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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Popular in Kitchens

Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks

These durable sinks are available in vintage designs and modern colors. Here's what to keep in mind when you're shopping for a new sink.

Cast iron kitchen sinks have long been popular for their durability and ease of maintenance. These sinks feature a layer of porcelain enamel over the iron, which gives them a hard, durable surface. They are very easy to clean and their smooth, glossy finish helps hide water spots and streaks. The material retains heat well, which is a benefit when washing a lot of dishes by hand. The sinks are also available in a variety of colors, so they can make a style statement in addition to serving a practical purpose. Cast iron sinks can last a long time -- some people opt to purchase vintage models for an authentic look. Many new models are made from recycled and reclaimed content, making these sinks an environmentally friendly choice. The porcelain coating can be refinished if necessary. Despite their durability, however, the enamel coating on cast iron sinks can chip or crack if you drop a heavy pot or knife; if this happens, the black surface of the iron can be exposed and start to rust. These sinks are also susceptible to stains and some stains can be difficult to remove. Because cast iron sinks are very heavy, they require a sturdy countertop and cabinet.

Installation Considerations

The weight of cast-iron sinks contributes to their durability, but it also makes them more difficult to install. Cast iron sinks are available as drop-in, undermount, and apron-front models. Drop-in sinks are the easiest type to install, but they may require more caulk to seal the gaps between the sink and countertop. Undermount sinks are more difficult and costly to install. Cast-iron apron-front sinks that feature an exposed, drop-down front usually require a special sink-base cabinet. Whatever type of cast iron sink you choose, you may need to modify the countertop's design to accommodate the extra-heavy sink.

How to Clean Cast Iron Sinks

To keep a cast iron sink looking good, rinse and dry the sink after each use. To prevent stains, avoid leaving dirty dishes, tea bags, coffee grounds, or similar materials in the sink for extended periods of time. To clean the sink, use a non-abrasive cleaner and avoid using steel wool, wire brushes, or abrasive sponge pads; this will help prevent damage to the sink's enamel coating. (If you're faced with a stubborn stain, you can use an abrasive cleaner sparingly.) To protect the sink from scratches, consider using bottom basin racks and rinse baskets.

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