Where to Save & Splurge On Kitchen Remodels


Kitchen remodels can get expensive fast. From appliances and fixtures to countertops and cabinets, it seems like nothing in a kitchen remodel is affordable! So we’re here to help you learn where to save and splurge on kitchen remodels.

There are non-negotiable items we recommend clients splurge on when renovating their kitchen, but there are many areas where a less expensive  option can give you the look and functionality you desire without the hefty price tag! 

Keep reading to learn where we save and splurge on kitchen remodels.

How Much Does A Kitchen Remodel Cost?

How much does it cost to remodel your kitchen? Well, it really just depends on the scope of work. If we’re talking about a full kitchen remodel where everything is redone—floors and cabinets to the appliances and countertops—you could be looking at anything from $40k to $200k+, depending on size, customization and quality of products.

Kitchen Remodel Wood Cabinets with Marble Countertops
Image via Lawless Design

Tip: If you plan to sell your home in the next 5 years, we recommend spending no more on your kitchen renovation than you plan to get back when you sell your home.

Where To Splurge On A Kitchen Remodel

The Appliances

This one is probably not a shock, but if you’re redoing your kitchen, selecting quality appliances is a must

If you don’t cook much, there are affordable stock stove options available that will look beautiful and get the job done, so this is a great place to be budget-conscious. 

When it comes to dishwashers and refrigerators, you’re going to have to spend a good amount up front for appliances that will last, operate quietly, and save energy. And, if you really want to get fancy with it, you can have custom doors made to match your cabinets for a seamless look—but this will cost more!

Historic Craftsman Remodeled Kitchen by East and Gray Interiors | Columbus, Ohio
Image via East & Gray Interiors

The Countertops

Quality, timeless countertops are a must in any kitchen. Countertops are also hugely important for resale value if this is something you’re considering with your renovation project. We love to use quartz and marble in kitchen remodels because they’re durable and timeless (depending on the pattern, of course). 

Countertops must be able to stand up to daily wear, spills, and scratches. Quartz countertops hold up much better to daily wear than natural stone materials like marble and granite; it’s our preferred option for busy families and clients who use their kitchen heavily.  Since quartz does not stain, is extremely durable and maintenance free (you won’t have to seal your countertops bi-yealry or yearly like natural stone), it’s truly worth the investment!

Laminate countertops are the cheapest option, but they don’t feel nearly as luxe as stone. Additionally, laminate can warp under a hot pan, so we highly recommend steering clear of this material and investing in a higher quality countertop if possible. 

While we love the look of concrete countertops, they’re not as timeless, so keep this in mind if you have your heart set on this look. Concrete countertops also stain easily and will change color over time, so unless you embrace imperfections and see them as added character (which we absolutely do!), you may want to avoid this material. 

Wooden countertops are equally beautiful and create a lived-in, rustic look, but they’re more susceptible to discoloration, scratches, and water damage (even when sealed). We always encourage clients to keep this in mind when deciding which material to use for countertops.

The Cabinets

There’s quite a debate here. Should you save or splurge on cabinets in a home remodel? The answer is…it depends. I know—not the answer you were hoping for! But stick with me…

If you’re working with an oddly shaped kitchen, you may have no choice but to have custom or semi-custom cabinets made to fit certain areas of the room. Ready-made box cabinets only come in certain sizes, so you may lose a lot of space to cabinet fillers in order to make boxed cabinets fit your space.

When it comes to quality, nothing compares to custom made cabinets. They are made with care, quality materials and beautiful craftsmanship. So if it is in your budget, we always recommend custom cabinets.  

However, we understand that custom is not always within everyone’s budget. There are many affordable cabinets on the market that will be almost as durable as custom cabinets. In some cases, we can even refinish your existing cabinets with a quality coat of paint, and this can save you tons on your renovation!

Tip: Custom cabinets are not always more expensive than ready-made box cabinets. Often they can be on par, or just a little more than ready made cabinets, so we always recommend getting at least one quote for custom cabinets.  You may be surprised that custom options are within your budget!

Save or Splurge on Kitchen Cabinets
Image via Amber Interiors

Where To Save On A Kitchen Remodel


Kitchen backsplashes can be very affordable. Instead of having your countertops continue on to your backsplash (this can be extremely expensive when you’re working with stone), opt for tile backsplashes to add character and color to the kitchen. Some people even choose to forego the backsplash during the remodel and DIY them after the crew is finished with their work! 

Where to save on kitchen backsplashes
Image via Native Trails Home


Hardwood floors are notoriously expensive, so many people choose laminate options to ease up on their overall budget. There are many beautiful luxury vinyl options these days that look just like the real hardwood and are just as durable (if not more durable) than real hardwood. Luxury vinyl is waterproof/water resistant which makes it an ideal material for kitchens! 

Cement floors are trendy lately, but we caution clients against this option because they can make the home extremely cold. They’re also not very kid friendly, and can be rather dangerous if someone were to fall! Stone tile floors have similar issues, which is why we tend to recommend either hardwood flooring or a luxury vinyl option for the main areas of your home.

Hardware & Fixtures

Designer cabinet pulls can be costly! We’re here to tell you that there are tons of affordable hardware options on the market that are beautiful and timeless and cost way less than the designer options. 

Tip: Affordable hardware may not be made of solid metal which can lead to bending, warping or the finish peeling off over time. Look for hardware that is solid stainless steel, zinc, or brass. Solid brass hardware is usually the most expensive, but solid zinc or stainless steel will still provide you with good durability and a finish quality at a better price point than brass. Top Knobs is one of our favorite brands for cabinet hardware that is in the medium price range. 

We also love to find affordable, statement light fixtures for an extra design element in the kitchen. Light fixtures are a great place to be more budget conscious because you can change them out easily over the years when your tastes change. And since they sit up high out of heavily used areas this is a great place to not worry as much about the quality of the fixture since it is more protected being up and out of the way.

Are you thinking of remodeling your kitchen but feel you could use some expert guidance? Book a complimentary Discovery Call to learn how we can help!

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Interior Designer Andrea Durcik Columbus Ohio

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Traveling, animals, and all things design encompass Andrea’s life, fueling her creative energy every step of the way.

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