Cabinet Cost Comparison: Are Shaker Cabinets Cheap?

rta cabinets, wholesale cabinets

With so many options on the market for bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors, it can be hard to know the best option for you. This is especially true when you have trouble deciding between two or more types of cabinets with styles that you can imagine in your space. In cases like these, it can be helpful to look at aspects of the cabinets other than the style and design. Especially in kitchens, where you will likely need to purchase a full set of cabinets, you may want to consider the price of the cabinet style you’re looking for. In this blog, we’ll answer all of your questions about cabinet prices, including whether shaker cabinets are cheap. 

What Are Shaker Style Cabinets?

Despite the fact that shaker-style doors are one of, if not the, most popular cabinet styles around, they’re not new to the scene. These cabinets have been around since the 1800s, when the Shakers—a sect of Quakers who believed in hard work, utilitarianism, and simplicity—invented them to get closer to God through their carpentry. Much like the Shakers, shaker cabinets are well known for their simple design, durable construction, and lasting style. 

Because of the simplicity of their design, which features a five-panel construction with raised panel stiles and rails and a recessed panel in the center, shaker-style cabinet doors fit perfectly in any kitchen style, including the modern, farmhouse, and traditional styles. Although the white shaker cabinet is the most popular nowadays, these cabinets can be painted in any color or veneer, and while most are made of solid wood, they can come in any number of materials. 

What Determines A Kitchen Cabinet’s Price?

There are multiple factors that go into the price of a kitchen cabinet, and it isn’t necessarily an easy formula. Below, we explain some of the primary determinants of cabinet prices.


When it comes to kitchen cabinet materials, your options are nearly limitless. Cabinets come in various materials, from medium-density fiberwood (MDF) or plywood to solid wood in many different species, as well as many non-wood materials, such as laminate, acrylic, or stainless steel.

Much as your options have a wide range, so do their prices. Materials like MDF and plywood tend to be less expensive because they’re mass-manufactured and easy to make. While they can be durable, they are often less sturdy than materials like solid wood, which tend to be more expensive because of their quality and the difficulty in finding large enough pieces of wood. Similarly, some non-wood materials tend to carry a hefty price because of their ability to last for years. Full sets of materials like acrylic and stainless steel can cost upwards of $20,000 depending on some other factors, which we will discuss.

Additional Features

In addition to the cabinet door’s material, there are many additional features that can put a cabinet above the rest. These include dovetail drawers, full-extension glides, UV-coated interiors, soft-close features, and more details and inclusions that may make your cabinets more unique or make using them easier. 

While there’s no set price for each feature, most of these additions will result in an extra cost. However, this price is typically included in the price of the cabinet, as there are companies that only sell cabinets with these features. 

Stock vs. Custom Cabinets

The construction of the cabinets is not the only thing that might affect their price. While there are hundreds of different kinds of cabinets based on style and material, there are also only two kinds: stock and custom. 

Stock cabinets are mass-produced, which means that they are typically available in the most popular styles and colors and the most common sizes and dimensions, but they are available in many less common styles and materials as well. Because the production of these cabinets is so streamlined, the cabinets tend to be less expensive—but that doesn’t mean that the quality is any lower than other kinds of cabinets. These cabinets are available in ready-to-assemble (RTA) and pre-assembled forms. The biggest, and arguably the only, limitation of stock cabinets is that they may not fit in your kitchen or bathroom if the dimensions of the space are irregular or oddly shaped.

Installation and Labor

In addition to the physical makeup of the cabinets and the way they’re made, another aspect that affects the price of a cabinet is how it arrives at your door. The two ways that cabinets are delivered are RTA and pre-assembled, and they come exactly how they sound. 

RTA cabinets are flat-packed and need to be installed and assembled by yourself. This means that the shipping for RTA cabinets is much cheaper, and you will not have to pay for any professional assembly. That being said, you will be paying more in terms of time and labor, as you may need to spend some time or even purchase a few tools to assemble the cabinets. 

Pre-assembled cabinets, on the other hand, will save you time, as they arrive completely assembled, and you only need to install them into your cabinet space. That being said, the cost of shipping will likely be much more than flat-packed RTA cabinets, as the box will be much bulkier. Furthermore, you will need to pay the labor fees associated with professional assembly, as professionals often use specific tools and materials, such as wood glue, in their assembly processes. 

In addition to these options, you may opt to pay a professional to install your cabinets, be they RTA or pre-assembled. These fees will depend on the amount of space and number of cabinets you need to be installed, as well as how complex or irregular the space is. 

Comparing Cabinet Costs

While all of the above will affect the cost of a cabinet, pricing still varies depending on the style and design you choose. Below, we’ve provided a quick overview of some of the most popular cabinet drawer front styles and their prices. 

Slab Cabinet Doors

Also known as flat panel doors, these cabinets are made of one solid piece of the material they’re composed of. These doors have no raised or recessed pieces, and are associated with modern-style kitchens. Although these doors may come in lesser materials like MDF or plywood, they are most typically offered in solid wood. It’s difficult to find high-quality solid wood in large enough pieces to cover an entire cabinet door, especially because the wood needs to be perfectly flat. 

Traditional Cabinet Doors

Often associated with raised panel doors, traditional cabinetry typically has intricate embellishments and details in the wood. These cabinets have a variety of different designs, but many look similar to shaker-style cabinets with their stile-and-rail construction (meaning that there are panels along the sides). The primary price difference between traditional and shaker cabinets is that the details on traditional doors often make them more expensive, as although these cabinets can be mass-produced, there are so many different styles that they tend to be produced in smaller batches.

Glass-Front Cabinets

Glass-front cabinets tend to be more expensive than other cabinet styles, as high-quality glass is more expensive on average than other cabinet materials, including MDF and solid wood. 

Shaker Kitchen Cabinets

Because of their simple design and widespread popularity, shaker cabinets are easy to make and are made often. In addition to this, shaker cabinets are made of materials of all kinds, meaning that they can fit any budget. That being said, even solid wood shaker cabinets tend to be more affordable than other styles because they can be easily produced. For all of these reasons and more, shaker cabinets are cheap without sacrificing quality. 

Affordable Shaker Style Cabinets with Buy Wholesale Cabinets

Now that you have a better idea of what makes cabinets more or less affordable, you can comfortably answer the question, “are shaker cabinets cheap.” Although there are many different factors that go into the price of cabinets, it is safe to say that shaker-style cabinets are the perfect choice for those who want timeless kitchen design without breaking the bank. 

For high-quality, solid wood cabinets with additional features such as dovetail joints, full-extension glides, and soft-close features, check out the catalog of shaker cabinets at Buy Wholesale Cabinets. At Buy Wholesale Cabinets, we pride ourselves on unbeatable prices and extraordinary customer service. Contact us for a free quote on your new shaker cabinets today!

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