Home renovations made simple
The kitchen trends for 2022 are all about fusing warmth and modernity. Flooring and countertops need to stand up to wear and tear, as well as some serious cooking. Families are looking for a space that is functional and comfortable. But with the average kitchen renovation costing around $19,000, and supply chain disruptions continuing to drive up the price of materials and labour, homeowners are eager for renovation ideas that keep costs low without sacrificing style.
When you get creative with what you already have and use the right materials, the cost of redoing your kitchen may be well within your budget. Here’s how to renovate your kitchen on a budget.
Remodel your floor
Tired of your old kitchen linoleum? If you pull it up, you may find yourself with a water-damaged hardwood floor, or a subfloor placed directly on a concrete foundation. A full flooring renovation that uses standard materials can cost between $6 and $14 per square foot. Homeowners can save money on their kitchen floor renovation by exploring alternative options and using less pricey materials.
Refinish instead of replacing hardwood
Did you pull up your peeling linoleum only to find a water-damaged hardwood floor? Refinishing a hardwood floor can cost around $2,000. While this is pricey, it still costs less to refinish your hardwood than to replace it entirely.
You can also refinish your concrete floor instead of performing a new installation. A basic concrete staining job will only cost $2 to $4 per square foot.
Install budget-friendly flooring materials
Save cash with these three budget-friendly flooring materials for your kitchen renovation:
Sealed cork tiles
Cork is known for its water-resistance and noise-reducing properties, making it a go-to material for subflooring. You can literally skip the middleman and install sealed cork tiles for around $3 to $8 per square foot. Give your kitchen an instant facelift by using this sustainable and affordable material in your flooring installation.
Laminate with vapour barrier
A laminate kitchen floor is the cheapest flooring installation option, unless you paint over an existing wooden or concrete floor. On the low end, laminate costs as little as $1 per square foot. Be careful when purchasing cheaper laminate, as the thinner the material, the more likely it is to crack and warp. Because laminate is not waterproof, a vapour barrier should be installed as well to protect against water damage.
If you’re doing a kitchen renovation in the Vancouver area, humidity-resistant vinyl planking may be your best choice. These planks can be placed directly over concrete or hardwood and are easy to install. At around $3 per square foot, they’re easy on your wallet as well.
Re-do your backsplash
Looking for small kitchen renovation ideas that give you the best bang for your buck? An eye-catching backsplash can breathe new life into your kitchen. The cost of this kitchen renovation is primarily determined by your choice of materials.
Ceramic tile is easy to maintain, moisture resistant, and comes in a range of styles and colours. At between $2 to $8 per square foot, ceramic tiling can be a costly solution for a larger kitchen, but makes the perfect accent in a smaller kitchen. Unless you have experience in tiling, you may require the services of a kitchen contractor to install a backsplash professionally.
Like ceramic tiles, porcelain is a durable solution for your kitchen. The benefit of porcelain is it’s denser than ceramic tiles, making it less porous and more durable in cold-weather climates. At between $3 and $10 per square foot, porcelain tiles are more expensive than ceramic. It’s recommended you hire a kitchen contractor to ensure that your backsplash is properly installed.
DIY-friendly and versatile, peel-and-stick tiles offer a wide range of colour and pattern choices for your kitchen renovation. Priced between $4 and $30 per square foot, they’re comparable to ceramic or porcelain tiling, but because they are easy to install on your own, you will save on kitchen contractor fees.
Switch up kitchen accessories
Removing and re-installing plumbing and electrical hookups is costly. To save money, leave water and electrical lines in place while changing up your kitchen accessories. Lifestyle blogger Thrifty Frugal Mom shared how she saved $20,000 by sticking with the existing layout in her latest kitchen renovation. Similarly, keep plumbing and electricity in place and freshen up your kitchen by switching up accessories.
Leave large appliances in place
Hiring an electrician to install new electrical outlets can cost $200 to $300. Rearranging the plumbing can cost upwards of $5,000. Given the current delays in appliance shipments and the high demand for plumbers and electricians, current kitchen design is all about leaving your current sink where it is and using creative lighting and accessory choices to change up the look. Adding a peel-and-stick backsplash behind your older appliances and installing DIY under-cabinet lighting will brighten up the space for a fraction of the cost of rewiring.
Keep cabinets and change the doors
Cabinetry can also be transformed with cosmetic alterations. Changing the handles or the doors on your cabinets is a relatively easy kitchen refinishing project. Enlist the help of a painting contractor to ensure that the colour of the new doors matches the rest of your cabinetry seamlessly.
Explore countertop options
If you’re sticking to a budget, new granite countertops for every surface may be out of your reach. You can still incorporate wood and natural stone in your refinished kitchen by mixing and matching with cheaper materials.
Marble surfaces will give any room a warm, classic look. However, this is one of the most expensive and least durable options for your kitchen countertops. Instead, using marble accents in eye-catching locations, like the kitchen windowsill, may be a good idea for your small kitchen renovation budget.
If you like the look of marble but don’t like what your busy family could do to a soft, porous, natural stone countertop, consider investing in quartz. It’s similar in appearance to marble, while being much more durable. As with marble, quartz can add visual interest to your kitchen, but for less.
For a classic countertop option that is also budget-friendly, butcher block is the way to go. However, a butcher block isn’t heat proof and placing a fresh-from-the-oven lasagna on the counter could scorch the wood. Instead, consider installing a butcher block for your prep station.
Laminate is among the cheapest countertop options. Many homeowners find the aesthetic appeal of laminate limited, and its low heat resistance impractical. But if you’re watching your pennies, it could be a good option for your kitchen renovation.
You can mix high and low countertop materials to offset your costs. Consider investing in a marble island, install a butcher block prep area, and capitalize on the lower cost and higher versatility of laminate by using it in the remainder of your kitchen. Varying the surfaces will create an interesting visual effect in your kitchen renovation, as well as saving you some cash.
Upgrade your kitchen on a budget
Kitchen renovations can seem overwhelming, but it is possible to update your kitchen and incorporate this year’s trends by making the best of what you already have. Your current appliances, cabinetry, and countertops can all be part of your dream kitchen. A fresh coat of paint, a butcher block prep station, and a new peel-and-stick backsplash can give your kitchen the ultimate facelift while keeping your finances healthy.
Small surface alterations can go a long way, especially with the skill and expertise of painting and flooring contractors to help you along. Employing a professional may seem pricey at first, but a good contractor provides invaluable skills and expertise that will save you money on repairs down the line. They can even advise you on ways to save money by using alternative materials or doing DIY-friendly tasks on your own.
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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.