Basics of the 10-by-10 Kitchen Remodel Cost Standard

Modern kitchen

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Pricing kitchen remodels can be a nebulous activity. Once a factor changes, that has a domino effect of changing other factors. So, it's good to have a measuring stick, or reference point, for determining kitchen remodel prices.

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

10-by-10 Kitchen Basics

  • Standard of measurement for pricing out kitchen cabinets and full kitchen remodels.
  • This doesn't mean that your kitchen must be 10 feet by 10 feet. As a measuring stick, it can be scaled to size.
  • Full package 10-by-10 kitchens are basic, low-cost projects.

Ten-by-Ten-Foot: Default Average Kitchen Size

As it turns out, 10-by-10 feet (or measurements that total 100 square feet) is a fairly common dimension for kitchens—but only when you define a kitchen by the true food preparation space.

One study found that the last time U.S. kitchens approached the fabled 10-by-10-foot size (100 square feet) was in 1974 when kitchens averaged 150 square feet.

But these figures included in-room dining space. When discussing purely functional food preparation and storage space, One hundred square feet is close to realistic and typical.

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. This is a different standard from the full-package 10-by-10 kitchen estimate.

  • 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

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? Many will do this, 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. This type of kitchen is often installed for home flips, downstairs apartments, or for condos. They are good, serviceable kitchens that get the job done but rarely win awards for design.

In this type of kitchen, you'll be able to cook and dine. But you'll only have a moderate amount of room for a small kitchen table, nor will you have room for a kitchen island. Ten-by-ten kitchens usually include:

  • Cabinets
  • 15 linear feet of laminate countertop
  • 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. 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. Plus, 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.