A budget-friendly option for new cabinetry, stock kitchen cabinets live up to their name. They are a cabinetry type that's usually in stock and ready to take home. Plus, stock kitchen cabinets now offer more flexibility and options, making stock cabinets an even more appealing choice.

Updated Appliances

Once upon a time, outfitting a kitchen with stock cabinetry meant sacrificing style and custom details for a more affordable price point. Today, stock kitchen cabinets are available in all styles and materials -- and best of all -- with a plethora of customized options.

Here are some key characteristics to consider:

  • Stock kitchen cabinets are usually sold fully assembled or ready to assemble.
  • Quality varies. Reputable manufacturers offer well-built stock products that are equal to the strength and beauty of real wood.
  • Particleboard cabinets are a more economical option. Improvements in materials and technology have increased their longevity and durability.
  • For the look of wood at a cheaper price point, consider cabinet boxes constructed from particleboard but finished with real wood doors.
  • Laminate is fun and affordable. It's durable and available in numerous patterns and colors from imitation wood and stone to the sleek polish of Italian-style cabinetry.
  • Stock units are generally made in 3-inch-wide increments, with the smallest being 9 inches wide and the largest 48 inches.

Stock Kitchen Cabinets: Advantages


The two main reasons for buying stock kitchen cabinets are affordability and availability. Depending on the manufacturer, you might have the option to design your own "custom-stock" cabinets on the Web or in the showroom. Like custom cabinets, you can mix and match standard features to reflect your design style. Another big plus: If you are a DIYer, you can save money by installing the cabinets yourself.

Stock Kitchen Cabinets: Drawbacks

While there are more accents, interior features, and accessories for stock kitchen cabinets than ever before, the choices are still limited. Stock cabinets come in standard sizes, so if you want to do something special with an odd space, you'll have to be creative. The quality of installation can make a big difference in how these cabinets look, so don't scrimp on labor -- or attempt to install them yourself if you have no prior construction experience. The bottom line in choosing stock kitchen cabinets is whether you feel that the personalized options for custom kitchen cabinets outweighs the extra cost.

Editor's Tip: Inspect your cabinets upon delivery -- if possible, with the delivery service standing by. Installation day is not the time to find out something is damaged. If you discover damage upon delivery, you can send the cabinet back immediately without having to deal with the inconvenience of scheduling a return.

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