Skip to Content

Why Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost So Much?

why do kitchen cabinets cost so much

If you have never installed kitchen cabinets before, you can be forgiven for not knowing how much they cost.

The truth is that they can be really expensive, depending on a number of factors.

Just like other furniture, kitchen cabinets come in different materials, design and build; undoubtedly, all these factors affect the prices at which cabinets come.

However, kitchen cabinets objectively cost a lot of money and people are often times amazed when they get to know the price of kitchen cabinets.

In this article, we will look out some of the reasons why they cost so much and some cheap kitchen cabinet options that are available on the market today.

Firstly, let us discuss some of the factors that affect the cost of kitchen cabinets.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links which will take you to online retailers that sell products and services. If you click on one and buy something, I may earn from qualifying purchases. See my Affiliate Disclosure for more details.

Factors that affect the cost of kitchen cabinets


The materials used in making kitchen cabinets are generally expensive, even though they vary in characteristics and prices.

More so, if you opt for custom-made cabinets, you get to choose from a wide of range of finer materials which would as a result be more expensive.

Some of the materials used to make kitchen cabinets and their price implications include:

  • Solid wood

Solid wood is very expensive, yet, it is still a common kitchen cabinet material; most especially custom-made cabinets. Solid wood is very durable and makes for good cabinet material.

  • Medium-Density Fiberboard

Popularly known as MDF is made wooden fibers and resin. Unlike solid wood, it can’t be destroyed by termites and it is one of the cheapest kitchen cabinet materials.

  • Plywood

Plywood is another great material option for kitchen cabinets. It is not as cheap and MDF but it is cheaper than solid wood and it offers great water resistance.

  • Particle board

If you are looking for the cheapest kitchen cabinet material, this is it. Made from wood and sawdust, it becomes heavy after construction.

A lot of people believe solid wood is the best material for kitchen cabinets, but this is not so true.

Engineered wood and composite material is the best for kitchen cabinets as they not as expensive as real wood but they offer durability and resistance to some destroying elements.

Removal of existing cabinets

Kitchen remodeling will most likely involve a change of cabinets, if not, it will involve a refacing or refinishing.

The removal of kitchen cabinets means additional cost when installing new ones.

As a result of this cost implication, a lot of people choose to remove their existing cabinets by themselves; this is ok to do if you are quite handy and know how to go about it, however, if you do not know how to go about it, you will need to get a professional to do it for you.

It is more advisable to get a professional to remove your existing kitchen cabinets, just so you can eliminate or reduce the risk of damaging the walls.

Also, the cost of removal can be summed up with the cost of the installation of new cabinets if both is to be done by the same professional; this way you get a better price.

In reality, there is no way you can avoid the cost of removal.

To install new kitchen cabinets, you need to remove the old ones first.

The only options you have if you don’t want to remove them are refacing and refinishing your existing cabinets.


Kitchen cabinets are not like other furniture that you can just purchase, move into your house, and position wherever you want.

They have to be installed securely and safely by qualified professionals.

This is another point where you spend a considerable part of the total budget for new cabinets.

The scale of the project and the rates of the installer will determine how much you will spend but in most cases, the cost of installing new kitchen cabinets is 40% – 50% of the cost of the cabinets.

All these being said, it is not totally impossible to install kitchen cabinets by yourself, most especially if you are looking to save money.

However, if you are willing to put in the effort to make sufficient research in how it is done, you just may be able to carry out the installation on your own.


kitchen cabinets cost price cheaper

When it comes to buying kitchen cabinets, you can choose the design, the material, and even the finish you want and a cabinet making company will make them to your taste.

Of course, this option has price implications.

These custom-made cabinets are very hard to make as they can’t be produced in bulk because people want varying cabinet’s designs.

Also, to meet the design requirement of customers, some of these custom-made cabinets are manually constructed.

Normal stock cabinets cost considerably less but you won’t get the personalization that custom-made cabinets offer.

If affordability is the major thing you are looking for in a kitchen cabinet, you will have to go for stock cabinets; this doesn’t mean that they are very cheap, nonetheless, they are the cheapest kitchen cabinets you can get on the market.

Saving money on your new cabinets

Kitchen Cabinets do it yourself installation

While it is true that kitchen cabinets are typically expensive, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get your cabinets on a budget, you just have to be aware of certain things and take some steps.

Here are some things you can do to reduce the total cost you will incur when buying your new kitchen cabinets.

Reduce customization

Custom-made cabinets are very enticing and you can get carried away with the idea of making different requirements to suit your taste.

However, the more customization you require, the more money you have to pay.

If you are going for custom-made kitchen cabinets, keep your customization requirements to the minimum and make sure they are realistic.

If your budget can’t accommodate custom cabinets, there are good stock cabinet options you can pick from.

Choose affordable materials

With stock cabinets and custom cabinets, the type of materials used has a huge effect on the cost.

Another important thing is that cost doesn’t reflect the suitability of these different materials for making cabinets.

Solid wood is very expensive but it is not the best material for making kitchen cabinets.

Instead, you should choose more affordable options like particle board and medium-density fiberboard.

Even in choosing solid wood, you have different wood species to choose from, so, if you want to save money, find out what your options are and go for the cheaper ones.

Do not glaze

Glazing is not a necessary thing to do on your painted or stained kitchen cabinets, however, that is how a lot of people see it.

True, it adds to the beauty of kitchen cabinets but it is not absolutely necessary.

Glazing costs a considerable amount and it will have a huge effect on your budget if you don’t do it.

If you want to reduce the total cost of installing new kitchen cabinets, one of the things you can do is avoid glazing.

Fewer drawers

Cabinets with fewer drawers cost less when compared to those that have more drawers.

Drawer bases cost a lot and the more are present on your kitchen cabinet, the more expensive it becomes.

In the place of more drawers, you can choose to have more doors.

Also, you should let go of features like soft-close drawers and full extension slides.

Ready to assemble cabinets

They are not advisable, but if you want to save money, you can go for them.

You should know that they are frameless and are usually not of the best quality.

With ready to assemble cabinets, you also eliminate installation costs as they are easy to install and you will be able to do so yourself.

You should only go for these cabinets as a last resort.

Demolish yourself

You need of the old cabinets before you can install new ones, and the common practice is to have a professional come sin and carry out the demolition.

It is advisable to let a professional handle it in order to prevent damage to the walls, however, if you carry out the demolition yourself, you will save considerable amount of money.

Install yourself

You should only do this if you have the knowledge and total confidence in yourself.

It is not impossible to install kitchen cabinets yourself, at the same time, it is not an easy task.

After you have carried out sufficient research and you believe you can handle the installation, you can go ahead.

A large percentage of the total cost will be saved by doing this.


A lot of planning and preparation go into acquiring new kitchen cabinets and a lot of people become discouraged when they eventually learn about the financial implications of new cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets are justifiably expensive and some of the reasons have been discussed.

Furthermore, kitchen cabinets are a form of investment as they will increase the resale value of your property, especially if they are high-end cabinets.

Some of the steps you can take to reduce cost have also been discussed, so you don’t have to look at getting new kitchen cabinets as an impossible thing.