Custom Laundry Cabinets vs. Flat Pack Laundry Cabinets: A Comprehensive Comparison waratahkitchensadmin January 1, 2024

Custom Laundry Cabinets vs. Flat Pack Laundry Cabinets: A Comprehensive Comparison

Planning a laundry update and pondered how to get the most out of your reno dollars? Then you’ve probably already wondered if custom laundry cabinets are worth it or if you’re better off to grab some flat pack laundry cabinets off the shelf from Bunnings. In many cases the answer might surprise you.

The humble laundry room is one of the most important spaces in any home and it requires adequate storage for all your laundry essentials. One of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to laundry room storage is choosing between custom and flat-pack laundry cabinets. Both options have their pros and cons, so the choice you make will depend on your specific needs and situation. 

What Are Custom Laundry Cabinets?

Custom laundry cabinets are made-to-order to fit the specific dimensions and design requirements of your laundry space. They are typically built from high-quality materials, such as solid wood or MDF, and can be finished in an endless range of colours and styles to match your décor.

two tone custom laundry cabinets

The Benefits of Custom Laundry Cabinets

Zero Wasted Space

Custom laundry cabinetry is made to fit your space exactly, giving you a super polished and luxe laundry space. This also means you can make the most of every inch of available space with efficient laundry storage solutions. Think built in drying racks, hide away laundry hampers, and space maximizing pull out folding benches. This means you can store more items, keep your home more organized, and create a seamless look that complements your decor. Additionally, custom laundry room cabinets can add serious value to your home, making it more attractive to buyers if you ever decide to sell.

"I recently had custom laundry cupboards installed, and it's made a huge difference! Before, there were gaps and wasted space between the cabinets and in the awkward corner next to the door. But now, every inch of space is utilised, and the cabinets seamlessly blend into the walls. Plus, I have so much more storage space now!"

High Quality = Long Lasting

Custom laundry room cabinets are typically made from high-quality materials, such as timber or high quality MDF, which means they are durable and long-lasting.

If you invest in custom laundry cabinetry made from quality materials, you can expect them to last for years to come without showing signs of wear and tear. With cheaper alternatives, chipping, peeling laminate and damaged edges are pretty common within the first year or two. Considering the durability of custom solutions, paying a little more upfront is an smart investment and means that you won't have to replace  or re-do your laundry room anytime soon, saving you time and money in the long run.

"I recently got custom laundry cabinetry installed in my laundry, and I can already tell the difference in quality compared to my old ones. The new cabinets are made from Australian boards and feel much sturdier. I'm confident that they will last for many years to come."

Endless Colours, Styles and Finishes

With custom laundry cabinets, you have endless design options to choose from, including colors, finishes, and hardware.

You can achieve a unique and personalised look for your laundry with custom laundry room cabinets. For instance, you can choose ultra modern handless cabinets, shaker cabinets or more ornate styles with panels and trimmings. Colour choices are also endless. From bold red, dramatic black, robins egg blue or a soft pastel. You can also select a finish that complements your style, such as a glossy or matte texture. The possibilities are truly endless, allowing you to create a space that is both functional and beautiful.

"I recently had my laundry room cabinets redone with custom cabinets and I absolutely love the new design! One of the things I appreciate most is the endless design options that come with a custom made laundry. I was able to choose from a huge range of colors, finishes, and hardware to create a unique look that perfectly matches my personal style. The end result is a laundry that feels like my own personal oasis."

Unique Design

Custom solutions are designed specifically for you, which means you can create a unique look that reflects your personal style.

Let's say you have a small laundry with limited storage space. With custom laundry cabinetry, you can design them to fit perfectly into the available space, maximising your storage potential. You can also choose a unique design that complements the overall aesthetic of your home and reflects your personal style. This can add value to your home and make it stand out from others in the market if you ever decide to sell it.

"For my laundry room, I wanted a rustic and cozy feel, so I opted for custom laundry cupboards made of reclaimed wood. The unique design and texture of the wood gave the cabinets a one-of-a-kind look that perfectly matched my personal style. Plus, the cabinets provided ample storage space for all of my laundry essentials, making laundry day a breeze!"

The Drawbacks of Custom Laundry Cabinets

Higher Cost

Custom laundry cupboards are typically a little more expensive than flat pack cabinets due to the higher quality materials and the labor-intensive nature of the construction process compared to mass-produced laundry cupboards.

However, you may be suprised to find the costs often work out to be close or even in some cases cheaper once you add up all the extras. And they do add up. If you've ever browsed through an IKEA laundry or kitchen display and looked at the total price tag and though, that's not bad...Only to realise later that once you add the extra drawers, handles, soft close fittings, floor skirtings, ceiling cornices and then add on delivery, installation and any plumbing and electrical work required it all adds up pretty fast. In the same way DIY laundry cabinets can seem cheap at first glance, but it's important to bear in mind that custom laundry renovation quotes are normally all inclusive of these additional costs, so it pays to get a quote in most cases. 

That said, although custom laundry cabinetry are the clear winner when it comes to durability and quality, if you're on a super tight budget or don't want to over capitalise, custom might not be the right choice for you. In such cases, flat pack cupboards might be a better choice and provide an option that fits within strict budgets.

Longer Lead Time

Custom laundry cabinetry takes time to manufacture and install compared to diy options that you can buy off the shelf, which means you may have to wait longer before you can start using your laundry room.

For instance, if you're planning to renovate the laundry room of your rental property in between tenancies and you want to minimise the time the property is vacant, opting for custom laundry room cabinets might not be the best choice. Depending on the cabinet maker you select, the longer lead time required to manufacture and install custom laundry cupboards could delay the completion of the renovation.

Limited Availability

Custom laundry cabinets are only available from select manufacturers and cannot be purchased from big box stores, which means you may have to do some research to find the right supplier.

Ok so, what about Flat Pack Laundry Cabinets?

Flat pack laundry cabinets are pre-made cupboards  that are available in standard sizes and designs. They typically come in a box with all the necessary hardware and instructions for assembly. Here are some of the benefits of choosing flat pack laundry cupboards:

The Benefits of Flat Pack Laundry Cabinets

Lower Cost

Flat pack options are typically less expensive than custom laundry cabinetry due to the mass production of standard sizes and designs.

That said, those who are renovating their home for personal enjoyment and plan to stay in the home long-term will probably see custom laundry cabinetry as a worthwhile investment so its definitely worthwhile getting a quote on a custom laundry reno before you start stacking your trolley with diy laundry cabinets off the shelf. Once you factor in the additional costs for trades and installation, the cost can often be suprisingly close to custom cabinetry, provided you pick an affordable local cabinet maker.

Easy to Install

Flat pack cabinets are designed to be fast and easy to install, which makes them an ideal choice for those who want a quick and hassle-free installation process. One of the main advantages of flat pack cabinets is that they can be easily transported due to their flat design. Assembling them is also relatively simple since they come with all the necessary hardware and instructions. However, getting them level and fitting the multiple generic sized cabinets into tight spaces like laundries can be a bit tricky, so make sure you've done your measurements and planning thoroughly. Also, don't forget that beyond placing the cabinets against the walls, you'll need to pay attention to details like skirting boards, cornices and covering in any odd left over gaps so that your laundry looks finished and polished. In general, you don't need any specialised skills or tools to put them together, which means that even those who aren't particularly handy can install them with ease. 

Wide Availability

One of the biggest advantages of flat pack cabinets is their wide availability. These types of cabinets are widely available from big box stores, which make them easy to find and purchase. This means that you don't have to go to specialised stores or spend a lot of time searching for the perfect cabinet. You can simply visit your local home improvement store and browse their selection of flat pack cabinets.

"I was able to easily find a variety of flat pack cabinets in different sizes at my local home improvement store. They had a range in stock and available for me to choose from, which made it easy for me to find the right cabinets for my laundry renovation project.

Quick Turnaround

Flat pack cabinets are typically available for immediate purchase and can be installed quickly, which means you can start using your laundry room sooner.

"I recently decided to renovate the laundry room in our granny flat and was looking for a solution that could be installed quickly. The flat is older, so we didn't want to over spend on something super flash. Luckily, I found some great flat pack cabinets that were readily available for purchase the same day. We were able to install them ourselves, and the laundry room now has some much needed storage!"

The Drawbacks of Flat Pack Laundry Cabinets

Limited Design Options

Flat pack modular laundry cabinets are essentially pre-fabricated cabinets that come in standard sizes and designs. While they can be a cost-effective and convenient option for laundry room renovations or upgrades, they do have some limitations. One of the biggest drawbacks of flat pack cabinets is that they offer limited design options. Since they are manufactured in bulk, you may not be able to find the perfect fit or style for your laundry room. For example, if you have a narrow or oddly shaped laundry room or a specific aesthetic in mind, you may have trouble finding flat pack cabinets that meet your needs. Additionally, since they come in standard sizes, you may need to compromise on the layout or functionality of your laundry room to accommodate the cabinets.

Lower Quality Materials

Flat pack options are usually made from less expensive materials such as particleboard or lower quality MDF (medium-density fiberboard), which are not as durable as the materials used in custom made cabinetry. While these materials are suitable for a budget-friendly option, they may not be as long-lasting or withstand the wear and tear of everyday use as well as custom options. Additionally, the lower quality materials may not hold up well in humid or damp environments, such as a bathroom or laundry room. So, if you're looking for a laundry that will last for many years and can withstand daily use, custom made with its higher quality materials are the way to go.

Limited Customisation

Flat pack cupboards cannot be customised to fit your specific design requirements, which means you may have to make compromises when it comes to storage and functionality.

For example, if you have a specific space in your laundry room where you want to install the cabinets, but the available flat pack storage cabinets do not fit the dimensions, you may have to settle for a smaller or larger cabinet than you originally intended. Similarly, if you have unique storage needs, such as a designated area for ironing or hanging clothes, you may not be able to find a flat pack cabinet that provides the necessary features. In such cases, you may need to compromise on your design requirements and make do with what is available in the market.

Summing Up...

Choosing between custom and flat pack laundry cabinets requires careful consideration of your specific needs and preferences. Custom made options offer the perfect fit, high-quality materials, endless design options, and unique design, but they also come at a higher cost, longer lead time, and limited availability. Flat pack cabinets offer lower cost, easy installation, wide availability, and quick turnaround, but they also come with limited design options, lower quality materials, and limited customisation. Ultimately, the choice you make will depend on your budget, timeline, and design requirements.

Here at Waratah Kitchens we specialise in laundry, kitchen and bathroom renovations. Our team of designers can give you a quote and plenty of inspo and helpful tips to get the most out of your laundry reno. Learn more about our Laundry renos here or request a free design consultation and quote below!

Need help planning your laundry renovation project? We'd love to help.

Simply send us a few details and tell us a bit about your project and we’ll get back to you to organise a complimentary design consultation and quote to help you get the ball rolling.