Before you begin you should consider the whole kitchen and how any change will impact the value of the whole room.
Define the budget before you begin and know which items are going to be changed and which are not. The easiest item to change is the countertop but before going ahead consider any add on costs.
The hygenic surface that you prepare food for your family on is the countertop. If you were thinking of a do-it-yourself tile counter remember that grout can absorb bacteria. Leave that project for the backsplash.
If you have put in a new floor or intend to and your older dishwasher is "trapped" at a lower level and is older than 5 years consider replacing it when you do the countertop. If it fails after you do the top you may have to remove the new top or floor to get a new one in.
If you have your sink connections coming out of the wall and are changing the height of the counter or depth of the sink you may incurr hundreds of dollars in extra plumbing charges.This is especially true if a grabage disposal is involved. Best to ask a plumber before you start.
If you are considering granite be sure to discuss the location of seams,slab selection and thickness as well as cracking around sinks and cooktops. This rarely happens but if it does you want to know what to do then.
Replacing your cabinets should be done before the countertops and should always be considered. Most Home Improvement Warehouses will give you a free design if you are willing to wait. Again weigh all the component costs before starting.
If you are selling the house you should ask your real estate agent if the money spent will be recouped from the sale. Laminate countertops are cheaper than solid surface but solid surface-especially a name brand-can help sell the house before others on the same street.
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