Lowe’s and Home Depot are often shopped interchangeably. Each store offers similar products and services at comparable price points. But for large-scale projects, such as kitchen cabinet remodels, selecting the best option is essential. So, which is better?
Both stores are similar, but Lowe’s might be the better overall pick due to better long-term tool rentals and customer service. Home Depot has shorter installation timelines but reviews for their custom cabinet installations are much more varied. For both stores, expect at least some install delays.
Don’t panic if you can’t decide between Lowe’s or Home Depot. Choosing the right store, products, and materials is a significant factor in the success of your project. Fortunately, we cover everything you need to know to make the right choice in the article below.
Home Depot vs. Lowe’s Kitchen Cabinets: What to Consider
If you’ve done DIY projects, then you’re familiar with Lowe’s and Home Depot. Some shoppers don’t mind the difference between the stores, while others have a preferred brand.
But one thing is for sure—large projects like kitchen cabinet remodeling require the best materials, tools, and prices.
So, which hardware store is better for kitchen cabinets, and where should you shop?
And, before we go too far, if this is your first time doing a big remodel to any part of your home, you should know up front that, no matter what store you go to, the timeline and cost will end up longer and more than you expect.
Whilst planning, it’s also worth reviewing the process of fixing up your old kitchen cabinets, which I wrote an article on.
For anything home-construciton-related in this day and age, you are going to be in the classic situation of wanting Time, Quality, and Price exactly how you want. But really you should only expect to be able to control two of these things.
For both Lowes and Home Depot, you are going to get a pretty good price compared to the mountain of effort to do it yourself, and there’s no reason to think quality will be low based on reviews and customers interviewed for this article. However, it’s frankly extremely rare for any home remodel of this scale to actually finish at the original target deadline.
To manage your own expectations, we recommend taking the original deadline the store gives you for the finished install and mentally adding a couple months for a more realistic view.
The first consideration for many kitchen projects is the budget. Whether building the cabinets or installing them, you’ll want to look for high-quality products in your price range.
Here are a few quick tips to give you a head start:
- Home Depot and Lowe’s price match one another.
- Lowe’s typically has better prices on long-term tool rentals than Home Depot.
- Home Depot brand tools tend to be less expensive than similar options from Lowe’s.
- You can find Home Depot coupons online a bit easier compared to Lowe’s.
- Both stores offer free shipping on eligible orders over $45.
Home Depot’s kitchen cabinets vary in price depending on the manufacturer, material, door style, and other factors. That said, the average cost of the top-rated cabinets from Home Depot is around $235.
Home Depot’s prices have much more variance than Lowe’s, and you can find cabinets at nearly any price point.
Installation prices at Home Depot also depend on the project’s scope, market, labor costs, and other features. For example, a budget Home Depot kitchen cabinet installation might cost between $3,000 and $8,000, while high-end projects can exceed $40,000.
The price of kitchen cabinets from Lowe’s will vary on the brand, door style, paint, material, and other factors. That said, the average cost of the best-selling cabinets from Lowe’s is between $200 and $245.
You can find options on the low end for $100 to $150. More expensive options range in price from around $300 to $400, but you can find cabinets exceeding $1,500.
Installation prices will also vary depending on the project’s scope, market, and labor costs. Lowe’s budget kitchen cabinet installation can cost around $5,000, while high-end projects can exceed $50,000.
The quality between Lowe’s and Home Depot is relatively similar. You can find a few identical brands across the stores, but each company has exclusive brands.
The most common kitchen cabinet brand found at Home Depot is Hampton Bay, an affordable brand with good reviews. Other brands include the Home decorator’s Collection, Contractor Express Cabinets, and J Collection.
The most common kitchen cabinet brand at Lowe’s is Diamond NOW Cabinetry, which is affordable and well-received. Other options include KrafMaid, Allen + Roth, and Project Source.
Comparing Timeline and Installation Process
The installation timeline will vary for each store. For example, more extensive projects with more intricate details will take longer than small-scale repairs. Likewise, custom-fitted cabinets, cabinet removal, and plumbing or electric work will take longer.
Home Depot has a few different installation processes available. Project timelines will also vary but can range between 4-6 weeks on average, depending on the scope. The prices will vary depending on the size of the project, but here are a few options to keep in mind:
- Home Depot Kitchen Estimator: Home Depot provides a free online Kitchen Cabinet Estimator that customers can use to better understand how much their project will cost.
- Free Consultation and Design: Customers can schedule a free consultation and design appointment at Home Depot after creating an estimate. Homeowners can discuss the project details in more detail during this period.
- Verify and Order: Customers will place their order and verify the project once the details are finalized. They’ll receive information on scheduling and timeframes.
- Installation: After everything is confirmed, a licensed professional will schedule a time to install the cabinets. They will provide you with maintenance instructions once they’re finished and answer any questions.
Lowe’s uses third-party licensed contractors for kitchen cabinet installations, so prices can fluctuate significantly. Project timelines can also range between 4-12 weeks for consultation, shipping, and installation. Fortunately, the installation process is relatively straightforward and consistent.
- Step 1 – Submit Your Information: First, Lowe’s requires customers to fill out an online form and consult with a cabinet specialist to determine the project’s scope.
- Step 2 – Schedule Your Measurement: Afterward, Lowe’s will send a local independent installer to measure the space and project. Customers can also measure the project themselves.
- Step 3 – Get Your Quote: Once the project details are finalized, Lowe’s will send a customized quote with expenses and installation information.
- Step 4 – Installation Day: The licensed independent specialist will schedule a time to install the cabinets and show up on time. Afterward, they will clean up the site and go over maintenance instructions.
Considering Trends in Customer Reviews
Comparing reviews can help determine which companies and products are better suited for your project. So, who has better reviews, Home Depot or Lowe’s?
You can find highly reviewed kitchen cabinet products from Hampton Bay with 4-5 star ratings at Home Depot. However, custom-fitted kitchen cabinets are hit or miss and tend to have 3-star reviews or lower.
Generally speaking, Home Depot has okay reviews on products, installation projects, and customer service.
You can also find well-reviewed kitchen cabinets at Lowe’s from brands like Diamond NOW Cabinetry and KraftMaid. Many of these products have 4-star reviews, making them an excellent consideration.
That said, more expensive kitchen cabinets at Lowe’s tend to have very low reviews, around 1-3 stars.
Generally, Lowe’s has decent reviews on kitchen cabinets and installation projects. However, Lowe’s does fare better in terms of customer support and return policies than Home Depot.
So, which hardware store should you shop at for your big kitchen cabinet project? The answer is: it depends. Each store has similar brands, price points, installation timelines, and reviews.
You might select a store depending on the kitchen cabinet set you prefer. For example, if you can’t find one product at Lowe’s, you might opt for Home Depot.
Each store will have varying installation prices depending on the project’s scope, location, labor costs, and materials. Larger-scale projects will cost more than small cabinet replacements.
If you really can’t decide which store to work with, we would suggest Lowe’s as their installation process is a bit smoother, and their customer service is top-notch.