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UPDATED: Modern Kitchen Cabinets – 8 Things To Know Before You Buy

By on December 2, 2015

Modern kitchen cabinets are absolutely stunning and will add sophistication to your kitchen…

But most homeowners are unaware of the amount of work the rest of your kitchen will need in order to have your modern kitchen cabinets look their best…

But not to worry…

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of everything you can expect and need to plan for when doing your modern kitchen renovation so you’re not left with sticker shock at the final price, or worse, hating your contractor…

1. Modern Kitchen Cabinet Prep – Your Walls

drywall skim coat

Here’s a quick instructional video for all of you DIYers 🙂

(Credit: Hugo Correa)
One of the fastest way to make modern kitchen cabinets look awful is a lack of attention & detail to the prepping of the walls in your kitchen…

Now if you cant spend the extra money, this is not a “necessary” thing to have done… But if you want your modern kitchen to look it’s best, then you need to spend the extra cash to have someone come out a level out the walls in your kitchen…

Sometimes a little bit of drywall mud will do the trick, but most of the time we’ve found that getting walls as close to perfect as possible can only be done by ripping our the old drywall, and replacing it with new drywall…

And the way you get straight walls is by having your drywall contractor shim out the new drywall to level out all of the uneven spot in your home… Sometimes even redoing some of the framing is necessary, but this is normally a pretty rare instance…

Doing this isn’t a huge expense, but its definitely worth it when your looking to impress your friends and family with a sleek new kitchen…

2. Modern Kitchen Cabinet Prep – Your Ceiling

skimcoat ceiling

Along with your walls, most homeowners don’t realize that your ceilings are probably just as bad, if not worse than, your walls…

Look for any bowing in your ceiling and discuss with your contractor how much time, work and the cost for leveling out your ceiling will be…

Having your ceiling leveled out will allow for your modern kitchen cabinets to have a smooth and even surface to finish up against… This will help to minimize the amount of scribe work and caulking that your upper wall cabinets will need…

Trust me, there’s nothing worse than looking at a bead of caulk that starts off being an 1/8″ on one side of your kitchen and then finishes  at being 3/4″ on the other side…

(Also, a quick side not about your walls & ceilings… Having your walls & ceiling finished with a skim coat looks absolutely amazing when using modern kitchen cabinets… )

3. Modern Kitchen Cabinet Prep – Your Floors

polished concrete floor

I know we keep talking about a lot of prep work, and it’s guaranteed to add to your budget…

But if you’re looking to have the best looking modern kitchen on your block, then there’s one more thing that you need to consider in regards to prepping your kitchen…

Your flooring…

Here’s why…

Foundations settle & slabs crack…

(As of writing this, I just got off the phone with one of our tiles guys that had to float one of our clients floors with 1 1/2″ of mud… YIKES!)

Now if you’re doing tile flooring, then your tile installer can level out the flooring with using more mud so that your cabinets have a level surface to sit on… It will cost you more $/sqft on the tile install but it’s much more affordable that pouring new concrete..

But what if you want to add some real “sexiness” to your kitchen by doing polished concrete coloring?

Not a problem, just get ready to pay for pouring self leveling concrete before the polishing even begins…

This can add up pretty quick… We had a client in Marina Del Ray, CA that required 6″ of concrete to level out her floors… This ran her about $8k… But she would have never got the look she wanted without the added expense…

4. When Should Your Paint Your Kitchen?

This one is pretty simple… Just make sure you paint your kitchen after all of your electrical, plumbing, framing and drywall are completed…

BUT…

Before your cabinets are installed…

This will save you some money with your painter not having to mask off your cabinets…

And will also protect your new modern kitchen cabinets from getting damaged during the painting process..

And keep in mind that even if you paint before cabinets are installed and some of your walls get damaged during installation of cabinets, countertops or even appliances, make sure you get your painter to agree to come back for any necessary touch up paint…

5. Should You Install Your Flooring Before Or After Cabinet Installation?

Some people may disagree with us on this point, but installing your flooring before installing your cabinets is the best bet for you and your tile contractor…

The first reason for this is that you don’t have to worry about raising the cabinets to an unsure height, especially if your floors are out of wack…

The second is that you’ll save money on labor because your tile contractor wont have to make any awkward cuts to line up tiles to the edge of the cabinets…

The third reason is that it helps with the cabinet installation , especially since most modern kitchen cabinet manufacturers only offer semi-custom cabinets… This means that most of the boxes for your cabinets are shipped standard and cannot be custom built to fit the unlevel-ness of your floors…

This makes for a much faster cabinet & flooring installation…

6. Complimenting Your Modern Kitchen Cabinets – Countertops

-modern-kitchen-2__h-3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960

(Credit: HGTV.com)

modern-kitchen-design-with-high-gloss-finish-white-granite-countertops-also-with-ceramic-flooring-plus-three-green-bar-stools-and-wooden-kitchen-cabinets-and-pendant-lamp

Some of our favorite quartz countertops in the videos below!

If you’ve decided on using modern kitchen cabinets for your renovation project, then one of the best looking (and extremely durable) choices is quartz…

Quartz countertops come in a wide variety of colors and can even be made to mimic the look of some varieties of marble…

Quartz offers a clean and consistent look for your modern kitchen while being scratch proof, stain proof, and heat resistant…

Now some homeowners insist on using marble in their modern kitchens…

And yes, it looks AMAZING… but there’s a few things you need to know about marble before you make any purchases…

First, marble is a softer stone… It chips and breaks easier than any other stone on the market… This is why when you see it, it’s normally in a bathroom, not a kitchen…

The second issue, which is tied to the first, is that it can break very easily when drilling wholes for faucets, cutting wholes for sinks, or even transporting from fabricator to job site…

The veining in marble often times is an indicator of potential break points in the material… We’ve broken quite a few slabs so we know first hand…

We had a client that insisted on doing marble in their kitchen in west Hollywood…

We had him sign a waiver, and sure enough, when we were drilling out the holes for the faucet, the countertop cracked right at the sink and right at a vein in the material…

The client ended up having to purchase another slab because of it…

7. Complementing Your Modern Kitchen Cabinets – Backsplash

painted glass backaplsh

(Credit: Houzz.com)

glass-panel-backsplashes

(Credit: LimitlessWalls.com)

Now this is only a suggestion…

But one of the NICEST backsplash styles we’ve seen that compliment modern kitchen cabinets very well is a painted back full glass panel backsplash…

You can have your glass painted in any color to compliment the rest of your kitchen and you don’t have to worry about keeping up with any grout lines…

Also, if you’re doing white painted back glass backsplash, MAKE SURE you order Starfire glass…

The reason for this is that normal glass has a higher quantity of lead and makes white look green…

Starfire glass has much lower levels of lead which allows for the white to come through the glass in its true color…

8. Complimenting Your Modern Kitchen Cabinets – Flooring

vinyl floors in kitchen

(Credit: Karndean.com) Yes, these floors are actually vinyl! 

bulthaup

We already touched on this a bit with us speaking of polished concrete flooring above, but there are a few other options most of our clients have absolutely loved…

Reclaimed engineered hard wood…

Reclaimed looking laminate…

…and porcelain tile that has been manufactured to look like reclaimed wood…

There’s also some extremely attractive Vinyl Flooring options that you’d never know were vinyl until you bought them 🙂

And obviously, there are a ton of tile options to choose from… We have partnered with Eleganza Tiles for all of our tile supplies… Clients LOVE them, and so do we!

You can find these at your local flooring store…

And if you’d like more information on getting your own modern kitchen cabinets, or your’d like to sign up for a free design consultation with us, simply enter your name and best contact info in the form below…

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