How Much Does It Cost to Build a Kitchen?

Ginny Bartolone
Written by Ginny Bartolone
Updated May 6, 2022
a home kitchen with white cabinets, marble countertop, gold fixtures, blue walls, and light streaming through the window
Photo: awpixel.com / Adobe Stock

Highlights

  • A kitchen remodel costs $75–$250 per square foot.

  • A new kitchen is priced higher at $100–$300 per square foot.

  • You can save money by DIYing some projects like tiling a backsplash.

  • Kitchen size, materials, appliances, plumbing, and electrical impact price.

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Whether you're flipping pancakes, stirring up a stew, or firing up the air fryer, the kitchen is the heart of the home. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to build a fitted kitchen is $65,000, but we're talking about anything from a wet bar to a fully-equipped kitchen for the avid home chef. This article breaks down what to expect from kitchen prices, from materials to labor and everything in between.

Kitchen Cost by Square Foot

Installing a custom kitchen doesn't mean the same thing in each space. Remodeling a kitchen, for example, costs much less than building a room without pre-existing plumbing or wiring. On average, a kitchen remodel costs $75 to $250 per square foot, while a new kitchen runs between $100 and $300 per square foot.

Like all major home projects, you'll need to consider the following factors for your kitchen remodel:

  • Design costs

  • Labor costs

  • Material costs

While you can tackle some of the labor and design with your crafty know-how, a designer can help you avoid common mistakes. Kitchen designers run between $100 and $200 an hour. Kitchen remodeling contractors will then make up a large percentage of the fees, costing between $3,500 and $6,000.

Lastly, add costs for demolition if you're removing an old kitchen and starting from scratch in the old spot. Kitchen demolition traditionally costs between $500 and $3,000,plus about $50 per ton to haul the old materials away.

Building a New Kitchen on a Budget

If you have sticker shock from the average cost of putting in a new kitchen, take a look at the different options in each price range. Adding some projects to your DIY list or working with what already exists in your home can drastically cut costs.

$5,000 to $10,000

Install a wet bar in the basement or a small kitchenette in the guest room within this price range. If you're adding a small and simple kitchen to an apartment—and aiming for thrifty materials—expect around this amount as well.

$10,000 to $50,000

This is the prime range for outdoor kitchen installations and large kitchen renovations. Install a stunning, small- to mid-sized kitchen in this range, especially in homes already prepped for new appliances.

$50,000 and Up

Choose from more materials, styles, and brands for mid and large kitchen renovations, especially if you're imagining custom designs.

What You Can DIY

When you break your kitchen installation down into smaller projects, you'll find clever ways to cut costs and take on some projects by yourself. 

For example, add your own backsplash between $3 and $20 per square foot of materials. Save up to $250 to install a garbage disposal on your own if it doesn't require extra electrical work. And while it may be tedious, take on refinishing old cabinets without the cost of labor, which can run between $35 to $75 an hour.

Leave projects that include extensive electrical or plumbing installation for licensed pros. Projects that require a ton of measuring and trimming—such as flooring, countertops, and cabinets, are best for the advanced DIYers.

Kitchen Cost Breakdown

As you begin your kitchen design or renovations, how do you wrap your head around the whole project? By breaking down costs bit by bit.

The cost of building a new kitchen breaks into four main sections:

  • Materials

  • Labor

  • Design

  • Extra costs (hauling away old materials, permits, etc.)

Break down your budget even further by thinking of your kitchen in its primary pieces. Unlike the living or dining room, each choice has to be strong enough to survive the heat, humidity, and traffic of a kitchen.

These include:

  • Floors

  • Cabinets

  • Countertops

  • Appliances

  • Sinks and fixtures

  • Windows and doors

  • Plumbing

  • Electrical units

On top of this, remember all the small details that make it yours, such as the paint color, cabinet and drawer hardware, and the backsplash.

Kitchen Cost by Project Type

Are you removing your old kitchen and building it from the ground up? Adding a wet bar to the basement? How about constructing a fully equipped kitchen in a brand new home? You may also be dreaming of an outdoor kitchen to host the neighborhood barbecues of the year.

Building a kitchen from scratch ranges all the way from $5,000 to $125,000, depending on design aspirations. 

Here are some specific kitchen price ranges to consider:

  • New: A new custom kitchen costs the most, ranging as high as $125,000.

  • Secondary: Adding a second small kitchen—such as in the guest suite—costs around $46,000.

  • Outdoor: Outdoor kitchens cost an average of $13,000.

  • Small: Wet bars and kitchenettes can run as low as $5,000.

  • Remodel: Full kitchen remodels—removing an old kitchen and adding a new one—costs between $13,300–$37,50 plus the cost of demolition and debris hauling.

Remember, if you have the electric wiring and plumbing already intact, your kitchen design will cost much less.

Kitchen Cost by Style

a modern home kitchen with dark wood floors, white cabinets, silver appliances, and tan tiled walls
Photo: eurobanks / Adobe Stock

Your kitchen style sets the tone for the rest of the house. Your kitchen layout, appliance variety, and general aesthetic say a lot about how you use the space.

Perhaps you're the master of the dinner party or the wine-tasting night and a great kitchen island is your dream. Or maybe an open floor plan with massive counter space is best to appease your inner chef.

From flooring to countertops, here’s how much it costs to put in a kitchen by the styles and materials you select.

Floors

Your kitchen floors handle more than any other room in your house. In addition to heavy traffic, they take on spills, leaks, and the occasional broken milk glass. Adding high-quality floors both saves you money in the long run and can increase the value of your home.

Overall, flooring installation in your kitchen runs from $1,500 to $4,500 based on your square footage and whether you choose:

  • Vinyl

  • Laminate

  • Linoleum

  • Ceramic tiles

  • Wood

  • Bamboo

  • Cork

  • Stone

  • Marble

  • Slate

  • Concrete

  • Terrazzo

Cabinets

Kitchen cabinet styles are a key decision in kitchen design. After all, their look pulls the whole room together, especially when they take up a large portion of the walls. 

You can go three general directions with new kitchen cabinets:

Cabinet TypeCost
Stock cabinets$75 – $150 per foot
Semi-custom cabinets$100 – $1,000 per foot
Custom$500 – $1,500 per foot

Countertops

Much like the floors, the material of your countertops is not just about the look—though that doesn't hurt either. The right countertops should be stain and heat-resistant, durable, and easy to clean when the kids tackle that new science project. 

Here are a handful of popular materials for your kitchen renovation:

MaterialCost
Granite countertops$2,000 – $5,000
Marble countertops$2,000 – $7,000
Laminate countertops$800 – $1,600
Wood countertops$1,000 – $5,000
Formica countertops$2,000 – $4,500

Kitchen Islands

Never underestimate the power of a kitchen island. Roll out cookie dough, host a wine party, or just saddle up for a late-night bowl of mac and cheese. No matter its purpose, kitchen islands can cost between $400 and $4,000. Small pre-made rolling carts sit at the low end, while large, custom kitchen islands cost much more.

Kitchen Cost Factors

Combine your dream kitchen design, your budget, and your home to calculate your final price tag. 

Here are the main factors to consider when budgeting for a kitchen installation:

  • The size of your kitchen

  • The scope and extent of your design

  • The quality of appliances and materials

  • Whether your home is equipped with plumbing and electrics (if you're replacing or moving a kitchen for example)

  • Demolition and hauling costs

  • Local labor and permit fees

FAQs

Ready to launch into your kitchen project? Pull up a chair and check out some of the most frequently asked questions about the cost to install a kitchen and some related tips.

How do I hire a kitchen designer?

Kitchen designers take your napkin sketches and transform them into reality. These pros can help you choose the right materials for your budget as well as recommend contractors. 

Hire a kitchen designer near you if you're looking to custom-build part or all of your kitchen with the eye of an artist. 

When speaking with each candidate, be sure they:

  • Provide a detailed estimate of their work

  • Meet industry certifications

  • Understand your design ideas

What should I consider when putting in a kitchen?

A custom kitchen can be costly, but finding just the right materials and design increases the value of your home. 

When concocting your kitchen design, you'll want to consider:

  • Your budgetary restrictions

  • Your preferred aesthetic

  • The best materials for your kitchen's daily use

  • How much of your old kitchen can stay (if anything)

  • The longevity of the materials and design

What material should I choose for kitchen countertops?

Of all the kitchen projects on your list, countertops will spend a lot of time in the spotlight. There are both pros and cons to both natural and synthetic stone countertops. Natural options like quartz and marble run more expensive but are durable, resistant to heat, and easy to clean. Laminate countertops may be more affordable, but may not stand up against the tests of the kitchen for as long.

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