How to Remodel a Kitchen

You might very well be crazy. Unlike any other home remodeling project, kitchen renovation encompasses so many things–from the raw to the sublime, from the picayune to the important–that it can easily overwhelm even the most determined homeowner. On the other hand, a fine kitchen remodel instantly raises the value of your home, provides you with a more effective cooking space, and makes you the envy of all of your friends.

What Are My Needs and Desires?: Is your kitchen a disaster zone where you can’t even manage to boil an egg? Or do you just want to freshen the place up with new appliances, countertops, floors, and cabinets? A need might be: I need kitchen cabinets because my current ones are falling apart. A desire might be: I desire a new dishwasher because my current one is ugly and noisy, though it works perfectly well.

Lay Flooring That Works Best in Kitchens

Kitchen floor is laid after the heavy work of building, drywalling, and painting to save wear and tear.

Vinyl, Tile, Engineered Wood, and Laminate Flooring

Vinyl is the least expensive flooring choice and can usually be laid in one day. Tile requires the application of cement backing board and must be adhered with mortar and then grouted. Each step requires drying time. Even with inexpensive tile, this flooring option can be costly because of the labor involved. Engineered wood feels like solid hardwood (its surface finish is real wood), but it is fairly moisture-tolerant. Laminate flooring is a highly popular choice for kitchens because of its tolerance to moisture. Unlike engineered wood, laminate is scratch and dent resistant. Solid Hardwood: Hardwood is less popular because water, if not quickly mopped up, can warp it. However, with proper care, it is a viable choice for the kitchen. Installers can lay wood in an average-sized kitchen floor in three days.

These Kitchen Colors Shouldn’t Work. But Somehow They Do.

Kitchen colors should promote feelings of warmth and happiness. They should stimulate your senses and make you want to linger in the kitchen with the guests long after the party is over. Other colors turn your stomach. What works in one area of the house doesn’t necessarily translate to the kitchen. Black is a great color in home movie theaters. Yet it’s a dicey proposition for kitchens and must be used sparingly. Red is the most popular of the least popular kitchen colors. While great for little kids’ rooms or accent walls, it can be too overpowering for a kitchen. And blue–the bete noire of many homeowners–can make you feel gloomy and sad. If tweaked properly, it not only can work but it can make your kitchen shine.

Kitchen Remodeling Plans

Most of us begin our kitchen remodeling plans with a “What the heck is that? or “Why did the previous owners do that?” or some other incredulous statement or thought. Kitchen remodeling plans originate from frustration and sometimes anger. I have been through this many times, and the kitchen planning process that I am referring to is the internal planning or the conversational planning between spouses or partners. We have not yet reached the kitchen planning stage of CAD, blueprints, and designers. If you can get these kitchen planning basics thoroughly down and out of the way, you will save yourself considerable money down the road:

Function First: Few other rooms in the house have such functional value as the kitchen. If a house is a machine for living, then a kitchen is a machine for cooking. Concentrate on the main functional areas of the kitchen first–prep areas, cooking, refrigeration, dishwashing–and work the aesthetics around that.

Service Zones You Don’t Want to Tamper With

The ideal kitchen remodel is one where nothing moves. However, in the real world, kitchen remodeling involves moving the puzzle pieces around a bit. Some areas that are difficult or costly to move: vented range hood, sink, dishwasher. Electrical outlets can pose a problem, but it can be done. Electric stoves require a special outlet, too.

Zones You Can Move with Less Difficulty: Refrigerators, even water-equipped models, can be moved. Cabinetry is an easy move. Range hoods that do not vent to the outside are simple to move, too.