What’s The Biggest Expense In Kitchen Remodels?

If you’re planning a kitchen remodeling project, you’ll probably wonder what’s going to be the biggest expense once your project begins.

For many homeowners, the cabinets will make up over 25% of their kitchen remodel cost, making them one of the most expensive upgrades for these projects.

But maybe you don’t want new custom cabinets, and you’re okay with just refinishing your existing cabinets, dramatically reducing that expense. What will then be the biggest expense?

Let’s see what the biggest kitchen remodel costs are, and what should your kitchen remodel budget should be.

Upper cabinets with glass front

Kitchen Cabinets Will Most Likely Be The Most Expensive Item

When undertaking a kitchen remodeling project, it’s important to remember that kitchen cabinets are usually the most expensive part of the entire process.

This is because cabinets typically cover a large amount of real estate in the kitchen and require significant installation labor and materials. Additionally, there is a broad range of options available when it comes to customizing cabinets, which can increase the cost of cabinets significantly.

Sure, you can keep the cabinetry price within a set budget by opting for stock cabinets with simple hardware and no extra features. This means you won’t have soft-close doors and drawers, no under cabinet lighting, and no corner solutions.

This is okay if you’re on a tight budget, but from a practical standpoint, your kitchen cabinets will be very similar to what you already had.

The Cost Of Kitchen Cabinets

The cost of your kitchen cabinets will depend on the type of cabinets.

How To Lower The Price Of Cabinets

If you’re not yet ready to pay so much for your kitchen cabinets, there are some alternatives that might work just fine. In fact, they’ll actually help you save money and even get the project done sooner.
Refinishing kitchen cabinet door

Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets

Refinishing kitchen cabinets is a cost-effective and practical way to upgrade the look of your kitchen cabinets without replacing them. This process involves stripping and sanding existing cabinets, applying a new finish, and installing new hardware. Refinishing gives you a much higher ROI than refacing or replacing the cabinets.
Refacing kitchen cabinet

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Refacing cabinets involves replacing the existing doors, drawer fronts, and/or veneers with a new finish while preserving the existing cabinet frames. Refacing can give your kitchen an entirely new look by adding modern hardware and finishes to your cabinets, but it only works as long as the cabinet frame is in a good condition.

Case Study On A Modern Kitchen Remodel In Overland Park, KS

This was an 125 ft² kitchen remodel in Overland Park where the customer wanted to completely change the look of his kitchen. The project included:

The project was quoted at $68,000. From that price, the ceiling-height maple cabinets with pull-out shelving, crown molding, and accessories came in at $38,000.

What's The Second Most Expensive Upgrade In A Kitchen?

Kitchen cabinets will most likely be the biggest expense in a kitchen remodel, but what comes after?

Kitchen Countertops

The cost of kitchen countertops varies greatly depending on the material you choose. Granite, quartz, marble, and engineered stone are some of the most popular materials used today. Granite is a natural stone known for its durability and aesthetic appeal, with prices ranging from $50 to $200 per square foot. Quartz is an engineered stone that is also highly durable and slightly cheaper, coming in at an average of $45 to $175 per square foot.

A kitchen with wood flooring and white cabinets with silver hardware

Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen appliances can also be a significant expense in a kitchen remodel. High-end appliances like subzero refrigerators, smart ovens, and steam ovens can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. For those looking for more affordable options, there is plenty of mid-range to budget models that can still provide reliable performance and modern features. The average cost of kitchen appliances ranges from $2,000 to $7,000, depending on the type and brand you choose.

silver kitchen appliances


The last big expense in a kitchen remodel is flooring. Many homeowners opt for tile or hardwood floors as these are both durable and look great when paired with modern kitchen cabinets. On average, tile costs between $3 and $10 per square foot, while hardwood flooring is slightly more expensive, at about $6 to $20 per square foot.

White cabinets in a kitchen with wood flooring and marble countertops

Your kitchen remodeling cost will vary, mostly depending on your choice of materials. After you account for all the materials, be sure to add the labor costs and any building permit fees, if one is required.

Item % of Job Basic Average High-End
Design fees 4% $2,200 $3,000 $4,000
Installation 17% $9,350 $12,750 $17,000
Appliances and ventilation 14% $7,700 $10,500 $14,000
Cabinetry and hardware 29% $15,950 $21,750 $29,000
Countertops 10% $5,500 $7,500 $10,000
Total 100% $55,000 $75,000 $100,000


Kitchen cabinets will usually be the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel. However, other components, such as countertops, appliances, and flooring, can also add up quickly.

Here at Mortise & Miter, we offer you the most cost-effective solutions to keep your remodel within your budget and time. We’ll work closely together to discover your exact needs and find the best solution to satisfy them without sacrificing quality.

So if you want a kitchen renovation process that’ll end with you stepping into your dream kitchen, this is it!

At Mortise & Miter, we’re offering complete and quality kitchen remodeling services in Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, and the surrounding areas. We’re taking care of everything, so you won’t have to move a finger.

If you want to learn more about the kitchen remodel costs, call us at (913) 214-6211, or request a quote on our website, and we’ll reach back to you as soon as possible!