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When you’re decided to change your car, it’s easy. You can simply start shopping for your new Audi online. With some quick clicks here and there, your dream car’s configuration is done and you already know exactly how much it’ll cost you. On the other hand, when you’re thinking about renovating your entire kitchen, there’s no such thing as an easily accessible price configurator on the Web. You then have to pay a visit to your local cabinetmaker to get more informations. On the spot, he tells you that he can’t give you a submission if you don’t have a clear and precise idea of the kitchen design you desire. Awesome! You are not at all more advanced than you were, yet you want more informations before requesting the services of an interior designer. For this reason, I’ve prepared this article so you can get informed and ready to discuss your budget with your interior designer to finally create the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.

With my experience as a kitchen designer, I can already tell you thatthe cost for renovating a kitchen ranges between 35 000$ and more than 60 000$, excluding the appliances. Renovating a kitchen is an important investment that will increase the value of your property. You will be able to get back 75% of the invested money in the renovation if you make judicious choices! I’ll share with you later on my meeting with the Scott brothers, who gave me precious advices to succeed with a kitchen renovation project.

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It’s important to take in consideration that there are multiple factors influencing the cost of your renovation. The principal ones are the dimensions of your kitchen, the complexity of the works (if there are bearing walls to remove, some plumbing to move) and finally, the chosen materials! At the moment, a whole panoply of different innovating materials exists on the market, the choices are limitless. A numerous amount of challenge loving contractors wants to thoroughly execute unique designs.


Some months ago, I met the two Scott brothers in a small private event, in Philadelphia. Jonathan, interior designer and general contractor, and Drew, real estate agent, gave to us some design tips and tricks. As Jonathan said: ‘’ If you renovate a kitchen without improving the layout, or if you don’t remove walls that part the kitchen, it is not a successful kitchen renovation. Your house value will not be increased.’’ In facts, our life habits change a lot from one generation to the other and the needs in disposition are different. If the presence of a bearing wall hinders your kitchen space, you should consider removing it. To do so, you’ll have to hire a professional, such as a structural engineer, to study the project et realize a structural plan. The fees for this type of mandate are between $1000 and $2000

Next, for the materials that influence the price of a kitchen renovation, we consider two principal categories; the kitchen cabinets and the kitchen counters. We also need to take in consideration the materials required for the floor tiles, the lamps and the plumbing articles, but they are only minor costs in the grand total of your renovation budget. Let’s see the different choices for the cabinets and the counters in details.


The cost of cabinets for a kitchen renovation

First, I would like to precise that the structure and the interior of kitchen cabinets are usually made of press wood. In my projects, my designers and myself suggest the Unibord certified NU Green press wood, since it’s ecological, moisture resistant, certified FSC and 100% made of recycled wood fibers. We advise to choose white as the finish color of your cabinet’s box, but the Unibord boards are available in multiple colors to harmonize with your choice of doors.

Your chosen doors are what will influence the most the cost of your cabinets! When we talk about doors, we are referencing to any apparent side of your cabinets (finishing refrigerator’s panel, cooking island’s sides, kitchen niche’s interior, etc.) There are 5 big families of different materials for your cabinet doors. In increasing price sorting, there is melamine, polyester, veneered MDF, veneered wood and massive wood. The most popular among these is polyester since it’s beautiful, resistant and affordable. However, high end melamine makes a strong come back with its amazingly realistic color choices and its synchronized wood effect finishes or its solid colors in a velvet finish. The average price people invest in renovating their cabinets ranges between 10 000$ and 25 000$, depending on the selected materials and accessories that can make the invoice climb pretty quickly.


According to the desired kitchen design, the choice of materials will be important. I recommend top of the line melamine for a very modern and minimalist design. Veneered MDF would rather be indicated for classical kitchens since it offers the possibility to achieve designs with a lot of architectural details. Veneered wood is more commonly used than massive wood since the latter tends to swell and be less moisture resistant. I use different wood essences to create high end kitchens, which I often mix with solid color polyester or glossy MDF. Definitely, wood gives a kitchen a warm, sophisticated and very classy look!

To help you have a better understanding of the costs of a kitchen renovation, the price differences between these materials is determined as follow:

  • Polyester will be about 15% costlier than melamine.
  • Veneered wood or MDF, which have similar prices, will be about 25% costlier than polyester.
  • Finally, massive wood will cost 20% more than veneered wood.


The price of counters for a kitchen renovation

For a long time considered as luxurious products, stone counters are now on the lips of everyone when comes the time to renovate a kitchen. They are appreciated for their richness and their elegance and are now an integral part of all the kitchen and bathroom layout spectrum. Adding a beautiful quartz counter to your kitchen will cost you about 5 500$ compared to 1 800$ for a laminated countertop. The price changes depending on the chosen stone, the thickness of the countertop and obviously the dimensions of your kitchen. Warning: the price can’t be calculated exactly by square foot since stones are sold in slabs. It’s preferable to meet with an in-store specialist over your kitchen plan to estimate accurately the price and predict the finishing details. Among the 4 stone types that are the most used for a counter, we can count quartz, granite, marble and dekton. Prices for both quartz and granite are very similar. At the moment, the quartz is a lot more popular for its look. Modern and sophisticated kitchen decors can be easily achieved with a plain and thin (3/4’’ thickness) quartz. On the other hand, marble isn’t recommended since it’s easily stained and requires a lot of maintenance. Instead, choose a marble imitation in quartz, there is plenty of choices. As for the deckon, it is the most resistant material for countertops, but also the costliest! Strongly scratch resistant, it is even used in the making of floors.

The labor cost for a kitchen renovation

It is certainly this part that is the hardest to estimate and gives you a headache! Some will say that materials and labor are 50-50 in proportion, others opt for 60-40. I would say it depends vastly on the project but 50-50 is more representative most of the time. For example, for a total budget of 40 000$, 20 000$ will be attributed to cabinetmaking and counters, while 20 000$ will go straight to the contractor to pay for the workforce and the materials.

To give you a concrete example, here is a kitchen that I realized for clients who had enough of lacking storage and living in the familial chaos. This kitchen is of great dimensions (15’ x 14’). The cabinets are custom made by a cabinetmaker specialized in kitchen and the chosen materials are of good quality at mid-range prices. The clients (or rather the client) have opted for a quartz countertop with a ¾’’ thickness. The ceramics’ selection was made at Céragrès, where there’s a large choice of quality tiles. Since the floor covering had been removed and replaced by tiling, the clients took the opportunity to add a heating floor. Then, the plumbing configuration has been entirely remade, as the positions of the electric exists. As for the divisions, we only added some wardrobe divisions, no bearing wall was removed.

Now that you understand well the layout of this kitchen, here is the estimation of a general contractor to realize this project. This submission is informative only. If you want further informations, I invite you to communicate with our team of interior designers which works closely with a team of professional and reliable contractors.



Dismantling kitchen cabinets; Dismantling ceiling, division;

Dismantling floor covering; Waste disposition.

SUB-FLOOR- 1 500$

Opening of de sub-floor to relocate plumbing;

Screwing the existing sub-floor and removing mortar residues.


Installation of nailing background for the ceiling’s gypsum; Installation of 2×3 studs to create new wardrobe divisions; Installation of gypsum panels.


Plaster joint draw; Reparation of the ceiling’s openings.


Installation of Schluter membrane and heating cord on all the circulation areas of the Kitchen; Installation of SCHLUTER electronic thermostat for the floor covering.


Installation of ceramic floor covering (24’’x 24’’ tiles); Installation of ceramic backsplash chevrons (3’’x10’’); Application of grout for floor and backsplash;

Ceramic tile included.


Providing and installing cabinet boxes, door handles and toe kicks.


Relocation of the kitchen’s plumbing and drain;

Installation of sink and faucet.


Reconfiguration of the electric system to accommodate 10 new recessed LED; Installation of a new ventilation hood;

Passing cord and installing 3 new standard electrical outlets and one DDFT outlet; Installation of a new 1500w convector.


Installation of floor baseboards in all the kitchen;

Installation of 2 recessed door systems; Application of latex joint.

COUNTER- 5 500$

Providing and installing quartz countertop of ¾ thickness; Taking of measurements and installation included.



We can conclude that, in this project, the 50-50 proportion between contractor and materials is clearly demonstrated. We can also conclude that the clients will no longer lack storage nor live in a mess.



To end this article, here is a list of items you have to include in the estimation of your kitchen renovation budget. A professional such as a contractor or a designer will be able to help you with all that, but if you wish to make a first estimation by yourself, this list might help you.

  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Handles
  • Counter
  • Floor covering
  • Storage accessories
  • Plumbing (Sink, Faucet, Pot filler)
  • Lamps
  • Heating
  • Automation
  • Doors and moldings
  • Paint and finishing
  • Workforce
  • Appliances (Baking trays, Ovens, Hood, Refrigerator, Cellar, Dishwasher, Microwave)
  • Window dressing
  • Occasional furniture
  • Decoration
  • Designer fees

At the end, it is advised to plan a budget between 35 000$ and up to more than 60 000$ to renovate your kitchen. The factors that influence the costs of the renovations are the dimensions, the configuration changes and the choices of materials.

Since many years, my team of seasoned designers helps owners to create epic designs without having to manage the technical challenges.


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