Kitchen Update Cost: 10 Ideas that Don’t Cost a Fortune

Does your kitchen feel like a blast from the past? The answer to the question (“yes, majorly!” or “a little bit”) dictates the cost of a kitchen update. Some kitchens need a total overhaul. Other kitchens only need small remodeling changes to bring the room into this decade. That’s why we’ve put together a list of remodeling ideas that can fit with any kitchen remodeling budget—no matter how big or small.


A backsplash can be the kitchen update that pulls the room into this decade or puts your personal touch on the space. There are a ton of options for backsplashes, including affordable options that can fit any budget. For a different take, backsplashes can be installed vertically or with a mosaic that fits the most quirky tastes. If you don’t have time for this kitchen update, opt for a professionally installed backsplash without busting the kitchen remodeling budget.

New Flooring

New kitchen floors can make a major difference in a kitchen, but it does come with a note of caution. Kitchens tend to be prone to spills (water and otherwise), so the right floors have to be durable enough to handle heavy traffic and be resistant to water damage. This additional consideration narrows the list of options, but still leaves a list of kitchen flooring options that look great: luxury vinyl plank, sheet vinyl, tile, and luxury vinyl tile. Wood floors are still on the list, but need immediate clean-up to avoid damage from water spills and leaks.

Under Cabinet Lighting

Under cabinet lighting is a kitchen update that looks great and doesn’t cost a fortune to install. The most important tip for a quality cabinet lighting install is to make sure it’s done neatly and without a lot of wires showing. (This can be done during a careful do-it-yourself install or by contacting the professionals.)

Farmhouse Sink

A farmhouse sink is a kitchen update that makes a statement. Perhaps best yet, there are a lot of options for farmhouse sinks that fit any décor. Before you install this trendy kitchen update, there are a few considerations that come with a farmhouse sink. One of the biggest considerations is the fact that a kitchen sink install doesn’t just involve the kitchen sink. Most kitchen sink installs also include some alterations to the surrounding cabinetry and countertops; this can be done easily by a contracted prowith experience in kitchen remodeling.

Cabinet Knobs

One of the easiest (and most budget-friendly) ways to update a kitchen is to change old cabinet knobs with new hardware. This small change can change the look of any kitchen, making it look modern, traditional, or quirky. If you want to take the overhaul a step further, consider a cabinet overhaul with new cabinet doors and/or a new cabinet color.

New Countertops

Countertops can make a kitchen look new and modern or drag the look into the past. The good and bad news about this affordable kitchen update is there are a lot of countertop options. Some countertops require regular maintenance, such as sealing; before purchasing, you should always ask about any steps needed to keep the countertop looking new.

Pantry Door

In many kitchens, a pantry door is a missed opportunity. Whenever possible, a pantry door can add interest or style to a kitchen. In a country-style kitchen, a barn door (sliding, if possible) can be the perfect, stylish addition. For a pop of color, a brightly-colored pantry door can add a pop of color and interest to the room.

Cabinet Replacement

A full cabinet replacement can do wonders for the look and function of a kitchen, especially when the cabinets are in poor condition. New cabinets can also be a great way to add storage, either by installing cabinets with better organization or taller cabinets. (Don’t hesitate to talk to a contractor for recommendations for new cabinets.)

Updated Appliances

New appliances are a great way to update both the look and function of a kitchen. When ordering, choose appliances that fit with the décor, personal preferences, and into the kitchen footprint. If a kitchen appliance doesn’t fit between cabinets or other items, contact a pro to make adjustments.

A Full Kitchen Remodel

When your kitchen needs a full update, it may be time to throw in the towel on that outdated kitchen. If you don’t want to tackle a kitchen remodel, it’s time to start interviewing contractors with this list of kitchen remodeling questions and take your kitchen one step closer to an updated, dream kitchen.

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