Thursday, February 21, 2013

Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Kitchen

You've probably heard time and time again that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. This is primarily because they are the rooms that are the most expensive to renovate due to their more permanent features such as counter tops, flooring, cabinetry etc. It takes more than a coat of paint to bring a dated kitchen or bathroom into the present.
But, if your kitchen is lack-luster, don't despair; there are a number of things you can do to spruce it up that won't leave your cupboards bare!

I know I said that it takes more than a coat of paint to bring your kitchen out of the past, but painting is not something you can neglect to do either. You spend so much time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up that you eventually don't even notice the walls anymore. Any other changes you do will only draw attention to the surrounding walls, so make them sparkle again with a new colour or even just a clean coat of the existing colour.

You'd be surprised at how hardware can date a kitchen. Aside from painting, changing your cabinet hardware and drawer pulls is the least expensive change you can make and has quite an impact. Your old cabinets will thank you!

If you can't afford all new cabinets, you can opt to just change the doors, or even stain or paint the existing ones. This will be one of the most drastic changes you can do and it will be well worth the effort. If you choose to paint, be sure to clean your doors thoroughly and apply a good, high quality primer before painting.

It's a big project to update your floors if you already have a hard tile floor, but it doesn't have to be an expensive one. With ceramic as low as $1.25 sq. foot and porcelain for as low as $2.50, there are many options to choose from that won't break the bank. You just need to get past the work of tearing the old tiles out. If you have vinyl sheet or tile on your floor, you've got it a little easier. You can put a new floor right overtop of the one you have. For a stylish, contemporary look, consider laminate flooring. It can be cost effective, much less labour intensive that laying tile and offers a variety of finishes. You can go for the traditional wood look or go for a natural stone look as shown, such as Hampton Bay's Ivory Porcelain (available at Home Depot for approx. $3.25 sq ft.).

Another permanent fixture in the kitchen, counter tops can put the brakes on a money conscious update. But, you don't necessarily have to replace them; if you update your cabinets and hardware, redo your floor and choose the colours and finishes to compliment your counter, you can often leave it as is. If it's absolutely crying out to be changed, you don't have to go over the top with granite or natural stone. There are laminate manufacturers that offer some really convincing granite and stone colour choices. I like them with a gloss finish because it has that authentic polished look. If laminate doesn't quite agree with your budget, then you can be brave and purchase a refinishing kit, such as Beauti-Tone's Counter Top Refinishing Kit (available at Home Hardware for around $200) or Gianni's Granite Paint Refinishing Kit (available on line and at various retailers for under $70). The kit from Giani's is very reasonably priced but does require some artistic ability, so if you choose this option, make sure you use their supplied practice sheet to make sure you get the look you want. But, if done well, this kit is quite a nice one.

Applying all, or even just some of these changes will transform your kitchen enough that it will be one of your home's selling features instead of a drawback.

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