Using 10-by-10-Foot Package Pricing to Plan Your Own Kitchen

Modern kitchen

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You see it everywhere, on billboards and Sunday newspaper home section ads: "Your 10-by-10 kitchen remodeled, only $4,500!" Or maybe it is $12,500 or $9,000; whatever the price, it's always tantalizingly cheap.

Whether or not you actually want one, the 10-by-10-foot kitchen floorplan has become a standard currency when discussing and comparing kitchen planning and remodeling strategies, and it can be useful when planning your own remodel.

Who Really Owns a 10-by-10-Foot Kitchen?

As it turns out, 10-by-10 feet (or measurements that total 100 square feet) is actually a fairly common dimension for kitchens—at least when you define a kitchen by the true food preparation space. In a widely seen study, ABC News estimated that the last time U.S. kitchens even approached the fabled 10-by-10-foot size (100 square feet) was back in 1974 when kitchens averaged 150 square feet. But these figures included whatever in-room dining space the room contained. When discussing purely functional food-preparation and storage space, 100 square feet is quite realistic and typical.

Really, though, the 10-by-10-foot standard mostly serves as a handy convention to use when evaluating kitchen costs from different cabinet manufacturers and remodeling contractors. A space with 100 square feet is big enough to allow for all major appliances and services, but small enough so that kitchen floor space does not overly factor into the estimate.

Estimates Often Mean Cabinetry Only

Cabinet manufacturers frequently use the 10-by-10-foot standard to describe the set of cabinets that typically will fit in a kitchen of this size. For example, Artisan Cabinetry LLC lists its stock set of cabinets for a 10-by-10 kitchen as:

  • Standard base cabinet
  • Four-drawer bank
  • Refrigerator upper
  • Standard upper cabinet
  • Hood cabinet
  • Standard upper cabinet
  • Extended base cabinet
  • Sink base cabinet
  • Standard base cabinet
  • Extended upper cabinet
  • Standard upper cabinet

Artisan's estimate for these cabinets runs from $4,700 to $5,400. You can get a good sense of the relative costs of cabinets from other manufacturers by looking at their costs for that same theoretical 10-by-10-foot kitchen.

10-by-10-Foot Full Kitchen Estimates

Are there any remodelers or builders who will build a full kitchen—not just the cabinets—for the 10-by-10-foot price quote? Yes, but keep in mind that you will get the basics and not much more. This is a no-frills, entry-level kitchen with "contractor-grade" materials. You'll be able to cook, but you'll barely have enough room for a small kitchen table. And entertaining in such a question is out of the question. Such kitchens typically include:

  • The cabinets mentioned above
  • About 15 linear feet of laminate countertop (i.e., Formica or Wilsonart)
  • Electric four-burner range
  • Dishwasher
  • Refrigerator
  • Double-basin sink with fixtures
  • About 85 square feet of sheet or tile vinyl flooring

How to Use the 10-by-10 Concept for Your Own Kitchen

Remember that the 10-by-10-foot price estimate for cabinetry does not necessarily mean that the kitchen must be a square room—merely that the cabinet package is sufficient for rooms that are roughly 100 square feet in total space. Cabinet manufacturers will suggest a floor plan (typically a corridor, galley, one-wall, or L-shaped kitchen layout), but you will be getting separate cabinets that lend themselves to floorplan variations. But before you purchase them and take delivery, just make sure that these cabinets can be moved around in the way you imagine.

If your kitchen food preparation area is larger than this 100-square-foot average used in cabinet pricing, you can also pro-rate the package, adding a cabinet or two "a la carte" to fit a larger space. What the 10-by-10 price estimates allow you to do is compare costs between different cabinet manufacturers, no matter how many cabinets you actually buy.

If you're comparing "cabinets-plus-more" pricing from different remodeling contractors, the same flexibility usually applies: The appliances, services, flooring, countertops, and other items can be arranged in different ways, and upgrades to individual components can be made. But the basic 10-by-10-foot pricing will help you accurately compare the costs from different contractors.