The most accurate way to compare kitchen cabinet prices is to get full estimates for the entire kitchen from several retailers and compare the results. But that can be a big and timely job, which can be avoided by taking a simpler approach, as outlined below.
Choose a Standard Product to Compare
Two of the most common components of kitchen cabinetry are a 30-inch-wide base cabinet with one drawer over two doors and an adjustable shelf and a 30-inch-wide by 30-inch-high wall cabinet with two doors.
Get Price Estimates
Using just these two components, shop around for prices. If you are considering ready-to-assemble (RTA)cabinets, gather prices from Ikea and from two or three other suppliers. You may need to gather prices on cabinet boxes from one supplier, doors from another and hardware from a third. Fortunately, RTA cabinet suppliers are often very helpful in recommending sources for any other materials you may need. You should be able to do all of this work online.
If you prefer to buy assembled cabinets, visit Home Depot, Lowe’s, and a couple of local kitchen showrooms to gather prices for the two cabinets. You may be able to do much of this work online.
Compare Apples to Apples
As much as possible, try to find cabinets from each supplier that are as similar as possible in materials, finishes, warranties and overall quality.
Get the Full Cost
Be sure to include any delivery charges in your estimates, and make sure that you keep any assembly and installation estimates separately from the cabinet prices.
Estimate for the Whole Kitchen
You now have the prices of 2 1/2 linear feet of cabinets (based on the 30-inch widths) from several suppliers. Divide the total price of each set of cabinets by 2.5 to determine the price per lineal foot for wall and base cabinets combined. Now measure how many linear feet of cabinets you need. Multiply that figure by the “per foot” price of each cabinet pair to get a reasonable estimate of what the total cabinet bill will be for each of them.
For example, if the two cabinets from supplier X cost a total of $400, the price per lineal foot is $160. If you need 15 linear feet of cabinets, the total price will be $2,400.
Make Your Choice
You may be shocked at the wide discrepancy in prices you find, even among cabinets that appear to be quite similar in quality. But with the knowledge you've gained from only a modest amount of work, you should be able to make an informed decision about which cabinets to choose.