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What to Know When Remodeling Kitchens

Updated: Mar 9

A kitchen remodel is a pretty big project, even if its for a small kitchen. If you're planning on remodeling a kitchen, you've come to the right place to help you plan for it.

The first and most important thing to know for your plan is that you will be without a kitchen for about a month or so. So, you need to plan how you are going to eat during that time period. This is probably the most frustrating part of the entire project, but it is an unfortunate reality.

How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen?

The first question most people want answered is, "How much does it cost to remodel a kitchen?" Depending on the type of person you are, it's either going to cost about as much as you think it will, about twice as much as you think it will, or about half as much as you think it will. In my experience, most people fall into the category of the project costing twice as much as they think it will.

Now, regardless of the size of your kitchen, the absolute minimum it could possibly cost to do a full gut and remodel of your entire kitchen (for the average single family house) is about $15,000 to $20,000. Materials alone are going to be almost half of that, and if you get really expensive materials, the price will increase and cover more than half of that. In general, cabinets and countertops are going to be your biggest expense.

If you are planning on changing the floor plan of your kitchen and moving your stove, oven, sink and dishwasher to different locations, then you now have the additional cost of rewireing for the stove and oven, and re-plumbing for the sink and dishwasher.

If your kitchen is old and outdated, you may need to update the electrical to bring it up to code, that would also be an added expense. So, too if you wish to add recessed lighting or heated floors or something.

While tile is traditionally the best way to go for flooring in a kitchen, today Vinyl Plank Flooring is just as good and will help you save a lot of money. You can also use it for the backsplash over your Countertops if you want. There are also other alternatives to tile backsplashes that could help you save money if necessary.

Obviously, the larger and/or more complex your kitchen is, the more it will cost. But it doesn't come down to square feet in the end. It comes down to time spent on labor and the material cost, plus overhead and management fee's.

Are there ways I can save money on remodeling my kitchen?

Absolutely! In general, if your home is more than 20 years old, it's usually best to do a full gut and remodel so we can inspect the integrity of the walls and insulation and update them. But removing this from the equation will save you a few thousand dollars.

If affordability is a factor, then don't try to change the current layout of the kitchen. Changing the layout always increases the price, so unless it's absolutely necessary, or you can afford to do whatever you want, it's best to work with what you got.

One thing you can do sometimes is install a new backsplash right on top of an old one in order to update it with less work. It doesn't always work, but when it does, it will save you a few hundred bucks.

Do the cabinets need to be replaced, or can they just need to be refinished? Depending on the cabinets you currently have, it may be less expensive to give them a simple refinishing than it would be to replace them. Of course, it would have to be kept extremely simple to save you money. The fancier you get, the more it costs.

If countertops need to be replaced, you should consider Formica Countertops from Home Depot or Lowe's. They are far less expensive than stone, although the labor to install them is relatively the same. Another cheap option is Custom Concrete or Epoxy Countertops. Epoxy even allows you to get creative with your designs.

Finally, as mentioned before you can save money by choosing vinyl plank flooring over tile or hardwood. A hardwood floor would cost hundreds more and a tile floor would cost at least a thousand more.

Hardwood Cabinets or Laminate Cabinets?

Here's the lowdown: Hardwood cabinets are typically more expensive than Laminate, but they only come in so many styles. Laminate cabinets come in potentially infinite styles, but the lamination eventually begins to fail and peel, and damage is not so easily repaired.

If you're a traditionalist like me, you would rather have hardwood cabinets. You can always have them refinished later to look however you want. If money savings is more important to you, then laminate cabinets are the way to go.

If style is important and you prefer a style in laminate, then you just need to know that it will get damaged and begin to peel over time and will eventually have to be refaced. And if you chose something fancy, it probably wont have a matching material to reface it with when the time comes, so you'll likely have to replace them again.

If you have the money and you're truly creative, you can always hire someone to build you custom cabinets according to your specifications. But this is obviously the most expensive route to take.

Tile, Hardwood or Vinyl Flooring?

Traditionally, tile is the proper floor to have in a kitchen. Kitchens are known to be messy places where the floor can often get wet. As such, hardwood floors are a terrible option for kitchens. Not only are they susceptible to water damage, but all the mess from every day living can end up between the cracks of the floor. When those messes can include food and beverages, that means they can potentially grow bacteria, mold or fungus between the cracks in your floor.

However, there is a very inexpensive option available called Vinyl Plank Flooring. It's just as water proof as tile, it's more bacteria, mold and fungus resistant than tile grout, and less expensive than hardwood. Furthermore, it can be manufactured to look like anything, so there's a wide variety of styles that look like hardwood, tile and stone, so you can have the same look for less.

Stone, Wood, or Laminate Countertops?

Stone is the most popular because it is the most beautiful. Both Wood and Stone countertops require regular maintenance to prevent them from staining. Laminate countertops require no maintenance at all.

The only problem with laminate countertops, which is also true of any other type, is the potential for damage. Considering how styles change over time, this typically means it isn't possible to do a small repair for damaged laminate countertops like you can for stone.

There are also other options to consider as well. You can hire a contractor to build you a custom countertop with plywood and finish it off with tile. Or you can have your contractor build you a custom concrete countertop, or a custom epoxy countertop.

A custom epoxy countertop will likely be the most damage resistant for the longest period of time. It is also the most customizable, you can literally do with it whatever your creativity allows for. The least expensive of all countertops is probably the concrete, but it's also the least beautiful.

Undermount sink or Overmount sink?

If you have a Stone, solid hardwood, or epoxy countertop, you can consider an undermount sink. Undermount sinks are nice because there is no obstruction when it comes to shoving food or water from countertops into the sink for disposal. It also looks more aesthetically pleasing.

So, when you can I suggest going with an undermount sink. But if you choose laminate or concrete countertops, you can only use an overmount sink. On laminate this is because you will see the ugly formica underneath the laminate top, and there is no way create a beautiful opening for the sink in concrete, so it's best to hide it.


I hope this article helped answer your questions. If you have more unanswered questions feel free to email me at

Would you like us to give you a consultation for your Kitchen Remodel? Give us a call now to schedule your first appointment! 860-817-7191

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