Kitchen Remodel Mistakes to Avoid

A kitchen remodel is a great way to improve your home’s function and possibly value. But you can make many kitchen remodel mistakes that decrease the benefit of remodeling your kitchen.

When done right, it can be a great decision. But when done wrong, you could create more problems for your home.

Here are the top kitchen remodel mistakes to avoid.


12 Mistakes to Avoid in Kitchen Remodeling

Avoiding these kitchen remodel mistakes ensures you’ll be happy with your kitchen remodel and how it affects your home’s value.


1. Putting Aesthetics in Front of Function

It’s common to get caught up in the newness and prettiness of a kitchen remodel. You get excited about what it will look like and forget to think about function. This is a big mistake.

Your kitchen is an important room in the house. It needs to be functional to get all your tasks done without feeling frustrated or that you must work harder. Also, consider the placement of all appliances and fixtures so you aren’t traveling all over the kitchen to get jobs done.


2. Making the Island too Large

A large island may sound amazing because you can fit more people around it, but it’s not worth it when it comes to function.

An island that’s too deep makes it impossible for the average person to reach the middle. Think about when you have people sitting around the island. Almost everyone reaches into the middle to get food, right? So, it’s not worth it if the average person can’t reach.

The same goes for the length of the island. If it’s too long, it’s difficult to maneuver around, no matter the size of your kitchen.


3. Following Trends

Trends are great, but they also fade fast. If you buy into all the latest trends in your kitchen, you’ll likely tire of it quickly. You’ll want to redo your kitchen in a year or two because it no longer suits your tastes.

Instead, keep the big things, like countertops and cabinetry, timeless. You can work other things around it that are trendier but keep the big things that would cost a lot of money and take a lot of time to replace, the same.

If you want to use trendy pieces, focus them on the backsplash, light fixtures, or hardware you can easily replace when you tire of it.


4. Not Planning

Planning is the most important part of a kitchen remodel and is one of the largest kitchen remodel mistakes people make. 

Not planning for the remodel can lead to bad decisions or overlooked needs. Planning for your kitchen remodel should take months, not minutes or even days. Think about what you want for the kitchen and then visualize it in your kitchen while you’re using it. Think about the placement of the appliances and sinks.

Think of the style you’re choosing compared to what most people in the area have and how much time you’ll get out of the design and features you choose. Then, play with the design for weeks or months to help you determine what works best.


5. Not Focusing on Storage

Cabinetry is an important feature in any kitchen but think about other storage options too. The more you maximize storage, the happier you’ll be with your final design.

You need storage that’s easily accessible and leaves room for all shapes and sizes. Of course, there’s no such thing as too much storage, but there’s certainly a problem when you don’t have enough. Work with your designer on maximizing storage, especially if there isn’t room for a lot of cabinetry.


6. Not Considering the Importance of Lighting

When you think about remodeling a kitchen, you likely don’t think of lighting. But it’s there, and that’s all that matters, right?


It’s a more important part of your kitchen design than most people think. Lighting adds to the kitchen’s ambiance but also helps its functionality. For example, it’s hard to cook and clean effectively if you don’t have adequate lighting.

Lighting can also be a form of décor in your kitchen. With so many lighting options today, it can transform how a room looks and feels, but without enough of it or making it an afterthought, it can take away from a kitchen’s appeal.


7. Forgetting about Ventilation

You might think a stove range is enough to keep your house from smelling like last night’s dinner, but it’s not. Instead, a range just recirculates the air, keeping the smell in the air.

A good ventilation system, on the other hand, will remove the smell from the house. It pulls the smells, smoke, and heat out of the house, keeping your house smelling much fresher no matter what you cook.


8. Not Including a Cushion in the Budget

No one can predict the future, especially with remodeling. A large kitchen remodel mistake people make is not accounting for emergencies.

When you create your kitchen remodel budget, consider adding a 15% – 20% cushion. This ensures you have money should the unforeseen happen.

For example, if the contractors must knock down drywall and find mold behind it. They’ll need to do more work than anticipated, increasing the remodel’s time and cost.

A cushion ensures you can handle whatever happens without causing financial issues mid-renovation.


9. Forgetting the Backsplash

A backsplash may be an afterthought, but it shouldn’t be. It’s an important part of the kitchen because it keeps your walls clean behind sinks and stoves. If you spend a lot of money remodeling but forget the backsplash, you could damage your carefully laid out designs while cooking.

In addition, the backsplash can be another part of the décor. For example, this is a great area to follow the trends or add color to your kitchen. As a bonus, it can make your kitchen look and feel cleaner.


10. Installing Cabinets before Flooring

The order you remodel your kitchen is important. If you do the tasks in the wrong order, you could spend more money and time on the renovation to make up for the kitchen remodeling mistake.

When you install cabinets before the floor, you don’t allow enough room for the floor to expand and contract. You also increase the complexity of fixing the floor if there is a problem because you must either remove or risk damaging the cabinets. 


11. Choosing Appliances Last

You might choose appliances last because they are the finishing touch, but they are an integral part of the planning.

The size and function of the appliances affect your kitchen’s design. For example, you must ensure there’s enough room to open doors or room for cabinets and appliances to fit together. When you don’t know the exact measurements of your appliances, it could cause last minute issues when you try to install them.


12. Overlooking the Kitchen Triangle

The look of your kitchen is important, but the function is even more important. You want to have what experts call the kitchen triangle. In other words, your kitchen’s most important appliances should be near one another – the sink, stove, and refrigerator.

If you think about it, these are the most important pieces of your kitchen when you’re preparing a meal. For example, the last thing you want is to have your hands full with food to realize you need something from the refrigerator and have to walk around other appliances to get to your refrigerator. 




When remodeling a kitchen, what should I pick first?

This might seem backward, but you should always pick your appliances first. They dictate how much room you’ll have for other features in the kitchen and ensure there’s enough room for opening and closing doors and using other functions. The next most important is the sink and lighting.


What is a realistic budget for a kitchen remodel?

The average kitchen remodel costs $28,279, but yours may cost more or less, depending on what you want. If you’re fully renovating your kitchen, budget at least this much, and talk to your designer about what to expect.


Final Thoughts

Avoiding the top kitchen remodel mistakes ensures you maximize your kitchen remodel benefits. While no remodeling project will be perfect, knowing what to avoid can help minimize mistakes and increase your satisfaction with your kitchen remodel.