Top 5 Kitchen Remodeling Decisions

By: Danny Lipford

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Kitchen remodeling is one of the most popular home improvement projects, but there are a lot of decisions and choices you’ll have to make along the way. Here are five of the biggest decisions when renovating your kitchen.

1. Cabinets

Before deciding on cabinets, it’s important to consider the function and layout of your kitchen, and update it to fit your needs. A professional kitchen designer can provide plans to organize the space available, as well as provide help in choosing the style, finish, and hardware for the cabinets.

When buying kitchen cabinets, determine the quality of the materials used in their construction. These include:

  • Particle Board: Used in low quality cabinets stocked at discount stores.
  • Furniture Board: Wood fibers bonded together with polyurethane resin, making it much more durable and water resistant.
  • Veneered Furniture Board: Similar to standard furniture board but faced with wood veneer for a more attractive appearance.
  • Plywood: High quality cabinets are made from hardwood plywood, which is formed from thin layers of solid wood glued together.

Your best bet when buying new cabinets on a budget is to choose middle of the line cabinets and add accessories to them, rather than splurging on top of the line cabinets.

2. Flooring

Options for kitchen floors include tile, stone, split brick, hardwood, and vinyl.

Though it involves additional labor, installing tile diagonally make for a more interesting pattern. To create even more visual appeal, inset small accent pieces where the tiles meet or add a contrasting border around the outer edge.

3. Appliances

Since the main purpose of a kitchen is cooking, it’s important to choose appliances that are functional and fulfill your needs.

Finishes include solid colors in texture or smooth surfaces, as well as stainless steel. Style considerations aside, how much you have in your budget to spend often determine the appliances you choose.

Gas ranges are generally considered better for cooking than electric. If you do go electric, consider a model with a convection oven, which can save both time and energy when cooking.

When choosing a refrigerator:

  • Determine the size needed in cubic feet.
  • Decide on a door design.
  • Select the type of finish desired.
  • Select an energy efficient Energy Star model.

Cleaning Tip

To clean stainless steel appliances, simply apply a small amount of baby oil to a soft cloth and wipe the surface down with it.

4. Countertops

A wide range of countertop materials are available today, from plastic laminate and solid surface to tile and natural stone, in many colors and patterns.

Factors to consider when choosing a countertop include durability, appearance, and cost.

Plastic laminate is the least expensive while a tile countertop can make a good DIY project. Natural stone, like granite, is durable though expensive. Since stone is porous, it needs to be sealed periodically to prevent staining. Manmade quartz is another option that’s both durable and maintenance free.

There are also a number of environmentally friendly countertops available today.

5. Fixtures

Selecting the right plumbing and lighting fixtures is another important decision when renovating a kitchen.

Lighting

Several different types of light fixtures are used in the kitchen to provide adequate light to all areas of the room.

They include:

  • Task Lighting: Under cabinet and track lighting provide localized light for specific areas.
  • Room Lighting: Recessed lights and ceiling fixtures give overall light to the kitchen.
  • Ambient Lighting: Pendant lights and walls sconces are used to set the mood of the room.

It’s important to wire lighting fixtures separately and include dimmers when possible to allow you to vary the lighting in the kitchen as needed.

Faucets

When choosing a faucet for your kitchen sink, take into consideration:

  • Style
  • Finish
  • Controls
  • Sprayer
  • Accessories

Other Tips from This Episode

Curtain Rod Spice Rack

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Curtain Rod Spice Rack

An expandable, spring-loaded curtain rod makes a great rack to store spices. Simply adjust the rod to fit inside a hanging cabinet and position it near the back above the other items being stored. Arrange the individual spice containers on the rod with the labels facing out.

American Standard Fairbury Faucet

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
American Standard Fairbury Faucet

The Fairbury Kitchen Faucet from American Standard combines a single control lever and pull down sprayer with pause control. Additional features include a ceramic disc valve and solid brass construction. The Fairbury kitchen faucet is available at The Home Depot.

Eating Organic Food

Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Eating Organic Food

When shopping for food, try to choose products with as few chemical additives as possible, and avoid those that use processes like chemical ripening and genetic modification. Instead, look for products labeled USDA Organic, indicating that they are at made from at least 95% organic ingredients.

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