All-white quartz countertops are also popular thanks to improvements in technology that give them the purest tone. For example, shop around for affordable stone slabs.If you can fall in love with a Danby marble from Vermont instead of one of the more expensive Italian imports, you’re going to save at least 20 percent.“It’s half the cost of the kitchen,” says designer-architect Laurie Haefele, recalling projects for which the cabinet bill alone ran to six figures. If the layout of the existing cabinets works and the units are plumb, square, and sturdy, you could refinish them with a fresh coat of paint or reface them by replacing the cabinet doors and drawers and applying veneers to the face frames and ends.
Durable stones such as granite and quartzite offer more protection and a sense of permanence.
The good news is that this style is inherently less expensive—and easier to clean—than the once-fashionable country kitchen, which called for cabinetry with elaborate moldings and applied detail.
The bad news is that custom cabinets of any description cost tens of thousands of dollars.
“People subconsciously associate stone with stability underfoot, so it’s a natural choice for flooring,” says New York City architect Leonard Kady. Engineered wood flooring, which has a veneer of real wood over a substrate, can be floated over the subfloor, saving on installation costs.
The downside is that most can be refinished only once, whereas solid flooring can be refinished multiple times.