Nevv cabinets and countertops typically reflect the most significant investments in a kitchen remodeling project. In addition to their high costs, often totaling as much as 50% of the project cost, the cabinets and countertops play a decisive role in determining the look and feel of a kitchen. The choice to replace the cabinets usually defines the line between a cosmetic make-over and a major remodeling job; if you’re replacing cabinets, you’re likely to replace counter-tops, appliances and perhaps the flooring.
lf your present cabinets provide adequate storage, you may consider refacing or painting them either option is far less costly than installing new cabinets. As for countertop materials, you’ll find there are many to choose from including less common options, such as wood, natural stone, stainless steel and concrete. However, most homeowners select one of the three surfaces discussed in this chapter- plastic laminate, ceramic tile and solid surfacing. Be sure to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each countertop material, and remember that you aren’t limited to one; you may use a plastic laminate surface for most of your counters, for example, then splurge for a small section of butcher block or marble.
Compared with cabinets and countertops, the sink and faucet comprise a relatively small part of your kitchen remodeling budget, but the importance of these purchases far outweighs their costs, since they are typically the most-used elements of the kitchen. Sinks and faucets come in wide ranges of designs and configurations, which should make it easy to find ones that fit your budget, lifestyle and design scheme.