Before Tackling That Kitchen
The right choices—and smart planning—can make the difference between a dream reno and remodeler’s regret. Here to help are a half-dozen tips, gleaned from TOH staffers who have learned their kitchen know-how the hard way
- Found the perfect tile? Be sure to purchase extra, not only to allow for breakage but also so you can test grout colors. Mount tile on small pieces of drywall and try out several shades, keeping in mind the rest of your color palette. If you cook up a custom blend, take care to write down the recipe and precise proportions in case you need to make more.
- Your layout may look great on paper, but get a reality check by using painter’s tape to map out the cabinets, appliances, and any island or peninsula. Don’t forget door swings.
- When deciding where to put the dishwasher, consider your dominant hand. If you’re scraping plates with your right hand, you may find it more ergonomic to install the dishwasher to the left of the sink—less twisting. Store dishware in locations that make unloading one easy motion, too.
- Install electrical outlet strips under upper cabinets instead of cluttering the backsplash with holes. The discreet strips can handle every plug you’ve got, while leaving a seamless, easier-to-install field of tile or stone.
- In a large kitchen, plan for two trash and recycling pullouts—one in the island, so you can toss scraps right into the garbage during meal prep, and the second in a high-traffic spot the whole family can access. Fewer trips to take out the trash makes everyone happy.
- Before you fall in love with some massive fridge or fire-breathing pro range, make sure it will fit around every corner and through every opening between truck delivery and assigned spot. Measure twice. Then get the showroom to sign off on the product specs. Just in case.