In planning your kitchen remodeling, the kitchen cabinets will give immediate eye appeal, provide functionality but can also be the biggest cost. Regardless of what your remodel budget is, the cabinet could easily be one half of that expense.
As we wander through the cabinet section of the store, it does seem these are just big boxes with doors. Nevertheless we are amazed at the cost. Making cabinets does require skill to have tightly fitted corners and joins. If one part is off, some other part won’t fit properly. The type of wood used and the finish on the wood all have a price tag.
Nevertheless, you need to get the best cabinets possible for your budget. Here are some ideas on what you can find.
Before you shop for cabinets, it is a good idea to determine what type of cabinet you need and get familiar with the terminology used by the salesman.
MDF is a medium density fiber board cabinet.
Base Cabinets are the bottom part of the cabinets that sit on the floor. These project your overall kitchen layout.
Wall Cabinets hang on the wall just above the Base Cabinets. But your design will likely have some Base Cabinets with nothing to hang above. An example would be the sink area.
Framed Cabinets provide a traditional look as the cabinet does have a frame around the outside of the box and around each door.
Frameless Cabinets will have the doors meeting the other door and will have drawers against other drawers. Looking at the front of the cabinet, you will see only the door or the drawer not the cabinet box itself.
10′ x 10′ Standard is just that a standard measure meaning 10 foot of base cabinets and 10 foot of wall cabinets. Manufacturers have used this calculation for their standard kitchen cabinets. You can still change this to meet your footage requirements but they will be a special order instead of than the standard measurements.
There are different tiers on purchasing cabinets too. You save money by assembling pre-cut parts from the manufacturer. Since cabinets will be the focal point of your kitchen, you may prefer to have assembled cabinets that are installed by the dealer. The following descriptions will help you make this decision.
RTA or Ready-to-Assemble is provided by the cabinet manufacturer. If the manufacturer doesn’t incur the labor expense to assemble the cabinet, he will pass this savings on to you.
If you are going to use RTA cabinets to cut down on the expenses, you need to find your cabinets at the beginning of your project. You need time to assemble them and ready to install after installing the flooring, painting, papering are complete.
Find a room in your house or the basement to assemble them. Make sure that once these cabinets are assembled that you can still get them through the door and back into the kitchen. When they are assembled, they are going to be big, bulky items to move around. You’re going to need several people to move them too.
Stock Cabinets or Factory-Assembled RTA has been fully assembled by the factory and are shipped to the dealer. These are a quick assembly process. If you don’t have time or talent for assembling things, or don’t have an assembly area, this may be best. The dealer will provide a crew or arrange for their installation.
Semi-custom cabinetry is also mass produced by the manufacturer. You do have a bit more flexibility here. You can be specific about the size of the cabinets and choose different finishes, moldings and trim. These cabinets will be installed by the dealer.
Custom cabinets are specifically designed, manufactured and installed for you.
While you have a larger variety to choose from, the term custom used here is really semi-custom. A true custom cabinet is possible by hiring a skilled cabinet maker. You will have infinite variety at considerable expense.
Each type of cabinet has a general budget that you can expect. Below are more details on each type and the expected price range for 10′ x 10′ standard cabinets.
RTA cabinets are the least expensive. The frameless box and doors will be ¾ inch melamine and the drawers will have metal sides. Since you will be doing the installation, the cost of these is very low at approximately $70.00 per linear foot or $700.00 for your 10′ x 10′ standard.
Stock cabinets have a major price increase with improved materials and they will be delivered and installed. The wood is generally ¾ inch hard board face frame and ½ inch particle board sides with hard board framed doors. Since you have a few more choices on finishes or stains, the price can range from $360 to $432 per linear foot or $3,600 to $4,320 for the standard measurements.
Semi-custom cabinets are usually ½ inch plywood with ¾ inch hardwood face frame and are delivered and installed. The drawers are dovetailed of ½ inch hardwood and doors are frame and panel hardwood. Prices range from $450 to $540 per linear foot or $4,500 to $5,400 for the 10′ x 10′ standard.
Custom cabinets offer the same ½ inch plywood with ¾ inch hardwood face frame and are delivered and installed. The drawers are dovetailed of 5/8 inch hardwood and doors are frame and panel hardwood. Prices range from $1.200 to $1,400 per linear foot or $12,000 to $14,000 for standard measurements.
Armed with these definitions and what they will mean to your kitchen remodel budget, you are now ready to look for your new cabinets.