Buying A Kitchen Cabinet: Here’s What You Need To Know

unfurnished modern kitchen

Planning is probably the best thing to do before starting a new home or renovating it. A good plan and well-researched decision can save you from all the hassles and problems you might encounter along the way.

Planning is also necessary for choosing your kitchen cabinet. A kitchen cabinet serves as a focal point and creates the whole style and theme of the kitchen. A well thought out kitchen cabinet makes all the difference in your home.

For this reason, you need to consider a lot of factors before purchasing a cabinet set. You don’t want to waste your budget and time because you missed out on the essential things and specific features.

This article will guide you on the basics of buying cabinets and provide all the necessary things that you need to know before buying.


Whether you are choosing your cabinets for the first time or deciding to upgrade and remodel, budget is one of the essential factors you need to put into consideration.

About 30% to 50% of your total kitchen renovation cost goes to the cabinets. You’ll be paying from $1,000 to $22,000 or more depending on what type of office you’ll decide to get.

The cost of each material, type, and style will also affect your kitchen’s value, so you’ll need to decide how much you are willing to spend on your kitchen cabinets.


Selecting the right cabinet for your kitchen also includes knowing and choosing from the different materials.

The most common materials used in kitchen cabinets are solid wood, plywood, stainless steel, and laminate. These materials are your best choice depending on the budget, look, and durability that you prefer.

Solid wood provides sophistication, class, and elegance to any kitchen. It is a timeless piece that can add value to your home. However, they are expensive and require maintenance to make them last longer.

Plywood, on the other hand, won’t damage easily and would last longer. It is also a cheaper alternative to solid wood. Most pre-assembled cabinets are from A-grade plywood with several colors and styles for any kitchen.

Stainless steel provides a more polished and modern finish. This type of cabinet is widely used in high-end kitchens because it won’t stain or cause any bug infestation. However, stainless steel is prone to scratching and dents.

Laminate or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is the cheapest and less durable option. However, MDF is a widely popular material used for cabinet doors because they do not crack or warp and can withstand temperature changes and humidity.


Knowing the right kind of cabinet will determine the entire function of the kitchen. The type of cabinet will also provide storage for different cookware and kitchen appliances.

The most basic types of kitchen cabinet are a wall, base, and tall. You can combine different types depending on your preferred layout and available space. Base cabinets support the countertop and attach it to the floor.

Wall cabinets are a type of cabinet that is mounted to the kitchen walls or above countertops. You can customize them depending on the height, width, and depth of your space. You can extend the height of your wall cabinets to the ceiling for more storage.

Tall cabinets, on the other hand, extend from the floor to the ceiling. It can serve as the perfect pantry and store almost anything. It can also serve as an accent wall to your kitchen space.

Quality Grades

Deciding on your kitchen cabinet also requires knowing the different quality of construction. Ready-to-assemble (RTA), pre-assembled, stock, semi-custom, or custom are the primary quality grades.

Ready-to-assemble cabinets are pre-cut to size and labeled according to how you’ll put them together. They come in flat boxes so you’ll save on shipping costs. If you have the skills, you can save on the installation cost by assembling it yourself.

Some companies do attach the hardware already as an extra service to make assembly easier for you. If you are not a DIY savvy, you may want to hire a professional contractor to assemble and install RTA cabinets at a minimal cost.

Also, pre-assembled cabinets come assembled by the manufacturer. Installation is easy and won’t take time.

Getting kitchen cabinets pre-assembled will cost around $1,800 to $4,000 for a ten by ten-foot unit. You’ll spend more on the shipping cost, but you’ll save time, effort, and labor costs.

Both RTA and pre-assembled cabinets both come in different materials, hardware, and finishes that can fit your preferred theme. Several manufacturers also offer high-quality options.

Stock cabinets are mass-produced and made pre-sized from the manufacturer. You can choose specific sizes with the usual 3-inch increments between each format, depending on the manufacturer.

Style and materials of stock cabinets are relatively limited, but they are more affordable options. However, it requires an additional installation cost.

Semi-Custom cabinets offer a broader selection compared to stock cabinets. You can choose from different styles, finishes, and materials. Size and style adjustments are also possible, depending on the manufactures selections.

The price of semi-custom cabinets is also higher compared to stock offices. The price points are at mid-range and include installation cost.

Custom cabinets are your best options if you want to fully decide on the material, style, finishes, and hardware. These types of cabinets are completely made-to-order and customized to your space.


Learning the basics of kitchen cabinets will help you decide and plan your new kitchen. With enough information, your remodeling will surely be a breeze.


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