Kitchen Renovation FAQ: 50+ Questions to Ask Before You Embark on a Kitchen Remodel

Taking on a renovation in a kitchen can be downright daunting. It’s one of the most-used rooms in your home and needs to be equal parts functional and beautiful. But with all the different moving parts—appliances, sinks, lighting, cabinets, and more—it’s tough to know where to begin. Plus, there’s the issue of cost and time. It’s a lot! Thankfully, Apartment Therapy (and some helpful experts) did the heavy lifting for you. Here, pros weigh in on every step of the process, from planning all the way to the finish line, so you can feel empowered to create the kitchen of your dreams. Click on each question to find out the answer to anything you may be wondering about.

Planning It Out

1How much will my kitchen remodel cost?

2How do I finance my kitchen remodel?

3Can I do a budget kitchen renovation?

4How long will my kitchen remodel take?

5Is there any one project I can do that will have a big impact on my kitchen?


6Should I do a DIY kitchen renovation or hire someone?

7What kinds of pros are needed for each part of the project?

8How do I find reputable pros?

9In what order should I renovate my kitchen?

10Do I need a permit to remodel my kitchen?

11How do I design a kitchen remodel?

12What measurements do I need to know?

13What else should I know about my kitchen before I get started?

14I rent. Which of these things are for me?

15How much value will a kitchen renovation add to my home?

16Are there any upgrades that aren’t worth it?

All About Cabinets

17How do I renovate kitchen cabinets?

18How do I paint my cabinets? Can I leave the doors on?

19How much time will it take to paint my cabinets?


20How do I pick my cabinet color?

21What materials do I need for this project if I’m doing it myself?


22If I hate my cabinet doors, do I have to replace the whole cabinet?

23Should I go for open shelving or not?

24Should my cabinets go all the way to the ceiling?

25How do I maximize storage if I’m not changing the size of my kitchen?

26Is it better to get cabinets with doors or with drawers?

27What if I live in a rental—is there anything I can do?

All About Countertops

28What are my countertop material choices?

29What about butcher block?

30What’s the easiest to maintain?

31What countertop material lasts the longest?

32How do I pick the right color countertop?

33Do I have to reinforce my floors for any of these options?

34Are any of these countertops DIY-able?

All About Backsplashes

35Why do I need a backsplash, anyway?

36What are my backsplash choices?

37Can I use paint for my backsplash?


38Can I install a backsplash myself?

39How do I choose a backsplash color?

40What about backsplash tile size?

41Any rental-friendly backsplash options?

All About Walls

42What type of paint and primer are best for the kitchen?


43Can I wallpaper a kitchen?

44What if I’m renting?

45What color should I choose?


All About Appliances

46Where’s the best place to put my appliances?

47How hard is it to change an electric range to gas?

48Do I need a range hood?

49Do my appliances need to match?

50Is running a water line to a new fridge worth it?

51How do I make my appliances match my cabinets?

52Where the heck do I put my microwave?

All About Sinks

53Should I do a single-basin sink or a double?

54Apron-front or drop-in sink? What about undermount?

55What about sink material?

56Should I get a pot filler?

57How do I pick which kind of faucet to get?

58Can I put a faucet in myself?

All About Lighting

59Is under-cabinet lighting expensive?

60How big should the lights over my island be?

61What lights should I pick if I have a dark kitchen?

All About Flooring

62What’s the most durable floor type for a kitchen?

63Are heated floors worth the cost?

64Shouldn’t I put the floors in before the cabinets?

65What if I just want to make the floor I already have look better? Is there anything I can do?

All the Rest

66Phew, that was a lot. What if I don’t want to do a full reno? What pieces should I do first? What smaller projects could I do instead to feel like my kitchen is different?

67How do I survive a kitchen remodel and live my life without a kitchen for 10 to 12 weeks?!

68How do I make sure I’ll still like my kitchen in 10 years?

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