When remodeling a home, the kitchen and bath can be one of the most expensive rooms to complete. Most of the budget will likely go towards the things you just can't live without such as a sink, dishwasher and refrigerator. Selecting quality appliances is essential! With the abundance of brands, styles, colors and technologically advanced machines, it's hard to weed out the good and the bad and pick what's best for you.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) offers tips to make sure homeowners get the most for their money - during National Kitchen and Bath Month and throughout the year!
- Dishwasher - Look for brands with low energy consumption, a delay timer and an economy cycle or half-load button, all which will result in saving water and saving money.
- Refrigerator - One feature worth paying for is a new design to prevent frost build-up in the freezer. By circulating air inside the freezer compartment rather than using a defroster, this feature will help you say goodbye to freezer burn.
- Sink - Reliable sink materials include stainless steel, which can withstand more abrasions, is hygienic and trendy, and fireclay and ceramic which are more traditional for their solidity and wide range of colors.
- Oven - Multi-functional ovens may be worth the investment. Traditional cooking and fan assisted cooking and grilling is increasingly popular. The combination provides cooks with more options such as browning and thawing, among many others.
- Range - Ranges are either freestanding or built-in. Picking one out depends on the design of your kitchen and the features you want. Worthwhile accessories include a cooker hood, splashback, grill, griddle plates, rotisserie, wok burner and fish-kettle burner.
- Tap - A cost-efficient option is the three-way or tri-flow taps that takes away the need for bottled water or other purification system. New models also offer dual-flow for hot and cold filtered water.
- Countertops - Formica and Corian are some of the most common surfacing materials, however new trends such as Luxore®, a non-porous heat and chip resistant stone, and Swanstone®, a reinforced surface with seamless joints, which is moisture resistant and requires no fabricated edges, are becoming increasing popular.
- Flooring - The cost of installing flooring can be as much as the material and harder options such as tile can be tiresome to stand on too long. Softer, more absorbent materials include cork, carpet or vinyl and most of the time, are much cheaper.
- Bathroom Fans - Essential when remodeling to prevent wallpaper peeling, mildew, and to keep the air clean. Look for fans that are powerful enough for your size room and make sure the noise level is to your satisfaction. Utility exhaust fans are great for reducing odors and moisture, such as in the kitchen, while fan-forced heat models are most common in colder rooms such as the bathroom since they provide extra heat.
- Lighting - More light is not necessarily better. Make sure to match the amount and quality of light to the function in that area. Fluorescent lamps use 25 to 35 percent less energy than incandescent lamps and provide the same amount of illumination and last 10 times longer.