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10 Best Kitchen Upgrades

By: Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford in remodeled kitchen with granite countertops.

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We’re examining the 10 most popular upgrades that can make a big difference when remodeling your kitchen.

Improving Kitchen Lighting

There are a wide range of kitchen lighting options available to brighten up your kitchen, including:

  • Hanging pendant lights
  • Recessed ceiling lights
  • Over sink task lights
  • Under cabinet task lights.

Watch our video on Types of Kitchen Lighting to find our more.

Replacing Kitchen Countertops

If your old kitchen countertops have seen better days, it might be time to update them. Durable kitchen countertop materials are available in:

  • Plastic laminate
  • Solid surface
  • Tile
  • Granite

Watch our video on Choosing Kitchen Countertops to find our more.

Updating Appliances

There have been a lot of improvements in kitchen appliances in recent years in style, function, and energy efficiency. Stainless steel is the finish of choice these days in kitchen appliances, and larger refrigerators and stoves are also in vogue.

Watch our video on Choosing Kitchen Appliances to find out more.

Remodeled kitchen with granite countertops and range hood.

Installing a Range Vent Hood

While microwaves over the stove are popular and can provide some venting, a dedicated range hood vented to the outside is the best way to remove cooking odors and moisture from your kitchen. Stainless steel is a popular finish for range hoods today, as it is for appliances.

Read our article on Calculating Range Hood Size to find out more.

Painting Kitchen Walls and Trim

Applying a fresh coat of paint to walls and trim is a great way to give your kitchen a new look, just be sure to clean the surface thoroughly first to remove and grease and grime so the paint will adhere properly.

Also, use paint with a sheen—such as eggshell or satin—for kitchen walls and trim to allow you to clean it easily.

Watch our video on Painting Kitchen Cabinets to find out more.

Installing a Tile Backsplash

A tile backsplash not only provides protection to walls behind countertops, it can be used as a design element as well. Tile can be applied to the existing drywall in a kitchen using thin-set adhesive, and preassembled strips of mosaic tile can be used to accent the tile in the backsplash.

Read about our Ceramic Tile Backsplash Project to find out more.

Tile backsplash with mosaic insert.

Replacing Kitchen Sink and Faucet

Stainless steel kitchen sinks are still popular, though other options—like composite granite sinks—are also available. Undermount sinks are great with granite countertops, since they provide easy countertop cleaning, but can’t be used on plastic laminate countertops.

One hole faucets are popular, as are pullout spouts, which have replaced separate sprayers. Soap and water dispensers mounted next to the faucet are also useful additions.

Watch our video on Replacing a Kitchen Faucet to find out more.

Upgrading Kitchen Cabinets

Installing new cabinets can make a big difference in your kitchen, it’s an expensive investment. A more budget friendly approach is to replace the doors and drawers, while retaining the existing cabinets.

If your cabinets are in good condition, replacing just the cabinet knobs, pulls, and hinges can give a new look at little expense.

Watch our video on Kitchen Cabinet Upgrades to find out more.

Adding Molding

Installing wider crown molding around the ceiling or a chair rail molding in adjacent dining areas can really help to dress up your kitchen without a lot of expense.

Watch our video on How to Install Crown Molding to find out more.

Completed kitchen remodel.

Installing New Kitchen Flooring

Do to it’s durability, ceramic tile is still the floor of choice for kitchens, though hardwood flooring, both solid and engineered, has become popular in recent years as well.

Read our article on How to Lay a Tile Floor to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Drill Bit Depth Gauge

Drill Bit Depth Gauge

Often it’s important in home improvement projects to drill holes to a consistent depth to keep the bit from coming through the other side of the work. One way to do this is by wrapping a piece of masking tape around the bit to mark the depth leaving a section hanging out like a flat. Another more durable method is to drill a hole through the center of a scrap of wood that’s been cut to the right length, insert the drill bit through it, and use the block as a depth gauge. (Watch Video)

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Pullout Bathroom Faucet

Pullout Bathroom Faucet

The Catalina bathroom faucet from Price Pfister features a pullout aerator spout, which is so popular on kitchen faucets. The pullout nozzle has a 55” stainless steel hose and can be adjusted from spray to stream to make cleaning and other bathroom chores easier. The Price Pfister Catalina lavatory faucet comes in polished chrome or brushed nickel finishes and is available at The Home Depot.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Protective Bath for Flowering Bulbs

Flowering bulbs in bath

Before planting flowering bulbs in your garden give them a protective bath by mixing up a solution in a bucket of two gallons warm water, two teaspoons of baby shampoo, one teaspoon of antiseptic mouthwash, and one quarter teaspoon of instant tea. Dip each bulb in the solution and swirl them around for a few seconds before planting to reduce the chance of disease and encourage growth. (Watch Video)



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10 Best Kitchen Upgrades