No surprise here: It’s not cheap.

By Lauren Phillips
Updated March 29, 2019
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In a ranking of home remodeling costs, kitchen remodels tend to come in at the top. These home updates—which often include large appliances, large-scale flooring revamps, new countertops, and more—rack up high costs in almost all cases. A good rule for estimating a kitchen remodel cost is to pick a budget based off the value of the home—but even a small kitchen remodel can cost thousands of dollars.

To demystify kitchen remodel costs, home improvement site Houzz asked 146,000 homeowners in the U.S. about their kitchen updates. The results, published in the 2018 Houzz & Home Study, make it very clear that anyone looking to incorporate some fresh kitchen island ideas or trendy kitchen backsplash ideas in their home can expect to put a large chunk of cash toward their kitchen remodel.

According to Houzz, the median spend on kitchen remodels in 2017 was $11,000; half of remodeling projects cost less than that, and half cost more. This median spend was up year-over-year, too, demonstrating that people are willing to spend more and more on their kitchen remodels.

For major kitchen remodels, the cost was even higher, likely because many kitchen remodels include refinishing kitchen cabinets, versus replacing them, or changing out kitchen color schemes for a fresh look, rather than taking on a costlier, more intensive update. A major remodel, according to Houzz’s categorization, entails replacing all cabinets and appliances, at minimum. Major kitchen remodel costs were around $20,000 for smaller kitchens (less than 200 square feet) and $33,000 for larger kitchens (200 square feet or larger).

Even a full-scale renovation in a small kitchen can’t get away from a cost in the thousands. Certain decisions, like choosing to drop the fantasy of new cabinets in favor of refinishing kitchen cabinets, can save huge amounts of money, and mid-range home remodeling projects can offer more return on investment, anyway.

These kitchen remodel costs shouldn’t dissuade anyone from creating their dream farmhouse kitchen or saving up for that kitchen remodel. Kitchens may not always offer the return on investment one would hope for (research from home search site Zillow says kitchens typically offer home sellers about 50 cents for every dollar spent on the remodel in added home value), but an updated kitchen can be key to selling a home quickly when the time comes. Regardless, the increased satisfaction a kitchen update can bring is hard to beat.