Last updated on January 17, 2024

The cost of kitchen cabinets is one of the biggest expenses when it comes to remodeling a kitchen. There are many variables that will affect the cost of your cabinets. This could mean your kitchen cabinets cost around $6,000, up to over $20,000. Depending on your budget, there are many factors that will affect this budget. Keep these items in mind when shopping for cabinets so you stay within budget.

In this post we will cover some of the main items that can drastically affect the cost.

  • Quality of the cabinetry – Are the boxes plywood or MDF? What type of material is the drawer box made of? How are the drawer boxes constructed?
  • Painted or stained kitchen cabinets – Painted cabinets are in style but they do cost 10-20% more than stained cabinetry.
  • Cabinet hardware – Soft close hinges and drawer slides add cost but are a nice added feature
  • Customized options – Would you like to include drawer and cabinet organization features?
  • Size – Obviously the larger your kitchen the more cabinets you need. We won’t cover this in any more detail.

Quality of the Kitchen Cabinets

Plywood vs. MDF (Particleboard) Cabinets

Plywood boxes are a stronger cabinet box that typically have plywood backs and sides. Plywood is made by pressing layers of wood together making plywood very strong. This means the boxes are heavier duty and resist warping. They are able to stand up to the heaviest countertops.

Particleboard or MDF is made by pressing together wood particles and glue to create the board. Particleboard does not have the same strength as plywood and is more susceptible to damage during installation.

Verdict: The majority of homes have kitchen cabinets constructed of particleboard boxes. Generally speaking, for most kitchen remodels you will save money and the difference in box construction will not be noticeable. Using particleboard boxes allows you to save on your kitchen cabinet cost and splurge on other cabinet customization options.

Painted or stained cabinets

This will be short and sweet…. Painted kitchen cabinets are currently in style but they cost 10-20% more than their stained counterpart. This is a matter of style and what you want your kitchen design to look like.

As you start getting into different wood species the stained cabinets could end up costing more. From what we normally install though, the painted cabinets are more expensive.

Verdict: This depends on your personal style. Do not go with stained just because they are less expensive if you really want painted cabinets. The extra cost here is worth getting what you want.

Cabinet Hardware

The handle hardware for your drawers and doors will affect your cost but get what you like for those.

We are going to focus on soft-close hardware vs. non soft close. In our opinion, soft close hardware is worth the upgrade. Over time this will reduce the wear and tear on your cabinets by not allowing people to slam cabinet doors and drawers. If possible, undermount drawer glides are also a great option. This hides the drawer glides and makes for a nicer appearance.

Cabinet Organization

Customized cabinet inserts have become very popular lately and for good reason. Let me ask, have you opened your cabinet drawers to find a disheveled mess? If so, custom cabinet organizers are perfect for organizing any number of things:

  • Knives and other kitchen utensils
  • Tupperware containers
  • Pots and pans
  • Cups and glasses
  • Trash pull out

Verdict: If you enjoy cooking or are a bit of a neat freak these are a must have. They help keep your cabinets looking just as good on the inside as they do on the outside.

Our Final Words of Wisdom on Kitchen Cabinets Cost…

The options for your kitchen cabinets can be overwhelming. Use these tips to ensure your kitchen cabinet costs stay in line with your kitchen remodeling budget. Basic kitchen cabinets we see usually start at $6000 and can go up from there depending on the features desired.

Think about whether you will be staying in the house for a long period of time or the house is just a temporary stop until you purchase a new one. If it’s a temporary stop, buy a quality cabinet but don’t splurge on all the extra customizations, as it likely will not be re-couped at resale. However, if it’s your forever home, a kitchen remodel is likely something you will only do once, so spend the extra money to get exactly what you want.

If you would like further reading on this subject CliqStudios has an in-depth guide on cabinet quality and selection. Be sure to check out some of our recent kitchen remodels in Des Moines to get some inspiration.