Unless you happen to be independently wealthy, one of the most important considerations when remodeling your kitchen is going to be the budget. And while you probably aren't planning on cutting costs on everything — you might even have a few areas in mind where you're willing to spend a little more — it's helpful to know what the budget options are: places where you can save money without sacrificing quality. With that in mind, here are nine of our best bets for a budget kitchen remodel.
Butcherblock countertops consistently rank as one of the most budget-friendly options, and they're also very beautiful, to boot. Custom-made butcherblock countertops are a bit more expensive (about the same price as mid-range granite), but many stores sell butcherblock countertops in pre-cut lengths, which you can then configure to fit your kitchen for much less than the cost of a custom countertop.
When you think of laminate, you may remember the peeling, avocado-green worktops from your grandmother's kitchen — the ones with the conspicuous edge that loudly proclaims them as laminate. But laminate countertops have come a long way. They now come in finishes that convincingly replicate the look of more expensive materials like marble, and with edge details that hide the telltale laminate look. Plus, they're seriously affordable.
Stainless Steel Sinks
I've priced quite a few sinks for roundups on this website, and here is a thing I've learned: when it comes to kitchen sinks, stainless steel is almost always going to be your cheapest option. In some cases it's hundreds of dollars cheaper than fireclay or cast iron equivalents. And, as this kitchen from Pella Hedeby proves, stainless steel (even in a topmount sink) can be quite stylish.
There's a reason you see IKEA cabinets over and over again, even in fairly high-end remodels: they come in a range of styles, there are lots of options for customizing them, and the price is hard to beat.
What's even less expensive than IKEA cabinets? The cabinets you already have in your kitchen. As long as your cabinets are in good condition, you can get a new look by painting them, swapping the hardware, or even replacing the doors. You'll save a ton of money, and a lot of space in a landfill, too.
Scratch and Dent Appliances
Almost every appliance retailer has an as-is section, where appliances with minor flaws are sold at a steep discount. If a little scuffing or scratching here and there does not bother you, you could save quite a bit — and be less worried about keeping your appliances pristine in the future.
If you're willing to do a little hunting (and a little hauling), Craigslist can be a great place to get gently used appliances for a fraction of their original price. Many fellow remodelers who are swapping out their appliances for ones that better fit their look unload their old (perfectly functional) ones here, so this is an especially good place to get white appliances (if that's your thing) for a steal.
Vinyl composite tile, which you're probably used to seeing in schools and municipal buildings, is one of the least expensive and most hardwearing flooring choices out there. (If it can stand up to years of abuse in an elementary school, it can definitely stand up to whatever you can dish out in the kitchen.) It also comes in all kinds of colors and can be arranged in stylish patterns, like the black-and-white checkerboard above, done by Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff. Check out Karen's full kitchen makeover for more great ideas.
Laminate flooring, like laminate countertops, has come a long way. Laminate flooring can be had for as little as a dollar a square foot, and is often almost indistinguishable from actual wood.
What are some other budget kitchen materials your recommend?