We all like to think we’re pretty handy with our tools. Remodeling the kitchen is something that may seem fun and straightforward to do, as long as you don’t mind a little elbow grease. The thing is, major projects like this are full of common mistakes.
These kitchen fails include not thinking ahead to where everything will fit. Some homeowners also overestimate their skills and do not know how to make all the components work together. Sprinkled throughout the process will be questions about plumbing, electrical, and functionality.
We can’t forget about design aesthetics or health and safety either. Building your dream kitchen is a matter of planning and learning from the mistakes of others. Read our guide for a list of kitchen renovation mistakes to avoid and what you can do instead.
1. Don’t Cheap Out on Knobs or Handles
This one seems simple, but it’s something that bears repeating. Cheap or poor fitting knobs and handles won’t only look ugly.
It can also damage your cabinets and kitchen. If heavy door knobs get loose and fall, they can scratch your new hardwood or crack your tile floors.
Handles with eccentric shapes can snag or catch on clothing. You can also bang your elbows or shins on them while walking by, which can range from annoying to dangerous. When doing a kitchen renovation, plan for knobs and handles that are functional and beautiful but not a liability.
2. Failing to Understand Proper Plumbing
If you’re doing a major remodel of your kitchen, you may have already stripped out your old cabinets, appliances, and sink. However, replacing your sink or dishwasher will require some plumbing knowledge. There is a right and a wrong way to do your plumbing, and it can result in a major kitchen fail.
The elevation for your tubes and pipes is only one major factor that many don’t consider. If you don’t do it right, your dishwasher won’t be able to get rid of its dirty water. A poor drainage angle could also lead to clogs, especially when looking at the sewer trap. If you’re not sure you can do the quality job without assistance, opt for hiring a professional plumbing service. Always make sure to choose a reputable contractor with all the necessary certifications and customer reviews available on their website.
3. Screwing Up the Tile Installation
The tiles on your floor, backsplash, and walls can be beautiful and high-quality, but that won’t matter if you mess up the installation. Using too much adhesive will cause it to squeeze out, creating an ugly and uneven trim. Too little won’t hold long term, and this could be dangerous for vertical tiles.
You also run the risk of using the wrong type of adhesive for the surface, which could cause damage to the wall or tile. Finally, there’s the skill in placing the tiles in the first place to create even and clean lines of tile and grouting.
Messing up the placement or not grouting the tiles can cause them to chip or crack, on top of looking terrible.
4. Leave Room to Open All the Doors and Drawers
Of all the kitchen remodel mistakes, this one is more common than you’d think. It’s imperative that you think ahead and make sure that everything will open with ease. Don’t finish installing a new cabinet before realizing you can’t open the drawer because of the fridge.
Don’t only focus on the countertops, appliances, and furniture either. Make sure people can sneak by without bumping into things or needing to close and reopen doors. Corner cabinetry tends to be the hotspot in terms of hogging real estate when open.
A little forethought now will save you a major headache later.
5. Don’t Make Everything the Same Color
You might love marble or wood, but that’s no excuse to make everything in your kitchen out of one color or material. Your floor, countertops, cabinets, and furniture should complement each other. This doesn’t mean looking the same, but coming together in a cohesive way.
The way to fix that is up to you, but a good rule of thumb is to use at least three different tones. If going for light wooden cabinets, make your floor a darker wood or tile. Use your walls or backsplash to accent or provide contrast to your cabinets rather than blend in.
6. Your In-Cabinet Microwave Needs A Proper Vent
Your microwave needs a way to vent out the hot air and energy it creates. Countertop microwaves do this by being out in the open, where the vents have plenty of clearance. Your in-cabinet or over-the-range microwaves are a different story.
If your microwave sits enclosed, then you’ll need a vent above it to let the air out. These are usually hidden in a set of cabinets above the microwave. However, they have to be the right size, shape, and materials.
Neglect to consider these factors could result in serious health concerns. Knowledgeable kitchen remodelers, like those at https://kitchenremodelingmiamidade.com/, could help.
7. Your Appliances Should Accent Your Cabinets, Not Copy Them
Sometimes people take their love of wood or a specific color too far, and everything has to match. The problem is this can make your kitchen look overwhelming and makes all your hard work come to nothing.
Think about a pure white kitchen for a second. Consider having white marble countertops, white cabinets, a white fridge, white appliances, and even white tile floors. It would be an eyesore and wouldn’t let any element of your kitchen shine like it deserves to.
Some people go as far as cladding their fridge in wooden panels too. Others run wooden trim around their appliances to match the cabinets. Don’t be afraid to let your appliances stand on their own or create contrasts.
Sometimes a splash of black or a hint of copper is exactly what a mono-toned kitchen needs to come alive.
8. Always Use Proper Screws and Fasteners
Not securing cabinets or appliances is also a major kitchen fail. Different screws and fasteners have different uses, purposes, and load-bearing abilities. There are screws for wood, metal, drywall, tile, and any other surface or purpose you could think of.
If you don’t use the right ones for your kitchen, it could end in disaster. Your cabinets could collapse soon from a moderate amount of plates, or they might come right off the wall. Your dishwasher might shake itself out of position and cause damage to surrounding surfaces.
Part of securing your new kitchen in place also means locating where your wood supports are. That would let you use a range of normal wood screws with less risk. That said, it’s not worth taking a chance, so doing your research first is crucial.
9. Low-Hanging Hoods
Everyone has banged their heads on a low or a kitchen vent hood that didn’t have the right placement. Don’t fall into the same trap that those previous installers did. Part of planning a successful kitchen remodel is making sure it’s functional.
Avoid hoods with unnecessary sharp edges or jutting corners. Also, don’t install super low-hanging hoods that you may bump your head into when you look at the back burner. It’s also best to avoid getting free-standing hoods that come down from the middle of the ceiling.
These look blocky, make the kitchen feel closed off, and serve as an extra obstacle in your day-to-day.
10. Not Squaring and Leveling your Cabinets
This is one that drives every reputable craftsperson crazy. Not squaring or leveling your cabinets is a huge blunder in any kitchen remodel. At best, you’ll end up with uneven lines and horrible crowning that doesn’t fit right.
At worst, you’ll affect the functionality and load-bearing ability of your fixtures. An uneven cabinet will cause extra tension on the screws, while a sloping countertop will cause things to roll off. Not making sure things are level before installing can also stop cabinet doors or drawers from opening smoothly.
Making sure everything is square and level before adding the next part is the only way to fix those issues. Prevention here is the best strategy.
11. Never Make Your Kitchen Tight or Claustrophobic
If you want a functional kitchen that people like being in, you need to consider space. A tight or claustrophobic kitchen is every family’s nightmare. Although not everyone has space for their dream kitchen, you need to stay realistic.
Don’t get carried away and cram as much storage or counter space as you can. Random cabinets and drawers look disorganized and get in the way of a functional kitchen. Not respecting this and taking it into account is a serious kitchen design mistake.
This is how people end up installing an oven that can’t even open its door because it’s trapped by a cabinet. Others are so keen on having a large island that they can’t open their fridge or walk around it if a drawer is open. Be clever with your space, but never make it impractical.
12. Installing a Non-Functional Sink
Many common kitchen fails relate to the sink. Some people buy one that doesn’t fit well into the countertop, leaving ugly gaps. A major mistake many remodelers make is not thinking about compatibility.
Your sink is only a metal or porcelain tub. It needs a faucet, and everything has to line up well. If you don’t pay attention, you’ll end up with a faucet that can’t reach the sink or misses it completely.
Sinks with the wrong shape or size might also create splash zones. When remodeling your kitchen, get a sink-faucet setup that works well. A detachable or flexible faucet is a good call here as well.
13. Electrical Outlets and Water Don’t Mix
Your sink is in the kitchen, and the temptation is always there to cram more outlets around it. A common kitchen fail is not considering how dangerous that would be. The area around the faucet and sink is bound to get wet.
Part of the reason a backsplash goes by that name is that it stops water from damaging or rotting that space. There are outlets and options that are safer to use around water, but it’s still somewhat risky. It’s a much better strategy to plan around needing to put outlets next to your sink.
14. Not Leaving Proper Space to Plug In Your Appliances
In the world of kitchen design mistakes, a common one is not leaving space for your appliances. Many people do all the groundwork first. They install the cabinets, fix up the sink, and place a new countertop.
The problem is they leave the appliances for last. The spaces or orientations they left for them might not be fit for purpose. Not all fridges, dishwashers, or ovens are the same size.
This could leave you with gaps or be too tight to avoid damaging things. A small detail often forgotten about is the appliance’s plugs. If it sticks out in the wrong direction or is blocky, you won’t be able to fit the appliance in without crushing the plug.
Plan ahead, take measurements and make sure everything will fit.
15. Your Kitchen Fan Should Head Outdoors, Nowhere Else
Every kitchen needs a functioning fan that gets rid of all the smells and excess moisture. The issue of where this vent should go is where many people stumble. The best place is straight outside and nowhere else.
Sending your fan into the attic is a surefire way to run into mold and dampness issues. Using your chimney might seem like a good idea, but it actually leaves you susceptible to a grease fire. If your fan wasn’t already going outside, take steps to correct that.
Kitchen Fails When Renovating
There’s no shortage of mistakes or kitchen fails you could make when renovating. It’s essential to think things through and have a detailed plan in advance. This will help you avoid running into issues down the road once it’s too late.
Make sure you balance looks with functionality and safety, and you’ll be in good shape. If you’re looking for more info or renovation advice, take a quick look through our site.