Replacing your kitchen cabinet doors can be one of the most affordable and effective ways to give your kitchen a fresh, updated look. Unlike a full kitchen remodel where you replace cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances, simply switching out the cabinet doors provides a new facelift without a huge investment of time and money.
However, while less expensive than a full remodel, new kitchen cabinet doors are still a significant purchase. Costs can range widely depending on factors like door material, style, size, and finish. Understanding what impacts the price is key to creating an accurate budget and getting the refreshed style you want at a price you can afford.
This guide will walk you through everything that contributes to the cost of replacing kitchen cabinet doors so you can make informed decisions and get the precise estimate you need. We’ll look at:
- The reasons to replace cabinet doors instead of full cabinets
- The different factors that affect replacement door costs
- Estimated price ranges for materials and labor
- Tips for saving money on your kitchen door project
- How to accurately calculate total project costs
Knowing what goes into pricing new cabinet doors helps you get the perfect balance of style and affordability for your kitchen refresh. You can also hire kitchen door replacement companies to do the work for you. With the right information, you can make choices that keep your costs reasonable while still getting updated doors that give your kitchen a completely new look.
Reasons to Replace Kitchen Cabinet Doors
There are several good reasons to consider replacing your kitchen cabinet doors if you are looking to update your kitchen’s style and appearance.
Update the Look of Your Kitchen
The most obvious reason is to simply give your kitchen a new, updated look. Even if you have nice, quality cabinet boxes, old or dated cabinet doors can make your kitchen seem stale and in need of refreshing. Replacing the doors provides an instant facial that transforms the entire look of your kitchen.
You can match the new cabinet doors to a contemporary, modern, traditional or transitional style you want for your kitchen. Changing the door style is an easy way to go from traditional to contemporary for example, without replacing the entire cabinet boxes.
Replace Damaged or Worn Doors
Over years of use, kitchen cabinet doors can become damaged or show significant signs of wear. Doors that are chipped, cracked, peeling or falling apart make your kitchen look messy and unkept. Replacing worn doors is an easy fix that makes your kitchen look cared for.
Cost Savings Over New Cabinets
In many cases, the underlying cabinet boxes and framework are still in good shape, despite old doors. Replacing just the doors provides a new kitchen look at a fraction of the price of replacing all of the cabinetry, which requires new cabinets, countertops, plumbing work, etc.
Door replacement alone allows you to refresh the style while saving big on demolition, carpentry and installation costs.
Easier Installation Than New Cabinets
Along with cost savings, replacing doors is a much quicker and easier installation project. Swapping out cabinet doors can usually be completed in a few days, compared to several weeks for full cabinet replacement. The process is easier for DIYers to complete as well.
The ease, cost-effectiveness, and dramatic results are why replacing cabinet doors is a smart choice for many homeowners compared to taking on a full kitchen remodel and cabinet replacement project.
Cost Factors for Replacing Kitchen Cabinet Doors
When budgeting for new kitchen cabinet doors, there are several factors that determine the total project cost. Taking these variables into account ensures you get an accurate estimate and choose new doors within your budget.
Number of Doors
The total number of cabinet doors needed is one of the biggest variables affecting overall project price. Most contractors and retailers price cabinet door replacement by the opening, even if an opening contains two doors.
You must measure all upper and lower cabinet openings requiring new doors to determine the total number. More doors equals higher material costs for the doors themselves. It also increases installation time and labor costs.
Cabinet doors come in a range of different materials, with varying durability, quality, and price points. Some examples include:
- Solid Wood – Most expensive option but very high quality and durable.
- Plywood – Made from multiple layers of wood veneer. More affordable but still durable.
- Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) – Made from wood fibers. Low cost but prone to swelling & warping.
- Thermofoil – Plastic laminate around a composite wood core. Budget-friendly.
- Laminate – Plastic laminate coating over a plywood or MDF core. Most affordable option.
Pricing for basic slab cabinet doors averages:
- Solid Wood: $50-$120 per sq. ft.
- Plywood: $35-$80 per sq. ft.
- MDF: $20-$50 per sq. ft.
- Thermofoil: $30-$60 per sq. ft.
- Laminate: $15-$40 per sq. ft.
Opting for a more premium material like solid wood adds cost, while laminate keeps costs lower.
Beyond the material, the overall style and design of the cabinet doors impact the price. Doors that are more ornate or involve extra fabrication and detailing cost more.
Some of the most common door styles, from simplest to most complex, include:
- Slab – A simple, flat panel door made from one piece of material. Most affordable.
- Shaker – A flat center panel bordered by a frame. Classic and clean style.
- Recessed Panel – A flat center panel set back into the door frame. Modest detail.
- Raised Panel – Center panel is raised out from the frame. More intricate style.
- Beadboard – Vertical grooves are cut into the panel. Requires more labor.
- Glass Front – Glass inserts within the door frame. Most expensive option.
Sticking with a simple slab or shaker-style door helps keep material and fabrication costs lower. Elaborate raised panels or glass inserts increase the price.
Standard cabinet door sizes are 24×24 inches or smaller. When you get into larger or custom-sized doors, the price increases. Larger doors require more materials, costing you more per door.
Odd-sized doors also often require custom fabrication, which adds to manufacturing and labor expenses. If possible, sticking with stock sizes can save you money.
Custom vs. Stock
Custom-made cabinet doors are tailored to your exact measurements and specifications. While this allows customization, it also increases costs over pre-made stock cabinet doors in standard sizes.
Semi-custom doors are a middle ground, offering some size and finish options beyond basic stock doors. Going full custom runs the highest price tag.
The overlay refers to how much of the door overlaps or covers the cabinet face frame when closed. Options include:
- Full Overlay – Doors completely cover the cabinet frame.
- Partial Overlay – The frame is partially visible around doors.
- Inset – Doors are set within a cabinet frame.
Inset cabinet doors often require more precision installation work, making them one of the more expensive options. Full overlay doors are simpler to install, keeping costs down.
Unfinished cabinet doors are the most affordable option, allowing you to apply stains, paints, glazes or other finishes yourself after installation. Pre-finished doors cost more but include factory finishing as part of the fabrication.
- Staining adds $4-$15 per sq.ft. depending on stain type.
- Painting adds $70-$125 per door for spray lacquer finishing.
The more finishing steps involved, the more you’ll pay for the completed cabinet doors.
Additional Cost Factors
On top of the direct costs for the new cabinet doors themselves, several other expenses factor into your total kitchen cabinet door replacement project budget.
Replacing kitchen cabinet doors as a DIY project can save on labor costs, but requires carpentry skills and tools. Hiring professional installation helps ensure proper measurements, level door hanging, and adjustments for clean alignment and operation.
Typical labor costs range:
- $140-$230 per door for installation
- $1700-$4600 for a full kitchen’s doors
Labor rates vary by location and contractor qualifications.
New Hinges and Hardware
For a complete facelift, new hinges, pulls, knobs, and other hardware should be installed to match your refreshed cabinet doors. These extras are an additional expense to factor in.
Once old doors are removed, it’s common to find damage or issues with underlying cabinet boxes that need repair prior to installing new doors. Addressing areas of swelling, rot, mold or other damage protects your investment in new doors.
Materials and Supplies
Other sundry materials needed for the cabinet door replacement process, including tools, fasteners, wood filler, sandpaper, primer, caulk, and cleaning supplies can add a few hundred dollars or more to your total costs if you don’t already have these on hand.
Don’t forget to account for applicable sales taxes on purchased materials when estimating your total project costs.
Adding up these secondary expenses helps provide the fullest possible estimate of what a kitchen cabinet door replacement project will require from a budget perspective.
Calculating Total Replacement Costs
To arrive at an accurate total for what your planned kitchen cabinet door replacement will cost, follow these steps:
Itemize All Doors
- Carefully measure each cabinet opening, including uppers and lowers.
- Note dimensions and tally the total number of door openings.
Select Door Materials and Styles
- Decide on door material (wood type, thermofoil, etc.) for aesthetics and budget.
- Choose a door style like a shaker, raised panel, slab, etc.
- Account for larger sizes or any custom fabrication.
Estimate Door Costs
- Research material costs per square foot and door quotes.
- Multiply by the total door square footage needed.
- Factor in any custom sizes or specialty features like glass.
Account for Labor
- Get quotes from contractors OR estimate DIY time investments.
- For pros, typical costs are $140-$230 per door installed.
Add in Extras
- Hinges, pulls, hardware
- Filler, sandpaper, supplies
- Cabinet repairs
- Sales tax
- Set aside 10-15% extra for unforeseen issues.
Doing the legwork on measurements and estimating costs for every aspect of the project provides a realistic budget sense before starting.
Quickly running some calculations on your phone for approximate costs can also help when shopping options to stay within budget. Being prepared for what replacement doors cost helps avoid mid-project surprises.
Saving on Replacement Door Costs
If your initial cost estimates are higher than expected, there are a few ways to scale back expenses without sacrificing the renewed style you want:
- Buy stock sizes – Custom doors add cost, so opt for in-stock standard sizes when possible.
- Use an affordable material – Thermofoil and laminate doors cost less than solid wood options.
- Choose a slab style – Slab cabinet doors are the most budget-friendly door style available.
- Shop online – Ordering direct from manufacturers cuts out retailer markups.
- Finish doors yourself – Opt for unfinished doors and apply stains/paints yourself after installing.
- Replace doors only – Much less expensive than replacing entire cabinet boxes and faces.
- DIY installation – Save on labor by taking on the project yourself if experienced.
- Time it right – Contractors may offer discounts on jobs booked during slower seasons.
Being flexible on door materials and style while taking advantage of DIY savings opportunities and online ordering helps lower the total expenditure for your kitchen refresh.
If needed, you can also break up the project into phases, spreading out costs over time. Replacing doors in the most visible areas or focal points provides great visual impact for less by completing the makeover in stages.
Replacing your kitchen cabinet doors provides a total facial for your kitchen at a fraction of a full remodel cost. But new doors are still a significant investment that requires careful planning and budgeting to get the most impact for your dollar.
Now that you understand all the factors that go into replacement door costs, from materials and finishes to hardware and labor, you can accurately estimate your total project investment.
Being armed with specific cost knowledge helps you avoid unexpected budget pitfalls down the road. This allows you to enter a cabinet door replacement project with confidence you will get the stylish kitchen revitalization you want at a price point you can handle.
With some smart planning and cost-saving measures, a kitchen with crisply renewed cabinet doors can be within your DIY reach, or a project you can budget for with a remodeling pro. The dramatic results are worth the upfront legwork to calculate real material and installation costs.
In no time, you can be cooking, dining, and entertaining in a kitchen that looks straight out of a magazine. Starting with just swapping out those worn old doors for fresh, updated ones makes the dream achievable and affordable.