Seven Budget-Friendly Kitchen Updates

kitchen remodelIf your kitchen needs to be updated but kitchen renovation cost just doesn’t fit in your budget, it’s possible to freshen things up a bit without breaking the bank.  These budget-friendly kitchen updates will reinvent your space for less.

Cozy it up

A bright or patterned rug will instantly give your kitchen a pop of color while also adding warmth.  Position your rug in an area where you spend a lot of time on your feet such as next to the stove, sink or refrigerator.

Freshen Your Color Scheme

A fresh coat of paint can liven things up, or improve the looks of cabinetry that’s seen better days. Try an accent wall for added color if things are a bit drab.  Just be sure to mask your baseboards off properly and put a drop cloth down to avoid stray drips of paint.

Add Some Wall Art

Wall art adds color and personality to your space.  If you’re on a budget, try picking up some art at an estate or garage sale in your neighborhood.  If you’re patient, you can find original works of art for a fraction of the cost.

Upgrade Lighting

Many kitchens look dingy because they’re insufficiently lit.  Upgrade your lighting either by installing additional fixtures or replacing old fixtures with something a little more current.

Replace Cabinet Hardware

Replacing outdated cabinet hardware can make a surprising difference in your kitchen’s overall appearance.  If you’re on a tight budget, try picking up some discount hardware on eBay.  Just be sure not to compromise quality.

Install a Tile Backsplash

A tiled backsplash adds color and personality to your kitchen, and can be installed over a weekend by handy homeowners.  Try using smaller tiles so that you don’t need to use a tile saw, which is one of the more difficult and time-consuming aspects of tiling.

Treat Your Windows

Window treatments liven things up inexpensively, and also conserve energy by preventing heat loss through bare windows.  Try curtains that fit your kitchen’s décor, or perhaps mini blinds.

Are you currently updating your kitchen on a budget?  Tell us all about your own budget-friendly kitchen updates by leaving a coment.

 

Eight Unique Bathroom Remodel Ideas

bathroom remodeling torontoYour bathroom remodel is not only a chance to update your bathroom and make it more functional; it’s also a chance to add a taste of your own personal style.  These bathroom remodel ideas are off the beaten path, and can help make your bathroom uniquely you.

Life in Black and White

Black and white is a classically elegant yet bold color scheme.  Carry this into the bathroom with black walls, white doors and a few pops of color to keep things lively.  Just make sure that your bathroom is well lit, so that it doesn’t become dreary.

Maintain a Theme

Themed bathrooms add a bit of fun accent to your house.  Try an oriental theme or perhaps a teched-out loo for the technologically advanced among us.

Wall-Mounted Sinks

Wall-hung sinks are secured to the wall with no cabinets or visible plumbing below.  This creates and ultra-modern, sleek feel and also conserves space in smaller bathrooms.

Get Creative with Lighting

Bathroom lighting is typically pretty standard stuff, but a creative flair can add some personality.  Consider using a chandelier over the tub or perhaps pendant lighting over the sink.

Add Some Greenery

If you have the room, adding a few plants can freshen up your bathroom’s looks.  Consider species that do well in humid environments such as African violets, Christmas cactus or even bamboo.

Re-purpose Old Furniture

This is both a creative and an economical bathroom remodel idea.  Try using old furniture pieces, say an antique dresser, as storage space or even as vanities.  This adds a unique bit of personality on a budget.

Go Bold with Picture Windows

Bathrooms typically have small or frosted windows for the sake of privacy.  However, picture windows can provide an open-air feeling without compromising privacy if used in the right setting.  Only consider this option if your bathroom opens to a privacy-fenced backyard, and consider planting a thick hedge, for example bamboo, a few feet away from the window.

Add Color to Your Shower

Bold colors throughout a room can become somewhat overwhelming, but an intense pop of color here and there can add texture and personality without being too loud.  Consider boldly colored tile in the shower or tub area for a bit of extra style.

Are you currently renovating your bathroom, or planning to do so in the near future?  If so, we’d love your feedback.  What unique bathroom remodel ideas have you incorporated in your own bathroom renovation?  Tell us all about it by leaving a comment.

Bathroom Flooring

bathroom remodeling torontoBathroom flooring is an important component of any bathroom renovation, flooring can easily become worn and dated.  The right flooring choice is not only practical, but also sets the tone for the bathroom’s design.  Here we give a rundown of the most popular bathroom flooring options and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Tile Bathroom Flooring

Tile is one of the most popular bathroom flooring options, as it’s waterproof, low-maintenance, stain resistant and durable.  Ceramic bathroom tiling is available in many sizes, shapes colors, patterns and textures.  However, tile feels hard and cool underfoot, and smooth-surface tile can become slippery when wet.

Vinyl Bathroom Flooring

Vinyl flooring is durable and resists water penetration.  Vinyl is available in both sheet and tile form, and comes in a wide array of colors, prints and textures.  However, sheet vinyl flooring can be difficult and costly to install, so should only be installed by competent professionals.

Marble Bathroom Flooring

Marble is the quintessential flooring, and creates a stately, classic look.  It is highly durable, and comes in a variety of colors and finishes.  However, marble can be slippery when wet, so if it is used around showers or tubs proper non-slip bath mats should be in place.  Marble is also quite costly, and the underlying structure may need to be reinforced to accommodate its weight.

Stained Concrete

Most flooring sits directly on the concrete slab, which can actually be dyed to create an attractive flooring all its own.  Stained concrete is waterproof, low-maintenance and the most economical flooring choice available.  It’s also an excellent DIY flooring option, and can be installed by most amateurs.  However, stained concrete can be very slippery when wet, so non-slip bath mats should be placed around showers and tubs to prevent slips and falls.

Over to You

Are you currently engaged in a bathroom remodeling project, or have you just remodeled your bathroom?  If so, we’d love to hear your own bathroom remodeling ideas and flooring insights in the comments section.

Kitchen Flooring

kitchen flooringKitchen flooring is an important component of any kitchen renovation.  The sheer variety can be daunting, as can the task of choosing a flooring that meets your practical needs, coordinates with your home’s décor and is within your budget.

This guide provides a quick description of several options. Our list includes some of the more classic tried-and-true options, but also some of the trendier, edgier media available on the modern market.

Tile Kitchen Flooring

Tiled kitchen floors are a classic, and are both elegant and durable.  There are a wide variety of colors, materials and textures to choose from on the modern market, and you’re sure to find the perfect match regardless of your décor.  However, tile is also pricier than some other options, and the grout requires regular maintenance to prevent staining.

Brick Kitchen Flooring

If you’re after the feel and durability of tile but prefer something a little off the beaten path, brick kitchen floors might be for you.  Brick pavers are thin tiles made of real clay that have the appearance of aged brick, but are still easy to install and maintain, much like traditional tile.  However, they’re comparable in price to regular tiles, and grout maintenance is also a must.

Rubber Kitchen Flooring

Commercial-grade features are a current kitchen design trend, as they lend a sleek modern look and are also very practical.  Rubber flooring is durable, easy to clean and also ergonomic.  Additionally, it comes in a huge variety of colors and designs, and can even be customized.

Linoleum Kitchen Flooring

Linoleum is a classic, and for good reason.  It’s virtually maintenance-free, comes in countless designs and is very durable.  It’s also one of the more cost-effective options available.

Stained Concrete

Most kitchens have a layer of concrete under existing kitchen flooring.  This subflooring can actually be sanded, stained and sealed to produce an attractive and durable flooring.  It’s arguably the most economical option, and can easily be installed by handy homeowners.

Are you currently involved in your own kitchen renovation?  If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on kitchen flooring.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

DIY Bathroom Renovation Ideas

bathroom renovationsIf you’re looking to update your bathroom on a budget, you can save a lot of money by doing at least part of the job on your own, and perhaps prioritizing the most important aspects of your remodel and leaving other features unchanged or simply repairing them.

 Unless you’re a master craftsman, it’s best to keep a DIY bathroom renovation reasonably simple.  Here we suggest a few potential features that can easily be installed by novice or intermediate homeowners.

 DIY Bathroom Flooring

 Installing your own flooring can save a substantial amount of money on your bathroom renovation.  If you wish to remove prior tiling, it will be a simple but labor-intensive job.  Laminate flooring is somewhat easier to remove.

The most simple bathroom flooring option is stained concrete, which lends a simplistic modern appearance.  If you’re looking for something with a bit more personality, laminate flooring is another good DIY option.  Tile floors are somewhat more difficult to install, but are manageable if you’re an intermediate handyman.

 DIY Bathroom Cabinetry

 Cabinetry in un-renovated bathrooms is often care worn and outdated, and many homeowners wish to replace or improve cabinetry in bathroom renovations.

Cabinets are fairly expensive and somewhat difficult to install, so if you’re on a budget you may opt to paint your existing cabinets and perhaps replace the hardware.  This can significantly update their appearance but is relatively easy and inexpensive.

If you have your heart set on new cabinets, you may need to consult a professional to design your new cabinets and determine the proper dimensions.  Fortunately for bathroom renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent contractors available.

 DIY Bathroom Ceilings

 Popcorn ceilings were previously vey popular, and many un-renovated homes still have them.  Fortunately, popcorn ceilings are fairly easy to remove, although it’s a labor-intensive job.

To remove a popcorn ceiling, use a lawn and garden sprayer to apply a mixture of water and unscented fabric softener to soften the texture, and subsequently scrape it off with a putty knife.  Patch any rough patches with plaster and sand prior to painting.

A Note of Caution

 Although doing some aspects of your bathroom remodel can save money, some aspects of a bathroom renovation are best left to professionals, particularly those concerning plumbing or electrical work.  These mishaps can be dangerous and also do substantial, costly damage to your home.  Use discretion in this, and consult professionals where appropriate.

If you’re currently in the process of renovating your bathroom, we’d love to hear some of your own DIY bathroom renovation ideas.  Tell us all about in the comments section.

 

Basement Flooring

basement flooring solutionBasement flooring is an important component of basement finishing, basement renovation and basement remodel.  However, basement flooring requires some special considerations, and should be chosen carefully.  The primary practical concern with basement flooring is flooding, whether natural or man-made.  Any basement flooring should be waterproof and able to dry out with little or no damage in the event of a flood.

The following options are ideal for basement flooring. Your decision will depend upon your home’s design, your personal preferences, your finished basement’s intended usage and your budget.

Concrete

Concrete, whether painted or stained, is the most simple basement flooring option.  Stained concrete is increasingly popular, and inexpensive and easy to care for.  However, concrete is the coldest flooring option, and some homeowners still prefer more traditional flooring.

Tile

Tile is an excellent option for finished basements, as it is highly waterproof, can be installed directly on the slab with uncoupling membrane, can be heated and is considered to be a fully finished surface.  Tile and grout color can also be selected to match any decor or color scheme.

Vinyl

Vinyl, or resilient, flooring, is another excellent option as it is waterproof and easy to maintain.  Sheet vinyl flooring yields a uniform surface that is impervious to standing water, while tile vinyl flooring gives a look similar to ceramic tile but can be problematic if standing water remains for long.  Vinyl flooring is also more economical in comparison to tile.

 Laminate

Laminate flooring offers a variety of designs and colors and can be waterproof and non-waterproof. You should follow manufacturer recommendation for which areas the particular laminate is used best. Laminate flooring must be installed over a sub-floor so is warmer than other options, but can also cause a hollow feeling under your feet.

Carpet

Carpeting may be preferred particularly for basement apartments, as it allows a plush, homey feeling and is the warmest flooring option.  However, carpeting can be difficult to dry out in the event of a severe flood, so this option should be carefully considered.

 Engineered Wood Flooring

Traditional wood flooring can be a dangerous option for basement flooring, as any flooding will cause catastrophic damage.  However, engineered wood flooring consists of a real wood veneer glued over a plywood base, and is waterproof in light flooding.  This is one of the most attractive basement flooring options, but is relatively expensive.

Flooring dramatically impacts a room’s decor and general ambiance, so should be chosen carefully.  Moreover, basement flooring has some practical needs that must be taken into account.  Discuss potential options with your basement remodeling contractor to find the best fit for your project.  Many Toronto basement renovation specialists are available to assist you in your basement remodel.