We're doing lots of kitchen remodeling here on Cape Cod. Especially on houses built in the 80's and 90's. When it comes to kitchen remodels and makeovers, there are lots of details to consider and so in this post, I'm going to key in on 5 details that anyone looking to remodel their kitchen should consider.
1. Cabinets. Wood or Particleboard? Some showrooms will tell you that you can save thousands and that particleboard has gotten so much better than in years past. In my experience, the actual savings are quite small. In addition, I have found that installing the cabinets to be more difficult as you are fastening cabinets to the wall through sawdust embedded glue. And to top it off, I have seen new cabinets that use particle board, swell particularly those located near the sink, or next to the dishwasher.
2. Hardware. Would you like to be able to open your drawers fully so you can see and access the contents? Be sure to request full extension hardware on all of your drawers and roll-out trays. In addition, ask for the hardware that has a soft-close feature. Also request the adjustable cabinet door hinges that feature the self/soft close option. This hardware is included in all of the cabinets we sell and install. Some cabinet dealers may not specify this hardware unless you ask for it. A favorite brand of hardware we like to use is Blum (Made in USA) which can be identified by the bright orange clips on the underside of the drawer.
3. Lighting. LED's are hot! In the last couple of years, LED's have taken over the lighting market in a big way. Thanks to improvements in brightness and color rendering that is more natural, LED's are here to stay. In our kitchens, we specify and install LED bulbs in every lighting fixture. Our under cabinet lighting consists of LED tape lights that light up every corner of your counters for great task lighting. We're also shifting away from recessed lighting towards thin LED disks that provide superior lighting. LED's reduce energy consumption and have less heat output which reduces loads on cooling systems.
4. Drawers or Roll-Out Trays? In most kitchens we design, we prefer to specify drawers rather than cabinets that have doors with roll-out trays behind. Why? The drawers provide more storage area as they are wider than the roll-out trays. Plus you can open and view/access the contents of a drawer in one motion. With cabinets that have doors with roll-out trays behind, you will have to open one or two doors and then reach in to roll out the tray. That's 3 steps vs one. For a number of reasons, having all drawers (vs doors/roll out trays) does come in at a higher price point. They are well worth the additional cost for the ease of use and added room.
5. Flooring. Choices abound when it comes to flooring! Tile is often an excellent choice for kitchens due to it's durability to stand up to years of daily use. Pre-finished wood is also a great choice for kitchens especially if you have wood flooring in adjacent rooms to match or meet up against. Another type of flooring that is fast becoming a favorite, is vinyl planks that snap together as you lay them. What is amazing about this product is that it looks so realistic that even my experienced eye has been fooled into thinking it was real wood. The better quality vinyl planks are backed with cork or a similar substrate. This type of flooring needs to be laid as a floating floor rather than fastened to your existing floor. Because it is a floating floor, it should not be installed under cabinets. This is actually a plus, because you can change out the flooring if you ever wish to do so in the future.