Why are kitchen cabinets so expensive? [2023]

10 AI-generated kitchen designs

Check out these 10 AI-designed kitchen spaces! From traditional to modern, these designs showcase AI capabilities in design. Take a look at all the AI-created designs.

Why are kitchen cabinets so expensive? Do you often ask that question and are you considering redecorating your kitchen or upgrading its look? Cabinets are a vital component of any kitchen remodel; they add functionality and style to the room. Most homeowners make decisions based on functionality and aesthetics in their cabinet purchases.

why are kitchen cabinets so expensive

However, cabinets are often one of the most expensive components of a kitchen. But why? This question and many others have gone through my mind, and I’m sure yours, when deciding on new kitchen cabinets.

Here are the key points to consider

When budgeting for kitchen cabinets, make sure to consider the cost of materials, the manufacturing process, the design and style, the cabinet hardware, the number of cabinets needed, and the brand. Labor costs can also add up, so it’s important to factor these in as well.

  1. Invest in solid wood cabinets for quality and longevity. Consider custom cabinets if you want a unique, personalized look.
  2. Choose affordable materials or ready-to-assemble cabinets to save money. Refacing existing cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a new look while spending less.
  3. Compare prices from different cabinet makers and retailers to get the best deal on your cabinets. Look for discounts, coupons, and sales to save even more money.
  4. Consider used cabinets for an even greater budget-friendly kitchen remodel. Used cabinets can be found in many places like garage sales, estate sales, classified ads, and online.
  5. With careful research, you can save money on kitchen cabinets without sacrificing quality or style.

We’ll go over the most critical factors you need to consider when buying new cabinets for your kitchen and finally answer the question, why are they so expensive?

Cost of kitchen cabinet materials

The cost of materials can be an important factor to consider when budgeting for kitchen cabinets, as it can affect the overall cost of the project.

  • The type of wood used can affect the cost, with some species being more expensive than others. High-quality wood, such as oak or cherry, is often used to make kitchen cabinets, and these materials can be quite costly.
  • The grade of the wood can also affect the cost, with higher grades being more expensive.
  • The cost of materials can also include other features of the cabinets, such as soft-close hinges or dovetail joints.
  • The cost of materials can vary depending on where the cabinets are being purchased, with some areas having higher or lower costs for wood and other materials.

why are kitchen cabinets so expensive costly

Cabinet manufacturing process

  • The manufacturing process can be an important factor to consider when choosing most cabinets, as it can affect the quality and durability of the finished product. The manufacturing process can vary depending on the type of cabinets being made, with custom cabinets often requiring more time and labor than standard cabinets.
  • The process of making kitchen cabinets can be labor-intensive, which can contribute to their high cost.
  • The manufacturing process may include cutting and shaping the wood, sanding and finishing the surfaces, and installing the hardware.
  • The level of craftsmanship involved in the manufacturing process can also affect the cost, with higher levels of skill and expertise resulting in a higher cost.

Cabinet design and style

The design and style of the cabinets are important factors to consider when choosing kitchen cabinets, as they can affect the overall appearance of the space. The design and style of the cabinets can be influenced by the overall design aesthetic of the kitchen, with some styles being more suited to traditional kitchens. In contrast, others may be more suitable for modern kitchens. The design and style of the cabinets can also be influenced by the functionality of the space, with some designs offering more storage or organization options than others.

  • The design and style of the cabinets can also be influenced by personal preferences, with some preferring more traditional or classic styles. In contrast, others may prefer more modern or contemporary designs.

The design and style of kitchen cabinets can affect their price, as custom or high-end cabinets may be more expensive than standard models. This is because custom cabinets are made to order and may include unique features or designs that add to the cost.

Cabinet hardware

Cabinet hardware is the design and quality of the kitchen cabinets’ handles, knobs, and other fixtures. It is an important factor to consider when choosing kitchen cabinets, as it can affect the overall look and feel of the space. Cabinet hardware can be made from various materials, including metal, wood, and plastic.

  • It is also an important factor to consider when budgeting for quality kitchen cabinets, as it can affect the overall cost of the project. The cost of cabinet hardware can vary depending on the material, design, and brand.

why are kitchen cabinets so expensive quality

Number of cabinets you need

The number of cabinets being purchased can also affect their cost. Buying many cabinets may result in a bulk discount, while purchasing only a few cabinets may result in a higher per-unit cost.

  • The number of cabinets needed for a kitchen can be determined with the help of a kitchen designer or contractor, who can provide expert advice and guidance on the best number and placement of cabinets for the space.
  • They, will consider the types of items that will be stored in the cabinets and the amount of space required for each type of item. It will also depend on the size and layout of the space, as well as the homeowner’s specific storage and organization needs. The number may vary depending on the type of cabinets installed, with some types providing more storage per unit than others.
  • A larger kitchen may require more customized cabinets to provide sufficient storage and workspace, while a smaller kitchen may get by with fewer cabinets.


  • The brand of kitchen cabinets can be an important factor to consider when choosing them, as it can affect the overall value and satisfaction with the purchase.
  • The brand of kitchen cabinets can be an important factor to consider when budgeting for custom cabinetry, as it can affect the project’s overall cost.

Some brands may be known for their high-quality materials and construction, which can justify a higher price. In contrast, other brands may offer lower-priced, mass-produced, and less durable cabinets.

why are kitchen cabinets so expensive price

  • The brand can affect the availability and selection of cabinets, with some brands offering a wider range of styles and designs than others.
  • It can also affect the warranty and customer service provided by the manufacturer, with some brands offering longer warranties and better customer support than others.

Overall, many factors can affect the cost of kitchen cabinets, including the materials, manufacturing process, design and style, location, quantity, and brand.

Labor cost

The reason why kitchen cabinets are so expensive is mainly because of the labor required to build and install them. Labor is one of the highest costs in a kitchen remodel. Kitchens are complicated, and they require a lot of work.

Cabinetmakers are highly skilled tradesmen, and they often work on an individual basis or in small groups. Their salaries are costly. The labor costs associated with cabinet installation can be as high as 50 percent of the total price of kitchen cabinets.

Are custom-made Cabinets Worth It?

Custom cabinets are worth it if you want to make an impression on your guests. It depends on your budget and what kind of design you’re also looking for.

The cost of custom cabinets is almost always higher than prefabricated cabinets, but they can also be much more unique and customized to your needs. They can also be built in a way that makes them seem more significant than they are, perfect for small kitchens!

Are solid wood cabinets worth it?

Solid wood cabinets are definitely worth the investment. They are more expensive than MDF cabinets but are more durable and long-lasting. They are a great choice if you’re looking for a quality kitchen remodel that will last for years.

How Much Should You Spend on Kitchen Cabinets?

The cost of cabinets varies widely depending on the style, material, and quality of the cabinets you choose. On average, you can expect to pay $500 to $700 per linear foot for custom kitchen cabinets. The price will vary with the size of your kitchen and the type of cabinetry you buy.

The average cost for custom kitchen cabinets is around $4000 for a cheap kitchen cabinet design and about $13000 for a more complex design. That’s without handles and hardware or any other upgrades. If you want unique features like cabinet doors, glass doors, or solid-wood construction, expect to pay between $6,000 and $26000 or more.

Choice of custom or stock cabinets

The most significant factors affecting kitchen cabinets’ cost are whether you choose custom or stock cabinets. You can expect to pay $150 to $650 per linear foot for semi-custom cabinets. These are a fantastic choice if you need cabinets but don’t want to spend much.

On the other hand, the cost per linear foot for stock cabinets is typically between $100 and $300. These cabinets are made from low-priced materials, but their aesthetic potential is high.

Shipping Costs

The price of kitchen cabinets is, to a large extent, driven by the cost of shipping. The more you have, the greater the freight charges will be. And it goes without saying that if your kitchen cabinets are custom designed and built, they will be more expensive than stock items.

How To Save On The Costs Of Kitchen Cabinets

A kitchen remodeling project can be expensive, but there are ways to save money on cabinets without sacrificing quality or aesthetics.

why are kitchen cabinets so expensive aesthetics

Select affordable materials

One way to save money on kitchen cabinets is by selecting a more affordable material option. This can mean using composite instead of actual wood or laminate instead of granite countertops.

DIY with Ready to Assemble

You can buy ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets or prefabricated cabinets from companies like Ikea, Home Depot, and Lowe’s. These are made from pre-cut materials and typically come with their installation instructions, so all you have to do is put them together!

Used Cabinets

Another way to save money on new kitchen cabinets is by buying used ones at an estate sale or auction. You can also find used cabinetry online through Craigslist, eBay, garage sales, or flea markets.

Go for a basic cabinet setup and simple design.

You can go with a simple cabinet setup that doesn’t have too many doors or drawers. This will significantly reduce the cost of your cabinets and make them much easier to install in your home (which will also save money on installation costs).

Go With Simple Functionality

Cabinets can be purchased in various styles, colors, and designs. However, if you’re looking to save money on your kitchen remodel, it’s best to stick with basic functionality. That means cabinets that have open shelving rather than doors or drawers.

It also means cabinets with a simple design where none of the doors or drawers have elaborate hardware or other features.

Ariel Path

With over three decades of experience in food manufacturing and kitchen design, I bring a wealth of knowledge to the table. My expertise spans across various aspects of the culinary world, from kitchen appliances to cooking techniques, food selection, and promoting a healthy lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to educate and inspire you in creating your dream kitchen, where functionality meets aesthetics. As a trusted source, I strive to provide valuable insights and guidance to make your kitchen remodel an enjoyable and successful experience. Together, let's transform your space into a culinary haven that reflects your unique style and meets your specific needs. See more details here.

Leave a Reply