How to Remodel Your Kitchen on a Budget

Posted July 10, 2019 by Katlyn Droke

Does it feel like your dream kitchen is too expensive? You’re not the only one. And at Cabinets To Go, this is a problem we help many customers solve. Our goal is get you your dream kitchen, and sometimes we have to find creative ways to do it — even if it means getting creative with your budget. Here are the top 8 ways to cut costs in a kitchen redesign that protects your budget while bringing your vision to life:

Black and white wallpaper tile backsplash with a granite countertop and white frameless cabinets.
Opt for a wallpaper backsplash for a cheaper alternative to tile. Image: WeAreFound Home Design

Tip #1: Choose a wallpaper instead of tile for a backsplash. 

From a material perspective, tile is a heftier cost than wallpaper.

And when it comes to installation, wallpaper is an option that almost anyone can install. Tile can be a little harder for the inexperienced to install: cutting, positioning, grouting, and finishing must be exact for a polished look. Wallpaper, on the other hand, is pretty much a grab-and-glue situation. Plus, there are wallpaper options these days that look and even feel upscale at a more affordable price (large florals in particular are popular upscale choices). 

Living room with hardwood looking waterproof laminate flooring
XRP Waterproof flooring is a cheaper alternative to hardwood, and it holds up against whatever life throws at your floors.

Tip #2: For flooring, consider an alternative to hardwood (like XRP flooring). 

Hardwood has been the star of the show for many decades, but what if there was an alternative that looked similar but was less expensive and still durable? That would be XRP flooring. It comes with the underlayment attached, meaning you don’t have to install a layer between the plank and the subfloor — reducing another key cost of getting hardwood. 

Kitchen with gray modern cabinets and acrylic countertop.
Redoing your countertops doesn’t have to break the bank! Go for a budget option like butcher block of acrylic.

Tip #3: For countertops, consider butcher block or acrylic over quartz.

Quartz is a beautiful, but pricey stone. Don’t overlook butcher block or acrylic solid-surface options.

With the right option, acrylic is just as durable and beautiful as quartz. Butcher block has even have more creative range than quartz: it can be stained with a color or shade that best fits your design.

Plus, both butcher block and acrylic are good ecological choices. Made of wood, butcher block countertops come from a renewable resource. Acrylic solid surface countertops are eco-friendly because of the longevity of their durability, as well as how they don’t give off toxic VOCs that harm the environment.

Person measuring a cabinet with a tape measure for a DIY kitchen remodel project.
DIY is a great option for a budget remodel, but know your limits and leave certain projects to the professionals.

Tip #4: Be careful with DIY. 

There are many things that can be DIYed, but not all of them should be. Working on a budget means you may only have one chance to get it right. When DIY goes wrong, it can be expensive to fix with wasted materials, demo, and re-installation.

Our advice for DIY: paint the walls, apply wallpaper, and assemble kitchen furniture yourself — save the rest for experienced hands.

Couple feeling a sample of flooring in a Cabinets To Go store.
Choose Cabinets To Go for your remodel to streamline the entire process and get assistance from start to finish.

Tip #5: Choose an all-in-one provider. (Hint: Cabinets To Go)

Get all the different things you need from one place. Normally, you’d need to find an expert designer, choose a retailer for cabinets, choose a manufacturer for flooring, find an installer for each of those, and more. Let one entity handle all of that for you, like Cabinets To Go. 

White granite countertop with chrome sink faucets and fresh fruit on a butcher block cutting board.
Recycle old pieces for a budget-friendly project that has added character. Image: Southern Living

Tip #6: Upcycle older pieces for added charm. 

Shiplap, old barn wood, ornate knobs, old-fashioned farmhouse sink, and classic furniture are just some examples of things that can be refurbished for use in your new kitchen. Picking small things like this can ease the cost of buying everything brand new, and lets you buy the important things new while adding decorative touches that are new-to-you. 

Pink retro oven with a hairdryer laying on the floor.
Don’t be afraid of used appliances! Image: Melodrama

Tip #7: Keep appliances and refurbish them rather than buy new.

Brand new appliances add a significant chunk of change to any kitchen redesign. Don’t worry about about existing appliances detracting from your new design — there are ways to make new cabinetry and flooring feel connected to existing appliances.

For example, you could consider hiding the refrigerator behind a cabinet panel. Or look into vinyl wrapping to give your existing appliances a cleaner, newer finish. Ultimately, you can save up and upgrade appliances later.

Kitchen blueprints
Get creative and work with the layout of the kitchen that you have rather than dealing with the costs associated with a full redesign

Tip #8: Don’t change the layout or format of your kitchen. 

When remodeling a kitchen, it may be tempting to move a sink to another wall or move an appliance or put the stovetop on the island.

These kind of tweaks feel small but add a significant cost, usually because there is some measure of complexity involved.

Sometimes it’s knocking down a wall, but typically the cost comes from water, electricity, or gas sources that need to be moved and re-run by specialized experts.

These are just many ways to get a cheap kitchen that doesn’t look cheap. But the biggest, most important budget choice you can make is to find a manufacturer that doesn’t sacrifice quality for price. Visit a Cabinets To Go showroom and you’ll see how your dream kitchen can come to life at a price you can afford.