BWC Basics: Are Shaker Cabinets Expensive?

If you’re just beginning your kitchen design journey, you’ve likely already begun looking at all the different types of cabinets on the market. There are so many different cabinet styles in the kitchen design industry, especially in the online space, that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. 

Luckily, the design world is filled with trends, and the DIY remodeling industry is no exception. Shaker cabinets are one of the most popular cabinet styles of the last few years, and for good reason. In this blog, we’ll dive into what makes a cabinet shaker style, if shaker cabinets are expensive, and why you should seriously consider the popularity of shaker-style kitchens. 

What is a Shaker Cabinet? 

Although they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years, shaker doors and cabinets have been around for a long time. Named after a religious group that separated from the Quakers in the 18th century, shaker-style doors are known for being simple and complimentary to many kitchens, including those in both the modern and traditional styles. 

These cabinets are typically distinguished by their classic five-panel construction, with raised panel rail frames and a recessed panel door. This construction makes for clean lines and an essentially blank canvas for any number of kitchen styles and designs. Although the shakers didn’t believe in adding embellishments or special veneers to their furniture, many households nowadays paint their shaker cabinets in a variety of different colors to compliment their overall kitchen theme. 

Shaker cabinets are popular because of their classic design, but they’re also popular because they are usually made of solid wood and tend to be one of the more affordable options in kitchen cabinetry. 

Cabinet Pricing Overview

There are many factors that go into the price of a cabinet, regardless of design. Below, we explain how different aspects of a cabinet can affect the ultimate cost and what you can expect from different choices. 

Custom vs. Stock Cabinets

There are two primary ways that one can go about purchasing kitchen cabinets: buying stock cabinets or ordering custom-made cabinetry. While some perceive stock cabinets as being more cheaply made than custom cabinets, the truth is that the main difference between the two kinds is one of convenience—and even then, the convenience of each type of cabinet depends on your specific needs. 

The possibilities for stock cabinets are limitless. Stock cabinets are available in nearly every kind of material and finish, and come in both ready-to-assemble (RTA) and pre-assembled configurations. The only true limitation of stock cabinets occurs when you have an oddly-shaped kitchen or irregular corners in your cabinet space. 

For this reason, custom cabinets are most helpful for people with specific needs for cabinet shape and configuration. Custom cabinets will almost always be more expensive than stock cabinets because they are made-to-order. 


There is an abundance of options when it comes to cabinet material. From different types of wood species and finishes to non-wood materials like acrylic, laminate, and stainless steel, a full cabinet set can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $38,000 at certain cabinet stores.

It is also important to note that oftentimes, cabinet door and drawer materials are different. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—if a cabinet door or drawer front is solid wood, it won’t matter to guests or viewers whether the cabinet box is solid wood or plywood. 

As a general idea, real, solid wood cabinets tend to be the most expensive material for kitchen cabinets, though the price does vary depending on what kind of wood is used. 

Special Features

In addition to the above features, there are many extra features that you can add to your cabinets that may make them more expensive. These include UV-coated interiors, full extension glides, soft close features, dovetail drawers, and more inclusions and details that can make your cabinets more convenient and unique to you.

Most of these features will result in an additional cost, but there is no set price for each feature. 

Labor and Installation

There seems to be a significant price difference between RTA and pre-assembled cabinets when it comes to labor costs. The cost of pre-assembled cabinets includes the cost of the labor that the manufacturer spent on putting the cabinets together, while RTA cabinets tend to have a lower initial cost because any time spent on labor or money spent on tools will come out of the customer’s pocket. 

That being said, the price does depend on all of the factors above, not just one or two. Ultimately, cabinet price will be determined on a case-by-case basis, fluctuating based on the combination of each aspect of the cabinets. 

Are Shaker Cabinets Expensive? 

As with all kinds of cabinets, the price of shaker cabinets depends on the many factors that go into making the cabinets unique. Generally, however, shaker cabinets are not expensive. The simple design of shaker cabinets, with raised panel doors, means that there is less cost involved in embellishments, ornamentation, and labor than in other more bespoke cabinets.

The versatility of the design will also lead to lower costs in the future. Because shaker cabinets are timeless, you do not need to reface or replace your cabinets the next time there is a change in kitchen design trends. At most, you can refinish or paint your cabinets to give your kitchen a refresh. 

Because shaker cabinets are incredibly popular, there are multiple options for stock, RTA, and other more affordable methods for ordering these cabinets. As always, the price of your purchase depends on the choices you make, but shaker cabinets come with many options that allow you to purchase cabinets from anywhere on the cost spectrum.

Shaker Cabinets at Wholesale Prices

Now that you know more about shaker cabinets and what might make them more or less expensive, you’ll have a better idea of what you’re looking for in your kitchen redesign. There are countless options for shaker cabinets on the market today, and it’s important to keep everything above in mind during your shopping process. 

For complete sets of high-quality, solid-wood shaker cabinets with features like full-extension glides, dovetail drawers, and soft-close doors, all at wholesale prices, take a look at the Buy Wholesale Cabinets catalog. We pride ourselves on offering the best value in cabinetry, with great prices and unbeatable service.

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