Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen may be the hardest-working room in the house, so it runs the risk of looking overworked. Give your kitchen fresh appeal with these quick and easy updates, including solutions for your windows, floor, pantry, and more!

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Freestanding Pantry Ideas

Short on storage and space? No worries. These stylish go-anywhere pantry designs house everything from baking pans and cooking staples to party supplies -- exactly where you need them most. As a bonus, many of these units are transportable so they can travel with you when you move.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Drab to Fab Makeover

See how a basic kitchen received a fresh face on an affordable remodeling budget.

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Guide to Cabinetry

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Countertop Ideas

Countertops are big part of your kitchen. Consider these up-and-coming materials to make a statement in your space.

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Subway Tile Backsplashes

When it comes to a classic backsplash, nothing beats the traditional subway tile. Subway tiles make cleaning up kitchen messes a quick and easy task, plus the variety to choose from seems almost infinite. One thing is for sure, subway tile will never go out of style.

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Solid-Surfacing Countertop Guide

Is solid-surfacing the right countertop for your home? We have insight into this popular material, from installation to maintenance and everything between.

Solid-Surfacing: Personality

Searching for a one-of-a-kind countertop? Many cooks are pleasantly surprised to discover the customizable characteristics of solid-surfacing: Inlay designs of wood and metal; contrast solid-surfacing colors to create unique patterns; finish the sides with intricate architectural edges. If you can sketch a pattern for your solid-surfacing countertop on paper, most likely your installer can create it. Best of all, any color or material combination produces a smooth, seamless surface. This aspect, coupled with its sleek look and longevity, makes solid-surfacing a perennial favorite among kitchen designers.

Like laminate, solid-surfacing material comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including faux stone and the ever-popular flecked or speckled option.

Performance

A combination of acrylic and resin, solid-surfacing is essentially a hard-core, plastic material that is impervious to water and stains. Solid-surfacing countertops will scorch, and knives can scratch the surface, but because the material is designed for everyday use, it can take a beating and still retain an attractive look. Another benefit is that since the material is a solid block rather than layered, blemishes and discoloring can be sanded out of the surface to an almost-new finish.

Price

Solid-surfacing is not cheap, and it must be installed by a professional, but if you spring for this type of countertop you can expect it to last 20 years or more. Typically, solid-surfacing is comparable to or a little less expensive than stone, ranging in price from $40-$60 per square foot. Installation charges are separate, usually costing up to $60 per square foot.

Cues

  • Solid-surfacing requires minimal care. Detergent and water do the trick, and because the surface is impenetrable, there is no need for antibacterial cleaning.
  • Solid-surfacing has three finishes: gloss or polished for a contemporary look, semigloss for traditional settings, and matte (honed) for timeless subtlety.
  • If you use it for your sink and backsplash as well, the finish will be seamless.
  • Of all countertop materials, solid-surfacing is the easiest to carve into interesting shapes for islands, tables, and other surfaces.

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