Design Elements

Cabinetry. A kitchen’s cabinetry usually has the biggest impact on the overall look of the room, while in a bathroom it typically forms a much smaller element of the design. However, with the wide array of styles available now, even a small vanity cabinet can still have a dramatic effect on the room. Aside from choosing the look of the cabinets, there is also a choice between custom and stock cabinetry. Custom-made cabinets are the most expensive type, though partially custom options are available at a lower price point. Stock cabinetry is purchased off the shelf and is the least expensive option, with the compromise being a limited selection of sizes and styles.

Countertops. Popular countertop options for kitchens and baths include granite and marble. Contemporary materials like concrete and stainless steel are available as well. There are wide variances in durability and maintenance needs across the options, so depending on the household, one material is usually more appropriate than another.

Flooring. Floors in potentially wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms are usually hard surfaces, such as tile and linoleum, though well-sealed hardwood floors are popular as well and can add a warm look to the room. Be sure to consider how much daily use and moisture the floor will see in order to make the best decision on a material in terms of durability and wear. Homeowners may also want to install radiant underfloor heating, particularly in bathrooms, for added comfort during colder periods of the year.