This 64-year-old house in Palmdale, California belongs to Kathrin Luton, the winner of our Healthiest Home on the Block contest, sponsored by Broan-NuTone.

Kathrin has owned her home for almost 20 years, and she needs some upgrades to properly ventilate her kitchen and one of her bathrooms.

We’ll add the right ventilation systems and make some changes along the way that will give her home more pizzazz.

Kathrin Luton's kitchen before its renovation in Palmdale, California
Adding a cabinet to the left side will do two things: balance this kitchen and ensure the range hood fits perfectly in between.

Install a Cabinet

Kathrin’s kitchen has two problems: it needs a range hood to remove cooking fumes, heat and odors, and it needs an additional cabinet on the left side so everything looks balanced after the range hood’s installation.

The cabinet we’re installing won’t make this home any healthier, but it will make the space more functional and it needs to go up before the range hood.

To make the new cabinet match the existing cabinet on the right side, we will add some trim. A miter saw is the perfect tool to make the cuts.

So, we cut four inches here and four inches there, and apply the trim with Titebond III Wood Glue. Then we press on the trim until we see excess glue. (That’s how you know it works!)

Next, it’s time to install those ventilation systems.

Kathrin Luton's kitchen, after its renovation with a new range hood and backsplash, in Palmdale, California.
This chimney-style range hood adds instant style to Kathrin’s kitchen and matches her stainless steel appliances.

Install a Range Hood

We have to attach the range hood to studs, but they’re not where we need them. So, we’re installing some blocking in the walls. This will let us install the range hood’s motor.

The new blocking allows me to mount the vent hood motor, then I can figure out exactly where to place the roof vent.

Once I drill a small hole at the center of the new vent location, I go up on the roof and mark a larger hole around it, so I can cut out the vent profile.

Once the roof vent is relocated, I can patch a hole left over from an old vent and re-cover the decking with new roofing material.

Next, we can install the decorative flue cover on the range hood. We need to trim around it at the ceiling, so I use a table saw to cut some molding and give it a finished look.

We’ll install ventilation systems in the bathrooms soon, but our next project is making this kitchen even more beautiful and low maintenance with a tile backsplash.

Installing a running bond backsplash in a Palmdale, California kitchen
Installing a backsplash is very DIY-friendly when you use SimpleMat from Custom Building Products.

Install Backsplash with SimpleMat

The new range hood will make Kathrin’s kitchen healthier and more attractive, but Chelsea wants to take the room to another level with a tile backsplash. As a bonus, it will make grease stains on the wall behind the range much easier to clean.

We will install this backsplash with a do-it-yourself friendly kit called SimpleMat from Custom Building Products. The system includes a mat with adhesive on both sides.

Installation is easy. You just stick the mat to the wall and run a grout float over it to smooth out any bubbles. Then stick tiles to the mat. Finally, apply some grout.

We’re arranging the tiles in a running-bond pattern and using just a quart of SimpleGrout Premixed Grout from Custom Building Products. This is such a small space, so we don’t need a big bag of grout.

After this project is complete, we’re ready to install ventilation systems in those bathrooms.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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