What do Australians Spend on a New Kitchen?

Many renovators find themselves a little stuck when it comes to deciding what to spend on a new kitchen. Kitchen companies find it hard to design a kitchen for you if you are unclear on the budget they are to work within and renovators find it hard to come up with a budget in the first place because television renovation shows, (where favours are called in and huge discounts are given) and stealthy kitchen advertising campaigns perpetuate an unrealistic notion of what a new kitchen really costs. So, what do Australians spend on a new kitchen?

Kitchen Budget Versus Actual Spend

Choosing a kitchen manufacturer is tricky. Kitchens are not mass-produced in 4 standard sizes ready to purchase and slot neatly into an empty room. There are a number of variables to factor in and that is why people are often taken by surprise when a kitchen cannot be delivered for the same price and time frame as seen on ‘The Block’.

Setting a budget can be a difficult task. When people ask us what a new kitchen costs, “how long is a piece of string” comes to mind. Budgets vary greatly depending on the desires of the homeowner, the size of the kitchen and the extent of the renovation. One person’s ‘basic medium sized kitchen’ may be another’s ‘tiny kitchen with little storage space’.

To give an idea of what other Australians actually spend on a new kitchen, there is no point in looking at the budgets people set for themselves. A far clearer picture is gained if we look at what they have spent once the kitchen is installed. If you take this into account when setting a budget for your kitchen renovation you will be able to stick to it because it is a true reflection of the cost of a kitchen, not a hopeful figure plucked out of thin air.

Kitchen Renovation Costs 2017

According to a recent study by Houzz.com.au, almost a quarter of homeowners spent more than $40,000 on their kitchen renovation. However, the most common spend (38% of homeowners) was between $20,001 and $40,000. On either side of that common spend were 23% spending $10,001 – $20,000 and another 23% spent above $40,001. Only 16% spent less than $10,000 (most likely for small-scale cabinet additions and kitchen facelifts).

What do Australians Spend on a New Kitchen?Unsurprisingly, nearly 30% of kitchen renovators budgeted to spend $10,000 or less. Yes! – Almost double the number that managed to spend so little. It is not because homeowners were ‘sucked in’ by clever salespeople that forced unnecessary additions upon them. Australians know what they want and don’t want in a kitchen, our problem is simply that we haven’t been given a true sense of what a new kitchen costs.

Looking at the lower end of budgets, it is worth bearing in mind that kitchen renovators surveyed covered a variety of kitchen renovations from an update of cabinet doors or benches to a full kitchen overhaul. As with all statistics, it is important to take them with a grain of salt.

How much should I expect to spend on a new kitchen?

Most Australians spend $20,000 – $40,000 on a full kitchen renovation.  As this covers all kitchen sizes, it can be presumed that smaller kitchen renovations are on the lower end of this range and larger kitchens closer to the top of this range. Higher end kitchens featuring more premium finishes would be found in the $40,000+ bracket. Basic kitchen renovations (such as those specifically for rental properties) and minor kitchen renovations (such as a few new cabinets rather than an entire kitchen replacement) would be in the range below $20,000.

Fashion Versus the Choices Real Australians are Making

Some desire an on-trend kitchen to match their carefully curated home, others want a timeless kitchen to serve them many years into the future. The research from Houzz reveals that Australians are fans of the timeless in their styling choices.

Kitchen Colour Choices

Australians love a white kitchen. About a third of kitchen renovators chose the crisp freshness of a white kitchen. On-trend grey and black cabinets came in at 18% and 12% respectively.

For more information about colour choices, see our handy guide here.

Bench-top Materials

Stone and engineered stone bench-tops constitute 50% of new kitchen counters. The clear favourite for bench-tops is engineered quartz followed by granite and laminate. Timber is making a comeback in feature bench-tops or a contrasting shelf.

For more information about bench-top materials, see our handy guide here.

Kitchen Flooring

Wood (natural, engineered or bamboo) is the clear first choice of over 50% of renovating households and tiles a distant second at 19%. Like all natural materials, there is a timeless element about them that ensures your kitchen renovation will stand the test of time rather than date quickly.

For more information about kitchen flooring, see our handy guide here.

As always ensure you visit the showroom of the kitchen manufacturer you intend to use before trusting their product. Even the cheapest kitchen manufacturers will tell you they deliver a quality product. You can make your own assessment of their product if you see it in the flesh.

Considerations to Make Before Deciding What to Spend on a New Kitchen  

The extent of your kitchen renovation

  • Is it a complete renovation or a facelift?
  • If it is just a facelift, are your cabinets structurally sound?
  • Can you remove the offending elements of your kitchen without compromising the integrity (structural or cosmetic) of the elements that are to remain? Even removing a seemingly small element such as a splashback can be a difficult task. The glue is so strong that it can remove chunks of the plasterboard beneath.
  • Will you be changing the layout of the kitchen? A change in layout means plumbing/gas/electricity access must be considered.
  • Building works – are there any modifications to the walls/ceiling/windows that need to be addressed?

The elements you would like to include in your new kitchen

  • Materials for bench-tops, cabinets, doors and floors. Make yourself familiar with what the economical, mid-range and premium materials are so that you can ensure the look you love falls in the right price bracket.
  • What large appliances do you use, or would you like to use. Do some groundwork to find out what your outlay is likely to be. Will they be integrated or not?
  • What do you need to store in your new kitchen? The beauty of renovating a kitchen is that it is built for you and your storage needs. Make sure you take the measurements of all large items in your kitchen so that you can find the perfect place to store them. There is nothing worse than the excitement of new furniture being dampened by items it is too small to accommodate. 

Choosing a Kitchen Manufacturer

  • Buy Australian made – kitchens constructed in Australia must adhere to strict standards, kitchens constructed overseas do not have to adhere to these standards. Australian made ensures a higher quality product and ensures Australians are employed.
  • Ensure hardware is high quality and covered by warranty. Test the drawers and doors in the kitchen showroom and ensure your kitchen will be fitted with the same. Some companies have the best on display, but it must be specifically requested to be installed in your kitchen – don’t get caught!
  • Materials and finishes on offer should be high quality and long lasting. Showrooms are there to give you an idea of the quality of finish and the strength of construction.
  • Be wary of salespeople who are overly pushy. Make sure you give yourself enough time to feel you are comfortable with your decision. It is too easy to end up with a lower quality product and less of your own input into the design. Getting swept up with a pushy salesperson can make you regret the decision later because you haven’t had enough time to ensure all your boxes are ticked.

A new kitchen is far more than a new set of cupboards. Set your budget carefully and get the kitchen you were expecting, not a shadow of what you’d hoped for.