What Are The Three Most Expensive Items In A Kitchen Remodel?

So, you’ve decided to take on the exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) task of remodeling your kitchen. You’re ready to transform your cooking space into a haven of culinary creativity and modern aesthetics. But before you grab your toolbox and put on your DIY hat, it’s important to understand the potential costs that come with this ambitious project. In this article, we’ll take a look at the three most expensive items in a kitchen remodel, so you can be well-informed and prepared for the investment ahead. When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, there are a few key areas that tend to take up a significant portion of your budget. These three items, known as the “big ticket” items, are often the most expensive aspects of a kitchen remodel. So, let’s take a closer look at what these items are and why they can be so costly.

What Are The Three Most Expensive Items In A Kitchen Remodel?

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Custom cabinets

Custom cabinets are undoubtedly a luxurious addition to any kitchen remodel. They are tailored to fit your specific space and design preferences, which gives your kitchen a unique and personalized touch. The customization process involves careful measurements, precise craftsmanship, and high-quality materials, all of which contribute to the higher cost compared to pre-built or stock cabinets. Keep in mind that custom cabinets are built to last and can significantly enhance the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.

High-end finishes

Selecting high-end finishes for your cabinets can elevate the look and feel of your kitchen. From exotic wood veneers to sophisticated lacquer finishes, these premium materials can transform your cabinetry into works of art. However, the cost of these finishes can quickly add up. It’s essential to consider your budget and prioritize the finishes that align with your vision for your dream kitchen.

Specialty hardware

The hardware you choose for your cabinets is like the jewelry of your kitchen. It adds the finishing touches and enhances the functionality of your cabinetry. Specialty hardware, such as designer knobs and pulls, can be quite expensive, particularly if you opt for materials like brass, bronze, or crystal. While it may seem like a small detail, the cost of specialty hardware can make a noticeable impact on your overall budget.


Natural stone

Natural stone countertops, such as granite or marble, are a timeless choice that adds elegance and sophistication to any kitchen. However, the cost of these materials can be one of the most significant expenses in a kitchen remodel. Natural stone countertops require careful selection, cutting, and installation, as well as ongoing maintenance to keep them in pristine condition. While they do come with a higher price tag, the durability and aesthetic appeal of natural stone countertops make them a worthwhile investment.


Quartz countertops have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability and low maintenance. Made from engineered stone, quartz countertops are resistant to stains, scratches, and heat. They offer a wide range of colors and patterns, giving you the flexibility to match any design style. Although quartz is generally less expensive than natural stone, it can still be a significant investment depending on the size of your kitchen and the complexity of the installation.

Solid surface

Solid surface countertops, such as Corian or acrylic-based materials, offer a seamless and uniform appearance that can mimic the look of more expensive materials. While they may not have the same natural beauty as stone or quartz, solid surface countertops are highly durable, easy to clean, and relatively affordable. They are an excellent option for those looking to achieve a sleek and modern look without breaking the bank.

What Are The Three Most Expensive Items In A Kitchen Remodel?

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The refrigerator is an essential appliance in any kitchen, and it often comes with a hefty price tag. The cost of a refrigerator can vary widely depending on the size, style, and features you choose. High-end refrigerators often include innovative technologies, such as touchscreen displays, built-in water and ice dispensers, and smart home integration. While these features can enhance your kitchen experience, they can also significantly increase the cost of your remodel.

Range and oven

A top-of-the-line range and oven can be a significant investment for your kitchen. Professional-grade ranges with multiple burners, high BTU output, and precise temperature control are popular among cooking enthusiasts. Additionally, double ovens, convection technology, and self-cleaning functions are features that can enhance your culinary experience. However, these advanced features and high-quality materials come at a price, so it’s crucial to consider your cooking needs and budget when selecting your range and oven.


Although not as extravagant as a refrigerator or range, a high-quality dishwasher is still a substantial investment. Advanced dishwashers offer features like multiple wash cycles, energy efficiency, and sound insulation. They can also integrate seamlessly with your cabinetry, giving your kitchen a sleek and cohesive look. While it’s possible to find more affordable options, investing in a reliable and efficient dishwasher can save you time and effort in the long run.



Hardwood flooring is a classic and luxurious choice that can significantly enhance the beauty of your kitchen. It provides warmth, durability, and timeless appeal that can last for decades. However, hardwood flooring can be expensive due to the high-quality materials and labor-intensive installation. The cost can vary depending on the type of wood species, the complexity of the layout, and any additional treatments or finishes applied to the floor.

Natural stone tiles

Natural stone tiles, such as marble or travertine, can create a stunning and luxurious look for your kitchen flooring. Each tile is unique, offering a sense of elegance and sophistication. However, the cost of natural stone tiles can be high due to the labor-intensive installation process and the quality of the materials. Additionally, natural stone requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best, adding to the overall cost of your kitchen remodel.

High-quality laminate

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option without compromising on style and durability, high-quality laminate flooring is worth considering. Modern laminate products often mimic the appearance of natural wood or stone at a fraction of the cost. They are highly durable, resistant to stains and scratches, and easy to clean. With advancements in technology, laminate flooring now comes in a variety of styles and finishes that can suit any design aesthetic.

What Are The Three Most Expensive Items In A Kitchen Remodel?

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Pendant lights

Pendant lights are not only functional but also serve as decorative elements in your kitchen. They can add a touch of elegance and style to your space, especially when paired with the right bulb and shade. While there are affordable options available, high-end pendant lights made from premium materials, such as hand-blown glass or intricately designed metalwork, can be quite expensive. The cost can also increase if you require multiple pendants or customized lighting installations.

Undercabinet lighting

Undercabinet lighting is a practical addition to any kitchen, providing extra illumination for your countertops and workspace. It creates a warm and inviting ambiance while enhancing visibility and functionality. While the cost of undercabinet lighting itself may not be exorbitant, it’s essential to consider the electrical work and installation required, which can add to the overall expense. Professional installation is recommended to ensure proper wiring, placement, and integration with your existing electrical system.


Chandeliers can make a bold statement and serve as a focal point in your kitchen. They add a touch of grandeur and luxury, elevating the overall aesthetic and creating a sophisticated atmosphere. Chandeliers come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and materials, from traditional crystal designs to contemporary metal or glass constructions. The cost of a chandelier can vary significantly based on its complexity, size, and the quality of the materials. Installing a chandelier may also require additional structural support and electrical work, so it’s important to consider these factors when budgeting for your kitchen remodel.

Sinks and faucets

Farmhouse sink

Farmhouse sinks have gained popularity in recent years due to their charming and rustic appeal. They are larger and deeper than traditional sinks, providing ample space to handle larger pots and pans. Farmhouse sinks are typically made from fireclay or cast iron, which contributes to their durability and classic farmhouse style. While they can be more expensive than standard sinks, their aesthetic value and functionality make them a worthwhile investment for many homeowners.

Commercial-grade faucet

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, a commercial-grade faucet can make a world of difference. These faucets are designed to handle heavy use and provide enhanced functionality, such as adjustable spray options and hands-free operation. They are typically made from high-quality materials like stainless steel or brass, which ensures durability and longevity. Commercial-grade faucets can be more expensive than traditional faucets due to their advanced features and industrial construction.

Touchless feature

Touchless faucets have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and hygiene benefits. With a simple wave of your hand, you can easily turn the water on and off without touching the faucet handle, minimizing the spread of germs and mess in the kitchen. The touchless feature is typically available in higher-end faucets and can add to the overall cost of your kitchen remodel. However, the added convenience and improved cleanliness can be well worth the investment.

What Are The Three Most Expensive Items In A Kitchen Remodel?

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Glass tiles

Glass tiles are a stunning choice for a kitchen backsplash, offering a modern and sleek appearance. They come in a variety of colors, shapes, and finishes, allowing you to create a unique and personalized look. While glass tiles can be more expensive than other materials like ceramic or porcelain, they are highly resistant to stains, scratches, and heat. Their reflective properties also help to maximize the natural light in your kitchen, making it feel brighter and more spacious.

Hand-painted ceramic tiles

Hand-painted ceramic tiles are a beautiful way to add a touch of artistry and craftsmanship to your kitchen. Each tile is carefully hand-painted by skilled artisans, resulting in intricate and unique designs. These handcrafted tiles can be more expensive than mass-produced options due to the labor-intensive process and the skill required. However, the stunning visual impact and the personalized touch they bring to your kitchen make them well worth the investment.

Metallic mosaic tiles

For a chic and contemporary look, metallic mosaic tiles are an excellent choice for your kitchen backsplash. These tiles feature metallic accents or finishes that add a glamorous and reflective touch to your space. While metallic mosaic tiles can be more expensive than other tile options, they create a visual impact and sense of luxury that is hard to replicate with other materials. Their durability, resistance to water, and easy maintenance make them a popular choice for modern kitchens.


Range hood

A range hood is an essential component of any kitchen to help remove odors, smoke, and excess heat generated during cooking. It also contributes to maintaining good air quality in your home. Range hoods are available in various styles, sizes, and materials, from sleek and minimalistic designs to more elaborate and decorative options. The cost of a range hood can vary depending on the type of hood, its power and extraction capabilities, and any additional features like built-in lighting or heat sensors.

Hidden exhaust fans

Hidden exhaust fans, also known as downdraft ventilation systems, are an alternative to traditional range hoods. They are designed to be installed flush with your cooktop or range and rise from the surface when needed, then retract when not in use. Hidden exhaust fans provide a clean and unobstructed view of your kitchen, allowing for an open and seamless aesthetic. However, the cost of these systems can be higher than a standard range hood due to the advanced technology and specialized installation required.

Built-in ventilation system

A built-in ventilation system is a comprehensive solution for managing odors and maintaining air quality in your kitchen. It involves integrating an exhaust system directly into your cabinetry or ceiling, ensuring effective ventilation without sacrificing design. Built-in ventilation systems are typically more expensive than standalone range hoods or hidden exhaust fans due to the customization and construction required. However, they offer superior performance, noise reduction, and versatility in terms of placement and design.

What Are The Three Most Expensive Items In A Kitchen Remodel?

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Updated plumbing lines

When remodeling your kitchen, it may be necessary to update the plumbing lines to accommodate new fixtures or layouts. This can involve replacing old pipes, rerouting water supply lines, or upgrading to more efficient plumbing materials. The cost of updating plumbing lines can vary widely depending on the complexity of the project, the condition of your existing plumbing, and any additional requirements or repairs that may arise during the process. Hiring a professional plumber is recommended to ensure the work is done correctly and in compliance with building codes.

High-quality fixtures

Investing in high-quality plumbing fixtures is essential for both functionality and aesthetics. From faucets to sinks and showerheads, durable and stylish fixtures can greatly enhance the overall look and feel of your kitchen. The cost of high-quality fixtures can vary depending on the brand, materials, and features you choose. While it may be tempting to opt for more affordable options, investing in fixtures made from durable materials like brass or stainless steel can help prevent leaks, corrosion, and premature wear, ultimately saving you money on repairs and replacements in the long run.

Water filtration system

A water filtration system is a valuable addition to any kitchen, ensuring clean and safe drinking water for you and your family. These systems remove impurities, chemicals, and contaminants from your tap water, improving taste and quality. While the cost of a water filtration system can vary depending on the type and capacity required, it is generally a worthwhile investment for health-conscious individuals. Not only does it provide peace of mind and convenience, but it can also reduce the need for single-use plastic water bottles, ultimately benefiting the environment as well.

Labor and installation

Hiring professionals

Remodeling your kitchen often involves complex construction, electrical work, and plumbing, among other tasks. Unless you have extensive experience in these areas, hiring professionals is highly recommended to ensure the work is done correctly and efficiently. While hiring professionals may add to the overall cost of your kitchen remodel, it can save you time, stress, and potential costly mistakes. Professional contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other specialists have the knowledge and expertise to handle each aspect of the project, ensuring a smooth and successful renovation.

Demolition and removal costs

Before you can begin the installation of new features, you may need to demolish and remove existing fixtures, cabinets, flooring, or walls in your kitchen. The cost of demolition and removal can vary depending on the complexity and scale of the project, as well as any additional disposal fees or permits required. It’s essential to budget for these costs to avoid any surprises during the early stages of your remodel. Hiring professionals for demolition and removal is recommended to ensure proper disposal and minimize the risk of damage to your property.

Installation of new features

The installation of new features, such as cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances, is a crucial part of your kitchen remodel. The cost of installation can vary depending on the complexity of the project, the materials being installed, and any additional customization or finishing required. It’s important to work closely with your contractors and ensure clear communication to avoid any misunderstandings or delays. Professional installation not only ensures a high-quality finish but also provides warranties or guarantees on the work performed, giving you peace of mind for years to come.

In conclusion, the three most expensive items in a kitchen remodel are typically cabinetry, countertops, and appliances. Custom cabinets, high-end finishes, and specialty hardware can significantly elevate the cost. Natural stone, quartz, and solid surface countertops are luxurious choices that require careful selection and installation. Refrigerators, ranges and ovens, and dishwashers come with advanced features and materials that contribute to their higher price tags. It’s essential to consider your budget and priorities when planning your kitchen remodel and to consult with professionals to ensure a successful and satisfactory outcome.