Flat‌ ‌Pack‌ ‌Cabinet‌ ‌vs.‌ Custom‌ ‌Cabinet:‌ ‌Which‌ ‌One‌ ‌Suits‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Ideal‌ ‌Kitchen?‌ ‌ ‌

2 December 2019
Flat Pack Cabinets

There’s no doubt that the kitchen is one of the focal points of any Western Australian home. Not only is it where WA families do their cooking and cleaning, it also often doubles as a dining area and centre point for socialising and for entertaining guests. It is also one of the first things home buyers look at to assess the property’s overall value—the better the kitchen looks and the more functional it is, the higher the chances of a house being sold.

Up until a few years ago, most Australians believed that only the moneyed could afford to spend on beautiful, ornate, or well-decorated kitchens. However, thanks to the rise of ready-to-assemble furniture  solutions providers—from international homeware giants like IKEA to local Australian companies like eKitchens—consumers now have so many more options for furnishing their kitchens, and in different price ranges to boot. 

Now, two kitchen furnishing schools of thought have become very popular among WA homeowners: the first one is using flat pack cabinets or ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinet systems, and the second one is using customised kitchen cabinets to achieve a fully bespoke kitchen setup. In this feature, eKitchens will differentiate the two, weigh their pros and their cons, and—most importantly—help you decide on which one is a better fit for your dream kitchen.  

Fundamental Differences Between Flat Pack Cabinets and Custom-Built Cabinets

What Are Flat Pack Cabinets?

Flat pack cabinets are kitchen cabinets that are supplied in the box and can be assembled by the homeowner or by a carpenter. If you haven’t heard of the term yet, it’s still likely that you’ve seen many examples of flat pack cabinets in your local home depot, in a department store, or online from a furniture retailer like eKitchens. 

What distinguishes flat pack cabinets from regular kitchen cabinets is their modular configuration. The flat pack cabinet’s stand-alone construction will make it easier for you to fit one into any corner of your kitchen. You can choose to sandwich your stove between a twin set of flat pack drawers, or lay one out beside your refrigerator—whichever you prefer.

The rationale behind using flat pack cabinets in a kitchen can be summed up in the idea of “going with the flow.” If you don’t have any idea yet regarding what you want your kitchen to look like, and you want an easy method of arranging furniture as you go, this is what flat pack cabinets are best for. 

What Are Custom-Built Cabinets? 

Custom-built cabinets are exactly what their name implies: they are cabinets that are precisely built and measured by your furniture maker, and then installed for use in your kitchen and yours alone. The joy of custom-built cabinets lies in the level of detail you have a say over: from the materials used, to the cabinet design, to the additional trimmings, and to the finishing techniques used. 

Custom-built cabinets will outfit your kitchen to become the true star of your home. If you anticipate spending a lot of time in the kitchen, doing prep for a lot of specialty dishes, or using the place as a space to entertain, custom-built cabinets will certainly help you in terms of expanding the functionality of this part of your home. 

Comparing Flat Pack Kitchen Cabinets to Custom Kitchen Cabinets: Arriving at the Best Choice for Your Home


Why Buy Flat Pack Kitchen Cabinets: The Pros


  • It’s cheaper. Buying flat pack cabinets as needed will definitely be more forgiving on your wallet than if you splurge on custom-built cabinets. You will be able to save a lot of money and allot more cash elsewhere in your home improvement budget.

  • There are lots of options that you can mix and match. Just because flat pack cabinets are cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll lack in quality or aesthetic value. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the many beautiful, functional flat pack cabinets that are currently out there in the market.

  • It will take less time for the store to ship them out. You’ll likely need to wait anywhere between a few days to a week for your custom-built cabinet, but you’ll be able to secure a flat pack kitchen cabinet system immediately after you buy it. It won’t be long before it arrives at your doorstep, and before you can start on the assembly!

  • It’s more adaptable. With flat pack cabinets, you won’t have to confine your kitchen to any one look. You can add and subtract certain pieces from the kitchen layout, and you can easily move them from the kitchen to another part of the house if you so wish.


What Are the Drawbacks to Getting Flat Pack Kitchen Cabinets: The Cons


  • They’re heavy on assembly. There may be a learning curve to assembling the cabinets; it’s either you take the time to learn the instructions yourself, or you call on a carpenter to help you. If you aren’t good with tools, then you’ll really have to set aside extra time and effort to tinker with the cabinet parts, or spend a little more on the services of a carpenter.

  • You may experience choice fatigue. It can’t be helped that the variety of products out there might be exhausting for some customers. You might spend a lot of time looking through a catalogue, but not arrive at the products that will give your kitchen some star power—although eKitchens can give you some good recommendations for flat pack kitchen drawers or pantries!


Why Buy a Custom Kitchen Cabinet System? The Pros


  • You’ll be closer to having a kitchen unlike any other. You will definitely have the bragging rights over other Western Australian homeowners if you can spruce up your kitchen with custom-built cabinets. Like with other customised products, custom-built cabinets may give your kitchen some extra oomph—as if it’s a pro kitchen worthy of a show room.

  • You can be exacting about your choices. If you want your kitchen to look a certain way, or to match the interior design scheme you have for your entire house, then the custom options for these types of cabinets will please you. You’ll be able to choose everything from the colour, to the accents, to the exact cabinet sizes.

  • You won’t have to worry about installation. In addition to the cabinets themselves, you will likely be paying for a professional to install them in the kitchen for you. This takes the pressure off of you to assemble the cabinets yourself.


What are the Drawbacks to a Custom Kitchen System? The Cons


  • It will be very expensive. The extra attention to detail and bespoke service won’t be cheap, at least in comparison to furnishing your kitchen with flat pack cabinets. You should be prepared to spend upwards of AUD 10,000 for a quality custom kitchen.

  • The difference may not be worth it. With the quality and the value already afforded by flat pack cabinets, will it really be the best option to spend so much on the custom-built type? Worse comes to worst, you may regret the small difference to the look of your kitchen and the large difference in your expenditures.



All in all, flat pack cabinets and custom-built cabinets are two great options for furnishing your kitchen. The most sensible choice between the two, however, depends on what you need from your kitchen space and what your dream kitchen looks like as opposed to another homeowner’s.

eKitchens’ current repertoire of products is expanding fast. Be it with flat pack cabinets or custom-built ones, we guarantee our WA customers “kitchens made easy.” So be sure to check our website for updates, and don’t hesitate to call us at (08) 9456 3108 or to email us at sales@ekitchens.com.au!

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