Kitchen and bathroom countertops are a central focal point and changing them can make a dramatic impact on a space. Changing countertops can deceptively seem like a straightforward home renovation, so here are are a few early considerations to ask yourself to avoid later frustrations.
Will new countertops date your existing cabinetry?
This is a question quickly answered often with the wrong outcome after countertops are replaced by themselves. Shiny, new countertops contrasting against old cabinets can make them look worn or used. If new countertops make your cabinetry look dated, should the cabinetry be refinished, replaced, or updated with modern hardware? What material are your current countertops made out of? Functionality and maintenance may also change with the countertop material.
Do any of the appliances in your kitchen need to be moved to meet current safety standards?
If the building code changed, you might need to rearrange kitchen appliances, and therefore countertops and base cabinets, at a minimum. What is the minimum distance your stovetop needs to be from a vertical surface (refrigerator) or wall?
Do you want to relocate or add any electrical outlets?
Would it be more convenient to relocate electrical outlets? What about under cabinet lighting? Are your outlets at a safe distance from your sink? Do any need to be replaced with modern GFCI receptacles that can be easily reset in the event of an electrical fault? These are questions to address before asking the next point.
How will replacing countertops affect backsplashes, paint, and trim?
After a countertop and any possible outlets are replaced, will the backsplash need to be redone? Where trim needs to be replaced, is the same trim profile available to match existing trim elsewhere in your home? Paint can be matched at most professional paint stores, but will you need to change the trim color? If so, how much additional trim will need to be repainted so it matches the new countertop? Will that compliment or conflict with your existing cabinetry finishes? What about the color of outlets and outlet covers?
Do you want to add or remove any base cabinetry, such as an island?
When changing cabinetry or adding an island, the area covering the floor will change, necessitating flooring. This again can lead to much larger considerations possibly leading to an entire renovation yet originating from a seemingly simple change.