Kitchen cabinets can be one of the most expensive parts of renovating or remodeling a kitchen. With the cost of wood, hardware, and installation, new cabinets can set you back thousands of dollars. However, there are ways to get beautiful, functional cabinets without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for finding cheap kitchen cabinets that don’t sacrifice quality or style.

Shop Discount Retailers

Big box home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s offer some of the best prices on stock, mid-range cabinets. Visit their kitchen departments or websites to browse options. Watch for sales, coupons, and specials to get even deeper discounts. Also check outlet or clearance sections for significant savings on discounted models.

IKEA is another excellent source for contemporary, budget-friendly cabinets. Their SEKTION system has customizable frames and doors that start under $100 per cabinet box. Assembly is required, but the finished products belie their bargain price tag.

Discount building supply retailers like Habitat for Humanity ReStores also carry quality used kitchen cabinets at 50-75% off retail pricing. Selection varies, but patient shoppers can find cabinets in like-new condition.

Shop Online

Online retailers like Wayfair and Overstock have a huge selection of affordable cabinets in various styles. Ordering online cuts costs by eliminating designer showroom expenses. Use the filters to shop by price, size, finish, and features to hone in on cabinets within your budget.

eBay and Craigslist classifieds also have new, used, and vintage cabinets listed at reasonable prices. Delivery or pick-up needs to be arranged with individual sellers, but the deals can outweigh the extra effort.

Choose Stock Cabinets

Stock, or ready-to-assemble, cabinets are much cheaper than custom-built cabinetry. Home improvement stores keep popular sizes, wood species, and finishes in stock for convenient selection. Assemble them yourself or pay extra for professional installation.

Opt for particle board or thermofoil over solid wood doors and drawer fronts to trim costs further. Melamine interiors also keep stock cabinet prices low while still offering durability.

Though stock cabinets are mass-produced, simple shaker styles and neutral finishes give them a high-end, built-in look. Add interesting hardware to make basic cabinets pop.

Consider Used Cabinets

Used cabinets from salvage companies, auctions, or resale shops provide an affordable alternative to new cabinets. Refinishing or repainting outdated finishes gives used cabinets a fresh, updated look.

Replace old hardware and add modern accents like glass inserts or lighting to customize recycled cabinets. Building additional cabinets or replacing damaged components saves money over full-price cabinet sets.

Go for Ikea

As mentioned previously, IKEA is a prime source for modern, inexpensive cabinetry. Their SEKTION frame system accepts customized fronts in various materials, including budget options like vinyl and high-gloss foil.

Opt for hidden hinges and soft-close hardware for a sophisticated look that belies the bargain price. Keep costs down by skipping lighting and glass inserts. IKEA’s BODBYN off-white cabinets resemble pricier shaker style for a fraction of the cost.

Prioritize Function Over Form

Simplicity is inexpensive when it comes to cabinetry. Choose flat slab doors over ornate raised panels, and opt for minimalist hardware and accents.

Focus budget on visible areas like lower cabinets and save on upper cabinets, which see less wear and occupy prime storage space. Invest in drawers and pull-outs to maximize functionality.

Shop Sales and Clearance

Keep an eye out for sale or clearance cabinets at home improvement stores, especially following holidays or seasonal inventory changeovers. Big box retailers often deeply discount display models or discontinued styles.

Sign up for store credit cards to take advantage of additional coupons and savings. The future interest is negligible for a big one-time purchase paid off during the promotional financing period.

Consider Ready-to-Assemble

Ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets come in a flat pack for customer assembly. DIY cabinets offer significant savings over pre-assembled options since you aren’t paying for installation labor costs.

Many home improvement retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot sell quality RTA cabinets with clear instructions for easy assembly. Watch tutorial videos to learn key steps before purchase.

Reface Existing Cabinets

Replacing just the exterior doors and drawers of existing cabinets costs a fraction of fully replacing cabinet boxes. Choose new veneer, paint, thermofoil, or other facing material to update the look.

Refresh interiors by adding fresh paint, laminate, or wood veneer. Upgrade hardware and lighting fixtures to finish the facelift for a custom look at the price of stock cabinets.

Final Thoughts

With some savvy shopping at discount retailers and online stores, it’s possible to find stylish kitchen cabinets at affordable prices. Prioritizing value over luxury features keeps costs low without sacrificing function. Secondhand and RTA options also stretch the cabinet budget. Invest in key surfaces like doors and drawers to make cheap cabinets look like a custom splurge. With creativity and patience, beautiful kitchen cabinets can fit smaller budgets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the cheapest options for kitchen cabinets?

The cheapest kitchen cabinet options include ready-to-assemble (RTA) stock cabinets, melamine boxes with thermofoil doors, refacing existing cabinets, buying used cabinets, and choosing simple slab door styles.

Where can I find inexpensive kitchen cabinets?

IKEA, discount home improvement retailers, Habitat for Humanity ReStores, online stores like Wayfair and Overstock, and classified ads are good sources for budget-friendly new and used cabinets.

How much do cheap kitchen cabinets cost?

Cheap stock cabinets can range from $50-150 per linear foot installed. Refacing existing cabinets costs about 50% less than new cabinetry. Used and RTA options provide additional savings.

What are signs of cheap kitchen cabinets?

Cheap cabinets may have thin material, basic hardware, limited adjustments, lack advanced storage solutions, and have economy door styles like slab, shaker, or simple raised panel.

Should I buy used kitchen cabinets?

Used kitchen cabinets are a smart budget choice if they are structurally sound and you don’t mind repainting or refinishing them. Replace damaged components and upgrade hardware to customize recycled cabinets.

Can I make inexpensive cabinets look expensive?

Adding touches like crown molding, glass cabinet inserts, soft-close hardware, decorative accents, and new hardware makes cheap cabinets look more high-end. Invest in high-quality doors and drawers.