Compare Kitchen Remodel Cost & Prices for 2020

Every homeowner wants to know the bottom line: How much does a kitchen remodel cost? The answer typically given is a frustrating one, “it depends on what you do,” often with little more than “ballpark” figures thrown out. That’s not good enough.

We all know that there are many pieces to a kitchen remodel, and our kitchen component pages give current, accurate cost ranges for cabinets, countertops, flooring, sinks, faucets and more. Those pages are ideal for deciding how to best allocate your remodeling dollars to get the kitchen you want.

This page offers another way to look at the process and provides an overview of 2018 kitchen remodel costs. It gives bottom-line prices for three grades of kitchen remodel:

  • Basic
  • Better
  • Best

More than just throwing out guestimates though, we give examples of what materials are included in each grade. We think you’ll leave this page with a clearer concept of the kitchen you want to create and what it will cost to do it. There’s more though.

Type of RemodelLow CostHigh CostAverage ROI
Basic Kitchen Remodel$14,000$35,00080% of Spend
Better Kitchen Remodel$35,000$75,00065% of Spend
Best Kitchen Remodel$75,000$150,00062% of Spend

Floor Plan and Footprint Changes

Would you like to expand your kitchen by taking space from an adjoining hall or dining area? What about building an addition for a spectacular kitchen, perhaps with bedroom space upstairs? We’ve included costs for changing the floor plan with a kitchen expansion and for changing your home’s footprint with an addition.    

Let’s get started with kitchen remodeling costs for three grades of projects. Since each material comes in a range of grades, it can be part of more than one kitchen remodeling grades.

Basic Kitchen Remodel Costs and Features

This is a popular choice when the kitchen needs updating but you want to limit the expense to suit your budget or because you’re planning to sell in the foreseeable future. Let’s break down the basic kitchen remodel by its components.

  • Countertops: Laminate countertops are the most affordable, a budget-conscious choice in many attractive options. Ceramic tiles and some of the most affordable porcelain tile squeezes into this category too.
  • Backsplash: The most affordable backsplash materials are laminate, ceramic tile, glass tile, brick veneer and machine-stamped tin tiles or panels.
  • Cabinets: Your options for affordable cabinets are 1). Painted or re-stained cabinets, 2). Refaced cabinets, and 3). Stock kitchen cabinets, finished or unfinished, available at home improvement stores and many online sellers.
  • Sinks: Entry-level stainless steel and cast iron sinks are your most affordable options. You’ll find a good selection of single-bowl and double-bowl sinks in this category, especially in stainless steel.
  • Faucets: In all styles of faucet, the most affordable are those with plastic bodies and faucets with a light powder coat or enamel. Most don’t come with any accessories, though some have a sprayer. On any faucet you consider, look for certification on the packaging or the product page online that it is free of lead.
  • Flooring: Vinyl sheet flooring is the most affordable and comes in the widest range of options. Affordable laminate, linoleum and tile fit here too. The lowest grades of hardwood are affordable, but expect short pieces, so lots of butts, and flaws in the wood.
  • Islands: Basic kitchen remodeling projects either don’t include an island or the island is the non-permanent type that comes in a box ready to assemble.  

Basic Kitchen Remodel Cost: $14,000 to $35,000.

Cost to Value (ROI): About 80%. This means that if you spend the national average of $21,000 on a kitchen remodel that would be considered basic or minor, it will increase the sale value of your home by almost $17,000.

Better Kitchen Remodel Costs and Features

This is where most homeowners target their kitchen remodeling project. The budget is healthy but not unlimited. Quality and good functionality are enhanced with a measure of luxury.

  • Countertops: Upscale ceramic tile fits here as does porcelain tile, stone and marble tile. Wood and butcher block cost a bit more. The most affordable solid surface countertops qualify as mid-grade countertops.  
  • Backsplash: Mid-grade materials include better ceramic tile, glass or porcelain tile, glass panels, tin, machine-stamped copper, brick veneer, onyx and marble or stone tiles.
  • Cabinets: The better grade of cabinets includes semi-custom cabinets from all the leading brands. They are typically made in width increments of 1” or 1.5” and available in a set number of wood species, finishes and hardware options.
  • Sinks: Thicker stainless steel, better cast iron, composite granite and entry-level ceramic and porcelain are the materials that best fit a “better” kitchen remodeling project.
  • Faucets: Mid-grade faucets have a heavy powder-coat finish or are dipped. Most pull-down/pull-out faucets are in this range.
  • Flooring: Luxury vinyl tile or plank (LVT), quality ceramic tile, cork, laminate with a thicker wear layer, mid-grade hardwood and the most affordable stone tile of all types will work in a “better” kitchen remodeling project.
  • Islands: If there is an island, it will be built with mid-grade cabinets and countertops and might be wired.

Better Kitchen Remodel Cost: $35,000 to $75,000 with $62,000 the national average for a “better” kitchen remodel.

Cost to Value (ROI): About 65%. As cost rises, ROI falls. However, if you plan to live in your home 10+ years, the difference in cost to value spread over the years becomes negligible. Homeowners that plan to “stay put” shouldn’t worry much about cost to value, especially in this “better” tier.

Best Kitchen Remodel Costs and Features

This is the luxury kitchen where the very best materials, features and appliances come together.

  • Countertops: The most expensive countertops are made from stainless steel, lava stone, granite and marble slab, recycled glass, quartz, concrete, premium solid surface and fine reclaimed wood material.
  • Backsplash: The best backsplash materials and styles include custom tile mosaics, premium onyx, marble and granite, stainless steel and copper with custom stamped design.
  • Cabinets: Custom cabinets have no set sizes. They’re made to order by many of the large cabinet brands. Many local cabinet makers offer fully custom cabinets that you help design (and at a super-premium price).
  • Sinks: The best stainless steel, high-grade porcelain and fireclay along with copper all fit the “best” category of kitchen remodeling projects.
  • Faucets: The best pull-down/pull-out and touchless faucets are considered the best grade. Some feature a dipped finish, but the best and most durable finishes are created through physical vapor deposition, or PVD.
  • Flooring: Quality hardwood, premium LVT, mosaic tile, concrete and better grades of stone are used in upscale kitchen remodeling.
  • Islands: Many premium kitchen remodels have impressive islands with features like power, a prep or full sink, cooktop or oven, beverage/wine cooler, breakfast bar or peninsula and quality cabinet and countertop materials.

Best Kitchen Remodel Cost: $75,000 to $150,000 (or more) with $123,000 being the national average for upscale major kitchen remodels.

Cost to Value (ROI): About 62%. This is where the cost-conscious homeowner must be cautious. The more luxury you include in your kitchen, the less return you’ll get if you sell your home. The longer you stay and the less that money is a factor, the less ROI matters.

The Cost of Floor Plan and Footprint Changes

Expanding the size of your kitchen is worth considering if one or more of these circumstances apply:

  • You want enhanced food preparation capabilities
  • You need more storage space such as a food pantry and/or cabinets for dishes, pots, pans and small appliances
  • The kitchen is the hub of activity in your home for family and friends

You have two obvious options for increasing the square footage of the kitchen – change the floor plan only or also change the home’s footprint with an addition.

Floor plan changes: Expanding your kitchen without an addition usually includes removing or moving one or more walls. If the wall removed is a load-bearing wall, a load-bearing beam and/or posts will need to be added to compensate. Removing or moving a wall has wiring implications and might also affect plumbing and mechanical systems. In short, there are many cost variables.

  • Cost of floor plan changes: $9-$16 for the square footage affected, without changing a load-bearing wall. For example, if you expand your kitchen into a 10’x14’ (140 square foot) space that includes knocking out a wall, expect your costs to be $1,260 to $2,240 to change the floor plan. If a load-bearing wall is affected, the cost will rise by as much as $4,000.

Additions: The cost is obviously much higher for an addition. However, two-story additions come with an impressive 70%+ cost to value and are among the most popular home remodeling projects.

Cost of home additions that include a kitchen: $190-$285 per square foot. That price covers permits, excavation, foundation, framing, siding, roofing and the finish of the interior space, whether a single-story or two-story addition.