Home Improvement Tips: Have Fun Remodeling Your Kitchen

The kitchen is probably the most feared project in any house. There is so much to do in there that you could spend months trying to perfect it if you do not have a goal in mind. Spend as much time deliberating what you want out of your kitchen. Any wasted space is just that. Wasted!

Do you want to have a place to eat in there or is that what your dining room is for? Some people have their kitchen set up for breakfast eating while others spend all meals in there. The choice is yours. You may want an island for people to sit at and eat. Whatever you choose will be your preference. Choose wisely.

As an example, I will use a kitchen that is 10′ x 10′. That may not sound like much space to move around in, but when the year 1900 came around the average family in America lived in a 400 square foot home. That is 20′ x 20.’ We are really well of these days. Your average depth for a counter top is two feet, and its height it three feet. The toe kick below is three or four inches high and two inches deep. When planning out this size of kitchen, try to make the best of it.

After much research you find that you cannot extend the room in either direction. Therefore you are constrained to this set footage. If your sink is not centered you may want to rethink the layout of your cabinets. It could be that it is not centered because you have a dishwasher beside it. If that is the case, then maybe it is best to leave the sink where it is.

The best foot pattern from sink to refrigerator to stove is a triangular one. The smaller the triangle, the better it is on your feet. Keep this in mind when planning out the layout of the kitchen.

Most, but not all, sinks are positioned so that the washer can look out and see what is going on outside. How big is that window? Are you willing to lose cupboard space for a larger window? If so, start taking stuff out and take down those cabinets. You can put in narrower modules and stain or paint them to match. If you have brick on the outside wall, you may want to call someone in to put in that new window you want so badly.

If you have the bucks and want to put a new kitchen in, then go for it. Take out the stove and refrigerator so that all the cabinets can be removed. Take up the tile, linoleum or carpet if that is what is on the floor. While everything is out, think about the electrical wiring.

Replace the electrical wiring if it needs it. Add in any additional outlets that you may want or need. Think about under cabinet lighting, and install that if you like the idea. Take care of the plumbing issues, and get the pipes fitted to where they need to be so that your sink and dishwasher will install well. When you have the electrical and plumbing taken care of for the most part, you can start installing the new cabinets.

You may want to hold off and put in some alcove trim up at the ceiling. This adds an appeal to the kitchen that you may not have thought of before. Wait to stain it once the cabinets and trim are installed. This way all of it is stained the same color. Stain sometimes changes color if it sets too long.

When installing the new cabinets, make sure they are level. Use wood shims to level them out side to side, and front to back. Do the same thing when installing the new countertop. Some of the man made marble tops are really easy to work with. Formica tops are common, and do not lose their appeal. Another good choice would be the butcher block top. As soon as the countertop is secured, you need to put up a splashguard up at the back of the countertop against the wall. Seal it up with caulk.

At this point you should have your upper cabinets all ready in place. Now you are ready to stain them if you want. I find that in a small kitchen it is best to have the walls slightly darker than the cabinets since the cabinets add depth. If you don’t want to do that, I completely understand. Now you can slide your…wait! Wait!

The floor isn’t done!

Tile that floor to make it easy for you to clean. Sweeping and mopping will go much easier and faster. After you have grouted in those last tile, let it set for a day so as not to disturb the floor. Come back and install the base trim around the walls. Be sure you trim the doorways fist so you do not have to re-cut the base trim.

Put down some paper or a drop cloth and get out the stain. Again, paint if you wish, but stain sells better. Use cheesecloth to stain with, and wear gloves to not stain your hands. Make sure your house is well ventilated. Open a window, or two or three. When the stain dries, go back over it with varnish to seal it up from future water spots.

Install your new sink, garbage disposal and dishwasher. If your water line for your refrigerator is under the sink then run the line for it before you start storing away kitchen articles. Secure all the plumbing and test for leaks.

Since you can paint over stain, but cannot stain over paint, you are now ready to paint the kitchen. I would mask off the cabinets and trim, and cover them well before painting. Paint the ceiling first since you will want to work your way down.

If you needed more lighting then you should have thought of that before painting the ceiling. I like fluorescent lighting, but you may not. You could raise your ceiling into the attic in order to have recessed lighting. This is quite a project in itself, but would brighten up that small kitchen well.

All that is left now is to decorate the kitchen once you have installed the refrigerator and stove. You could put in one of those microwaves that go well above a stovetop. They vent out the smoke from when you are frying up a dish on the stovetop. Now you are ready for company.

A well planned kitchen will bring lots of joy to your home. Having a well laid out triangular foot pattern from the stove to sink and refrigerator will also not wear you out when cooking. That wonderful new lighting you installed will bring you back to the kitchen every time. You may find this to become your favorite room in the house.

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