The Experts in Greensboro, NC Kitchen Makeovers

April 1, 2021

How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

Kitchen remodeling has never been more popular and the most often asked question is: How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

There are different types of cabinets just as there are different types of cars. Cars have a body, four wheels, an engine, seats, a trunk, and they all get you from point A to point B, but they range in price from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. The same is true of cabinets, but a lot less money of course.

The price of a cabinet is influenced by quality, wood species, finish, and accessories and whether they are in-stock or custom made.

Home Advisor reports that kitchen cabinet cost ranges from $100 to $1,200 per linear ft. Therefore a 9 x 12 kitchen cabinet replacement would cost somewhere between $2,100 and $25,200, which does not include labor for tear-out and installation.

Many cabinetry choices are available in today’s marketplace and it’s important to know the differences between those choices so you can make an informed decision. Sometimes, the time of year can also affect the pricing of cabinet materials, so make sure you know when to buy kitchen cabinets.

Here is some information to help you with your choice.

Types of kitchen cabinets:

Stock cabinets are stocked in warehouses and are available in a few weeks. Most of these cabinets are sold knocked-down and are ready-to-assemble (RTA). The cabinet construction is excellent featuring all plywood construction, hardwood drawer boxes, and soft-close hinges and drawer guides. The most popular styles and finishes are stocked in the sizes often used in the majority of designs. Although the manufacturer does not offer customization, a creative fabricator can customize to an extent using standard parts. The beauty of this type of cabinet is you can get a custom looking kitchen with a reasonable budget. There is also cheap stock cabinetry made of particle board and used primarily for commercial construction and not really suitable for residential remodeling.

Semi-custom cabinetry is made to order and most manufacturers build a sturdy box made out of plywood. Standard features would be soft-close drawer guides and soft-close door hinges. Doors can be particleboard or solid wood. Styles, wood species, and finishes are plentiful. Most manufacturers offer painted, stained, and laminated finishes.

Full custom cabinets are what you would expect—they offer most anything you can imagine. The cabinetry is well built and available in many wood species or laminates and can be ordered in most configurations or sizes. Paint and stain finishes can be custom matched. The finishes usually require many more steps, which gives it a richer look and feel as well as exceptional durability.

Framed or Frameless

Framed or frameless refers to the construction of the kitchen cabinet box. Frameless construction began in Europe and has gained popularity in the US. Proponents of frameless cabinetry claim that you get more interior space. While this is true, the difference is minimal. Frameless cabinetry gives a sleek appearance because the doors and drawers cover most of the edge of the cabinet box and the margins between doors and drawers are minimal. Installation is extremely critical because the tolerances are tight and cabinets must be installed perfectly plumb and level. Framed cabinets however, have larger margins between doors and drawers and therefore are more forgiving if the installation is less than perfect. The cost between the two cabinet types is negligible.

Plywood vs. Particle Board

Most stock semi-custom, semi-custom, and full-custom cabinets feature plywood construction. The advantage of plywood is that it is much lighter than particleboard and screws hold better in plywood. Also, plywood will outlast particleboard if it gets wet. Not too long ago, the vast majority of cabinetry had some particle board in its construction, but consumers control the marketplace and realizing the value of plywood over particleboard have sought out brands with plywood construction, which has forced most manufacturers to switch to plywood boxes.

Anatomy of a Good Cabinet

So, what should you look for when buying a good quality cabinet?

These features are found in good quality kitchen cabinet construction:

1/2” plywood box construction using glue, screws and metal brackets.
¾” thick face frame made of solid wood (for framed cabinets)
½” thick hardwood drawer boxes (dovetailed corners are a plus*).
¾” thick plywood shelves
Doors made of hardwood or HDF **
Veneer finished sides (as opposed to look-a-like laminate)
Soft-close door hinges and drawer guides***

* Dovetailed drawer construction refers to the way that the corners of the drawer box and fastened together. Dovetail joints are considered stronger and are more time-consuming to make, there fore more desirable.

** HDF is high density fiberboard. HDF is a better product to paint because it will not expand and contract and leave open joints like hardwood doors. It is very hard to tell the difference between a HDF and a hardwood door.

*** Soft-closing doors and drawers perform exactly as you would expect. When you push them shut, they close softly. But, they have another feature as well. When you push a door or drawer closed, even if you give it a good shove, it will not slam shut. The soft close hinge or guide is also self-closing and will pull the door or drawer shut. No more cabinet doors or drawers left half closed.

Kitchen Express

As you can see, there are many options when it comes to choosing a kitchen cabinet. At Kitchen Express we offer a cabinetry selection that is affordable and appeals to most people. Remodeling your kitchen affordably and stylishly assures you that you’ll have a kitchen that you love working and entertaining in and will add value to your home. Call us today for a free in-home estimate and we’ll show you how beautiful you kitchen could look and how affordable it can be.

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