Small Modern KitchenAre you thinking of replacing the dated cabinets in your kitchen?

Because there are so many options to choose from, determining the total cost can be tricky.

One important thing to consider is whether you are planning to live in your apartment for at least 5 years. In this case, invest into creating your dream kitchen. However, if you are planning to sell in the near future, make updates that will be visually appealing to a wide audience, without breaking the bank.

To help you plan your budget, we have collected the average costs for the most popular kitchen cabinet projects.

How Much Do Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

Small Kitchen with White Cabinets

If you are doing a complete kitchen remodel, the cabinets can eat up as much as 30-40% of the entire budget. Because its such a hefty investment, you need to make sure that the new cabinets will not only add visual appeal, but also improve functionality of your kitchen space. Especially when it comes to a small kitchen, every inch of functional storage and working space makes a world of difference.

Cabinet prices will vary greatly depending on the option you choose: installing brand new cabinetry will be most expensive, refacing your existing cabinets is a step down, and refinishing cabinets is the most budget friendly alternative.

Here are the average prices for all three projects:

Install new cabinets: $4,500

Reface Cabinets: $3,100

Refinish Cabinets: $2,250

Cost to Install New Cabinets

Unique Cabinet Design in a Small Black Kitchen

There are a couple of steps involved in the installation of brand new kitchen cabinets, and each has its own price tag:


On average you can expect to pay $300-400 to have a contractor remove old cabinets. The price will vary depending on the weight and size of your cabinets, as well as the complexity of the job.


When it comes to new kitchen cabinets, the saying “you get what you pay for” really holds true. The good news is that there are a number of options that may best suite your budget and expectations:

1. Stock Cabinets: ready-to install and immediately available in the big box home improvement stores, like Home Depot and other suppliers. They are available in many colors and styles, and special orders are fullfilled very quickly.

Cost: These are the cheapest new cabinets you can purchase, ranging from $70-400 per linear foot.

2. Semi-custom Cabinets: comes in standard sizes, like the stock cabinets, but there are more finishes, colors and custom embellishments available. Some custom options include, pantry drawers, sliding shelves, and drawer inserts. Plan on waiting 4-6 weeks for your order to be delivered.

Cost: on average, expect to pay $160-950 per linear foot.

Custom Cabinets: top of the line products, that are designed and built to your specifications. These are available with the most customization and decor options. Typically, a kitchen designer will work with you to create the layout and design of the cabinets. If you have a very small kitchen, and you are looking to maximize organization and functionality, custom cabinets tailored to your needs may be a worthwhile investment.

Cost: one-of-a-kind cabinets come with a big price tag. Expect to spend $500-1,500 per linear foot.


The last step is to have a contractor install your new cabinets. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you can expect to pay $1,300-2,000 for installation. Obviously, choosing the DIY route can result in significant savings.

How much does cabinet refacing cost?

Contemporary kitchen cabinets in a small kitchen

If the existing cabinets in your kitchen are not falling apart and all you want is to update their look, refacing is a great option, which can cost up to 50% less than new cabinets.

Refacing means that all visible areas of your cabinets (doors, drawer fronts, and exposed parts of the frames) will be given a new beautiful top veneer cover.

There are three cabinet refacing options:

Solid wood: most expensive, but also looks upscale and authentic. Expect to pay $3,500-4,700 for materials and installation.

Laminate: a step down in quality in price, but offers great durability and a wide range of colors and styles. Expect to spend $2,800-3,700 for materials and installation.

Rigid Thermofoil (RTF): fiberboard covered with a vinyl film, and is available in many colors and styles. This is the most budget friendly option, but its not as durable as the others. You will spend between $2,100-3,000 on materials and installation.

How much does cabinet refinishing cost?

White Cabinets in a Small Modern Kitchen

If you are trying to minimize the spending on your kitchen remodel, and your existing cabinets are in good condition, refinishing is the most budget-friendly option. It involves staining or painting the cabinets’ exterior, which gives them a brand new look and feel.

If you have wood cabinets, the best and easiest option is to stain them. Painting is a good option for both wood and other types of cabinets. The good news that you can DIY this project without hiring a contractor, which can save you some more money.

Hiring a contractor has the benefit of a more professional, longer lasting job. Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can expect to pay $1,000-2,500 for cabinet refinishing.

Hidden Factors that Impact the Cost of Kitchen Cabinets

While you may not realize it, there may be a number of hidden factors that will affect the total cost of your cabinets. To be sure that you are getting a fair price, get quotes from 3-4 reputable local contractors.

Here is what’s at play:

1. Ease of access: if your apartment is located on the third floor or higher, you may incur a an extra charge from a contractor, because it will be more difficult and time consuming for them to haul their materials and tools. Similarly, any accessibility issues inside the kitchen itself will also increase the final price.

2. Size of the project: if your kitchen is small, you will save a lot of money on the cabinets themselves. However, most contractors actually have an up-charge for small jobs, because they have to cover their overhead, preparation and clean up costs. To reduce the bill, consider hiring the same contractor to do a number of updates in your kitchen/apartment.

3. Your geographic location: if you live in an expensive area, with high real estate prices, you will pay a lot more for labor, than someone who lives in regions with a lower cost of living. For example, if your apartment is in New York city, you may pay 25-35% more than the national average for labor. On the other hand, labor prices in Omaha, Nebraska will be 15-25% lower than the national average.

Small Kitchen With Teal Color Cabinets

Leave a Reply