The 10′ x 10′ Kitchen and Why the Linear Foot Price for Cabinetry is a Lie.

Customers often ask us how much a particular cabinet costs per linear foot. The answer is that cabinets are never sold by the linear foot and that the linear foot price you see for cabinets on kitchen displays inside home centers is intentionally misleading.

Real Kitchen by Main Line Kitchen Design

Cabinets are always sold by the individual cabinet, molding, panel, and part. No cabinet store or home center like Lowes or The Home Depot sells cabinets by the linear foot.

The linear foot price for a cabinet style uses a formula created by the cabinet industry to both compare one cabinets cost to another and also to mislead customers as to how much cabinetry costs.

The linear foot price for a particular cabinet is calculated by adding up the cost for the cabinets in a mythical L shaped kitchen that is 10′ x 10′. This small kitchen always has a big window and a big refrigerator and so two large spaces without cabinets to price. It also usually has 4 small 30″ wall cabinets. Blind or dead corners, no molding, no roll outs, no panels and is all particleboard with the cheapest hinges and tracks that the cabinet line offers.

Example of a the industry standard 10′ x 10′ Kitchen

To calculate the linear foot price, you simply add up the cost of the cabinetry in the 10′ x 10′ kitchen pictured above up and divide by 20 (10 + 10) to create a starting linear foot price for that cabinet line in that door style. Notice that the corners in this calculation were counted twice.

This linear foot price is sort of like the ads you see for a new car saying, “nothing down and $100 per month for a brand-new car”. We all know this deal doesn’t exist. When you get to the dealership it turns out that to get the deal you have to trade in a two-year-old car with low mileage and qualify for veterans, senior, and return buyer discounts. Oh, and sorry “that car was sold off the lot yesterday.”

The reality is that once you upgrade and price an actual kitchen for your size home in your door style and finish with moldings and extras like a drawer base and maybe a lazy Susan or a trash pull out, you will find out that you are closer to double the linear foot price. For big kitchens with tall ceilings and with lots of panels and roll outs – far above double the price.

Misleading customers as to what a kitchen will cost is not ethical in my opinion. It is also misleading advertising cabinetry sales of 25, 40, and 50% off. These fake sales are based on the list price of cabinetry. No kitchen place sells cabinetry for its inflated list price and nearly all cabinet dealers sell cabinetry EVERY DAY for 25, 40, and 50% off of list price depending on an individual cabinet lines list pricing.

Main Line Kitchen Design tries to explain these industry tricks to our customers and would certainly never advertise or use these methods to attract business.

Helping people make sensible choices and educating customers about our industry and the products we sell is what helps people spend their budget wisely. Pressuring people to buy now is never a good idea with complicated construction projects like kitchen renovations. And if someone is pressuring you to buy now you can be certain that they do not have your best interest at heart.

Wishing all our customers a great rest of the summer . . .

. . . and of course . . .

Bon Appitit!

Paul, Julie, Ed, Lauren, John, Stacia, and Tom

Main Line Kitchen Design

Replies to “The 10′ x 10′ Kitchen and Why the Linear Foot Price for Cabinetry is a Lie.”

  1. Larry

    This is such a dumb article, as with most things, you get what you pay for. How is it a surprise that if you upgrade, it’ll cost more. That’s like being surprised that leather interior costs more than cloth for your car.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      You are failing to grasp the point of the article. Which is that using the linear foot price to extrapolate on what your cabinetry for your kitchen might cost isn’t useful. As kitchen designers we get asked constantly what cabinets cost per linear foot when they aren’t sold this way – anywhere. What people aren’t getting is that it isn’t just upgrades that increase the price of a kitchen it is the way the linear foot price is calculated that is misleading. People thinking that they know more than they do is one of our biggest battle as professionals.

      1. Adrian Burke

        Well said 🤜💥🤛

  2. Jana Vesely

    Yes, thank you for the truth, but how about suggestions as where do I buy
    A kitchen cabinets on budget. I am purchasing a old condo and the kitchen is from the 1970
    And I am 76 year old, but want to get a good deal. How can I find a good deal, nothing fancy, maybe even how to find out when they change the display kitchens in stores and resell to public.
    Thank you, just need a real deal at this age.

    1. pmcalary[ Post Author ]

      Hi Jana,
      Buying display cabinetry seldom works for a kitchen and rarely saves money. To spend money wisely on any kitchen renovation you need very specific cabinet sizes. You will never be able to use more than half of a display. There will be no showrooms upgrading cabinetry during a pandemic so you would need to find showrooms that were going bankrupt to buy displays and finding a financially safe place to buy the remaining cabinets you would need would be even more difficult. Just make your decisions sensibly with the help of a kitchen designer from a reasonably priced and respected showroom. Use our blogs below to help you pick an inexpensive cabinet line and possibly a dealer in your area:

  3. Sue

    As a retired Interior Designer, I have always “stressed” when dealing with Cabinet Companies for the very reasons you have noted above. Cheers to your honesty and for bringing a higher level of integrity to the Industry…

    1. ITSAdmin

      Thanks Sue. I think that not being transparent breads this kind of thing. Thankfully the internet forces transparency on companies whether they want it or not. The result has been good for the cabinet industry and construction in general.

      Unfortunately HGTV renovation reality shows dispense misinformation by the barrel full so while we are improving in some ways we not in others. It is such a shame that the renovation shows all started with This Old House and Hometime on PBS which were honest and realistic.

  4. Kevin

    Thank you for exposing a disingenuous ploy, so common in the kitchen cabinetry industry. Your platform, of seeking transparency in such matters, is refreshing.

    Prospective kitchen remodel customers, have the right to be properly educated, so they can make the best decisions to suit their needs, from a technical, aesthetic, and economic perspective.

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