Cupboards and counters and tile, oh my!

When homeowners first begin a remodeling project, they often feel like Dorothy when she suddenly found herself in the Land of Oz.

At first, the idea of a new space is energizing and exciting. Everyone you talk with is clamoring for your business and you become obsessed with making selections. But gradually the prospect of remodeling can become scary and panic sets in.

Stop and take a deep breath because you aren’t in Oz. Take things one step at a time. Work with both a designer and contractor to keep your project moving in the right direction.

First things first

So where do you begin? In what order should you select cabinets, tile, and counters? Maybe you have an idea how much you want to invest and a desired time-frame.

To recommend  materials in the right price range, your designer and contractor need to know how much you plan to invest in the project. Be honest and you are less likely to be disappointed. Always buy the best quality you can afford.

Choose the cabinets first, then tile and counter material. Higher-quality cabinets offer more options for material, style, and finish.


In most kitchen remodels, the cabinets are the most costly component. For the best results, select cabinets and appliances of the same quality. Choose all appliances and be certain of their dimensions, including cutout measurements for any built-ins, before ordering cabinets.

If you want stone counter tops and luxury appliances, you need well-built cabinets to support them.

If you are replacing the floor, verify with your construction team and flooring dealer that the new material can bear the weight of cabinets and appliances. Certain types of flooring must be installed around these items, not under them.

Wolf Sub-Zero Kitchen
Photo credit: Sub-Zero Wolf

This kitchen features fine cabinetry and high-end appliances. Items that won’t cost a fortune to replace (or tear up the room) provide pops of color. Neutral browns, blacks, and whites used for the big-ticket items will stand the test of time.


It will prevent many headaches if you select your cabinet style and finish before choosing tile and counter material. Especially if you want white tile and white cabinets.

Photo credit: Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

If you intend to use white for both tile and cabinets, please take the time to view the samples in all types of light and times of day, as we recommend when selecting paint in Choosing Paint Colors with Confidence.

In upscale bathrooms, fixtures and plumbing supplies are usually more expensive than cabinets, especially if you are installing anything other than a standard five-foot tub. Luxurious items, including tubs with whirlpool jets, LED lighting, and heater; steam and glass-enclosed showers with body jets and multiple heads; and high-end faucets, can easily exceed $10,000.

Hansgrohe luxury bath
Photo credit: Hansgrohe

A high-end modern bathroom, like the one shown in the photo above, requires a very large plumbing budget.

Putting it all together

When shopping for materials, be sure to bring all your samples. Arrange them on a contrasting or neural surface to ensure they complement each other. Request the largest samples you can get.

2015-07-31 15.55.20

If you do your homework and make informed decisions, you will be happier with the results. Because there really is no place like home.



One thought on “Cupboards and counters and tile, oh my!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s