Thinking of renovating your kitchen? As you’re browsing your kitchen renovation checklist, you’re probably wondering how much it’s all going to cost. A new kitchen is a major investment and a room that gets a ton of use so you want to get it right.
If you’re looking for a ballpark figure, expect to outlay anywhere from $18,000 to $60,000+. Factors that affect the cost of your project include the size of your kitchen, the materials and, yes, your location! Here’s what we typically see customers in Toronto and Montreal paying (not including new appliances):
|Greater Toronto Area (GTA)|
*Note that many factors can influence the total cost of renovations, including the type of work to be done, the required labour, the materials needed, the protective measures, the length of the project (faster=higher cost), and other contingencies.
Consequences of COVID-19 on the construction and renovation sectors
Keep in mind that certain unforeseen events due to COVID-19 may affect the cost of renovation projects without notice. For example, the industry has come across a treated lumber shortage since the first lockdown, resulting in a massive fluctuation of prices. Other construction materials are likely to experience similar issues. For more details, read our article: Rising Lumber Prices: Another COVID-19 Effect?
Why do the prices vary so much?
If you’re only changing your cabinets, expect project costs to be on the lower end of the spectrum. However, if you’re thinking about reconfiguration, installing recessed lights or removing a wall, you’ll need specialized professionals to move plumbing and electrical work, and the price will vary accordingly.
Why is it more expensive in Toronto?
Everything is more expensive in Toronto and, unfortunately, the renovation industry isn’t immune to this reality. At the same time, a renovation will add more value to your house, so there’s a silver lining to the extra expense.
Want an idea of the price for the project you have in mind?
Our Renovation Advisors have thousands of projects under their belt, so they can give you a fair assessment of the budget required, backed by experience. And if you’re ready for an in-depth estimate, we can refer up to three 53-point Verified Contractors, including specialist kitchen renovators, to compete for your project.
What trades will you need for your kitchen reno?
Wondering who you may need to hire for your kitchen makeover? These are the most common tradespeople you will need.
A kitchen designer can help you squeeze the most out of your space. Let’s face it – a well laid-out kitchen is an efficient kitchen. Expect to discuss the kitchen work triangle, layout and cabinet sizing.
A dedicated kitchen cabinetmaker can help you achieve exactly what you want in terms of cupboard and pantry storage, the latest hardware like soft-close drawers, and a handy wine rack (a must for any modern kitchen). Expect to pay a premium for custom cabinetry.
|Quality||Typical Cost (per linear foot, installed)|
|Semi-custom Hardwood||$144 – $600|
|Custom Hardwood||$360 – $1200|
Proper surfacing is essential in a home chef’s kitchen. A kitchen counter specialist can choose and install the right one for you, be it laminate, hardwood, quartz or natural stone, among others.
|Material||Typical Cost (per square foot, installed)|
|Laminate||$30 – $72|
|Quartz||$72 – $240|
|Hardwood||$54 – $300|
|Marble||$102 – $360|
|Granite||$72 – $300|
|Stainless Steel||$108 – $215|
Kitchen Renovation Guide
Learn all there is to know before beginning your kitchen renovation project!
An electrician is a must-have tradesperson for any kitchen project, no matter the size. Besides the obvious elements such as lighting, you’ll also need several power outlets as well as new appliances wired and installed. Expect to be charged anywhere from $84 to 115 per hour.
A licensed plumber is one of the most crucial trades for a kitchen renovation. They will install your kitchen sink, faucet, taps, and new fridge with a water/ice dispenser. Expect them to charge hourly rates ranging between $180 and $240.
Specialized Backsplash Installer
A backsplash installer can meticulously install a glass, tiled, or stainless-steel backsplash among other materials.
Whether you’re thinking of an elegantly tiled backsplash or simple flooring, an experienced tiler will do the work with absolute precision.
If you are looking for an expert to manage the entire project for you, then a dedicated kitchen builder is the perfect professional for you. These general contractors can manage and coordinate all of the above trades and save you a lot of time by not having to juggle it all on your own. Expect to pay a little extra for the convenience.
Does my kitchen contractor need to be licensed?
This will depend on which province your property is in and the work being performed. Many elements of a kitchen renovation require plumbing and electrical work, which requires licensing no matter where you are.
In Toronto, a general contractor will require a Metro Building Renovators Licence, while electricians and plumbers require a Certificates of Registration.
In Montreal and the rest of Quebec, every contractor, general or specialized, will require a relevant RBQ licence.
Hiring the right tradespeople
To make sure a pro is right for your project, you should verify a few things in advance.
- Are they properly licensed?
- Are they insured to work in my home?
- How long do they estimate the job will take?
- Will they provide a detailed and written quote?
- Will they include everything in the initial quote or will I end up with a bunch of extra charges?
- Do they have references I can call and even visit to ensure they’re legitimate?
- Can I see genuine examples of their work?
Getting your dream designer kitchen for less
What materials you choose can make a big difference to the final cost of your kitchen. Countertops, for example, range from relatively inexpensive laminate to stainless steel at the high end of the scale. Similarly, the cheapest cabinet doors you can purchase tend to be melamine. At the high end, gloss white 2-pack polyurethane doors can easily cost four times as much.
Other cost-savings tips
- Check out designer laminates for a budget-friendly alternative to stainless steel. They look the part without carrying the same price tag and are quite durable. If you want something that’ll still look good after years of use, opt for textured or patterned laminates.
- Love the rolled edges and glossy appearance of polyurethane but not the price? We’re with you. Opt for thermofoil cabinets – they’re indistinguishable from polyurethane and are a fraction of the cost.
- Granite lovers can also grab cheaper alternatives to achieve their desired aesthetic. Consider laminate lookalikes and engineered stone or quartz countertops to add that bit of luxury.
- Want a new look but can’t afford to replace all of your cabinetry? Whether you want that antique feel or a trendy matte paint, there are lots of budget-friendly professional cabinet finishes to choose from.
Quality kitchen cabinetry: What to look for to save in the long run
The one place you don’t want to cut corners with is the construction quality of your kitchen cabinetry. Almost all kitchen cabinets are constructed from water-resistant MDF (medium-density fibreboard). This is the least you should expect in either a custom or flat-pack kitchen. Ideally, the backs of the cabinets should be sturdier than the 6 mm vinyl-covered backing used in some cheaper kitchens, but where you will really notice a difference is in the quality of the drawer construction.
- The cheapest drawers tend to have flimsy bottoms that are built into grooves along the bottom edges of the melamine or vinyl-wrapped drawer sides. They will inevitably buckle and break under even a moderate load.
- Higher-grade drawers are more sturdily constructed and fitted with quality, durable drawer runners designed for long-life use.
- The best quality drawers are metal-sided drawer systems.
Most door hinges look very much alike but can differ significantly in quality. If you’ve ever had kitchen doors that sag and bind, you’ve most likely had inferior hinges installed. Most kitchen companies will be more than happy to offer you quality hinges if they don’t come as a standard feature. You will have to pay a bit more for them but they are of good value for your money and won’t break the bank.
Updated January 2021