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How much does a kitchen renovation cost?

Determine what your budget needs to look like before you get started.

Small luxury kitchen.The total cost of revamping your kitchen will vary considerably depending on the location of your property, the size of your space and the materials you want to use. While some jobs can be tackled by DIY enthusiasts, the larger jobs that involve electrical or plumbing work should be done by professionals.

You should consult a licensed home contractor for any project that requires moving appliances, building walls or changing the footprint of your kitchen. Understanding the financial resources required for the project is crucial, and you’ll need to develop a full budget that takes into account how much materials, labor and installation will cost when you decide to undertake a project of any size.

Average cost of a kitchen renovation

Expect to pay between $13,000 to nearly $38,000 when renovating or remodeling your kitchen, according to Home Advisor. It will ultimately depending on the size of your space and the amount of upgrades you want to make.

Minor Renovations: $10,000 to $25,000

Minor upgrades generally involve less structural changes than larger renovations. Instead, the focus will be on simple additions such as cabinet knobs, installing light fixtures or adding a backsplash — all projects a home owner can tackle without the help of a professional. The major features of a kitchen, like the flooring and ceiling, will remain intact.

Choose your materials wisely by noting warranty terms and opting for reputable brands. This can make the difference between a kitchen that looks cheap and one that looks professional, and it can protect you from things going wrong in the future, costing you extra money.

Basic kitchen.

If you’re after luxury but on a small budget, there are several ways you can minimize your costs:

  • Leave plumbing and electrical outlets in their current position
  • Choose acrylic instead tiles
  • Opt for laminate flooring rather than real wood
  • Keep existing appliances and repair them as needed

Moderate Renovations: $25,000 to $45,000

For a moderate kitchen renovation, you can upgrade your space and make some changes to the shell structure by choosing new flooring, replacing a window or relocating lighting. However, this estimate assumes that the major features of the kitchen will stay in place and the floor plan won’t change dramatically.

You’ll also want to include minor upgrades as well. Brand-new cabinets with older fixtures don’t mesh, so make sure you have these additional costs worked into your budget.

At the higher end of this estimate, people start incorporating an open plan into their design, but this may start deplete your budget if your house is older or the wall between your kitchen and another room is load bearing.

It’s best to hire a designer or contractor at this point to handle coordinating multiple projects at once.

kitchenStandard

Major: $45,000 to $75,000+

If you choose to go with high-end finishes, expect high-end costs. It may also include a new layout of the kitchen space, removal or addition of walls, adjustments to the height of the ceiling and other expensive projects. In this case, much of your budget may go to things people can’t see, but it will be worth it to have the design you want.

These aren’t DIY projects. With this large of a budget, you’ll want to invest in a professional doing the labor for you, especially if you’re having electrical, structural or plumbing work done. A contractor and designer can come in handy to organize the renovations and bring your vision to life.

A major renovation is expensive and takes months to complete, but once its done, you’ll have a stylish and durable kitchen that will last for years to come.

kitchenluxury

What factors do I need to consider when renovating my kitchen?

We’ve broken down the most common upgrades to give you a solid starting point when planning your budget.

Appliances

Since many kitchens are done every few decades, appliances will most likely need to be replaced. Your other style choices will influence whether you opt for stainless steel or another, more classic look. Keep your budget in mind when deciding what to buy.

  • Minor expense: If nothing needs to be replaced urgently, keep your old appliances. This is the easiest way to save money, and there’s nothing wrong with postponing a large purchase until you have the money to pay for it.
  • Moderate expense: Having a portion of your budget earmarked for appliances is your best bet if they need replacing. You can find appliance packages that include a fridge, range, dishwasher and microwave for under $5,000.
  • Major expense: Redoing your whole kitchen with name-brand appliances will certainly put a large dent in your wallet. Expect to pay upwards of $10,000 if you want a space ready for a professional chef.

Countertops

One of the most influential kitchen renovation designs you’ll make is selecting the right countertop for your kitchen. Factors such as durability and style are likely to guide your decision when choosing between different materials. There’s a surface for every budget, so do your research and contact multiple businesses to find a counter that fulfills your needs.

Prices change quickly in the countertop industry and vary greatly depending on where you live. Below you can find rough averages of countertop prices as found on CounterTopguides.com and improvement.

MaterialBasicPremium
Stainless Steel$67.76/ft2$95.51/ft2
Laminate$25/ft2$36/ft2
Butcher Block$35/ft2$200/ft2
Engineered Stone$50/ft2 $155/ft2
Granite or Marble$45/ft2$250/ft2
Recycled Glass$50/ft2$105/ft2
Polished Concrete55/ft2$150/ft2
  • Minor expense: Repairing small problem areas, like re-sealing the joints between the backsplash and the counter, will be your cheapest option and can be handled by a DIY enthusiast if you want to save on labor costs.
  • Moderate expense: Replacing your current counter with laminate or tile surface is much cheaper than stone or wood counters, but the resell value will be impacted.
  • Major expense: Stone counters, quartz and granite being the most popular, are pricey. The materials cost anywhere from $50 to $300 a square foot, and labor costs will vary based on where you live, what material you choose and the complexity of the installation.

Updating your counters is one of the easiest ways to update the entire look of your kitchen. When you’re selecting which option to go with, keep the return on investment in mind. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an exotic stone counter if it won’t improve the value of your home.

Cabinets

The variety of cabinet designs, materials and hardware can put many homeowners into a state of confusion as to what to pick. Do you want a custom fit, or are you happy with cabinets you can take out of the box? Do you need someone to install them for you, or are you handy enough to hang them yourself? What type of wood do you want to use? How do you want the doors and drawers to look? What material do you want for your handles, and does their design matter?

All of these questions and more will influence your choice. Take the time to browse retailers, and if you find yourself overwhelmed, there are designers who specialize in cabinets and can help.

  • Minor expense: Quick touch ups are cheap and easy to do yourself. Putting on a fresh coat of paint, replacing the handles and finding new organization tools will cost you materials and a few hours’ time. Not bad if you’re looking for an inexpensive kitchen remodel.
  • Moderate expense: If you’re going to be replacing your cabinets entirely and are concerned with budget, consider buying semi-custom cabinets. These can be fitted for your kitchen for a fraction of the cost of fully custom cabinets.
  • Major expense: High-quality wood custom cabinets with expensive fixtures will be the most expensive option and cost you anywhere from $500 to $1,500 per linear foot.

You’ll also need to include the cost of having your cabinets professionally installed. The cost of labor will depend on the size of your kitchen and the cabinets themselves. Have multiple builders give you estimates before you start on the project, and don’t forget to ask for references and pictures of their earlier work. Bad installation can be costly to fix, so you’ll want to prevent the problem by hiring someone who is trustworthy and has a capable team.

Sinks

The type of sink you choose will impact the overall aesthetic of your kitchen. The type of sink you have or want to have will impact how much you’ll have to spend. Some variations will require you to hire a professional plumber, while others others can be installed by anyone with a little elbow grease. From basic models with two-way handles to trendy curved taps, there is an infinite choice of sinks to suit every budget.

  • Minor expense: Whether you decide to replace the faucet or the entire sink, doing it yourself will save you a large chunk of change. There are plenty of drop-in sink models that cost less than $500 that you can replace with only a few hours of work.
  • Moderate expense: Undermount and farmhouse sinks are much more expensive than their drop-in counterparts and will require outside help to install. Expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for the sink, and don’t forget to budget an additional few hundred for installation.
  • Major expense: In addition to the costs of a new sink and its installation, a person looking for garbage disposal hookup or specialized features will have to pay more. The more unique you want your sink to be, the more it will cost.

Backsplash

There is a backsplash available for people with any budget. From simple ceramic tiles to glass tiles on mesh, you can find a stylish design that suits your own personal aesthetic. Tile prices vary by location and quality, below you can find the average price range for backsplash costs as found on RemodelingExpense.com.

MaterialBudgetPremium
Tiles$25/ft2$36/ft2
Glass$45/ft2$60+/ft2
Mosaic sheets$28/ft2$38/ft2
  • Minor expense: Ceramic tile costs $10 to $15 per square foot, but you’ll also need to purchase the mortal and sealer. Another easy way to save money is to only add backsplash over your stovetop and sink, then paint the remaining portion of the wall between the counter and cabinets. Either way, you’ll likely be able to tackle this project yourself.
  • Moderate expense: Because tiles come in a range of styles and materials, you can find moderately-priced options that run between $20 to $40 per square foot.
  • Major expense: Complex patterns or exotic materials will increase the price of your backsplash. If you have the budget for it, this can add a unique feature to your kitchen.

If you’re not into the DIY scene or want a pattern that exceeds your ability, labor will add another cost. There are few national averages for the cost of installation since each project is different, but you should expect to pay a flat fee to the installation team, and many builders will charge an additional fee per hour or per square foot.

Flooring

The size of the area and the material you want to use will impact the overall cost of the flooring. Inexpensive materials such as vinyl and linoleum may reduce costs in the short term, but you need to consider whether these materials will endure and if they will add value to your home. Wood and tile require a larger upfront investment, but they will last much longer and appeal to buyers if you’re looking to sell.

Based on national averages, the materials and installation of a new kitchen floor will cost approximately $3,000. That’s why it’s important to know exactly what type of material is desired and how many square meters need to be covered.

Below are the average costs of flooring material listed by Home Advisor.

Flooring typeBasicStandardPremium

Vinyl (not including a sub-floor if needed)$0.50-$2.00ft2$2.50-$5.00/ft2$3.00-$5.00/ft2
Tiles$1.30/ft2 (ceramic or porcelain)$3/ft2 (slate)$7.50/ft2 (marble)
Hardwood$3-$6/ft2 (soft wood)$5-$10/ft2$8–$14/ft2 (exotic woods)
  • Basic: Laminate wood or tile is one of the more popular choices in modern kitchens. Not only are the materials cheaper, but the installation costs will be lower. Handy homeowners might even choose to tackle this project themselves, further lowering the total price. ^Home Advisor states the average cost per square foot for laminate flooring with a hardwood finish is about $1 to $2, and the price for installation ranges between $2 to $8.
  • Standard: A solid mid-range option for your kitchen flooring is tile. They’re durable, easy to clean and come in multiple styles to suit anyone’s budget. If you have a busy space, you should opt for higher quality, which runs about $2 to $7 a square foot for ceramic and $6 to $15 a square foot for stone. Labor costs vary drastically by region and type of tile being installed. You should contact multiple teams to find an average in your area.
  • Premium: Wood is a classic choice for many homes, but it can be quite expensive–especially since you likely won’t be installing them in just your kitchen. Decent quality hardwoods, like oak and maple, are durable and can last many years in a busy kitchen, but you’ll pay the price. According to Home Advisor, materials cost $5 to $10 a square foot and labor will add an additional $3 to $10 per square foot. More exotic types of wood will be more expensive, and complex patterns will take more time to install.

Other features

Once you’ve covered the big ticket items of a renovation, it’s time to turn your attention to the smaller things that you may have missed. Lighting, decor, and window coverings all play a role in the overall design of your kitchen.

  • Lighting. If you’re looking to change the style of your lighting–for instance, installing recessed lighting above an island–you should make room in your budget for the fixture and the cost of an electrician.
  • Decor. It’s so simple, but decor can have a huge impact. Your kitchen towels, seating and other aesthetic choices will show others your style. These are inexpensive ways to showcase your personal taste.
  • Window coverings. Blinds and drapes have a large range of price points, so find options that fit your budget and match the other design choices you’ve made.

Should I consider any other costs?

There is certainly much more to a kitchen renovation than picking out your cabinets and floors. Depending on the magnitude of your remodel, you might have to hire a number of professionals to cover the design and building costs. Most moderate and major kitchen renovations require a certified professional to get the job done right–and legally.

  • Contractor: A general contractor will be able to plan a large renovation and coordinate different teams to get your kitchen remodeled finished quickly.
  • Designer: A designer is good for couples with opposite styles or people who aren’t sure what they want.
  • Electrician: If you need any wiring reworked, you should cease other jobs immediately and contact an electrician.
  • Plumber: As with the electrician, a plumber should be contacted if you need any pipes moved or changed.
  • Engineer: Opening up a space or removing walls requires an engineer.

In addition, certain renovations require permits, which usually cost a few hundred dollars.

Hiring a professional may be a necessary part of your renovations, but you should have multiple companies come in and give you an estimate for the work they’ll be doing. Doing this will help you save money and find the professional help you’ll need to turn your dream kitchen into reality.

Compare financing options for renovating a kitchen

Depending on the size of your renovation, you’ll want to consider financing that matches your budget.

Small renovations: Consider a credit card

If you’re just updating fixtures, a credit card is the way to go. You could use credit card from a home improvement store, but it’s worth looking into a credit card with good cash back rewards to balance your spending.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Rates & fees
The Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make — most credit cards only offer 1% cash back on general purchases. This means you'll be earning rewards every time you shop or pay for labor.
Pros
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on purchases
  • $200 signup bonus
  • Long 0% intro APR period of 15 months
Cons
  • Not useful for balance transfers
  • Must have good to excellent credit to qualify

Moderate renovations: Consider a personal loan

Considering new appliances or more intensive changes to your kitchen? A personal loan is an unsecured option that offers lower interest rates than a credit card.

LightStream personal loans

4.83 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on Lightstream's secure site
LightStream is our best pick for home renovation — largely because you won't find a better APR. If you have good to excellent credit and a large kitchen to remodel, LightStream is one of the most competitive options.
Pros
  • Loans up to $100,000
  • Competitive interest rates
  • Autopay discount of 0.5% off APR
Cons
  • Must have good to excellent credit to qualify
  • No preapproval process
  • Minimum loan amount of $5,000
Loan Amount$5,000 - $100,000
APRCompetitive
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. Credit ScoreGood to excellent credit
Turnaround TimeVaries

Major renovations: Consider a HELOC

A major renovation makes a home equity loan or line of credit worth the risk of using your property as collateral.

LendingTree

See rates
on LendingTree's secure site
LendingTree works with a variety of lenders to show you the best options for your credit. You'll be able to compare and apply directly through it, and if there's another lender that could be better for your budget, LendingTree will notify you right away.
Pros
  • Quick application process
  • Open to borrowers with fair credit
Cons
  • May receive high volume of marketing materials
  • Not all offers have competitive rates

Bottom line

Planning a kitchen renovation can be stressful no matter the size. You’ll have to budget for the materials, the labor and the time it will take to complete.

Although it might seem like an insurmountable process, breaking into parts like we have here can help you tackle every aspect of a renovation. Browse more home renovation guides to learn about costs, DIY tips and more.

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