Kitchen remodels add serious bang for the buck. Research suggests that even minor kitchen updates are some of the best things you can do from a resale standpoint.
But not every remodel is a winner. Some are overloaded with every home design trend in the book! And you know what? The popularity of many of those trends is based on myths about what makes a kitchen good rather than the reality of cooking, entertaining and living in a space.
Luckily, “live and learn” doesn’t have to be your motto. With this fact-or-fiction guide, you won’t be the homeowner who’s in for a rude awakening post-remodel. Whether you’re DIYing or hiring out, keep reading for six kitchen remodeling myths—debunked!
Tile Floors Are the Only Practical Option
This might have been true around the last turn of the century, but today, it’s nothing but a myth. Worried about your kitchen floors holding up to high foot traffic, dropped cookware and cutlery, spills and environmental factors like humidity? Don’t report directly to the tile aisle.
Engineered Wood Flooring
If you prefer a tile floor, of course, go for it! If a wood look is more your speed, though, consider a luxury vinyl plank or laminate wood flooring with realistic wood design and incredible texture. Both options are durable, and some have the added bonus of being water-resistant.
And, thanks to thoughtful design details, many luxury laminate and vinyl floors available today have the character ascribed to traditional solid hardwood and engineered wood flooring. Artisanal scraping and wire-brushing, chatter marks—today, these are the norm rather than the exception. That means you won’t have to compromise on looks in order to get the practicality you need underfoot.
A Convection Oven Is a Must-Have
For years, chefs and home cooks alike have duked it out over the value of convection. The bottom line, though, is this: If you prefer to cook with gas, you’ll be paying significantly more for a convection oven or range, and the impact it can make on your cooking might be negligible.
Why? Because convection requires electricity to work. If gas is your heat source, you’ll need a dual-fuel oven. That comes with a higher price tag, which may or may not be worth it depending on what you think about how much of a difference convection makes when you’re baking something.
Bigger Is Always Better
A gourmet kitchen isn’t synonymous with a massive kitchen. In fact, the more square footage you allot to your cooking space, the more work you actually make for yourself.
Think about it from a practical point of view: How many times do you cross from your refrigerator to your cutting while you’re prepping dinner? How many times do you walk from your cooktop to your sink? The more steps you take, the more effort you’re expelling trying to cook instead of actually cooking.
The layout of your kitchen is its most important feature. For maximum efficiency, place your refrigerator, your cooktop and your sink in a triangle configuration. Limit the distance between your workspaces and don’t place any unnecessary obstacles in your path.
Marble Is the Way to Go
Marble countertops are beautiful–we won’t even try to deny that. But when it comes to natural stone, marble is just the well-marketed beginning. Other stones, like granite, quartz and quartzite, are just as beautiful and can be far less expensive to install on your kitchen counters.
They’re also easier to live with. Marble is the softest and most porous stone you can buy. It chips and scratches easily, even when it’s sealed, and if you’re not careful with stray droplets and water glasses, you’ll see the marks forever.
You Get What You Pay for
In some situations, it’s worth it to shell out for high-quality items. In many others, though, it just doesn’t make sense. Do you need all those bells and whistles? Will the value of your home support the cost of professional-grade appliances? Those answers depend on your situation.
Consumer Reports is a great place to go for basic research on popular home appliance brands, from GE and Whirlpool all the way up to Thermador and Viking. In our experience, though, you can’t beat seeing and feeling appliances in person. Even if you can’t get your hands on the exact model you’re interested in, tugging on refrigerator door handles and playing with burner knobs on a similar product manufactured by the same brand can help you decide if you’ll be satisfied with this investment down the road.
You should also keep warranties and maintenance contracts in mind. Before you buy, check the manufacturers’ websites to see what guarantees they offer for their appliances. You should also look around locally to make sure there is a well-rated repair service that works on the brands you’re considering.
The “Stuff” Comes Later
You always have more things to put away than you think you do. Somehow, this is especially true for the kitchen. While you can prune your appliance selection and nix the three extra can openers you’ve collected over the years, you can’t hide from the fact that plates and silverware and pots and blenders add up. It’s a lot of stuff!
That’s why you need to consider your kitchen as a working space rather than just another pretty room. It needs to function, and to do that, it must hold all your necessary bits and bobs.
To make sure that at the end of your remodel you have a kitchen you genuinely enjoy using, go into the process thinking strategically. Understand roughly how much space you need for dishes, flatware and cooking tools. Know where you’re going to store your stand mixer and how you want to display your grandmother’s wedding china.
If you do this, you’ll come out on the other end not just with a kitchen remodel that will kick up your home’s value but with a space that lives and works well for you and for any other chef who comes along.
-This is a guest post not wrwitten by the site’s owner.