Remodeling the kitchen can be a very expensive adventure or it can be accomplished in affordable style. The ultimate kitchen remodeling costs you’ll incur depend on three factors:
- How extensive the job is, from replacing just flooring and painting the walls, for example, to a complete overhaul of the space
- Your choice of materials, appliances and fixtures from basic through moderate to expensive
- Who does the work with options including DIY kitchen remodeling through handymen to licensed kitchen remodeler
Kitchen Materials Cost Categories
The kitchen remodeling price tables below represent costs you can expect when you get written kitchen remodeling estimates or as you shop for materials at your local home improvement store.
To simplify the matter, we discuss three cost levels for materials: Basic, moderate and expensive. Those terms aren’t much help if you don’t know what materials fall into each category. Here is an overview you can refer to as you plan for the cost of kitchen remodeling in your home. Note that because of the wide range of costs for each material, most fall into more than one category.
- Basic: Laminate, butcher block, tile, brick
- Moderate: Butcher block, tile, brick, wood, resin, concrete, granite, stone, marble, quartz, stainless steel, tin, metal, glass
- Expensive: Tile, granite, marble, slate, recycled glass, quartz, stainless steel, porcelain, concrete, lava, reclaimed wood, metal, onyx
- Basic: Vinyl, linoleum, laminate, hardwood
- Moderate: Laminate, hardwood, natural stone, ceramic
- Expensive: Hardwood, natural stone, ceramic
- Basic: Composite, birch, pine
- Moderate: Pine, standard hardwood, steel
- Expensive: Premium hardwood, steel, other metals
In addition to these main items, everything else you shop for while planning your kitchen project will be available in good/better/best options with corresponding price ranges of basic/moderate/expensive.
Kitchen Remodeling Costs Table
Now it’s time to provide some prices, so you’ll have a good idea of your total kitchen remodel costs. Labor for each component is based on four possible choices:
- Complete DIY: This means that you tear out the old materials and install the new materials. Your labor costs are $0.
- Partial DIY: This means that you do part of the work, such as removing the old materials or cleaning up after the work is complete.
- Handyman Installation: A handyman is a person with a broad range of skills but who may not have specific expertise – a jack of all trades, a master of none. A handyman may or may not be licensed and insured.
- Contractor: This is an installation expert with proven skills and experience. You might hire the contractor directly or the contractor might be hired by the general contractor you choose for the work. Contractors are typically licensed and insured.
To determine your total kitchen renovation labor cost, multiply separately the remodeling cost estimates shown in Table 1 below by the number of square feet of countertop, backsplash and flooring in your planned kitchen. Use the lower end of the range if you plan to do some of the work or use a handyman; use the upper end of the range if you plan to hire a contractor to do the work or a general contractor to coordinate the work.
Table 1: Kitchen Remodeling Costs: A Comparison at a Glance
|Kitchen Element||Basic (sq. ft.)||Moderate (sq. ft.)||Expensive (sq. ft.)||Labour (sq. ft.)|
|Countertops||$15-35/sq. ft.||$32-80/sq. ft.||$45-$170/sq. ft.||$6-$14/sq. ft.|
|Backsplashes||$2-6/sq. ft.||$5-$12/sq. ft.||$10-$24/sq. ft.||$6-$20/sq. ft.|
|Flooring||$2-4/sq. ft.||$3-$6/sq. ft.||$5-$10/sq. ft.||$2-$12.50|
|Paint||$.35-.45/sq. ft.||$.40-$.65/sq. ft.||$.60-$.90/sq. ft.||$1.25-$4/sq. ft.|
|Kitchen Remodeling Costs||$20-$46/sq. ft.||$41-$99/sq. ft.||$61-$208/sq. ft.||—–|
Then, add those three labor estimates together to get the total labor cost for installing countertops, backsplash and flooring.
Now, add the kitchen remodeling prices for the following costs to your subtotal from above:
Table 2: Costs for Kitchen Items: A Comparison at a Glance
Notes to Keep in Mind
- Material vs. Labor Cost: For most countertop and backsplash options, the material is significantly more costly than the labor. For all types of tile including ceramic, glass and even stone, it is the opposite. Installation costs are higher than material costs because tiling is a labor-intensive project. When the tile is used to form a mosaic or other intricate design, the labor can be extremely costly.
- Kitchen Island Costs: The prices for kitchen islands include the basic structure of the island and the materials used including wiring and plumbing. For sinks, multiply the number of sinks your kitchen will have by the kitchen sink estimates given.
- Kitchen Cabinet Estimates: Cabinet costs are based on 10 linear feet of both base cabinets and wall cabinets plus one full-length pantry.
- Appliance Costs: Appliance costs include a refrigerator, a microwave and a either a single range or a combination cooktop and wall oven. If you’re installing a dishwasher too, add $500-$1,200 to the estimate.
Other Factors Affecting the Price of Kitchen Remodeling
Here are several ways that price estimates for your kitchen project will be affected.
The complexity of the work: Consider these examples. A countertop with several turns or one that includes a breakfast bar or peninsula will cost more to make and install than a single straight run of countertop. Labor costs for a mosaic backsplash will be much higher than if all the tiles are the same or there are just a few interchanging colors. An island that features a sink, electrical outlets and a gas supply will cost more to build than one that doesn’t. These types of complexity raise the cost significantly.
Structural issues: The types of “hidden” problems that might be discovered during a kitchen remodeling project include rotted subfloor, outdated wiring and inadequate plumbing. Issues such as these, while not common, will raise the cost of your project if they are found.
The number of estimates you receive: When you get multiple kitchen remodeling cost estimates from contractors that know they are competing for the work, you’ll get the best prices.
How much of the work you do yourself: While this has been mentioned, it might be worth discussing further. The things you can do to lower your kitchen remodeling costs include:
- Removing old flooring, cabinets and countertops
- Disposing of the removed materials
- Working with the handyman or contractor, which some will allow
- Picking up materials from the store or warehouse
- Hooking up appliances (should only be done if you have experience working with gas and electricity connections)
How Long Does it Take to Remodel the Kitchen?
This is a question every homeowner asks when considering this extensive project. The biggest factor affecting how long you’ll be without the use of your kitchen is how well you or the contractor coordinates the work. It should flow something close to this:
- Reception of ALL materials, fixtures, appliances, etc.
- Removal of old materials and appliances (1-2 days)
- Structural work such as replacing underlayment or plumbing, if needed (1-3 days)
- Installation of new drywall, if part of the project (2-5 days)
- Installation of cabinets (1-2 days)
- Installation of countertops (1-3 days for most materials, possibly longer for intricate tile work and stained concrete)
- Installation of flooring (1-3 days for most materials, possibly longer for tile and stained concrete)
- Thorough cleanup (half day)
- Priming and painting (2-4 days)
- Installation of doors and trim (1-2 days)
- Installation of appliances (half-2 days)
When things go smoothly, one task will closely follow the other. However, there are things that might disrupt the flow, and one or two brief delays in a kitchen remodeling project is not unusual. These include the wrong material or fixture being shipped, the contractor or a sub-contractor being delayed by an existing job, a delay in necessary inspections and unexpected problems arising such as the discovery of faulty wiring or rotted subfloor. Ask your contractor to make sure that all the materials and fixtures have arrived and have been inspected before the demolition of the old kitchen begins.