How Cabinets and Countertops Can Make a Design Impact During Kitchen Remodeling

A kitchen remodel can be noisy and messy. If you hire Thompson & Boys LLC to handle the work, strangers will be in and out of your home and making a mess for weeks or months.


If you plan on doing the work yourself, consider the challenges of framing new walls, moving plumbing, and updating wiring to the current code. It may be a better idea to leave plumbing and electrical to professionals.

Cabinets are one of the most important parts of any kitchen. They provide storage and organization but also make a huge design impact. There are many different types and styles of cabinets, so you’re sure to find something that fits your style and space. Several other options for adding storage solutions to cabinets include roll-out trays, cutlery drawers, pot and pan pull-out organizers, and waste basket pull-outs. These help keep your countertops clean and clutter-free, making them easier to work on.

Kitchen cabinets are typically made from wood but can be manufactured from various materials. Solid wood cabinets are often more expensive but durable and have a timeless look that will last for years. MDF and particle board are less costly but can become warped or damaged over time, especially if exposed to moisture. Particle board also has loose screw holes that can lead to a lack of security and durability. Solid wood cabinets are best if you plan to resell your home, as they will increase your home’s value.

Base cabinets are the first thing a kitchen remodeler installs, and they trace the layout of your new kitchen. They sit on the floor and usually support the countertops and all your appliances, like a refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher. Cabinets are available in various sizes, colors, and finishes. They are designed to be easy to clean and can be updated with hardware, lighting, and other features.

A popular trend in kitchen remodeling is adding a built-in bar to your kitchen; cabinets are a key element. You can have a custom bar made to fit your space or purchase pre-made cabinets and install them yourself. Another great use of cabinets is to have a designated place for knives, which makes it easier to find the right knife for any task and keeps dangerous items out of reach of children and other guests. A cabinet with a recessed utensil area is called a “knife drawer” and can be purchased at most kitchenware stores.

Kitchen countertops are the perfect place to make a design statement, but must also be functional and durable. A quality countertop should be sturdy enough to withstand heat, scratches, and dents and be easy to maintain and clean. Some materials are better suited for these purposes than others. For example, a granite counter is durable and has various color and pattern options to fit any aesthetic. It can be very resistant to stains, too.

Besides natural stone, quartz is another popular option for countertops. This artificial material is available in various looks that convincingly mimic the color and texture of popular natural stones like marble and quartzite. But it has the added benefit of being nonporous, so it resists stains and bacteria much more effectively than real stone.

Laminate is an inexpensive and very versatile choice for countertops. It’s easy for DIYers to install, and newer types of laminate are designed to look like more expensive materials and offer a variety of edge treatments. Tile countertops are another affordable option that can be installed quickly and easily. Modern porcelain tiles are made with larger sizes that help reduce grout seams, making them easier to clean and reducing their vulnerability to cracking and staining.

Concrete is a heavy and costlier countertop choice. Still, it can be custom poured to any shape and size, dyed in almost any color, and inlaid with textures like broken glass for a unique, handcrafted countertop. It can be finished with oil or water-based sealers to protect it from moisture and stains.

Stainless steel and butcher block are two more high-end alternatives for kitchen countertops. They have distinctive styles but work best as accent pieces rather than as main countertops. While they can be used to add a pop of color or texture, limiting these accents to smaller surfaces like backsplashes or cabinet pulls is a good idea to keep the overall space manageable.

Flooring is a big part of a kitchen remodel, and your chosen material impacts your overall design. Whether you are looking for a natural shade to create a monochromatic look or contrasting colors for drama, your flooring choice should coordinate with your paint color and cabinetry finish.

Wood floors pair nicely with light countertops and cabinetry if you want a more traditional look. Alternatively, concrete floors are durable and can be stained to look like stone or tile. Concrete is also a great option for areas that experience a lot of moisture, such as under the sink or in front of the stove.

Many people who remodel their kitchens prefer installing flooring before installing their cabinets. They say this approach creates a more seamless look and makes rearranging future furniture arrangements easier. However, installing flooring first can be tricky because it may require extra work to ensure it fits properly around cabinets and appliances.

Another reason to install the floor first is to help ensure a consistent height for everything in the room. Sometimes, construction anomalies or design issues lead to appliances and cabinets being an odd size. In these situations, flooring can add height and make the space more functional by installing plywood risers under certain cabinets and appliances.

Installing the flooring before the cabinets can also protect the cabinetry from damage during remodeling. Covering the flooring with a protective sheet or drop cloth until the cabinetry is installed is a good idea.

A large kitchen remodel can require extensive demos, including removing wall and ceiling drywall to expose the structural framing. This work often involves moving plumbing and electrical fixtures and relocating outlets, such as adding a GFCI outlet or pushing them away from water sources.

Once the walls are reframed, you must hang and tape drywall according to your project plan. Then, you’ll need to texture and paint the drywall to match the existing ceiling and walls. It’s a good idea to use high-quality, low-VOC paint and primer to minimize the amount of VOCs in the air.

Hardware is one of the last decisions to make during kitchen remodeling, but it can have a big impact. Knobs and pulls come in many styles to fit the look you want, from sleek and modern to classic and ornate. You can also find options that use recessed channels or cutouts so there are no visible screws.

You can install new hardware on cabinet doors and drawers or use it to replace old hardware with more recent styles. Usually, knobs attach to the cabinet with a single screw, while pulls are used on drawers and typically attached with two or more screws. Depending on your design, keep the same style throughout or mix and match for a more eclectic look.

If you’re going for a full kitchen remodel, the first step is to demo the existing space. This exposes the walls and subfloor to allow changes to electrical circuits and possibly plumbing. If the project is significant, it may also require changing or adding a window and door, adding a wall, building an addition, or making other structural changes.

Most mid-size and large remodels require permits and inspections, which add time to the schedule. If you are handling the project yourself, you must assemble subcontractors, get them on board, and program and manage them. If you hire a general contractor to manage the project, they can handle all the scheduling and paperwork.

During the planning stages of a kitchen remodel, homeowners decide whether to keep or replace their cabinets. Keeping the old cabinets limits your kitchen expansion, layout options, and appliance placement choices. Replacing them is likely to be more expensive but will greatly enhance your space and increase the value of your home. During the budgeting process, homeowners should determine their priorities and decide where they are willing to splurge and where they’re happy to save. Cabinet costs comprise 20 percent of the budget, followed by labor and appliances. It’s important not to fixate on status-oriented brands, as cheaper models can offer the same function and durability.