The conundrum of estimating the cost of a kitchen lies in the fact that there are so many variables. Every variable represents a choice to be made and every choice brings a different cost. IKEA offers a great variety of kitchen cabinets and alternative components for those cabinets—with a wide range of prices in each category—plus choices in types of countertop, both standard and custom sized, and new appliances if you need them. If you are merely replacing your old cabinets with new ones, estimating the cost is fairly straightforward, because you can make a simple one-to-one comparison.
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IKEA delivers its cabinets flat packed and unassembled. One of the key decisions you will make is whether you will assemble them yourself and install them yourself or whether you will engage a contractor to do that for you. Any changes you make to your kitchen configuration—and especially if walls will be moved, your electrical service upgraded or your plumbing altered—will add considerably to the final expense. Those are costs that can't be factored into an average cost for a typical kitchen.
What Is a Typical Kitchen?
In reality, there is no such thing as a typical kitchen. The infinite variability of the number and locations of doorways and windows, the size and placement of appliances, the available wall space—all combine to make every kitchen unique. Some sources posit a 10 foot x 10 foot kitchen space as a basis of comparison between styles of cabinetry and countertop, but the usefulness of such a comparison is limited, at best. Kitchens with this 10 x 10-foot footprint may vary considerably in the ratio of cabinets/countertops to appliances or in the amount of space taken up by traffic flow. Still, comparative cost of the cabinetry does provide a starting point for determining the costs of a kitchen.
IKEA cabinetry for the fictional 10 x 10-foot kitchen is generally projected to cost from about $899 to perhaps $2,999, depending on style of cabinets chosen. Once again, these costs are for only the cabinets, doors and hardware, unassembled and unmounted. There is so much more to a kitchen than cabinets.
The Per-Cabinet Comparison Method
Another technique for gauging the prospective cost of new IKEA cabinets involves counting the number of existing cabinets in your current kitchen, then multiplying that number by $246. This method averages the cost of IKEA cabinet, door, hardware and molding from the possible range available; it also presupposes that you are not changing the arrangement of cabinets in your new kitchen. To estimate the additional cost of having those cabinets assembled and installed, add $200 to each cabinet.
Estimating by Linear Feet
If you have an accurate plan for your new kitchen, you can arrive at a much more realistic estimate of the cost of your kitchen. IKEA cabinets all employ the same basic frame. The price difference lies in your choice of door style—essentially the visible front of the cabinet. While the hardware selection also entails a range of prices, the difference between lowest and highest price IKEA hardware is in dollars—not tens or hundreds of dollars—and these costs can be safely averaged.
Naturally, the first step in determining the approximate cost of an IKEA kitchen is to decide on the style you want for your kitchen. Think about the type and style of countertops you want, as well. Your estimate will be based on the actual linear feet of space to be occupied by cabinetry. The figures you will use have been derived by averaging the costs of real kitchen configurations and they assume a typical assortment of both upper and lower cabinets. Your cost estimates are likely to vary from the actual costs to the same degree that your kitchen plan varies from the average.
How to Estimate the Cost of IKEA cabinets
- Measure the length of the wall spaces where cabinets are to be installed. Your total will be in inches.
- Subtract for door openings, as well as for appliances or any other gaps in the cabinetry.
- Divide the remaining total by 12 to convert from inches to linear feet.
- Consult an IKEA catalog or visit IKEA online to find the cost per panel of the IKEA cabinet door of your choice. Because certain styles are periodically added to or removed from the IKEA line, this estimate guide will be expressed in price ranges rather than style names.
- Find the price range that corresponds to the price per panel of your style choice and the corresponding approximate price per linear foot:
- Less than $21 = $75 per linear ft.
- From $21 to $40 = $125 per linear ft.
- From $41 to $70 = $150 per linear ft.
- From $71 to $90 = $200 per linear ft.
- From $91 to $110 = $250 per linear ft.
- From $111 to $140 = $275 per linear ft.
Take the estimated cost per foot for your chosen cabinet front style and multiply it by the number of linear feet you calculated earlier to arrive at an projected cost for your IKEA cabinetry.
How to Estimate Cost of Countertops
If you will also source your countertops from IKEA, you can use your linear foot measurement to estimate their costs, since all those base cabinets will need countertops. Remember, this is just a quick measurement for making an approximation. More careful and systematic measurements will be necessary to actually order the countertop.
IKEA offers countertops in several different materials—laminate, solid wood, wood veneer, acrylic and quartz. Each material is offered in multiple levels of quality. Some of the counter materials are available in prefabricated lengths. If your kitchen can accommodate a prefabricated length of countertop, the savings can be substantial. Most kitchens, however, will require custom countertops. At IKEA, your choices for custom countertops will be either acrylic or quartz, each priced at several levels. Consult the catalog or online to find the price per square foot of your chosen countertop material.
The countertop depth of the prefabricated counters is 25 5/8 inches, so we'll assume that depth for the custom counters as well. In fact, we'll round it down to an even 2 feet just to simplify our calculations—this is an approximation, after all. The square foot price for custom countertop at IKEA ranges from $39 per square foot to $69 per square foot. That price includes fabrication and installation.
- Find the per square foot price of your preferred countertop material.
- Multiply this price by your linear foot measurement.
- Double this sum to account for the roughly 2-foot counter depth.
- The resulting number should give you a loose estimate for the costs of your Ikea countertops.
Appliances and Additional Costs
You may be keeping your present kitchen appliances or replacing them, choosing them from the selection offered by IKEA or elsewhere. Once you've determined the items you will purchase and their price, it's an easy matter to add these to your calculations.
Other details of your remodel, such as flooring, lighting fixtures and window treatments will factor in, too. Your estimate will never be exact but it should be close enough to give you an idea what to expect.
A former agency art director then freelance designer, illustrator and copywriter, Bill has written for the medical, technical, industrial, food and agricultural industries. With over 35 years experience in the area of home improvement. He has produced books on multiple subjects for Home Depot, The Handyman Club of America, Hometime, Black & Decker and Popular Mechanics.