Complete Kitchen Remodeling Checklist: Your Dream Kitchen Is In The Details

Are you starting a kitchen remodeling project? If you are, you probably know there are so many small decisions that you have to make along the way. Going through a checklist like this should be the first step in your kitchen planning process.

It’s possible that you don’t have the budget for everything you want. If you have an unlimited budget, that’s something to be grateful for. If you don’t have an unlimited budget, hopefully this list will help you to prioritize what’s most important to you.

You should prioritize your kitchen wants into three categories: must have (high), nice to have (medium) and if there’s anything left in the budget (low).

kitchen Remodel master Checklist

I’ve created a master checklist of the things that you need to consider when you remodel your kitchen. If you want a pretty checklist with spaces to write in and a ranking system, click this link. If not, you can use this checklist and a piece of paper to help you determine if you have made all of your decisions or you still have lots more to go.

  • Cabinets
    • Replace cabinets or reface with new doors
    • Color – painted, stained or unfinished
    • Custom or pre-made
    • Door style – shaker, glass front, bead board, flat front, other
    • Drawer mechanics – soft close
    • Cabinet inserts – shelves, drawers, pull-outs
  • Countertops
    • Material – granite, quartz, wood, laminate, marble, tile or other
    • Color – solid or with pattern
    • Edge type – square, rounded, other
  • Island
    • Countertop
    • Appliance layout (sink, cooktop)
    • Seating
  • Sink
    • Finish – porcelain, stainless, cast iron
    • Number of bowls – one or two
    • Style -farmhouse, under-mount or drop in
  • Backsplash
    • Material – tile, stone, other
    • Color/Pattern
  • Floor
    • Keep or replace
    • Material – wood, tile, vinyl plank
    • Color/Pattern
  • Faucet
    • Finish – stainless, nickel, brass, bronze or black
    • Hose separate or integrated
    • Single or multi handle
  • Oven
    • Type – range, cooktop or wall oven
    • Gas or electric
    • Finish – white, stainless, black or a color
    • Number of burners
    • Width
  • Microwave
    • In cabinet, under stove or free standing
    • Finish
  • Vent hood
    • Wall mount, under cabinet, island, ductless
    • Width
    • Finish – stainless, black, white, custom
  • Refrigerator
    • French door, side-by-side, bottom freezer, top freezer
    • Ice dispenser in door or inside
    • Finish – stainless, black, white, custom
    • Cabinet surround?
    • Upper cabinet?
    • Width
    • Depth
  • Dishwasher
    • Finish – stainless, white, black, other
    • Integrated
    • Racks – 2 or 3
  • Lighting
    • Pendants
    • ceiling lights
    • finish – satin, black, brass, bronze, other
  • Trash
    • Inside cabinet or free standing
  • Cabinet Hardware
    • style – knob or handle
    • finish – brass, brushed nickel, black, bronze, other
  • Window treatments
    • curtains, blinds, shutters or bare windows
  • Rugs
    • Where could you use a rug?
    • Material
  • Wall Color
    • Wall color
    • Trim paint color
  • Pantry
    • Closet
    • Cabinet
    • Storage types – shelves, drawers, bins

How to use the kitchen remodel checklist

If you are remodeling your kitchen, print out the PDF version of this checklist. Print it out and begin making notes under each heading.

If you are working with a kitchen designer, they may have their own checklist, but this one can help you to prepare for a meeting with them. It will save you time and potentially money if you have your priorities sorted out before a meeting.

If you aren’t working with a designer, it’s important to use this checklist for your own plan. Fill out each section. You should do this before you make any purchases for your kitchen.

What To do if you have no idea what you want?

The first thing I like to do with any room redesign is to head to Pinterest or my favorite magazine clippings. If you have magazine clippings that you collect, pile all of the kitchen ones into one stack.

If you are using Pinterest create a kitchen board and start pinning kitchens that you like. At the start you should pin any and all kitchen images that you like.

Once you have about 20 images of kitchens that you like go back to the board with fresh eyes. See what your pins (or clippings from magazines) have in common. For example, do they hall have white cabinets, or the same color countertop? Do they have similar metal finishes for the knobs and lighting? Do they have similar colors? Or are they all neutrals?

Try to reduce the pins/clippings to your top five to ten images. Now you should start to see patterns coming together. Use these 10 images and go back to your checklist armed with knowledge of what you like best about these kitchens. Now start to prioritize them on the checklist.

If you need to you can start over as the image in your mind of the perfect kitchen becomes more clear. You will find that writing down what you want help to crystallize the plan in your mind.

Wall color last decision on the list

You may notice in this checklist that wall color is at the very bottom. I believe that colors are important, even if you love only a neutral space.

I don’t think walls are the most important place to incorporate colors in your kitchen. Even a kitchen with white walls can have lots of color if its used in other places. For example, a colorful backsplash, colorful curtains, a colorful rug or colorful art. These are ways to bring lots of color into your space without painting the walls a color.

I like to keep walls neutral to serve almost as a canvas for the rest of the kitchen design to shine.

what’s next?

Now that you have a master checklist, it’s a good time to meet with contractors. You can read more on how to find a good contractor here. If you are curious about what to expect in terms of what comes first and what comes second, read this article that outlines the order in which a kitchen remodel happens.

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  1. Andrea, when I get ready to take on my kitchen I now know who to call! I am ready to take on the bathrooms in my house, but oh, my a kitchen is so many decisions and so much work, oh, and so much money, too! I know I have a major kitchen remodel in my future, but not too soon!!

  2. Hi Andrea this list is amazing! thank you so much, by any chance do you have something similar for bathrooms?

  3. Lori Beck says:

    I would like to know what order do I decide things? i.e. do I pick out backsplash first and then countertops and then floors?

    1. Lori,

      The first step I would recommend is finding one or two images of kitchens that you love and see what elements they have in common (flooring and countertops). I would start with flooring, then countertops and lastly a backsplash. The reason is that floors are the hardest to change, countertops can be changed fairly easily if you want a change down the road and the backsplash is very easy to replace.

      I hope this helps.


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