Any major remodel can be a nightmare of never-ending decisions.
By using this kitchen remodel checklist, you will help keep your priorities aligned, your decisions simple, and your stress levels to a minimum.
We recommend taking your time and working through this checklist carefully.
Doing so will help you create an overall vision of your kitchen and help you finish your Louisville kitchen remodel in a timely fashion.
The Big Three
The three components that make up most of your budget and the overall look of your kitchen are cabinets, countertops, and flooring.
These three should be your first decisions to take off your kitchen remodel checklist.
- Replace or Reface?: If your cabinets are in good working condition, you can still change the entire look (and save some money) by refacing them instead of replacing them. If you want different cabinets, more cabinets, or your current ones are in poor condition, you’ll need to budget for brand new cabinets. Therefore, placing them as a priority on your kitchen remodel checklist is of crucial importance.
- Custom or Stock: If you opt for new cabinets, you’ll need to decide whether you need custom cabinets or stock. Custom cabinets have a longer lead time (sometimes several months) and will cost more. Stock cabinets only come in specific sizes, but can be ready faster and are less expensive.
- Color: The color of your cabinets can make a big difference in the style of your kitchen. Are you drawn to painted, stained, or unfinished cabinetry?
- Door Style: Knowing what style of door you prefer is important whether you decide to replace or reface. Research popular styles like shaker, glass front, bead board, flat front, etc. and see what appeals to you.
- Cabinet Accessories: Consider any mechanics or specialized cabinets you’d like such as pull-outs, soft close, built-in organizers, etc and include them on your kitchen remodel checklist.
- Material: The material you choose can bust your budget quickly. Granite is beautiful and popular, but you can save money by limiting it to high-visibility areas and using less expensive options like laminate, quartz, or tile everywhere else.
- Color: Spend time looking at images of kitchens you love and see what countertops they have in common. Do you prefer a solid colored piece or one with more details?
- Edge Type: When you’ve chosen your countertops, you’ll need to decide how you want the edges cut. Square or round tend to be the most popular because they are classic and easier to clean.
- Keep or Replace: The first question is are you planning to keep your existing floor or replace it? If you’re replacing the floor, this will likely need to be done first. If you’re keeping it, consider a refinish or at the very least a deep clean.
- Material: Consider all of your options including wood, tile, and vinyl plank flooring. Choose something that can withstand the drops and spills that happen naturally in the kitchen and something easy to clean.
- Color/Pattern: Consider carefully the color and patterns of the big three to ensure the cabinets, countertops, and flooring create a cohesive look.
These are the workhorses of the kitchen so it’s important to know what you need and the features you want. Your kitchen remodel checklist will give you a clear overview of the features you will have included.
4. Oven: The size of your oven might be predetermined based on your current kitchen layout, but there are several features to consider when choosing a new oven.
- Type: A range (standalone cooktop and oven combo), or a separate cooktop (built into your counter) with a wall oven are the two most common options.
- Gas or Electric: Gas and electricity both provide power but function very differently. If you have one, you can likely switch to the other, but you’ll need to check the connections for natural gas in your home.
- Finish: The most popular oven finishes are either black, white, stainless, or colored enamel.
- Number of Burners: Do you always seem to be short on burners when cooking dinner? Consider getting a cooktop that has additional burners or a double wide stove.
5. Vent Hood: This provides essential ventilation for your stovetop and can be a beautiful focal point of the kitchen, so do not forget to put it on your kitchen remodel checklist.
- Location: The vent hood needs to be directly over the stovetop. This can be a wall-mount vent, an under-cabinet vent, or an addition built into the island.
- Finish: The look and style of your vent hood may be integrated seamlessly into your cabinetry/counters or intentionally designed to stand out.
6. Refrigerator: Today’s fridges are basically chilled computers full of technology that is changing the appliance industry completely. You’ll want to consider which features are most important to you to avoid being overwhelmed. This is when your kitchen remodel checklist will be helpful the most.
- Door Style: First, choose between a French door, side-by-side, and/or whether you prefer the freezer to be on top or bottom.
- Ice Dispenser: Is an ice dispenser in the door a must-have or do you prefer ice to stay inside? Is a pebble ice-maker essential?
- Finish: Depending on the style of fridge you choose, you may be able to select between stainless steel, black, white, or custom cabinet surround.
- Size: Be sure to measure twice to ensure you choose a fridge that fits your space including space to open the fridge doors.
7. Dishwasher: Once you know the location of the dishwasher, you can narrow the choices by the appropriate size and the features that are important to you.
- One or Two: Many busy homes today are opting for two dishwashers to handle large families or entertaining.
- Finish: Do you want a stainless, white, black, or custom cover to match your cabinetry?
- Racks: What other features of a dishwasher are important to you? Two racks or three? Steam features or special washing modes?
8. Microwave: When it comes to choosing a microwave, the most important decision is whether it will be built into a cabinet or freestanding on the countertop.
Will it be built into the island or upper cabinets? Consider those who use the microwave frequently and where it will be easily accessed.
These are the areas of your kitchen that are important for daily function, so they need to be on your kitchen remodel checklist.
It’s important to be intentional about these areas and not let them become an afterthought.
Otherwise, you may have a beautiful kitchen that just doesn’t function well.
9. Pantry: Don’t let the pantry be an “oops, I forgot about that” thought. Know where you’ll actually store all of your food and how it will fit.
- Closet or Cabinet Style: Depending on the extent of your kitchen remodel, you may not have a choice in this. If you do, consider if you want your pantry to just be an extra large cabinet or a completely separate area next to the kitchen.
- Storage Types: Think of all the things you want to store in your pantry. Consider how many shelves, drawers, bins or containers you may need to keep it all neat and organized.
10. Island: This can be a great addition to a kitchen remodel that allows extra counter space and storage. So, including it on your kitchen remodel checklist as an option will be a good idea.
- Countertop: This may be the same or different than the rest of the kitchen.
- Appliance Layout: Consider adding another sink, or including the cooktop or microwave into the island.
11. Seating: Everyone needs somewhere to sit while eating. Consider how your kitchen will be used most frequently and select seating to accommodate.
- Where will people be eating?
- Will you have seating around the island?
- Barstools at the counter?
- A kitchen table with benches and chairs?
- Do you have a dining room?
- How is each seating space defined?
12. Sink: The sink is perhaps the most used place in the kitchen. Consider each detail before you purchase a standard sink.
- Finish: You may choose porcelain, stainless, copper, or even cast iron.
- Number of Bowls: One large sink is sometimes preferable, but other cooks prefer two, or even three.
- Disposals: Will there be one or more than one disposal?
- Style: Do you want a farmhouse, under-mount, or drop-in sink?
13. Faucet: The kitchen faucet should complement the kitchen style and be easy to use.
- Finish: This may be stainless steel, nickel, brass, bronze, or black.
- Function: Do you prefer the hose to be separate or integrated into the faucet.
- Handle: You may have the option to choose a single handle or multi-options. Touch, sensor, or traditional lever controls.
14. Trash: It isn’t always pretty, but every kitchen creates trash. Be intentional about it so it doesn’t become an eyesore in your new space.
- Inside a cabinet or free-standing?
- Trash compactor or standard can?
- Space for recycling or only trash?
- One location or multiple trash cans?
This is what makes your space really stand out, so you must include it on your kitchen remodel checklist.
If you’ve always wanted a pop of color, a chandelier, or a unique twist, these are six areas to add all those finishing details.
15. Backsplash: What are the materials, colors, patterns, or styles you love?
- Do you prefer tile, stone, or something different and unique?
- Do you want the backsplash to cover the entire wall or only a partial section?
- Do you like a focal point around the stovetop or a more uniform look?
16. Lighting: Select ceiling lights first and then pendants over the island if necessary. These lights can add a bit of style and flair to your space.
17. Cabinet Hardware: Do you prefer knobs, handles, or no hardware at all?
The finish of your cabinet hardware should match the finish of your faucet or other metal pieces in the kitchen.
18. Window Treatments: Do you have a big beautiful window that needs curtains, blinds, or shutters?
Balance window treatments with style and your natural light preferences throughout the day.
19. Rugs: Will you need a rug in the kitchen? What style or colors do you prefer?
20. Wall Color: If you intend on painting the kitchen, you’ll need to select a wall color and trim color that is cohesive with your other kitchen finishes.
When you’re ready to make a major investment into your kitchen, you want it to look beautiful.
You want to have all the details you’ve thought about and all those little extra touches that make it yours.
A dream kitchen starts with a plan and a well-detail kitchen remodel checklist.
One choice at a time creates a masterpiece you can enjoy for years.