How Much Does a Custom Cabinet Cost?

The kitchen is often seen as the centerpiece of the home, which means having nice cabinets is essential to having a kitchen you can be proud of. You want your kitchen to be something that will impress you and your guests, considering that you will be spending so much time in the room. If you are thinking of remodeling your kitchen, one of the first steps you may take is installing new cabinets. But how much will these new cabinets cost you? That depends on a wide range of factors, including materials and cost of labor. Whether you are looking to install new stock cabinets, custom cabinets or update the ones already in your home, you want to make sure you carefully plan out the process. A major part of planning the process will be determining how much the project will cost to complete. While the only way to get a concrete number for cost will be to get an estimate from a professional, this guide will help you get a better idea of how much you should be setting aside for the job. 


What is the total cost? 

The cost of your new kitchen cabinets will depend on a variety of factors. A key factor will be whether you decide to hire a professional or do it yourself. Additionally, the cost of materials varies. Basic materials or stock cabinets will cost significantly less than custom cabinets and special materials. Custom cabinets can cost up to $500 more than stock cabinets. In terms of labor, if the job is done by a professional, you should expect to pay around $4000 in total based on who you hire. 


How much does it cost to remove cabinets? 

Before you install new cabinets, you must have the old cabinets removed and taken away. Seasoned carpenters have the necessary experience to complete the task without damaging your walls; however, do can do it yourself if you are up to the challenge. The average cost of cabinet removal is generally around $300. The cost can vary depending on the size of the cabinets. 


How much does installation cost? 

While most of the installation cost will go toward materials, hiring a professional to install the cabinets will also come at a cost. The average cost of installation is over $1800, but can be more or less depending on the timeline of the project. If you need the project completed immediately, it will very likely cost you more than if you have the time to spread out the process. 


How much will installation in my kitchen cost? 

Another major factor in the cost of cabinet installation is the size of the kitchen. The larger your kitchen, the more expensive installation will be because you will need additional cabinets. Other factors that can impact cost are the removal of walls and the relocation of plumbing and electrical systems. If wall removal or relocation of plumbing and electrical is necessary, you must obtain the proper permit to do so. 


How much do custom cabinets cost? 

The cost of custom cabinets is significantly higher than the cost of stock cabinets. One custom cabinet alone can cost around $800 between labor and the necessary materials. However, this number can be higher or lower depending on the materials you choose. Materials that are less commonly found will cost you more money. Additional elements, such as soft close hinges, trim and moulding will add to the overall cost. The overall cost also varies depending on your geographic location. 


How much do stock cabinets cost? 

Due to the extensive variety offered in stores, you should be able to find cabinets that suit your needs in terms of size and shape. Depending on the size of the kitchen, the price of stock cabinets can be anywhere from $3000 to $5000. To get a general idea of how much stock cabinets may cost you, measure how many linear feet need cabinetry. Then, multiply that number by $100 for basic cabinets, $200 for mid-range and $300 for upscale to get an idea of the potential cost. 



DIY: Installing your own cabinets 

If you do not feel like paying a professional to do the job, or if you are feeling adventurous enough to take on this do-it-yourself project, it is possible to get the job done without hiring outside help. Be mindful that it is highly recommended to have multiple people do the job. If you choose to do the job on your own, here are the steps you must take to install your new cabinets. 


Step 1: Locate studs in the wall 


Press into the wall. If you are able to press in slightly, find a point where the wall is firm and you are not able to press in at all. That is likely the location of a stud. Other ways you can determine where the studs are include knocking on the wall. If the wall sounds solid, there is a stud behind it. If it sounds hollow, there is not a stud. In most American homes, studs tend to be located 16 inches apart from each other. Once you have located the studs, make sure to mark their locations. 


Step 2: Add support to the wall 


Mount a beam to the wall to let the cabinet rest before installing. The cabinets can be very heavy and difficult to hold up, even if you have multiple people helping you. If you want to take a little weight off the cabinets, you can temporarily remove the doors, which will make them easier to lift. 


Step 3: Putting the cabinets together


One way to simplify the installation process is to attach two cabinets together before putting them on the wall. Be sure to clamp the two cabinets together to ensure that they remain level during installation. 


Step 4: Hang the cabinets


Raise the cabinet onto the support beam. Locate your stud markings and insert two screws per stud. 


Step 5: Install base cabinets


Begin by finding the high point on the floor. Then measure the height of the cabinets. Make a mark on the wall and insert the screws to install the cabinets. 


Image By Andrey Popov From CanStock Photo


Updating your current cabinets 

Perhaps you decide not to buy new cabinets after all, but rather to fix the ones you currently have. There are many ways to update your current cabinets. Your options include refacing, refinishing, repairing or painting the ones you already have to give them a fresh look. 



Refacing your cabinets will include replacing the door exterior, drawer exterior and handles. Estimates for this job are based on linear foot, and could cost in excess of $3000 in some cases. 



Refinishing your cabinets includes sanding, staining or repainting them. This process will cost you anywhere between $400 to $900 to complete. 



If you have had the same cabinets for years, they may have sustained damages over that time. To repair the cabinets, it should cost you about $500. That number depends on whether the damages are minor or major. If the damages are too extreme, it would be better to invest in new cabinets. 



Before repainting your cabinets, you must research the correct paint and primer to use on your cabinets. If you do not use the correct types, your cabinets may end up further damaged than they already are. These damages will defeat the purpose of trying to update the cabinets because you will have to spend more money purchasing new ones. Successfully repainting your cabinets can make them look like you just purchased them. 


Types of cabinets 

In addition to stock cabinets, there are various popular types, including: Ready-to-Assemble (RTA), semi-custom, custom and tall cabinets. 


Materials & Costs

Popular materials for cabinets include: various types of wood, laminate, plywood, metal and glass. Different types of wood that are commonly used include walnut, cherry and hickory, among many others. Before purchasing, determine which cabinets will be suitable for your kitchen by finding out more about the materials below. 


Photo by Alexander Fife on Unsplash


Wood Materials Average Cost
Walnut $4,000 to $6,000
Cherry $5,000 to $30,000
Hickory $500 to $900
Oak $4000 to $20000
Maple $5000 to $30000
Plywood $7,000 to $12,000



Wood cabinets have been commonplace in homes for years on end. Having wood cabinets does not appear to be going out of style anytime soon, so you do not have to worry if you want an updated, yet classic look in your kitchen. A significant advantage to wood is that there are so many options for you to choose from. Find out below which option appeals to you the most. 



Walnut is a dark colored medium strength wood that will give your cabinets a distinguished look. The wood features an aesthetically pleasing swirl pattern that will present well in your kitchen. A benefit of choosing walnut cabinets is creating a nice look. The wood pattern’s distinctive swirl is something that sets it apart from many other types of wood. Another benefit to walnut cabinets is the material’s durability. Replacing your kitchen cabinets is not a job that you want to have re-done every year. Because of this, you will want to make sure you choose a strong material that will hold up over time and not become compromised with frequent use. Walnut will not become dented like softer woods, and is not as susceptible to water damage as other woods may be. On the other hand, while walnut cabinets have their benefits, they do not come without disadvantages. One of the drawbacks to choosing walnut is the cost. This is due to the wood’s durability and the fact that it is not readily available like some other woods may be. As a result, the high demand makes walnut prices go up, which could make an already costly job even more expensive. 



Cherry is a hardwood with a closed grain. The color of the wood can vary significantly, but most types have a reddish hue. Much like walnut, the material is relatively durable, making it a suitable choice to use for your new kitchen cabinets. The wood can feature a wide array of different markings and swirls. The finish of the wood darkens over time, especially if your kitchen receives a lot of sunlight. This can be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your personal preference. While a major advantage of cherry cabinets is the classy look, the material’s ability to have its color change slightly due to sun exposure can created unwanted variation in the color of your cabinets. Another disadvantage of choosing cherry is the cost, as the cabinets on average cost 15 to 25 percent more than you would pay for a less expensive type of wood like oak or maple. 



Hickory is a durable wood that comes in a wide range of colors. The material is stronger than oak or maple, making it good for the kitchen since you will be using the cabinets often. Hickory can be stained light or dark, which gives you the advantage of having more colors to choose from. However, hickory has its downside, as you must make sure that you are very careful when cleaning the wood. You will need to clean the cabinets with a soft cloth and a cleaner that is not harsh. Harsh chemicals will cause damages, as will using any kind of abrasive sponge. To clean hickory, you will need to use a mild dishwashing detergent mixed with warm water. Never use any products containing bleach. Another disadvantage to choosing hickory is the cost, as it is typically priced higher than most cabinet materials. 



Oak is a durable hardwood that is a common material used to make kitchen cabinets. The durability of oak is a major advantage to choosing it for your cabinets, as it is not very prone to wear over time. It is also water and moisture resistant. Oak will also give you an endless array of color options to choose from. The material offers a distinguished and attractive look that can serve as a defining feature of your kitchen for years to come. The wood will cost you less than the aforementioned options. On the downside, oak has an open grain that will show through any finish applied to the cabinets. However, if you like the open grain look, that will not be a problem. 



Similar to oak, maple is a very durable hardwood that is often used in kitchen cabinets. Maple cabinets will be able to withstand daily use with ease. The material is both dent and water resistant. An advantage of maple is that the wood is readily available, as it is a common kitchen cabinet material used in the United States. A disadvantage of choosing maple is that the wood is known to fade over time. This fading will happen quicker if your kitchen sees a high amount of sunlight. In terms of cost, maple is more expensive than softer woods, yet less expensive than walnut or cherry. 


If you are not looking for wood cabinets, there are still various other options that you can choose to go with. Some of the options will even allow you to have the look of wood, without many of the disadvantages. Find out which additional material options may be right for you.  



A major advantage to using plywood is the material’s availability and cost. It is cheaper than the hardwoods mentioned above. Another advantage to plywood is its relative durability, making it a good option for kitchens that get a lot of use. The material is also generally moisture resistant. While it may not be as attractive as a more expensive wood option, plywood cabinets can provide you with long lasting, high quality cabinets. 


To Laminate Or Not

If you want to have the look of real wood without paying the higher cost, you can opt to go with laminate cabinets. Choosing laminate will allow you to select from a large amount of textures and patterns. The material is relatively durable and will last for many years if kept in good shape. However, while laminate is cheaper than real wood, it is also more prone to weaken if it is in a damp environment. The moisture can cause cracking, peeling or discoloring over time. 



lthough most often found in professional kitchens, another option for kitchen cabinet material is metal. Metal kitchen cabinets are typically made of stainless steel, which could create a uniform look for your kitchen if you also have stainless steel appliances. If you are looking to create a modern look in your kitchen, choosing stainless steel cabinets could be just what you are looking for. In addition, stainless steel is very durable, temperature resistant and is sanitary. Despite its advantages, stainless steel cabinets do have some negative qualities. The material is relatively easy to scratch and dent, though denting should not be an issue for your cabinets. Stainless steel is also relatively expensive, so you will need to make sure that it is the option you really want before choosing to purchase the cabinets. 



A major advantage of glass is the stylish look you will achieve by choosing it for your cabinets. Glass doors will also allow you to see into the cabinets, which creates a more open and inviting atmosphere in your kitchen. To make the design more elegant, you can even have lighting inside the cabinet. Using glass will also save space in your kitchen, which is important if the kitchen is small. A disadvantage to glass is that you will have to clean the doors often, as they are very prone to smudges or marks. Another disadvantage to glass is clutter within the cabinet. Because of the smaller size, you will have less room to store utensils, pots, pans and glasses. You may not want your guests to see inside a cluttered cabinet. 


Overall, the cost of cabinet installation greatly varies depending on a multitude of factors. Whether it is the cost of labor or materials, and whether you are replacing or just updating the cabinets you have, new cabinets are sure to create an elegant and inviting atmosphere in your kitchen. This is why you should make an educated decision before purchasing cabinets, to ensure that you get what you want. The factors above will help you to make the proper decision for your kitchen remodeling project. 


Featured Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

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