Author Topic: Frugal kitchen reno  (Read 34030 times)

MMMdude

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Frugal kitchen reno
« on: January 26, 2013, 01:56:03 PM »
My home was built in the 80's and much of it is still from that era.  The kitchen has that 'golden oak' look that was popular back in the day.  What I'd like to do is paint the cabinetry white.   Has anyone done this, and how did it turn out?  The trim and pantry door in my home have the same color.  My concern is that the new white cabinets won't match the trim and I really don't want to paint/replace all the trim in my home.  Has anyone gone through that?

Also would like to update the countertop.  Don't want to go crazy with granite, but what is a an alternative.  Something that will of course last, be easy to clean and look good?


c

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 02:28:00 PM »
Do you know this site http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/

They have a ton of posts on painted cabinets and lots of budget kitchen renovation posts.

I've been looking around and found this place, they seem to have decently priced simple pieces that you could paint. http://www.barkerdoor.com/mdf-cabinet-doors-s/6.htm

My apartment was renovated in the 80s with melamine cabinets, a plastic jacuzzi tub and other Period wonders. I'm slowly fixing and replacing stuff as it's all at the end of its life. I did some research and can find the exact same bathroom sink (which I actually quite like and would keep if it wasn't chipped and cracked to hell) for $40 NEW! Which gives you some idea of the quality.

ETA, I also found this http://www.cabinetparts.com/c/countertop-laminate-products-laminate-sheets-for-countertops during my searches, it looks like it could be an easy, cheap update, but I haven't done any research about durability.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 02:31:14 PM by c »

kendallf

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2013, 09:15:03 PM »
I like that Barker cabinet door page; thanks for the link!

grantmeaname

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 08:06:31 AM »
My home was built in the 80's and much of it is still from that era.  The kitchen has that 'golden oak' look that was popular back in the day.  What I'd like to do is paint the cabinetry white.   Has anyone done this, and how did it turn out?  The trim and pantry door in my home have the same color.  My concern is that the new white cabinets won't match the trim and I really don't want to paint/replace all the trim in my home.  Has anyone gone through that?

Also would like to update the countertop.  Don't want to go crazy with granite, but what is a an alternative.  Something that will of course last, be easy to clean and look good?

Check out a used building materials store, like a Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The prices are insanely good... even granite might be in your price range, and cheaper than Corian would be new.

Midwest

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 09:30:25 AM »
My home was built in the 80's and much of it is still from that era.  The kitchen has that 'golden oak' look that was popular back in the day.  What I'd like to do is paint the cabinetry white.   Has anyone done this, and how did it turn out?  The trim and pantry door in my home have the same color.  My concern is that the new white cabinets won't match the trim and I really don't want to paint/replace all the trim in my home.  Has anyone gone through that?

Also would like to update the countertop.  Don't want to go crazy with granite, but what is a an alternative.  Something that will of course last, be easy to clean and look good?

We used one of the rustoleum cabinet refacing kits and put in granite look formica.  Counter was $500 or $600 with the sink pre-cut.  I added cabinets, put in a new sink and dishwasher.  Total cost was under $1500.

We have 2 kids and the cabinets look good after 1 year.  They have a white kit.  With our without the kit, I would consider using polyurethane over the finish.

The rustoleum product uses a brush on polyurethane coat.  If you use poly, spray the doors instead of using their brush on product.

darkelenchus

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 10:08:55 AM »
What I'd like to do is paint the cabinetry white.   Has anyone done this, and how did it turn out?

I've owned and/or renovated three homes, and have painted cabinets in each. It always improved the look.

A word of advice: make sure to sand and prime the cabinets before you paint. Also, since you're dealing with kitchen cabinets, you'll want an easily wipeable surface, so the higher gloss, the better. I wouldn't go any lower than eggshell.

Quote
The trim and pantry door in my home have the same color.  My concern is that the new white cabinets won't match the trim and I really don't want to paint/replace all the trim in my home.  Has anyone gone through that?

There are many shades of white. If you go to the hardware store, they'll have paint swatches that you'll be able to take home so that you can match the paint with the color of the trim. If you don't find a shade of white that you like, try a different color.

Another option would be to refinish the cabinets with a product from Rustoleum called Cabinet Transformations

Quote
Also would like to update the countertop.  Don't want to go crazy with granite, but what is a an alternative.  Something that will of course last, be easy to clean and look good?

My wife and I are planning on updating our countertop with Countertop Transformation. Costs about $200, covers 50 sq. ft., and looks really nice.


meadow lark

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2013, 11:01:32 AM »
Laminate countertops are great, depending on your price point.  I may go for granite before we sell, but we have a pretty small kitchen so it shouldn't be to bad.  I think the smaller the kitchen the more important the nicer finishes are.  And the less expensive, too.  40 sq ft of granite is not that bad.

Also, one free- ish update:  if you have a scalloped wood board as trim connecting the cabinets on each side of the sink, remove it.  You can either leave it off, or re-cut it in an arc and replace it, which is much more modern and not dated looking like the scalloped edge.

GoStumpy

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2013, 07:57:46 PM »
We JUST finished painting our wood cabinets & flooring... before we had white peel & stick flooring with wood cabinets, now we have wood flooring with white cabinets :)  LOVE IT!



Hardest part is sanding & priming both sides of each door.. can only paint one side until it's completely dry, flip, paint, flip, paint, flip....etc...

I hope I never do it again :)

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 07:58:35 AM »
I did this, and all the above advice is spot on.  Basically took everything down, sanded down to wood, primed several thin coats, painted high gloss white several thin coats, put 'em back up.  All baseboard trim had to be covered with new trim (could replace, I covered).  Each cabinet box had to have the edging taken off and re-edged (can be a pain to make it look good).  All melamine bits of trim had to be replaced with white bits.  It took a year of weekends and holidays picking away at it.  Was not expensive, but very time-consuming to do it right.

For counters, our next step, we are considering these folks:  http://www.granitetransformations.ca/

TL;DR: yep, sand, prime and paint.  But all the trim and small things will take 5x as long as you think.

GoStumpy

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2013, 08:12:06 AM »
Agree with the year, I started my kitchen reno last MARCH, and I still have to do baseboards/corner trim/kickpanels :(

gotaholen1

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2013, 11:30:17 AM »
FYI Barker Door is fantastic.  We ordered about 2K worth of doors from them late last year and the quality is incredible.  Shipping was free as we spent over $1500

Spork

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2013, 12:03:03 PM »
Laminate countertops are great, depending on your price point.  I may go for granite before we sell, but we have a pretty small kitchen so it shouldn't be to bad.  I think the smaller the kitchen the more important the nicer finishes are.  And the less expensive, too.  40 sq ft of granite is not that bad.


I second this.  My parents' house was built in 1964.  They still have the original laminate counters and they still look great.

When we just built, we went with laminate.  The cost difference vs everything else we looked at was staggering.  There are even some laminates with a bit of surface texture in them that give a bit of a higher $ look without much actual higher $.

The only place we put granite was in a small bath -- and there we bought a remnant from a granite yard.  This one in particular sells all their remnants at a fixed price, regardless of size or rarity of the rock.

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2013, 12:29:13 PM »
We are in the midst of renovating two kitchens.  We bought a set of oak cabinets used for $200.  We are having them painted and have already mounted the backs and removed the doors.  The process is clean, sand, prime, paint.

I am putting some freestanding antique furniture in the kitchen as well which was also bought online used. We are painting it to match the kitchen (white mostly with some turquoise and yellow).  Great storage and nice look and very reasonably priced (three pieces for $400 total).  One of the pieces is a buffet that will have counter added on top to be an island, another is old cupboards with doors and the third is a hutch cabinet combo.

For countertops we have not yet decided but it will likely be nice-looking laminate or perhaps butcher block ikea countertops.

My tip is scan your used online listings for high-end stuff like faucets/sinks and appliances for cheap.  Go to ebay for pulls.  For flooring we are still not decided in one unit but have used high end laminate in two other kitchens (from Costco).  Invest in excellent small details like lighting and plate racks.

Spork

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2013, 12:47:10 PM »


My tip is scan your used online listings for high-end stuff like faucets/sinks and appliances for cheap.  Go to ebay for pulls.  For flooring we are still not decided in one unit but have used high end laminate in two other kitchens (from Costco).  Invest in excellent small details like lighting and plate racks.

From my personal experience (your mileage may vary) I wouldn't use laminate in "wet areas" like kitchens.  If, perchance, it is the old-school laminate with wood chip core and glue-up edges, you might be okay.  If it is the new-school type of laminate with paper cores and snap-together edges, then slight water will cause the edges to cup.

and I do mean "slight water".  My water damage came from a dog with doggie-dementia that lost his ability to understand "go outside."

stevedoug

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2013, 01:20:57 PM »
  For flooring we are still not decided in one unit but have used high end laminate in two other kitchens (from Costco).

I'm curious about this costco flooring.
I'm redoing my condo kitchen and want to go inexpensive, but maintain a somewhat high quality look. I was considering vinyl roll flooring (some stone pattern or something).

how does the costco flooring process work?

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2013, 01:52:05 PM »
We used autumn oak golden select laminate and are very happy with it so far.  Looks expensive but was very affordable, 30 year warranty and has held up under spills.  Our room actually looks very similar to the brochure room with fireplace, windows in same spots and bamboo blinds on the small windows.  It is a nice look: 

https://www.goldenselect.ca/en/laminate/autumn-oak/

http://forums.redflagdeals.com/golden-select-laminate-flooring-costco-any-experiences-762805/

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2013, 02:59:35 PM »
Just noticed it will go on sale at Costco again in March ($7 off per package):
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/costco-2013-winter-savings-jan-7-april-7-a-1281818/

savingtofreedom

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 04:50:39 PM »
Thanks for the info on the costco flooring.  Very tempting.  We have carpets almost everywhere and I hate them.  I have thought about putting in wood flooring.   Also need to paint the house and would like a new countertop.  Right now I haven't done anything.   I can see how easy it is get wrapped into doing alot. 

If anyone gets the Costco flooring - let us know how it goes.

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 04:57:22 PM »
The Golden Select is 1.58 per square foot (on sale) and this includes the foam backing so you don't need to buy the foam separately.  It was the best deal we found.  The packages are really really heavy so you need two people to move them.

c

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2013, 06:03:30 PM »
  I think the smaller the kitchen the more important the nicer finishes are.  And the less expensive, too.  40 sq ft of granite is not that bad.

This is what I'm coming to find after living in my small apartment. I've also found that there's really not any area that doesn't get used, so durability is a concern. So long dreams of marble...

I don't like granite, but I know it's a good, long lasting option. I wanted poured concrete, but weight is an issue and my countertops take a beating. We have a tiny space to use for prep and in reality aren't that great about where we put hot pots, randomly cutting up limes on the countertop etc.

Kenoryn

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2013, 09:58:32 PM »
You could consider a tile countertop. Because it's such a small area square-foot-wise you can often get ends of batches from people's larger projects on Kijiji/Craigslist or at the ReStore or similar very cheaply. I did a mosaic tile floor in my bathroom and got free tile from the discontinued sample pieces at the tile store (that only works if you don't need a whole bunch of any one thing though). Tile has the option of high-end materials like marble, is an easy DIY thing, and if you want you can have fun with the design of it.

Or, if you have/know someone with woodworking equipment (i.e. jointer, planer and table saw) you could make a wood countertop. Then you'd either need some durable hard finish on it (not sure what they use on commercial ones - presumably, nothing food-safe) or a food-safe finish you'd re-apply regularly like walnut oil.

velocistar237

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2013, 04:39:37 AM »
There's also "engineered wood" flooring, which is between laminate and hardwood. It has a plywood substrate and a ~1/2" hardwood layer. It's supposed to be more stable than hardwood and more resistant to moisture than laminate.

I second the wood counter. You can get a butcher block top from Ikea for pretty cheap, or glue one up yourself. I would avoid planks because of expansion issues. Treat it with a salad bowl finish or other food-safe finish. From what I've heard, the upkeep is not as bad as people make it out to be. You'd have to seal granite twice a year, and I imagine that wood would be similar.

Consider getting a paint sprayer. Harbor Freight sells one (I have no experience with it), or you could get a used one. It could reduce your kitchen down-time by quite a bit. Consider using Floetrol to smooth the finish, especially if you use a paintbrush. Also, a random orbital sander could help, and a sanding sponge to get into the trim work.

gotaholen1

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2013, 08:05:14 AM »
I have done a few granite tile countertops.  I would highly recommend this if other in your neighborhood do not have granite countertops.  If you are in an area where granite is expected, then bite the bullet and try to find a deal, if not consider granite tile.

I have done 3 granite tile countertops with the 12X12 tiles and I think my favorite was the black.  You should be able to get these tiles for about $4 each, and you can do a backsplash with a bit more flair (maybe a natural stone with a small design row).

There are other expenses with granite tile such as cement board and wood, but I think you should be able to do it for about $10-$15 per square foot.

LadyM

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2013, 06:02:30 PM »
I renovated our kitchen 6 years ago with IKEA cabinets, and I couldn't be happier.  The cabinets still look fantastic, the construction is solid, and they make their hinges and drawer glides with optional dampers you can attach to quiet everything, and it's great to not hear slamming cabinets.

I uploaded the gallery of my renovation on IKEAFANS: http://www.ikeafans.com/galleries/index.php?u=8336  You have to go to page 3 for what it looked like before (in fact, before we moved in, with the old owner's furniture).  The kitchen LOOKED nice before, but was laid out poorly and very difficult to work in.  I re-designed it to be a more efficient layout, galley-style kitchen with a giant island.  We replaced the floor (old cheap pergo) with a nice high-end dupont laminate floor that looks like black slate tiles, special order at Home Depot.  The counters are all laminate from home depot, and they cost about $650 - most expensive piece was the 36" deep island top. 

We did the whole thing for about $6,000, and that number includes: cabinets, new dishwasher, countertops, flooring, stainless steel panel backsplash, hardware, interior fittings, paint, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and trim.  We didn't move any utilities, just re-oriented how you approach them.  The stove got moved over about a foot and the sink got pushed into the wall from that silly corner orientation.  We did all the work ourselves: I did the planning and layout, assembled all the cabinets, and my dad came over and helped me with demolition and installation.  We got the old stuff demo'd in a half of a friday, and the cabinet boxes (no doors), sink, stove, and dishwasher in place by Sunday night.  Then I just did a few doors and drawers each evening during the week, and painted and put the new floor down the following weekend.

I love the look of it, but more importantly I love how it FUNCTIONS, and I couldn't be happier.  I'm also happy with the laminate counter, as it is a workhorse and we picked a nice one that has a stone look to it.  That said, if I ever did want to replace or upgrade the counters to some flashier, I'd probably go with manufactured quartz (dupont Zodiaq) or some sort of recycled glass countertop.

This may not answer you frugal question about cabinet painting, but it's another option, especially if the functionality of your kitchen is a major irritation.  I would have been happy enough with the original white cabinets and the look of the old kitchen if it didn't suck so much to do anything in it.  You don't really get to know a kitchen until you spend some time working in it, or at least trying to work in it.

c

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2013, 04:33:45 PM »
I just assembled the drawer I bought from http://www.barkerdoor.com/How-to-Assemble-Drawer-Boxes-s/120.htm

It was cheaper than IKEA and so much better quality. It was easy enough to put together and is really sturdy. I'm so pleased, especially since it was a weird custom size.

A440

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 08:51:18 PM »
This is a post from a forum where lots of people are doing crazy expensive kitchen remodels, but a significant number are also doing some amazing stuff on reasonable budget.  If you are open to dark cabinets, the poster Celticmoon did an amazing kitchen makeover over-staining her builder oak cabinets. 

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0112173522421.html

Painting oak is okay but I think for the best results you need some sort of filler to get into the open grain.


GoStumpy

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 02:13:10 PM »
All the stars lined up, and I have my new granite countertop for a new kitchen island in my truck.. to be installed tonight...

Total investment has been $175 ($25 was a case of beer for the granite folks), and tonight I'll be enjoying my island worth ~$2500 :)

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #27 on: March 01, 2013, 02:38:37 PM »
Awesome!

c

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2013, 06:43:56 PM »
Congrats, that's awesome! Post photos when it's done.

GoStumpy

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2013, 10:11:59 PM »
OVER THE MOON happy!!!








c

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2013, 06:31:20 AM »
Wow, that's a lovely  piece of stone. I would be over the moon too.

Spork

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2013, 06:56:12 AM »
Beautiful!

Was this in the "remnant" bin?  (We did a bath counter from the remnant bin).

GoStumpy

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2013, 08:20:50 AM »
Yes it was from the 'remnant' bin!  JUST big enough! 

Plus, it was in the remnant bin of my work neighbors that we get along with very well.. so I got good friend price, from the remnant bin, and I'm going to be fully polishing / detailing the owners black H2, as well as the guy that did the actual work's Dodge Ram.  So I'll be giving ~$600 in detailing in trade for the labor involved in making this masterpiece.

I'm so proud of our frugal kitchen reno :)

Rural

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2013, 10:24:01 AM »
Yes it was from the 'remnant' bin!  JUST big enough! 

Plus, it was in the remnant bin of my work neighbors that we get along with very well.. so I got good friend price, from the remnant bin, and I'm going to be fully polishing / detailing the owners black H2, as well as the guy that did the actual work's Dodge Ram.  So I'll be giving ~$600 in detailing in trade for the labor involved in making this masterpiece.

I'm so proud of our frugal kitchen reno :)

As you should be. That's gorgeous, and a great job of bargain hunting/ bartering!

totoro

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2013, 12:44:52 PM »
Truly beautiful - I admire you for getting it done the way you have for the price you have.

Debbie M

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #35 on: March 04, 2013, 09:52:41 PM »
I've been thinking of countertops a lot myself.  My kitchen has laminate, probably from the 'sixties.  (My house was built in the 'fifites, but most of the houses here have tile counters, so it seems like it was renovated.  And the counters are orange, so I'm guessing 'sixties.)  The counters are in great shape.  They do get stained (grape juice), but the stains eventually come out--and it turns out I don't care about that at all.  We use cutting boards and hot pads, but the house was a rental for many years before I bought it, so I know those counters took a beating.  There are only two reasons I want to replace it: 1) orange, 2) I want to replace the in-kitchen washer with more cabinets and attached counter, and it seems like it all should be one piece.

I'm not a fan of those period tile counters the rest of my neighborhood has--they are a pain to clean--I love the flat counters I have now so much more.  I'm also not a fan of granite--if you set a glass down the wrong way, it breaks.  Laminate is soft and forgiving.

The only problem is that I don't know if modern laminate is still good or if it's different now that we're not allowed to have poisons or whatever.  At first I wanted solid surface (such as Corian), but it's quite expensive, so I'm leaning toward more laminate next time.  Just trying to figure out if some colors are more regrettable than others.  The orange is fine if you like orange.  We're sort of fantasizing about some sort of mottled black with red cabinets, white walls and trim, and black-and-white checkerboard tiles.  But I'm not sure how well an extreme color like black would last.  I also like the old-timey white counters with gold flecks in them--I once had a table sort of like that, so I know you can see the stains, but I think I don't care.  There's a difference between use or patina and something just wearing out or wearing through.  I don't mind something looking old or used; I do mind it being trashed.

Another issue is water flow.  We've developed a section of counter that seems to collect water into a puddle.  I guess ideally there would be a slight tendency for water to flow toward the sink or something.  No one ever talks about this, though.

Spork

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2013, 07:47:49 AM »
I've been thinking of countertops a lot myself.  My kitchen has laminate, probably from the 'sixties.  (My house was built in the 'fifites, but most of the houses here have tile counters, so it seems like it was renovated.  And the counters are orange, so I'm guessing 'sixties.)  The counters are in great shape.  They do get stained (grape juice), but the stains eventually come out--and it turns out I don't care about that at all.  We use cutting boards and hot pads, but the house was a rental for many years before I bought it, so I know those counters took a beating.  There are only two reasons I want to replace it: 1) orange, 2) I want to replace the in-kitchen washer with more cabinets and attached counter, and it seems like it all should be one piece.

I'm not a fan of those period tile counters the rest of my neighborhood has--they are a pain to clean--I love the flat counters I have now so much more.  I'm also not a fan of granite--if you set a glass down the wrong way, it breaks.  Laminate is soft and forgiving.

The only problem is that I don't know if modern laminate is still good or if it's different now that we're not allowed to have poisons or whatever.  At first I wanted solid surface (such as Corian), but it's quite expensive, so I'm leaning toward more laminate next time.  Just trying to figure out if some colors are more regrettable than others.  The orange is fine if you like orange.  We're sort of fantasizing about some sort of mottled black with red cabinets, white walls and trim, and black-and-white checkerboard tiles.  But I'm not sure how well an extreme color like black would last.  I also like the old-timey white counters with gold flecks in them--I once had a table sort of like that, so I know you can see the stains, but I think I don't care.  There's a difference between use or patina and something just wearing out or wearing through.  I don't mind something looking old or used; I do mind it being trashed.

Another issue is water flow.  We've developed a section of counter that seems to collect water into a puddle.  I guess ideally there would be a slight tendency for water to flow toward the sink or something.  No one ever talks about this, though.

We had exactly the same internal arguments here.  Both my parents and TLW's parents have 1960s houses with original laminate that looks pretty darn good for 50ish years.  We went with laminate.  It's only a year old, so I can't tell you much about wear, but ... it still looks like it did the day it was installed.

Ours has a tiny bit of texture to it... in other words, it's not absolutely flat.  It looks ever so slightly like a drywall knock-down texture.  Smooth enough that it cleans easily, but enough texture that it adds more hiding for future imperfections. 

I'm happy with ours.  My 2 cents.

babysteps

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2013, 08:57:01 AM »
We moved almost 2 years ago (downsized, lower cost area-and closer to family) and did a minor kitchen reno (new paint floor & counters, new-to-us appliances, kept the cabinets as-is). 

We actually left the original 1955 laminate on the pass-through and buffet counters, and put new laminate on the 8' long sink counter. 

Because there were no turns, if we had planned ahead far enough we could have done stainless steel for not *too* much more (well, a big % but not huge incremental $), but by the time we realized this it would have extended the project (and our move-in date) by at least 3 weeks so we stuck with laminate (gray, with slight texture - so similar tone to stainless steel, although no one would mistake it).

So far all the laminate (new and old) is in good shape except one spot on the buffet where if you feel really carefully it is not fully adhered to the cabinet underneath. 

The sink is a 'surface mount'.  It's well sealed, but I splash a lot when I clean up ;) 
I used to help manage rental property, and generally laminate counters held up quite well around water, it is the sink cabinet that often came apart well before its time (relative to the other cabinets) thanks to water - especially the sink cabinet floor and the fascia/fake drawer fronts right under the counter (sometimes also the doors).  Often thought that cheap sink cabinets should come with plastic honeycomb-type cabinet bottoms ;)

Spork

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #38 on: March 05, 2013, 09:06:19 AM »


The sink is a 'surface mount'.  It's well sealed, but I splash a lot when I clean up ;) 
I used to help manage rental property, and generally laminate counters held up quite well around water, it is the sink cabinet that often came apart well before its time (relative to the other cabinets) thanks to water - especially the sink cabinet floor and the fascia/fake drawer fronts right under the counter (sometimes also the doors).  Often thought that cheap sink cabinets should come with plastic honeycomb-type cabinet bottoms ;)

Where I've seen problems around water, it hasn't been the laminate, but the underlying structure.  Like you say: it is usually MDF or possibly plywood.  What is imperative here is that the edges have a good caulk seal so that no water gets under to the underlying material.

Rural

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #39 on: March 07, 2013, 05:36:49 AM »
Thanks for the reminders; we'll be installing our sink in another week or so. We did find unfinished solid wood cabinets at a salvage place; I'm hoping that helps. We'll have to see , though: turns out the frames and fronts are solid wood, but the bottom of the sink cabinet definitely isn't. For the price, I can't really complain.

Editing to add the point of my post in the first place: So, yeah, seal it well.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 05:44:00 AM by Rural »

Jack

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #40 on: March 07, 2013, 06:55:40 AM »
I'm not a fan of those period tile counters the rest of my neighborhood has--they are a pain to clean--I love the flat counters I have now so much more.  I'm also not a fan of granite--if you set a glass down the wrong way, it breaks.  Laminate is soft and forgiving.

There are other options beyond laminate, tile and granite, you know. There's wood butcher block, soapstone (which is softer than granite, and was often used for sinks in really old houses as well as old laboratory countertops), epoxy or phenolic resin (which is what's used on modern laboratory countertops), PaperStone (an "eco-friendly" brand of phenolic resin using post-consumer recycled paper), stainless steel, cement (which can be DIY!), etc.

meadow lark

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2013, 05:16:26 PM »
In our rental the bottom of the sink cabinet was warped, so I bought contact paper (in a wood grain) and papered over a piece of plywood and set it on top of the warped bottom.  It looks clean, and neat.  And no longer warped.  I have also seen the suggestion to use vinyl self-stick tile.

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2013, 02:33:50 PM »
I don't know whether to put this here or the Anti-mustachian hall of shame but crap, I just clicked on the zillow "Budget kitchens" tab and apparently a budget kitchen is in the $30k range?  What the hell? I sure hope not. 

http://www.zillow.com/digs/budget-kitchens/

We're planning on redoing ours next year and are thinking some small fraction of that--keep the cabinets (we'll need 2 new ones as we expand the counter beyond what's there now but they're not custom so we can just get two more of the same style), new countertops, new flooring.  I assume countertops will be the big outlay. Flooring will hopefully be craigslist sourced. I'm not sure I could spend $30k if I wanted to--the induction range of my dreams only gets me $2k of the way...

I guess that has me thinking--what is the most expensive part of a typical kitchen reno? Re-plumbing? Appliances?

Spork

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2013, 02:55:56 PM »

My anecdotal observation: The amount spent on a kitchen/appliances is inversely proportional to the amount of cooking that goes on inside it.

grantmeaname

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2013, 05:53:25 PM »
I guess that has me thinking--what is the most expensive part of a typical kitchen reno? Re-plumbing? Appliances?
The Kitchen reno for my third house in the Catskills was awfully pricy if you count the butler's quarters, the larder, and the wine cellar and cheese cave. File that under appliances?

iamsoners

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #45 on: March 26, 2013, 05:54:15 PM »

c

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2013, 08:23:33 PM »
My setup is similar to Bittman's and, for me, it sucks. Tonight I doubled the recipe for the veg lasagna I made the other week. It was a massive PiTA having to balance bowls of various chopped veg on top of the cat scratching post because I'd run out of counter space.

A colleague recommended the street easy site for ideas on renovations (!). I was horrified at the prices quoted, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm going to pay a plumber to move my sink over so I can have an extra foot of counter space where the cat scratching post currently is.

TwoWheels

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2013, 10:34:32 PM »
I don't know whether to put this here or the Anti-mustachian hall of shame but crap, I just clicked on the zillow "Budget kitchens" tab and apparently a budget kitchen is in the $30k range?  What the hell? I sure hope not.

I was recently talking with someone who had just had her kitchen remodeled. Apparently she decided not to have the cabinets replaced because it would've cost around $70k. Now, she has a lot of cabinets and I have no idea what kind she was looking at, but holy SHIT. So yeah, I guess I could see $30k being a 'budget' kitchen if you're a sukka who expects to get all-new everything without lifting a finger.

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2013, 08:11:14 AM »
We just renovated our kitchen & master bath for a combined 11K.

We splurged on composite stone countertops as our friend the real estate agent assured us we would make it back if we sell in the next 2 years.


noob515

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Re: Frugal kitchen reno
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2013, 12:03:19 PM »
We used one of the rustoleum cabinet refacing kits and put in granite look formica.  Counter was $500 or $600 with the sink pre-cut.  I added cabinets, put in a new sink and dishwasher.  Total cost was under $1500.

We have 2 kids and the cabinets look good after 1 year.  They have a white kit.  With our without the kit, I would consider using polyurethane over the finish.

The rustoleum product uses a brush on polyurethane coat.  If you use poly, spray the doors instead of using their brush on product.


I used Rustoleum in 2 bathrooms and my kitchen.  I'm happy with how the bathrooms came out, not so much with the kitchen.  Maybe it was my application (visible brush strokes, drip marks), but I don't think the clear coat they provide is up to the wear and tear.  And it's just me and the husband.  Not sure if I want to try again with a different product or not.  Or maybe just suck it up and pay $7k for a cheap remodel by Lowes...

Rustoleum also makes a counter transformation kit - it looks easy enough, but I don't know anyone who's tried it.  They have a fairly limited color selection for it though.