Investing in a Kitchen Renovation.

December 18, 2023




The kitchen is more than the heart of the home. It’s the nerve centre. The ops room. Here’s where the daily action plays out. So, it makes sense that it should be one of the most beautifully functional rooms in the house. A timeous upgrade that is well planned and impeccably executed with the best quality products will offer a twofold ROI. Firstly, it will add immeasurably to everyone’s kitchen experience – for years – and that’s priceless. Then, you have the assurance of a good return when you put your house on the market.

There’s no point in breaking it to you gently because there’s no other way to put it ... a kitchen renovation can be a costly business. There. We said it. Of course, it’s not just the considerable expense, investing in quality fittings and finishes. It’s also the discomfort you’ll be suffering during the process. But, good news! We’re able to take a lot of the pain away and we’ll tell you how later on in the blogpost, so keep scrolling.

Let’s hear it from our kitchen guru partners, Easylife Kitchens (ELK). ELK’s Monique da Costa frames it beautifully: "Embarking on a home renovation is not just about enhancing the aesthetic appeal; it's a journey that breathes new life into your home. From sleek modern designs to timeless classics, the possibilities are endless. If we consider a kitchen renovation specifically, it all comes down to planning. A well-planned kitchen renovation isn't just an investment in your property; it's an investment in the joy of cooking, entertaining, and creating lasting memories with loved ones in a kitchen you can feel proud of.”

Just about every reliable source out there speaks the same language when it comes to a kitchen renovation. What they say: You should follow the 5% - 15% rule, which means your kitchen remodel should cost no less than 5% of your home's value and no more than 15%. ELK has a more conservative estimate, recommending that you budget between 5% and 8% of the value of your home (including the land) when planning a kitchen remodel... but this includes the kitchen cabinets, worktops and installation, and excludes appliances, sinks, brassware, flooring and wall tiles.

It’s worth it in the long run to make smart purchases with regard to quality, durability and lasting good looks. A prospective buyer will be looking to tick all these aspects off on a long and exacting list, accompanied by very close onsite scrutiny. Put yourself in their shoes. Wouldn’t you pay more for quality? Italtile products are, without a shadow of a doubt, an investment purchase.

A very bright bunch of experts called have some solid straight talk about South Africans and our homes: seeing them as not just lovely places to live in, but also, as “instruments of wealth creation”. While many of us have hung on to our property assets – thank you COVID – and maintained them during the tragic state of the property market back then; relief is at hand. The property market is recovering, slowly. But. Potential buyers are being quite picky and choosy, and the brainboxes join the choir of professional voices that strongly suggest a WISE kitchen renovation will positively affect the resale value of your home. (The healthy ROI we spoke about.)

Here’s a list of touchpoints to consider to ensure a good investment, with a few Italtile style suggestions sprinkled here and there.

Space Creation. Create as much space as possible: sufficient counter and cupboard space is a must. Remember too, the importance of enough clear walkway space. A compact kitchen might need a slimmer kitchen island, for example.

Cabinetry. Upgrading your cupboards etc can be as inexpensive as a lick of paint with new handles and hinges. Or it can be a major overhaul with fresh new cabinetry ... cue EasylifeKitchens. We trust our partners implicitly when it comes to functional kitchen fittings of the highest quality, with splendid looks and good bones. The ELK reputation was forged on shared values of peerless quality, solid build and superb attention to detail. Kitchen visionaries for 31 years, they really know their way around a kitchen remodel.

Style Integrity. Be true to your home’s aesthetic. Beware of pouring money into a state-of-the art gourmet kitchen if it does not match the look of the rest of your home. An older Cape Dutch style home, for example, can’t support a minimalist, modern steel-and-glass kitchen. Be sensitive and honour the aesthetic. (Here’s where our interior design-certified sales consultants and our Residential Agents can help. Both are free services for our Italtile customers. #justask )

Countertops. Natural stone is the dream, no? A very popular option, indeed. But at Italtile we walk a very green path and advise our Italstylistas that natural stone and wood is not a sustainable option. Added to which, natural stone is a living substance and is porous; this means it’s liable to crack, scratch and stain over time.  The smart money’s on our gorgeous eco-chic local and imported porcelain tiles that remaster those natural feels with remarkable artistry. Good quality porcelain tiles also offer durability: highly resistant to heat, impact, sun damage and chemicals. So the not inconsiderable outlay for stunning tiles will be amortised over the years... and your tile looks won’t date. Elegance is timeless.

Now here’s a bright idea. A kitchen island clad with your choice of drop-dead gorgeous porcelain tile will create talkability for days. And durability for years. Going Classic? Browse our large format marble-look tiles. Urban or contemporary? Investigate our Marbo Flakes terrazzo-style tile, or our minimalist and textural Form Cement tiles. FYI, porcelain tiles as furniture cladding is a rising phenomenon; gaining traction at Cersaie for the last few years.

The Splashback Miracle. Never underestimate the power of a fresh and crisp new kitchen splashback to create a feature and spruce up a tired kitchen. Italtile offers a myriad of stunning possibilities. From our classic Black and White Tiles or forever-on-trend Subway Tiles, to a huge selection of Mosaic Tiles, or perhaps our more adventurous, contemporary Origami Satin White with its sophisticated yet playful 3D ripples. The kitchen splashback is the one place you can indulge your love of colour and get away with it. From an investment point of view, it’s a small fix for a potential buyer if they don’t vibe with your little blast of bohemian patchwork.

Let there be Light. Lighting in kitchens is crucial. First prize is a flood of natural light from big windows. Then, choose light fittings that match the general look of the kitchen. Use down-lights underneath the cupboards or in bulkheads to light splashbacks and countertops.

Sinkspiration. Invest in the very best quality you can afford. The best sinks provide not just contemporary good looks, but also those all-important hygiene factors, with easy-to-clean surfaces that are designed to avoid microbial contamination. Browse our Franke Fragranite and Tectonite supermodels, which offer a modern aesthetic, durability with both impact and heat resistance, and the peace of mind of a 5-year guarantee. If it’s the nostalgia of a farmhouse kitchen you’re after, look no further than our handmade Shaws of Darwen Shaker Sinks. Made for life.

Tapology. Once again, we’re pointing you in the direction of high-end, eco-chic items, like our waterwise Tivoli Taps, made in Italy, designed to last for years and years. All Tivoli taps offer a flow limiting capability. Durability? Well, there’s a cast-iron 15-year guarantee and an extended warranty on the cartridge.  Browse these beauties in your own time ... there are simply hordes to choose from. But if we were to point you to our faves, how about the Tivoli New Road Mixer (an exceptional, professional chef-style model) or the ultra-modern Tivoli Match Sink Mixer with Grey Spout Insert. Then again, you can add some urban energy with the Tivoli Varano Black and Matt Gold Mixer. On the hunt for something completely different to elevate your minimalist kitchen? The spectacular Nobili Levante is an everyday work of art and will impress like no other.

Floor them with your Tile Choice. A kitchen floor is a heavy traffic area and needs to take the knocks and bounce back beautifully. Folks, this is where Italtile’s top notch matt glazed porcelain tiles are your friends: offering not just timeless elegance, but also slip-resistance, impact-resistance and stain-resistance, for decades of beautiful use. Take a walk through our wood-look tiles. Browse our cement and screed look tile collections. View our stone-look tiles.

Be Careful with Colour. While you might have a deep yearning for a mauve kitchen, your potential buyer might not. Sorry, but there it is. Vivid, unbroken colour in any of the rooms can be a total turnoff. If you’re fixated with bursts of pure colour, rather keep these to soft furnishings, which can be uplifted when you move. Our advice is always go hush-hush lush with neutrals for universal appeal. Quiet Luxury wins every time. Rooms layered with textural creams, mushrooms, whites and browns sell themselves. The place for colour, though, is on the kitchen splashback. Have fun here, be witty, splash some pattern or colour.  Check out our feature tiles.

Italtile’s Professional Residential Agent Service. Firstly, thank you for making it this far! But it’s so worth your while, because here’s where you discover the pain relief we were talking about earlier. This is a free, dedicated end-to-end service we offer all our Italtile customers (no hidden costs) to assist you with your build or reno so you can concentrate on keeping it together at work and at home through a very trying time. Our Residential Agents are design-certified, with deep product knowledge and a great deal of experience in the planning of, and processes involved in, any home build or reno project. You get the benefit of both practical and creative advice. Have a look at our completed residential projects that benefitted from the Residential Agent touch.

Beware Over Capitalisation. How much is enough? How much is too much? Over capitalisation happens when a homeowner improves a property so extensively that the cost of the renovations, added to the selling price of the house, exceeds the current market value of the property. There are many wise ways to avoid over capitalisation. Do some research. Snoop around the homes in your area and study the average prices of houses in your neighbourhood. Do a comparison with the state of your own home vs the state of other homes out there. Get a property valuation.

Use the renovation percentage guide we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

Do what you can afford. Start with the least costly improvements. But. Even if you keep your renovations modest, ensure you #investinthebest products. Speak to our interior design-certified sales assistants for initial advice and style guidance. And then take it up a notch with an Italtile Residential Agent.  

Invest in your kitchen. Add value to your home in the long run. And live beautifully.