How much does a small kitchen cost to design and install?

Asking how much does a small kitchen cost to design and install? Here’s the answer, including all of its elements

How much does a small kitchen cost to design and install?
(Image credit: Future)

If your kitchen is a compact room and it’s time to remodel, you’re likely asking how much does a small kitchen cost to design and install? 

A small kitchen does offer cost advantages with fewer cabinets and other materials to pay for. But there are base costs to consider as part of any kitchen remodel, and if space is constricted, installation costs could even climb accordingly.

Here, we’ve asked an expert to provide the lowdown on the cost of design and installation of a small kitchen so you can achieve success from your kitchen ideas and understand what the costs will be.

How much does a small kitchen cost?

Kitchen with subway tiles and blue cabinetry

(Image credit: Future)

Wondering how much the small kitchen ideas you've listed cost overall? Mallory Micetich, home care expert at Angi, explains: ‘A new kitchen will likely cost between $100 to $300 per square foot (£800 to £2,400 per square metre), but custom kitchen installation can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $125,000 (£3,700 to £93,000) depending on size, style and your existing setup. 

‘Small wet bars and kitchenettes can be as low as $5,000 (£3,700), a small second kitchen may be around $46,000 (£34,300)  and a new custom kitchen remodel can be as high as $125,000 ($93,000). If you have electric wiring, plumbing and gas (if you need it) already installed, the cost of your kitchen can be much lower.’

How do small kitchen costs compare to those for a larger kitchen?

Small kitchen with white cabinets, dining table and chairs and sofa beyond

(Image credit: Future / Jan Baldwin)

A small kitchen will cost less than a larger or open-plan kitchen on several counts. There will be fewer cabinets, and the total length of counters will be less. Less flooring will be required, as well as less paint for walls. Fewer appliances will lower the overall cost, too.

But bear in mind that although the space is smaller, a kitchen designer will spend time on devising solutions to the issues of creating a practical kitchen in a compact space, and contractors will still need to complete their tasks. 

Other costs like permits, demolition, and hauling will still be part of the final bill, too.

Think access issues, too. ‘With a tight kitchen layout and small entryways, installation can be more challenging with bigger appliances or features like countertops or islands,’ says Mallory.

How much does it cost to design a small kitchen?

blue kitchen with white countertops, exposed brick wall and shelving

(Image credit: Tom Howley)

Calling on a kitchen designer can result in a stylish and functional kitchen even with the space challenges of a small room, plus ensure it is up to code. Figure on a cost of around $100 to $200 (£75 to  £150) per hour, says Mallory. ‘Depending on the size and layout of your small kitchen, a designer can cost anywhere from $600 to $50,000 (£450 to £37,300) when it’s all said and done,’ she says.

How much do small kitchen cabinets cost?

farmhouse style galley kitchen with stone floor

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

Custom-built kitchen cabinet ideas cost around $1,500 per square foot (£12,000 per square metre) although they start from around $75 per square foot (£600 per square metre) for stock versions. 

But these are definitely an element of a small kitchen on which you can save. ‘Ultimately, your cabinets can range from $2,000 to $30,000 (£1,500 to £22,400) or more, but will be on the lower end for a smaller kitchen,’ explains Mallory.

How much does a small kitchen island cost?

A kitchen with a black island with white wraparound counter top, seating and black floating shelves on the wall

(Image credit: Davide Lovatti)

It may not be possible to accommodate kitchen island ideas in every small kitchen but if space allows, it’s a worthwhile part of a design, and islands can be of modest dimensions. 

And the answer to the question how much does a new kitchen cost when it comes to this desirable feature? ‘Kitchen islands can cost anywhere from $400 to $4,000 (£300 to £3,000) depending on size, layout and customization,’ explains Mallory.

How much do small kitchen counters cost?

Grey kitchen with marble backsplash and worktop

(Image credit: Future / Darren Chung)

The base cost of kitchen counters is, of course, the same for remodelling a small kitchen as it is for a large one because it depends on the material selected. Where you will save with a small kitchen is thanks to the fact it has a smaller total counter area. 

‘Marble is on the higher end, ranging from $2,000 to $7,000 (£1,500 to £5,200),’ says Mallory. 

Granite is less costly: think around $2,000 to $4,500 (£1,500 to £3,360); while a quartz counter might be around $4,500 (£3,360).

blue compact modern kitchen with small kitchen island

(Image credit: Studio Ashby/Alexander James Hexagon)

How much do small kitchen appliances cost?

Appliance costs for a small kitchen might total less than those for a large one simply because there are likely to be fewer of them given the space constraints. 

Naturally, prices don’t change. ‘Appliances vary greatly in cost, from less than $100 (£75) to over $5,000 (£3,700), depending on the item, brand and model,’ says Mallory.

How much does small kitchen flooring cost?

In response to the question how much does a small kitchen cost, flooring is another important factor. ‘The best kitchen flooring ideas range from $1,500 to $4,500 (£1,100 to £3,360), depending on square footage and material choice,’ says Mallory. And with a smaller floor, small kitchen costs will be lower in the range than those for a large room.

How much does small kitchen lighting cost?

Well considered kitchen lighting ideas are just as necessary for a small kitchen as it is for a large one with ambient lighting, task lighting, and feature lighting all contributing to make it a safe and comfortable space to work in, and a pleasant one in which to spend time. ‘Lighting will be an important part of your kitchen and can range from $500 to $2,000 plus (£375 to £1,500 plus),’ says Mallory.

The savings for a small kitchen compared to a larger one? This will come from the total number of lights required, but don’t forget labor costs for installation.

How much does small kitchen labor cost?

The kitchen designer is not the only pro whose costs you will have to build into your budget. ‘You will likely need to enlist the help of a contractor, electrician, plumber, carpenter, flooring pro, and painter, among others,’ says Mallory.  

‘Once these are combined, you can expect labor to account for around 25 per cent of your total project cost.’

In other words, if you plan to spend $20,000 (£15,000), labor will cost $5,000 (£3,700).

Does a new small kitchen add value?

The question how much does a small kitchen cost is important, but equally crucial to you might be the issue of whether it provides a good return on investment. 

A mid-range major kitchen remodel costing $75,571 sees 57.4 per cent of the cost recouped, while an upscale major kitchen remodel costing $149,079 sees 53.9 per cent of the cost recouped as national averages, according to the 2021 cost vs value report from Remodeling.

However, if you are thinking of selling your home, it’s important to note that a complete kitchen remodel will make it more attractive to buyers. And if you’re staying? ‘Particularly if your old small kitchen didn’t make the most of every inch, gaining a more functional room you’ll want to spend time has its own high value,’ says Lucy Searle, global editor in chief of Homes & Gardens.

Sarah Warwick
Contributing Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.