Cabinet Installation Cost & Consumer Guide

Installing new kitchen cabinets is an excellent way of enhancing the aesthetics of your kitchen. But how much do new kitchen cabinets cost?

There are so many factors that influence the price of cabinet installation, as we explore throughout, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $240 and $550 per linear ft. for new cabinets.

What is the Average Cost of Cabinet Installation?


If you’re planning to install new cabinets in your kitchen, you’re almost certainly wondering how much money you will need to make available for the project. The average cost of installing kitchen cabinets is around $8,705, and while several factors influence the cost of installing cabinets, you can expect to pay anywhere between $4,000 and $12,000.

Installers tend to quote between $240 and $550 per linear ft. for new cabinets, so the required budget will depend on the size of your cabinets, as well as the quality of material and installation. But if you want to install fully customizable kitchen cabinets, expect to pay significantly more than this.

While these costs should serve as a rough guide, there are several factors that will affect the cost of installing cabinets in your kitchen, including:

  1. 1
    The quality of kitchen cabinets
  2. 2
    The different types of kitchen cabinets
  3. 3
    The range of materials that can be used for kitchen cabinets
  4. 4
    Customization
  5. 5
    Labor costs for installation

We introduce each of these factors in the following sections and offer some guidance on what to expect regarding how much each of them can affect the price of your cabinet installation.

The final section comprises some important considerations and FAQs that help prepare you for the cost of kitchen cabinet installation.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Kitchen Cabinets


The Quality of Kitchen Cabinets


As with any home improvement undertaking, you will have to decide on the quality of kitchen cabinets that you want to install, and this will significantly affect the price of your project. Cabinets can be broadly classified as budget, mid-range, or premium.

  • Budget Cabinets: The cheapest cabinets you can install at your home are priced between $240-$350 per linear ft. As well as being affordable, they look smart and may even be finished with natural wood doors, but rely on cheaper materials inside. They tend to be fabricated from veneered particleboard construction and are limited in terms of design and style.
  • Mid-range cabinets: If you have a little more capital available, you could opt to install kitchen cabinets that are best described as mid-range options. Priced anywhere from $360 - $450 per linear ft, mid-range cabinets tend to be made from nicer and more durable materials and can even be custom-made to order. Opting for mid-range cabinets gives you a greater choice and will ensure the cabinets last for longer.
  • Premium cabinets: Premium quality cabinets begin at around $500 per linear ft and can be as much as you’re willing to pay! They tend to be fully customizable, available in a range of high-quality materials, and come with luxury fixtures and fittings that make your kitchen really stand out. If you order premium quality kitchen cabinets, you can design them to the current aesthetics of your kitchen and don’t need to worry about how they will look once installed.

The Different Types of Kitchen Cabinets


Another factor affecting the price of your kitchen cabinets is the type that you decide to install. Many homeowners install a selection of cabinets, including the following:

  • Basic wall cabinets: As the name suggests, basic wall cabinets are fixed onto the wall and hang above the countertop. They’re a popular storage option in kitchens and can house anything from plates and cups to non-perishable groceries. These cabinets tend to cost anywhere between $135 and $405 each, and the price will depend on the materials used.
  • Base cabinets: Typically situated beneath the countertop, base cabinets offer floor-level storage options and are the ideal place to store pans and other cooking utensils. Base cabinets cost anywhere between $135 and $675 each.
  • Corner cabinets: For homeowners looking to add something a little different to their kitchen design, corner cabinets are an excellent way of improving access to the usable space. They tend to be a little more expensive than standard cabinets, and you can expect to pay between $240 and $1,200 each.
  • Utility cabinets: The final option available for your kitchen is utility cabinets. These tend to feature various design aspects, including drawers, pull-outs, and flexible storage spaces. Utility cabinets are often custom-designed, and therefore you should expect to pay anywhere between $650 and $3,600 each.

The Range of Materials that can be Used for Kitchen Cabinets


The single biggest factor determining the cost of your kitchen cabinets is the material you select. Below is an indication of the average costs of kitchen cabinets by material to help you get an idea of what is available within your budget:

Material

Cost

Particleboard/Plywood

$135 - $405 per linear ft.

Hardwood (maple, oak, white, oak, redwood, cherry, birch, etc.)

$200 - $810 per linear ft.

Steel

$1,350 - $2,000 per linear ft.

Acrylic

$6,750+ per cabinet.

Particleboard


If you’re looking for a kitchen cabinet that is cheap and cheerful, you will probably find that particleboard is one of your best options. Although not the most durable of kitchen cabinet materials, particleboard is often used. Let’s look at the pros and cons of this budget material:

Pros:

  • The best thing about particleboard is that it’s inexpensive and one of the cheapest kitchen cabinet options out there.
  • Cabinets made from particleboard are lightweight and can be easily transported and installed.
  • Should you wish to spruce particleboard up a little, you can easily add plastic laminate or veneer on its surface for a relatively cheap aesthetic design.

Cons:

  • Compared to plywood and hardwood, particleboard lacks durability, and it struggles to withstand general wear and tear.
  • Particleboard can’t support heavy loads, so you need to be careful not to add too much weight to your cabinets.
  • Spillages and leakages will cause particleboard to spoil as it’s not moisture resistant.

Plywood


Plywood is often favored as a widely used material in budget and some mid-range kitchen cabinets because it’s durable, readily available, and comparably affordable. Below are the pros and cons of opting for plywood kitchen cabinets.

Pros:

  • Plywood is moisture-resistant, flexible, and easy to install.
  • Thanks to its unique composition, plywood has an excellent strength-to-weight ratio and is both strong and resilient.
  • It’s easy to repair and replace plywood if it gets damaged.
  • Most people consider plywood to be a better alternative to cheaper products like laminate and particleboard.

Cons:

  • You might notice a lack of consistency in plywood cabinets, and there are often small gaps or holes where the cabinets have been combined.
  • Most people will agree that plywood doesn’t look as good as hardwood and other popular materials in mid-range and premium kitchens.

Hardwood


Homeowners love the quality finish that hardwood cabinets provide to their kitchen interiors. They look great and are hardwearing, which makes them an incredibly popular choice. Listed below are the pros and cons of choosing hardwood, including the likes of maple, oak, white, oak, redwood, cherry, and birch, for your kitchen cabinets.

Pros:

  • Hardwood is extremely durable and long-lasting and deals well with bumps and knocks that are impossible to avoid as you move around the kitchen.
  • As hardwood is a natural material, the exterior of each panel may vary slightly, which adds a unique design feature to your kitchen cabinets.
  • There are so many different hardwoods to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences.

Cons:

  • Hardwood is a much more expensive option than particleboard and plywood and will significantly increase the cost of your kitchen cabinet installation.
  • You will need to install suitable fixtures and fittings to hang hardwood cabinets, given their weight. This is another aspect of the installation that will increase the price of your cabinets.
  • Heat and humidity can cause wood to contract and expand, which is a potential problem for hardwood cabinets installed around your stove.

Steel


Let’s be frank; stainless steel cabinets can look the real deal. When coupled with a suitable color scheme, your kitchen will look modern and immaculately presented. Below, we’ve weighed up the pros and cons of opting to install steel cabinets alongside your stainless-steel kitchen appliances.

Pros:

  • Steel cabinets that have been professionally installed really look the part and contribute to a modern aesthetic within your kitchen.
  • Cabinets made from steel are resistant to water and won’t rust.
  • When steel cabinets are paired with steel countertops, they provide a heat-resistant kitchen surface that is ideal for families.

Cons:

  • If overused, steel can make your kitchen look like an industrial or commercial kitchen instead of a place to welcome your family and friends.
  • Steel cabinets and countertops are susceptible to scratches, fingerprints, and dirty marks. You will find yourself cleaning them almost every day to keep your kitchen looking sparkling.
  • Installing steel kitchen cabinets is expensive, particularly if you want to add countertops to match.

Acrylic


The final material that we introduce here is acrylic. Acrylic cabinets are available in a wide range of colors and can be customized to suit the interior of your kitchen. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this popular synthetic material.

Pros:

  • Acrylic cabinets are highly customizable and are available in a range of colors and finishes, making them an ideal option for premium kitchens.
  • As a synthetic material, acrylic can sustain high levels of wear and tear, as well as being moisture and scratch resistant.
  • You will find that acrylic cabinets are easy to clean and maintain, as the surface is easily wiped with a cloth and warm water.

Cons:

  • Acrylic is by far one of the most expensive materials you can use for your kitchen cabinets.
  • Should you ever need to replace an acrylic cabinet, you might struggle to match the new cabinet with your current set due to differences in shading.
  • A bit like steel, acrylic cabinets require regular cleaning and maintenance to remove fingerprints, dirt, and other smudges.

Customization


The prices introduced so far offer an insight into the cost of installing lots of different styles of kitchen cabinets. But what happens when you want to customize the cabinets and add some enhancements? As you might have guessed, the price will increase. Let’s look at some of the costs associated with customizing your kitchen cabinets.

Customization

Cost

Hardware (knobs, hinges, brackets, etc.)

$10 - $150 each

Lazy Susan

$300 - $1,000 

Wine rack

$100 - $400 

Countertops

$50 - $250 per square ft. 

Glass doors

$100 - $250 per door

Lighting

$250 - $500 

Some of the above customizations are a little more essential than others, but they will all affect the final price of your kitchen cabinet installation. Let’s look at them in a little more detail now.

  • Hardware - Before installing your cabinets, you will need to select your knobs, handles, hinges, and brackets. While some of these will be included in the price, you might want to upgrade to improve the aesthetics or quality of the basic handles included with the cabinets.
  • Lazy Susan - A Lazy Susan improves your access to the storage within your cabinets and is an excellent addition for convenience. Depending on the design and also how many you want to install, they can be an expensive enhancement to your kitchen cabinets.
  • Wine rack - Like a Lazy Susan, a wine rack offers an improved storage option and serves as a premium feature within your kitchen cabinets.
  • Countertops - While not necessarily related to your kitchen cabinets installation, you might want to invest in new countertops at the same time. Available in a vast range of materials and designs, the cost of kitchen countertops will vary significantly, and you should factor this into your budget.
  • Glass doors - For something a little extra special, you might consider adding a glass door to one or more of your cabinets. This is a good choice if you have something within that you’d like to display, but it will increase the installation cost.
  • Lighting - Adding some spotlights inside and underneath your cabinets is not only helpful, but it will also bring your kitchen to life.

Labor Costs for Installation


Once you’ve decided on the design, layout, material, and any customizations for your kitchen cabinets, you will need to arrange for them to be professionally installed. It’s not a good idea to install kitchen cabinets yourself, as it requires specialist skill and experience to get it right. There are several elements to the installation of cabinets, as explained in the table below:

Task

Labour Cost

Assembly of cabinets

$40 - $80 per cabinet

Installation

$35 - $65 per hour

Kitchen designer/Architect

$150 - $200 per hour

Replacement and Removal of Old Kitchen Cabinets

$30 - $50 per hour

The above prices are also dependent on a range of factors, as we explain below.

  • Assembly of cabinets - Unless your cabinets are delivered to you pre-assembled, you will need to pay a handyman or cabinet installer to assemble them for you. This cost is usually charged per cabinet and is not included in the price of materials.
  • Installation - Once the cabinets have been assembled, they’re ready to be installed in your kitchen. Most cabinet installers charge an hourly rate, but you may be able to negotiate a day rate or contract to complete the entire project.
  • Kitchen designer/Architect - This is certainly not an essential cost of cabinet installation, but some people work with kitchen designers or architects to bring their dream kitchen to life. If you’ve chosen to work with a designer or an architect, you will have to factor in their hourly rate into the overall cost of installation.
  • Replacement and removal of old kitchen cabinets - Before your new cabinets arrive, you will need to hire someone to remove the current cabinets from your walls. While this isn’t an overly technical job, you will need to cover the cost of labor for the person who carries out the work. You will also need to think about the cost of disposing of your cabinets and any other materials.

Key Considerations before Installing New Kitchen Cabinets


  • Select your material carefully: While there’s no right or wrong material to use for your kitchen cabinets, your decision about which to opt for is important. For example, if you’re hoping to install kitchen cabinets that are exceedingly durable and will last for years, it’s best not to opt for a budget material like particleboard. Fully understanding the scope, benefits, limitations, and costs of the materials available will help you make the right decision.
  • Employ a trusted and experienced fitter: There’s no point in spending thousands of dollars on brand new kitchen cabinets, only to have them inexpertly installed. Make sure you find an experienced fitter to install your kitchen cabinets, and although it will cost a couple of hundred dollars, it will be absolutely worth it in the long run.
  • Receive quotes from several companies: The price of kitchen cabinets can vary substantially based on a whole range of factors, as we’ve explored. Because of this, it’s important to get three or four quotes from different companies before deciding which represents the best value for money.
  • Consider upgrading the rest of your kitchen: Before spending thousands of dollars on new cabinets, you should consider the appearance and condition of the rest of your kitchen. Are the appliances working and in good condition? Are the countertops fit for purpose? Could the walls do with a lick of paint? Installing new cabinets in a worn and tired kitchen won’t necessarily have the transformative effect you were hoping for.

Installing Kitchen Cabinets FAQs


What are the cheapest kitchen cabinets to install?

If you have limited funds available, you can opt for budget kitchen cabinets. Those made from materials such as particleboard may be as cheap as $135 per linear ft, which is one of the most affordable options you will find.

How long should my kitchen cabinets last?

Even relatively low-quality kitchen cabinets can last several decades. If you install premium kitchen cabinets made from durable materials like hardwood, steel, or acrylic, it’s not unreasonable to expect your kitchen cabinets to last for 30-50 years.

Do new kitchen cabinets add value to your property?

Remodeling your kitchen, of which installing new cabinets is a big part, will yield a return on your investment in the region of 75% - 80%. Also, 80% of buyers consider a newly remodeled kitchen to be one of the most important factors when buying a new home, so doing so is likely to help you sell your home more quickly.

What’s the average cost of new kitchen cabinets?

You can expect to pay somewhere between $240 and $550 per linear ft. for new cabinets.

Is installation included in the price of new kitchen cabinets?

No. You will need to budget for the cost of assembly and installation. Assembly will cost anywhere between $40 and $80 per cabinet, whereas installation is likely to cost between $35 - $65 per hour, depending on the fitter's experience.

Can I install kitchen cabinets myself?

While you can technically install kitchen cabinets without the help of a professional, we wouldn’t recommend it. Cabinet installation requires technical skill, and a botched DIY job will almost certainly ruin the aesthetics of your kitchen!

Conclusion


As with any home improvement project, make sure you research the market and receive several quotations before agreeing to any work.

Because there are so many variables that can influence the cost of cabinet installation, you also need to be clear about what you can afford, as well as what you want in your kitchen, before coming to a final decision.

Providing you do your research and find a trusted fitter to install your cabinets; you should be able to find suitable cabinets to fit your available budget.

Kenneth Wilson
September 8, 2021
Cost Guides, Interior

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done.