Are you having trouble choosing kitchen cabinets and want to know how to do it better? You’re in the right place!
The construction of residential buildings instigated the global growth of kitchen cabinets. Research says a CAGR of 6% growth with USD 160 billion in 2025.
Whether doing a kitchen remodel or starting from scratch, you will come across various options before getting one that matches your taste. The process can be tedious and frustrating if you don’t know what to look for in kitchen cabinets.
But don’t worry. Here is a straightforward guide with nine essential tips to help you choose the right cabinets for your kitchen.
Key Take Away
- The cost of installation of different cabinets varies, so go for the one that fits your budget.
- There are many wood options; however, you can consult an expert kitchen cabinet designer on the best wood.
- If you are looking for a huge space, consider the modern semi-customized cabinets that offer a range of organization.
Consider a door design that is unique and attractive and matches your kitchen color.
- Consider cabinet hardware and finishing design that complements the kitchen décor and style.
- Pick a color that blends well with the walls, countertops, and overall kitchen design.
Choosing Kitchen Cabinets – 9 Important Tips
The excitement of having new kitchen cabinets can sometimes be overwhelming. There are too many options to consider, which can confuse you.
Here are some key factors to consider when choosing your kitchen cabinets:
Consider Your Budget
Most manufacturers and retailers calculate their minimum pricing on a 20 linear feet kitchen. The average cost of standard kitchen cabinets for this kitchen size ranges from $1,500 to $7,000.
But for high-end custom cabinets, expect to pay about $30,000 or more. Besides the purchase cost, you will need to have your cabinets installed. The installation cost varies depending on the cabinet style such as a custom or semi-custom cabinets and material.
|Kitchen Cabinet Material||Approximated Cost|
|Wood Venner||$2,000 – $15,000+|
|Laminate||$4,000 – $15,000|
|Wood||$5,000 – $25,000+|
|Acrylic||$5,000 – $20,000|
|Stainless Steel||$25,000 – $38,000|
Before starting a kitchen renovation or installation of new cabinets, you need to have a tentative budget. Then, zero in on what you expect to spend on cabinets.
Once you know how much you’re willing to spend, you can now make a decent choice from the many available options.
Decide on Cabinet Design
There are tons of kitchen design ideas that give you endless options. However, when you know what you want, you will have no problem settling on a perfect style for your kitchen.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before making a kitchen cabinet design choice:
Do you wish to reflect the overall home design in the kitchen?
Most people prefer a kitchen that is in harmony with the current style of their home. It could be the entire design or just a part of it.
However, it is not uncommon to have a kitchen design that is different from the rest of the house. Whichever choice you make will help you narrow down the options and have a clear direction.
How much space do you have?
A large, open area is perfect for elegant, traditional designs. There are also many transitional cabinet styles, like Shaker-style cabinetry, that work well for any kitchen space.
What is your overall budget?
Cabinet designs vary in price, and knowing how much you are willing to spend, is crucial in determining the final product.
Decide on the Cabinet Wood Type
Wood is the most popular material for kitchen cabinets. It comes in different alternatives, including cherry wood, oak, maple, bamboo, mahogany, hickory, and pine. So, you will need to decide what wood to use for your cabinets.
If you are unsure what wood to go for, consult an experienced kitchen designer.
Pine is one of the cheapest and easiest-to-find hardwoods. It adds a beautiful, rustic look to kitchen spaces and does not lose its elegance as it ages.
Pinewood cabinets pair well in contemporary kitchens with modern hardware.
Oak is the most popular wood for kitchen cabinets. It is durable, reasonably cheap, and easy to find. Oak also holds up well to paint and stains.
The flame-like patterns of oak wood grains are recognizable from afar. They have a welcoming aesthetic and are perfect for a rustic, traditional kitchen. This wood is lightweight, easy to clean/ maintain, and can withstand everyday use.
Cherry wood is superb and adds a rich, luxurious feel to the kitchen. The more it’s exposed to the sun, the darker it turns.
Cherry is super-durable, easy to maintain, and rarely has chips or dents. For this reason, it’s pricier than most hardwoods.
Hickory is the most durable wood on the market. It is not susceptible to cracks, nicks, or moisture damage.
What many people love about hickory is its unique, two-toned appearance, made of natural streaks of darker reddish and lighter white wood. Moreover, it is available in a wide range of colors.
Maple is another fantastic wood for kitchen cabinets. It has lovely wood grains that show up through paint and stains. Besides the beauty, maple is very durable and so has a higher price tag.
Decide on the Amount of Storage Space You Want
Do you love humongous storage space?
Well, we have good news for you. You don’t need to invest heavily in luxury kitchen cabinets to get quality features.
So many semi-custom, moderately-priced cabinets offer a range of organization solutions like pull-out pantries and spice organizers.
On the contrary, if you don’t need much kitchen storage, go for smaller cabinets.
Choose the Door Style
So, you would want to make a good decision when choosing their design to ensure they are attractive and unique.
When choosing a cabinet door style, pick one that matches your kitchen/ home color theme and overall design. Some work well with traditional kitchens, while others are suitable for modern kitchens.
There are eight common door styles for kitchen cabinets:
Arched Cathedral: The door panel of this cabinet resembles an arched window. The arch can be raised or recessed within the door frame to suit your preference. This style is often preferred for upper-wall cabinets.
Beaded: This style features vertical panels with recessed lines and uniform beads.
Flat Panel: As the name suggests, doors here have single flat panels surrounded by molding. This style matches well with transitional kitchens.
Mission (Craftsman): This simple cabinet style has three vertical stiles on the door and features tongue-and-groove joinery. In most cases, doors with this style are made of oak and then stained so that the wood grains are pronounced.
Raised Panel (Traditional): These cabinets have a contoured groove around the molding, which causes the center panel to rise. Cabinets with raised panels are considered old school.
Shaker: These cabinets resemble mission cabinet style, except that they have narrower frame moldings. They have flat panels with simple lines. Shaker cabinets are durable, easy to clean and personalize.
Slab (Flat-Front): This is the most minimalist of all cabinet styles. These cabinets have single-board doors with no panels, molding, beveling, or ornamentation, and are also frameless cabinets. Most come with a push-to-open or finger-ledge mechanism to avoid hardware tools.
Handle-Free: Just like the slab, these cabinets use a tap or push latch system or finger-pull, lip, groove, and channel functions.
Select Cabinet Hardware
Cabinets are a significant part of a kitchen’s interior. It is the jewelry of your kitchen. So, ensure that you choose the proper hardware to create a stylish, beautiful, modern look.
Cabinet hardware includes:
Here are factors to consider when selecting cabinet hardware:
The Type of Hardware
Do you prefer knobs, pulls, or handles? Consider cabinet hardware that is comfortable to use and rhymes well with your kitchen style.
Get a sample of the pulls or knobs you are thinking of buying. Hold them against the cabinets and see how they look.
How do they fit and feel in your hand? Do you like their shape and size?
Tip: You can use one type of hardware in all the cabinets for a clean look or mix knobs and pulls or handles.
Type of Material
Most kitchen cabinet hardware is made of metal alloy. Brass is a popular choice as it is pretty durable. It is also antimicrobial, thus helping prevent the spread of germs.
Bronze hardware has a substantial feel and appearance. It is also antimicrobial and ideal for cabinets made of thicker wood.
Stainless steel is another good choice. It is durable and easy to maintain.
Other hardware materials include nickel, pewter, and vintage.
Handles Size and Positioning
When choosing your cabinetry hardware, size is an essential consideration. A large cabinet or drawer door needs a large knob or pull, and vice versa, for proper functionality. The recommended hardware size should be at least one-third the length of the cabinet.
Important Note: Usually, pulls are positioned vertically on cabinet doors and horizontally on drawers.
Style of the Hardware
There are five main styles of kitchen cabinet hardware. They include: contemporary, traditional, transitional, eclectic, and rustic.
Choose Finishing Options
When you have already decided on the cabinet design, cost, door style, and hardware choosing the right finish option are easy.
Cabinet finishes come in different types:
- antique and
When picking a finish, ensure it complements the kitchen décor and style.
If you love a natural kitchen appearance, consider solid wood. Solid wood can be painted or stained.
Think About the Function
Many of us have amazing ideas when installing new cabinets. Some prefer drawers under the countertop rather than shelves, while others love pull-out shelves. And some would prefer corner cabinets.
Whatever cabinet idea you decide to implement in your kitchen, ensure that it is functional.
Ask yourself, what type of products do I need to store in such cabinets? How easy will it be to access items from the cabinets?
Also, check to see that the drawers and cabinet doors are soft-close.
Choose a Harmonious Color Scheme
When choosing kitchen cabinets, it would be good to pick a color that blends well with the walls, countertops, and overall kitchen design.
Important Note: Color is one way to reflect your personality, and harmony gives the space a clean, seamless look.
The table below shows some of the most popular colors for kitchen cabinets.
Some Cabinet Brands to Consider
Are you wondering which cabinet brand to purchase? Here are some of the best:
IKEA. According to a survey done in 2019 on more than 1,500 customers who purchased kitchen cabinets, IKEA ranked the highest in overall satisfaction.
Other kitchen cabinet brands that rate high according to customer preferences include: