How to Update a Kitchen on a Budget

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From This Old House.

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Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey goes over low-budget kitchen upgrades.

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Time: 2 hours

Cost: $200 and up

Skill Level: Moderate

Shopping List:

1. The simplest way to refresh a kitchen is by replacing the faucet. Most new faucets come with cover plates to hide holes from old hot and cold lines.
2. If there are holes in the sink from an old spray nozzle, they sell soap dispensers and water filters that can fit in those holes as a replacement.
3. Another way to update a kitchen is by changing out the sink. The most common types of sinks include self-rimming (or surface mounted) sinks and under-mounted sinks. Because the way the holes are cut in countertops, it’s hard to switch between the two types of sinks without also replacing the countertop. For laminate countertops, stick with a surface mounted sink.
4. Replacing the countertops is a slightly more expensive way to update the look of a kitchen. Stone countertops come in a variety of styles and colors that range in price based on how readily available they are for quarrying. Stick with more common stones to save thousands on replacing the countertops.

Kitchen sinks, faucets, and countertops are available at home centers and kitchen supply stores.

Expert assistance on this segment was provided by International Stone, Inc. (

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