How Much Does it Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets?

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Kitchen Cabinets?

Kitchen cabinet choices are often the major cost determinants of a kichen remodel

By Julie Hampton

Installing Kitchen Cabinets
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Your outdated kitchen can receive a complete makeover by replacing cabinetry, but cost is always a factor in any remodel project. Always consider interior design style and material selections before jumping into a remodeling project. A 10-by-12-foot kitchen cabinet remodel can cost around $5,000 using stock cabinets--or much higher. Cabinets are often the single biggest cost in a kitchen remodel.

Materials and Style

Visit a local home improvement or kitchen specialty center to browse the many options available for today's modern kitchen. Look at finishes as well as cabinetry style. Solid-wood cabinets are priced substantially higher than particle board or veneer. If kitchen cabinets are simply being resurfaced, consider paying 10 to 25 percent more for solid wood than for veneer and other manufactured materials. Laminate cabinets are one of the cheapest materials on the market --- the finished look has a contemporary, modern feel and is simple to clean. Preview the types of hardware available. Drawer pulls, knobs and even hinges come in a large variety of finishes and prices from plastic to antiqued copper. A drawer pull can cost less than a dollar to more than $10 depending on the finish and material.


Determine a set budget for replacing the kitchen cabinets. If you do not have enough money saved to replace cabinets, other options include cabinet refacing or painting the cabinets. Cabinet refacing is common because cabinets built 20 or 30 years ago were constructed well and continue to function without problems --- their look is simply outdated. Cabinets can be recovered and resurfaced for a new look starting at about $3,500. An average kitchen paint job starts at $1,000. Consider how the project will be completed. Can some of the installation work be completed on your own, or will the entire project have to be contracted out? Ask yourself why you want to replace the kitchen cabinets. Are the cabinets no longer functioning properly? Are some of the cabinet doors warped? Is the decision based on cosmetic reasons?

Custom Cabinets vs. Stock Cabinets

Custom cabinets are styled and crafted specifically for your kitchen. Each piece has been measured, designed and placed in a specific spot. Kitchen and interior designers often assist with custom cabinetry selection. Illustrations and blueprints of the kitchen are often created over several sessions to perfect the new cabinets' look. Stock cabinets are manufactured in bulk. They are available in predetermined sizes and are available at most home improvement stores. Due to the increased amount of design and work involved building a custom kitchen, cabinets are much more expensive than stock cabinets.

Specific Pricing

The most inexpensive kitchen cabinets are made of laminate and average between $75 to $200 per base cabinet. Veneer is next at $90 to $190 per cabinet. If you choose semi-solid, middle-of-the-line cabinets, consider paying between $180 and $270 per cabinet. The most expensive cabinets are painted cabinets; prices range between $200 and $360. The more custom and handcrafted work performed to construct the cabinets, the higher the price. Even carpenter-built veneer cabinets can cost upwards of $250 due to the amount of craftsmanship involved. High-end cabinets are priced as high as $900 each. Expect to buy stock cabinets by the width, starting at 9 inches, with prices increasing every three inches up to 48 inches.


Adding additional features to kitchen cabinets can increase the cost. A glaze treatment to cabinets may increase the price between by $50 to 100 per kitchen cabinet door or drawer. Adding decorative crown molding, glass doors or built-in spice racks are additional features that cost additional money. There are many styles of drawers, including self-opening and closing drawers that operate by a touch. Ask a kitchen designer how to selectively add features to your cabinets, but also stay within your budget.


You'll find kitchen cabinet installers price by a variety of standards: linear feet of the cabinets, a percentage of the cabinet price, a flat-rate per cabinet, or an hourly rate. Expect the installer to take into consideration the difficulty of the job as well, based on the complexity of the drawer/cabinet combinations and the working space for the installation.

About the Author

Julie Hampton is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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