Kitchen Questions: What’s the Average Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen cabinets are simultaneously the most obvious and most ignored piece of a kitchen’s identity and function. If your cabinets look dated or are damaged, you will notice them right away. If you don’t have enough space for all your kitchen wares, you’ll realize how little you like them fast.

Unless you come across one of those two situations, you probably won’t replace the kitchen cabinets in your home. However, whether you’re doing a full kitchen remodel or just want to spruce up your cabinetry, knowing how much it costs to replace kitchen cabinets will help you build a better budget for the project.

Let’s take a closer look at the most common factors feeding into cabinet costs.

Stock, Semi-Custom, or Custom

The biggest expense-adjuster you’ll face if you replace kitchen cabinets is whether you buy stock, semi-custom, or custom models. What do each of these terms mean? Let’s dig deeper.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets, or pre-assembled cabinets, are the ones you’ll find lining the aisles of any home improvement store. They’re the most affordable of the lot, ranging between $200-$350 a cabinet. However, what you gain in savings, you’ll lose in customizability.

However the stock cabinets get made, that’s how you’ll get them. They also tend to be standardized for the average kitchen’s measurements. So, if your kitchen runs small, they might not work for your space.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets blend the prefabricated nature and affordability of stock cabinets with the customizability of custom cabinets. Like their stock brethren, these cabinets get made in advance, but you can choose from a wide variety of sizes, stains, finishes, and features. They’ll usually run you around $300-$600 a cabinet.

However, since they’re usually made to fit the same dimensions as stock cabinets, you might not be able to order them in a frame that’s too far from the standard.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets are a premium option. They’re the big daddy of kitchen cabinetry. These cabinets go to consumers with an eye for beauty or highly specialized needs. They often marry form and function and get constructed from the best materials on the market.

As such, they’re the most expensive of the options, but the one most likely to give you a real personalized look for your kitchen. Expect to pay $500 or more for each cabinet.

Cabinet Materials

While much ado gets made about your kitchen cabinet colors, your materials play a key role in how much your replacement costs. The most common cabinet materials include:

  • Wood veneer, the cheapest of the bunch at a minimum of $4,000 per installation
  • Laminate, tied with Acrylic for the second cheapest at a minimum of $5,000 per installation
  • Wood, one of the most expensive options at $6,000-$12,000 per installation
  • Stainless steel takes the price crown at a minimum of $22,000 per installation

Each of these materials offers different benefits and lifespans.

Wood veneers and laminates might be cheap, but will someday start peeling. Acrylic and stainless steel are more durable but can track fingerprints like nothing else if not cleaned regularly. Wood itself is classic and durable, but depending on the type of wood, your cabinets’ lifespan might change.

Fixing Up Your Fixtures

While your cabinet fixtures might seem like a negligible detail, all that hardware adds up in a hurry! Depending on the fixture’s material, be it plastic, ceramic, or metal, your fixtures can end up costing as much as $30 each!

Not sure which fixtures you should choose for your cabinets? You can read more here for ideas and inspiration!

Size Matters

This should be obvious, but both the size of your kitchen and the width of your cabinets and drawers can factor into your final cost. For example, a 10×10 can have its cabinets replaced for between $2,800 and $6,500. Meanwhile, a 12×12 kitchen will cost around $3,800-$8,500.

Both of these estimates assume the cabinets in question are of standard size. However, if you start making your cabinets and drawers wider or deeper, that will drive up your costs.

Feature Fanatic

Everyone loves cabinet features, especially in a modern, sleek design. However, each of those features tacks on to the cost of replacing kitchen cabinets.

Below are some examples of common features:

  • The built-in fridge look, accomplished by having a massive cabinet around the refrigerator
  • Deep or full-extension drawers, handy for storing many items and allowing full access to all of them
  • Divided storage, which keeps you from having to buy those annoying silverware drawer dividers
  • Soft-closing hinges and doors, which allow your cabinet’s drawers and doors to close smoothly and quietly
  • Hidden trash cans and Lazy Susan corner storage allow for unsightly elements of the kitchen to hide behind the cabinets

Prices for each of these features will vary depending on the cabinet maker and how much customization you add. However, the more of them you tack on, the higher you can expect your price point to grow.

How Much it Costs to Replace Kitchen Cabinets Depends On You

So, to return to the original question: If you replace kitchen cabinets, how much can you expect to pay? The easy answer is that it depends on you.

The harder answer is that it depends on what materials you use, whether you buy them pre-fabricated or custom made, and what features you intend to install. On average, however, you should expect to pay between $4000 and $12,000 per kitchen installation. With that figure in mind, you can adjust your budget for other portions of your kitchen remodeling project!

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