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The 10' x 10' Kitchen

Can This "Benchmark Size" Help You With Your Kitchen Remodel?

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corridor style kitchen

Corridor Style or Galley Kitchen

Getty/Steve Cole

You see it everywhere, on billboards and Sunday newspaper home section ads: your 10' x 10' kitchen remodeled, only $4,500!

Or $12,500 or $9,999--whatever the price, it's always tantalizingly cheap.

Whether or not you actually want one, the 10' x 10' kitchen has become a type of standard currency of kitchen planning and remodeling, and it can be useful when planning your own remodel.

Who Really Owns a 10' x 10' Kitchen?

As it turns out, this is a common dimension for kitchens. In a widely-seen study, ABC News estimated that the last time U.S. kitchens even approached the fabled 10' x 10' size (100 square feet) was back in 1974, when kitchens averaged 150 square feet. My kitchen, built in 1950, measures well beyond 100 square feet (170 square feet).

Yet these figures include dining space. If we're talking about purely functional kitchen space, 100 square feet is quite realistic.

But 10' x 10' is a convenient yardstick to use when looking at kitchen costs: big enough to allow for placement of all major appliances and services, small enough so that kitchen floor space does not overly factor into the estimate.

10' x 10' Kitchen Often Just Means Cabinetry

Cabinet manufacturers often use the 10' x 10' term to describe the set of cabinets you will get (or would want) in a kitchen of this size. Artisan Cabinetry LLC lists their stock set of 10' x 10' cabinets as:
  1. Standard Base Cabinet
  2. 4 Drawer Bank
  3. Refrigerator Upper
  4. Standard Upper Cabinet
  5. Hood Cabinet
  6. Standard Upper Cabinet
  7. Extended Base Cabinet
  8. Sink Cabinet
  9. Standard Base Cabinet
  10. Extended Upper Cabinet
  11. Standard Upper Cabinet
Artisan's estimate for these cabinets runs from $4,700 to $5,400.

What Will You Get in a Full 10' x 10' Kitchen?

Are there any remodelers or builders who will build a full kitchen--not just the cabinets?

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 is out of the question.

  • The cabinets mentioned above.
  • About 15 lineal 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 Can the 10' x 10' Kitchen Help Your Kitchen Planning--Despite Its Size

If you're calculating a cabinets-only 10' x 10' kitchen, remember that you are not bound to a 10' x 10' floor plan. Cabinet manufacturers will suggest a floor plan (typically a corridor, galley, one-wall, or L-shaped kitchen layout), but what you end up getting are separate cabinets that lend themselves to variations. Just make sure ahead of purchase and delivery that these cabinets can be moved around the way you imagine.

If you're looking for a cabinets-plus-more kitchen, the appliances, services, flooring, countertops and other items can help you get a rough idea of costs. Like the cabinets, all of these items, too, can be arranged in different ways.

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