Honored Contributor
Posts: 19,970
Registered: ‎08-08-2010

Kitchen renovation input needed

It's a bit of a long shot at this point, but we had a local company come to look about a kitchen renovation. Company has been in business since at least 1970, family owned and local. We haven't really settled on anything yet, or even gotten a quote, just had the guy out to measure yesterday.  It may not happen at all, as just after scheduling his visit, the foundation in the family room started leaking, and carpet is now torn back in one corner, with work needed there, and there is the ever aging roof on our minds as well. But, if we should get some kind of a quote we could consider, I have some questions for you all. 




First, I want to make clear, we aren't going high dollar on this. No marble, quartz or granite. It's not in the budget, I feel over time it will be a trendy looking thing I would grow tired of, and I'm just not a fan of the work to maintain it, or the look of a lot of it. I'll never get the money back when selling in our mostly Amish market. But I am considering Corian or one of the generic versions. I like the seamless (nearly?), I like the way it can be molded and shaped on the edges. Anyone have it, or any other cheaper countertop options and care to share the good and the bad of each? I cook every day, and I can, but I am capable of being careful within reason, with hot pots, cutting etc. as I'm the only one doing food prep. 




We are looking at and most likely going with Wolf cabinets, their classic line, which is their lower end, but not considered low end, if you know what I mean. Again, not going custom made, not going all solid hardwood, can't afford it, and the market we live in won't appreciate it in resale. I'm out to take a battered and tattered ugly kitchen and make it prettier, a little more functional and nice for me, for the rest of the time I live here. Again, anyone with any experience in the Wolf cabinets or input would be welcome. Online reviews are like everything else, all over the place, some loving, some hating. I have learned these are not particle board, as I wouldn't have that, but have plywood parts.




I've had stainless steel double sinks my whole life. I'm not a fan of the look, but with the heavy use I give sinks, I have not seen any other option that will hold up to the stuff we put them through. Lots of food processing for canning, big heavy equipment, high iron content in the water that stains etc. If anyone knows of something that will look more perfect under much stress, let me know what it is, cause I've never seen it in other's homes. And I'm really not sure about the under mount sinks. The traditional self rimming sinks (I think that is what they are called) gives some protection when balancing hot pots on the edge, or handling big pots clunking around in the sink. Please chime in on what you have done and liked or not liked about any style.


And just in general, any pitfalls, lessons learned, good or bad experiences you can share about the entire process, brands, choices you made or didn't would be wonderful food for thought for us. 


I haven't spent years looking on Pinterest, or online at dream kitchens, as I know I can't buy most of what I would see. I will not be fussing and agonizing over the choices for very long, it just isn't me. But I would like to make informed decisions on the budget friendly end, and have everyone's insight and experiences to run with.


Thanks in advance.

Super Contributor
Posts: 304
Registered: ‎07-18-2018

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

I recently had a bathroom rehab and the only advice I can give is keep telling yourself it won't last forever. There may be bumps in the road which will prolong completion of your project. My contractor told me at the start that he never knows what problems are behind walls and under the floor. You just have to keep a sense of humor and keep taking deep breaths. I am sure that whatever design you choose you will be happy with the end result. Good luck.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,144
Registered: ‎09-14-2010

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

Absolutely nothing wrong with being on a budget and sticking to it!


If I was going to redo a kitchen and had a budget range I would -

Prep my existing cabinets, prime with primer tinted  to match the paint I would use and not the stark white of primer.


I would stick with white paint for the cabinets though, White cabinets are pretty timeless.


I would probably update the cabinet knobs/pulls to a brushed stainless since you are going with a stainless sink. That is what I did.


I would definitely pick a style sink you prefer. And, if in budget update the faucet if need be. 


Countertops. Go with your gut as they say. Stick with something simple. Giving a clean look. 


Whatever you decide - best to keep it simple and add your own accents of your liking.

you can always add holiness and color thru towels, oven mitts, and countertop objects.



-Texas Hill Country-
Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,361
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

First and foremost (before getting into specifics about style, cost and personal tastes), you sound like you may be contemplating selling the property in the not-too-distant future.  I'm not sure it would be in your best interest to pour money into the property even if you are attempting to be frugal in your choices.  


The one thing that I believe is primary, before you start getting estimates and choosing cabinetry, is the fact that you seem to have foundational problems with  leaking in your family room.  That alone can be a costly expenditure and set a real ding in selling the property if not corrected.

~The only difference between this place and the Titanic is that the Titanic had a band.~
Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,149
Registered: ‎08-20-2012

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

For me Corian for bathroom counter and sink. It’s very durable and looks like new after many years. If redoing my kitchen I would consider it for my countertops also.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 571
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

we traded our ugly formica counter tops for Corian and we loved it, we went with the color of sand, a light cream color. No seams anywhere. It turned out pretty. We have sinced moved and I can't remember the price we paid but for doing the kitchen with new cabinets with drawers that pull out, the new counter tops and tile for the floor we only spent around $11,000.00 total. We were happy when it was finished.  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,591
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

FWIW, I love my full extension, soft close drawers. Yes, it definitely costs more but I will never go back to standard drawers. Life is too short...especially at the point where I am in life. Ha!  

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,348
Registered: ‎03-15-2010

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

We just finished a kitchen gut job. I can’t help you with Corian or Wolf, but I would like to add that you should build in an overage amount for the unforseeables. Not sure iif you and your husband and son are doing the labor, which would be a huge $ saver.


Personlly I like an under mount sink as no gunk gets stuck in the lip as you wipe your counter crumbs into the sink. 


Good luck. The kitchen is the heart of the home and I hope you love your new one 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,105
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

We just did a kitchen remodel as a birthday present to me.


I love the look of many of the Corian patterns, but we're not easy on things in the kitchen and I didn't want to constantly be buffing scratches and marks on it.  I already knew I wanted granite and that's what I chose.  A beautiful pattern that completely updated the look of my 70s kitchen.  (My sister chose some beautiful laminate for her kitchen remodel and it is absolutely gorgeous, they have great patterns now.)


We talked about new cabinets but refused to spend that amount on them.  We'll just be changing the hardware out later.  (Though everyone says our current hardware works beautifully with the countertops.) You can look into resurfacing to cut costs.


I also did not want a stainless sink.  I chose a great Blanco silgranite. It has a very large bowl on the left, and a smaller bowl on the right.  I think it's called a 1 3/4.  I also chose a beautiful touch on faucet.  I didn't want touchless, but I just needed to be able to touch it with my hand or arm to have it come on. I love it!


We changed our overhead lighting to something inexpensive, and replaced the lighting above the dining room table (it belonged to someone else but works in our house).


And it wasn't planned, but we had to replace the window by the sink to make the granite work, so we replaced the windows in the dining room also. Wasn't happy with the added expense, but the windows are so nice.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 26,291
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Kitchen renovation input needed

Put money into a good sink.  They are quieter, sturdier and the surface doesn't scratch and rust as much.  DO NOT get one that has a square bottom and a seam around the bottom.  Check on the sound proofing material on the bottom. 


Be sure you have plenty of outlets, and get ones with USB ports if you can along with the plugs.