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How Much Do Tall Kitchen Cabinets Cost?

Tall kitchen cabinets are sometimes called pantries or utility cabinets and they usually have a place in just about every kitchen. They come in standard sizes but may need to be custom built in some cases. Tall kitchen cabinets can be as tall as 96 inches, but the average height is around 84 inches. The height of these cabinets allows them to be used as storage closets for long-handled items such as brooms or mops. With the addition of shelving, these cabinets are an ideal place to store boxed and canned food items.

The Costs 

Average cost per square foot of tall kitchen cabinets:

  • Minimum = $298.88
  • Maximum = $462.88

Costs associated with tall kitchen cabinets include labor, materials and other supplies and tools. Materials are the majority of the cost for cabinets and the cost largely depends on the type of material chosen. Plastic laminate cabinets are the cheapest, while unusual woods and stainless steel are the most expensive. Hickory, pine and oak are similar in price, while cherry runs about 10% more. Finishes also make a difference. Painted cabinets cost more than basic stained cabinets. Installation of the cabinets is about two hour's labor with $60 per hour being average. This does not include removal of previous cabinets, which increases the cost.


Tall kitchen cabinets are most commonly made with hardwood; however, many times they are constructed from wood combination materials such as those listed below.

  • Particleboard: A material constructed from wood chips, bonded with resin and compressed into stiff sheets. Particleboard is more economical than solid wood and is very stable.
  • Medium-Density Fiberboard: A material constructed from wood particles and glue, then compressed into solid sheets. Medium-density fiberboard is durable and dense. It provides a receptive surface for paint and laminate. 
  • Plywood: An engineered wood made of veneer layers stacked and glued together. Plywood resists warping better than solid wood because of its cross-grain pattern.

Types of Laminate

When materials other than solid wood are used for cabinets, they are usually covered with synthetic laminates or veneers to give the cabinets a more attractive look and a durable finish.

  • Wood veneer is essentially thin slices of wood that are glued to the other material, such as plywood or particleboard, and covered with stain or varnish. Popular types of veneer include cherry, pine, oak, maple and birch.
  • Thermofoil is a vinyl covering applied to engineered wood material. It can be smooth or slightly textured. It is easy to maintain and resists chipping better than paint.
  • Laminate is a plastic coating that comes in a variety of colors and patterns. The coating is applied to the cabinet material using heat and pressure. A similar material to laminate is called melamine.

Advantages of Tall Kitchen Cabinets

The main advantage of installing tall kitchen cabinets is that they provide a lot of storage space with multiple options. If shelved from top to bottom, they are great for storing cookware and plenty of food. Without shelves, or perhaps only a few on the top, the tall cabinet can be used to store items such as brooms, mops and other cleaning supplies that may not fit in a standard size cabinet.

Disadvantages of Tall Kitchen Cabinets

The main disadvantage of tall kitchen cabinets is that they can be difficult to navigate if shelved. Depending on how tall the cabinet is, it may be difficult for shorter people to see and stock all the shelves. Cost can be another disadvantage as tall cabinets often have to be custom made to fit specific spaces in a kitchen.

Last updated on Feb 20, 2015

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