Kitchen Remodel – Advice From The DIGGS Tribe

Do you wish someone would share everything they learned when they remodeled their kitchen?

We are all spending more time in our homes, and that means more time in the kitchen! Some of you are fed up and are ready to buy a home with a floorplan, size or location that is better suited to your new lifestyle.

Bonus Read: The Best Kitchens In Glendale Homes (For Sale)

But some of you want or need to stay right where you are.

One of my Realtor pals in Boise asked her Facebook Besties to comment with their best kitchen remodeling tips. Her people posted true wisdom and I thought, I wonder what my Tribe might add? So I asked, and Boy Howdy did you guys drop some kitchen remodeling wisdom!! I took much of what was shared on both posts – this is kitchen GOLD!

One of the best overall tips: “If you match the style of your house, the remodel will never look dated… oh, and don’t use marble; it stains!”.

Kitchen Remodel Tip Categories In This Post

Kitchen Cabinet Tips

“Knobs are easier to replace than pulls in 10 years because the pulls aren’t a standardized width.”

“Buy cabinet handles the are large enough to get your fingers under so your fingernails don’t scratch the cabinets.”

“Under-cabinet lighting is an absolute must-have, but when we remodeled our kitchen I opted to have a contractor install semi-hidden outlets (like in a cabinet) so that I could attach something like Hue Lightstrips. Built-in lights are usually less flexible, less smart, more expensive, and harder to install and replace. And I’m telling you, Hue Lightstrips are the way to go for under-cabinet lighting now! Voice control, color control, brightness control, and if something better comes out next year you just replace it. No more builtins!”

“We had a great pantry with the highest quality pull out shelves but things kept falling off behind it when we pulled. So a plexi back next time.”

“I would definitely get in-cabinet garbage bins again. I was skeptical at first, thinking they would be impossible to clean, stink, etc, but they ended up being great.”

“No one wants a built-in cutting board.” (Ugh! The germs- amiright?!)

Deep drawers instead of cabinets in lower cabinets

  • “Deep sturdy drawers instead of any bottom cabinets for my kitchen remodel. Any. Better than pull-out shelves because of the sides.”
  • Big drawers rather than cupboards on all lower cabinets. That is probably my favorite thing about my kitchen, no digging in the back of lower cabinets and everything is easy to put away and find.
  • “I have below-counter pull-out drawers for dinnerware — so much easier than lifting everything above your head.”

“For inside corners, get the system that pulls a shelf system out from the back, not a 3/4 lazy Susan.”

“Half our pantry is deep pull out drawers and fantastic.”

 “I love my knife drawer it takes the block off the counter and is so easy!”

“We have a drawer with plugs in our kitchen remodel, so instead of charging phones and tablets on the countertop, they are all in an electronics drawer! Win!”

“Make sure your cabinets go to the ceiling! They may seem too high but it gives you storage for infrequently used items and keeps the kitchen cleaner!”

“Always have electrical outlets on the island, if you have one. I like the outlets that pop up out of the surface when needed.”

Countertops and Backsplash

Engineered Quartz was the most recommended countertop material

  • “Engineered quartz counters (we got Pental when we remodeled our kitchen) are worth every penny.”
  • “Our last counters, Pental Sahara, were a good middle-ground between “I can see everything!” and “I can’t see anything!””
  • “I recommend quartzite or new engineered quartz materials. It simulates white marble so well it’s hard to tell it from the real thing.”

“Porcelain counter tops, honed. Looks like marble but doesn’t stain. And a fraction of the cost.”

 “Grout behind a hard working stove is tough to keep immaculate.”

“Yes to stainless steel back for stove.” (Mentioned three times. Must be a really good idea!)

“Counter sections with large replaceable cutting board insets. Ours has a recessed knife block at the backsplash.”

“As an alternative, I love Superwhite, a granite that looks like a Carrara and is extremely durable.”

Remodel The Kitchen Layout

“Hire a good architect so you have layout options”

“The “kitchen triangle” is a common thing we heard designers talk about — the idea that your fridge/sink/stove should be in close proximity to maximize efficiency. It’s stupid. It doesn’t include your pantry space, which is where you’re at when gathering things like flour/sugar/salt etc, doesn’t include a separate spot for spices, and it treats your oven/range something you’re often walking back and forth from. I don’t know about you, but after I have my mis-en-place, I’m usually at the cooktop for a while. In any case, the triangle is dumb.”

Instead, I’d consider the things I do in the kitchen and how I want things arranged for those things in a kitchen remodel. I would ensure that I had ample counter space near the pantry to gather goods. Space for measuring cups near the pantry, since I bake a reasonable amount. Stovetop on the same countertop where the sink is (i.e., not stovetop against a wall and sink on an island), so that I can carry items from there to the sink without going across the floor. And so on.”

“The most important thing is clearance. So many homes where if you open the oven or dishwasher drawer, you cannot get around! Doh!”

“I’m also a big fan of work stations — I have below-counter pull-out drawers for all my baking supplies and snacks. Baking is so much easier if you can just grab everything you need from one dedicated section.”

“Have prep areas where you are not in front of key resources like flatware, spices and such. You block out anyone else helping.”

“More room for cookbooks and maybe a file drawer for printed recipes.”

“Don’t place your spice drawer near the stovetop or ovens. It may seem it’s convenient but the heat makes the herbs and spice oils either prematurely dry up or go rancid. Place where you prep your food and away from heat if possible.”

“Have outlets every 3 feet!! You’ll use them!”

Floors

“Floors should be chosen for durability, not looks. There are some good-looking engineered laminates now. But worrying about your wood floor in the kitchen, or cracking a tile and seeing it every day for the next 20 years, is so frustrating.”

“Travertine was popular for a red hot minute. They don’t tell you that you need to professionally clean and seal every year or so or the whole floor starts looking like crap. I would avoid natural stone floors.”

“LVP (laminate vinyl plank) wood look flooring is another win. It’s the only flooring in my entire home. Will probably never use anything else ever.”

Appliances

“My favorite thing of all time turns out to be a freestanding KitchenAid stove with a double oven. It’s the short oven on top that does it. Heats to 350 in less than 5 minutes. And the big oven is only used on turkey day.”

“Our 48” DCS which was great in every way except the shelves on the oven would not glide easily. Always would decide to be troublesome when I had my largest dutch oven in there. So I would check the glide feature more carefully on next model.”

“Never ever get the refrigerator that doesn’t open wide enough to accept large platters”

“I ripped out the crummy narrow double sink. I put in an extra deep sink that can accommodate my largest platters , pans etc”

“When you pick out an exhaust fan for the stove check out how loud it is. I didn’t do that and ours is insanely loud. good point! you can also insulate around the vent pipe.”

“When choosing a dishwasher, take you most-used plates and pans with you and try filling the dishwashers. I know that sounds nuts, but my plates fit in exactly 1 dishwasher. So glad I checked!”

“Yes we have instant hot and filtered cold water (reverse osmosis). Another big upgrade!”

“Definitely have more than one oven! We have a 36” gas oven and a 30” electric wall oven”

“If you’re thinking about a second oven, look at getting a steam oven. Budget options start with a lil’ countertop model (check out the new Anova), and go up to installed plumbed options in the five figures.”

The Workflow of a Kitchen Remodel

“I would not even start demo until every component was in the basement. All appliances and cabinets unpacked and examined. You live and learn.”

About Kendyl Young