Kitchen Remodel Ideas: Myth Vs Truth

    Photo Courtesy of Lisa Wetherell of Lighting House

    My nice next-door neighbor and I had our first disagreement last night. The subject: “Kitchen Remodel: To Do or Not to Do?” We live side by side, each in a condo with an identical very, very 90s kitchen design. I am itching to upgrade mine; he firmly believes that acquiring a taste for renovation is dangerous, making you crave a new kitchen remodel every 5 years.  

    This got me thinking. Seems homeowners believe a lot of “kitchen remodel myths” -- ideas about kitchen remodeling that don’t necessarily make sense. In the interest of objectivity, read on as we answer 8 common myths with the truth.  

    1.  MYTH: A kitchen remodel isn’t worth the bother. It’ll just go out of style in 5 years, anyway.

    TRUTH: Your kitchen remodel is not only about looks: a well-planned kitchen design will make this essential room more efficient, easier to clean, and a welcoming place to gather with family and friends.
    Do be sure to select attractive neutral colors, stainless steel or white appliances, and classic styles for a kitchen remodel that’ll look fresh and appealing for years to come.  

    2.  MYTH: The most convenient time for a kitchen renovation is right after you close on a house, before moving in.

    TRUTH: Buying a house is expensive (probably the priciest purchase you’ll ever make), and brings lots of related costs like furniture and landscaping. It may make sound financial sense to wait a few years until you can afford the kitchen remodel you really want.
    What’s more, once you’ve lived in your home a while, you’ll be better equipped to plan a kitchen design that optimizes the available space, and suits your family’s traffic patterns and routines.

    3.  MYTH: “Go big or go home.” You must do a lavish, floor-to-ceiling kitchen remodel to get the best return on investment when you’re about to sell your house.

    TRUTH: Potential buyers tend to be more interested in your home’s state of repair than whether you have the latest and greatest kitchen decor. And a minor kitchen remodel will usually net a better ROI than a major one (about 81 percent compared to 59 percent, on average, for a midrange upgrade), says Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Vs Value report.

    4.  MYTH: You will need to remodel everything so the older parts won't look out of place.

    TRUTH: An expert remodeler can help you plan a small-scale kitchen remodel that skillfully integrates new elements with old -- for example, replacement flooring that is carefully color coordinated with your existing kitchen cabinet doors and wall paint.

    5.  MYTH: Quartz countertops are better than granite. OR: granite countertops are better than quartz.

    TRUTH: Both quartz and granite are top-quality, high-performance materials for your countertops. Each has pros and cons. Do your research on quartz vs. granite countertops and decide which one you personally prefer.

    6.  MYTH: The only solution for drab, dreary kitchen cabinets is (expensive!) replacement.

    TRUTH: Kitchen cabinets in good shape can be refreshed in any of these time- and money-saving ways:

    • repaint with latex or chalk paint
    • refinish - Gel stain requires minimal sanding and is simple to apply.
    • reface (replace just your kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts)

    7.  MYTH: Fancy features for kitchen cabinets -- like pot and pan organizers or pullout corner fittings – are just frills (AKA a waste of money).

    TRUTH: Installation of kitchen design features that save you time and hassle means money well spent. That’s the conclusion of the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence, whose survey found that homeowners’ biggest kitchen remodel regret was failing to include more organizational aids.

    8.  MYTH: There’s no such thing as an eco-friendly kitchen remodel.

    TRUTH: You can easily green your kitchen remodel using these tips:

    • Replace outdated appliances with efficient Energy Star certified models to reduce electricity consumption. Then recycle the old appliances for parts or scrap metal.
    • Once kitchen cabinets are removed from the wall, reuse them to organize your basement or garage storage. Or donate them to Habitat for Humanity.
    • Choose responsibly sourced, sustainable materials for a green kitchen remodel. For instance, wood for kitchen cabinets should be FSC approved. Also, avoid toxic substances, like high-VOC adhesives, paint, and stain.

    Laura Firszt writes for

    Updated August 19, 2018.

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