Manufactured Home Kitchen Base Cabinets Guide: Eight Tips To Find The Perfect Base Cabinets

A base cabinet is a unique type of cabinet made expressly for bathrooms or kitchens which sits directly on the floor and supports other items like cooktops, sinks, and countertops.

Kitchens typically feature two types of cabinets – wall cabinets and base cabinets – simultaneously to create maximum space for storage of all sorts of kitchenware and even food if you don’t have a pantry.

Manufactured Home Kitchen Base Cabinets – Eight Shopping Factors

There isn’t a big difference between base cabinets and regular wall cabinets except that the former, as aforementioned, can support a few kitchen necessities like cooktops or a countertop.

Still, you need to consider a few unique factors plus other general factors if you want to select a product that suits your needs.

Here are the things to bear in mind:

  • Size/Capacity
  • Color Family & Finish
  • Fully Assembled v/s Ready to Assemble
  • Shade
  • Cost v/s Budget
  • Installation Considerations
  • Style – Transitional, Traditional, Rustic, & Modern
  • Number and Style of Doors

1. Size/Capacity

Size/Capacity is the most important factor that must appear on top of your list before going out to shop for a base cabinet.

Remember that this type of cabinet is ideal for storing larger kitchenware like pans, pots, stockpots, dry and canned foods, and cleaning accessories – that’s why capacity is such a big deal.

The standard base cabinets you will find in the store are 24” deep by 36” tall.

The depth may be boosted up to about 27” on some custom and semi-custom applications.

In most cases, and for ease of application, this type of cabinets rests on top of a 4’ recessed riser often referred to as a toe kick.

If you are looking for a product that can swallow most of your largest kitchenware, you will need to look at products with a base as large as 48”. Small items such as muffin tins and a few flat items would go well with a 12” base type. So, before you even choose any capacity, consider figuring out your storage needs and the number of kitchenware or food you plan to store.

Most manufacturers supply stock base cabinets with a width ranging between 9” and 48” in 3” increments.

Matching tall cabinets (a common accompaniment) are made in 84-”, 90-“, and 96-“ increment heights.

Note that these heights are normally designed for standard 8” ceilings.

Trim panels are sold for covering gaps between the cabinets and walls or ceilings. These are normally marked out and cut to fit adjoining surfaces.

In case the design requires an unusual installation, you will need to accommodate it with a few stock cabinets and some level of creativity.

For instance, you might want to order more materials from the same manufacturer such materials as prefinished hardwood pieces and plywood sheets that match the base cabinets.

You can then hire a professional to fabricate them to create, islands, fillers, angled connections, soffits, and so forth.

2. Color Family & Finish

Color brings the much-needed aesthetic value to a base cabinet. You want the color family that complements the décor of your kitchen.

It is easy to overlook this factor because you know you have the option of adding your desired paint later once it’s been shipped home, but that will mean more expenditure.

If custom-built base cabinets are your priority, you will be free to choose any color you want.

Otherwise, your choices will be limited to just a fistful of popular color families –

  • white
  • gray
  • brown
  • espresso
  • off white
  • reddish-brown
  • dark brown
  • medium brown.

There is a chance the hue on your kitchen wall falls into one of these colors.

The color or paint on a cabinet is the pigmented liquid that ends up forming a film on the surface of the product. The finish, on another hand, is the protection or refining applied to the wood to give the cabinet its characteristics, including resistance to moisture and possession of unique looks.

You can choose unfinished cabinets or finished options which may fall in one of the four popular categories –

  • thermofoil
  • glazed
  • laminate
  • stained


Thermofoil resists chipping better than bare wood.


Glazed finish is a product of applying a layer of semi-transparent color on top of an already painted or stained cabinet. It creates a beautiful darkened highlight on corners and profiles.


The laminate finish consists of a layer of plastic resins and flat paper. It can be used to produce decorative patterns and comes with impressive moisture-resistance properties.


Stained finish normally consists of water, petroleum distillate, and a finisher like a shellac or polyurethane, or varnish. The problem is that stained finish tends to fade or deteriorate faster than most other finishes.

Related: How Can You Protect Countertops and Cabinets from Dishwasher Steam?

3. Fully Assembled v/s Ready to Assemble

Some base cabinets will take a great deal of time to install while others require much less time. Your choice between them, therefore, will depend on the amount of time you have in your hands. The level of your carpentry skills may have a say as well.

There are two groups of base cabinets –

  • fully assembled
  • ready to assemble.

Fully Assembled products

If you don’t want to labor yourself with the hard task of assembling together the parts of your purchase cabinet, you should choose the fully assembled type.

Assembled cabinets are delivered from the manufacturer “as they are” and ready for installation.

  • They arrive ready for installation
  • They are assembled with correct tools at the factory
  • They offer the homeowner with a variety of accessory options e.g. trash pull-outs, lazy susans, etc.
  • They are expensive compared to the Ready-to-Assemble option

Two brands to check out for Fully Assembled base cabinets are Diamond NOW and Project Source.

Ready to Assemble (RTA)

These base cabinets are shipped in flat packs – all the pieces you need to put together to create a cabinet are contained in those packs. If you are looking for affordable base cabinets for your budget, this is the best type to choose.

  • More flexibility compared to pre-made cabinets
  • Much more affordable compared custom cabinets
  • Low turnaround and fast delivery
  • Easy to assemble whether DIY or professionally
  • Extras can be expensive
  • The take some time to install

The two brands to check out for Ready to Assemble cabinets are Cambridge and Design House.

4. Cost v/s Budget

You only buy what you can afford. That’s why you need to consider the cost of the product before committing yourself to buy it.

Stock base cabinets are the most affordable. They cost between $60 and $200 for every linear foot. Semi-custom cabinets cost around $100 to $650 per linear foot, while fully custom options usually cost between $500 and $1,200 per linear foot.

The cost of installing base cabinets can depend on a few factors such as the material and the type.

Checklist for Pricing & Installation Cost

  1. Expect the prices of the same type of Base Kitchen Cabinets to vary between various brands – each and every brand has its own different overhead and operating expenses.
  2. If you want to land some good prices on cabinets, try to do your shopping in late Fall or early winter – stores love to resort to aggressive pricing and competitive discounts around this time. You could make a killing.
  3. Consider adding about 7 – 15 percent of your budget on your budget to cover yourself against any costs that may arise during the shopping
  4. Visit every supply store that sells your favorite brand of Base Cabinets and make attempts to bargain for a good price with every supplier if possible – you will be shocked by the amount of money you will save, something in the region of 10 percent of your budget in some cases.

Base Kitchen Cabinets can be hard to install if you are not knowledgeable enough. As such, you could end up spending even more on them if you try to do it yourself and end up doing things wrongly.

It is recommended that you prepare a budget that adequately covers the cost of the base cabinets of your liking as well as the cost of hiring a qualified professional to install it (if you will need a professional at all).

There is always a maximum amount of money you will be willing to spend on a set and the installation process. If you have $1000 in your hands, for example, your budget might not permit you to spend on the high-end base cabinet set you could find.

Basically, a budget prevents you from overspending or potentially opting for boxes you didn’t consider at the beginning.

Wood base cabinets for an average cost between $5,000 and $25,000 or slightly more. Normally, you’d part with about $5 per linear foot.

5. Installation Considerations

A significant number of the kitchen base cabinet options you will find can only be installed by a professional technician.

But with the increasing popularity of the ready-to-assemble variety, many homeowners are taking charge of the whole cabinet installation process.

Most base cabinets will need some shimming from beneath before attachment to your kitchen’s wall. This is the only installation where a complete level will be needed.

The freestanding variety often features legs that can adjust independently to gain the right level.

If you are looking for quality cabinet boxes that will be easy to install at the same time, choose those made from furniture-grade 1/2” plywood. Medium-density fiberboard or MDF is another material commonly used to make excellent base cabinet boxes.

It is good to be aware that Euro-style doors on cabinets are also referred to as frameless doors because they don’t feature a center stile.

6. Countertop Considerations

Unless your kitchen is exceptionally large (which can’t be true for a manufactured home) to accommodate base cabinets and countertops separately, you are more likely to find it necessary to use base cabinets to support the countertop.

Installing your countertop on top of base cabinets is the default way to go and that’s how these cabinets were designed to function in the first place.

Determine whether the base cabinet of your liking can be used with most of the countertop options available. If you have already made up your mind about a specific type of countertop, determine if the cabinet of choice can be used with it.

When we say “countertops,” you think “granite,” don’t you? Granite countertop is the most popular option out there due to its impressive durability, looks, and ease of cleaning.

You might want to consult an interior designer or related expert to determine whether other options are compatible with your non-granite countertop:


These countertops are perfect for base cabinets with a laminate finish, but that’s only if you want to establish a unity of color décor.


Marble countertops are as popular as granite and, surprisingly, aren’t as costly as marble is known to be. In fact, both granite and laminate options come in the same price range with marble countertops. They work well with virtually any base cabinet except those with grain finish.


Quartz countertops are not commonplace but they are options to hunt for if you want to create a unique style. They work with all types of wooden base cabinets, especially with glazed and thermofoil finish.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel wares are common in any average kitchen but stainless steel countertops are not as much. If you are going for a base cabinet finished with any popular finish except stained, you are good to go with this type of countertop.

So, settle on a cabinet that you are certain would sync with your countertop perfectly before committing yourself to buy it.

7. Number and Style of Doors

How many doors do you want your cabinet to have?

Most of the products you will find in the store come with either one or two doors.

When it comes to style, you have four choices –

  • raised panel
  • slab
  • mullion & accent
  • raised panel.

Flat doors would be perfect if you prefer a clean and sleek appearance. Flat-panel options can also be contemporary, transitional, or traditional.

Raised-doored cabinets have their door center panels slightly projecting over the rest of the profile or contour and are good for both transitional and traditional looks.

Slab doors come without a panel or frame. They are often selected for contemporary and transitional designs.

Mullion & accent doors are a bit rare in cabinets, but they come in several non-raised and non-slab decorative styles. They can be leaded glass, plain, plain glass, louvered among other styles.

8. Style – Transitional, Traditional, Rustic, & Modern

What style of the base cabinet would look great with the rest of your kitchen’s layout and décor?

You will bump into styles during your shopping experience but only four of them will be commonplace –

  • transitional
  • traditional
  • modern
  • rustic.


If you are looking for base cabinets that can rhyme with combining the elements of traditional and modern styles, transitional options would be the best for you.

Diamond NOW has a collection of impressive transitional styled products.


Rustic base cabinets come in simple designs and shapes, letting the material of construction stand out instead.

Cabinets in this design are usually quite oversized (and minimalism is not even the word, here), and they are designed to be easy to use and integrate with the countertop and other kitchen elements.

Heavy wood cabinets, made from hardwood or even raw wood and boards of any type are common.

The brand to check out for excellent rustic base cabinets are Diamond NOW.


Traditional design styles feature a variety of hues and deep colors, a blend of several materials, and elaborate motifs, to bring new life into old styling. In today’s hurried-up world, traditional design style keeps refinement and order through balance and symmetry.

Two brands to check out for traditional base cabinets are Hampton Bay  and Home Decorators Collection.


Modern style base cabinets are the direct opposite of traditional style – they use different types of wood instead of one, and can also incorporate other materials like glass, laminates, and metals to achieve a unique feel.

Brands to check out for this style of base cabinets are Hampton Bay  and Home Decorators Collection.

Related: Should You Get A Pantry Cabinet?

In a nutshell

Base cabinets are some of the essential investments you need to make in any functional kitchen.

If you consider the money you will spend on them and how bad you want them to serve your unique needs, you will only want to go for the best on the market.

To choose the best, consider the

  • Size/Capacity
  • Color Family & Finish
  • Fully Assembled v/s Ready to Assemble
  • Shade
  • Cost v/s Budget
  • Installation Considerations
  • Style – Transitional, Traditional, Rustic, & Modern
  • Number and Style of Doors.