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Is it Worth Getting Custom Kitchen Cabinets in 2023/2024?

Kitchen cabinets are fundamental to the functionality and aesthetic appeal of any kitchen. They offer crucial storage space, contribute to the overall design, and can significantly increase the value of a home. When choosing kitchen cabinets, homeowners often find themselves pondering between custom cabinets and alternative options.


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Custom kitchen cabinets provide unique designs, unparalleled craftsmanship, and personalized aesthetics, but come with a higher price tag. On the other hand, ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets offer a cost-effective alternative without compromising quality.


In this blog post, we will explore what custom kitchen cabinets entail, consider the costs associated with them, and evaluate RTA cabinets as a viable, money-saving alternative. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding to help you make an informed decision about whether or not custom kitchen cabinets are worth the investment.

Understanding the Cost of Custom Kitchen Cabinets


Custom kitchen cabinets are renowned for their superior craftsmanship and unique design, but before you invest in these bespoke cabinets, consider the cost implications. To accurately gauge the cost of custom kitchen cabinets, it’s essential to understand the factors that determine their pricing.

Material Costs

The cost of materials is a crucial determinant of custom cabinets. High-quality woods, like solid hardwoods or premium plywood, are typically used, which provide superior durability and aesthetics. The cost of these materials, along with additional features and finishes, drives up the price.

Labor and Installation Costs

The labor and installation costs are also factors to consider, given that custom cabinets need skilled professionals to fabricate and install them with accuracy, which can significantly influence the final cost. The level of intricacy and customization can impact the amount of work needed, thereby affecting the overall expense.

Additional Features and Accessories

Furthermore, custom cabinets offer a range of customization options like unique hardware choices, intricate detailing, and specialized storage solutions that contribute to the overall cost as they require additional time and expertise to implement.

Best Custom Kitchen Cabinet Alternatives

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, there are various alternatives to custom cabinets that offer different cost structures. Comparing these options can help you determine the most suitable choice for your kitchen renovation project. Let’s take a closer look at how the cost of custom cabinets compares to other cabinet options.

RTA Cabinets

RTA cabinets have become increasingly popular as a more economical substitute for custom cabinets. Standardized sizes and designs make for easy assembly and installation of these cabinets. The primary advantage of RTA cabinets is affordability. Standardized designs and mass production contribute to their low cost. They offer budget-friendly options without compromising on quality.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Sitting between custom and RTA cabinets, semi-custom cabinets offer a balance of personalization and affordability. Semi-custom cabinets have a range of pre-designed options, including cabinet sizes, finishes, and features that provide a tailored look at a more reasonable cost.

Stock Cabinets

Stock cabinets are pre-built and available in standard sizes and designs. They are the most affordable option among the three alternatives. Stock cabinets lack customization options and a personalized touch, but are a practical solution for homeowners working within a tight budget or limited timeline.


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Comparing the Cost of Custom Cabinets to Other Cabinet Options

Custom cabinets come with a price range of $500 to $1,500 or more per linear foot. That means for a 10-foot wall, it could cost you $5,000 to $15,000 or higher. These cabinets may cost more due to the premium materials, numerous customization options, and meticulous attention to detail.


On average, the cost of RTA cabinets can range from $150 to $500 per linear foot, depending on the materials and features chosen. For example, a standard 10-foot wall of RTA cabinets could cost between $1,500 and $5,000. These cabinets are mass-produced and shipped flat-packed, allowing for easy self-assembly and saving on labor costs.


Custom vs semi custom cabinets


Semi-custom cabinets offer a balance between customization and cost. The price of semi-custom cabinets typically falls in the range of $300 to $800 per linear foot. Considering a 10-foot wall, the cost could range from $3,000 to $8,000. With semi-custom cabinets, you can choose from a variety of pre-designed options, including finishes, door styles, and hardware, giving you some level of personalization while still being more cost-effective than fully custom cabinets.


Stock cabinets are the most budget-friendly option, with prices ranging from $100 to $300 per linear foot. For a 10-foot wall, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $3,000. These cabinets are pre-built and available in standard sizes and designs, limiting customization options. However, stock cabinets are readily available and can be a cost-effective solution for those on a tight budget or with shorter timelines.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Custom and RTA Cabinets

Deciding between custom cabinets and ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets can be a challenging task. Both options have their own advantages and considerations. To help you make an informed decision, it’s important to take various factors into account. Here are key factors to consider when choosing between custom and RTA cabinets:

Budget Constraints and Financial Considerations

One of the primary factors influencing your choice will be your budget. Custom cabinets tend to be more expensive due to the tailored design, high-quality materials, and skilled labor involved. On the other hand, RTA cabinets are known for their affordability, offering cost savings without compromising on quality. Assessing your budget and determining how much you are willing to invest in kitchen cabinets is essential.


Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection with Island, Wood Hood, and Wall Microwave Cabinet
Nelson Cabinetry White Shaker Kitchen Collection with Island, Wood Hood, and Wall Microwave Cabinet


Kitchen Renovation Timeline

Consider the timeframe for your kitchen renovation project. Custom cabinets typically require longer lead times, as they are made-to-order and involve detailed craftsmanship. If you have a tight deadline or want a quick kitchen makeover, RTA cabinets can be a practical choice. They are readily available and can be assembled and installed relatively quickly.

Personal Design Preferences and Priorities

Your design preferences and priorities play a significant role in choosing between custom and RTA cabinets. Custom cabinets offer a higher level of customization, allowing you to create a truly unique kitchen tailored to your specific vision. If you have specific design requirements or desire intricate details, custom cabinets can fulfill your creative aspirations. On the other hand, if you prioritize cost savings or prefer a more standardized aesthetic, RTA cabinets can provide a range of styles and finishes to choose from.



Bottom Line

Considering the options in today’s market, many homeowners are questioning the value of custom cabinets. With ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets becoming more cost-effective, the considerable price of custom cabinets may not be justifiable. In contrast, RTA cabinets offer affordability, quality, and numerous customization options, making them an attractive choice.


Though there may be some exceptions, most homeowners are likely to find that RTA cabinets offer a suitable balance between cost, quality, and customization. By embracing this shift in cabinet options, homeowners can achieve an aesthetically pleasing and functional kitchen without overspending.

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Nelson Cabinetry

Nelson Cabinetry is an online distributor of high quality kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. We pride ourselves in delivering a high quality product via an easy to use, convenient website. Placing your cabinet order has never been easier and you can do so from the comfort of your home, office or job site.


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