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The Complete Kitchen Remodeling Checklist

by Charlie Brown on May 30, 2014

Even before a budget is worked out, the homeowner needs to figure out just what he or she wants in a kitchen remodel. Some remodels are little more than weekend make-overs while others can take weeks if not months. These remodels require tearing out walls and rearranging electricity and plumbing. Whatever type of remodel it is, the homeowner will need a checklist. Here's a more complete kitchen remodeling checklist:

Cabinets

Cabinets are framed or unframed. Framed cabinets are the more traditional of the two. The frames allow the cabinets to be wider than frameless cabinets and keep them perfectly square and stable. Frameless cabinets have a door that's hung on a special kind of hinge. They give the cabinet a more modern look. Though frameless cabinets are a bit less stable than framed cabinets when they're not installed, once they are installed they're just as sturdy.

Vertical parts of cabinets are often made out of solid wood while the flat surfaces of cabinets are made of plywood, particle board or MDF. These materials have less inclination to warp. Solid woods made from deciduous trees are called hardwoods. Woods made from conifers are called softwoods, even though the names have little to do with how hard or soft the wood is. 

It's best to have the wood finished at the manufacturer's before it's shipped to the home. That's because wood tends to warp with the changing humidity in a room.

Countertops

Countertops can come in all kinds of materials, including wood. A wood butcherblock countertop, however, should be kept away from the sink or wherever it may be exposed to water. Since it is wood, it can swell and rot if it's exposed to too much water. Other materials for countertops are:

Stone

This can be granite, slate, marble, limestone, soapstone, travertine or other types of stone. These countertops are uniquely beautiful, but porous stone like granite, marble and limestone need to be sealed to protect against staining.

Laminate

Laminate is much less expensive than stone. It's easy to care for and resists staining. It can also be installed by the homeowner.

Stainless Steel

This alloy of iron and chrome is almost indestructible. It can stand high temperatures and can't be stained. However, over the years it will show scratches. Still, some homeowners who love to cook won't mind this.

Solid Surface

This tough material can be bought in all sorts of patterns and colors, even those that imitate granite and marble. Mild damage can be fixed with sandpaper.

Flooring

Flooring can be as varied as countertops. Floors can be made of laminate, which allows them to be installed over an existing floor. They can be made out of ceramic tile, resilient material, hardwood or stone. Some homeowners even install carpet, but the carpet should be very tough and mildew resistant. Synthetic carpeting might be good for a kitchen.

Sinks

Sinks can be perfectly utilitarian or works of art in themselves with beautiful decoration. The sink can have a single bowl, a double bowl or three bowls. The third bowl is usually attached to the garbage disposal unit. Other sinks can have built in colanders, dishracks or chopping boards. Sinks can also be made out of many materials, including:

  • Porcelain
  • Fire clay
  • Composite materials
  • Solid Surface
  • Enameled cast iron
  • Enameled steel
  • Stainless steel
  • Soapstone
  • German Silver
  • Stone
  • Brass
  • Copper

Besides different materials, kitchen sinks can be self-rimming, rimmed, undermounted or integral. Solid surface countertops often come with integral sinks. This makes leaking around the edges of the sink impossible

Lighting

Good lighting is essential in a kitchen. Light not only makes the kitchen look welcoming but is necessary for the safe running of a kitchen. Ideally, a kitchen should have at least one bright window. If the old kitchen didn't have one, it will be worth it to have one installed during the remodel.

As for artificial light, the homeowner will need to know exactly what sort of lighting he or she wants and where it will placed. They can be pendants, track lighting, recessed downlights and fixtures mounted flush to the ceiling. Lights can be placed over the sink, in the toe kick area and even inside cabinets.

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