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Why Are Kitchen Cabinets So Expensive?

Why Are Kitchen Cabinets So Expensive?

Have you been thinking about switching out your kitchen cabinets? If you have, then you’ve seen the prices. So, why are kitchen cabinets so expensive?

Several factors affect the cost of kitchen cabinets. These are the cost of materials, cost of labor, removal of existing cabinets, installation, and customization. All of these factors contribute to the high cost of kitchen cabinets and why they are such a big endeavor to take on.

Want to know more about kitchen cabinets and their pricing? Keep reading through this article and we will cover all the ways that the total cost is affected. 

Average Cost for Kitchen Cabinets 

When wanting to remodel your kitchen, one of the main things that makes a big difference is changing out the cabinets. Because the kitchen has lots of them, this can make the entire room look and feel different with just a single upgrade. 

However, the cost can be a lot more than many people want to pay. So, what should you expect in the way of costs when you get new cabinets? 

Well, the average cost depends on the size of the kitchen and how many feet of cabinets you will need. The smallest size will cost between $50 and $200 per foot, the next size up will cost 1$00 to about $700 per foot, and the largest size will cost you anywhere between $500 to $1,200 per square foot. 

This means that to redo all of your kitchen cabinets, it could cost between $3,000 up to $9,000. This is a lot of money, though it will make a big difference. 

But that still doesn’t answer the question. So, let’s dive into the main reasons why kitchen cabinets cost this much. 

Reasons Why Kitchen Cabinets Are So Expensive 

There isn’t just one reason that can account for the high price, so we need to look at all of the ways that the cost is affected. So, let us take an in-depth look at each way that the cost is increased and why this is. 

Cost of materials

The first thing is not the most major, but this will be the first obstacle faced in getting the price lower on new cabinets. The fact is, that hiring professionals will include the cost of materials, but this cost is not cheap.

Materials include the type of wood in the cabinets, hardware, labor, power tools, and paint.

So, if you like that option that comes with a glossy finish or the one that has crystal knobs, then you will be paying a high cost for it. Also, if you end up going to something a bit customized for your particular style, then you will have a higher cost for materials as well.

Removal of Existing Cabinets 

When you want to redo your kitchen cabinets, you might not think about adding the cost of removal into the total cost of the project. However, where there is labor involved, you will need to pay for the people who will do the work. 

It might seem like a simple thing, so you even choose to do it yourself. But, if you don’t have experience with it and don’t do the job to professional standards, then they will need to do some work still, which you will be charged for. 

Depending on how many cabinets you have in your kitchen and the layout of the room, this could take more time than you might expect. On average, removing old cabinets will take a crew about two days-time. 

This means that you will need to pay for the labor of every worker that is there working plus the dumpster to collect your demo materials.

Also, this is just an estimated time, as some factors could extend that out. If you have some customized pieces of work in the kitchen that need to be saved, like custom trims, then this will take even longer.

If they have to be careful about how they take down the old cabinets, this will increase the time it takes to do the job. 

Installing Your New Cabinets 

Installing kitchen cabinets is not the easiest thing to do, and they are not something that you could do yourself unless you have experience with doing it. This means that you should be paying a professional to do the work.

This requires knowledge of secure mountings and safety procedures that only professionals would know to abide by, so this will end up costing you around half of the entire total price for the kitchen cabinets. 

It also takes time to do things the right way, and when you are talking about installing cabinets that need to be able to hold the weight of multiple dishes and glassware, you can’t afford to cut corners. This is a safety issue and could result in major injuries of someone who lives in the home. 

So, the installers need to take their time to ensure that everything is done right, measured, and leveled and that it is completely secure. If not, that puts them and the business at risk of legal repercussions if anything were to fall down or not be installed correctly. 

When it comes to leveling, this is also something that adds extra time to the project. Most cabinets are placed a few inches from the top kitchen, which means that you will have to make them all straight for them to fit and look uniform.

Even if they go to the ceiling, you can see if a cabinet is off-center, which can ruin the look of the room. The workers need to take their time and ensure that all of the cabinets are straight when they are installed, which means that you will have to pay for that work to get done right.


Another issue that will affect the total cost is any customizations that you get for your cabinets. All custom work costs more, and if you get a lot of it, then you will pay the price for it. 

When upgrading the look of the kitchen, most people want to focus on a certain look and style for the room. If you don’t find what you want, customization is an option. 

And, though it might cost a lot more, it is worth doing it and having the kitchen you want than to have them redone again in the future. So, many people tend to have at least a bit of customization done. 

Some small customizations will not make too much of a dent in the price, but having lots of custom pieces or accents will add up. The more you have, the more you will pay for it. 

Although, it is important to remember that having kitchen cabinets replaced is a very big job. You will not likely want to ever do it again. 

It takes time, you won’t be able to use the room while the work is being done, and you will need to have workers in your home for the duration of the project. This can all be disruptive to your life and can be stressful.

You won’t want to do this again, and if you don’t go with the exact cabinets you want, you might end up wanting another replacement down the line. So, instead, it is better to spend the extra money now to get what you want and save you time and effort in the long run. 

Although customization costs a lot, this is why many people will still opt for some type of custom accents to finish off the look of their kitchen. 


If you have been thinking about getting new kitchen cabinets, then looking at the prices can turn you off a bit. Knowing why kitchen cabinets are so expensive will show you how much work goes into this type of project and why the cost is so high. 

With the many factors that contribute to that final number, you can see where your money is going and what you will be getting for that price. But, this big job is something that can transform your kitchen from dreary and outdated to fresh and modern. 

So, if you were thinking about not replacing your cabinets, just remember that this will make a huge difference in the room. And, money spent now is money you don’t have to spend later on. 

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Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.