How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets: 7 Important Tips
Monday, July 20, 2020

Do you want your new kitchen cabinets to shine with colored paint, or sparkle with frosted glass? Do you want new appliances to contrast with the cabinets, or blend in? Do you want to spend $15,000 or $32,000?

When you're planning a kitchen, cabinets can determine your whole look. They can also use up to 40% of your budget. With that much money at stake, you want to choose the right cabinets at the right price.

Here are 7 important tips on how to choose kitchen cabinets.

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

1. Budget

According to Consumer Reports, the biggest factor in cabinet prices is whether they are premade or made to order.

Stock cabinets are the least expensive type of cabinets. They're sold fully assembled in some hardware stores, or ready to assemble from stores like IKEA. They start at $70 per linear foot for cheap garbage particle board cabinets

Semi-custom cabinets start at about $150 per linear foot, and are available in different configurations.

Custom plywood cabinets built to last can cost over $500 per linear foot, and are made to meet exact specifications and include personalized features.

2. Layout

What will your floor plan look like? An open floor plan often uses fewer cabinets, but you can compensate by adding an island that has cabinets beneath.  Will you go all the way to the ceiling, or have space above?  Will you mix and match sizes, or keep it all the same?   Will you add a lighting package in the toe-kick, under cabinet or over cabinet areas?   Do you want to add 1, 2 or 3 piece crown molding details or a light rail around the bottom of the wall cabinets?

3. Materials

Good cabinets are usually constructed out of solid wood, but you can choose other materials such as plywood with a veneer, metal, or thermofoil.

You can also find ecofriendly options such as bamboo, salvaged wood, or responsibly harvested wood with FSC certification.

4. Use of Space

How will you get the most use out of your cabinets? Some cabinets are designed to reach the ceiling, so that you can place rarely-used objects up out of sight. In shorter cabinets, the top of the cabinet can function as an additional storage shelf or as a display space. For base cabinets, a popular trend is to install drawers instead of doors so that you can pull out a drawer instead of kneeling down to see the contents.

5. Door Style

Since the cabinet doors are the face of your kitchen, your choice of door style will create the look. Modern kitchens often feature flat cabinets, while a more traditional style may have elaborate woodwork or raised panels.

Another alternative is to use transparent door panels, such as partial glass doors. The light shining through the doors and reflecting off of surfaces will make your kitchen feel bigger and brighter.

6. Finish

Cabinets can be stained or painted in a muted color, a bold color, or two colors for contrast. When choosing colors, picture how the cabinets will look next to painted walls or tiled floors.

How do you want the appliances to look in your new kitchen? Some appliances, such as refrigerators and drawer dishwashers, can be paneled to blend in with the cabinetry. Alternatively, appliances finished in white, black, or steel can add contrast to your chosen finish.

7. Hardware

Hardware such as knobs and drawer pulls can make your cabinets appear contemporary, country, traditional, elegant, or low-key. If you want to easily update the style of your kitchen, just replace the hardware.   Door and Drawer pulls can range in price from $5 to $12 per item.

Getting Started

Now that you know how to choose kitchen cabinets, it's time to find a contractor. Visit our services page to see how we can help you install the perfect cabinets.