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Easy and Economical Solutions for Those Postponed Remodeling Plans

by Gale Steves

If you cannot wait any longer to make some much needed changes in your home, you are not alone. Americans are once again getting ready to begin the home improvement process. This pent-up energy often begins in the kitchen, a room that gets a lot of wear and tear but also seems to go out of fashion more quickly these days.

This time around, you will be more cautious like many consumers are with their choices and costs ... and yet you want to make observable changes.

The most obvious change is installing a new countertop. Remember that countertops represent 30 percent of the color in any kitchen. Create new excitement by simply replacing your tired, scratched or stained counter surface with one made from the latest generation of premium laminate.

The latest additions to the popular Wilsonart®HD® High Definition® design series reflect new interest in natural, classic and tumbled marble, limestone and travertine.

The good news is this fashionable look is available without the high cost of stone or the constant maintenance those stones require.

These lighter, less patterned laminate designs are perfect for today's hectic lifestyle. In fact, the new cost-efficient countertop can be installed within a few hours and without disrupting family life. They also give an existing kitchen the promise of a whole new look that's universally appealing. That equals a big change for small change.

All of these new designs are available in a new surface effect of a lower matte-gloss sheen that seems almost glazed. The "Glaze" texture is actually a layering of matte features over a glaze of semi-gloss. This creates a timeworn result that is less reflective and more restrained. It's a perfect balance for the sophisticated dramatic materials that are part of today's kitchen: stainless steel, chrome, copper, and even glass.

Wilsonart patterns benefit from AEON Enhanced Performance technology. AEON brings four times the scuff and scratch-resistance of conventional laminate, as well as five times the wear resistance to the surface. Unlike granite, the surfaces of these new laminates are non-porous and never need to be sealed.

Here are some other remodeling ideas that will have high impact without high expense:

* Replace your old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model. Look in the big box stores for floor models or even those with a little dent on the side, which will never be seen.

* Refresh your cabinets with a coat of paint, and change all the cabinet hardware in the process. This makes everything look new.

* Swap out your old ceiling light fixture and install under cabinet lighting as well. A little light can make a dramatic difference.

* Change your sink or sinks. Consider a new Wilsonart®HD® sink when adding a laminate countertop. These sinks were designed to be mounted to a laminate surface.

Still puzzled by the process or need more help choosing the right color or pattern for your countertop? Visit www.WilsonartHD.com for many good answers.

Gale Steves is a frequent contributor to home design publications.