From Flooring to Faucet: The Ultimate Guide to A Kitchen Remodel

Why We Made This Guide to Your Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen remodel is a pretty significant undertaking, whether you are D(esign)IY’ing it, working from a designer-curated template in Beam, or collaborating with an interior designer or architect. There are a bunch of (read: an incredible amount of) decisions that you will need to be prepared to make as part of the process of your kitchen remodel.

At Beam, we believe you need context for a lot of those decisions, and a visual cue for some of the questions you will have to answer as you undergo your kitchen remodel. So voila, consider this the ultimate guide to your kitchen remodel.

rendering of kitchen remodel with green and white cabinetry and light grey countertops
From layout to cabinet pulls, consider this the ultimate guide to your kitchen remodel. Rendering by Beam

First Up, Financials. How much are Kitchen Remodels?

Before delving into all the details of your kitchen remodel, you may be wondering just must you should expect to budget for this project. Just how much are kitchen remodels, exactly? Well, the truth is, that number behind that $ sign? It will vary greatly from project to project, with several factors that determine how much your kitchen remodel will cost - from the scope of your project to the materials you choose, to how well your project is planned.

Want to get a rough cost for your kitchen remodel? Check out our estimator tool where you tell us what you have in mind, and we can let you know roughly what to expect in terms of budget.

What should I expect from this Guide to a Kitchen Remodel?

In this guide, we’ll walk you through some of the intricate details that you will have to consider in the course of your kitchen remodel. From space planning to styles of cabinetry, to appliance considerations – navigate your kitchen remodel with this extensive guide at your fingertips.  

Space Planning

What Are Some Great Ideas for Kitchen Layouts?

Funny you should ask. If you are asking for ideas for kitchen layouts, we can assume that are you hoping to make changes to the layout as part of your kitchen remodel, or at the very least exploring whether there is an opportunity to do so in your space.

When coming up with the best ideas for your kitchen layout, it can be helpful to lean on some standard practices around how to layout a kitchen.

Standard Layouts and Work Spaces for a Kitchen Remodel

Although there are a wide variety of possible configurations, and each space will be different depending on the user(s) and the circulation patterns, it is important to understand the fundamentals of kitchen layouts and why the have been designed in this manner when designing your kitchen remodel.

Kitchen layouts can be broken down into 3-4 categories:

Single Wall


This kitchen layout is most conducive for a long narrow space or for a space that can be opened up to the home during your kitchen remodel and made a focal point.

The fridge should be placed at one end of the kitchen, as it only requires counter space on one side.

Galley

A galley kitchen has two walls of counter space running parallel to each other, with at least 4’ of space in between for kitchens with two cooks, or 3’ of space in kitchens with one cook.

Typically, the fridge is located on one side creating the prep zone, while the other side has the sink, dishwasher, and stove, creating the cooking and washing zones.

L or U-Shape

In this kitchen layout, counters and appliances are organized on 2 or 3 walls.

In larger spaces, it is best to make sure the appliances aren’t too far away from each other to still ensure a functional space.

If you are using the working triangle as a reference, it is suggested that each leg of the triangle is between 4-8’, therefore, totaling the overall triangle to be 12-22’.

Oftentimes, casual eating spaces are integrated into this layout and can be better defined by raising the counter height of the eating zone.

Island

A kitchen island is a great way to add more multi-purpose counter space to your kitchen layout for prepping, cooking and/or eating.

It is best used in larger spaces so there is enough room to circulate around the island.

Is it time to say Goodbye to Kitchen Triangles?

The concept of the early 20th century “kitchen triangle” where the refrigerator, stove and sink are placed to form a triangular working path within the kitchen is still a great concept to be considered when thinking about function and circulation.

However, as the needs of a household kitchen have changed over the years, so the thinking behind these kitchen triangles has been modified, and adapted to the modern heart of the home. Presently, kitchens are more open to the rest of the house and it is no longer a space that is designed for just one person to be using it.

So as you are planning your kitchen remodel, you should know the idea of the kitchen work zones is now being widely adopted, and in a sense replacing the idea that the kitchen triangle is the ideal and only way to design a functional kitchen.

For example, a prep zone vs. a cleaning zone would have all the necessary equipment in the zone, but not necessarily form a triangular pattern. When planning your kitchen remodel, consider an updated version of the kitchen layout focused less on kitchen triangles and more on how you will want and need to use your space.

How Should I Think About the Layout of My Kitchen Design?

Some important considerations when you are thinking about how to layout a kitchen design is the different work zones you will need to use - prep, clean, cook, etc., the distance between these various zones, as well as the overall dimensions of your space. But we have a few other fundamentals to keep in mind when considering how to layout your kitchen design:

Counter Space

If possible, you’ll want to try to integrate somewhere close to 20” of counter space (or island space) next to the refrigerator in order to have somewhere to place ingredients.

Likewise, it is also important to have enough counter space next to the range for prepping ingredients.

Island

If you have an island, make sure you are keeping the correct clearances so there is space to open or use any kitchen appliances such as the oven door and have someone walk past, or you have room to pull out pots and pans close to the range without knocking into anything or anyone. See below for more detail on the minimum clearances required around an island or kitchen walkway.

Microwave Placement

Interestingly enough, what you’ll want to consider when choosing where to place your microwave is the ages of the person(s) using the kitchen.

If someone in the home is elderly, consider having a microwave under the counter, so they are not pulling hot items from overhead.

Also consider the ages of any children that will be using the kitchen and whether you want them to be able to easily access the microwave, or keep it more out of sight.

If you want to keep casual snackers from potential collisions with the cook, the microwave can be installed outside the main work triangle and adjacent to the dining counter, and in line with the refrigerator.

There should be adequate counter space immediately adjacent for a safe landing area for hot items.

Most microwaves are hinged on the left-hand side so consider a landing area on the right.

Key Dimensions To Consider in Your Kitchen Layout Design

Aisles + Walkways

You'll need 48” min. clearance between two work surfaces for 2 cooks (42” min. is ok for 1 cook).

There is a 36” min. clearance for walkways where no cooking prep will be done.

Island

24” Wide x 48” Long is the minimum overall dimension for an island. This can increase depending on the space available (remember to leave the appropriate clearances for walkways + work aisles)

36-42” High is standard depending on which type of seating (if any) is preferred, counter or bar.

Depending on the height of your island, the overhang needed for seating will vary between 12”-18” Deep.

Also consider for your kitchen remodel - the higher your island is, the less depth is needed for an overhang, as your knees don’t bend as much when seated on a higher stool.

Appliance Clearances

  • Dishwasher: 36” max. clearance between dishwasher and sink is ideal
  • Vent Hood: 24” required clearance between stovetop and vent, but this can vary depending on style and brand of hood. Make sure to verify installation requirements with your contractor or designer.
  • Microwave: If you have opted for an over-the-counter installation, a general rule of thumb is it is best to install the bottom of the microwave no higher than the should height of the primary user.
  • 6” below shoulder height is best for older users.
  • If the over-the-counter microwave installation is going over the range, you must consider the height required for the ventilation of the cooktop. Standard clearances range, but usually 24” of clearance is needed.

Vertical Considerations

Standard kitchen appliances are 35” high and typically have adjustable feet to align with countertop height.

Appliances also have built-in toe space ranging from 2-4” from the floor, adjacent cabinets should be designed with this in mind.

Upper cabinets should have a minimum clearance of 16” between the top of the counter and the bottom of the cabinet for an ideal workspace.

Consider installing 180-degree hinges on upper cabinets so you can’t hit your head on an open cabinet. Lift-up doors can also be used.

ADA Considerations for your Kitchen Remodel

Interior Designers will, at times, need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure their designs adhere to specific codes and requirements for people with disabilities. Below are just a few examples of some important requirements. For more information, see the ADA compliance directory here.

Overview

  • Proper clearance for maneuverability, free of any obstructions
  • These clearances vary depending on the layout and how you approach certain fixtures and appliances
  • This includes minimum aisle widths
  • Clear knee space underneath a counter
  • Designs can be adaptable to accommodate some of these guidelines.
  • Ex.: Removable cabinets underneath a sink for knee space
  • Work surfaces
  • Counter height can’t exceed 34” H
  • Clearance around appliances
  • Front-loading appliances must have proper clearance depending on the approach
  • Faucets and hardware/handles
  • Certain types of faucets and hardware are ADA compliant based on the ease of use/opening. Faucets should be positioned for easy reach and lever handles used as they require less force
  • Cabinet hardware should be easy to open with one hand without and twisting of the wrist or tight grasping/pinching motion
  • Proper installation heights should be considered for these items as well

Mixed-Use Spaces

The kitchen has often been described as the "heart of the home" and now, more than ever, it functions precisely as such. A control center, main hub and mix-used space.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, people are now using kitchens as offices, family centers, classrooms and beyond. This adaptation to a new way of living has everyone using their space in creative, multi-functional ways when planning their kitchen remodels.

We can see the trend of kitchens as mixed-use spaces becoming popular as flexible workspaces and schedules become more and more a part of the norm.

Cabinetry

How To Choose Kitchen Cabinets For My Remodel?

Now that you’ve determined your kitchen layout design, the next step is to consider the kitchen cabinets for your remodel. Choosing the right cabinets will all depend on your budget, preferred style, and chosen design, and there are multiple options for any type of kitchen cabinets remodel, from transitional shaker to mid-century modern flat-paneled fronts.

But before you can really start to consider style, you’ll need to determine whether you are having custom cabinetry built, relying on prefabricated options, or finding a middle ground.

When choosing cabinetry for your kitchen remodel, before you can really start to consider style, you’ll need to consider fabrication. Render: Project AZ/Beam

Construction Styles for Kitchen Cabinetry

Kitchen cabinetry comes in all different shapes and sizes but can be easily broken down into a few major categories. The first decision that a homeowner will need to make is whether your project calls for:

  • Custom cabinets
  • Semi-custom cabinets
  • Prefabricated (or stock) cabinets

How to Determine Which Cabinet is Right for Your Project?

The biggest consideration you will need to make when determining how you will have your kitchen cabinets fabricated is budget and schedule.

Custom Cabinetry

Custom cabinetry is the most expensive and will require a skilled millworker to design and build the cabinets, exactly to your specifications. This requires more decision-making as the millworker will need specific direction on material, finish, dimensions, hardware, etc.

It also requires the most amount of time to design and build from scratch, so you will need to factor this into your kitchen remodel timeline.

On the other hand, custom cabinets are higher in quality and will fit beautifully in any space, as they are tailored to the exact dimensions of your project. It can result in an extremely functional design, as you can create any configuration to ensure your kitchen is efficient for your individual cooking style.

Semi-Custom Cabinetry

Semi-custom cabinetry is a great middle-ground between custom and stock cabinets for your kitchen remodel.

It allows you to shop for a particular design style and color you like, while still being able to make certain modifications to finishes, dimensions etc. (depending on the brand).

You have a variety of options but are not starting from a blank slate. This is a great option for homeowners who are not yet experienced with cabinets but would still like to make them unique to their space.  

Prefabricated/Stock Cabinetry

Prefabricated or stock cabinets are the most cost-effective option and will be available to purchase immediately. However, you will be restricted by the choices in style and color that are available in-store and the dimensions will be predetermined, so make sure they will fit your space.

Determining the Construction of the Cabinet Box

You have two choices for the construction of the cabinet box itself, framed vs. frameless.

Framed cabinets are a more traditional aesthetic but also add extra support and strength to the cabinets while frameless cabinets, originally from Europe, are more modern and offer increased storage space.

There are three types of cabinets:

Inset

inset kitchen cabinets

In this type of cabinet, the drawer and door fronts sit flush with the frame. Although it is the most expensive type of cabinet for a kitchen remodel due to the level of precision and craftsmanship to execute this style, they do look great in almost any style of home.

Full Overlay

full overlay kitchen cabinets

Here, the drawer + door fronts cover the cabinet frame from view, which is a great option if you prefer clean lines and a more modern appearance for your kitchen remodel.

Partial Overlay

Partial Overlay kitchen cabinets

The drawer + door fronts only partially cover the cabinet frame, exposing portions of the frame. This is the most cost-effective option as it requires the least amount of materials for your kitchen remodel.

Different Design Styles for Cabinetry

Now that you have determined the fabrication and construction style of your cabinets, it is time to consider the cabinet front design style and the construction type of the kitchen cabinets for your remodel.

A few popular cabinet door design styles are:

  • Shaker

Some popular variations of the shaker door style include styles with thinner rail widths and adding additional trim with beveled edge detailing.

  • Slab or Flat Panel
  • Raised Panel
Raised panel cabinet front
  • Beadboard / Planked
Planked/Beadboard cabinet front
  • Fluted
  • Louvered
louvered cabinet fronts
  • Glass Front
glass front cabinet door

Components of a Standard Shaker Door style:

What Are Some Top Cabinet Brands for My Kitchen Remodel?

Budget:

  • Semihandmade
  • Reform CPH
  • Nieu

Mid-Range:

  • Reformation
  • Porcelanosa
  • Siematic
  • Omega

High-End:

  • Boffi
  • Bulthaup

Layout + Documentation

How and where to place cabinets vs. drawers in your kitchen as well as how to document it for a fabricator is another crucial step in the design process.

Step 1: Determining How You Use Your Space

In order for your kitchen to be efficient and functional, you will want to start thinking about proximities and how you will be using the space. The diagram below highlights important proximities to the range such as the spice cabinet, pots & pans/utensil storage, and the prep counter.

Key Things to Look Out for When Planning Your Space

If possible, make sure to have storage for spices and oils used for cooking nearest to the range for easy access.

Ask yourself, do you prefer spice storage in a drawer or cabinet?

Silverware should be close by to the dishwasher, as well as to the plates and cups for when you are setting the table.

Other utensils such as spatulas, ladles, and slotted spoons should also be placed close to the stove - as there are tools you will frequently use while cooking.

Take inventory of specific items that will need to be stored in your kitchen. This exercise will really help you define how you use your kitchen, and what your needs are on a daily basis. This is an essential part of planning your kitchen remodel.

For example, if you have various appliances such as a slow cooker, rice cooker, mixer, air fryer, etc. you will want to allocate plenty of storage for these items.

Step 2: Design Documentation for Custom or Semi-Custom Cabinetry

If pursuing the custom or semi-custom cabinetry route, the next step for a design professional would be to document this in their design drawings.

In order to properly convey a kitchen design to a general contractor, millworker, or manufacturer it is important to have a good set of plans, elevations, sections, and details.

Electrical (Power & Signal Plan)

Floor Plans
Showing the layout of the cabinets, appliances, island (if applicable), etc.

Finish Plans
Showing the materiality of flooring and countertops

Electrical (Power & Signal) Plan
Showing the appropriate outlets and electrical requirements for appliances and general convenience

Ceiling Plan
Showing the materiality and equipment/ lighting on the ceiling and how they align with the counters below

Elevations

Kitchen Island Elevation
Kitchen Island Elevation

Elevations are crucial to understanding cabinetry layouts as these views show quantities of drawers, placement of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, upper cabinets, etc. Elevations can also be used to include call-outs or notes regarding specific design details of the cabinets

Details
Important details that could affect pricing like inset hardware and edge details for countertops. This island elevation contains notes that are important for fabricators to be aware of like “hardwood veneer doors on concealed hinges”.

Counter Edge Detail


This detail notes important call-outs related to the materiality, design intent, and dimensional information for the edge of the countertop.

Standard Dimensions + Clearances for Cabinetry

Cabinets

  • 25” Deep x 36” High is standard for kitchen cabinets
  • 12” Deep is standard depth for upper cabinets
  • 16-18” H above counters is standard for placement of upper cabinets

How Do I Pick Hardware for Kitchen Cabinets?

Choosing your hardware for kitchen cabinets can be a tough decision to make when designing your kitchen remodel, if only because there are so many options available. You’ll want to consider both the design of your cabinets, the functionality of your space, and the overall aesthetics of your space, to help you narrow in on the right option for hardware for your kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinet hardware is available in a wide variety of styles and finishes but can be broken down into a few major categories.

Cabinet Pulls

Standard

Standard Kitchen Cabinet Pull
Standard Kitchen Cabinet Pull

Recessed Flush

Recessed Flush Kitchen Cabinet Pull
Recessed Flush Kitchen Cabinet Pull

Finger Edge Pulls

Finger Edge Pulls
Finger Edge Pulls

Knobs

Knobs
Knobs

Integrated Pulls

Items to consider when trying to determine which style(s) are best for your kitchen remodel project are budget, functionality, and aesthetics.

Integrated hardware and recessed or flush pulls are more expensive than standard pulls and knobs, as they require additional labor.

Push Latch

Push latch hardware is used for designs that require the “no hardware” look. The push mechanism is hidden inside the cabinet frame so that the cabinet door remains completely free of hardware. This is a great option for more contemporary designs.

Accessories (Specialty Inserts + Interior Organization)

Storage accessories help keep your space organized and efficient. Some must-have accessories for your kitchen remodel include:

Pull-Out Pantries

Example of a Pull-Out Pantry
Example of a Pull-Out Pantry

Integrated Spice Storage/Knife Blocks

Integrated Spice Storage/Knife Blocks
Integrated Spice Storage/Knife Blocks

Blind Corner/European Pull-Out Shelves

Blind Corner/European Pull-Out Shelves
Blind Corner/European Pull-Out Shelves

Waste Basket Pull-Out Cabinets

Waste Basket Pull-Out Cabinets
Waste Basket Pull-Out Cabinets

Tray, Lid, and Pot Organizers

Tray, Lid, and Pot Organizers
Tray, Lid, and Pot Organizers

Drawer Organization - Inserts/Dividers/Pegs

Drawer Organization - Inserts
Drawer Organization - Inserts
Drawer Organization - Dividers

Countertops

What Do I Need to Know About Kitchen Countertops?

Well, if you’re in the midst of planning your kitchen remodel you may be wondering which kitchen countertops are the best? There is certainly more than one option for countertop materials, each with its own qualities, cost, and design. So really the question becomes, which kitchen countertops are the best for your project? And how should you go about shopping for them?

What Are My Material Options for Kitchen Countertops?

In order to help you make that decision, we’ve spelled out your material options for kitchen and bathroom countertops:

What About Natural Stone?

Granite

Granite

Granite is a highly durable material. Resistant to heat, scratches, and stains with proper maintenance and cleaning.

Comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns for your unique kitchen remodel.

Marble

Marble

Marble is the straightest path to a high-end look for your kitchen remodel. But do note, that material like marble requires more maintenance due to its porosity, and it is susceptible to stains and etching from acids

Quartzite

Quartzite

Quartzite is a highly durable, even harder stone than granite. This means the material is able to withstand heat very well.

There are not as many color/pattern variations in slab available with Quartzite, but the material can resemble Marble in some cases.

Other options for natural stone countertops for your kitchen remodel include Soapstone, Basalt, and Slate.

Are Engineered Materials for Kitchen Countertops Worth It?

Engineered Quartz

Example of Engineered Quartz
Example of Engineered Quartz

Engineered Quartz is a manufactured product made from a mixture of resin, pigments, and quartz mineral aggregate.

There is no sealing or maintenance required with Engineered Quartz. It is a non-porous material that is avaiable in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Example of Engineered Quartz
Example of Engineered Quartz

Solid Surface

Example of Solid Surface slab
Example of Solid Surface slab

Solid Surface refers to a manufactured product made from a mixture of resin, pigments, and natural minerals. The material contains a lower percentage of natural minerals, mostly marble mineral dust, which makes the appearance less “stone-like.”

Solid Surface is typically less expensive but still is very durable and requires no maintenance which makes it a great alternative for your kitchen remodel.

Example of Solid Surface Slab
Example of Solid Surface Slab

Porcelain

example of porcelain slab
Example of Porcelain

Porcelain is a clay that has been glazed and fired at high temperatures, producing a strong material that can mimic the look of natural stone.

This material is strong and heat resistant, and there is no maintenance required. Porcelain comes in slab sizes and can be made very thin to be used for easy wall applications. Do note that the material can chip and crack, and that there are limited options for edge profiles (mitered or square) with this material.

Porcelain is typically less expensive than Quartz, both in material and the labor cost of installation - and could save you a pretty penny on your kitchen remodel budget.

Example of Porcelain

Butcher Block

butcher block countertops
Butcher Block countertops are a cost-effective option for your kitchen remodel. 

Butcher Block can be a fantastic option for countertops – especially if you are doing this kitchen remodel on a budget but still are seeking a high-end look. The material is composed of strips (edge or face grain) or square blocks (end grain) of wood that are glued together in a variety of wood species including, but not limited to, Acacia, Alder, Ash, Bamboo, Cherry and Maple.

Butcher Block countertops do require routine oiling to prevent dullness and cracking, but this material option adds the warmth and richness of wood to your space, can even be used as a cutting surface (though we always recommend using a cutting board to protect your countertops), and perhaps most compelling, Butcher Block countertops are a very cost-effective option for your kitchen remodel.

Concrete

kitchen with concrete countertops
Concrete

Another option for your kitchen remodel is to pour concrete in place to form your countertops. This material is well suited for contemporary, industrial, and farmhouse-style kitchens, and is a highly durable option for your kitchen countertops. This material does require maintenance, such as sealing and waxing.

There is a wide variety of customizations in finish, color and other decorative additions that would make a concrete countertop installation the ideal direction for your kitchen remodel, but note the high cost of labor that you will have to pay for your seamless installation.

Microcement

Example of microcement application in a kitchen remodel
Example of microcement application in a kitchen remodel

Microcement is a topping composed of several extremely thin layers of cement. The material is very durable and resistant to scratches, stains, and UV exposure. It doesn't crack or degrade, is incredibly easy to maintain and is available in an endless number of color options.

What's very cool about microcement is that it can be easily applied in new construction or over an existing substrate. It provides a concrete look with less labor and curing time, and at a more afforable price point.

More Details to Consider For Your Kitchen Countertops

After determining which material to use for your kitchen countertops, there are still several details and decisions to make that can impact the design of your space. Some big questions to consider when making your decisions for your kitchen remodel include:

How Should I Think About Countertop Details?

Edge Profiles:

Chart of Edge Profiles
Chart of Edge Profiles

Let's start with your edge profile!

The edge of your countertop, whether it be a bullnose profile or an eased edge can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic and feel of your final kitchen remodel. There is a wide range of options, including mitered, French, or bullnose.

If you are remodeling your kitchen in a traditional or even transitional style – we recommend you stick to a more rounded or detailed edge. If you are looking for a contemporary option, clean, straight edges are always going to be your best option.

Seams

Depending on the size and layout of your countertops you may need to have seams that will be visible on your kitchen countertops.

Don't let these take you by surprise!!! Properly plan for the seams in your kitchen remodel by incorporating them into your design drawings or discussing it with your fabricator prior to installation.

If your countertop material has a pattern, be sure to specify to your installer that the veining should match at all seams so the material looks as continuous as possible.

Finish

Depending on the material you have selected you may have the option of a honed (matte), polished, leathered, caressed, flamed, or sandblasted finish.

If you have chosen a natural stone material, you will have more finish options to choose from versus a man-made material.

A polished finish is the most resistant to stains and offers a glossy look for your kitchen remodel. Honed or matte finishes have little to no reflection but are less resistant to stains.

Leathered, caressed, flamed and sandblasted finishes all add a variety of texture to the material which hides imperfections very well.

Backsplash

Ok, so at this point in your kitchen remodel you have your kitchen layout determined, chosen the style and design of your cabinetry, as well as hardware for your kitchen cabinets. You have a good idea of what material you will be choosing for your kitchen countertops – now it is time to take a closer look at some kitchen backsplash ideas and options for materials.

What Materials Can I Use for My Kitchen Backsplash?

Tiled Kitchen Backsplash

A tile backsplash is the most common type of splash to consider. Materials can be well priced and less costly to install. It can be a timeless and cost-effective solution.

Slab

Slab format backsplash refers to a material (like stone, porcelain or quartz) that comes in large format slab sizing (approx. 5’ x 10’) that is cut to size and applied to the wall. This suits a contemporary design as it is very clean and shows the most minimal grout lines.

Stainless Steel

For the more serious cook, stainless steel can be a great option in a top-of-the-line kitchen as it is most reminiscent of a professional kitchen. Other types of metals could also be a great option in a more modern or industrial space.

Back Painted Glass & Backlit Stone

A few, more unique material options for backsplash are back painted glass and backlit stone. Back painted glass, or glass that has been painted on one side, is a nice way to add color, a bit of gloss and reflectivity to modernize your space.

Backlit stone can also be used in the kitchen to add that “wow” factor. Backlighting can be done with a naturally translucent stone, like Onyx, or with a natural stone that has been cut thin and applied to a glass or plastic backing.

There are also several man-made options that are made to look similar to a natural stone, that are less expensive and more resistant.

Other Details to Consider For Your Kitchen Backsplash

Grout

Different grout options can have a big impact on the final look of your tile.

If your countertop material does not come in a large slab format, or your kitchen island is bigger than a standard slab size, you will need to have grout.

Make sure to specify the color and size of the grout lines. If you want the grout to disappear, opt for a color that is most similar to the color of the counters. If you’d like to make more of a statement, you can choose a contrasting color.

As always, we recommend seeing a sample in person when choosing the backsplash grout color for your kitchen remodel.

Seams and Veining

Seams can be treated in different ways when there is a pattern in the material. Vein matching can be achieved to make the slab appear to be continuous along with the backsplash and countertops.

Bookmatching can also be achieved to create a more bold design feature.

Example of Bookmatching Kitchen Countertops

Flooring

What Options Do I Have for Flooring in the Kitchen?

There are multiple options for materials that would work perfectly for kitchen flooring, from tile to wood, to microcement.

But you might be wondering what is the best flooring for your kitchen remodel? To help you choose, we have laid out the most commonly used materials for flooring in a kitchen remodel, and share some of the pros and cons of the different options.

Tile Flooring (Natural Stone, Porcelain and Ceramic)


Pretty much any direction you go with tile, whether we are talking natural stone or porcelain, or ceramic - we are talking about great options for flooring for your kitchen remodel because these are all materials that are extremely durable.

When considering a porcelain tile, a through-body tile has the same color all the way through the material, so if chipped, it is less noticeable.

This is a great option for an indoor/outdoor space because you can easily continue the flooring material outside.

Wood Floors

Natural wood floors  – whether hardwood or engineered, are also a great option for flooring for your kitchen remodel.

If you are using wood flooring throughout your home remodel, instead of breaking up the space with a new flooring material, consider a smooth, continuous look of wood flooring in the kitchen.

Spills will need to be cleaned up quickly as natural wood is not waterproof, but various coatings can be applied to help with water resistance.

Laminate

The core of a laminate product is made from wood by-products bonded with resins.

The top surface is a hard, transparent plastic wear layer that covers the printed design layer. The overall thickness is typically 6-12mm.

Laminate flooring allows for deeper and more realistic 3d embossing. This results in a pretty realistic appearance to natural wood, stone, or even ceramic.

If exposed to water, because the core of this material for your kitchen remodel is made of a wood product, it will swell, soften and sometimes peel which could definitely be problematic if there is a leak in your kitchen.

Vinyl

Vinyl flooring is the most inexpensive option and is a 100% synthetic material that can come in sheet, tile, or plank format.

The base layer of this material is typically fiberglass coated in PVC vinyl. This sheet is then printed and embossed with a surface print layer. Multiple wear layers are applied along with a layer of no-wax polyurethane.

Durability is a definite concern with these materials as they can be easily damaged, though the material options for vinyl for your kitchen remodel have definitely improved greatly in recent years.

LVT or LVP (def: luxury vinyl tile or planks) are much thicker and more durable. Best of all?  These materials can be installed over existing floors. That could be a huge money saver for your kitchen remodel.

Concrete

Polished or stained concrete floors in a contemporary or industrial kitchen is also an extremely durable option and very easy to clean because there are little to no seams and no grout.

Appliances

From Budget to Hidden Panels: Consider This When Choosing Kitchen Appliances

Be prepared with your overall appliance budget and your priorities before shopping for your kitchen remodel. In order to determine your priorities when it comes to appliances, you can ask questions such as:

Is the range a focal point/design feature in the kitchen?

How often are you currently cooking and baking with your range?

How many people are you shopping for? Do you typically shop for frozen items?

Questions like this will help determine the sizes of big-ticket appliances like your fridge and/or freezer.

If you are looking for a streamlined look across the kitchen, one option to consider are panel ready appliances. These allow for a custom “cover” or panel to be installed on the face of the appliance to match the rest of your cabinetry.

The appliances come ready for your millworker to add the custom panel, so some additional time and coordination will be involved, however, the end result can be very beautiful. A panel-ready appliance will typically be more costly than your standard appliance.

Note that not all appliances will come with a panel-ready option, so this may be a limiting factor if you take this direction with your kitchen remodel design.

How To Ventilate Your Kitchen: Downdraft vs. Updraft Vents and Hoods

When considering the placement and type of range you will be adding during your kitchen remodel, don’t forget to consider the required ventilation. This is an incredibly important step in the planning of your kitchen remodel, and if overlooked in this phase can cause you big headaches down the road.

So if you’re not sure if you’re going to need a kitchen vent hood, or a downdraft behind your range top – read on to learn more about how to ventilate your kitchen properly, what systems are most effective at removing smoke and other contaminants from your home, and how to determine what you need for your kitchen remodel.

Updraft Ventilation Hood

Updraft Ventilation Hood

Updraft vents are generally the most effective way to go  – they pull smoke, grease, and contaminants out of the air rather efficiently and most commonly vent to the outside. But every kitchen remodel will require a different approach to this problem.

Downdraft ranges/cooktops integrate the ventilation directly into the cooking surface so that an overhead vent is not needed. Sometimes this will be done in a retractable unit.

Downdraft Ventilation Hood

Downdraft Ventilation Hood

Note that a downdraft tends to not be as efficient or effective as a kitchen hood vent or another updraft vent, simply because a downdraft blower or vent is designed to pull the smoke, grease, and contaminants against its natural rising motion. Often times they have to work harder than an updraft system.

In addition, If the pots are tall, the vent may be lower than the steam and will not be captured by the vent.

Pro Tip!! Consider the CFMs, or cubic feet per minute, when selecting a vent hood. This is the power available per cubic feet per minute of airflow.

In order to calculate what is needed, first determine if you will be using an electric or gas cooktop.

Electric: It is estimated according to the size of your cooktop.

  • The average electric cooktop requires 100 CFM for every 10” of cooktop width, therefore, if your range is 48” wide, then you will need 480 CFM.

Gas: It is estimated by dividing the total BTU by 100.

  • If your gas cooktop is rated at 40,000 BTU , you will need a hood with 400 CFM or more.

Please note: if you have very high ceiling, or have more than two 90-degree bends in your ducting, the hood needs more power to draw out the air effectively

Wait, Do I Have Space for Specialty Appliances in my Kitchen Remodel?

One thing is choosing your standard oven, fridge, or even microwave oven for your kitchen remodel. These are the basic appliances required in a standard kitchen, and you will need to find at least one option that works for your space of each.

But one way to take your kitchen remodel to the "next level" may be to find space (and budget) for specialty appliances such as a built-in coffee maker or ice machine.

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a piping hot espresso in the mornings?

There are a handful of specialty appliances that can be more fitting for your space versus a standard range, fridge, or dishwasher even. Some examples include:

Steam Ovens

Use hot steam vs. hot air to cook food. A steam oven offers faster cooking times and retains more nutrients in the food during the cooking process by keeping food moist and reducing cook time.

A steam oven can reheat more effectively than microwaves, which may make this a better option for your kitchen remodel.

Single Burner In-Counter Cooktops

If counter space is an issue, this may be a great solution for your kitchen remodel.

A single burner in-counter cooktops not only offes a great-looking design that saves space and makes cleaning easy, but additional burners can be added and configured to allow a customized cooking experience.

In-Counter Fryers

If your style of cooking often includes fried foods, this is a great solution that looks sleek and sophisticated – and if you can afford the splurge – might be the right specialty for your kitchen remodel.

Drawer Fridge/Freezer

If you are trying to free up space in your current fridge or freezer, under-counter drawer fridges and freezers are a great way to add additional refrigeration for beverages or produce.

Ice Maker

A built-in ice maker can be an extremely convenient appliance, but note that most will require a dedicated water line and drain for installation.

Coffee Wall Units

A built-in Coffee Wall unit can be a great solution for avid coffee drinkers who want to keep their kitchen countertops free of appliances.

Drawer Dishwasher

This is a great solution for smaller spaces. With a drawer dishwasher, you will have the option to do a smaller load of dishes, as opposed to a load of a standard dishwasher. This means you are using less water and energy.

High-End ($$$)

  • Gaggenau
  • Bertazzoni
  • La Cornue
  • Viking
  • Subzero/Wolf
  • Miele
  • Dacor
  • GE Monogram

Mid-Range ($$)

  • Bosch
  • KitchenAid
  • Electrolux
  • Fisher & Paykel
  • Thermador

Budget ($)

  • Samsung
  • LG
  • GE
  • Whirlpool
  • Frigidaire

Plumbing Fixtures

From Style to Finish: What To Know When Choosing Your Plumbing Fixtures

When they say the devil is in the details, they may have meant plumbing fixtures.

Often one of the finishing touches you might consider when planning your kitchen remodel – the style and finish of plumbing fixtures for your space is a pivotal decision during your kitchen remodel.

Even if all you are looking to source is your basic kitchen faucet and sink, there is an overwhelming amount of options out there. At Beam, we’d recommend starting with what finish you want for your kitchen faucet and sink.

Details to Consider When Picking Your Kitchen Faucet

When selecting plumbing fixtures for your kitchen remodel, it is important to note that some plumbing fixture finishes are more durable than others.  Examples of this are polished chrome, satin nickel, or bronze. The reason being these are finishes that won’t scratch or smudge as easily.

Will My Plumbing Fixtures and Cabinet Hardware Clash?

Don’t be afraid to mix metals, however, you will want to make sure your different materials don’t clash. There are some basic rules about what finishes will work well in tandem, but this one is going to be hard to solve virtually as nothing beats reviewing physical samples of the finishes. This is a key step in your kitchen remodel process that shouldn’t be overlooked.

In other words, provided you give yourself time in your kitchen remodel schedule to order samples of your materials, you should feel free to explore finish options for your plumbing fixtures beyond what you have chosen for your cabinet hardware to find what works best for your kitchen remodel. Check out the most common finishes for plumbing fixtures like your kitchen faucet and sink below.

Chrome

Chome
  • Shiny and eye catching
  • Readily available and usually in stock
  • Smudges easily, can scratch

Polished, Satin, or Brushed Nickel

  • Slightly Matte , Warmer in tone than chrome
  • Readily available and usually in stock
  • Hides smudges well and is a very durable material and finish

Stainless Steel

  • Very durable and easy to clean

Bronze

  • Bronze offers a darker and moodier aesthetic for your kitchen remodel
  • This finish can be more expensive than standard finishes
  • There are varying finishing techniques available, such as oil rubbed or antiqued for a more traditional look

Brass

  • Brass is gold in tone, and very durable but it can corrode with hard water
  • It will patina and age over time if left unlacquered
  • Brass comes in a variety of finishing techniques like unlacquered, antiqued, burnished, polished, satin, etc.

Other Finish Considerations:

PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition)

  • A finishing process that creates a molecular bond to the fixture surface resulting in the most durable finish that will not corrode, discolor or tarnish
  • Most suitable for properties close in proximity to the beach, where salt air can easily corrode metals, or extreme weather
  • Make sure to ask what material the body of the faucet is made out of as you can coat a majority of materials in nearly any finish
  • The body material is important because this also heavily determines the durability of the fixture.
  • The most widely used base materials are brass, steel, zinc and plastic are the most (the best being brass)
  • The type of metal being used for the coating or plating of the body is also important because for example, brass, nickel and bronze, stand up to moisture and scratching quite well, whereas iron can rust easily and zinc is not durable and inexpensive.
  • You can and should order samples of the fixture to test the weight and feel of a fixture firsthand.

“Living” finishes

  • Can age or patina over time creating a rustic, antiqued look over time
Example of a living brass finish that has a patina

High-End

  • Dornbracht
  • Waterworks
  • Kallista
  • La Cava
  • Waterstone
  • La Cava

Mid-Range

  • Brizo
  • Phylrich
  • Budget
  • Moen
  • American Standard
  • Delta
  • Hansgrohe
  • Kohler
  • Kraus
  • Axo

Lighting

From Accent to Ambient: What Do I Do About Lighting my Kitchen?

Last, but absolutely not least – it is time to consider kitchen lighting and which fixtures to shop for your kitchen remodel. Click here or read on to learn more about how designers define three different types of lighting.

Then consider how you might layer multiple levels of lighting in your space with statement kitchen lighting fixtures and more.

Ambient Lighting: Set the Tone


Ambient lighting is the general, uniform style of lighting to light your space. Examples include recessed, can and track lights as well as chandeliers and flush-mounted ceiling fixtures.

The location of recessed lighting is important and is best placed +/- 24” away from the wall to adequately illuminate the counter. Placing recessed lights further back could cast shadows when you are standing at the counter.

Task Lighting: Shine the Spotlight

Task lighting is functional lighting meant to illuminate a specific area like a kitchen island or could be a LED tape or strip light hidden underneath an upper cabinet to light a countertop.

Accent Lighting: Here We Are

Accent lighting is used to accentuate an architectural detail or design element (like a piece of art) or is purely decorative.

Some examples of accent lighting include sconces, picture lights, spotlights, and LED tape/strip lights. In a kitchen remodel, you may want to consider accent lighting to help highlight any feature items in the space.

When LED tape or strip lights are used in a cove lighting application or are used to wash a wall or shelf with light, it can really add interest and mood to a space.

Combining all (3) types of lighting in your kitchen remodel will create a beautiful ambiance for your space.

What Did You Think Of Our Kitchen Remodel Guide?

We like to think this is a pretty comprehensive guide to your kitchen remodel.

If, by now, you feel ready to get your project off the ground, sign up here to start designing or get matched with a pro on Beam today.

And most importantly, if you have ANY questions we didn’t answer in this guide, please always give us a shout! We would love to hear from you.