Looking to remodel your kitchen on a budget? Scratch and dent cabinets provide an affordable way to achieve a custom, high-end look. With a bit of creativity, you can mix and match discounted cabinets in different colors, styles, and finishes to create a unique, designer kitchen at a fraction of the price.
Follow our tips to get savings of 20-60% off retail prices for assembled or ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets. Then use color, distressing, and imaginative placement to fashion your uncommon dream kitchen.
Get Big Savings on Quality Cabinets
Scratch and dent cabinets are discounted because they have minor blemishes like scratches, dents, chips, or discoloration. These surface-level flaws occur during manufacturing, shipping, or handling but don’t affect the structural integrity or usefulness of the cabinets. The defects are purely cosmetic.
Despite small imperfections, scratch and dent cabinets are constructed from the same premium materials, like real wood and sturdy plywood, as their full-price counterparts. Brands like KraftMaid, Hampton Bay, and Diamondback still back these units with warranties. You’re getting high-end kitchen storage at steep discounts, with durability and functionality no different than pristine models.
Evaluate Your Design Needs
First, determine what cabinets and how many you require. Calculate the number of base cabinets for cooking surfaces and countertop spans. Consider wall cabinets based on your ceiling height. Include specialty pieces like pantries, islands, or built-in shelving. Decide if ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets make sense for your abilities or if pre-assembled units are worth extra costs. Make a list to estimate your total cabinet door and drawer needs.
Shop Multiple Retailers for the Best Selection
To give yourself lots of style, color, and finish options, check with several sources like home improvement stores, kitchen dealers, warehouse outlets, and online retailers. Examine in-stock selections but also browse catalogs and place quotes on made-to-order pieces so you can mix standard sizes with custom elements.
Big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s sell scratch and dent returns for 20-40% off retail pricing. Kitchen specialty showrooms also offer discounts on floor models or customer cancellations. Warehouse outlets advertise the steepest 50-60% savings.
Mix and Match Colors and Finishes
The real creativity comes in combining different cabinet colors, textures, and styles to make your kitchen pop. Mixing white, stained, painted, or distressed finishes creates stunning contrast. Try these inspiring combinations:
- White uppers with rich wood-stained base cabinets
- Brightly painted islands or statement pantry doors
- Shaker-style uppers with sleek slab-front lowers
- Distressed cabinets for a vintage farmhouse vibe
Cabinets don’t have to perfectly match to coordinate. Tying them together with common hardware or crown molding creates cohesion. Remember to carry finishes into other elements like open shelving and range hood surrounds.
Arrange Cabinets to Highlight Unique Finishes
Strategically place eye-catching scratch and dent cabinets in high-visibility spots:
- A wood-accented island commands attention
- Painted glass doors make a chic pantry focal point
- Floating shelving shows off live-edge woodgrain
- Colorful base cabinets catch the eye below neutral uppers
Insert accents of stained, painted, or glazed finishes among plainer cabinets. Positioning a few deep green base cabinets among white uppers and wall units makes the colors pop. Arrangement creates visual interest and highlights each cabinet’s unique finish and personality.
Work Within Your Budget
Price out desired cabinets using quotes from multiple sources to estimate your total spend. Scratch and dent cabinets already provide significant savings off retail pricing. But you can find further discounts on bundled cabinet packages that allow mixing and matching of unfinished RTA units.
If costs exceed your budget, reconsider your design choices. Opt for more basic cabinets with fewer specialty pieces to lower the bottom line. The DIY savings on unfinished RTA cabinets also helps budgets go further.
Prepare for Assembly and Installation
Pre-assembled cabinets only require installation. With RTA cabinets, you’ll need basic DIY skills, tools, and time to construct prior to hanging them. Watch for potential issues like:
- Filler panels to address gaps or uneven walls
- Adjusting doors and drawers after installation
- Hidden structural braces on wall cabinets
Consider pros and cons of professional assistance if the scale of the project feels overwhelming. But remember you save more installing RTA cabinets yourself.
With scratch and dent cabinets, you sacrifice nothing in quality and gain everything in affordability and design flexibility. Minor blemishes let you grab durable, genuine-wood cabinets for a fraction of their normal costs. Distressed finishes and mixing colors, styles, and textures is totally on-trend.
Follow our guidance to unlock huge savings and create a Pinterest-worthy kitchen that expresses your unique personality. Now get ready to start collecting quotes, choosing perfect imperfections, and planning your dream kitchen that no neighbor will duplicate!