Plan your kitchen remodel at Home Depot, Lowe's, or Ikea

Which big-box store offers the best service and biggest selection?

Published: July 09, 2015 08:00 AM

Planning a complete kitchen makeover? You’ll probably save by sourcing your purchases from a number of sellers. But for sheer convenience, you can’t beat buying everything—appliances, cabinets, counters, and flooring—in one location and paying a single party. National retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ikea aim to make the kitchen design process easier than ever.

Project-length estimates are based on a 10x10-foot kitchen. That might seem small in the real world, but it’s an industry standard that helps you compare prices. An in-home consultation, which is deducted from the project cost, includes a pro’s measurements. All three big box stores offer installation, too, and guarantee the labor even when done by subcontractors.

Here's what to expect when you plan your kitchen remodel and shop for appliances and remodeling materials at Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ikea.

Have you bought products for your kitchen remodel at Home Depot, Lowe's, or Ikea? Tell us about your experiences by leaving a comment below.

What you get at Home Depot

The largest retailer—with more than 2,250 stores in North America—estimates that most kitchens take three to 10 weeks to remodel. Many store designers are certified by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Routine training also makes use of NKBA courses. Software called My Kitchen Planner lets shoppers upload plans and share ideas with their designer. In-home measurements cost $49 to $99. The minimum for a full kitchen project is about $25,000. You can request a specific designer over the phone or at a store, or you can use the website to schedule an appointment. Labor is guaranteed for a year.

What it sells

10 cabinet brands

$50 to $300 per linear foot

12 countertop brands

$5 to more than $150 per square foot

About 7,000 sinks

 $100 to $400

More than 10,000 faucets

$20 to more than $200

412 fridges, 716 ranges, and 113 dishwashers

$270 to $8,550

 40 brands of flooring

50 cents to $6.20 per square foot

What you get at Lowe's

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The inventory doesn’t quite match that of Home Depot, but there’s still plenty to choose from. Both chains offer more online than in their stores. Lowe’s estimates that most kitchen remodels take at least nine weeks. Designers at the 1,770 North American stores often have interior-design backgrounds and all receive training, including information on the latest trends. Start with the Virtual Room Designer on its website. In-home measurements cost $75. Lowe’s says that the average job costs at least $20,000. Each store usually has just one designer, so if your ideas don’t click, you’ll need to go elsewhere—maybe another Lowe’s. Labor is guaranteed for a year.

What it sells

5 cabinet brands

$40 to $300+ per linear foot

6 countertop brands

$10 to more than $90 per square foot

More than 4,000 sinks

$60 to more than $3,000

More than 2,000 faucets

$15 to more than $1,900

692 fridges,
717 ranges, and 257 dishwashers

$240 to $8,740

 40 brands of flooring

$1.30 to $7 per square foot

What you get at Ikea

Ikea sells mostly its own branded products, so selection pales compared with the other home centers. But you might prefer the simplicity. On the plus side, everything they sell is on display in-store. Shoppers use Ikea’s Home Planner software to add cabinets, countertops, and other items to a 3D plan of their space. In-store specialists can help; they’re trained in design guidelines. In-home service, available if you live near an Ikea store, starts at $199. A kitchen (without appliances) costs at least $3,000 before labor and takes about seven weeks. Ikea uses outside installers but backs the labor for five years.

What it sells

48 cabinet-door styles

See store for prices.

5 countertop materials

$12 to $52 per square foot

16 sinks

 $27 to $413

15 faucets

$20 to $280

9 refrigerators, 9 ranges, and 8 dishwashers

$300 to $1,900

If you want to redo your kitchen floors, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Newcomers to consider

If you want more personalized service and upscale offerings—and you’re willing to pay more—consider Pirch and Waterworks, two high-end retailers.


With full-time chefs and other pros giving demos, Pirch encourages customers to linger in its eight expansive showrooms. The carefully trained technicians deliver and install products and perform long-term warranty work, making them the first—and only—ones to call if you have a problem. Though it doesn’t employ designers, Pirch can help you find one. It doesn’t keep in-store inventory but you can get anything, even brands sold at home centers. Complete kitchens start at $25,000— but that won’t get you that 60-inch-wide $16,000 La Cornue range in one of the kitchen displays.

Waterworks Kitchen

Waterworks is known for its luxury bathroom fixtures sold in 15 stand-alone showrooms (and other locations) and by more than 60 partners. The company entered the kitchen-design market last year with an all-kitchen showroom and kitchen sections in three existing showrooms. Waterworks sells its own private-label line of cabinets, countertops, faucets, floors, and sinks. It also has an array of accessories, from cutting boards to table linens. The retailer doesn’t sell appliances but has a partnership with Sub-Zero and Wolf, and in-house designers can advise shoppers on kitchen appliances from other brands, too.

Planning a kitchen remodel?

Find the best products and projects in our Kitchen Planning Guide.

And don't miss how one woman downsized her kitchen on a budget without sacrificing style.

Not a big box shopper? Here are the best places to buy appliances, according to our readers.

Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the August 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.



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