CS Hardware Cabinets vs. Home Improvement Store Cabinets

Norwich Cabinet Series by JSI

When it’s time to either install a kitchen in a new home or remodel an existing kitchen, the cabinet choice requires careful consideration. Color, style, and functionality must fit the budget, and kitchen cabinet costs add up quickly. Homeowners want high-quality cabinets without the price tag of custom kitchen cabinets. Affordable kitchen cabinets are out there, and many DIY homeowners research the pros and cons of ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets and how they compare with in-stock options at big box home improvement stores. When choosing your kitchen cabinets, look at style options, price, cost of installation, quality, and level of customer service support. RTA kitchen cabinets from CS Hardware are often your best choice.

What are the average costs for home improvement store cabinets?

When you browse big box store kitchen cabinets online or at the store itself, you’ll discover that their products run from about $110 for small wall cabinets to around $200–$400 for standard wall or base cabinets. Oven cabinets can cost up to $1650 per cabinet, which is about as expensive as big home improvement store kitchen cabinets get. Expect to see price tags around $600 for top-of-the-line standard or large wall and base cabinets, although some ring up between $300-$500. These general ranges do not include installation fees or specialty sized cabinets like pantries, lazy Susans, and corner cabinets, but these numbers provide a general idea of what you can expect to pay for specialty cabinets. Home improvement stores charge a considerable amount for installation, resulting in sticker shock for many homeowners who thought big box stores were a cheaper route for remodeling.

What are the average costs for CS Hardware ready-to-assemble cabinets?

CS Hardware offers high-quality RTA cabinets at affordable prices. The Norwich series by JSI Cabinetry offers standard single wall cabinets starting at $134 or base cabinets that range from $210 to $821 depending on the size. The Ellisen series, our most affordable RTA cabinets, ranges from $185 for a standard wall cabinet up to $719 for a glass door wall cabinet with six bottom mount drawers. Standard base cabinets in this line range from $268 to $604 depending on size.

How much does it cost to install cabinets from home improvement stores vs. CS Hardware?

The two main home improvement stores have varying installation prices depending on the project’s labor costs, location, scope, and materials. An installation with budget-friendly kitchen cabinets may run you from $5000–$8000, but if you have a big kitchen you’re stocking with high-end cabinets and accessories, installation fees can reach up to $40,000–$50,000. In general, expect to pay somewhere around $12,000 for a full kitchen cabinet installation from a home improvement store.

With RTA kitchen cabinets from CS Hardware, you assemble and install them yourself, so you don’t spend a dime on labor costs unless you decide to hire a contractor to install them for you. However, we supply high quality RTA cabinets that are easy to put together and install, and we offer plenty of videos and customer support. Without installation fees, CS Hardware’s RTA cabinets save you thousands of dollars on your kitchen renovation costs.

How is the quality of CS Hardware cabinets compared to big box home improvement stores?

Home improvement stores usually carry about three product tiers of RTA cabinets: a budget series, a mid-level series, and a high-end series. Budget series kitchen cabinets available at big box stores are made from cheaper materials, often particle board or furniture board (a similar composite), and assemble with inexpensive cam locks. Mid-level RTA kitchen cabinets from these retailers may offer plywood construction, soft close hinges, and include dovetail joints instead of cam locks. High-end RTA cabinets assemble with dovetail joints, offer soft close hinges, and feature all wood construction or melamine-covered chipboard. It’s common to find that home improvement stores may opt to carry only a mid-level product in shaker, modern, and slab front styles. You don’t get a lot of choices.

At CS Hardware, we also offer RTA kitchen cabinets for different budgets, mostly all of our cabinets include an all-wood construction and soft close hinges. You’ll find cabinets with a solid build as well as high-quality shelving and finishes. Most of our RTA cabinets feature dovetail joint assembly instead of cam locks. Unlike with the home improvement stores, which offer a very limited selection of RTA cabinet options, CS Hardware gives you plenty of choices in shaker style cabinets, traditional cabinets, stained wood or painted cabinets, transitional cabinets, and modern slab front cabinets. We have entire selections dedicated to white or gray cabinets, the two most popular colors for kitchens. In sum, you get more options in a better quality product that is designed to last for years and years. 

Legend Rainier Pebble and Rainier Granite
Photo Credit: Legend Cabinetry

Customer Service Support with RTA Kitchen Cabinets from CS Hardware

As a final note of comparison between CS Hardware kitchen cabinets and those offered at big box home improvement stores, we’d like to mention that we pride ourselves on personalized customer service. When you purchase your RTA cabinets from us, you get a whole team trained to troubleshoot cabinet assembly and installation. We’re here to help you every step of the way. If you’re not sure about style, color, or quality, we offer sample doors in several popular styles for $25, so you can inspect the product before committing to a full set. Contact us today to get started on your new kitchen with high-quality RTA kitchen cabinets from CS Hardware.