Featured Article

Kitchen Remodel
January 19, 2012

Planning Your KitchenYour kitchen-remodeling project is large or small, you need a plan. Not something sketched on a napkin or jotted down on a few scraps of paper. You need a solid, realistic, accurate plan of what you want, need, and can afford....

More articles on Kitchen Remodeling

A tile kitchen floor

Choosing tile- Ceramic versus stone

Ceramic and stone tiles are used in many of today’s upscale kitchens. They offer many design options in tile size, color, shape, texture, and pattern- all elements that factor into selecting a floor tile. You can pick tile that will give you a look ranging from traditional to modern. But ceramic and stone tiles differ in some ways that you should know about if you’re considering a tile floor.

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Vinyl squares on a kitchen floor

Vinyl squares

Sure, they may remind you of your grandmother’s kitchen, but vinyl squares are still a popular choice for kitchen floors. They’re easier to install than sheet flooring, and if you screw up cutting, you’re only out one tile.

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A vinyl kitchen floor

Staying resilient: Sheet flooring versus vinyl squares

Sheet flooring and vinyl are the two most popular types of flooring in the category called resilient flooring, which is any thin, flexible flooring that’s glued to the subfloor. Either sheet flooring or vinyl is a smart choice if you have young children in the house. Both are relatively flexible, water- and stain-resistant, and easy to clean and maintain. Both surfaces, but especially sheet flooring, are soft enough that a dropped glass stands a good chance of surviving the fall. The cost difference between vinyl squares and sheet flooring is not that large. Sheet flooring costs about 10 percent more than vinyl squares.

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A Kitchen floor decorated with red rug

Floors: Stepping out with style

The kitchen floor is probably the busiest floor in your house. The seemingly endless heavy-traffic flow puts the surface through a lot of wear-and-tear and abuse. Plus, the floor has to tolerate spills, dropped pots and pans, and even the occasional overflowing sink or dishwasher. Throw in the accumulation of dirt and grit from everyday foot traffic and you have to wonder how a kitchen floor lasts at all.

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A woman measuring her walls for wallpaper

Wallpaper math: Deciding how much to buy

Most better wallpaper stores carry a large number of patterns in stock. This means you’ll probably be able to find a pattern and color scheme that fits your taste without having to wait for a special order. Figuring out how much wallpaper you need starts the same way as figuring out how much paint to buy. Measure the width of each wall to be wallpapered and then multiply that figure by the ceiling height. Don’t forget to measure the width and height of smaller areas, too. Again, don’t worry about allowing for door and window openings.

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Kitchen wallpaper border design

Borders: Small touches with big results

A wallpaper border is an easy way to add color and accent to any wall. Borders can divide a wall horizontally or can be used near the ceiling to add color and texture to a plain wall surface. They’re also used to frame doorways and windows. Pattern and color choices in borders are wide ranging, so you should be able to find an in-stock border that you’ll like.

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A kitchen with wall paper patterns

Working with Wallpaper

Just as paint colors can accent a kitchen, so can wallpaper. And even though wallpaper isn’t a hard, stain-resistant surface like paint, it is a viable design option in the kitchen. One important factor to keep in mind is that wallpaper prices range widely. The top-quality paper (which is what you’ll want in a kitchen for durability) is very expensive- so much so that you may want to consider papering only one main wall and painting the rest.

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An elaborately stenciled kitchen wall

Finishing options for that extra-special look

Strolling through model homes is a great way to brush up on today’s decorating trends. You can see the popular colors as well a variety of decorative finishes, styles, designs, textures, and techniques used in today’s kitchens. Each of the following techniques is quite popular. Some involve building up layers of color and use various painting tools and equipment for applying each layer. Here’s a brief overview of several of these techniques. Check with the paint sales professional for additional assistance.

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kitchen cabinets being painted green

Calculating your paint quantity needs

Now that you have a better overall understanding of paint, you need to figure out how much to buy. This process involves some math, but it’s really quite simple. You need a tape measure, a calculator, and a pad and pencil to write down the square footage of the various surfaces. So with these tools in hand, go ahead and calculate!

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A vibrantly painted kitchen

Paint quality: Getting what you pay for

When I was managing a home center, I spent many a busy Saturday in the paint department. I used to tell customers that they were going to have to spend a certain amount of money for materials anyway, so why not spend the extra 20 to 25 percent and buy the better quality paint. The small difference in the price of the better-quality paint would make the job easier, and they’d be happier with the results, especially over time. Incidentally, I never had a single customer come back and complain that they were disappointed that they had spent the extra money for the better paint.

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