Saturday, September 27, 2003

Cut costs for kitchen cabinets

The Associated Press

There is much to learn to become an informed kitchen cabinet buyer.

Here's some food for thought:

• A cabinet with a door is less expensive than a cabinet with a door and a drawer. By the same token, a cabinet with drawers is more expensive than both the door type and the drawer-and-door type.

• The simplest door can be made from one piece of material - and the simplest drawer is made from five pieces. Additionally, drawers require more elaborate operating hardware - slides instead of hinges.

• The cabinet seller who wants to keep the price down will show you cabinets with fewer drawers. The seller who wants the price to go up will suggest more drawers.

• Oh, and pullouts - drawers behind doors - they can be more expensive than the whole lot.

Put tile over laminate for new countertop

A new tile countertop might sound like a budget-buster, but there is an affordable alternative. Simply install tile right over the existing laminate top.

Start by removing the sink and protecting the front of the cabinets with a layer of heavy paper or cardboard. Next, use a circular saw to cut off the front edge and the splash at the rear. Any uneven spots can be smoothed out with a hand saw, or a belt sander and some coarse paper.

The entire top should be lightly sanded to help create a better bond for the tile adhesive.

Install the tile in the adhesive, which is applied with a grooved trowel. After the tile has set overnight, it can be grouted using a rubber grout float and a damp sponge. Buff out the remaining haze with a soft, dry cloth and reinstall the sink.

Replace gasket to silence screech

Does every faucet in your home make a screeching noise when it's turned on? It's probably a worn-out rubber gasket in a plumbing valve (the place from which water enters your home).

This sub-par gasket results in a reedy, screechy sound when water passes over it, which is then transferred to whatever fixture is in use. The good news is the solution is a simple one; the gasket can be replaced simply and inexpensively.

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