Kitchen Remodel: THE COMPLETE GUIDE

 

kitchen-remodel-cornerstone-header

 

I have done many full kitchen remodels in my life. During my first kitchen remodel many years ago, I assumed the process would be quick and easy and that we could execute it seamlessly on our minuscule budget. Oh how wrong I was. While the end result WAS what I wanted and DID fit within our budget, it was not without it’s setbacks. It took twice as long as I had originally expected, and we had to change many design decisions to make it work. The education I got was valuable, but not 100% necessary. Educating yourself before you start a kitchen remodel can save you stress, money and time. Needless to say, my second remodel went MUCH more smoothly. That is why I’ve set out to create the COMPLETE GUIDE TO A KITCHEN REMODEL. I hope to use my personal and professional experience to make your kitchen remodel go as smoothly as possible.

INDEX: (Clicking will take you directly to that section)

I will also provide additional links in each section that will take you to an even more in depth article should you be interested in more information on the topic.


 

MISTAKES TO AVOID BEFORE STARTING A KITCHEN REMODEL

 

1. Not knowing what your home is worth

Your budget will depend largely on what your home is worth, and what other homes in the area are worth. You do not want to do a $50,000 kitchen remodel in a home worth $150,000. It will only cause you to loose money in the end. Do your research. Sites like Zillow can be used to see the value of your home or homes in the area, as well as give you an estimate of what your home might be worth with specific improvements.

2. Not understanding the Return On Investment

If you are doing a kitchen remodel, it’s for one of two reasons. 1. You plan on staying in your home long term and want to bring your personal style into the space. OR 2. You plan on selling in the next few years and you want to increase the value of your home (and maybe also make it beautiful while you’re there).

  • The first thing you need to do is ask yourself “Am I staying in my home more than 5 years or less than 5 years?” This question will effect your budget. You can spend more on a remodel for your long term home. You can also make different design choices. If you plan on staying, consider spending near 15% of your homes value on a kitchen, 5% – 7% on a bathroom.
  • If you are staying fewer than 5 years, you will spend less on your kitchen remodel. Your design choices also need to be made to increase your return when you sell. You will make more neutral color choices, buyer popular material choices, and try to get the most bang for your buck. If you plan to move within 5 years spend no more than 10% of your homes value on a kitchen remodel, 3% – 5% on a bathroom.

Obvioulsy, you need to know the value of your home for this to work!

3. Not educating yourself before starting

The great news here is that you’re already on the right track just by reading this article. You need to be educated about the process to have a successful experience. You need to know how much you can spend, if you want to do the installation yourself or hire someone to install, and what your style is, if you want to change your kitchen layout while remodeling, and if you want to work with a designer. We will cover these issues in the article below.

Helpful links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. Top 5 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes Homeowners Make
  3. 5 Renovation Mistakes You Can’t Afford To Make
  4. Most Frequently Asked Questions Before Remodeling

 


 

PAYING FOR YOUR KITCHEN REMODEL

This is always at the top of the list when it comes to most important questions before remodeling.

  • Obviously, cash is king. If you can afford to pay for your remodel up front, we will always suggest that. However, there are times that you may not have the money to pay for your project straight out of pocket. In situations where you are selling your house, you may need the remodel to get the money back out of your investment. We completely understand that.
  • At Builders Surplus, we offer several financing options. We work with Wells Fargo and Synchrony Financial (Formerly GE Capital) to provide great financing options for our customers. This comes with 6 month 0% interest, so this is a great option if you’re selling your home or can pay it off in 6 months. Remember, interest will apply after 6 months.
  • One of our quartz countertop vendors, Cambria, offers up to $55,000 in financing for customers purchase just 4 square feet or more of their product. You can use these funds on ANY remodeling project, not just your countertops. The terms are great, so if you qualify, it’s an awesome option.
  • There are several other financing options that you may want to look into, such as a home equity loan, or second mortgage. We encourage you to please talk to a financial advisor to decide if these choices are right for you. For many people, it’s a solid option.
  • Credit Card. This is definitly last on the list because of the high interest rates many change. However, if you want to rack up cash back or travel miles and have the money to pay it off quickly, it could be a good option. Just do your research first!

Before starting a job, any contractor or remodeling company will need to have the payment arrangements taken care of, so don’t be caught off guard. Know the options and their pros and cons before hand. If you have any other financing questions, do not hesitate to ask us.

 


 

HOW TO BUDGET FOR YOUR KITCHEN REMODEL

Now that you know how much your home is worth and how much you can safely spend on your kitchen remodel, let’s go over how to break it down:

 

 

Budget Breakdown:

  • 35% on Kitchen Cabinets
    • Choosing a budget friendly cabinet option could lower this number
  • 20% on Labor
    • This number can increase, especially if you’re getting a lot of custom work done.
    • You can eliminate some of this if you decide to do it yourself (will discuss more in depth later)
  • 15% on Appliances
    • Luxury appliances will undoubtedly increase this percentage.
    • Eliminate this if you’re keeping old appliances or lower if you’re buying used.
  • 5% on Sinks, Lights & Hardware, Backsplash – Accessories
  • 10% on Countertops
    • You can focus more here if you plan on living in your home for many years.
  • 15% Reserved for Unexpected Expenses
    • Don’t think you’re the one person who won’t need it. In our experience, 95% of remodels need these funds. If you are one of the few who doesn’t encounter any surprise issues, then you’ve just found some new money! Your experience will without a doubt turn sour if you need this money and didn’t budget for it.

**You’ll notice that we did not budget anything for a kitchen designer. While we feel it is very important to work with a designer, all of our kitchen design services are FREE at Builders Surplus, so no budgeting is necessary. If you plan on going somewhere for your products that does not offer this service, or you have a specific designer in mind, please budget according to the designers specific fees. See more on working with a designer below.

Helpful links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. How To: Do a Kitchen Remodel on a Budget
  3. White Kitchen: Timeless, Versatile, Budget Friendly

 


 

WORKING WITH A KITCHEN DESIGNER

 

 

At Builders Surplus, we offer FREE design services, so we highly recommend you use them. There are many reasons for this.

  1. They know the typical unforeseen issues that can occur and can bring these to your attention.
  2. They know the product materials and brands better than anyone. They can help you find the exact products that will work for you and your family. This could include family friendly materials (easy to clean), pet friendly materials (durable), waterproof materials, Eco friendly materials, and more. The time it would take you to research all of these options would be intense. Use their wealth of knowledge.
  3. They know how to keep you within your budget. This is what they do every single day. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t want to max out your budget, they want to help you stay within it. If they go over a clients budget, they risk loosing the job and all the work they’ve done will be for nothing, not to mention the client will be unhappy. So please, communicate your budget with your designer up front to avoid rework and confusion in trying to get you exactly what you want for the price you can afford.
  4. They know issues involved with relocating appliances and changing layouts. This is more difficult than most people think. Designers know what to look for to make sure it’s possible and will help you design around any issues they see. You could try and change the layout yourself, only to order the products and realize the layout won’t work. If you purchased custom or semi-custom cabinets or countertops, odds are you will have to take a loss on all of it. Don’t risk it.
  5. They know the process. They can walk you through it step by step. It is much more extensive than most people realize, so again, use their skills and knowledge to ensure a smooth process.

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. What to expect when you’re expecting a kitchen remodel – This will go over each step of the kitchen design and installation process!
  3. 5 Reasons to work with Kitchen Designers

 

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How To Measure

Below we’ve listed the steps to measuring your cabinets, countertops or flooring so that you can give them to your designer to work with initially. Remember, your Builders Surplus installation team will take measurements themselves later on, which they will guarantee. If you have an outside installer doing the cabinet installation, make sure they measure as well and ask if they will guarantee these measurements.

Measuring Cabinets

Follow the steps below to accurately measure your space

All measurements should be taken in INCHES

STEP 1. Measure ALL Walls that have/will have cabinets on them, Wall to Wall.

STEP 2. If there are any doors and/or windows in the areas where cabinet are going, measure from outside of molding to outside of molding width and height.

STEP 3. Measure from any wall corner to the beginning of the casing on any door or window.

STEP 4. Return to the corner and measure to the center of any water lines, water drains, gas lines, electrical outlets or electrical switches. You will need to pull appliances away from the wall if in the way.

STEP 5. Note the overall height of each door. Measure from floor to top of door moulding.

STEP 6. Note the measurement from the bottom of the windowsill to the floor below each window.

STEP 7. Note the measurement from the bottom of the windowsill to the top of the molding of each window.

STEP 8. Note the measurement from the top of each window to the ceiling.

STEP 9. Measure the overall floor to ceiling height, accounting for soffits and beams.

STEP 10. Repeat Steps 1 through 10, or all that apply, for each wall of the room.

STEP 11. Measure all existing appliances that will be reused in your new kitchen. If new appliances will be used, it is best to get the manufacturer’s specifications prior to designing your new kitchen.

STEP 13. As an added measure of caution, it is recommended that you measure the inside width of all entry doors and door ways to check that existing cabinets and appliances can be removed, but especially that all new cabinets, appliances and counter tops can be brought in without onsite modifications.

Measuring Countertops (Stone)

Measure your countertops in sections, as shown below. Multiply the length in inches by the width in inches. Repeat for all sections. When you have your sections measured, add them together. Divide them by 144 (the number of inches in 1 square foot, 12″ x 12″). This will give you your square footage estimate. Include any sink cutouts in the square footage. Most countertop depths are 25.5″.  As you can see below, the full width in example 1 is 125.5″, but because we broke it into 2 sections, we are only using 100.5″ in that sections measurement.

EXAMPLE 1: 

Section A:   100.5 in x 25.5 in = 2563 sq in

Section B:     60 in x 25.5 in = 1530    sq in

Total = 4093 sq in

* Now divide by 144 to obtain square footage,
Each sq foot has 144 sq in (12 x 12).

  • 4093 sq in / 144 sq in = 28.42 sq ft

 

 

EXAMPLE 2:

Section A:     72 in x 30 in  = 2160 sq in

Section B:     54 in x 30 in  = 1620 sq in

Total: 3780 sq in

  • 3780 sq in / 144 sq in = 26.25 sq ft

Measuring for Laminate Countertops:

Go to the back point of your countertops, which is up against you wall or backsplash. Measure from end point to end point, to get linear inches.

Measuring Floors

When Measuring Flooring for one room

All Measurements should be taken in INCHES

  • Measure the complete length of the longest wall from wall to wall, in inches.
  • Measure complete length of the shorter wall from wall to wall, in inches.
  • Take these two numbers and multiply them together.
  • Divide that number by 144
  • This is the Square footage of the room.
  • For any type of flooring, allow between 10-15% extra for cuts and overage.

If you are covering multiple rooms repeat these steps in each room and bring all measurement with you when going to purchase your flooring.

 


 

CHOOSING YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS

Choosing your kitchen cabinets is a big deal. As shown above, it it the single most expensive part of your kitchen remodel, so making sure that you get exactly what you want, within your budget, that fits your needs can bet a tall order. Below we’ll list some of the choices you’ll need to make regarding this. For a complete guide on kitchen cabinets with corresponding images, see “Helpful Links” below.

Kitchen Cabinet Materials & Wood Species:

The material of your kitchen cabinet will probably play the biggest role in driving the cost of your kitchen remodel. Below i’ve listed the primary materials that you will need to choose from, a brief description and any pros of cons.

 

Kitchen Remodel Cabinets Pick-wood-species

Click here to shop cabinets!

  1. Oak/Ash: Traditional look, relatively inexpensive as well. The grain shows right through this wood species, tends to be a bit rustic, and can also be a more modern look.
  2. Maple: Cost-effective, paints very well. Less grain shows through.
  3. Cherry: This is the more traditional approach, and definitely more expensive than most. A cherry wood species stains magnificently, going on smooth and easy to soak in. Whereas some other wood might take a few coats, this only needs one. It has warmer, red tones and tends to darken over time.
  4. Character Maple or Hickory: Most expensive. This species sports a strong grain. Solid and extremely durable. It has a rustic, or country, look that is highly sought after.
  5. Medium-density fiberboard (MDF): This very affordable species is a painted option only, hence the low cost. But for your money, it’s an excellent option and looks great in any kitchen. See more about MDF in the helpful links below.
  6. Laminate: Very low cost option. Can be traditional or contemporary. But be careful, this species does not do well next to heat and tends to yellow if it’s set to close to an oven, which most cabinets are.
  7. Thermofoil: Very cost effective. It’s only available in white or linen, and is another wood that cannot withstand excessive heat. But it looks great and is decently durable for the price.

 

Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles:

 

Cabinet Door-Style-Options

Click here to see more cabinet options!

 

  1. Traditional Overlay – Traditional overlay, often called “partial overlay” or “standard overlay” cabinet doors, are the most common style of kitchen cabinet. These are nice looking cabinets at a great price. In this style of cabinet, the doors and drawers cover only part if the cabinet frame.
  2. Full Overlay – Full overlay doors are cabinet doors that cover the entire width of the cabinet, as shown below. The full overlay door style gives cabinets a more custom look than their traditional overlay counterpart. They will always require cabinet hardware because there is only ¼ inch of space between doors and drawers, so opening them without hardware is not an option.
  3. Inset Door – Inset cabinet door styles are different than the above three because they feature doors and drawers that fit inside of the cabinet face frame openings.
  4. Slab Door – A slab door style, also referred to as flat panel doors, have a completely flat door panel that is not raised or recessed at all. It doesn’t have arches and has a very simple design. A slab door style is typically used in modern or contemporary kitchens or bathrooms because of the clean lines.

To see a full description of the pros and cons of each door style, corresponding images, and why they cost more, see “Helpful links” below.

Kitchen Cabinet Finishes:

 

Pick- kitchen cabinet Finish

Click here to see more cabinet options!

 

  1. Standard Stain – Undoubtedly, the most cost-effective approach. It would be as if you bought some cabinets and applied the stain yourself. With this finish, the cabinet sides may have a laminated end that coordinates.
  2. Special Stain/Paint – This process is a bit more difficult than merely applying some stain, but the finish is that much better. Visually appealing, noticeable, but the sides need to be skinned to match, adding to the cost. Painting also adds cost in terms of labor and materials.
  3. Paint or Stain with Glaze – Painted cabinets are a hot commodity right now, and can make your kitchen a little bit brighter. By adding a glaze to stain or paint, the finish draws out the finer details. Rustic or farmhouse cabinets look amazing with a glaze.
  4. Special Finishing Techniques – Now depending on your budget, one of these features is an excellent finishing touch. Using a technique such as weathering, or the Vintage look, can add character and lovely style, but of course, all at a nice price, too.

For more information on techniques and images of these cabinets, see “Helpful Links” section.

Cabinet Drawer Options:

Here is a brief description of the standard drawer options:

 

Kitchen Cabinet Drawer Options

Click here to shop cabinets!

 

There is some mixing and matching that can be done with these options when purchasing custom or semi-custom cabinets, so the Good, Better, Best system best explains it.

GOOD DRAWER:

Good: Particle board/Furniture Board Drawer Box, Glue and Stapled Corner Joint, Epoxy Glides

Better: Plywood Drawer Box, Dovetail Corner Joint, Soft Close Glides

Best: Solid Maple Drawer Box, Dovetail Corner Joint, Soft Close Glides

There are several other options that can add cost and more personal style to your kitchen cabinets. You can find that, as well as more in depth explanations and images of the kitchen cabinet options in our KITCHEN CABINETS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE found below.

 

Moulding & Trim On Your Cabinets:

There are three types of moulding (also spelled molding) that you need for your kitchen remodel as the perfect finishing touch on your cabinets. They Include: Scribe, Crown Moulding and Toe Kick. Lets explore what they are and why you need them.

Scribe Molding:

Scribe is essentially a thin strip of wood that runs along the edges of your cabinet to cover gaps, the edges of tile, blemishes, and other inconsistencies where the cabinet meshes against the wall or the ceiling. It’s usually straight on one end and can be curved fit the contour of the cabinet. It’s used as a finishing touch and quite often makes the job look complete when installed correctly. Having gaps or scuff marks here and there may not seem like a biggie to larger remodels, but if they can be prevented or in this case, solved, the product will look near perfect.

Scribe Moulding for a Kitchen Remodel

Crown Molding:

A very popular finishing touch that’s installed at the top edge of cabinets, but unlike scribe, crown moulding has an abundance of decorative options that can cater to any style or design. You could go with something simple, a piece with a few beveled edges, or something a little more gaudy, with elaborate, inlaid designs. Obviously, the the more intricate the design, the more expensive the crown is going to be. This is another element that adds a completed look to your cabinets. If you have something unique on the ceiling, like beadboard or wood, it will cover the edges and give a finished appearance.

Toe Kick:

Toe kick moulding covers the recessed area at the bottom of a base cabinet. Without toe kick moulding, you would see standard plywood or wood, and it wouldn’t match the finish of your cabinets. Some cabinets come with this already on it, but some do not, so make sure that if yours don’t, you remember to purchase toe kick moulding. Toe kicks are available in wood, metal and plastic, and holes may be cut in them to allow space for vents. Toe kicks may become damaged over time, but they are easy to replace. Custom toe kicks are available for special or unique kitchen designs.

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. The Cabinet Door Styles Compared
  3. What makes some kitchen cabinets cost more?
  4. Are cheap kitchen cabinets automatically bad quality?
  5. Choosing kitchen cabinets for your style
  6. Choosing the perfect crown moulding
  7. Why Waypoint Cabinets are a Fan Favorite
  8. Made in the USA: One reason to love Wellborn Cabinets
  9. Unfinished Cabinets: From Bland to Glam – For Less!
  10. Shop Cabinets

 

Kitchen Cabinets-Shop-Ad

 


 

KITCHEN COUNTERTOP MATERIALS

There are many different kitchen countertop materials to choose from. Price is not the only factor to consider when choosing countertops for your kitchen remodel, so we’ve created the chart below to help you understand the differences.

 

Kitchen Remodel Countertop-Comparison

Click here to see more countertop options!

 

Quartz:

Quartz countertops have been soaring in popularity. Not only for the amazing colors that you can find in quartz, but for the strength, durability, resistance to heat or stains, and it’s amazing antibacterial surface. The price runs from mid to high, depending on the brand you choose, the color, the thickness, and how many cutouts your kitchen will have. It can be equally as expensive as granite, more expensive or less expensive, depending on the style of granite you’re comparing it to. There is literally no downside to quartz if you can afford it. Quartz countertops will also give you a great return on investment should you decide to sell. Quartz is also considered more eco friendly. Click here to shop our quartz products!

Granite:

Granite has been the most popular countertop option since the late 80’s. It can range from moderately priced to high priced. It does require sealing as it is a porous material, so maintenance is a bit higher than with quartz. It is pretty heat and scratch resistant and there are some beautiful colors to choose from. We offer in stock, prefabricated granite that fits most kitchen layouts, or custom granite to fit any layout. Buyers love granite, so this is a great choice if you’re going to be selling. Click here to shop our granite selections!

Laminate:

Laminate is the most affordable option. It is not very stain or heat resistant, but it holds up fairly well to scratches. It is decently low maintenance and they have some amazing color choices these days! Its the perfect option if you’re on a strict budget and higher end cabinets are more important to you. We also offer laminate in prefabricated slabs or custom order. Click here to shop our laminate selection!

Butcher Block:

Butcher block is always a custom order option. It’s a beautiful choice for a warm look. It does require more maintenance than the other materials, but if that is not your main concern, then it’s definitly something to look at. It can be affordable or pricey depending on the type of wood and the grain that you choose.

Cultured marble is typically only used for bathrooms. For more detail on kitchen countertops, see our “helpful links” below.

 

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. Countertop Materials Compared
  3. Why should I buy quartz countertops?
  4. Granite Countertop Obsession: How it started & why
  5. Custom Countertops: Butcher block and Concrete
  6. Prefab Granite: Affordable Elegance
  7. Wilsonart: Laminate Countertops with a high end look
  8. Shop Countertops

 


 

CHOOSING YOUR BACKSPLASH

There are several things to consider when choosing a backsplash. Not everyone DOES choose a backsplash for their kitchen, but we think it adds something very unique and special to your kitchen remodel. It is also functional in preventing splatter from staining your walls.

Kitchen Remodel Backsplash Comparison

Click here to see more backsplash options!

 

Where to tile

When you decide to tile, you can do it a few ways. This will depend on your layout, but you can tile from counter to ceiling, which will give you a very dramatic look, or simply stick to under your upper cabinets. You can also do backsplash in the same material as your countertops, which just goes up a few inches. This gives a very seamless look.

Budget

We already defined that you have 5% of your total budget for your “accessories”. Prioritize those accessories and decide how important backsplash is to you, then give it a dollar value. After you measure the space that you plan on tiling, divide it by the dollars you can spend, giving you your max dollars per square foot for your backsplash. Your labor does not need to be included since you set aside 20% for general labor. Specialty shapes, handcrafted tiles, or custom colors will typically cost more, so keep this in mind. Materials will effect the cost of the tile as well. Intricate patterns can also cost more to install as it’s much more time consuming. You can always add an accent area of a specialty tile to spice up your space if you can’t afford it for your whole kitchen.

Color or Neutral?

Your personal style will play a large part in this, but there are a few other things you need to consider. First of all, what color are your cabinets? If you have a colored cabinet, a neutral backsplash might be best. Neutral cabinets can pop next to colored backsplash or you can achieve a monochromatic look pairing them with neutrals. Also understand that your backsplash will be right next to your countertop, so make sure the color will coordinate. Sometimes finding a backsplash that pulls out a subtle color in your countertops is a good strategy. Cool colors will often cost more, so keep this in mind when making your decision.

Intricate Pattern or Simple Design?

Do you love fun shapes or clean lines? Do you like trendy looks or are you drawn to a more classic style that will last for decades? These are important questions to ask. Replacing a backsplash when you are not doing any other kitchen renovations can be a huge hassle, so choose something you’ll be happy with for a while. Also consider resell if you plan on moving. We recommend considering a more classic shape if you plan on selling unless your area is a bit more funky. You don’t want to turn away buyers for something as simple as a backsplash. As mentioned above, fancy shapes typically cost more, so be prepared to pay a premium if this is what you choose.

Material

Your material choice can also play a large part in achieving your look. You can have one simple subway tile in may different materials: Colored glass, handcrafted porcelain, marble, brick, or simple ceramic. If you had each of those materials in different kitchens with the same cabinets and countertops, you would come out with 4 different looks. Brick works best for farmhouse or industrial designs. Glass or marble can be more modern. Ceramic usually blends in nicely with any style. Materials also play a part in the cost, so be aware of this when choosing a backsplash. Ceramic will typically be cheapest, glass and marble will be more expensive, handcrafted tiles are sometimes the most expensive, and porcelain typically falls on the high end of the spectrum. Our kitchen designers can always help you figure out the best material choice for your design.

Grout Colors

Most people don’t take grout color into account. Grout color can make a big difference in your final look. To make a neutral tile really pop, add a contrasting grout color. To create a very seamless look, add a grout color that blends in well with the color of your tile. White grout is going to be the hardest to clean and shows stains much more easily, so this is something to consider. To make a bold statement, add a funky grout color! If you’re tile will have a small grout line, you will choose an unsanded grout. If you have a larger grout line, you will go with sanded. There are guides on the side of grout bags to make sure you know which one is best, so make sure you take a look before buying.

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. The 10 best backsplash tile choices for your home
  3. Kitchen backsplash: Step by Step
  4. Mesh Back Tile: Backsplash made quick and easy
  5. Subway Tile: Turning basic backsplash bold!
  6. Top 10 Backsplash Ideas for Your Kitchen
  7. Top 5 ways to use brick tile in your home
  8. What’s the real difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?
  9. Shop Tile

 


 

KITCHEN FLOORING OPTIONS

Many people opt to change out their flooring when doing a kitchen remodel. Sometimes it’s a necessity. If you are changing your cabinets or cabinet layout and the previous remodelers didn’t add flooring underneath the cabinets, then you could be stuck with empty patches of flooring and most likely, you won’t be able to find the same flooring used. Even if you do, it may not match after years of wear.

Many find it a great opportunity to complete the look of their kitchen remodel. You can choose a specific flooring that is only in your kitchen to break up your spaces, or choose one option to flow through all your main living spaces. Here are the main flooring options to consider.

Kitchen Remodel Flooring-Comparison

Click to see more flooring options!

Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT):

LVT is one of my favorite options for flooring, especially in kitchens. It is 100% waterproof, and in an room that has a sink and fridge present, as well as one that you spend a lot of time eating and drinking in, waterproof flooring is key. It can be as affordable or as expensive and elaborate as you choose, there is a wide range of styles to choose from. It’s very scratch and dent resistant, so it’s perfect for pet owners. The technology is so great these days that it looks just like wood or tile!

Hardwood:

Always a beautiful choice, but as far as maintenance goes, it’s not ideal for a kitchen. It is also very susceptible to water damage, so I would steer clear of this unless you are putting it in your entire living area. In this case I would use rugs, runners, and tell your family to be VERY careful with liquids!

Laminate:

Laminate flooring is a decent option for kitchens. It is water resistant, but not 100% waterproof, so you still need to be careful. Affordable and beautiful, scratch resistant and is pretty pet friendly.

Tile:

Tile is a great choice for kitchens. It is waterproof and insanely durable. The only real difference is the cost of the tile. Ceramic is least expensive, with porcelain slightly more expensive, and stone and marble tile typically most expensive. You can find amazing patterns and colors to really make your kitchen stand out! Octagon shapes and brick tile are growing in popularity, so you can really make it your own.

 

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. Your guide to waterproof flooring
  3. 10 Stunning examples of wood look tile flooring
  4. The most pet friendly types of flooring for your home
  5. Engineered Flooring: What you should know
  6. What’s the real difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?
  7. What is LVT and why should I care?
  8. Shop Flooring

 


CHOOSING YOUR KITCHEN FAUCET

You may not think that choosing a kitchen faucet is a very important aspect of your kitchen remodel, but you would be wrong. You use this feature EVERY SINGLE DAY. It can make your kitchen experience easier or more difficult. It can also make it more beautiful!

Mounting:

First, choose your mounting style.

  • Sink Mount – Center mounted on your sink area behind your sink.
  • Wall Mount – Most typically used for pot fillers behind the stove to help fill large pots easily.

Handle Options:

 

Kitchen Remodel Faucet Styles

 

Next, choose your handle preference.

  • Single handle faucet – This gives you a more updated look. The single handle controls hot and cold. The lever is located on the faucet or next to it?
  • Double handle faucet – More classic look. Hot and cold on different handles makes it easier to get water flow and temperature right.
  • Hands free faucet – Less mess on faucet, easy to operate, single handle overrides.

 

Arc Height:

Then, choose your arc height.

If you often fill or clean large pots, you should go with an 8-10″ arc. If you have low hanging cabinets or a window that could restrict your arc height, you may have to go with something shorter, between 3-8″.

Sprayers:

Do you want sprayers?

If you are the kind of person that doesn’t like dirty dishes, or crumbs in the sink, a faucet with a sprayer attached is definitly for you! Sprayers make these sometimes frustrating chores easier. There are 3 main kinds of sprayers.

  • Pull Down – Spray wand pulls down for extended reach and extra flexibility.
  • Pull Out – The pullout spray wand is easy to use while the streamlined arc helps to save you space.
  • Side Spray – A simple addition to your kitchen faucet that extends your reach and gives a powerful spray option that’s great for cleaning (requires an extra sink hole).

 

Know Your Sink:

What will your sink handle?

The way your sink it set up will have alot to do with the faucet you choose. Make sure you know how many holes are in your sink or counter before picking your faucet.

kitchen remodel Sink-holes

 

  • Single hole – This option is growing in popularity. Single hole faucets offer a clean, streamlined look.
  • Two hole – Two holes are set up for a faucet with a side spray or lotion dispenser, or sometimes a separate handle.
  • Three hole – Most commonly seen in older homes, it was made for faucets with separate hot and cold handles.
  • Four hole – The four hole can accommodate a traditional two handle faucet and has room for an accessory such as a side spray or lotion bottle.

Don’t forget the Escutcheon – Also known as a deck plate, this is a simple ornamental plate that is added at the base of the fauce. It allows you to install a single-handle faucet on a two or three-hole sink. Remember that even if your sink has two holes and you want a single handle faucet, just as a sprayer or soap dispenser! You aren’t too limited.

 

Pick Your Style:

There are three standard styles when it comes to faucets. Traditional, Modern, or Transitional, which is a mixture of the two.

  • Traditional faucets are more ornate and old world.
  • Modern faucets have very clean, angular lines.
  • Transitional faucets feature more soft, natural curves that would be at home in a modern room, traditional room, or a combination.

 

Final Finishes:

 

kitchen remodel faucet finishes

 

Choosing your finish is the final choice involved in picking the faucet for your kitchen remodel. Some people like to match all the finishes in their kitchen, so if that sounds like you, make sure you know the cabinet hardware and sink (if it’s a metal sink) before choosing your faucet. Then, picking your finish will be easy. If you don’t feel like you have to match your finishes (and trust me you don’t), then your options are endless. I would just recommend you hold the finish you’re interested in next to the other finishes and colors in your kitchen.

  • Bronze – Brushed and Oil Rubbed: These finishes are typically best for traditional, rustic, farmhouse or craftsman style designs.
  • Chrome – Polished or Brushed: Typically seen most in modern or transitional designs, but chrome can work in any space.
  • Brass – Polished or Brushed: This was popular in the past and disappeared for a while, however it’s making a come back. Brass works great with greys, blues, and whites. They can really make a statement! This would be a more eclectic or modern design, typically.

 

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a designer
  2. 2016’s Top 3 Kitchen Faucet Trends
  3. Your Exclusive Guide To Faucet Styles
  4. Shop Kitchen Faucets

CHOOSING YOUR KITCHEN SINK

In choosing your kitchen sink for your kitchen remodel, there are three main things you need to decide on; Mounting, Number of Bowls, and Material. Let’s get educated on the pros and cons of each one.

Mounting Options:

 

Kitchen Remodel Kitchen-Mounting

 

  • Self-rimming sinks (Drop-In) are easiest to install; most take about an hour. Lighter sinks, such as stainless-steel or composite models, are secured to the counter with clips and screws. Heavy cast-iron sinks are held in place by their weight. A few stainless-steel and enamel-on-steel sinks are held in place by a separate steel rim. However, you wind up with two seams where germs and dirt can accumulate, which is not always ideal.
  • Undermount sinks are popular because they’re sleek looking, make wiping off the counters into the sink a breeze and allow you to combine bowls of different shapes and sizes. However, undermounts often take at least twice the time to install as self-rimming models. They also require solid materials, such as granite or solid surfacing, since the counter material is exposed. You can install undermounts with butcher block countertops, but it is extremely important that the counters are sealed – we would suggest 5 times. This is because the wood edges will be exposed to moisture on a daily basis, which can cause damage.
  • Flush Mount sinks are also called “tile edge” sinks. They’re similar to a drop-in sink except they’re used with a tiled countertop. The tile is installed so that it’s flush with the mounting flange of the sink providing a flush surface with the countertop. There’s usually a grout line between the edge of the sink and the tile. Mostly seen in stainless steel options giving a very industrial feel.
  • Apron Front Farm Sinks lend a very cozy, welcoming vibe, but their design was created for comfort and practicality, not style. Often found in rural homes in decades past, these sinks were made for women who spent long, long hours at the sink, so it was important not to have to bend over – the apron front’s forward orientation eliminates the countertop that causes the user to lean forward and strain more than necessary. More expensive but very roomy and stylish.
  • Vessel Sink: Not typically found in kitchens, but it does happen. Not ideal for a lot of dishes. More style than fuction in the kitchen unless it’s a very large vessel.

 

Number of Bowls:

  • One Bowl: Having one bowl is ideal for washing large pots and pans. They do hold more dirty dishes, though, so if you’re not good about it, you could end up with a lot of dishes to do.
  • Two Bowls: Two bowls would be ideal if you’re wanting to install a garbage disposal, or to wash dishes in one bowl while you rinse in another. It’s not ideal for large pots and pans.
  • Three Bowls: Like a two bowl sink, this would be ideal for a garbage disposal, washing and rinsing, or for food prep. Also not ideal for pots and pans.

 

Materials:

Kitchen Remodel Kitchen-Sink-Materials

 

  • Stainless Steel –Stainless steel sinks are preferred for their clean looks and durability. Available in brushed and polished finishes, better sinks are made from thicker steel, measured by gauge thickness. Stainless sinks have a bit more “give” than a harder material like cast iron and are more forgiving on dropped dishes and glassware. They do not stain, you just have to clean them prooperly.
  • Cast Iron – Cast iron has a long track record of being a durable sink material. They are finished with porcelain enamel, a coating fired at high temperatures that provides hardness and durability. It’s not indestructible however as it’s possible for the enamel to wear away or chip over time. They’re heavy but durable, making undermount applications a bit trickier than drop-ins. If you like the look of glossy sink, cast iron is a good choice. Easy to clean, variety of colors. Heavy pans can leave marks.
  • Fireclay – Fireclay sinks are a form of ceramic, similar to vitreous china yet stronger and more durable. Fireclay is fired at a higher temperature than vitreous china which helps provide the added durability. These products can have either a glossy or matte finish depending on the brand you buy. Typical colors are in the white and off-white family although there are some blue, black and grey products too.
  • Solid Surface – Solid surface sinks are made from the same material as solid surface countertops. When coupled with a solid surface counter, these sinks offer a great seamless look, the ultimate in sink/counter design with no ridges or edges to catch gunk and grime. They are high on our list of great kitchen sink options.
  • Copper & Bronze – A copper or bronze sink offers a distinctive look that will take on an aged patina depending on the type of care it’s given. Kitchen sink materials such as these are mostly about the look in my opinion. They can be expensive and can stain. They won’t rust and look beautiful!

 

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. Drop in, Undermount, Vessel or Farm Sink?
  3. Kitchen Sink Option: Buyers Guide
  4. Copper Sinks: The Essential Starter Guide
  5. Shop Kitchen Sinks

 

KITCHEN REMODEL INSTALLATION

Here comes the section that can be the most confusing for many people; dealing with installation.

The first thing you need to decide is:

  1. Will I do my own installation?
  2. Will I hire someone to do my installation?

The answer to this question will greatly determine what you’re about to read. While going into details about how to do the installation yourself is not in the scope of this article, I have provided several DIY articles at the end to assist you in your install or deciding if you should take it on yourself.

DIY KITCHEN REMODEL

If you choose to go the DIY route, there are several things you need to consider. Check them out in more detail by clicking here.

  1. Measurements – If your measurements are incorrect, your products could fit incorrectly causing major issues or lots of money lost.
  2. Understand you can’t do it all – Backup contractors or knowledgeable friends or family on speed dial to help you install or to take over if you hit a road bump.
  3. Demo – Be careful not to damage anything that isn’t being replaced.
  4. Make sure you have a plumber or electrician – Disconnecting appliances, sink hook ups, and wire issues come into play. Don’t play around with these, they could be serious safety hazards.
  5. Make sure to account for the sizes of your appliances if you’re replacing them.
  6. USE A DESIGNER – At the very least, see all your products next to each other to make sure you don’t hate your final selections when they’re installed.
  7. Don’t forget the finishing touches like scribe, moulding and toe kick.
  8. Make a plan! Don’t just wing it. Go in stages and make sure you have all your steps listed out in sequential order to help keep you on track.

Click here to read “Things to consider when doing a DIY kitchen remodel

USING A CONTRACTOR FOR A KITCHEN REMODEL

At Builders Surplus, We offer installation services on all of our products. They have all been vetted and background checked, so rest assured. If you do not use a Builders Surplus contractor, do your homework and make sure anyone you hire has good references, insurance and the proper crew to complete the job. Here is a list of things we make sure to tell our clients before starting their kitchen remodel installation.

Measurements

Measurements will need to be done by us for us to guarantee the fit after your design has been done and before your products are ordered. If you are using your own installers, they will need to guarantee the fit for you. Measurements are VERY important in making sure your design comes out perfectly. If you don’t have someone guaranteeing the fit and they turn out to be incorrect, you will foot the bill for ordering new products. Don’t let that happen.

  • NOTE: Once your products are ordered, no changes can be made, so make all final decisions before hand.

A Process, Not an Event

The most important thing I can tell you about the installation portion of a kitchen remodel is that this is a PROCESS, not an EVENT. Keeping that in mind will put your expectations in the right place and allow for a more enjoyable remodeling experience. Guaranteed completion dates are unrealistic, because not ever aspect of this process is in your contractors control.

  • NOTE: Some of your cabinets have the potential to be damaged in transit. Your designer or installer have no control over this, but it can push back your timeline.

Scheduling

It is not necessary that you be home during the entire installation process, but you will be required to be there to let the team in and at the end of the process for the final walk through so that you can verify the job is completed to your standards and sign the final paperwork. Please note that because unforeseen issues can arise, it could change the install date, so keep this in mind when deciding to use vacation days or take off work for the entire process.

Flooring Installation

If you’re replacing your flooring, this will be the first step. You want to lay flooring under the cabinets to make sure that if you replace your cabinets or change your layout, you’re don’t end up with patches of missing flooring. Depending on the type of flooring you choose and the size of your space, this could take anywhere from 1-3 days typically.

Cabinet Installation

Cabinet Installations are typically completed within 2 days, but that depends on your kitchen size. Please note that we do not connect or disconnect plumbing for appliances. Our installers are not certified plumbers, so take care of this beforehand.

  • NOTE: Door and drawer fronts will typically be crooked and not lined up during installation. They will fix this at the end of the process.
  • NOTE: There will be dust, debris, and trash. Your installer will do their best to limit this, but is a part of the process. A good installer will clean up at the end of each day.

Countertop Templating

After cabinets, your countertops can be templated. Your designer will coordinate this with the installer so that templating can be set up. It could take up to 2 weeks to get your template done depending on which countertops you’re getting.

  • NOTE: Your sinks and faucets will need to be in your possession and all cabinets must be attached to the walls in order for this step to take place.
  • NOTE: Because templating cannot be done until every cabinet is installed in it’s final position, if any of your cabinets were damaged in transit, this can delay this step.

Countertop Installation

Time frames can vary depending on the countertop you’ve chosen for your kitchen remodel. In Stock granite can be installed within 1 week. In Stock laminate is installed by kitchen installer during cabinet installation. Custom countertops are installed anywhere from 10 days to 4 weeks. This depends on the season and the schedule of the installers. Be prepared to live without countertops for a month. See our blog on setting up a temporary kitchen. Preparing in advance can make this time much easier and eliminate stress for your family.

  • NOTE: Sinks and faucets will still need to be connected by a plumber after this step.

Backsplash Installation

This typically takes another 2 days. After Backsplash is installed, you should be complete, unless your installers would be installing your cabinet hardware.

Finishing Materials:

Your final step will be installing the finishing materials like cabinet hardware, scribe, toe kick and crown moulding. This should typically only take another day to complete. After this is done, you should have a complete kitchen remodel!!!!

Helpful Links:

  1. Contact a Designer
  2. What to expect when you’re expecting a kitchen remodel
  3. Things to consider when doing a DIY kitchen remodel
  4. Starting a new remodel project: Installer Checklist
  5. 5 Easy DIY upgrades for your kitchen remodel
  6. DIY Flooring installation: Laminate or LVT
  7. DIY: Kitchen Backsplash Step By Step
  8. DIY: Tips for laying floor tile
  9. Unique DIY touches for your kitchen island

 

That’s about it folks! I hope we’ve covered everything you need to know about a kitchen remodel and that it makes your kitchen remodel process go smoother knowing what to consider and expect!

By: Allie Bloyd

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