If you are in the process of updating your kitchen, you are probably well aware of the cost of kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen cabinets are expensive, and they are getting more and more expensive.
If you have ever wondered why kitchen cabinets are so expensive, you are in the right place.
Of course, we wouldn’t explain the high pricing on these without also giving you some idea of how to get a deal on kitchen cabinets.
Here are the top five reasons kitchen cabinets are so expensive.
Why Are Kitchen Cabinets So Expensive?
1) Premium Materials
Kitchen cabinets are made with premium materials.
Not only are cabinets intended to last for a long time, but they are also exposed to quite a bit of abuse.
We all know how cabinets will be exposed to varying temperatures and weather conditions.
In addition, they will be opened and closed every time someone is in the kitchen.
Over time, they will start to wear down if they are not made with the proper materials.
You must really consider the cabinets that are located around the sink and the stove as well.
The cabinets that are near the sink will be exposed to water almost every time the sink is used.
Those near the stove may have exposure to steam from anything you are cooking on the stove.
The bottom line is that kitchen cabinets are going to take a beating.
If you can use the proper materials from the start, you will very likely end up with cabinets that last.
The issue, of course, is that these better materials cost more money upfront.
Some cabinets are made of all wood, and these are going to be the most expensive kitchen cabinets.
There are other cabinets that are made with wood-like materials, and they tend to be quite a bit cheaper.
The positive thing about wood-like materials is that they can be developed to handle exposure to water and steam a bit better than actual wood.
However, for professional type kitchens with high-end fixtures, the wood cabinets are going to be the most popular choice.
Kitchen cabinets have lots of different customizations available.
These customizations add quite a bit to the price of the cabinets.
If you are looking for something that is a simpler design, you may save money.
However, any time you add a cutout or molding to the cabinet, you will see the price go up.
The pricing also increases when you look at the features available on cabinets.
For instance, if you want soft close doors and drawers, the pricing is going to increase.
If you also consider the hardware of the cabinets, pricing will continue to increase.
In fact, the hardware is sometimes hundreds of dollars, even for a small kitchen.
Inside the cabinets, there are options for different customizations related to shelving and organization.
For instance, if you want a spice rack, pantry, or cabinet that rotates to allow more storage, you will pay quite a bit more.
Drawers are another expense in general.
The drawers need lots of hardware to function.
To get the drawers installed properly takes quite a bit of work, and the slides that they are on are going to add to the overall price that you pay.
Of course, you can limit the number of customizations you go for on kitchen cabinets, which will help to keep the price down.
However, there are some features that are going to be difficult to go without.
Kitchen cabinets are intended to last for many years.
In fact, most homeowners only expect to put new cabinets in their house one time.
This means that people expect to get 30–40 or even more years out of their cabinets.
With a product that is built to last this length of time, you will have to assume that the price is going to be quite a bit higher.
Most builders and homeowners will agree that there is no sense in putting in cheap cabinets.
Although you save money upfront, you will very likely be spending a lot more money when you need to replace the cabinets just a few years later.
When you purchase cabinets, it’s essential to think about how long you want these cabinets to last.
Take this number and divide it by the number of years you intend to get from these cabinets.
When you break down the costs this way, it can be a bit easier to swallow the upfront price.
In addition to understanding that cabinets are built to last a long time, it also pays to take care of them.
You should be cleaning your cabinets, not exposing them to steam and water where it is unnecessary, and not slamming them either.
It makes sense to protect an investment like this as it truly is an asset to your home.
4) Production Costs
Kitchen cabinets are expensive to produce.
A cabinet is not something an amateur woodworker can create.
There are lots of cuts and angles involved in putting together cabinets, and it is essential that the woodworker knows what they are doing.
The production of cabinetry is usually done in a shop, and then the cabinets need to be transported to a customer’s home.
Since each kitchen’s layout is a bit different, most kitchens are going to need some kind of custom cabinetry.
Having to make a cabinet specific to your measurements certainly increases the costs.
Regardless of the abilities of the woodworker, producing kitchen cabinets is time consuming.
Some projects just happen to move fast, and this is, unfortunately, not one of them.
Each individual piece takes time, and an individual woodworker will take days and sometimes weeks to put together everything needed for a kitchen.
As you can imagine, this will certainly increase the total price you will pay for cabinets.
Unless you are up for taking on the process of building your own cabinets, there is not much that you will be able to do to lower production costs.
Another top reason that cabinets are so expensive is that they need to be professionally installed.
If you are not very good at home improvement projects, hanging cabinets is not something you will want to try on your own.
First of all, professionals will need two to three people (at the least) to install kitchen cabinets.
The prep work to get the walls and floor ready for cabinets needs to have already been completed.
Once this is complete, you can then work on making sure the cabinets are going to be level.
This is the most critical part of the process.
A cabinet that is not hung completely level and straight is going to be a problem in the long term.
Getting the cabinets perfectly level and straight on the wall takes the work of a true professional.
Luckily, cabinet installers have lots of experience with this, and they do a great job.
The problem is that, to find a great cabinet installer, you are going to have to pay quite a bit of money.
The expense is high, but you will be glad this is an area where you did not try and cut corners.
The last thing you need is one of your brand new and impressive cabinets slipping off the wall because it wasn’t installed correctly.
As you can see from the top five reasons cabinets are so expensive, each one of them has to do with quality.
Of course, there are always things like inflation and padding prices that you must watch out for.
However, when it comes to kitchen cabinets, most of the time, you get what you pay for.
If you want something that is really good and will last a long time, you will have to pay for it.
Ways to Save Money on Kitchen Cabinets
The reasons for cabinets being so expensive have everything to do with longevity and durability.
The good news is that there are still some ways to save a bit of money.
The most important thing to remember is that you won’t want to cut down on quality, so you will simply want to try and make smart financial decisions.
Here are four ways which can help to save you money when you replace the cabinets in your kitchen.
1. Do Your Own Demo
If you are doing a complete kitchen renovation, you may want to consider doing your own demolition.
Demolition of old kitchen cabinets is not difficult to do, but you do not want to be reckless with this project.
In fact, the neater you are with your demolition project, the easier your cleanup is going to be.
There are water and sometimes gas lines in a kitchen, so you will have to be careful that you are not putting holes in any walls.
Another thing to consider is if your current cabinets are worth any money.
As ready as you are to replace these cabinets, there could be someone out there looking for low priced used cabinets.
Kitchen cabinets can sometimes be used in offices or warehouses just for storage and organization.
It may be worth posting an ad selling your cabinets for very low prices.
You may also want to post them for free as long as someone comes and removes them for you on their own time.
This may help you to save a bit of money on the overall cost of your project.
Always be careful as to who is working in your home, and make sure they know what they are doing.
If you have all wood cabinets, someone may want the wood that the cabinets are made of.
When doing any kind of home renovation project, remember that there could very likely be some value in the things that you no longer find valuable.
2. Fronts Only
When you are ready for an update of your kitchen cabinets, sometimes it makes sense to do the fronts of the cabinets only.
When you do the fronts, only the base of the cabinet and all of the interior shelving will stay.
When you do the fronts, the doors and faces of drawers are replaced, and as you can tell, this is quite a bit less material used.
For some kitchen renovation projects, replacing just the fronts of the cabinets will completely change and update the look of the kitchen.
The fronts are the only truly visible part of kitchen cabinets.
If the cabinets in your kitchen are in great shape, the overall design and layout are appealing to you, replacing the fronts is a great way to go.
Of course, you also have the option of painting cabinets if your kitchen needs a bit of a change.
Although this can really change the overall look, it won’t completely update your kitchen.
3. Something That Is Pre-Built
As you may remember from our list of reasons cabinets are so expensive, one of the major reasons is customization.
The more customized you want your cabinets to be, the more money you will pay.
If you can figure out a way to get your kitchen to work with prebuilt cabinets, you will save lots of money.
Cabinet manufacturers that put together pre-built cabinets can do them much faster and have a warehouse full of these cabinets.
This helps to keep the pricing down because woodworkers do not need to continually stop and adjust their measurements for each individual cut for your kitchen.
The majority of kitchens will get by just fine with cabinets that are pre-built or stock.
Unless you are working with a unique space or size, this is an option many people will use to save money.
4. Eliminate Upper Cabinets
A trend in modern kitchens includes only have bottom cabinets and no upper cabinets.
Some leave the upper walls completely blank, and others will put shelves on the wall.
Of course, this is not an ideal setup for those with several young children who need to hide loads of sippy cups and plates.
However, if you are a person who likes a more minimalistic design, the lower cabinet only look is a perfect choice.
Evaluate your budget and the amount of kitchenware you have before deciding on whether or not to eliminate the upper cabinets.
Although this idea will not completely cut the price of cabinets in half, you are going to save quite a bit of money.
Most people find that they have much more stuff in their kitchen cabinets than they will ever need or use.
As you can see, there are several excellent reasons kitchen cabinets are expensive.
The pricing is not merely arbitrary, as it is a reflection of the quality and workmanship that is put into the cabinets themselves.
If you are considering replacing your cabinets this year, be very careful that you are making a choice based on longevity.
Don’t save a few dollars today only to be disappointed later on.
The last thing you will want is to find out that your cabinets need to be replaced.
Look for ways to get deals by doing some of the work yourself or evaluating how many cabinets your kitchen truly needs.