How much does a new kitchen cost in 2021? Plus 20 ways to make it cheaper

Being in the know about new kitchen costs will help you create a dream room at a price you can afford in 2021. Expert tips can help you stay on budget.

New kitchen cost
(Image credit: deVOL)

New kitchen costs span an enormous range so that budgeting for your new room can seem like a daunting prospect. The size of the room is important, naturally, but with everything from DIY shed designs to bespoke handmade kitchens on offer, it’s no wonder that there is enormous variation in costs.

But don’t despair if you’re on a tight budget as there are ways to save on the average cost of a new kitchen. We’ve asked the experts for their advice on how to cut down on spends for this home improvement project so that you can bring your favorite kitchen ideas to life, for less.

How much does a new kitchen cost?

The good news is that a new kitchen design can cost from as little as around £3,000. And for that, you'll need to shop very smartly at a DIY store or Ikea for good quality units that don't break the bank. This is for the units only, however, to which you will need to add the cost of the kitchen worktops, which will be from around £200 for laminate, which is likely to prove the lowest budget option. If you’re buying new appliances you’ll need to add the cost of these, and fitting of the new kitchen – unless you have the DIY skills – is on top, too.

Altogether, the average cost of a new kitchen in the UK is likely to be around £8,000.

How much does a new open-plan kitchen cost?

The cost of a new open plan kitchen really depends on your space. Are you going to have to knock down walls to create your open-plan layout? Add any new windows or doors? These kinds of jobs are where the extra cost will come in and they can cost more than the kitchen itself. 

You might also need to build on to your existing home to create an open-plan kitchen so factor in kitchen extension costs as well as those of fitting out the room when planning your extension.

But if you are simply remodelling an already open plan space, the price will be similar to your average kitchen so again anywhere from £3,000 upwards. But do bear in mind that an open-plan space tends to be larger than the average kitchen, and includes more elements that need to co-ordinate for a cohesive feel; this means the cost of refurnishing and accessorising the room will be incrementally greater.

open plan kitchen diner with industrial feel by fritz fryer

(Image credit: Fritz Fryer)

What's the cost of individual elements of a kitchen?

The question how much does a new kitchen cost actually has many elements to it, including cabinets and handles, worktops, appliances, sinks and taps. Your kitchen needs to last so think value as well as price tags to make best use of your budget.

‘The most important thing with kitchens is to make sure the carcasses of the units are rigid and are a minimum of 18mm thick,’ says Rob Lessmann, founder of Design’d Living

‘Flat pack units will save you money on unit cost but your install costs will go up so it’s worth working out the difference and seeing if you can afford a better quality unit. 

‘By going for a simple, handle-less design in matt or gloss you'll generally save money. Handles add a large cost to any design both for install and the cost of the handle itself. 

‘You can save money on appliances by going mid range rather than high end. Think of those that you’ll use most and invest there, then look at slightly more reasonable options for the appliances you won’t use as often. 

‘Sinks and taps can also provide cost savings and are often on offer, so shop around for the best discounts and see if they offer package options.’ 

Rob’s favourite worktops are quartz. ‘It may cost more to start with but it will last,’ he says. ‘Worktops will start from £4,000 but will last the life of the kitchen.’

However, if you are on a tight budget, laminate work surfaces will prove cheaper, followed by wood. ‘Stone will cost around £3,000 to £3,500 for a full kitchen,’ says Malo Tasle, director at InHouse Inspired Room Design.

How much does a bespoke kitchen cost?

If you’re investing in a bespoke kitchen your costs will, of course, be higher. 

‘How much to spend on a new kitchen will be down to personal circumstances,’ says George Forsyth of Drew Forsyth & Co. ‘As a guide, it’s usually 5 to 10 per cent of the value of your home.’

For a £30,000 kitchen, the budget would break down as follows, he explains:

Furniture £9,000 to £11,000 (30 to 35 per cent)

Worktops £4,500 to £6,000  (15 to 20 per cent)

Appliances £4,500 to £6,000 (15 to 20 per cent)

Sink and taps £300 to £1,500 (3 to 5 per cent)

Delivery and installation £4,500 to £6,000 (15 to 20 per cent)

kitchen with dark units and island in wood finish and dining area

(Image credit: Chris Snook © Future)

20 ways to make a new kitchen cost less

So, you've finally decided a kitchen revamp is in order. You've spent hours on Pinterest creating board after board of new kitchens inspiration; you've been to every kitchen showroom in the country; you've meticulously planned exactly what you want... Then, you receive the final quote. Turns out that unless you want to remortgage your house or never go on holiday again, you are going to have to make your dream new kitchen cost less. Thankfully, there are some simple ways for you to do just that. 

1. Re-use materials to save on new kitchen costs

White shaker style kitchen by Brayer Design

(Image credit: Brayer Design)

‘Most kitchen renovations start with the old kitchen going in a skip, but if you want to keep new kitchen costs to a minimum, think about what’s saveable,’ says experienced renovator Jason Orme.

‘In many cases the carcasses can be reused and, with a bit of work and new doors, will look as good as new. Worktops – particularly if they are solid granite or quartz – can be recut, saving you hundreds of pounds. ’If you have too few units, you may be able to buy more, or opt to use them on just one wall. Alternatively, consider using old units if you are planning a utility room.’

2. Reduce wastage

Distressed vintage cabinetry in kitchen

(Image credit: Future/Douglas Gibb)

Just because your old kitchen is no longer to your taste, doesn’t mean it is scrap. If you’re not re-using existing materials such as floorboards, doors, radiators and units, they can be sold and the money can go towards your new kitchen costs. Try Ebay, Gumtree or contact your local reclamation yard.

‘It’s true that one person’s trash is another one’s treasure,’ says Laura Crombie, brand development director of Real Homes, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Livingetc and Gardeningetc.

‘We sold our old kitchen and appliances for £350, as well as our old furniture, to help pay for the replacements. It’s much better for the environment than things going to landfill.’

Reducing wastage could also reduce the cost of your new kitchen as you may not need to pay for a skip or disposal. 

3. Be selective with expensive fittings 

Kitchen painted in dark green and white to make the small space feel bigger

(Image credit: Future/Brett Charles)

Simply having a few investment pieces paired with more budget buys will help ease kitchen renovation costs but still up the quality of your space.

‘If you can’t afford to fit out your whole kitchen with bespoke units, consider commissioning just a central feature, such as a statement kitchen island, and make up the rest of the kitchen using standard, basic quality units to cut new kitchen costs,’ says experienced renovator Michael Holmes. ‘The same can apply to worktops – use granite or similar for the island and then cheaper timber or laminate elsewhere.’ 

4. Rethink existing kitchen space

Utility room separated from main kitchen by Masterclass Kitchens

(Image credit: Masterclass Kitchens)

Remodelling and re-using existing space can solve many of the frustrations you have with your inherited kitchen. ‘Modern requirements for utility rooms, drying rooms and even larders can often be satisfied by making use of what’s already there,’ says Orme.

‘The obvious merging of a dining and kitchen area by knocking through could easily add two metres of space for a walk-in larder or utility room, for instance. This takes the pressure off the new kitchen when it comes to kitchen storage and usability, reducing new kitchen costs and minimising disruption.’

5. Reduce structural alterations in a kitchen renovation

open plan kitchen diner with contemporary style and some scandi features by garden trading

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

If you do not need to extend, then linking the old and new spaces so they flow seamlessly is not something to compromise on, but costs can often be reduced through thoughtful design.

‘For instance, retaining part of the existing walls or introducing a steel or concrete column can shorten spans and reduce the size and cost of the steel beams required,’ says Michael. Extending a house to get the new kitchen you want? ‘It’s better value to add a square-shaped extension with a simple pitched roof, instead of adding complicated curves and angles,’ he says.

6. Choose end-of-line kitchens to cut new kitchen costs

white shaker style kitchen with terracotta tiles and plants

(Image credit: Floors of Stone)

No one will ever know if your 'new kitchen' once stood in a showroom and you paid a bargain ex-display kitchen price.

‘If you’re extending, there may even be scope to design your space to suit an ex-display kitchen – and if you’re not, then the company will usually be able to add/remove a few units to make the kitchen work in your space,’ says Michael. End-of-line appliances, sourced online via specialist distributors, can also be real bargains.

7. Consider buying a used kitchen

blue kitchen with white worktops with large island unit and white walls

(Image credit: Used Kitchen Exchange)

As an alternative to an ex-display kitchen, think about opting for a used one. It could enable you to get a high quality design that your budget wouldn’t stretch to if it were new. 

In order to ensure you will be happy with your purchase, inspect carefully. ‘If buying locally then always ask to view the kitchen prior to purchase or, if purchasing online, request lots of photos that show every angle and those that show details close up,’ says Helen Lord, founder of Used Kitchen Exchange.

What about the size of the kitchen? ‘In the case of a pre-owned kitchen, buying one a little bigger than you need gives you far more flexibility with reconfiguration,’ says Helen.

8. Avoid moving utility meters and services

‘Unless it is an essential to radically alter the orientation or usability of a kitchen, try to keep the sink, dishwasher and cooker in the same position if costs are an issue,’ says Orme.

‘That way, you’ll be minimising the amount of additional electrical, gas and plumbing work that is needed to realise the new design – and save hundreds of pounds in the process.’ And, if you can, avoid having to move your gas and electricity meters, as they cost £1,080-£1,320 each to relocate.

9. Shop smarter to cut new kitchen costs

black kitchen cupboards with marble worktops

(Image credit: Aleksa Studio)

It can be all too tempting to walk into a beautiful showroom filled with new kitchens, but when you’re designing a kitchen on a budget, you need to check that it offers the best value for money. ‘The more you can plan ahead, the more chance you’ll have to shop around,’ explains Jason.

‘The cost of kitchen units, worktops, doors, taps, sinks and cooker hoods varies wildly and if you can wait for sales and spend time researching prices you can save £1,000s on the total cost.’ Consider shopping with online-only retailers, which don’t have the same overheads as companies with showrooms and can therefore keep costs down, but always check reviews and ask to see samples of everything before you order.

Or, go for a ready-to-paint kitchen and paint the kitchen cabinets yourself to make your new kitchen cost less. 

10. Can you fit new kitchens yourself?

Installation of the kitchen itself can be a key contributor to cost – typically installers estimate £50 per 60cm element, plus extras, meaning a typical kitchen can easily cost £1,500 to £2,000  to install. You can cut this cost by installing the units and doors yourself from flatpack, which any medium-skill DIYer should be able to manage. 

It’s also relatively easy to tile walls using online tutorials as a guide which will have you save on you kitchen renovation cost. But always leave worktops and the electrical and plumbing elements to the professionals.

11. Upgrade a cheap kitchen carcass 

Blue kitchen by Husk

(Image credit: Husk)

A recent trend in the world of kitchens, and definitely one that helps make a new kitchen cost less, is upscaling cheap kitchen carcasses from places like Ikea to give them a more expensive, bespoke look. Companies like Plykea and Husk make doors, drawers, worktops and more to fit Ikea's kitchen cabinets, but give your kitchen more of a handmade look. 

It's really easy too. Simply design your dream scheme using the handy Ikea Kitchen Planner Tool, then send to your upscaling company of choice with your pick of doors, drawer fronts, cover panel facades and worktops, and they will do the rest. All the fronts arrive complete with pre-drilled holes and fixing holes that make them as easy to assemble as the rest of your flat-pack kitchen. 

12. Mix vintage freestanding furniture with a new fitted kitchen

wooden kitchen with pantry and wooden table

(Image credit: Douglas Gibb)

So you've had you heart set on a built-in, bespoke pantry cupboard or a gorgeous (but way too pricey) Welsh dresser? Instead of blowing half your budget on one piece, cut the costs of your new kitchen by buying them second hand. You'll find some gorgeous, cheaper, pieces on places like eBay, Etsy, even Facebook Marketplace has some gems. Plus, we love the look of a few unique, freestanding pieces mixed into a new kitchen; it works particularly well if you are after a rustic, farmhouse kitchen look.

13. Add more worksurface space with a kitchen island

Kitchen with kitchen island

(Image credit: Amara)

Need more worktop space in your kitchen? Consider kitchen island ideas – a much cheaper option than adding an extension or knocking down walls. 

‘An island can be compact – from around 1m by 1m – and still be really useful, and you can scale up from there depending on the size of your room,’ says Lucy Searle, editor-in-chief of Homes & Gardens. ‘Bear in mind that an island does require sufficient space around it: cabinet doors, drawers, oven and dishwasher doors opposite should open without obstruction, and the kitchen’s users need to move around safely. Factor in a clearance of at least 800mm all round for the most compact island, and 1m or more for a larger version.’

14. Repurpose parts of your old kitchen

Kitchen with pink paint from Farrow and Ball

(Image credit: Farrow and Ball )

This goes without saying for appliances. If your larger appliances still work, then keeping them rather than replacing is an obvious way to cut back on your new kitchen costs. But you can also repurpose or re-use parts of your old kitchen. Maybe your wooden worktop just needs a bit of TLC and you could re-use it? You could also reuse it to create a kitchen island or a breakfast bar. The same goes for your kitchen doors: if you can't salvage them with a lick of paint, consider reusing them in a utility room or even your garage.

15. Shop the sales for your kitchen appliances 

Don't overlook the fact that buying new kitchen appliances is going to substantially up your new kitchen cost, so make the most of sales! Be on the lookout on big brands sites like Currys, John Lewis and because you can usually find deals all year round. Even if they aren't that obvious, search for clearance sections that are usually hidden away, sign up for newsletters so you know when sales are happening or just keep an eye on our deals page.

16. Choose kitchen fitters wisely

Finding the right companies and tradespeople to work with could save you thousands, with even the same kitchen varying in cost from different builders. 

Most kitchens come in set styles – for instance, Shaker kitchens or handleless units – so, once you’ve chosen the look you want, get quotes from at least three different kitchen companies or fitters to ensure you're getting the best deal.

Remember, the cheapest may not be the best if not all of your requirements are met. Follow the same process with plumbers, electricians, tilers and, if needed, installers, to ensure best value for money. 

To find a good builder and avoid cowboy builders always ask for references from past clients and, if possible, visit homes where they have completed similar work. Finally, always get a written, itemised quotation so you know exactly what you will be paying.

17. Consider alternatives to a package service

dark blue kitchen with island open plan to seating area

(Image credit: B&Q)

‘Rather than going for a package service that includes design, the products and appliances, and installation, shop around,’ says Crombie.

‘You can often find a local kitchen fitter who will install your units far cheaper than a big kitchen company will. And if your DIY skills are up to it, consider installing the units yourself. Don’t attempt to fit worktops, though, it’s a specialist job and you need to know when to call in the experts.’

18. Know where to spend and where to save on a new kitchen

Where to save your money in a new kitchen

Appliances: If you’re changing your fridge-freezer, washing machine or cooker, take advantage of holiday sales and outlet stores for specific brands like Miele, Hotpoint or Whirlpool. It could be worth a trip to save £100s on your white goods, oven and hob. 

Kitchen sink:  A stainless-steel sink is hard-wearing, easy to clean, resistant to high temperatures, and cost-effective. But be wary of choosing the cheapest steel option as this may scratch and dent easily.

Kitchen tiles: Shop around for the best price. Your tiles won’t be exposed to as much wear and tear as your flooring or worktops, so a budget-friendly ceramic can be just as good as pricey porcelain or cement options. Experiment with unusual arrangements; try laying great-value metro tiles in a herringbone pattern and fill with an on-trend coloured grout – simple but effective.

Drawers and pull outs: ‘Cupboards cost significantly less than drawers and pull-outs,’ says Malo Tasle of InHouse Inspired Room Design.

Veerusha Diah and Yogesh Bhola's extended Woodford Green home is an uber-stylish space to hang out

(Image credit: James French)

Where to spend your money in a new kitchen 

Kitchen taps:  In use every day, you want one which will not only look good, but will last. Consider size, shape and water pressure for a perfect fit.

Fixings:  A quality fixing – we're talking door handles and knobs and hinges – will be long lasting and allow ease of use. Even if you choose inexpensive cabinets, good fixings can make a huge difference.

Kitchen worktops: A natural focal point, they need to be hardwearing but you can get a variety of durable kitchen worktop materials. If you’re going for laminate, avoid cheap versions as they can chip and damage easily, while quality laminates can look convincingly like stone and composite. Timber is warm and stylish but requires maintenance. For a statement in an urban-style kitchen, consider stainless steel. 

Corner units: ‘I would always recommend spending a little more on corner units, as well-engineered corner pull-outs are far superior to basic corner cupboards,’ says Malo Tasle. ‘They maximise every inch of space, and save you having to get on the floor to reach items at the back.’

19. Go for shelves rather than wall units

A dark grey kitchen with a background wall in the same color with open shelving, dining table and stainless steel cooking hood

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

‘Try open shelf units instead of traditional wall units – these can create a great feature,’ says Neil McDonald, Design Manager at Moores Kitchens.

Keeping the items you use daily on the shelves can be a time-saver, too, as it makes them easy to access. Add in some more decorative items as well to give your kitchen personality.

20. Use laminate instead of lacquer or veneer finishes 

If you love the look of timber but it’s beyond your budget, laminate can be a great alternative. ‘Laminate wood effects are an increasingly popular solution that evokes the rustic look we love to create with wood, without compromising cost,’ says Malo Tasle. ‘Modern laminates are incredibly durable.’

Laura is Brand Development Director for Real Homes, focusing on digital content. She has written about homes and interiors for the last 12 years and was Deputy Editor and Editor of Real Homes before taking on her current position. She's currently renovating a 1960s house in Worcestershire, doing as much as possible on a DIY basis.