In partnership withKILZ® Brand

Here’s What 2 Experts Want You to Know When You’re Planning Your Kitchen Renovation

published Jun 16, 2020
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Credit: KILZ® Brand

If you’ve ever thought about a kitchen remodel, those thoughts might be especially present now, a time when you might be spending more time at home — and more time cooking — than ever before. Of course, you want to spend your renovation dollars wisely and create a space that will not just look beautiful, but also stand up to everyday wear and tear for a long time.

The trick to that isn’t very surprising though it’s certainly worth stating: Choosing the right materials at the start of the job will give you a more finished product. No matter what specs your project involves, KILZ® Brand primers will give your reno the base they need for you to enjoy them long after your project’s wrapped up. KILZ 3® Premium Primer has excellent adhesion while blocking most medium to heavy stains caused by water and grease — the stuff kitchens get stained with. It also provides a mildew-resistant primer film that makes it ideal for moisture-prone areas like the kitchen.

Pro builder Josh Wiener, president of NYC contracting firm SilverLining, knows a thing or two about picking materials. We asked him how to pick the best tile for your space and how to select high-quality materials and finishes that will look as good years from now as they did on the very first day. Then, we spoke with a color consultant to get her advice on the best color combos to transform this plain kitchen. Check out our virtual reveal — it’s three Before & Afters in one! 

AT: Is there anything people get wrong when they’re adding a tile backsplash?

JW: People tend to make a few mistakes. First, if you put tile behind the stove and the tile and grout aren’t well sealed, they will stain easily. Pasta sauce, etc, will drip. Also certain materials like glass and mirror will crack when they get hot. Choose a tile that can handle heat. Another option is to put a piece of stainless steel behind the stove.

The wall behind the sink also tends to stain. Glass wipes easily, but the grout gets filthy and becomes hard to clean. Create a lip made out of another material that’s easy to wipe (like stone) that goes about 3 or 4 inches up to make it easier to clean.

Try to choose a large tile, too. The less grout you have, the easier it will be to clean. There are sealers that will seal tile and grout — you might need three or four coats, but that work will make it more durable and easier to clean.

AT: What are the biggest factors that will go into determining your kitchen renovation budget?

JW: Certain materials are more expensive than others. Labor costs are similar no matter the kitchen. For example, there is cabinetry that’s more expensive (detail, glass insets, etc.), but it costs about the same to install.

Even within different materials, you have different prices, based on quality and what it’s attached to (for example, something attached to MDF is on the higher side). It’s a combo of the material itself plus its substrate. People will see an “expensive” veneer attached to cheap backing. What you need to do is have the salesperson show you a cut of the material. You can even ask them to put the sample in a bucket of water and see what happens. Almost all retailers, even IKEA, will do this for you.

If you use your kitchen a lot, cheaper materials will eventually need to be replaced. If it’s a long-term use, it’s worth investing in longer-lasting materials.

As part of our Before & After journey, we wanted to offer readers a few different ideas for ways the kitchen above could be transformed with primer and paint (and with tile)! To get some color ideas, we spoke to Architectural Color Consultant Amy Krane, founder of Amy Krane Color. Here’s what she considered when choosing colors:

AK: The key elements in this kitchen are the multi-hued calacatta gold herringbone backsplash and the butcher block countertop. They bring warm gold and pink (respectively) accents into the palette, mixing them with the gray marble veining.

Credit: KILZ® Brand

Option 1

This combo creates contrast and pop by employing charcoal gray (pulled from the marble veining) for the cabinets and setting it against the mostly white backsplash. The antique rose walls carry just a hint of pink blush, which ties into the pink of the maple wood and the current fascination with pink.

Credit: KILZ® Brand

Option 2

Mixing warm and cool hues in a space creates both harmony and excitement. This palette takes advantage of this relationship by pitting a deep, almost black olive green for the cabinets against a pale, peachy tan wall and trim. Greens, in every incarnation, are the most exciting new color trend for kitchen finishes, coming after black, navy, gray and white of past years.

Credit: KILZ® Brand

Option 3

A midnight blue, so dense you might think it black, gives this kitchen palette the crispness of dark blue against white walls. Blue-and-white remains a timeless classic palette, from home furnishings to fashion.