There are many decisions to be made when planning a kitchen remodel and the process and available choices can often seem overwhelming. The best place to start, however, is with a budget. Determine how much you can afford to spend and then decide what is needed most, and where you might compromise, to stay within those parameters.
Cabinets and Flooring
Many people begin planning for home improvement with the kitchen cabinets. They aren’t just for storing food and drinks, but are actually a major style element in the room and are often the focal point of the entire kitchen. Cabinets are a major expense in a remodeling project, sometimes accounting for about half of the accounted budget.
Prices vary considerably according to the type, style, and materials used. Whether they are stock, semi-custom, or custom-designed will also have an effect on the price. The first step is to choose the style and color you want by first considering the style of your home. Cabinetry is widely available to fit traditional, country, contemporary, or modern décor.
Once you have chosen the style, you will need to decide on the layout of the room. Are you happy with the current configuration or do you want something more functional? Consider any additional features you might want, such as pull out shelves, wine racks, or other storage options. There are many styles of accent hardware. The handles you choose should fit the overall décor of the room.
When selecting flooring, it’s important to base your decision on both aesthetics and function. Kitchens are high-traffic areas in most homes and you will want a durable floor for everyday use. Of course, you also want the floor to match the overall design of the space.
Consider the price, as well as the quality. Ceramic and vinyl tiles are very common and both are affordable. Vinyl is the least expensive choice. Hardwood or stone flooring are both more expensive alternatives, but add beauty. Hardwood is functional, but requires more maintenance. Stone is very durable and long lasting. Darker grout with stone, or ceramic, tiling is good for resisting stains.
Countertops and Fixtures
Countertops should match the style of both the cabinets and the floor. They are priced according to the material used in their manufacture. Granite, slate, and marble are durable, but also expensive. Corian is another durable solid surface that is very popular. Consider the function of the counter and how it will be used.
Sinks are generally not very expensive, but this depends on what they’re made of. Sinks are available in a variety of materials and prices (stainless steel and porcelain are the most common). Cast iron with enamel is durable, but can chip and scratch easily. Faucets also vary in price and style. As always, look for fixtures that match the décor of the kitchen.