See the True Cost Behind Replacing Your Kitchen Cabinets in 2023

If your kitchen is feeling outdated or no longer meets your storage needs, a cabinet replacement may be in order. But before taking on such a major renovation, it’s critical to understand the true cost behind installing new kitchen cabinets in 2023.

Prices for cabinet replacements vary widely based on the type, materials, features, and level of customization selected. And that’s not even factoring additional expenses like tearing out old cabinets, upgrading countertops, hiring professionals for installation, and more. So what can you expect to budget for a new cabinet system? Let’s break it down.

Cabinet Type Determines Your Baseline Cost

Kitchen cabinets fall into three main categories: stock, semi-custom, and custom. The type you choose dramatically impacts the baseline cost of your replacement project.

Stock Cabinets: The Most Affordable Option

Stock cabinets are mass-produced in standard sizes and configurations to keep costs low. They typically offer limited materials, colors, and door styles to choose from. Light wood veneers and laminates are common in stock cabinetry lines.

how much to replace kitchen cabinets

The affordability of stock cabinetry comes from the economies of scale. With predetermined sizes and options, factories can churn out large volumes quickly. Passing along those savings to homeowners. Expect to spend around $170 to $382 per linear foot for stock cabinet replacements.

Semi-Custom Cabinets: Enhanced Flexibility

If you want more say over the aesthetic and functionality of your kitchen, semi-custom cabinets strike a middle ground. They offer more choices than stock options for finishes, storage solutions, sizes and dimensions while keeping costs reasonable.

Semi-custom lines allow some level of personalization to your storage needs and style preferences. At approximately $437 to $837 per linear foot , they cost more than stock but far less than fully custom cabinetry.

Custom Cabinets: Personalized & Premium

Bespoke, customized cabinets provide the utmost flexibility in your replacement project. With custom cabinetry, every storage and style decision gets made just for you. Choose from near limitless materials from exotic imported woods to high-tech finishes. Premium features like double decker spice drawers, corner lazy susans, or angled cabinets to fit odd spaces.

Fully customized cabinet solutions catered exactly to your kitchen’s layout and vision. But such exclusive designs come at a steep price, averaging $626 to $1,164 per linear foot . They require far more specialized labor, materials, and time too.

Material Choices Impact Cabinet Costs

The species, grade, and cut of wood used play a significant role in cabinet pricing. Opting for premium materials like cherry, maple, and exotic imports drives up costs quickly.

Selecting Wood Species and Grades

Oak remains a popular choice for its durability and varied grain patterns. Hickory and maple offer attractive finishes as well. Expect to pay a premium for cherry or domestic/imported exotic woods. The grade (or quality) of lumber also impacts price for knots, grain variations, and color consistency.

Man-Made Alternatives Offer Cost Savings

Homeowners aiming for affordability may select laminate or thermofoil cabinets with wood byproduct substrates. But these man-made materials don’t withstand wear and tear as well long-term. Polymer veneers and melamine thermofoil scratch, bubble or peel over time. Weigh durability against budgets constraints.

Construction Technique Impacts Durability & Costs

How kitchen cabinets are engineered and assembled is another key cost consideration. From framework to joinery methods, construction techniques dictate aesthetics, strength, and price points.

Face Frame vs. Frameless Cabinet Construction

The most readily apparent difference lies in the front frame. Face frame cabinets feature a wooden frame attached to the cabinet box front. The hinges and doors mount directly to the frame for stability. These traditional cabinets cost slightly less than frameless.

Frameless cabinet construction uses precision engineering to form a seamless, modern box design. Doors mount via drilled holes in the cabinet sides rather than an attached frame. The results are a sleek, contemporary look popular in European kitchens. Expect to pay 10-15% more for this fabricated style.

Joinery and Assembly Methods

How manufacturers connect cabinet components also affects structural integrity. The strongest joinery comes from cut joints fixed with screws, glue, and corner blocks. Dovetail joints align precisely for enhanced durability. Stapled butt joints get the job done but lack longevity and strength. Investigate construction methods to get what you pay for.

Demo and Installation Drives Up Project Costs

While the cabinet costs themselves are major investments, several other key factors also contribute greatly to your kitchen remodel’s total price tag. From prepping the space to professional installation.

Demolition and Removal of Existing Cabinets

Before your shiny new cabinets get mounted, the old ones need to come out. Tearing out worn cabinets, drawers, and dismantling existing structures takes tools, time and disposal fees. Whether DIY-ing or hiring contractors, account for delays and charges.

Safely removing decrepit cabinets prevents damage to floors, walls and appliances. Consider selling salvageable cabinets or donating functioning ones to Habitat for Humanity. Recoup small chunks of costs while benefiting others.

Replacing Related Countertops and Backsplashes

What good are fresh new cabinets without upgraded countertops to match? Coordinate your cabinet style with complementary countertop materials. Timeless white marble, trendy quartz, or natural granite slabs enhance the kitchen’s facelift.

While you’re replacing surfaces, consider backsplashes as well. Tile, stone, or glass coordinate backsplashes with countertops for a seamless, integrated look.

Countertop MaterialCost Per Square Foot (Installed)

Professional Installation Elevates Results

Skilled tradespeople ensure cabinets get mounted safely, securely, and properly. Unless you’re highly experienced with complex installations, specialized labor proves worth the investment. Paying pros to handle the fussy details frees you to focus on designing your dream kitchen.

Ensure you hire licensed, bonded, and insured technicians for expansive remodeling jobs. Read reviews and verify credentials like NARI certifications before signing contracts.

Average Cost To Replace Kitchen Cabinets

As we’ve explored, many variables affect your new kitchen cabinet budget. But homeowners often want a ballpark figure when estimating a remodel. According to HomeAdvisor, the average national cost to replace kitchen cabinets is approximately $7,500. This assumes mid-to-upper grade cabinets installed by professionals in a 10×10 kitchen.

To customize estimates for your specific project, utilize an online cost calculator. Input cabinet dimensions, type, features, and materials. Localize your location for regional labor and material rates. This provides an approximate baseline budget.

Remember to accommodate other expenses beyond the cabinetry too. Demo, countertops, construction, backsplashes, plumbing, electrical rapidly accumulate.

Cost Range by Kitchen Size

While individual customization makes precise estimates tricky, the below provides reasonable cost ranges for cabinet installations by kitchen dimensions.

Small Kitchen Cabinet Costs

Typical parameters for a small kitchen: 70-150 square feet. That’s enough room for one cook comfortably. Base your budgets on the below small kitchen cost range.

Total Project Cost: $3,000 – $12,000*

*not including appliances, lighting, or flooring

Medium Kitchen Cabinet Costs

Mid-sized layouts run 150-350 square feet. Enough room for multiple cooks with enough storage and prep space. Use the below medium kitchen range for budgeting.

Total Project Cost: $6,000-$21,000*

*not including appliances, lighting or flooring

Large Kitchen Cabinet Costs

Sprawling kitchens over 350 square feet offer expansive storage and flexibility. Large kitchen remodels with vast cabinetry get pricey. Calculate minimums based on the range below.

Total Project Cost: $12,000-$29,000*

*excludes appliances, lighting, flooring

Even the most basic remodels with stock cabinets can exceed the minimum costs shown with upgrades, custom changes and hidden issues arising. Prepare for the unexpected to avoid budget shortfalls.

Cost Ranges By Key Kitchen Cabinet Replacement Factors

To recap average price points for vital components, reference the tables below. Use these cost ranges to calculate your replace kitchen cabinet budget.

Cabinet TypeCost Per Linear Foot
Countertop MaterialAverage Cost Per Square Foot
Installation FactorAverage Cost
Demolition & Removal$1,500-$6,000
Countertop Installation$40-$100 per linear foot
Professional Cabinet Installation>$3,000 average


Does it pay to invest in custom cabinets?

Custom cabinets enable perfect personalization but carry higher price tags. Weigh your budget, functional needs, and longevity considerations. Customized storage solves specific needs. And specialty woods wear well over decades with quality craftsmanship. Frameless European constructions provide contemporary style too. If budget permits, custom cabinetry offers exclusivity and flexibility perfect for investment properties. We don’t recommend splurging for luxury details unless kitchen use justifies the spend though.

When does refacing make more financial sense than replacing?

If existing cabinet boxes and structures are structurally sound, refacing offers cost savings of 40-60% versus replacements. Refinishing via repainting, re-staining and new door attachments renews style and function. Refacing smartly stretches tight budgets. But hereditary issues or shoddy foundational craftsmanship dictates replacement over facelift. Evaluate current state carefully first.

Replacing worn or dated kitchen cabinets breathes new life into homes. But the array of options and price points makes decisions overwhelming. Carefully evaluate your family’s needs, kitchen functionality, and living plans to strike the right balance. Maximizing future resale value and design preferences makes finding the sweet spot easier.

While unexpected costs inevitably creep up with renovations, adequate planning reduces stress. Now understanding what goes into pricing new cabinets in 2023, you can devise realistic budgets before taking on a replacement project. Remember to build in contingencies too for unforeseen issues arising during demo and install. Investing the effort upfront makes for smooth sailing ahead.

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