The kitchen is where you make memories. It’s where you burn dinner, bake cookies for the first time, and maybe where you fight over who does the dishes. In today’s world, the kitchen has transformed beyond just a place to cook and into a multipurpose room that hosts afternoon homework, family time, and possibly even a remote workspace.
With all that happens in the heart of your home, you deserve a space that’s Instagram-worthy. But more than that, you need a room that feels and functions just right for you and your family. You could pack up and move to a completely new house, or you could go for a kitchen remodel. Here’s what you need to know.
Types of Kitchen Remodels
Not every kitchen remodeling project is the same. Depending on the scope, you could have a much different experience than the next person. It all comes down to how much you want to change.
Minor Kitchen Remodel
With a minor remodel, you’re leaving the footprint of your kitchen as-is and simply freshening up the overall look and functionality. The nice part about a smaller project is it tends to be much more budget-friendly, while still giving you the aesthetic upgrades you’re looking for.
Minor kitchen remodeling typically includes these changes:
- Paint the walls
- Change the flooring
- Install new appliances
- Reface the cabinets
- Add new entry-level cabinetry
With these simple updates, you can have a fresh, clean-looking space that still shows your personality.
Major Kitchen Remodel
In this more extensive overhaul, you do everything you would with a minor kitchen remodel but with a bigger budget to work with. You still won’t change the room’s footprint, but that bigger budget will allow for some fancier updates, including:
- Semi-custom cabinetry
- A new island
- New countertops
- A higher-end sink and faucet
- New appliances
- Custom lighting fixtures
- New flooring
- New paint
By adding semi-custom features, you can get exactly the kitchen you envisioned for your home.
Upscale Kitchen Remodel
If you have expensive taste or a totally unique vision for what you want your kitchen to look like, you might want to splurge on an upscale remodel. For this project, you’ll use either luxury materials or specialty additions to turn the space into a magazine-worthy feature of your home.
At this level, you might consider adjusting the layout and footprint of your kitchen to give you more space and improve functionality:
- Custom cabinetry
- Built-in sliding shelves
- Custom cabinetry interiors
- Stone countertops
- Ceramic or glass-tile backsplash
- New appliances
- An undermount sink
- Designer faucets
- A water-filtration system
- New general and task lighting
- New tile or high-end flooring
- Fresh paint on the walls
Not only will these improvements make your kitchen more fun to use, but you might find that your house is the new hot spot for gatherings with family and friends. Sure, the smell of pot roast doesn’t hurt, but a beautiful room is bound to draw people in.
Kitchen Remodeling Costs
Unfortunately, making so many changes doesn’t come cheap. Here are some of the average kitchen remodel prices:
- Minor Remodel = $24,000
- Major Remodel = $69,000
- Upscale Remodel = $136,000
Keep in mind that prices can vary drastically depending on what type of materials you choose, even within each level. In the end, you have complete control over the remodeling budget.
How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take?
Just like with the cost, the timeline will depend on what is being done. For a minor or major remodel that doesn’t impact the layout and footprint of your kitchen, you can expect it to take about 6 to 8 weeks.
If you’re looking for an upscale remodel in which you completely revamp the floorplan, you’ll likely be in a construction zone for between 10 and 12 weeks. Removing parts of the kitchen, making structural changes, and retooling the floorplan to your specifications takes time!
Tips for a Smooth Kitchen Remodel
So, you want to do a kitchen remodel. Turn on any home improvement show and it’ll seem like a breeze. The reality is that a remodeling project is an investment of time and hard work, but there are a few things you can do to facilitate the process.
Paint Your Cabinets
New cabinets will take up a big portion of your budget, but they’ll have a huge impact on the look of your kitchen. That’s how you turn an empty room with appliances into a fully functioning cooking space. If you’re happy with where your cabinets are and their functionality, save some money by painting them, rather than completely switching them out.
Invest in the Right Faucet
You might think one of your major appliances like the stove or refrigerator deserve the kitchen MVP award, but some would argue your faucet is the most important. Think about how many times a day it’s used! For something that important, it’s worth it to go with something that you absolutely love and is easy to use.
Rather than saving money on a lower-priced faucet, it never hurts to spend the money on a premium brand that will hold up over time. Also, look for one with convenient features like a touch sensor. Even expensive faucets aren’t really that expensive when you’re talking about a full kitchen remodel.
Know Your Paint
If you pick the wrong sheen of paint, you’ll regret it on cleaning day. Choose the right sheen for the area you’re painting:
- Semi-gloss for trim
- Satin for painted cabinets
- Eggshell for walls
By using the right sheen, you’ll find it’s easier to clean the different surfaces. Plus, you’ll see a better finish in the end.
Prepare for Painting
Even a dozen coats of paint can’t hide a wall that hasn’t been prepped first. Take the time to sand any uneven spots and fill all nail holes. Finally, be sure all seams are caulked for a clean finish. Then, you’re ready to lay down some paint.
Know When to Paint
If you’ve ever painted a room before, you know the distinct stress that comes with keeping paint off of everything else in the room. In your kitchen remodel, make sure the walls are painted before the cabinets and backsplash are installed. This can reduce your cost of labor and also keeps paint drips off your new cabinets and tile.
Pick a Backsplash with Character
In the last decade, backsplashes have become a way to show personal style in the kitchen. When choosing your backsplash, go with something that reflects your taste. However, be sure to keep cleaning in mind.
Go with Quartz Countertops
Granite countertops are out. Quartz is the new preferred material, and there’s a reason why: quartz is just better. It’s typically more cost-effective, stain-resistant, scratch-resistant, won’t chip, and never needs to be sealed. Think of it like the pretty girl who’s surprisingly down-to-earth: a complete miracle.
Spend on Lighting
Your new lighting is not the place to try and save money. Get the lighting options you love and get plenty of them.
For your open floor space, add recessed ceiling fixtures. For tax lighting and to highlight your gorgeous countertops and backsplash, add under-cabinet lighting. You can also throw in some pendants and ceiling fixtures to add extra brightness above work zones—like your island, peninsula, or sink.
Go with a Dupe for Flooring
Love the look of hardwood but hate the cost and maintenance? You’re in luck; you can fake it! In fact, there are a couple options for the wood aesthetic that are more functional and friendlier to your kitchen remodel budget.
For the easiest-to-clean option, choose a porcelain tile. For a durable option that’s softer than tile, opt for a wood-pattern laminate or laminate vinyl flooring.
Spend with the Future in Mind
Where will you and your home be in five years? Will you have a “for sale” sign in the front yard, or will you be planning your home’s next face lift? Your answer could impact how much you want to spend.
If you’re planning to move in the next few years, a good rule of thumb is to never spend more than you would make back in your home sale. However, if you’re planning on staying for the long haul, why not splurge on the kitchen of your dreams?
Get Inspired for Your Kitchen Remodel
The best way to have a great time with your kitchen remodel is to get inspired! With the right inspiration, you’ll not only be ready for the project, you’ll be excited, too. Plus, you’ll know all the latest trends to jump on or become a scholar of the design classics.
Start by checking out our Inspiration page to find that perfect backsplash-countertop combo or two-tone cabinetry. You might find the trend that really speaks to you.
Once you’re ready to start, let us know a little bit more about your project and we’ll help you to connect to top-rated contractors!