By Candis Meredith
Whether you’re renovating old homes to sell like Andy and I do, you’re working with newer homes, or you’re renovating your own home to make it more comfortable and beautiful, you’ve probably noticed that the rules have changed, especially when it comes to kitchens. When you look at remodeling and renovation sites online, you’ll see hardwood and laminate floors, a variety of countertop materials, and all kinds of unconventional ideas.
As fun as it can be to break old design rules and create a totally new space, there are a few rules that you should definitely stick to if you want to do a quality renovation that will improve the value of your house. While some layouts work better than others in certain spaces and some design rules are strictly about personal taste, I want to talk about materials. There are some materials that you should never, ever use in a kitchen remodeling project if you want it to look professional and attractive, and if you want it to be functional for more than a few months.
Linoleum flooring is never a good idea. It might approximately look like tile for the first few months or years after it’s installed, but it tears easily and can quickly start to bubble and peel. If you want flooring that looks like tile, then spend just a few more dollars and go with tile.
If you’re not married to the idea of tile, go with something like laminate flooring. Laminate flooring has come a long way, and you can get water-resistant and waterproof laminates that look so much like real hardwood that you really can’t tell the difference. Either will be a huge improvement over linoleum.
Cheap Laminate or Particleboard Countertops
You can find really great laminate countertops that look and feel like marble or granite. Those are great buys, but then there are the cheaper versions that are really thin or are obviously just laminate over particleboard. Going with either of these options is a sure way to make the whole kitchen look cheap.
Also, when shopping for countertop materials, be sure to do your research on their heat resistance. A lot of cheap laminate countertops can’t withstand the heat of a single hot pot or pan being set on them for even a few seconds. You want to go with a countertop material that will stand up to years of cooking and cleaning, including hot kitchen utensils being placed on it.
Matte paint has a flat finish that looks beautiful, but it’s not a good choice for the kitchen. Why? Because it absorbs stains, and wiping it down can easily degrade it, leaving your paint looking less than gorgeous. If you’re not a huge fan of high-gloss paint, then go with a semi-gloss that’ll be a little bit more muted and subtle than a high-gloss paint but more kitchen-friendly than matte paint.
With very few exceptions, if a material is really cheap, you should be wary of it. Materials like these will look good at first, but after minimal wear and tear, they’ll start looking as cheap as they are. Spending just a bit more money is always worth it in these cases.