Kitchen Components

Susanne Clemenz | Improvement Center Columnist | December 14, 2011

For remodeling or building, kitchen components can be categorized from the top down to focus your thinking and choices. You may wish to print out this list and put one, two, or three stars by each item. Ask other members of the household to do the same, then compare your priorities.


Yes, ceilings are kitchen components: Consider these options:

  • Raise all or part of the ceiling
  • Add a ventilating skylight
  • Add or remove range hood chimney pipe
  • Add a wood or tin ceiling
  • Add or remove beams
  • Add a fan


Items to consider:

  • Attractive track lighting
  • Recessed lights
  • Pendant lights
  • A light over the sink
  • Lighting over the island
  • Inside cabinet lights for ambiance
  • Under-cabinet task lights
  • A cooktop light
  • A pantry light

Electrical possibilities

Items to add:

  • Countertop outlets every 16 inches
  • Outlets at each end of the island
  • Outlets below the countertops at cabinet ends
  • 220 Volt service for electric range, cooktop, and/or oven
  • Gas hookup for gas range, cooktop, and/or oven
  • Wiring for new ceiling and task lights
  • Wiring for trash compactor
  • Wiring for warming oven
  • Wiring for wine refrigerator
  • Wiring for TV or sound system
  • Upgraded existing electrical wiring


  • Reface cabinets with new doors and drawer fronts
  • Reface cabinet cases
  • Replace existing cabinet hinges and/or hardware
  • Upgrade existing cabinet interiors
  • Change cabinet layout
  • Get all new cabinets
  • Add to existing cabinets

Countertops and backsplashes

  • Granite, quartz (Silestone), or other natural stone countertops
  • Matching or contrasting natural stone backsplashes
  • Corian or similar solid surface countertops
  • Coved Corian or similar backsplashes
  • Corian or similar integrated sink
  • Tile countertops
  • Hand-set tile backsplashes
  • Concrete countertop
  • Decorative peel-off adhesive backsplashes
  • Decorative mesh-backed mastic-adhesive stone and tile backsplashes
  • Stainless steel or textured metal backsplash for range or cooktop
  • Laminate countertops
  • Coved or contrasting laminate backsplash
  • Built-in butcher block food prep area
  • A new kitchen island

Major kitchen components--appliances

Retain existing appliances but replace or add:

  • Refrigerator
  • Stove or cooktop
  • Ovens
  • Microwave
  • Trash compactor
  • Dishwasher
  • Coffee/espresso maker
  • Built-in mixer-food processor
  • Freezer
  • Wine refrigerator
  • Refrigerated drinks drawer
  • Ventilating hood


  • Retain existing floors
  • Ceramic or terracotta tiles
  • Bamboo or cork
  • Hardwood
  • Laminate-surfaced hardwood
  • Floating adhesive tab faux tile or wood strip flooring
  • Decorative concrete floors
  • Sheet vinyl
  • Pavers, slate, limestone, sandstone, flagstone
  • Terrazzo, travertine, quartz (Silestone,), granite or marble floors


  • Bar or food prep sink
  • Instant hot water tap
  • New faucets

Over budget? Do some three-star choices first, then your lower priorities every year or two. A kitchen designer can give you valuable insights.