The kitchen is without a doubt probably the most activity-filled area of the home aside from the living room. Kitchen makeovers can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, which is why many homeowners try to cut corners and spend on cheap materials thinking that they can easily replace them if they break. However, choosing substandard materials loses you home value, an important factor if you want to sell your property later on. Here are some materials you should never use on your kitchen remodel projects.
Plastic Laminate Counters
Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of good quality laminate out there. However, it is the entry-level kind that you should steer clear of. These are the laminate that looks dull and thin and scratch easily. If they get wet say from steam from your dishwasher, the countertop can easily delaminate. Also, if you misplace a hot pan of on the plastic then you will have a meltdown of plastic proportions that will not leave your mind for the time being. Get a much higher quality product that comes with scratch resistance, textured surfacing and patterns that look like real wood or stone.
Cheap Sheet Vinyl Flooring
The foot traffic in kitchens is for lack of a better term, abusive. The floor is one of the areas of a kitchen makeover that you should never ever scrimp on. At $2.50 per square foot, cheap sheet vinyl is quite thin. Use a luxury vinyl tile that costs around $5 per square foot. Its normally more forgiving than the cheap variant and they can be grouted so they can look like high-end stone.
Laminated Cabinet Fronts
Do stay away from lower-end thermofoil cabinet fronts. The reason? There is really no foil or metal-kind material in it as it is actually made of vinyl that is heated and molded around fiberboard. Avoid them because:
- Lack of heat resistance, can delaminate if placed near a dishwasher or oven
- Prone to warping and yellowing with age
- Poor quality and generally won’t last very long
Use instead new European laminates which are clean-lined and feature a flat-panel appearance. They are also budget-friendly and can mimic wood or high gloss.
High-Gloss Lacquered Cabinets
Of course, everyone wants to have that nice shiny eye-catching look for the kitchen. However, do you know that around 20 layers of lacquer are used on cabinets in order to achieve that high-gloss look? If you scratch or ding it then you are looking at an expensive repair cost. A good alternative would be to use thermofoil as it has a finish that is fused to the cabinet and then baked in order to achieve a more durable exterior.
There are many high quality products that have reasonable costs. The cheaper products we mention above may save you a little money up front but in the long run will cost you way more in repair and maintenance costs. Not to mention those products look cheap as well.