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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Kitchen Faucet Mechanics

The way a kitchen faucet is built helps predict how it well will work. Weigh the benefits and downfalls of four basic kitchen faucet designs.

There are four basic types of kitchen faucets: ceramic disk, cartridge, ball, and compression.

Ceramic Disk Faucets
Single-handle, disk-type faucets operate a pair of ceramic disks that slide over each other to regulate water flow and temperature. These faucets are typically the most durable and trouble-free. The disks and mixing chamber are housed in a large cylinder held in place with screws.

Cartridge Faucets
Cartridge-type faucets come in both single- and double-handle configurations. Designed for ease of repair, the flow mechanisms are housed in a cartridge that can be replaced when leaks occur.

Ball Faucets
Single-handle, ball-type faucets have a rotating ball inside that moves over water inlet holes and permits water to flow, regulates the flow of hot and cold water, and shuts off the water altogether.

Compression Faucets
These faucets were common in the early 1900s. Each of two handles turns a large screw, or stem, inside the faucet. The stem has a washer on one end that's positioned over the hole through which water flows. When screwed down tight, the washer blocks the flow.

A Final Tip
Solid-brass, die-cast innards indicate a high-quality kitchen faucet -- but also an expensive one. If you're in the market for a less-expensive option, beware of faucets with plastic shells or handles. Their price may be attractive, but their durability and resistance to scratches are likely to disappoint.


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