Kitchen cabinets are the beautiful bones of the kitchen. They’re not typically the focal point, but they form the ambiance that makes an impression.
So when it’s time to remodel, you should spend some time thinking carefully about how you want your kitchen to look and if you can afford the look you want.
With that thought in mind, you will want to know, how much do cabinets cost? The answer will vary depending on your space, the materials used, and the type of customization you’d like.
Keep reading to learn about the cost of cabinets and the factors that play a role in their expense.
How Much Do Cabinets Cost?
Costs depend on many factors, but in the end, contractors determine cost based on linear foot. So you’re not paying a certain dollar amount for each cabinet. Rather, you’re paying a certain dollar amount per linear foot.
Ultimately, you have several factors to consider when looking at the types of cabinets you will purchase.
The materials that make up your cabinets affect their price the most. When carpentry materials are running high in cost in general, you will see the cost of cabinets go up. Wood cabinets come in three different variations.
Solid wood might sound like the most authentic and beautiful choice. However, few custom installations use 100 percent solid wood. Solid wood tends to warp in moist environments such as bathrooms and kitchens.
As you’re drooling over beautiful oak, pine, and walnut cabinetry in showrooms, realize that few of those custom cabinets are actually the wood you think they are.
Plywood combined with solid wood actually makes up most of the custom and high-end semi-custom cabinetry. Cabin makers will make the boxes from plywood. Then they line the exterior of the cabinets and doors with real wood veneer.
With that said, the cabinet maker may still use real wood when creating the structural support and cabinet faces. So you end up with a solid cabinet that looks beautiful.
MDF, or medium-density fiberboard, makes up the stock and lower-end semi-custom cabinets. Similar to particleboard, MDF is a type of material made from small wood chips and resin. Manufacturers will combine the wood and resin and put it under high heat and pressure to create a sturdy material.
MDF differs from particleboard in that particleboard consists of sawdust and resin compared to the smaller wood pieces that make up MDF.
Stock and lower-end semi-custom cabinets consist of MDF with a plastic veneer over the top.
If you’re looking for basic, stock cabinets, you can expect to pay less than if you’d like a unique, custom look. Cabinets come in three different variations for customization.
Stock cabinets are prefabricated cabinets that come in standard sizes. They cost the least among the different types of cabinets because a cabinet maker can produce them en masse without having to stop for specific measurements.
If you select stock cabinets, measure your space carefully to make sure the cabinets will fit.
Stock cabinets come with fewer design options. They look basic but do the job when you need some cabinets. They cost anywhere from $100 to $300 per linear foot.
Semi-custom cabinets run middle-of-the-line in the budget. They’re not your most expensive cabinet, but they still have the custom touch that makes them unique.
Semi-custom cabinets come in standard sizes, but you can have the cabinet maker customize the aesthetics of them. You will make your space stand out with unique features without spending too much. They cost $150 to $600 per linear foot installed.
Custom cabinets will make your space a unique place that reflects your tastes. The cabinet maker will meet with you and designed the cabinets specifically for your space.
If you have the budget for it, custom cabinets work best. They will fit like a glove in your space and have the aesthetic you want. They cost between $350 and $700 per linear foot installed.
What is a Linear Foot?
The cost of cabinets first starts with how many cabinets you will need. You need to figure out how many linear feet will require cabinets.
A linear foot is just what it sounds like. It is a straight-line measurement. So when you measure a linear foot, you’re measuring one end to another end.
You’re not figuring out area or volume. You just want to know how many feet your cabinets will take up from one end of the kitchen to the next.
Here’s a basic way to measure linear footage on your own:
- Begin with a notebook and a pencil. Sketch out the layout of the area where you want cabinets and then write down what you measure as stated below.
- Use a tape measure and begin with the wall where your cabinets will be. Put the end of the tape measure against the wall and measure out to where your cabinets will end. That’s your first measurement.
- If you have both upper and lower cabinets, complete the same measurement for the lower cabinets.
- If your cabinets will go in an L-shape, measure the second wall. Then deduct 24 inches where the cabinets will overlap.
- Account for where your appliances will be. Appliances are typically 30 inches wide, so if you have a stove, microwave, or fridge in the middle of your cabinets, deduct 30 inches for each appliance.
- Divide your total measurement of inches by 12 to calculate the linear feet.
These steps will lead you to the number you need when trying to figure out if you can afford the cabinets of your dreams. The bigger your kitchen, the more linear feet you will have and the costlier your cabinets will be, regardless of their quality.
Are Display Cabinets Worth It?
Display cabinets may end up costing you a bit more than basic kitchen cabinets. After all, they will have glass and thus require customization. Furthermore, you’re looking at the cost of a free-standing cabinet as opposed to a kitchen cabinet that depends on linear feet.
The cost of display cabinets may surprise you, but if you need a space specifically for display, nothing will show off your goods as well as a custom display cabinet designed for such a purpose.
Consider the Cost
So, how much do cabinets cost? The thousands you spend on cabinets will ultimately reap rewards. When you care for them, they last decades and add to the ambiance and overall value of your home.
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