Kitchen and bath remodeling can add significant value to your home if you do it the right way. Most real estate agents agree that a professional kitchen remodel has a return on investment (ROI) of between 80-110%. As a general rule of thumb, no more than about 15-20% of the home’s value should be spent on a kitchen remodel, and 8-15% on a bath remodel. Kitchen and bath remodeling is very similar in the products and material used. This newsletter summarizes and describes the products, materials and processes we use to transform your existing kitchen and bath.

Kitchen Planning and Design

When contemplating a kitchen remodel, a good plan, design and approach are essential components to success. First you want to determine whether you need a “mini makeover”, or a full blown gut and redo of the space. If it’s the latter, you’ll want to consider things such as:

  • Colors (earth tones, sharp accents, ie. the general look and feel you’re going for)
  • Style (traditional, country, contemporary, rustic, transitional, old world, arts & crafts
  • Layout and measurements

When considering layouts and measurements, it’s best to have a professional create a plan and design for you. Kitchen and bath remodels typically require permits, electricians, plumbers, cabinet makers, appliance technicians, lighting, and floor vendors. Most of our designers and installers have between 10 and 20 years experience in kitchen remodeling and installation, and our design staff will create a professional kitchen design that incorporates the appropriate:

  • Work triangles (or dual work triangles; any side not to exceed 26”)
  • Room layouts ( wall, corridor, L, double L, U and G)
  • Storage areas and appliances
  • Cabinetry and islands

Adding Value To Your Home with Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

Kitchen Remodel Checklist

Following is a list of the major “pieces” to consider, and a brief distinction of some of the choices in materials and products.

  • Cabinets
  • Counter tops
  • Flooring
  • Lighting
  • Storage
  • Island
  • Plumbing

Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are a very important consideration for a kitchen remodel, both in terms of color, style and timing. From a planning and installation point of view, the type of cabinet plays a major role in the length/timing of the project.

  • Stock Cabinets – are what you will find at Home Depot, Lowes or other big box retailers. The benefits to this choice are immediate availability and lower cost; while the con’s to this choice are resale issues, limited sizes, finish and wood species.
  • Semi Stock Cabinets – will be a cabinet that has to be ordered which is typically 3-8 weeks out, but you will have a wider selection in sizes, species and finishes.
  • Custom Cabinets – At Barker & Son, the cabinet makers we use are 20-30 year professionals and have built custom cabinetry most of their life. Our cabinet makers will match the color, style and finish to your existing cabinetry for a beautiful look, all in about 2 weeks time.

Kitchen Counter Tops

Counter tops are a primary piece of any kitchen or bath remodel, and very similar to cabinets, they have a wide range of prices and choices. The following is a short description of the most popular counter tops with the pros and cons associated with each.

  • Stone Counter Top – Granite, marble and soapstone are the natural stones most suppliers carry for counter tops. Each of these stone tops can be polished, honed and have multiple edgings put on them. Granite is probably the most popular and most durable. You can set hot skillets on them and they are very tough and low maintenance. Resealing them on a yearly basis is really about all that is needed. Out of all the tops, granite will be on the upper end of the price scale.
  • Quartz Counter Top – This is an engineered counter top made out of crushed stone mixed with resins, epoxy and color pigment, and also goes by the manufacturer name of Cambria. Sealants are not required, it is a stain free product, but it is not heat proof and it is not structurally sound.
  • Solid Surface Counter Top – The most common solid surface top is manufactured by DuPont Corium and it is made of solid synthetic sheets formed with resin and mineral compounds and does not have seams or variations in color. It has the look and feel of stone without the seams, but will crack and damage if hot objects are placed on it, it will stain and you must use a cutting board.
  • Laminate Counter Top – This is the most common type of counter top and is created by gluing synthetic layers of material together. It’s very inexpensive and manufactured in hundreds of colors and can be made to resemble stone. It is very heat sensitive, difficult to repair and will de-laminate after several years.
  • Wood Counter Top – This top is commonly referred to as butcher block and is made from stacked pieces of glued wood, typically maple, walnut, cherry or teak. It is a fantastic cutting service and can be sanded down and resealed many times over. Standing water will de-laminate the wood pieces and it should be sealed with oil on a regular basis.

Kitchen Flooring

Whether you’re talking about a kitchen or a bath, flooring becomes a very important piece of the project equation. The most common types of flooring are;

  • Ceramic Tile Floor – Tile is a very durable, stain resistant surface that looks beautiful in most any room. There are thousands of colors and styles to choose from and it always has that handcrafted look and feel to it. Be careful about where you install this product as slipping on a glazed surface is always a concern. The tile joints must be sealed to prevent staining and accumulating dirt.
  • Hardwood Floor – Very similar to ceramic, a hardwood floor is very durable, very beautiful but slipping on this floor can be an issue and standing water can degrade most hardwood floors.
  • Laminate Flooring – Pergo and other laminate floor manufacturers make this product. It is very durable, you can’t ding it, and typically it won’t stain and clean up is a breeze. Be careful about standing water, it might de-laminate some products.
  • Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring – These products are very similar in that they both are very quiet, smooth and comfortable and most will hold up well against stains.
  • Stone and Concrete Flooring – Granite, marble and slate are common products for stone floors and can be purchased at most big box or flooring stores. These products are very durable; they need to be sealed and are on the upper end of the price spectrum.

Kitchen Lighting

Lighting is an essential piece of the kitchen or bath remodeling. If you’re going to spend a good amount of money on either, professional lighting makes all the difference in the world. There are at least four different types of lighting to be cognizant of on a kitchen project;

  • General/Ambient Lighting – this is all about having enough light to see what you’re doing in the kitchen space as a whole. These lights will be switched at the wall as you walk in.
  • Accent Lighting – These are the small, focused lights that a designer will use to illuminate a mural, the top of your cabinets, or some favorite artifact within the kitchen.
  • Task Lighting – Will be used over an island, on the primary cutting station, or under the cabinets to illuminate a certain task at hand.

Kitchen Island

A very popular choice for most kitchens is an island. As with anything else, you can spend as much or as little as you like on an island. Anything is possible here, cook tops, dishwashers, sinks, garbage disposals, micros, granite tops, lights, etc. An island will significantly enhance the beauty and functionality of most any kitchen.

Hiring A Professional

Hiring a professional design and install team like Barker & Son – Design, Construction and Outdoor Living is a very smart move. Our design and install teams have 10-20 years experience in remodeling. Many projects can be very complex when you have permits, electricians, designers, vendors, plumbers and installers involved. We take the stress out of the process, handle all the details and our design team will create a free plan and estimate for. It’s what we do every day and we’re the best in the St. Louis metro area.

Outdoor Kitchens

At Barker & Son we also specialize in creating outdoor kitchens and all the amenities that go along with them, such as paver patios, decks, stamped concrete, concrete patios and retaining walls. Additional items to consider when creating an outdoor space are dealing with the weather. Most of your appliances, storage and counter tops need to be weather proof, which in most cases you’re talking stainless steel appliances and stone or stainless counter tops. If you like the look of wood, then there are several companies out there that create wood cabinetry such as Perma Panel and teak cabinetry. As with indoor kitchens, electricity, permits, plumbing, landscape architects and designers are a must with an outdoor arrangement. Check out the outdoor products at (

Bath Remodels

As we stated earlier, most of the same products will be essential in a bath remodel as they are in a kitchen remodel. The major difference in bath remodels will be the following;

  • Moisture control and ventilation
  • Size of the bathroom
  • Water resistant walls and ceilings
  • Additional products such as pedestal sinks, stools, steam showers, towel warmers, under floor heating systems and whirlpool tubs.

If you would like to explore a kitchen or bath remodel in your home, please call the professionals at Barker & Son – Design/Construction for a free, in home visit and we’ll help you create the space of your dreams. Additional services we provide are fences, decks, retaining walls, patios, room additions, screened porches and outdoor kitchens and pergolas.

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