How do I Choose the Best Inexpensive Kitchen Cabinets?

Harriette Halepis

With all the cabinet choices on the market, it's hard to select the perfect cabinets for your kitchen. Some cabinets will take a large chunk out of your remodeling budget, while others are more modestly priced. If you're looking for inexpensive kitchen cabinets, there are a couple of steps you can take to ensure that you find the quality cabinets at the right price.

Kitchen with hardwood cabinets.
Kitchen with hardwood cabinets.

The first step towards finding inexpensive kitchen cabinets is to determine what your budget is. To do this, figure out what your entire kitchen remodeling budget is, and then divide that number in half. This amount should be the amount that you spend on your kitchen cabinets. Since your cabinets will define your entire kitchen space, it's important to purchase the best cabinets that you can afford.

Kitchen with composite wood cabinets.
Kitchen with composite wood cabinets.

Once your kitchen cabinet budget has been decided, you'll have to turn your attention towards cabinet construction. There are three basic types of kitchen cabinet construction including custom, semi-custom, and stock. Standard kitchen cabinets that can be found in any hardware or home improvement store are often called stock cabinets. These are inexpensive kitchen cabinets, but they don't include a lot of different options.

Stock cabinets are usually made in one color, width, design, and size. The biggest problem that most consumers have with stock cabinets is that they do not always fit every kitchen cabinet space. If you choose stock cabinets, then you may have to use filler strips in order to fill in sections of cabinet space. Unlike stock cabinets, semi-custom cabinets can be shaped and cut to fit your kitchen.

Semi-stock cabinets are designed by a cabinet manufacturer after you place an order with a home improvement store. These made-to-order cabinets can include as many options as you like, from sliding drawers to intricate designs. Semi-custom cabinets may cost more than stock cabinets, though they are often a worthwhile investment.

Custom cabinets are not considered inexpensive kitchen cabinets, but you may want to consider these cabinets if you have an oddly shaped kitchen space. A custom cabinet can make all of your remodeling dreams come true, though you will have to set aside a large chunk of your budget for these expensive cabinets.

Before purchasing inexpensive kitchen cabinets, make sure to compare different materials. Wooden cabinets are classic, but many cheaper wooden cabinets are not made from solid wood. Thus, it's important to look for solid wood models. Metal cabinets are modern and clean, though they may not mesh with your decor in the future. Lastly, cabinets that are made from laminate are always inexpensive, though this material will not last as long as wood or metal.

Kitchen cabinets that are constructed using laminate are typically easier to clean than those made from hardwoods.
Kitchen cabinets that are constructed using laminate are typically easier to clean than those made from hardwoods.

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