If your cabinets and counter tops are in good shape, you can update the look of your kitchen by changing the color of the walls and/or re-surfacing or re-painting the cabinets. Cabinet re-facing, is more expensive than painting, but still saves about 50 percent over all new cabinets. As long as your cabinets aren’t laminate or melamine, you can re-paint them yourself. New drawer and door pulls will make a huge difference in the look of your kitchen.
Color: go for a 60-30-10 color scheme (60 percent of a main color, 30 percent of a complementary color and 10 percent for an accent color like a backsplash or a trim detail.) Keep the big items like cabinets on the neutral side and accent with elements like wall paint, window treatments and small appliances. Florescent under-cabinet lighting strips are easy and inexpensive. Spending a couple hundred dollars to upgrade the kitchen sink or even just the faucet can also go a long way in sprucing up your kitchen.
Counter Top Options:
Granite: Price: $35 to $125 per square foot, installed
Pros: natural beauty in multiple finishes and exotic colors, can pick own slab, resists heat, durable, waterproof, can be honed to produce a matte finish.
Cons: porous and stains if not properly sealed, can scratch, bacterial concerns. Maintenance: needs sealing once or twice a year by homeowner.
Quartz: Price: $56 to $86 per square foot, installed
Pros: durable, non-porous, resistant to scratches and stains, doesn’t chip, more uniform appearance, no bacterial issues, many choices, some have 10-year warranty.
Cons: not as natural looking, undermount sink has to be cut carefully to match. Maintenance: needs no sealing or refinishing. Easy to clean.
Solid Surface material: Price: $32 to $70 per square foot, installed
Pros: seamless appearance, non-porous, repairable, wide variety of colors and patterns, needs no sealing.
Cons: softer material so can be scratched, sensitive to heat.
Laminate: Price: $3 – $8 per lineal foot, installed
Pros: variety of colors and patterns, needs no sealing, easy to clean, non-porous.
Cons: scratches and chips, not heat resistant.
Ceramic Tile: Price: $8 – $20 per square foot, installed
Pros: variety of colors and patterns,
Cons: fragile, hard to clean, grout stains, bacteria in grout, needs periodic sealing.