Why Are Kitchen Cabinets So Expensive & How to Save $$$ on Them

Cabinets are the foundation of your kitchen so it’s no wonder they are one of the bigger ticket items. It can seem incomprehensible as to why such a big chunk of your budget has to go to cabinets, especially when you’d rather have the money to splurge on other elements. So then, why are kitchen cabinets so expensive? Here are a few things to consider.

Construction and Material Quality

Cabinet making has a long history of craftsmanship. It’s a trade handed down from one generation to the next and great pride is attached to custom, bespoke cabinets. That’s why a set of kitchen cabinets can run $20,000 plus. Most cabinets (even factory manufactured) do require some hands-on work and that means labor costs, which drives up the price.

The good news is that factory manufactured cabinets offer excellent construction and durability so you don’t have to set aside huge sums of money to get quality cabinets. Some of the technology available today may even produce cabinets that rival the expensive cabinets at a fraction of the cost.

What the cabinet is made of has a huge impact on the cost as well. Hardwood makes for the most expensive cabinets and veneered particleboard is the least expensive. To get the most bang for your buck, most people opt for somewhere in between. Most cabinets are constructed with particleboard, fiberboard, or plywood for the interior of the cabinet. The front and the door of the cabinet may be of a different material, often hardwood, since it is the most visible and exposed. Learn more about the different options available for cabinet material.

Cabinets Are a Big-Ticket Item

Cabinets are the foundation of your kitchen design. They affect everything in the kitchen from the stove to the dishwasher. Cabinets account for 20-40% of your budget, usually the biggest single expense in the kitchen. With so much riding on them, it’s clear why kitchen cabinets are so expensive. If the cabinets aren’t right, nothing else will be either.

Think of it as in investment. It’s worth dedicating time, effort, and money to make sure you get the perfect layout, excellent durability, and a look you can love for decades to come. Use our layout tool to play with the possibilities. Or get free design help with one of our expert consultants.

Don’t be tempted to install cheap kitchen cabinets. Cheap cabinets skimp on construction and materials leaving you with regrets sooner rather than later. The cheapest cabinets are made with particle board, which can warp if exposed to liquids, stain, and even begin to fall apart as wear and time take their toll.

There’s no way around having to dedicate a significant amount of your budget to cabinets, but there are plenty of ways to get good quality and the look you want without breaking the bank.

Man assembling ready-to-assemble cabinets with power tools.

How Can I Save Money On New Kitchen Cabinets?

Do you have to spend $10,000 or more to get quality kitchen cabinets? No. There are plenty of ways to get cabinets that will serve you well for many years without shelling out for a custom job or hardwood construction. Here are a few ideas.

DIY with Ready to Assemble

Save a bunch on cabinets by installing them yourself. Labor contributes a lot to the total cost of cabinets so check into RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets. These high-quality construction and material cabinets are shipped to you flat and all you have to do is put them together–IKEA style but without all the overly confusing instructions.

Peruse these instructions or try YouTube to get an idea of what you’re getting into. We offer fully DIY-able kitchen cabinets that are easy to assemble and install. Give your budget a break with RTA cabinets.

Woman making an online purchase from a laptop.

Shop Sales

Buy cabinets that are a step up from what your budget will allow by shopping the sales. You can get cabinets 20% off or more if you bide your time and find the best sales. Keep an eye out for sales at our website. Learn more about how to shop cabinet sales.

Buy Used

Sometimes you can find used custom cabinets at a remarkable price. People remodeling their kitchens will sometimes even let you have the cabinets if you come remove them yourself. Use Craig’s List, Marketplace, or other classifieds then wait for the right opportunity to come along. You never know what you may find.

Search a Wide Selection

RTA Cabinet Store offers you the best way to save money on kitchen cabinets: a broad selection. We have high-quality cabinets in a range of price points so you can find what you’re looking for within your budget. Start your search today!

News & Promos

Chat with Us Online Chat