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Five Cheap ways to Improve your Kitchen Now!

by nancy
November 18, 2013


The good news for homeowners: Consumer Reports’ latest tests yields a tantalizing menu of value-priced kitchen upgrades that cost as little as $1,000. Besides paying off now in improved looks and convenience, these smaller upgrades are likelier to pay bigger dividends later as home prices rebound. Here’s the list:

Add fresh paint

If cabinets are structurally sound but shabby, spruce them up with a coat of paint. Paying a pro costs as little as $50 per door, less if you tackle the prepping and painting yourself. One pick from our tests is the self-priming Behr Premium Plus Ultra Satin Enamel, $33 per gallon at Home Depot.

More from ConsumerReports.org: The best appliances—and what not to buyKitchen planning guide

Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers or sponsors on Yahoo!

Improve convenience

For about $200 or less, you can improve cabinet storage with pull-out shelves and retractable trash bins.

Update the countertops

Designers’ views are mixed between granite and quartz (about $40 to $100 per square foot), which mimics granite and other stone. Quartz topped our gauntlet of tests, and it never needs sealing. Want to spend less? Laminate costs just $10 to $40 per square foot and resisted stains and impact even better (but be careful about cuts).

Beautify the backsplash

Durable ceramic-tile starts at about $10 per square foot installed. And even high-maintenance materials like glass are smart options, since they don’t get the wear and tear of a countertop. Whatever you use for the kitchen backsplash, caulking between the backsplash and countertop is a must.

Fix up your flooring

Tile or wood may impress realtors, but some top-rated vinyl and laminate floors also look sharp, resist wear significantly better, and cost far less when the work is done. Examples from our latest tests include the vinyl-tile Congoleum DuraCeramic Sierra Slate SI-74 Golden Greig, $5 per square foot, and the laminate Armstrong Coastal Living L3051 White Wash Walnut, $3.50 per square foot.

Copyright © 2006-2011 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc.


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