Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid


Everyone wants their kitchen renovation to be a success. Here are some of the most common kitchen renovation mistakes for you to avoid.

Kitchen Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Kitchen renovations can be a great way to update your home and increase its value, but they can also be a costly and time-consuming endeavour if not done correctly.

To avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your kitchen renovation is a success, it’s important to be aware of common pitfalls and plan ahead. From budgeting and layout to materials and trends, there are many factors to consider when planning your kitchen renovation.

Here are some of the biggest kitchen renovation errors that people often make, and how to avoid them.

Leaving too little space between the countertop and cupboards

One mistake that can make your space feel cramped and frustrating to clean is leaving too little space between the countertop and upper cabinets. Your countertop appliances need to be able to fit comfortably between the top of the counter and the bottom of your cupboards with enough space to use and move them. 

If there is not enough space between the countertop and cupboards, it can also make it difficult to clean the area. This can lead to a buildup of dust, grime, and other debris, which can be hard to remove and can make the kitchen look dirty and unkempt.

The standard recommendation is 18 inches from the countertop to the bottom of the wall cabinets, this will provide enough space for easy access, food preparation, and cleaning. However, if you have a big coffee machine, stand mixer, or other tall kitchen appliance, you might want to consider leaving more space. 

Forgetting about door clearance

Another common mistake is forgetting to take clearance into account. From your cabinet doors to your dishwasher, oven, fridge, and even your bin, it’s important to make sure that everything can be effectively opened and used in the kitchen. It’s not just to make your life easier; cabinet doors that open against each other are likely to become damaged over time, leading to decreased functionality and appearance. 

Ignoring the triangle

The chef’s triangle or kitchen triangle is a common kitchen design technique that can make all the difference in your new layout. The triangle refers to the space between three key components: the stove, the sink, and the fridge. These should all be close enough to form a triangle that you can easily move between them without obstacles. 

With the sink, stove, and refrigerator in close proximity to one another, it can make it more convenient to use these areas. This can save time and effort when cooking, cleaning and storing food.

However, the reasoning behind the work triangle isn’t limited to convenience. Making sure your layout uses the triangle is also better for safety; by having the sink, stove and refrigerator in close proximity, you can reduce the chance of accidents such as spills, burns and cross-contamination.

Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that the kitchen triangle is a guideline rather than a rule, and it’s important to consider other factors such as the size of the kitchen, the layout, and the needs and preferences of the household when designing the kitchen. 

Installing things in the wrong order

One major kitchen renovation mistake is installing your items in the wrong order. For example, installing your cabinets before measuring appliances can lead to a messy situation where nothing fits. Moreover, it’s ideal to install the cabinetry and countertops before the floor. This is because cabinetry and countertops are typically heavy and need to be securely attached to the wall and floor. It is easier to install them before the flooring is in place, since the flooring can be installed around them. 

Furthermore, installing cabinetry and countertops before the flooring can help prevent damage to the flooring during the installation process. For example, if the countertops are installed after the flooring, it can be difficult to move them around without scratching or damaging the floor.

Choosing materials that are easily damaged

No matter how careful you tell yourself you’ll be in your new kitchen, some wear and tear is inevitable. As one of the rooms in the house that is most likely to see spills, scratches, and burns, it’s important to choose materials that are resistant and easy to clean. 

Think about the placement of these materials too. If you want to use budget-friendly materials like MDF remember that these scratch easily, so it’s best to keep them out of sight. On the other hand, melamine-faced chipboard is also easy on the wallet but has a highly resistant and scratch-proof surface which is ideal for kitchen use. 

Another thing to keep in mind is whether your materials are resistant to moisture. As kitchens can be humid environments, it’s important to choose moisture-resistant materials that will not become damp or warped after exposure to moisture.  

Ignoring footfall patterns

When designing your new kitchen layout, you may be thinking primarily about cooking and dining. Creating the perfect chef’s triangle, a cosy breakfast nook, or a dining area might be priorities for you. However, it’s important to remember that the kitchen isn’t just for cooking or eating. In all likelihood, people will have to move through the kitchen to get to different parts of the house such as the front door or the dining room. There will probably be multiple people in the kitchen at a time and they need to be able to walk around without bumping into each other. 

Even if people aren’t walking through the kitchen to get elsewhere, keep in mind that there will often be multiple people using the space at once. You don’t want to be bumping into someone else every time you try to use the sink or the oven. Ensure that there’s enough space in the kitchen aisle and that key appliances are spread out so you don’t have to wait for someone to finish using the sink before you can open the fridge. 

Neglecting your storage needs

It may seem a little ridiculous to plan out where every single item will be stored in your kitchen, but it’s the only way to ensure that you have the right amount of storage for your needs. Think about how often you use items and where to store them – there’s no use installing a high-up cupboard to house a heavy appliance you use every day. Think carefully about what you use and when you need it and design the storage with this in mind.  

Not budgeting

With budget kitchen renovations costing around £6,200 and a high end bespoke renovation averaging at around £35,000, your new kitchen can quickly become expensive. This is why it’s important to budget carefully at the beginning and do as much research as possible to gain a clear idea of how much the project will cost. Keep in mind that it’s common for kitchen renovations to end up costing more than you estimate, so leave yourself some leeway in your budget. 

Choosing a too-big island

If you have the space, you may be tempted to add in a big kitchen island. And yes, a big island with a gorgeous countertop may seem like the perfect centrepiece. However, kitchen islands can quickly become bothersome; the bigger they are the longer it will take to walk around them. This can disrupt the flow of movement around the kitchen and leave you feeling frustrated. 

Moreover, the bigger the island is, the more likely it will become cluttered. You’ll gradually push stuff to the middle where it’s hard to reach and use. While a big island can seem great in theory, it’s not very practical. Keeping the island smaller and limiting the number of appliances or items on it is a good way to keep your kitchen feeling open and spacious. 

Getting caught up in trends

Everybody wants a trendy kitchen that is aesthetically pleasing and shows off their good taste. It’s only natural to want a kitchen design that incorporates the latest trends. However, kitchen renovations are expensive and permanent; you need to make sure that you make design choices that will stand the test of time. 

How can you do this? The best way is to opt for timeless features that are perpetually popular. For example, minimalist open kitchen shelving is currently all over Instagram and Pinterest, but will these remain popular or will they simply become cluttered and dated-looking in a few years’ time? 

In contrast, shaker-style doors have stood the test of time and are a timeless feature for your kitchen cabinets. Available to be tailor made in your choice of sizes and colours, these are both classic and versatile. Plus, they keep all your clutter behind the closed doors, ensuring that your kitchen continues looking clean and spacious.  

Renovating in the winter

Most people will advise that you begin your kitchen renovation in the spring or early summer. Depending on the scale of your renovation, you may be left without access to a proper kitchen for months. If you renovate in the warmer months, it’s easier to cook outside on a barbeque or rely on cold food such as salads and sandwiches to get you through. Nobody wants to be eating a cold salad for every meal in the middle of winter! 

Only using one type of light

Lighting in your kitchen is important – you need great visibility for preparing food and keeping the room clean. However, harsh lighting isn’t great for those times when you want to make the kitchen cosy for entertaining people. This is why it’s a good idea to use a combination of different lighting styles, such as under-cabinet lighting, spotlights, and wall lamps, allowing you to customise the space. Another option is to choose lights with a dimmer switch. 


By taking the time to consider these factors, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your kitchen renovation is a success. Remember to think about the needs and preferences of all members of the household, the resale value of the renovation, energy-efficient and sustainable features, and additional services like plumbing and electrical work. With the right planning and preparation, you can create the kitchen of your dreams and enjoy it for years to come. 

Need help sourcing the materials for your project, or want to install timeless cabinet doors? Cworkshop have got you covered. The London-based cut and edge specialists offer a range of different materials as well as made-to-order shaker-style doors that will make your new kitchen stand out. Head to their website today to get started on your kitchen renovation journey. 

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