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How Much Does a Kitchen Renovation Cost in Canada?

Jul 22, 2022
11 min read
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Psst…. kitchen confidential: the recipe for maximizing resale value is a kitchen renovation. Kitchens really do sell a home, which is probably why they rank as one of the most popular rooms to renovate. 

But here’s where it gets interesting – unlike other rooms, kitchens require more than just some new accessories and a coat of paint for a real refresh. In other words, they cost more. 

Considerations such as quality of materials (think cabinets, countertops, flooring), size of the space, and potential layout changes will affect a kitchen renovation cost. So, what’s the tally? We break down the average kitchen renovation cost, from minor to mid-range to upscale, and  include a few nifty design hacks to help you serve up a kitchen to enjoy now and sell for increased value later.

Kitchen before and after

The average cost of a kitchen remodel

Trevor Sean, General Manager of Bakerhill Renovations in Ontario’s Greater Toronto Area, determines kitchen renovation cost by the square foot and what’s involved in the average remodel. 

“A kitchen’s size and the scope of the renovation are the determining factors for a professionally finished kitchen,” he says. “The average kitchen reno includes new cabinetry, counters, and flooring, and the average kitchen size is about 250 to 300 square feet. That means a minor reno is $85 per square foot, a mid-range $125 and an upscale $200 or more, not including appliances.” 

Bakerhill’s overall low-to-high range of $25,000 to $50,000 is in line with what most experts agree is the average kitchen renovation cost in Canada: approximately $31,000 or $195 per square foot. 

And if your heart is racing just thinking about the expense, consider this: While the Appraisal Institute of Canada suggests spending 10% to 15% of the property value on a kitchen renovation (or up to 25 per cent if you plan on staying for a long time), a recent survey by Royal LePage found that a kitchen reno has the potential to increase your property value by 20%

Read more: Strategic renovations to make for a quick sale and higher home value

Minor kitchen remodel

A minor remodel, estimated at an average kitchen renovation cost of $21,000, includes budget-conscious changes (floors, cabinets and accessories) that net a major aesthetic effect. Jean Sebastien Houde, President of Constructions Ho-Me, in Canton de Hatley, Quebec, shares his go-to tips for this type of reno, in which the layout remains the same. 

“For the floor, I recommend vinyl plank for its low cost, ease of installation and durability,” he says. “For the cabinets, I like melamine cabinetry with polymer doors – they offer the look of a luxurious finish at a lower cost.” If new cabinetry isn’t in the budget, consider updating existing units with new handles and pulls. Another budget-friendly (and easy) gamechanger: swap out an old faucet with one purchased from a big-box store – matte black ones have a contemporary look that’s trending now.

Mid-range kitchen remodel

A mid-range kitchen renovation cost averages around $31,000. This level of remodeling generally upgrades what is already in place and doesn’t include layout changes. 

“Midrange remodels include new cabinets, countertops, backsplash and sometimes flooring in which case, vinyl is still a good option,” says Sean. “But do your research. Wider plank floors and patterned floors, like the popular herringbone style, often need to be glued down for additional support to remain stable. The glue will be an extra cost, around $150 a tub, and gluing can triple installation time.” 

Quartz countertops are ideal for mid-range remodels as many of the new quartz styles mimic the look of expensive natural stone at a fraction of the cost. 

Read more: 12 stylish kitchen counter ideas you’ll love

Also, at this level of kitchen renovation cost, consider mixing different types of cabinetry rather than buy a single set of one style. Do you know how many people no longer buy furniture “sets?” Apply that a la carte thinking to kitchen cabinets to achieve a custom look. Why not install budget-friendly, sturdy Ikea cabinets (the framing is considered by many to be top-notch) then replace the doors with upscale fronts in more expensive materials or styles. 

And don’t upgrade appliances unnecessarily: if they are old-ish but work well, consider keeping them. If your kitchen requires new ones, expect to pay at least $5,000 in total for a fridge, stove, dishwasher and microwave. 

Upscale kitchen remodel

An upscale kitchen renovation cost starts at $50,000 with the average cost at $126,000. “Upscale remodels can have a ripple effect on the entire first floor,” says Sean. “A dream floor plan may mean relocating a door or window, or knocking down walls to open up the kitchen.” 

This type of remodel may involve tearing down walls to update electrical and add perks like charging stations and in-ceiling speakers).

From marble countertops to custom cabinetry (hello, pantry cupboard!), upscale remodels fulfill the Pinterest-fueled wishes of homeowners. Additional luxuries may include integrated appliances (why stare at a fridge when you can hide it behind a seamless panel?) and high end fixtures and appliances (why yes, that is an articulated Brizo pot-filler over the six-burner Miele range).

Kitchen remodel cost per square foot

To recap, a kitchen renovation cost is about $85 per square foot for a minor remodel; $125 per square foot for a mid-range; and $200 per square foot for an upscale based on an average-size kitchen. Now, let’s break it down further and look at how this applies to actual kitchen sizes.

Small kitchen remodel costs

A small kitchen is categorized as 70 square feet or less and the average kitchen renovation cost ranges from $6,500 to $26,000. If budget allows, consider including cabinets customized with narrow profiles and pull-outs to maximize storage in a small space.

Mid-sized kitchen remodel costs

A mid-sized kitchen is approximately 100 square feet and the average kitchen renovation cost is estimated at $19,500 to $52,000.

Cost to remodel a large kitchen

A large kitchen is 200 square feet or more and the average kitchen renovation cost is $40,000 to $80,000-plus. 

Average kitchen remodeling costs by feature

Sometimes budget has the final say when planning a new kitchen.If that’s the case, the average cost breakdown below can help you devise (or revise) your overall kitchen renovation cost. Keep in mind, these are averages so, good news, there’s always wiggle room to go up or down in price accordingly. 

Demolition and removal

Gutting a kitchen to prepare for a total renovation involves both the demolition of the space and removal of the materials. Small kitchens cost between $1,000 and $3,000. large kitchens can cost around $10,000 or more.


Cabinets can be the biggest kitchen renovation cost. For the average-size kitchen (150 to175 square feet), the average cabinetry cost is about $6,500, and prices vary based on the materials and design. 

One of the more affordable options is ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets that come in standard sizes and are delivered flat-packed ($100-$280 per linear foot). They are usually laminate or melamine and you can hire a handyman to install them. 

Semi-custom cabinets are a mid-range option that come in standard sizes, finishes, and styles. Usually available in a wood veneer, options include customization such as fronts and depth should you want to make a cupboard more shallow or deep. They average $200-$550 per linear foot. 

Custom cabinets are usually hardwood and made to order, from the box and frames to the doors and drawers. They offer complete design flexibility. They average $500-$1,500 per linear foot.

Countertop, sink, and backsplash

The average cost to install countertops is $2,500-$3,500. The final cost depends on the countertop material, sink, faucet, and backsplash you choose. 

When it comes to budgeting for a kitchen countertop, laminate is the most affordable (it can be as low as $14 a square foot) and low maintenance. Natural stone and solid surfaces offer a luxurious finish at a mid-range price (starting at $51 per square foot) and marble is the upscale option (around $150 or more per square foot). Extending the counter to a backsplash increases the budget accordingly. 

Sinks come in a range of finishes, from stainless steel ($400-$1,000) to porcelain ($900-$1,500), to granite composite ($800-$5,000) or specialty metals like copper and brass ($1,500-$2,500). Custom marble sinks are trending in luxury design and cost  $1,500-plus (installation not included), depending on the marble choice and sink size.

Lighting and electrical

Installing light fixtures is relatively easy and varies depending on the scope of the project. The installation of a snazzy new pendant light over the island can cost as little as $100, while replacing or upgrading a dated electrical panel (to provide power for a new kitchen) ranges by province and is anywhere from $600-$2,100-plus. 

Pot lights are important for task lighting in any kitchen and a basic one can cost as little as $25 before installation by an electrician. The average price per light, including installation, is $250. Installing six pot lights in a standard 250 square foot kitchen will start around $1,500.


Kitchen floors offer a lot of flexibility in terms of budget. Vinyl and linoleum are the most budget-friendly options. Vinyl costs $3.25-$5 per square foot and linoleum $4.35-$6 per square foot, not including installation. The average square foot cost for installing both professionally ranges between $2-$6. 

Hardwood floors are the most expensive option at $6-$15 per square foot for the wood alone. This durable option may also require a new subfloor which can cost $1-$3 per square foot and professional installation will add about $4 per square foot.


Kitchen plumbing costs vary widely but the average is $2,600-$3,000. Layout changes, like moving a sink or dishwasher will, unsurprisingly, increase costs. New sink faucets (which can start around $200) may be installed at a discount if combined with the sink installation. If you’re not springing for a new sink, consider freshening up an existing one with a mid-priced faucet. Chrome is the least expensive and can start as low as $50, but many designer-inspired finishes are gaining in popularity: unlacquered brass faucets, for instance, average around $400 and can cost upwards of $4,000 for luxury brands like Waterworks, Vola, Kallista and THG Paris. 

New plumbing installation enables options beyond just a standard faucet. Hand-held sprayer taps and water filtration systems, like reverse osmosis, can also be added (both require a hole in the countertop). Sprayers can cost as little as $50, while the average reverse osmosis water system for a kitchen is $1,500. 


When it comes to updating kitchen cabinets by a pro, painting is the most budget-friendly  option. The cost to clean, sand, and paint cabinets with a brush and roller is $1,500-$2,000. 

A mid-range treatment of cabinets ($3,000-$4,000) includes removing the hardware before prepping and painting with a brush and roller; the old hardware can be re-installed or upgraded with new styles. This costs more than just painting because of the labour involved to remove the cabinets and all of their hardware (think about all those hinges and handles) and then the time it takes to reinstall them. 

Spraying kitchen cabinets is the most costly option ($3,800-$5,500) and involves removal of cabinetry and spraying off site for a factory finish look. If you’re just painting kitchen walls, the average cost is about $4 per square foot.


For standard white appliances expect to pay around $1,700-$2,000 for a stove, fridge and dishwasher package, and more for modern finishes like stainless steel or black. Individual prices can average from $900-$8,000-plus for a fridge; $650-$2,000-plus for a stove; and $400-$2,500-plus for a dishwasher. 

Expect to pay significantly more for high-end appliances with features such as smart technology or integrated with custom cabinetry.


Installation can range from $2,000 to$10,000 and is determined by the size of the kitchen and the materials used. Itgenerally includes installation of cabinets, countertops and appliances. If you splurge on high-end appliances, plan on adding a little more to the budget as many luxury brands, such as Wolf, Sub-Zero, Bosch and La Cornue, have dedicated professionals that may be required to install as part of the warranty. 

Tips to renovate a kitchen on a budget

You’ve done all the research and are ready to take the plunge. Here are a few ways to effectively plan your kitchen renovation costs and stay on budget.

  • Get multiple quotes. We may be biased, but SmartReno is the ideal way to access trusted and insured contractors. A minimum of three quotes usually provides a good foundation for comparison. 
  • Assess what you actually need. “Really consider how good or bad your current layout is,” says Sean. “Layout change for the sake of change can consume the budget unnecessarily.”
  • Reuse wisely. Re-facing sturdy existing cabinets can freshen a dated kitchen at a fraction of the price of new cabinetry.
  • The best tip of all? Set a budget based on all of your research, and stick to it. This sounds simple but it’s easy to get carried away with tempting (and costly) upgrades.

You’ve done the research. You’re fluent in finishes from matte black to unlacquered brass. You might even kick things up a bit with quartz. Whatever you choose, you’ve made the wise decision to increase the resale value of your home, as well as your enjoyment of it. How sweet is that?

Read more: Budget kitchen renovation trends for 2022

Calculate estimate cost for kitchen renovation

The Smart Reno Cost Estimator makes it easy to determine your kitchen renovation cost. A great kitchen is more than just fab new appliances and a cool island pendant light. Planning a kitchen that’s both functional and beautiful for years to come is no easy feat. That’s why hiring the right contractor is crucial. Not only do they need the top skills, you need to feel comfortable working with them on this major home improvement project. Our Smart Reno Cost Estimator helps you better understand what your kitchen renovation will really cost and can prepare your for conversations with contractors, you can also explore different and  renovation financing. It really is a recipe for reno success. 

Smart Reno helps you find trusted contractors

With so much to think about when it comes to kitchen renovations, it’s important to find a contractor you can trust. Get up to 3 free kitchen renovation quotes for your home or business, learn more about kitchen renovations, and talk to an expert about renovation financing.


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