What to Consider Before Purchasing High End Kitchen Cabinets

A kitchen remodel often starts with new kitchen cabinets. While there are many options for cabinets at various price points, investing in high end kitchen cabinets can transform the look, feel, and functionality of your kitchen. High end kitchen cabinets offer superior craftsmanship, materials, and design features that set them apart from standard cabinetry. However, they also represent a significant investment. Before purchasing high end kitchen cabinets, there are several factors you’ll want to take into consideration.

Assess Your Budget

High end kitchen cabinets come at a premium cost compared to stock or semi-custom cabinets. While prices vary by manufacturer, style, and materials, expect to pay at minimum $150 per linear foot for high end cabinetry, with costs easily exceeding $1000 per linear foot for the most high-end designs. When budgeting, be sure to factor in all costs including:

  • Cabinet box construction
  • Door styles
  • Drawer configurations
  • Interior fittings and organizational features
  • Decorative hardware
  • Tax
  • Delivery
  • Professional installation

Create a budget upfront so you can narrow your search to cabinetry lines that fit comfortably within your price expectations. Shopping with a clear budget will prevent “sticker shock” when quoting your remodel. If your budget won’t stretch for a full kitchen of top-of-the-line cabinets, consider mixing lines or reserving high end cabinets just for key areas like the kitchen island.

Kitchen Layout and Design

The layout of your kitchen is the foundation that will determine what type of cabinetry fits best. Consider the size of the space, traffic flow, placement of appliances, windows and doors.

  • Decide if you want an open concept kitchen or prefer it more closed off.
  • Take measurements and create a floorplan to map out your ideal kitchen design.
  • Look at how you currently use your kitchen. How would your lifestyle and cooking habits be impacted by new cabinet configurations?

Thinking through the functional elements will help narrow down what style and size of high end cabinets to look for.

Choose a Reputable Manufacturer

Stick with well-known luxury brands when investing in high end kitchen cabinets. While small custom shops can produce quality work, larger manufacturers will have a proven reputation and wide range of style options to choose from. Look for cabinet makers that use the highest grade materials, employ master craftsmen, and have been in business for decades. Some examples of reputable high end cabinet manufacturers include:

  • Poggenpohl
  • SieMatic
  • Leicht
  • Pedini
  • CustomCraft
  • Cesar
  • Habersham
  • Christopher Peacock

Luxury manufacturers will have showrooms where you can review products in person. Be sure to inspect cabinet doors, drawers, finishes and hardware closely. Exacting craftsmanship and durable joinery should be evident. Many high end companies will also allow you to customize cabinets to your exact specifications.

Choose the Right Materials

The materials used in construction are what set high end kitchen cabinets apart. While less expensive cabinets rely on plywood boxes and plastic laminate finishes, true luxury cabinetry employs solid hardwoods, premium finishes, and state-of-the-art hardware. Some materials to look for include:

Solid Hardwood Construction

The best cabinet boxes will be made from solid maple, cherry, or other quality hardwoods rather than plywood or particleboard. Dovetail joinery will connect drawers. Durable European-style hinges and full-extension drawer guides should smoothly operate.

Architectural Finishes

High end kitchen cabinets move beyond basic stain or paint to architectural finishes. Textured laminates, like woodgrain textured melamine or metal laminates, provide depth and visual interest. Genuine metals, such as stainless steel, bronze, or copper offer an ultra high-end aesthetic.

Natural Stone Countertops

Integrated countertops move to natural stones like granite, marble, or quartz rather than plastic laminate. Some companies will allow you to select slabs from their stone inventory to seamlessly match your cabinetry.

Premium Hardware

Drawer pulls, knobs, and handles move to premium materials like solid brass, polished nickel, antique bronze, wrought iron, or glass. Soft-close hinges prevent slamming. Touch latch mechanisms enable handleless, modern designs.

Take time to analyze the materials to ensure they are top quality and meet your expectations for longevity. Beware of wood veneers that can easily scratch and age.

Select a Timeless Door Style

An extensive selection of door styles should be available from high end kitchen cabinet manufacturers. While you’ll pay more for custom doors, stock and semi-custom designs offer wider options than home improvement stores. Consider timeless trends and choices like:

  • Slab cabinet doors – Offering a simple, integrated look, slab cabinet doors have a uniform flat panel design. Choice of wood types and finishes vary the look.
  • Shaker style doors – Defined by a recessed center panel bordered by a square frame, Shaker style doors have a classic, timeless aesthetic. They work in both modern and traditional kitchens.
  • Flat panel doors – Similar to slab, but with more detailing. Beveled or arched options available.
  • Inset cabinet doors – Doors mount inside the cabinet frame, so the door edges are concealed. Creates a furniture-like look.
  • Louvered doors – Horizontal slats spaced apart for an airy, elegant appearance. Work well in Colonial, Craftsmen, or Mediterranean style kitchens.
  • Glass cabinet doors – Integrate glass panels for display cabinets or light reflection. Often paired with metal or wood frames.
  • Mitered doors – Door joints are mitered at a 45 degree angle for a finished, custom appearance.

While ornate carved doors come in and out of vogue, simple and flat panel door styles retain their popularity over decades. Select a style aligned with your kitchen’s overall design aesthetic.

Design with Customization in Mind

One advantage of purchasing from a luxury manufacturer rather than a home improvement store is the ability to customize. Semi-custom and custom cabinetry allow you to:

  • Modify standard cabinet sizes including heights, widths, and depths
  • Add interior fittings like roll-out trays, spice racks, and pull-out storage
  • Choose premium materials like glass doors, wood veneers, or metal finishes
  • Design unique configurations like angled cabinets or furniture-height islands
  • Personalize hardware finishes and styling
  • Optimize drawer configurations
  • Integrate smart storage solutions

Work with your kitchen designer to create one-of-a-kind elements that accommodate your kitchenware, cooking preferences, and lifestyle needs. Draw inspiration from luxury kitchen photos but make choices fitting your unique space.

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

There is a point of diminishing returns when investing in high end kitchen cabinets. Just because you can afford premium does not mean more is necessarily better. Thoughtfully evaluate your family’s needs when deciding on cabinet configurations, storage solutions, and material upgrades. Steer clear of over-optimizing or over-designing a kitchen. Prioritize quality craftsmanship and purposeful features suited to your lifestyle over unnecessary excess.

Confirm Delivery Timelines

While stock cabinetry may ship within a week, high end custom cabinetry typically takes 6-12 weeks from order to delivery due to the detailed construction process. Some semi-custom designs may ship within 3-4 weeks. Build appropriate lead time into your renovation schedule and confirm time estimates with manufacturers. Order cabinets early so they arrive on site in sync with demolition, new flooring installation, and other remodel steps.

Hire Skilled Installers

DIY is not advised for installing luxury cabinetry. The high cost warrants hiring professional technicians to properly install your investment. Many manufacturers can recommend or contract qualified installers familiar with their cabinetry lines. Confirm qualifications like certification, reputation, experience, insurance, and licensing. The installer must expertly measure, perfectly align, level, and anchor your cabinets. Be on site during the process to inspect work and request any adjustments.

Weigh Pros and Cons of High End Kitchen Cabinets

While the upgrade cost of high end kitchen cabinets is obvious, take time to consider the long-term pros and cons:


  • Heirloom quality and craftsmanship
  • Investment value added to your home
  • Extensive customization capabilities
  • Superior storage and organization
  • Durability for decades of use
  • Pride in an exquisite, high-functioning kitchen
  • Prestige of owning luxury products


  • Significant upfront cost
  • Lengthy lead times for custom work
  • Overkill for a kitchen not frequently used
  • Risk of damage from improper installation
  • Styling may eventually look dated
  • Resale value difficult to recoup

If investing in your forever home, the pros often outweigh the cons when it comes to splurging on high end kitchen cabinets. But weigh your options carefully according to your individual situation.

What to Consider Before Purchasing High End Kitchen Cabinets – Key Takeaways

Upgrading to high end kitchen cabinets requires a substantial investment, but the resulting kitchen can be truly remarkable. To make the most out of such a purchase:

  • Take time to research manufacturers and product lines
  • Set and stick to a comfortable budget with room for customization
  • Touch and inspect cabinetry in person before purchase
  • Select styles aligned with your home’s character
  • Customize cabinets to match your storage needs
  • Allow plenty of lead time for production and delivery
  • Hire reputable professionals for installation
  • Weigh the long term pros and cons before purchase

By approaching the decision with eyes wide open, you can end up with the amazing kitchen of your dreams that retains functionality and beauty for decades to come. Invest wisely in cabinetry matched to your space, lifestyle and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions About Purchasing High End Kitchen Cabinets

Purchasing luxury kitchen cabinets is a major investment. Consider the following frequently asked questions before making a decision:

How much do high end kitchen cabinets cost?

Expect to spend a minimum of $150 per linear foot. Costs over $1000 per linear foot are common for full custom designs using ultra premium finishes.

What are signs of quality craftsmanship?

Dovetail joinery, all plywood construction, full extension drawers, soft-close hinges, precision fit and finish. Quality craftsmanship yields sturdy cabinets built to last a lifetime.

Should I order cabinets in advance of my remodel?

Yes, order 6-12 weeks ahead to accommodate production timelines. This prevents project delays.

What questions should I ask manufacturers?

Inquire about lead times, customization options, installation services, warranty coverage, and features that set them apart from competitors. Ask for references from past clients.

Can I mix cabinet lines to save money?

Yes, you can splurge on high end cabinetry just for focal areas like your kitchen island. Use a more affordable line for supplementary cabinetry.

What should I inspect upon cabinet delivery?

Thoroughly inspect for any damage, flaws in materials or finish, proper alignment and tight joinery. Report any issues immediately before installation.

How do I care for high end cabinets?

Use microfiber cloths to gently clean. Avoid harsh chemicals. Keep cabinets dry. Use cutting boards to protect surfaces. Follow any manufacturer care guidelines.


Investing in high end kitchen cabinets can bring you a lifetime of enjoyment, provided you make the upgrade carefully and purposefully. Take time to research manufacturers, materials, craftsmanship and design to select cabinetry aligned with your budget, lifestyle and taste. Pay close attention to custom details that will optimize your kitchen’s aesthetics and functionality. With proper planning and installation, you’ll end up with a kitchen that truly feels like home.