Kitchen Remodeling Beyond the Hype

I think I may have written it a million times, but we are in the middle of a full kitchen remodel. The plans have been drawn, the cabinets and appliances purchased, the flooring is just waiting to be installed. The planning is the fun part, I think. Though I hope that it is replaced by the fun p[art of actually using the kitchen when all is said and done.

Consumer Reports talks about the secrets of successful kitchen remodels. One of the reports that spoke to me was avoiding the hype, what to buy instead of the trendy items. I know from experience that when you start really looking at kitchens you can get sucked into the vortex of the newest, hippest, trendiest items. After all the work you don’t want your kitchen to be outdated any time soon.

Here are their tips:

1) Avoid pro style appliances.

I think that this is a tough one. If you are remodeling and thinking of the resale value of your home, you need to consider what your neighbors have. If in your neighborhood there is the expectation that houses will have a pro-style range, you will be doing your home a disservice by not installing one. I have discovered, however, that having one high end appliance is the way to go. If you have a 36″ Viking range, that will be the focus of attention in the kitchen. The other appliances can be faux pro-style stainless steel clad and be had for thousands yet.

2) Speed cooking.

These are cookers that combine microwaving with conventional cooking. I personally did not even entertain buying one of these. I have enough trouble cooking without adding this to the mix. A convection oven is as high tech as I am going.

3) Multimedia Refrigerators.

Yes, they look cool, but according to Consumer Reports, the do not literally cool as well as their traditional counterparts. I love how Consumer Reports says you would be much better served with a conventional refrigerator and a pad of sticky notes.

4) Trendy Counter tops.

If you want your countertops to be maintenance free, you might want to skip some of the more trendy options out there, like poured concrete. I love the look of concrete, but after hearing about its susceptibility to cracking and staining, it was out of the running for me. And though I love the way it looks, so was soapstone. The need for oiling and the easy scratching, even though they can be buffed out, was more than I was willing to do. I’ll take granite. It is timeless and durable.

5) Pricey faucets and sinks.

Have you seen some of the prices? Here you need to do your research. It is important to spend the money on a quality faucet that will hold up to daily use, but many of the higher priced sinks are no different than their lower priced counterparts.

Other things to avoid, according to Consumer Reports — turbocharged dishwashers, appliance drawers, green flooring that is not durable, and one stop shops.