Where to start remodeling?

Beaumont, TX(Zone 9a)

We will be moving and need to update the kitchen: countertop, floor and window/window treatment, and walls.

Where should I start first? This is my first remodeling so I'm so confused! Do I start from the top down?

DH wants to replace floor with linoleum and countertops with granite-looking material. Don't want to spend too much $ but just to make it look updated.

The walls need painting and cabinets refinished with new hardware. Windows need replacing and window treatment need to be torn down.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Since you're not replacing your cabinets it probably doesn't matter much what order you do things in. I would probably do the countertop and the window before painting the walls, although paint is easy to touch up if it gets dinged up while you're doing either of those other activities. And I'd probably do the floor after the window & counter, just because you'll have all sorts of people tromping on it and making it dirty while you're getting the window & the countertop done, so might as well save replacing it until later. Cabinet hardware you can really do anytime, although I'd wait until you at least have the other elements picked out (floor, counter, and wall color) to make sure the hardware looks good with your other choices.

Beaumont, TX(Zone 9a)

Thank you for your advice. It will be a big job...which I'm not looking forward to, but it has to be done.

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

I agree with ecrane3 completely. If you have never been to the website Houzz.com you should go and look a lot! Invaluable. I just remodeled our kitchen last year and it was a great experience. You can never put too much time I planning. Here is my kitchen.

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central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I'd do the window 1st, then the counters, floor, then the paint
Do they still make linoleum?

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Think she might be talking about vinyl that is inlaid like the older linoleum. Same thing only made from different materials. That is what I have.

drteets, looks like you have a really big kitchen with high ceilings. Is that right, or just looks that way? It turned out very nice.

I have to redo the counter tops, and paint. Fortunately I love my cupboards, and I have the inlaid flooring so will keep that. However, my kitchen is very big also and no ceiling. It is an A frame so the ceiling over the kitchen is a peak. Now what? I have a problem with lighting.

I also am not sure about my appliances. They all work good, they are black, but they are Maytags so good quality, but they are 18 years old. Do I replace them, even tho they work, the black is not REALLY out of style I don't think. I really do not want to spend a lot of money.

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Thank you very much for the compliment. My ceilings are standard height. To me, in the kitchen, if you have beautiful counters (I'm definitely a granite person), backsplash, sink and hardware, the kitchen will look great. If you are keeping your floor and cabinets your update is minimal in the whole scheme of remodeling. Replacing appliances is up to you. My old appliances were about the age of yours. They worked fine as well. The big thing about the new stuff is the energy efficiency and all the new options. That's something you can always replace one by one as the need arises. Take pictures and keep us posted! I love remodeling pictures and all the ideas that come with them.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Thanks for responding. Let me ask you, do you have to seal the granite every so often? If so, with what? I have heard, that commercial establishments like kitchens, restaurants etc. cannot have granite as it absorbs contaminates. It is porous. The appearance of granite cannot be beat. But would like your opinions of the aforementioned.


Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Granite does have to be sealed. Is that a big issue - no. You seal it once a year and all it means is that you take everything off the counter and wipe it with the sealer ( you can buy it anywhere for $30 or less and that would last at least a couple of years). I let it dry overnight and put everything back the next morning. That's it. I have had granite in my kitchen and bathrooms for years and have never had a stain or scratch. It's extremely low maintenance to me. I sure cant say the same for hardwood floors and everyone wants to put those in! If you like the look of granite and can afford it - don't hesitate because of the upkeep. As far as I know there's almost no countertop material that is less maintenance. I wouldn't have anything else.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Nice to know, and I agree with you about the hardwood floors. I think things run in streaks. fads. Soon they will be back into carpets. And like colored appliances they can date a remodel. Remember the old avocado green shag carpets, avocado green appliances, harvest gold appliances. Really gross but really date your kitchens and laundries. If we can just stay away from that type of thing it isn't so bad. But, I sure am getting sick of my carpet in the living room. Don't know what to put in here since I don't want wood either. Not too many options for a room like this. Any suggestions?

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

Tile!!!! I have tile in most of the rooms of my house now and I think it's the easiest maintenance floor of all. It has definitely got hardwood and carpet beat. They have tile that looks like wood if you want. People often tell me they don't want tile because its cold. So, in the summer it's delightful and in the winter wear slippers. Big deal.

I absolutely remember avocado green and harvest gold. At the time we thought they looked good. There's really no way to know what you think looks good now that will date you at a later time. I think you should always go with what you love now. Otherwise you are doomed to live a life without color or pizzaz. Not for me.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Tile in the livingroom?? What kind of tile? Can't imagine it.

Well, if you go with a color like we spoke of, then you are going to have to plan on remodeling every 10 years or so. No thanks. Too much work and expense. I will go with the blah stuff and jazz it up with decorations of some kind. Or something easier to change like paint.

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

It's a preference, I suppose. I took a couple pictures with my phone. It always comes out elongated on this site but you get the picture.

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central, NJ(Zone 6b)

I always think tile for the living areas in hotter climates
They have engineered(not laminate) hardwoods that don't need to be treated like regular hardwood floor, that's our next project of the living room and hall upstairs
down in the family room I would like the look of it but our house is on a slab and it gets too cold....trying to talk hubby into putting the radiant heat mats under the floor then I would be able to do the wood.

Stroudsburg, PA(Zone 6a)

There's always a solution. That sounds like a good one. Concrete floors are the rage right now. Have you considered that? They can be spectacular.

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I have seen one and it was gorgeous. Had a large tulip running curved from the living room into the kitchen. Beautiful.

I have some friends who just had a house built and they put in the radient heating and really like it. I haven't asked about the electric bill. Don't know how it compares.

My sister had the old thickness of hardwood floors put in her house about 15 years ago, oak, and then the friend above had dark engineered floors put in her house. Both of them really show the dust. Mainly under the furniture you can see it when sitting across the room etc.

So, don't know unless you put all your furniture on rollers so you can move it out of the way to clean. LOL

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

But then concrete floors may be the rage right now, but for how long? Then the house/remodel is dated. So, remodel again???? I saw somewhere that they are going back to carpets from the wood.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

Concrete floors look too modern and contemporary for me

I have a 10 and 7 year and still get down on the floor with them..whew that would be cold! like laying on the garage floor

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Put radiant heat in them.

central, NJ(Zone 6b)

would definitely have to do that!

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

Hi Everyone.
I just found this thread. Interesting --the thoughts on styles etc., I wonder what IntheGardn did - the original post was 2012.

I have granite kitchen counters -and never seal..if I did would have a mess with white spots. Some stone is really not that porous and so the sealer lays on top and never soaks in. Water and liquids can penetrate the sealer and discolor between the stone and sealer. Impossible to fix unless all sealer removed - a huge undertaking. If you don't want to seal and want the granite stone to be ok with vinegars, lemon, wine etc choose one of those types that don't need sealing. Ours happens to be Black Galaxy. Utatuba, Peacock, Absolute..are all options. Hotels use Absolute ( plain blck ) a lot because no sealing and really tough Am sure there are more choices.

I keep seeing cork on floors. Not my favorite look..but folks who do like its and have it say they love it. Ditto bamboo. We bought engineered walnut for upstairs. But you know what -- I don't think it has the 'deep' rich look of the traditional thicker hardwood. It is very uniform - like laminate. Maybe it is because it is walnut - not a very busy grain. And, if you drop something on it, it look like something got dropped on it. We have hardwood in the kitchen and I beat the heck out of it - dropping cans and everything else all the darn time. It just gets better looking and more natural with the dings. It is warm too on the feet. I steam it with a 4 pound shark ( like a swifter with a small water holder and terry pads) and it takes no muscle - after having tile, carpet, vinyl, and indoor outdoor (newlywed days) - traditional hardwood is my favorite. It was less $$ than the engineered too. I don't have real good photos but here is a photo I took while RAVING about e-cloth -- I am in love with it!!

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Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

Very nice Rosie. I was surprised tho when you said the engineered were more expensive then the traditional wood flooring. Wonder why that is. Is that by sq ft? 'cause the engineered is 4 or 6 inches wide isn't it? Rather than the 2 1/2 inch?

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

The hardwood we put down is white oak..plank..maybe 6 inches wide?? Thickness is an inch maybe?? Can be sanded and finished more times than I can use in my lifetime!!

The engineered we got is also wide plank 6 inches.... It is not nearly as thick overall and cannot be refinished more than...maybe three times... ( still is a good amount to me )

It is walnut so not comparing apples to apples with oak to walnut cost-wise ..but the oak engineered was not that much less than the walnut. There is more work that goes into creating engineered wood for sure --compared to just the drying and finishing of regular traditional hardwood. There are all those rock hard finishes that get driven into the engineered wood because of the fact that they can't be refinished as much. The long warranties on the finish must be accounted fo cost wise by the manufacturer that carries that lisbility for so many years. too. I did my homework on the engineered vs traditional and found best cost and good reviews once decided on engineered..etc etc but with the regular hardwood it seemed most were in same ballpark. In second photo you can see the width of the oak hardwood plank.

This message was edited Sep 7, 2013 10:19 AM

Northeast, WA(Zone 5a)

I'm sure you considered the cost of installation of the traditional. I would think that cost would be higher than the engineered? Very interesting to hear from someone who has actually done all the figuring. Thank you. :0)

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

I did the homework for sure.
Cost for install no different between the two. Nail down same activity.

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