How much does it cost to install kitchen cabinets?
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Kitchen Cabinets Installation Cost Guide
Updated: September 5, 2023
Whether remodeling the entire kitchen or just giving it a spruce up, replacing the cabinets is a hefty expense. In fact, cabinets and the countertop could be the single most expensive element of the job. The average cost to replace the cabinets in a kitchen is $7,500, including the countertops. On the low end, you can install ten linear feet of stock cabinets with a laminated countertop for as little as $2,090. And for the luxury kitchen, you could pay as much as $40,650 for 30 linear feet of custom cabinets with marble countertops.
Costs to install kitchen cabinets
National average cost
$5,000 - $10,000
Factors that influence kitchen cabinet installation cost
The cost of replacing kitchen cabinets depends on several factors. The main one is the type of cabinet and countertop you choose. But there are other things to consider, as well. Let's look at them here.
Kitchen cabinets come in three different levels of quality: stock, semi-custom, and custom.
Stock cabinets run from $170 to $382 per linear foot, depending on the style, size, and manufacturer.
Stock cabinets come in standard sizes and are available for pick-up at your big box store. They're typically made of plywood or particleboard with a melamine veneer in several color choices. Or, you can purchase them with paint-grade, unfinished fronts. Stock cabinets usually don't include hardware.
Semi-custom cabinets cost from $437 to $813 per linear foot.
Semi-custom cabinets consist of premade boxes, typically plywood, with custom fronts and colors. You can purchase semi-custom cabinets from a cabinet manufacturer or a major retailer like Home Depot. Depending on where you shop, you'll be able to choose from a variety of styles, wood options, and finishes. If you work with a cabinet maker, you'll have more options and the ability to choose custom colors.
Custom kitchen cabinets
Custom-made cabinets cost from $626 to $1,164 per linear foot.
Cabinet makers create custom cabinets according to your sizes and specifications. When working with a cabinet maker, you can choose all the details. From wood species and finishes to style and size, you control the cabinetry design.
Having standard-sized upper and lower cabinets is one thing. However, installing floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets, islands, and other specialty cabinets will influence the overall cost. Here are a few specialty cabinets and their price ranges.
- To install a lazy Susan kit in a corner cabinet, expect to pay $69 to $129 extra.
- Add $106 to $197 to the cabinet cost for a spice rack pull-out.
- The kit for a trash can pull-out adds $67 to $125 to the cabinet price.
Number of cabinets
Of course, the size of your kitchen is a significant factor in the number of cabinets you install – few cabinets fit in a small kitchen. In a larger kitchen, the number of cabinets and a longer countertop add to the overall cost.
Trim and woodwork
With a custom cabinet job, you'll often include items like crown molding, ornamental trim, and woodwork. These additions add to the cost.
If you're replacing your cabinets, chances are you can't reuse your countertops. So, the cost of the new countertops will add to the installation price. Here are the cost ranges for common countertop materials.
Popular countertop materials and their costs
Cost per linear foot
Live edge slab
$32 to $73
$39 to $72
$39 to $73
$42 to $191
$48 to $90
$72 to $241
$94 to $536
$135 to $251
Besides the basics, there are a few other cost factors to consider.
- Hardware – Cabinet hardware like drawer pulls, door knobs, and hooks significantly add to the total cost. Depending on the size, material, and finish, one drawer pull can cost as much as $10 to $12.
- Labor cost – If you have a cabinet maker build custom cabinets, their price will include installation. But if you purchase stock cabinets, you're faced with the dilemma of hiring someone to install them. Typically, a finish or trim carpenter can do this for you. They charge from $67 to $125 per hour, depending on where you live.
The average cost to install kitchen cabinets
We’ve divided a cabinet installation into three pricing categories to simplify things. Here, we’ll look at each level, what it could include, and its cost range. That way, you can feel confident when budgeting for your cabinet replacement project.
The budget-friendly option
A budget-friendly cabinet installation costs from $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the extent of the work.
On a strict budget? We get that. Since kitchen cabinets are one of the most costly elements in a kitchen remodel, many homeowners who fall into this pricing level opt to install stock cabinets. But that's not all. Here are a few other options you may have.
Features and materials you’ll find in a budget-friendly kitchen cabinet installation
- Painted or refaced cabinets
- DIY installation of stock cabinets
- Stock or semi-custom base cabinets with open shelving
- Live-edge, butcher block, or laminate countertops
The mid-range option
The average price for a mid-range cabinet installation is from $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the extent of the work.
More money in the budget gives you more options. For instance, you won't be thinking about trying to hang your own cabinets. You'll hire a professional trim carpenter or handyman. And, rather than stock cabinets from Ikea or Lowe's, you can afford semi-custom cabinets. Here are a few other options you'll find in this pricing category.
Features and materials you’ll find in a mid-range kitchen cabinet installation
- Painted semi-custom cabinets
- A few specialty items, like a pull-out spice cabinet or rolling shelves
- Natural stone countertops
- Tall wall cabinets that create a pantry
- An island
The high-end option
A luxury cabinet installation costs from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the extent of the work.
A luxury home demands more than the average kitchen. This pricing tier allows you to afford custom hardwood cabinets and natural stone countertops. All of your options will complement the kitchen design. Here are a few ideas to get your creative design juices flowing.
Features and materials you’ll find in a high-end kitchen cabinet installation
- Custom cabinets with designer built-ins
- Specialty pieces that improve functionality and complement the design aesthetic
- High-quality materials like marble and cherry
- Design elements like radius cabinets, pilaster legs, corbels, and custom carvings
Replacing kitchen cabinets vs. refacing them
Your old cabinets may be outdated, but they are still in good shape. In that case, you may wonder how much it would cost to refinish or reface them.
Refinishing kitchen cabinets
Hiring a painting professional to refinish your cabinets could cost $7,200 to $13,400, depending on your location and the number of cabinets.
Refacing cabinet fronts costs $24 to $58 per square foot of cabinet face.
Refacing existing cabinets involves replacing the cabinet door or drawer front but keeping the box part of the cabinet. If the cabinets are laminated, it includes laminating the new door and the face of the cabinet box. The price range above includes pre-finished hardwood panel doors.
DIY vs. hiring a pro
If you have experience installing cabinets, there's no reason why you can't hang your own. However, with no experience, the job can be tricky. Cabinet installation is a precise business—measurements that are off as much as a ¼-inch can spell disaster. Not to mention contending with uneven floors, walls that aren't square, lifting heavy materials, and working around the plumbing and electrical outlets. Questions to ask yourself when contemplating installing your own cabinets include:
- Do I have the necessary tools to install both the cabinets and countertops?
- Can I turn off the water and disconnect the plumbing lines?
- Am I strong enough to lift and place the cabinets, or will I need help?
- Will I need help holding the upper cabinets in place while fastening them?
- What should I do if the cabinets need leveling?
- Do I have a friend to call if I run into trouble?
Paying for your new kitchen cabinets
Without cash in the bank, you'll need to consult a lender about paying for your new kitchen cabinets. A couple of options include:
- Applying for a home equity loan
- Withdrawing funds from your home equity line of credit (HELOC)
Homeowners on a strict budget who plan to purchase stock cabinets from a big box retailer could use the discounts typically offered when using the retailer's credit card. With this option, you not only defer paying for the materials, but you can also get them discounted.
Money-saving tips for installing kitchen cabinets
Updating your kitchen with stylish, new cabinets is possible on a budget. If you need to save money on this home improvement project, here are some ideas to consider.
- Upcycle. Visit a local construction salvage store for gently used cabinets. Frequently, contractors donate usable elements from demolition projects to places like Habitat for Humanity's Restore. Look for solid wood, paintable cabinets in the sizes you need.
- Use what you have. A solid, vintage hutch brings a classic feel to the kitchen and provides storage without costing you anything.
- Choose budget-friendly materials. Instead of natural stone countertops, choose a solid surface like Corian or Wilsonart. Their products cost less but come in colors and patterns that mimic granite, quartz, or marble. And for the island? Choose a butcher block top for practical and economical reasons.
- Reface of paint instead. If your existing cabinets are still solid, don't tear them out. Purchase new fronts or paint them.
A few items that impact the cost of new kitchen cabinets include:
- Location – Home improvement costs vary by region of the country. For instance, the cost to install kitchen cabinets in Los Angeles will be different from in Chicago, which is different from Houston.
- Building and electrical permits — If all you do is replace existing cabinets, you probably don't need a building permit. But if you're adding or moving electrical outlets to bring your kitchen up to date, you'll need an electrical permit. Typically, the electrician will handle this for you. If DIYing your installation, consult with the local building official for more information.
- Hidden damage — A demolition sometimes reveals water damage, mold, or worse. The cost of repairs in these situations will add to the total cost.
Open your cabinets to new possibilities
Your budget may not be able to handle a complete kitchen makeover. But rest assured, an upgrade that includes new cabinets will still bring you joy. And when you hire a professional cabinet installer, you have peace of mind your cabinets will last for years to come.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.