The national average cost for kitchen cabinet installation is $900. However, installation costs are typically a fraction of the price to get new kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinet costs vary widely depending on the type of cabinets, material, and size of the kitchen. The cost of cabinets can range from less than $1,000 for basic stock cabinets for a small kitchen to as high as $25,000 or more for custom wood cabinetry for a large kitchen.
If your old cabinets are looking sad, or you can't deal with one more spice jar tumbling from your narrow cabinets while you're whipping up a tasty meal, it may be time to replace your kitchen cabinets. A kitchen remodel that includes new kitchen cabinets can create a much more attractive and functional space.
Before you hire a cabinet installer to give your kitchen a remodel with a set of brand-new kitchen cabinets, get an estimate of how much it will cost to have kitchen cabinets installed, along with the basics you need to get started and save money on your project.
What's in this cost guide?
- Kitchen cabinets installation cost factors
- How to save money on kitchen cabinets
The total cost to purchase and install new kitchen cabinets is just under $5,000. This cost includes an average of $900 for installation plus an average of $4,000 for cabinets.
Installation costs can vary from as low as $400 to well over $1,000 while cabinet costs can range from less than $1,000 to $25,000 or more.
Many custom cabinet contractors and big box stores will quote the price of cabinets by the linear foot including both the cost of cabinets and the installation. But if you choose, you can purchase stock cabinets on your own and then hire a cabinet installer.
The amount you spend will depend on the size of your kitchen, the type of cabinetry you choose, the materials they're made from, and the types of professionals you hire for your project. Below are other factors that can impact the cost of new kitchen cabinetry.
The cost of new cabinets are usually a significant part of a homeowner's remodel budget, but can vary depending on what type of cabinetry you choose. For example, stock, IKEA kitchen cabinets will cost less than custom or semi-custom wood ones from a skilled carpenter.
Here is a cost breakdown for the cost of cabinets plus installation for the three main levels of customization of cabinets:
Stock cabinets: $75 – $400+ per linear foot installed
The cost per cabinet for stock cabinets can range from $55 to $600 per unit, and they may need to be assembled and possibly finished. Stock cabinets, or ready-made cabinets like you see in IKEA and Home Depot, are the least expensive cabinets. The downside is that they come in specific sizes that may be difficult to fit into your kitchen.
Semi-custom cabinets: $150 – $900+ per linear foot installed
The cost per cabinet for semi-custom can range from $140 to $800 or more. A good mid-range budget option, semi-custom cabinets are ready-made in standard sizes but they are a little more upscale and versatile than stock cabinets. This gives homeowners more room for flexibility with measurements and styles.
Custom cabinets: $500 – $1,400+ per linear foot installed
Custom cabinets are hand built by carpenters who create the cabinets to perfectly fit your space and desires. Because of the skill and labor required, they cost more than stock and semi-custom cabinets.
Materials also greatly affect the cost of cabinets. Below are the average costs and pros and cons of common kitchen cabinet materials:
|Type of material||Total average cost of cabinets||Advantages||Disadvantages|
|MDF, a combo of particleboard and veneer||$1,000 - $2,500||Inexpensive, easy to install||May absorb water and warp|
|Wood veneer||$4,000 - $9,000||Can be used with particleboard for durability and looks||Prolonged exposure to water or moisture can damage veneer|
|Laminate||$5,000 - $8,000||Can be durable, offers a sleek design look||Can crack and chip over time|
|Thermofoil||$7,000+||Resembles look of wood at a lower cost, durable||Too much heat can cause peeling and blistering|
|Hardwood||$6,000 - $25,000+||Durable and easy to repair||Expensive, heavy and warping is possible|
A cabinet installer charges about $50 to $70 per linear foot to install new kitchen cabinets—which depends on whether or not they're also removing old cabinets. Before hiring an installer, ask for an estimate and look it over carefully so you understand how the job is priced and whether the total cost includes tear-out as well as installing the new cabinets.
For example, a Thumbtack pro in New Bedford, Massachusetts, charges $70 per linear foot to remove existing cabinets and assemble and install new (pre-purchased) cabinets. If homeowners remove the old cabinets themselves or if there are none, they charge $55 per linear foot.
The average national cost to paint cabinets ranges from $1,200 to $7,000. Many cabinets come pre-finished, but you can choose unfinished cabinets to save money or to get a specific color or a certain look to match your remodel.
The average cost to hire a kitchen designer is about $90 to $100 per hour. A kitchen designer can create a kitchen design focused on beauty and functionality. For example, they may make sure your trash drawer is in the right spot and that there is plenty of cupboard space for your pots and pans.
If you're installing cabinets as part of a larger kitchen remodel, with brand-new countertops, flooring, and appliances, a kitchen designer can make sure everything fits together in a cohesive and functional design.
Cabinet installation doesn't have to break the bank. Here are three tips for installing new kitchen cabinets for less:
- DIY what you can: You can also keep money in your wallet by buying unfinished cabinets from Home Depot or Lowe's and painting them as a do-it-yourself job. Be careful removing old cabinets yourself, though, as doing it improperly may damage your countertops and backsplash.
- Consider refacing or refinishing your cabinets instead: Rather than purchase an entire new set of kitchen cabinets, you can save on costs by refinishing or refacing cabinets if your existing ones are in good condition. If your old cabinets are functional but grungy, you can hire a cabinet refinisher to make it look like you got new ones.
- Consider an IKEA kitchen: IKEA is known for budget-friendly, stylish cabinets that last. IKEA also holds a yearly sale where you can save big if you time your kitchen remodel to coincide with the event.
- Skip the wall cabinets. You can cut your project cost substantially if you go with base cabinets plus trendy open shelving. This allows you to display pretty dishes in the open while also saving money.
Installing new kitchen cabinets are a critical part of many remodel projects. If you're ready to hire an installer to help you make sure your new kitchen—countertops, cabinets, backsplash, and all—looks Pinterest-perfect, look for cabinet contractors in your zip code on Thumbtack.