sizing or aesthetics, semi-custom designs offer a wider variety of options at $150 to $650 per linear foot installed. The materials alone cost $75 to $400 per linear foot, or $150 or more per unit. Semi-stock is perfect for homeowners looking for unique, long-lasting types without the hefty price of custom designs.

  • Advantage: Reasonable price, more design and measurement options.

  • Disadvantage: Lack of exotic designs and materials.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets cost $500 to $1,200 per linear foot installed. Materials make up between $300 and $750 per linear foot. They’re perfect for oddly-shaped kitchens or specific design and functionality needs. While custom installs meet your exact specifications, you can expect a substantial cost increase.

  • Advantage: Endless design possibilities.

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  • Disadvantage: Price.

Plywood vs. MDF vs. Solid Wood

"Most of these components can be part of an eco-conscious kitchen. Ask your contractor or cabinet manufacturer about products that use recycled wood, soy-based adhesives, low-VOC (volatile organic compound) finishes or other sustainable features."

Cati O'Keefe, Expert Home Building & Sustainability Contributor.

Plywood with Solid Wood: Most high-end semi-custom and many custom installations use a combination of plywood and solid wood. The cabinet boxes use plywood with real wood veneers for the boxes and solid wood or plywood with veneers for doors and drawers. Manufacturers use real wood for structural supports and sometimes the cabinet faces.

MDF: Most stock and some lower-end semi-custom varieties use medium density fiberboard (MDF), also called particleboard, with a thin plastic veneer applied to the top.

Solid Wood: It is rare to find any custom installation that is 100% solid wood. High-end plywood tends to hold up better to use, doesn’t warp in moist environments and has a higher mechanical strength than solid wood. Once applied, real wood veneer looks, feels and functions as well as or better than solid wood.

New Kitchen Cabinet Cost Calculator by Material

It's important to also consider the mass appeal of your materials. Exotic designs and materials could potentially hurt the resale value of your home. The materials you choose depends on your budget and design. Here's a breakdown of the most popular materials:

Cabinet Wood Types Price Comparison

Wood ranges from $5,000 to $25,000 or more. You’ll only pay an average of $5 per linear foot difference between varieties, so choose the one that best complements your home design. Here's a quick look at a variety of sought-after wood types:

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  • Maple has a straight, tight grain that makes it a perfect candidate for both traditional and contemporary designs. It is durable and accepts paints and stains well.

  • Cherry is a heavier wood, characterized by its straight, close grain. Many homeowners choose it for its elegance and natural durability. You can use it in both traditional and contemporary designs.

  • Oak is a highly textured wood that's defined by a straight grain and natural elegance. It’s porous nature makes it extremely absorbent. Darker stains bring out its grain pattern, although light stains also work well with this wood. Like cherry, oak is extremely durable and long lasting.

  • Pine's long grain and visible knots give it a rugged yet sophisticated look. If you're considering it, opt for the more durable yellow pine. Its lighter nature makes it a popular choice for contemporary kitchens.

  • Bamboo isn't wood but rather a type of fast-growing grass. It is used mostly as a laminate material and has excellent anti-microbial properties and is quickly becoming and ecologically friendly choice. It is renewable and sustainable.

Wood Veneer

Wood veneers cost anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 or more. They are strips of wood applied to plywood or particleboard. They offer the same look and feel of wood without the higher price tag. Also, some veneers are more resistant to humidity and moisture than traditional wood. You can stain them to match other decorative features of your kitchen.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Cabinets Cost

Stainless steel runs $25,000 to $38,000. Because of the price and aesthetic, it’s a less common material than wood, laminate or veneer. Regardless, many homeowners are opting for stainless because of its durability, look and extremely long lifespan.

These types are recyclable and non-toxic, which works well if you want an environmentally-friendly kitchen. However, it's susceptible to scratches, finger prints and dents.

You’ll find stainless steel in commercial, modern and contemporary kitchens. When paired with darker woods, like cherry or oak, these cabinets fit with transitional and eclectic décor.


Laminates run $4,000 to $15,000. Like wood veneers, this is a cost-friendly alternative to wood. It’s a synthetic material that's adhered to particle board in both high-pressure and low-pressure procedures. High-pressure laminate is a higher quality product sold under brand names like Formica and Pionite.

It is highly durable and stands up to the wear and tear of a busy kitchen. Also, it doesn't warp or fade like some wooden alternatives. Laminate is especially at home in affordable, modern or contemporary kitchens.

Acrylic Cabinets Prices

Acrylics range anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000 or more depending on the base material used. Acrylic is a very hard, high-gloss finish applied as you would a varnish. It comes in various colors typically on flat panels for an ultra-modern look. Cost differences are due to the underlying material used, which can be MDF, wood, metal or others.

Kitchen Cabinetry Estimates by Design

Cabinet design falls into two camps: framed and frameless. On average, you’ll end up spending 15% more on frameless styles. The cost of framed and frameless vary based on the wood, construction and size of your project. The most important decision when considering design is whether it will fit your existing décor. Here's a quick breakdown of each:

Framed Cabinets

Framed cost $5,000 to $20,000 or more. A framed build means that the rails and stiles are visible at the front and form a flat frame that the door is attached to. They are best for homeowners seeking a traditional design.

Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets cost $6,000 to $30,000 or more. Custom designs lead to higher-end pricing as ranges are almost always due to the quality of the materials, level of customization and size of your kitchen. They are used in contemporary and modern designs. Frameless construction relies on a heavier box to hide the frame and hang the doors.

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Inset Cabinets

Inset, or flush, cabinets have the same ranges as most other semi-custom and custom or $150 to $1,200 per linear foot. Expect to pay about 20% more for flush mounts than a similar traditional design with the same grade of materials. This type has a unique design where the drawers and doors, when closed, are flush with face frame openings.

Cost of Shaker Cabinets

Shaker cabinets cost the same as any other style or between $100 and $1,200 per linear foot. This is a style choice for the doors and drawer faces, not a material difference. The type of material you use and whether you choose stock or custom will dictate the actual prices.

Pricing Cabinets by Size

10x10 Kitchen Cabinets Cost

A 10 foot by 10 foot kitchen runs $2,000 to $24,000, depending on the type and materials you choose. This sized room typically has 20 to 25 linear feet of cabinetry.

12x12 Cabinetry

Cabinets for a standard 12 by 12-foot kitchen costs $2,500 to $29,000. This size is closer to the average kitchen size in US homes. The size of kitchens has doubled since the 1920s to accommodate open concepts, increased storage needs and larger and more numerous appliances.

Cupboards for Small Kitchens

You’ll end up spending between $1,700 to $20,000 on cupboards for a small kitchen. A small kitchen is typically 70 square feet or less. You don’t have to sacrifice style or efficiency in homes with smaller kitchens. You’ll find there are creative storage solutions in a wide range of materials and styles for all kitchen sizes.

L-Shaped Kitchen Cupboards

The traditional L-shaped kitchen has two walls of counters and cabinets extending from one corner of the room and running along perpendicular walls.

Additional Considerations

Not all cabinet installations are hang-and-go projects. Here are some additional considerations to include in your plan:

  • Moving Appliances: Depending on the size and design, you may run into additional issues. For example: If your new layout requires you to move your oven, you'll need to relocate electrical, gas and ventilation systems as well. Your pro should spot any appliance-related issues before the job begins, but it's important to keep an eye out yourself.

  • Proper Measuring: It's a good idea to hire a pro to take the measurements. Mis-measuring your space will result in job delays and expensive reinstallations.

  • Hiring the right pro: As with any project, it's important that you hire the right pro at the right price.

Here are a few questions to help you choose the perfect professional for your project:

  1. How long have you been installing cabinets?

  2. May I have a copy of your insurance and license? The proper paperwork will safeguard your home and your pro in the event of an accident or faulty build.

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  3. Do you have any references? Always ask to speak to past clients before you hire a pro. Most trustworthy professionals are happy to provide a list of references. Avoid hiring a pro who hesitates or refuses to share his references or examples of past work.

  4. Do you offer material warranties? It's nice to have a backup in case of an emergency. Ask your pro about material warranties for your project. If they don't offer a warranty, inquire about other guarantees.

  5. Will this project require a permit? Always ask about permit costs before you begin construction. Your pro should know about any licenses your project will require.

  6. How long will this job take? Don't expect an exact completion date before you've hired your pro. But most pros can provide a rough estimate based on the layout of your home, the design of your cabinet installation and the company’s project schedule.


What is the lowest-cost kitchen cabinets?

Stock cabinets are the lowest cost type at $100 to $300 per linear foot.

What’s the cost of high-end kitchen cabinets?

Expect to pay $13,000 to $30,000 for most high-end custom cabinets.

How much is a bathroom vanity?

The cost of a bathroom vanity runs anywhere from $200 to $3,000.

How much are cabinets per square foot?

Kitchen cabinets aren’t sold per square foot, just per unit or when done professionally, by the linear foot. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $1,200 per linear foot.

What material is best for white cabinets?

Any material works for white cabinets. There is no “best.” Choose the material that best fits with your budget and home value.

What are the most popular cabinet brands?

Most popular brands are available across the United States at independent dealers. Most independent cabinet installers have access to a wide range of brand names. They can help you determine which one fits your budget and design.

  • Merillat Cabinetry: A high-end brand that offers both the boxes and a wide range of hardware and accessories. Pulls and handles run from $5 to $20. You can find them from authorized dealers and any independent installer.

  • Starmark Cabinetry: These handmade American cabinets manufactured in Sioux Falls, SD offer a wide range of design styles with custom options available. There are dealers located across the US in most urban centers.

  • Waypoint Living Spaces: This high-end brand offers solid hardwood face frames found at numerous dealers in large metropolitan areas like Denver and San Francisco.

  • Wood-Mode: Available in hundreds of locations across the United States, Canada and Central America. Speak with an installer for pricing. Brookhaven is one of their more well-known brand names.

  • Schuler : Available exclusively at Lowes, these cabinets offer a wide range of designs materials and customization options for a middle of the road price.

  • Crystal Cabinets: This popular independent custom manufacturer offers both affordable and premium options. You can find independent dealers in most urban areas.

  • MasterBrand Cabinets : Available brands include Decora, Homecrest, Kemer, KitchenCraft, Diamond, Aristokraft, Omega and Schrock. An independent installer has access to all these brands and can direct you to the one that best fits your design and budgetary needs.

    • Decora and Omega: high-end flagship brands for large kitchens and budgets.

    • Kemper, KitchenCraft, Homecrest and Diamond: best for those with moderate budgets. Flexible customization options.

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    • Aristokraft : for budget conscious homeowners.


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