[an error occurred while processing this directive] Kitchen Finishes: How to Spend or Save - Steven and Chris

Kitchen Finishes: How to Spend or Save


An inexpensive kitchen renovation is better than no new kitchen at all, says designer Deb Nelson, so don't wait forever to save up — it might be less expensive than you think! But Deb says that doesn't mean you can't get the feel of a high-end reno while sticking to your budget. Find out when it's worth to splurge and when you should save to achieve both a luxurious and practical kitchen design for your home!




1. Flooring — Wood vs. Tile

When it comes to flooring, you want to factor in both price and durability as it'll turn out to be one of your most significant investments.

Engineered Wood Flooring

Pro: Durable while still maintining the look of hardwood.

Con: Not all engineered wood is budget-friendly. Some can get very expensive depending on the durability. It can also lacks some of the desired natural patina and character of real hardwood flooring.

Solid Wood Flooring

Pro: Affordable and very stylish.

Con: It's not the most durable option. Hardwood floors do show wear and tear, including colour scraping and scratches (especially if you've got pets or wear high-heel shoes).

Porcelain tile

A great alternative that can surprisingly look a lot like wood. It's very durable, easy to clean and low-maintenance, which is great if you have kids or pets.

That said, you might want to go with a a darker grout, as that will be something that gets dirty over time.

Also, There isn't a significant price difference ($10) against wood flooring, but you'll still save some.

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2. Cabinets — Big Box vs. Custom

Before deciding on new cabinates, consider the super-low budget option of paint. Painting your cabinets can be an easy and cost efficient change especially if your cabinets are already in great shape and have an old oak finish. Tip: Neutral colours that can stand the test of time and relate to the surrounding components are a classic choice.

Big Box Store

Long gone are the days of boring, flat white cabinets from big box stores. They now have nice, updated styles in a range of colours. $3000 vs $10,000 significant


Pro: You get endless posibilities for colour, style, and texture (full finish paint or distressed). 

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3. Countertops — Natural Stone vs. Wood

Natural Stone: Marble

Pro: A very stylish and highly-desired option for your countertop.

Cons: It's the most expensive and least practical. Because it is natural stone, it's very porous and stains easily. Though it is important to note that every stone is very different and some are not as susceptible to stain. But if you like the aging effect of patina over time, go for it!

Natural Stone: Quartzite

Pro: You get the look of marble with the durability of granite

Natural Stone: Granite

Pro: It's the most durable natural stone and has the lowest price point.

Con: You won't be able to find it in any whites or light greys.

Natural and Engineered Stone: Quartz Materials

Pro: This man-made mix of quartz with engineered stone and is very durable. You can get any whites or solid colours in this material.

Brand names you hear of: Ceaserstone and Cambria.


Pro: This wood countertop adds character and saves you money. It's also the only counter you can refinish.

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4. Backsplash

Subway tile

White ceramic: Least expensive and versatile. If you want to take it up a notch, go with a grey grout.

Marble subway: This gives you that same classic look with a luxe feel.

Moroccan Inspired: $19 a sheet

Big-box stores more options and variety for people.

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5. Faucets

Faucets all boil down to quality. If you care more about the look, go ahead and run out to the hardware store and buy it today. But if you want something that will stand the test of time, pick a more expensive faucet. In terms of price point, be aware of the finish as this will be what varies in price. The price difference between a chrome finish (low) and a satin nickel finish (high) could be about $700!

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6. Hardware

Don't be afraid to mix your metals. If you have a stainless steel fridge, don't be afraid to play around with antique brass for your cabinet handles. It's often surprising how many handles you need. So make sure you do the math because you might need as many as 60-80 pieces!

Low Hardware

Big box stores are carrying a lot more selection which is great for any personality or style

Pro: They're easily accessible and can range from $2 to $7 dollars

High Hardware

This is something worth splurging on, but be prepared to spend between $35 and $45 dollars each.

Pro: You definitely get what you pay for

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7. Textiles

Textiles offer endless possibilities for adding accents and texture to your kitchen. They add a softness and prettiness to everything from your seating, banquettes, and roman shades.

High or low budget?

It's a personal choice that comes down to your budget. If you've got a small installation, feel free to splurge on it if that means getting a unique pattern that can create a pop of colour and add a lot of interest.

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