Lead Time & Materials for Custom Kitchen Cabinets Explained

When embarking on a kitchen remodel, two questions often bubble up to the surface – what’s the wait like from order to installation day for custom kitchen cabinets, and just what kind of materials are these high-end features made of? It seems like everyone’s after that perfect blend of functionality and style. But getting there is more than just picking out a design; it involves understanding timelines and materials. Let’s unpack what goes into creating those dreamy kitchen spaces.

Understanding the Lead Time for Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Have you been dreaming of a new kitchen? One with more storage space, better space-planning, and updated cabinet doors? Perhaps it’s time to make your dreams a reality. After all, there are numerous benefits to a full or partial kitchen remodel, including improved functionality, increased home resale value, updated aesthetics that fit your design style, a design that works for your family, and energy and water savings. Whether you’re considering taking the plunge into a full kitchen remodel or just a partial redesign with new cabinets, be sure to consider the overall design, production, and installation timeline.

Factors Affecting Lead Time

Understanding the factors that influence the time it takes to order and deliver cabinets will help you plan your installation project, so that you can have a new kitchen within the desired time. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Products that may have a long lead time (for example, those imported Italian backsplash tiles you fell in love with that are on backorder.)
  • The time needed to fabricate your custom cabinets.
  • Removal of existing cabinets.
  • Plumbing alterations (for example, if you are installing or moving a sink or dishwasher).
  • Changing electrical features (like adding outlets).

Average Lead Time for Custom Cabinets

It generally takes 8–12 weeks to build your custom cabinetry. This is when you’ll want to order new appliances if that’s part of your kitchen update.

  • Semi-custom cabinetry, 12–16 weeks
  • Custom cabinetry, 12 weeks, plus.

Lead times may vary.

Planning Your Kitchen Renovation Timeline

If remodeling hasn’t begun, this timeframe is also when you’ll remove old cabinetry and update any wiring, plumbing, drywall, and flooring. (Though, if you’re working with a contractor and/or architect, they may have already started this process and will have a timeline for everything.)

The Custom Cabinet Ordering and Installation Process

The cabinetry you select will define your kitchen and guide the selection of countertops, flooring, lighting, and appliances. Therefore, determine the style and color of your cabinets prior to making other decisions. If you are working with a cabinet expert, allow a few weeks to work through the design and revision process. Your cabinet designer will create a design proposal for your custom kitchen cabinets. Once you approve the design plan, your cabinet maker can start building your cabinets.

Manufacturing Phase

You should expect a lead time of up to 8 weeks for your kitchen cabinets to be manufactured. If you plan to wait until your custom kitchen cabinets have been completed before removing your old ones, be sure to secure a safe, dry spot to store your new cabinets until you are ready to install them.

Delivery and Installation Phase

Once the order for your cabinets is placed, your designer will help you schedule an installation date for when your cabinets are ready to be installed. When Palm Beach Cabinets has an accurate estimate of when your cabinets will be ready, our scheduling coordinator will reach out to schedule the delivery and installation. This is typically 3–4 weeks in advance. We will confirm the installation 2 weeks in advance and again 3 days in advance. We will deliver the cabinetry the day before installation after the remaining final payment is made.

Choosing the Right Materials for Your Luxury Kitchen Cabinets

As mentioned, there are two main types of kitchen cabinets in the market: stock cabinets and custom cabinets. Also referred to as ‘in-stock cabinets,’ stock cabinets are produced en masse and are designed for standard kitchen styles and measurements.

Popular Wood Species for Custom Cabinets

Some of the most popular wood species for custom cabinetry include:


Cherry wood is prized for its rich, warm tones and smooth grain, making it a popular choice for traditional and transitional kitchens. Over time, cherry wood deepens in color, enhancing its beauty and elegance, which can add a luxurious touch to any kitchen.


Maple is a versatile wood with a fine, consistent grain, making it ideal for a wide range of finishes and styles, from contemporary to classic. It’s known for its durability and resistance to wear, making it a practical choice for heavily used kitchens.


Oak is renowned for its strength and distinctive grain pattern, featuring prominent rays and flecks. It’s often chosen for its rustic appeal in farmhouse and traditional kitchen designs, and its durability makes it suitable for cabinetry that withstands the test of time.


Hickory wood is exceptionally hard and durable, with a bold, varied grain pattern that brings a unique character to kitchen cabinets. Its natural color variations range from light to dark, offering a rustic or country feel that’s full of personality.


Alder is a softer wood with a fine, straight grain and a uniform texture, making it easy to work with for custom designs. It accepts stains well and can mimic the look of more expensive woods like cherry, making it a cost-effective option for achieving a high-end look.


Walnut is highly valued for its deep, rich colors and sophisticated grain patterns. It provides a sense of luxury and elegance, with its durability and color depth making it a preferred choice for premium, high-quality cabinetry in upscale kitchens.

Each wood species has its own unique grain pattern, color, and characteristics that can enhance the overall look and feel of your luxury kitchen.

High-End Finishes and Treatments

In addition to the wood species, high-end finishes and treatments can elevate your custom kitchen cabinets to the next level. Some popular options include:


Glazing involves applying a semi-transparent coat over the base paint or stain of the cabinet, accentuating the details, and giving depth to the overall finish. This technique can highlight the craftsmanship and intricate designs of the cabinets, adding a layer of sophistication and visual interest.


Distressing is a finishing technique used to give new wood cabinets an aged or worn look, adding character and a rustic charm to the kitchen. This process may include creating dents, scratches, and other markings intentionally, emulating the natural wear over time, and is particularly popular in farmhouse and vintage-style kitchens.


Staining enhances the natural beauty of the wood by adding color while allowing the grain pattern to show through. It offers a wide range of hues, from light to dark, enabling customization to match the kitchen’s aesthetic. Stains can also protect the wood, making the cabinets more durable against spills and wear.


Painting cabinets offers a clean, uniform look and is available in an endless array of colors to match any kitchen design, from modern minimalism to cozy traditional. High-quality paints can also add a layer of protection to the wood, while enabling a complete transformation of the kitchen space.


Antiquing is a finishing process that adds a patina to the cabinets, making them look gracefully aged. This technique often involves applying a dark glaze over a lighter base coat, then strategically rubbing it off to create an old-world feel. It’s ideal for those looking to add depth and a timeless elegance to their kitchen cabinetry.

These finishes can add depth, character, and a touch of sophistication to your luxury kitchen cabinets.

Durability and Maintenance Considerations

When selecting materials for your custom kitchen cabinets, it’s important to consider durability and maintenance. Some wood species, such as hickory and oak, are known for their strength and resistance to wear and tear. Regular cleaning and occasional touch-ups can help keep your cabinets looking their best for years to come.

Maximizing Functionality and Style with Custom Kitchen Cabinets

One of the biggest advantages of custom kitchen cabinets is the ability to create tailored storage solutions that fit your specific needs and lifestyle. Some examples include:

  • Pull-out pantry shelves
  • Spice racks
  • Utensil organizers
  • Lazy Susans
  • Appliance garages

These customized storage options can help maximize space, reduce clutter, and make your kitchen more efficient and enjoyable to use. Custom kitchen cabinets also allow you to incorporate unique design elements that reflect your personal style and taste. From decorative moldings and corbels to glass-front doors and open shelving, the possibilities are endless. Working with a skilled cabinet maker, you can create a one-of-a-kind kitchen that truly stands out.

Ergonomic Considerations

When designing your custom kitchen cabinets, it’s important to consider ergonomics and functionality. This includes factors such as:

  • Counter heights
  • Drawer and cabinet placement
  • Lighting
  • Workflow

By taking these elements into account, you can create a functional kitchen that is both beautiful and practical to use.

Working with a Custom Cabinet Maker for Your Kitchen Renovation

Is all this work worth it? Give yourself two to three weeks to find a cabinetry specialist, craft the initial design, pick materials, and finalize your order with the cabinet maker. A built-in is permanent, so this should be a well-thought-out decision. After you place the order, expect your manufacturer to have a lead time of 30–60 days. Installation time will vary depending on the complexity and size of the built-in, but in most cases the entire process takes anywhere from 60–90 days.

Benefits of Choosing a Custom Cabinet Maker

Working with a custom cabinet maker for your kitchen renovation offers several key benefits, including:

  • Personalized attention and service.
  • High-quality craftsmanship.
  • Unique designs tailored to your space.
  • Flexibility in materials and finishes.
  • Attention to detail.

A skilled cabinet maker will work closely with you throughout the entire process to ensure that your vision becomes a reality.

Collaborative Design Process

The collaborative design process is a crucial aspect of working with a custom cabinet maker. This typically involves:

  1. Initial consultation to discuss your needs, preferences, and budget.
  2. Site measurements and assessment.
  3. Design concept development and revisions.
  4. Material and finish selection.
  5. Final approval and contract signing.

Throughout this process, your cabinet maker will provide expert guidance and advice to help you make informed decisions and achieve the best possible results.

Ensuring Quality Craftsmanship

When working with a custom cabinet maker, it’s important to ensure that you are getting the highest quality craftsmanship. Some key factors to consider include:

  • Experience and reputation of the cabinet maker.
  • Quality of materials used.
  • Attention to detail in construction and finishing.
  • Warranty and customer service.

By choosing a reputable and experienced custom cabinet maker, you can have confidence that your kitchen renovation will be completed to the highest standards of quality and craftsmanship.


In wrapping things up, figuring out what the lead time is from ordering to installation for custom cabinets and what materials are used for your luxury kitchen cabinets isn’t as daunting as it first appears. Yes, patience is required – good things take time after all. And yes, choices abound when it comes to materials; each bringing its own flavor to your culinary sanctuary. In essence, transforming your kitchen hinges not only on selecting premium wood or finishes but also involves appreciating the craftsmanship journey.

Contact Palm Beach Cabinet for the best lead time in Florida – from ordering to installation!