The cost of remodeling a kitchen depends on numerous factors – from more involved and costly portions of a project like converting an electric range to gas, new kitchen cabinets, changing the layout and removing walls, or moving plumbing and electrical to more superficial and cheap projects like cosmetic updates, new paint and finishes, adding or changing hardware, or updating the backsplash – the spectrum of cost of a kitchen renovation is quite broad.
Depending on the size of the kitchen, the scope of the project, and the finishes chosen, the average cost of remodeling a kitchen ranges from $4,000 on the low end to over $50,000 on the high end, with 30-35% of the cost going to labor.
The remainder of this article will cover the various individual projects associated with a kitchen remodel and their respective costs, giving you the best idea of what your kitchen renovation will cost!
Lavish Project Costs
That high-end kitchen look seen in magazines and on TV could cost a pretty penny, but just how much do these lavish kitchen upgrades truly cost? Let’s explore a few of the most common high-end kitchen upgrades.
Before we begin, keep in mind the ultimate goal when planning and budgeting for you kitchen renovation. Are you renovating for yourself, in a home you intend to live in for the next ten years plus? Are you renovating for resale value for an upcoming listing? Are you renovating to rent? These are all valuable questions to ask yourself prior to beginning any project. Let the answers to those questions guide your choices on materials, layout changes, finishes, and budget.
How Much Does it Cost to Convert an Electric Range to Gas?
This is one that is best left to the professionals. In order to convert from electric to gas in your kitchen, a gas line has to be run from your gas meter to the location of your range/oven. The costs associated with this project typically run by the linear foot, meaning the final price will be dependent on how much gas line has to be run.
A normal baseline from which to deviate for determining the cost of running gas line is 100-120 linear feet. Gas and plumbing companies will typically charge between $28 to $30 per linear foot to install gas lines, bringing the cost of the project to $2,800-$3,600 on average. This includes all labor associated with the conversion.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy New Kitchen Cabinets?
Kitchen cabinets have a wide range of potential costs. The cheapest way to buy new kitchen cabinets is to buy cabinet kits that you will need to assemble and possibly stain or paint. They are packaged and shipped in flat boxes to reduce shipping costs and require on-site assembly. Kitchen cabinet kits can be purchased for about $2,000 assuming a standard kitchen, and it is up to you as the purchaser to ensure the proper cabinets are ordered for the required dimensions.
The next step up in kitchen cabinet cost are preassembled and unfinished cabinets. As the name implies, these come preassembled but require stain or paint to finish. Standard total cost for these type of cabinets ranges from $3,000 to $4,000, depending on the size of the kitchen. Finished and stained stock cabinets can be purchased for a small premium.
Custom cabinetry will cost you the most. Design studios and cabinet warehouses have apps and professionals to design a custom kitchen and order the required cabinetry. Custom cabinets can cost upwards of $10,000 for an entire kitchen depending on the style, material, and finish selected.
How Much Does it Cost to Change the Layout or Remove Walls?
Most of the costs associated with removing a wall go directly to labor, provided the wall is not a load-bearing wall. The typical cost associated with removing a wall is anywhere from $300 to $1,000 for non-load-bearing walls and $1,200-$3,000 if the wall being removed is load-bearing.
The reason for the price discrepancy is due to the need for a new support structure if the wall is load-bearing, which is typically in the form of a cross beam. Consult a licensed general contractor, architect, or engineer before removing any wall in your home.
Changing the layout in your kitchen will typically require electrical and plumbing work, which we will cover next. The most common exception to this is the removal of an island or peninsula, which may or may not contain electrical or plumbing.
How Much Does it Cost to Move Plumbing or Electrical?
The average cost to move plumbing in a kitchen is $2,500-$3,000 per fixture, which can add up quickly if you are changing the entire layout of your kitchen.
The biggest cost associated with moving electrical is the labor. Skilled electricians typically charge anywhere from $120-$175 per hour of work. Plan on each outlet or light switch being moved taking a skilled electrician 30-45 minutes of work to move.
Cosmetic (or Frugal) Project Costs
The goal of a cosmetic makeover is to achieve the same high-end look for a fraction of the cost of a major renovation. These projects are typically accomplished through the reuse, repurpose, and recycle mantra, saving money wherever possible. Let’s take a closer look at the costs associated with these kinds of projects.
How Much Does it Cost to Refinish or Paint Cabinets?
One of the highest impact projects you can take on in your kitchen, refinishing or repainting the cabinets can be accomplished for under $60! Paint sprayers work best, but if you don’t have one and are looking to save the money it would take to rent one, a simple paint brush and rollers will do the trick!
The finished product will depend on the material of the cabinets themselves, and I highly recommend doing some additional research on how to properly paint cabinets prior to starting the project. Painting or refinishing your cabinets is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to see an immediate impact in your kitchen!
How Much Does it Cost to Replace the Countertops?
The national average cost to replace the countertops in your kitchen is $1,900 to $4,200, installation included. Stone counters range in cost from about $40 per square foot to over $100 per square foot, depending on the stone selected. Keep in mind how porous varying stones are when selecting the best fit for you!
For example, granite is wildly popular currently amongst the general populous, but not many people realize it is one of the most porous stones for kitchen countertops. Because of this, it must be treated with a sealant prior to installation. Similarly, marble is a comparatively soft stone and should be treated prior to extended wear and tear.
My go-to for the kitchen, primarily due to the fact that it is one of the hardest stones, is quartz. Quartz, or quartzite, is a naturally occurring stone in nature that is the most well-suited for kitchen use. Quartz is typically slightly more expensive than granite, the cost difference of which can be offset by shopping around for the best prices.
The best way to save money with countertops is to buy an entire slab and find a company or experienced subcontractor to cut it to your required dimensions and cover installation. Call around, ask around, and do some research on the available bulk stone companies in your area to save upwards of 30% on beautiful new countertops!
Another way to save money on countertops without having to settle of MDF counters is to fabricate your own cement counters. Follow this link for a step-by-step description on how tackle this project yourself.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace or Install Backsplash?
Ceramic tile backsplash can cost anywhere from $300 for a smaller kitchen to upwards of $1,000 for larger kitchens or high-end tiles, plus the cost of labor. Labor for a backsplash install will typically run you $300-$400 for a few hours of work.
But those are the costs for ceramic tile backsplash. Although the most common material used for backsplash, ceramic tile is not your only option. Materials like stone veneer, metal tile, and wood can be used at varying price points. Stone and metal backsplashes will typically cost slightly more than ceramic tiles, while materials like wood and shiplap will save a ton of money.
In my most recent kitchen remodel, I used stacked shiplap as a backsplash and the entire project ended up costing under $90! If you decide on a porous material like wood or shiplap, just be sure to seal the backsplash properly to avoid any water damage. Visit our sister article for tips and tricks on how to remove kitchen backsplash.
How Much Does it Cost to Replace the Sink?
Sinks come in many different shapes, sizes, and materials, and can be purchased at your local hardware store or ordered online. The most common sinks used in modern design are stainless steel. Common alternatives includes fired clay, porcelain, concrete, and even wood.
Standard, over-the-counter sinks will cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000, while under-mount sinks run about 10% more. Apron, or “farmhouse,” sinks typically range from $400 to $1,200 and are increasing in popularity recently.
A cost-effective alternative to purchasing a sink is to fabricate your own concrete sink. For more ideas on how you can create your own concrete countertops and sink, visit our sister article here.
The remainder of the costs associated with sink replacement comes in the form of labor for plumbing and the installation itself. Although it might seem daunting at first, a quick search on YouTube will give you all the knowledge and confidence required to alter the plumbing under your sink!
How Much Does it Cost to Replace the Appliances?
The cost associated with completely replacing the appliances in the kitchen is a common misconception. Most people think your options are limited to either spending a ton of money at a big box store or buying secondhand appliances on secondary markets. Want to know the secret? You don’t have to choose between new and cost-effective!
Major retailers typically run two to three large sales on appliances each year around New Year’s Eve, Memorial Day, and/or Labor Day. By simply waiting to purchase the new appliances for your kitchen renovation around these holidays, you can save upwards of 30-50%! Some retailers will even price match or beat competitors’ prices during these sales. For example, I have purchased two sets of matching, four-piece stainless steel appliances during these sales for $1,800 and $2,200.
Now, clearly the cheapest route is to buy secondhand appliances off places like FaceBook Marketplace or Craigslist, which can typically be done for four to five hundred dollars, but it is ultimately over to your personal preference and project budget.
How Much Does it Cost to Change or Install Hardware in the Kitchen?
Hardware, such as cabinet knobs or pulls, faucets, doorknobs, towel racks, or mounting brackets have a massive effect on the overall aesthetics and are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to change the look of your kitchen. If you cabinets do not currently have knobs and pulls, they can be purchased and installed for under $100!
Faucets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and utility and range anywhere from under $100 to over $1,000 in cost. The best part? Each faucet comes with installation instructions so you can do it yourself and save money on labor!
Doorknobs for pantries cost anywhere from $40 to $150 and are an oft-overlooked aspect of design. Gold hinges on any doorframes scream early 2000s and can simply be removed and painted if you don’t want to spend the money to replace them.
Towel racks and mounting brackets for exposed shelving complete the updated look and can be purchased for under $10 a piece. The big picture with expose adornments is they should all match and complement the design of the space.
The cost of a kitchen remodel ultimately comes down to your own preferences when it comes to things like vision, budget, handiness, choice of materials and finishes, and the ability to repurpose existing materials. The two complete kitchen renovations I have finished have both come in under $5,000, which included all new four-piece stainless steel appliances and stone counters, so I know it can be done on a tight budget! You will save the most money by doing things yourself, followed by utilizing the existing layout, plumbing and electrical, and cabinetry.