The 3 Types of Cabinetry and How They Impact Your Budget

HomeKitchens 101Types of Cabinetry

There is a wide range of quality, selection and pricing of kitchen cabinets. They are generally categorized as stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets, with a wide difference in color variations, accessorization options as well as quality in construction and finshes. Prices also varry according to construction options offered by different lines. For example, cabinet boxes can be engineered wood or plywood; drawers can range from standard, side-mounted glide systems to full extension soft-close. When comparing cabinet manufacturers, the construction methods and upgrade options are important to understand. The main differences among the three types of cabinetry are:



Stock cabinets are ready-made, meaning they are mass-produced in a factory and ready to ship when ordered. They’re sold in modular units, based on typical industry sizing standards; and no modifications or customizations are available. What you see is what you get! The advantages of stock cabinets are affordability and a quick delivery time. However, you usually have a limited selection of styles, shapes, colors, wood type, etc.
Standard Width: Start at 9" with 3" increments to 48"
Standard Depth: 12"  for wall cabinets, 24" for oven, base, and utility cabinets


Semi-custom cabinets are basically stock cabinets with extra detailing options, as well as increased selections of wood species, door styles, and finishes. The basic cabinetry sizes still apply, but consumers have the option to change certain dimensions, like increasing/decreasing the cabinet widths or depths. The advantages of semi-custom cabinets is that it enables greater individualized design freedom (however limited) without the cost of full-on custom cabinets. Lead times may be several weeks’ longer than stock cabinets, generally 4-7 weeks.
Standard Width: Start at 9" with 3" increments to 48"
Standard Depth: Can be reduced or increased according to the manufacturer’s guidelines


Custom cabinets are built “to order” per your specifications, so they can be anything you want! With few limitations in terms of sizing, they allow complete design flexibility to create a perfect-fitting, totally unique result. Custom cabinets also offer many more door styles, species, and a variety of stains, glazes, and sophisticated finishes. Many custom cabinet manufacturers permit custom color matching as well. Because they involve much more hand-crafted care (more labor intensive), custom cabinets are generally more expensive and take longer to build.
Standard Width: Customizable
Standard Depth: Customizable