There is no doubt that renovating a kitchen is one of the most highly anticipated renovations. With kitchens now operating as the hub of the home, the impact of creating a spanking new space from which to command day to day life can’t be underestimated. And who wouldn’t be excited about saying sayonara to an old, dysfunctional and ugly kitchen!?
Kitchens are also one of the most costly renovations to undertake. If you are struggling to stay on budget and you’re not sure where to cut costs without sacrificing the overall look and function, read on. I’m spilling the beans straight from the design trenches as to what is worth splurging on, and where you can save.
Laminates and wood counters are good options, but if you really want durability and a feeling of quality, solid surface counters are worth the splurge. All stones vary in cost due to complexity of manufacture or rarity, so you can save by going with lower cost stone and still get the quality you want. You can also mix counter types – quartz on the perimeter and wood on the island would realize some cost savings. My go to brand for quartz counters is Caesarstone as they have a wide range of products across all price points.
If you’ve been hanging with me for a while you’ll know that I love a good tile, and there are some stunners at the higher end of the market. However, when budget comes in to question it’s a considerable cost saving to go with a tile around $10 – 15 square foot. That doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style though – there are amazing tiles in this price range. And there’s nothing to stop you being creative with layout or a mix of colours to create your own bespoke backsplash.
Here are a few of my current wall tile favourites that come in below $15 square foot:
The most used tap in the house deserves investment for sure. Don’t be tempted by the $200 faucet in your local hardware store – the inner workings are not the same as the name brand versions from your plumbing showroom. (Guess how I know that!? LOL ) Expect to pay upwards of $600 for a good faucet with spray attachment. My favourite brands are Delta (great price point for the quality), Brizo and Kohler. Plus when you buy from your local plumbing showroom you will have recourse if for some reason something goes wrong with your faucet.
You don’t need to go overboard here, as long as you choose a durable option. If your preference is for hardwood there are beautiful options as low as $8.00 square foot. If you like the look of wood but need durability due to pets or clumsy knife dropping, then luxury vinyl plank is for you and starts at a lower price point than hardwood. Twelve Oaks Flooring is one of my favourite suppliers for value and quality. If tile is more your thing, you can find terrazzo, cement and wood look tiles from as low as $4.00 square foot.
I probably should have led with this one, as it is so important. DO NOT SAVE ON TRADES! I promise that good trades people are worth their weight in gold. I know their quote may seem expensive, often it can be more than the product they are installing, but it will be done right, and in a timely manner. To find good trades ask friends and colleagues who they have worked with, check web sites like HomeStars for reviews, and confirm that they carry insurance. Be honest about your own capabilities, and if you are in any doubt, hire a pro!
Appliances depend on what’s important to you. If you are a budding chef then you should splurge on the professional range. Conversely if your cooking skills only extend to popping a pizza in the oven, then save and go with a good looking but relatively basic option. Consider your needs when considering a refrigerator too – do you want filtered water, an ice maker, side-by-side doors, fridge only etc. Lastly, ensure you get a decent dishwasher that is quiet when it runs – aim for around 46dB. It’s so frustrating to have a dishwasher that’s noisy and doesn’t do it’s job. (Guess how I know that too!) KitchenAid is a great brand to start with all appliances, and I personally love the Café line by GE, Smeg and Fulgor for a clean, streamlined look and the Retro and Pro lines offered by Big Chill for something more Palm Springs-esque. If you are more on the cost savings side of the spectrum, look for vendors in your area that sell ‘scratch and dent’ appliances – often the damage is minimal and not visible and there are considerable savings to be had.
Where have you planned on splurging with your kitchen renovation?
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