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If you’re fed up with looking at the same old thing when you step into your kitchen or bathroom, the thought of engaging in a full-scale remodeling project has probably crossed your mind a time or two. For most homeowners, however, the main problem with this approach is that it typically requires an exorbitant budget to pull this type of project off. The good news is that there are ways to transform the look of your kitchen or bathroom without having to spend tons of money to do it; read on to discover two simple yet highly effective ways to achieve beautiful results for these all-important rooms on a very modest budget.

Replacing Hardware

One of the most popular and very worthwhile budget-minded upgrades you can perform for your kitchen or bathroom is to replace your current hardware with new hardware, which means changing out all of your drawer pulls or knobs, and all cabinet door handles. This relatively small yet important adjustment can do wonders for enhancing the look and feel of the entire space. Selecting hardware with a more classic look is one of the safest bets around, as it will provide a timeless aesthetic to the space, and will be less likely to look outdated over time.

Most pulls, knobs and handles are available for under $10 apiece, but you still want to make sure to keep an eye on the total price, because the cost can quickly add up if you have a large kitchen or bathroom with lots of drawers or cabinets. Count the number of total hardware pieces you’ll need and then keep this figure in mind while shopping so that you can select the appropriate hardware for the type of budget you’ve set aside.

Replacing Countertops

The right countertops can really liven up a kitchen or bathroom, but it’s important for you to determine which type of material will be most appropriate for your budget and lifestyle. Here are some suggestions to consider:

  • Laminate countertops are considered to be the most affordable option on the market. They are comprised of layers of particleboard and plastic bonded together to form a smooth, solid surface. The most common types of laminate countertops come preformed with a built-in backsplash, and are available in a decent variety of colors or patterns. Some custom laminate countertops are produced using advanced printing technology in order to give the look of a textured or more expensive surface, such as stone, granite, marble, etc. While laminate countertops are lightweight and relatively easy to work with, they are also more susceptible to damage via scratching, stains or burns.
  • Tile countertops such as ceramic or porcelain are hugely popular for kitchens and bathrooms, as they give your countertop surfaces a beautiful sense of depth, especially when the tiles feature a rich color. Tile countertops are also heat and stain resistant, and easy to clean. While natural tiles are more expensive than ceramic, you still come out better budget-wise by using tile than you would with marble or granite. One drawback of tile, however, is that if the grout lines are not properly sealed, they can begin to collect dirt or stain, which can become quite an eyesore on an otherwise nice looking surface.
  • Butcher block is one of the most versatile kitchen countertop surfaces on the market. It’s made up of various straight cuts of wood bonded together to make a smooth and visually appealing surface. Maple countertops, for example, offer warmth, character and a stable work space in the kitchen. Be aware, though, that butcher block requires quite a bit of maintenance to keep it looking good. It’s not very heat resistant, and can be subject to drying or cracking. You also need to keep it oiled in order to seal the surface and fill in small cracks, and it must be regularly disinfected to prevent bacteria from collecting.
  • Budget-wise, you can get away with stone or solid surface countertops in a bathroom far easier than you can in the kitchen due to the size difference. For example, you may be able to adorn your bathroom with granite or even marble countertops if you have a single-sink vanity or other small-sized surface. However, if your budget allows, granite and marble countertops in the kitchen make a lovely addition and can up the resale price of your home should you decide to move.

Fortunately, there are several options available today if you want to transform your kitchen or bathroom on a budget. Just remember to plan carefully, establish your budget and use a dash of creativity, and you can add beauty and value to these spaces without breaking the bank.

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