Planning a renovation project for 2011? We've pulled together a guide to 30 stores to bookmark. Use this list when you're comparison shopping for appliances, cabinets, fixtures, flooring, or tile.
Appliances: Dishwashers, Ranges, Refrigerators, and More
- Abt Electronics and Appliances: This Chicago-area store has an online catalog (with a helpful support staff) that sells to people across the US. They have an extensive selection of kitchen, laundry, and home appliances. Shown: Bosch 24" Undercounter Dishwasher, $900.
- CompactAppliance.com: Based out of Austin, Texas, this online catalog specializes in small and double-duty appliances. Look here for under-counter refrigerators and front-loading washer/dryers. Shown: Summit Built-In Compact Refrigerator/Freezer, on sale for $845 (reg. $995).
- A. J. Madison: Based out of New York, this online retailer sells a huge selection of appliances and fixtures for kitchens, laundry rooms, and baths. They have an outlet section for discounted goods as well. Shown: 24" Front-Load Washer, $765.
- HomeClick.com: This online retailer is well-known for stocking a huge inventory of discounted designer items for kitchens and bathrooms. Look here for portable electrics, slim dishwashers, and built-in appliances for small spaces. Shown: Fisher and Paykel 24 in Dual Fuel Range, $1,800.
- Sears: A leading name in appliances, Sears is known for its affordable prices, deep selection, and its online and brick-and-mortar outlets, where you can find good deals on mark-downs. Shown: Electrolux Black 30" Induction Cooktop, $1,700.
Cabinets: Wood, Glass, Metal, and More
- IKEA: IKEA kitchens are one of the least expensive options out there. Cabinets come in a range of finishes, from laminate to wood, and some of the lines come with a 25-year warranty. Shown: Nexus Cabinets with clear lacquer finish.
- Bulthaup: This German company offers three custom kitchen systems: the B1 (simplest), B2 (most compact), and B3 (most customizable). They have showrooms in 16 US cities, and their kitchens are high quality and pricey. Shown: B2 Collection.
- EcoUrban: This Chicago-based line of environmentally friendly, Eurostyle cabinets are domestically sourced, with formaldehyde-free substrate and glues. Cabinets come in wood, veneer, or steel. Shown: Ecourban Steel Pure Collection.
- Dwyer: This Illinois-based company sells custom and standard stock cabinets. They specialize in compact kitchens and metal cabinets made from a minimum of 25% recycled content, with mid-range pricing. Shown: Goelst Modular Casework.
- Kerf Design, Inc.: Seattle-based Kerf offers flat-packed "DIY" (or shippable, ready to assemble) cabinets starting in the low hundreds, more expensive than IKEA but less than a designer kitchen. Shown: Kagan Kitchen Custom Project.
Fixtures: Sinks, Toilets, Tubs, and Faucets
- Green Depot: This one-stop green home improvement store has locations across the Northeast and in the Midwest. Shop here for low-flow toilets, energy-efficient appliances, and non-toxic building materials. Shown: Caroma Dual-Flush Toilets and Sinks.
- PlumberSurplus.com: Based in Riverside, California, this online retailer has a big range of discounted sinks, faucets, toilets, tubs, and other items for kitchen and bathroom renovators. Shown: Whitehause Winehaus Commercial Stainless Steel Undermount Kitchen Sink, $488.
- Kohler: This mega-brand is a good resource for a range of kitchen and bathroom fixtures, from sinks to toilets. Ann Sacks, Sterling, Kallista, and Robern are all owned by the Kohler company. Shown: Underscore Cube Bathtub.
- Duravit: Their wall-mounted toilets are sleek, stylish, and designed by people like Philippe Stark and Norman Foster. Prices are high — these are status symbols for your kitchen or bath. Shown: Handrinse Basin by Norman Foster.
- The Faucet Shoppe: This Chicago-based store has a large online inventory of basic, affordable faucets, including wall-mounted kitchen taps and commercial faucets. Shown: Wall-Mounted Pot Filler Faucet, $197.
Flooring: Hardwood, Concrete, Linoleum, and Cork
- American Barn Company: General contractor Jay Wikary recycles materials from Midwestern barn demolitions and makes them into wood furniture and tongue-and-groove flooring, which he sells through his Chicago shop. Shown: Reclaimed Pine and Oak Tongue and Groove Flooring.
- Lumber Liquidators: This nationwide retailer is a no-frills resource for several types of flooring, including hardwood, engineered wood, bamboo, cork, and more. The selection is huge, and their inventory is posted online. Shown: Bellawood Engineered Brazilian Cherry, $5.69/sf.
- Hudson Concrete: Based out of Long Island City, New York, Hudson Concrete is a small business with pros that can answer most concrete-related questions for you. They're knowledgeable about radiant heating systems, too. Shown: Custom Project.
- Linoleum City: Based in Los Angeles, Linoleum City obviously carries linoleum (natural and vinyl), but don't let the name fool you — they also stock ceramic tile, wood flooring, cork, and carpet. Shown: Natural Linoleum.
- CorkStore.com: This website has affordable pricing on cork flooring, tiles, soundproofing, rolls and sheets. They sell Jelinek Cork, and their headquarters are based in Niagara Falls, with distribution in the US and Canada. Shown: Jelinek Cork Mosaic Flooring.
Hardware: Hooks, Knobs, Pulls, and Hinges
- McMaster-Carr Supply Company: This industrial supply catalog is a great resource for affordable tools, hardware, and building materials. They have a helpful customer service line and an extensive online catalog. Shown: Aluminum Hooks.
- Liz's Hardware: Located in Los Angeles (with a webshop that's regularly updated), Liz's Hardware specializes in reproductions of period pieces, like Victorian doorknobs and Eastlake hinges. Shown: Mantua Pattern Victorian Doorknob, $38.
- White Chapel Ltd. Hardware: They're based in Jackson, Wyoming, and they sell a great selection of high-quality metal hardware in brass, chrome, and brushed finishes. Shop online for a nice selection of bin and cup pulls. Shown: Half-Round Polished Chrome Bin Pull, $29.
- CabinetParts.com: This is a great resource if you're looking for pull-out cabinet organizers, hardware for tight spaces, shelf hardware, or accessories like drawer dividers and cabinet lighting. Shown: Grass Unisoft Universal Soft-Close Adapter, $5.31.
- Kitchen Cabinet Hardware: This webshop has a wide variety of drawer pulls, cabinet hinges, and other kitchen hardware in contemporary and antique styles. Prices vary, but you can definitely find attractive and affordable options. Shown: Dakota Collection Cup Pull, $7.15.
Tile: Ceramic, Glass, and Stone
- Heath Ceramics: This company's ceramic tile is hand-glazed, which gives it really rich color and variation. They carry basic square and rectangular shapes, as well as made-to-order dimensional tile with a textured surface. Shown: Dwell Patterns, $24-$48 per square foot.
- Hakatai Glass Tile: Hakatai, a company that specializes in glass tile, has a large online inventory, including lots of recycled glass options. You can find several lines of good quality around $10 per square foot. Shown: D-93 Mandarin, $8.36 per pound for loose tile.
- Modwalls: For colorful 1 x 1-inch mosaic tiles, ModWalls is a good resource. They have an extensive selection of glass blends and porcelain penny round tile, as well as plenty of online examples of real-life installations. Shown: Brio Blend Triton Tile, $5.95 per 1.15 square feet.
- Ann Sacks Tile & Stone: Glazed ceramic tile is waterproof and easy to care for, which makes it well-suited to kitchens and bathrooms. Ann Sacks has a really nice collection of higher-end ceramic art tile in some gorgeous patterns and colors. Shown: Ann Sacks Elements Collection.
- Subway Ceramics: This online retailer specializes in reproductions of early 20th Century American subway tile, which tends to have very thin grout lines and a flat, simple surface. They also carry hex tile and other American classics. Shown: Wall Tile Collection.