Find out how to improve the look and function of your kitchen with these inexpensive, do-it-yourself home improvement projects that you can tackle in a weekend.
Tile Backsplash Installation
The mosaic tile we used—Jeffrey Court Pillar Mini Brick glass and slate mosaic wall tile (available at The Home Depot)—comes in sheets with the individual tiles held together by a mesh backing.
A tile backsplash can be installed on drywall without the need for cement backer board. Start by cleaning the wall of any grease or grime, and cover the countertop with plastic. Use a notched trowel to apply thin-set tile adhesive to the wall.
To mark the location of electrical outlets on the tile, rub lipstick on the outlet, hold the tile in position on the wall, and press against the outlet to transfer the location to the tile. To cut tile to size, use either a motorized wet saw, table saw equipped with a special tile cutting blade, or a small circular trim saw.
After the thin-set adhesive is dry, use a slotted screwdriver to remove any excess adhesive between the tiles. Wet the tile down with a sponge before applying grout to the tile with a rubber float. Use a sponge and plenty of clean water to wipe the excess grout off the tile.
To find out more watch our videos on:
Dedicated range hoods—such as those from Broan—do a better job of venting your kitchen than over the range microwaves, since they extend further out over the stove.
When buying a range hood, choose a model with a low sones number, to keep the noise from the fan to a minimum, and a fan rated to move enough cubic feet per minute (CFM) of air to exchange the air in the kitchen at least 15 times per hour.
To find out more, check out:
- How to Calculate Kitchen Range Hood Fan Size (video)
- Choosing a Range Hood (article)
- How to Replace a Range Hood (video)
Water Filtration System
Installing a water filtration system next to the kitchen sink is a convenient way to remove unwanted chemicals, such as lead and pesticides, from the water you use for drinking and cooking.
Sink mounted water filtration systems—such as those made by Filtrete—with the filter mounted under the kitchen sink are convenient to use and easy to change the filter.
To find out more, read our article about the various types of Water Filters for Your Home.
Decorative Cabinet Display Shelf
To add a decorative touch to our kitchen update project, we routed a cove in the edge of a 1” x 6” board, then cut it to fit between the cabinets over the sink. Pilot holes were drilled in the cabinets to prevent splitting before the shelf was screwed in place.
Hiding Cabinet Scratches
To hide unsightly scratches on stained wood cabinets or furniture:
- Apply matching stain to the scratch.
- Rub a colored wax furniture pencil on the scratch.
- Apply a touch up marker to the scratch.
- Rub the meat from a walnut on the scratch.
To find out more, check out:
- Repairing Scratches on Wood Cabinets and Furniture (video)
- How to Remove Water Stains from Furniture (article)
- How to Repair a Scratch or Gouge in a Hardwood Floor (article)
Kitchen Cabinet Shelf Liner
To keep the inside of your kitchen cabinets clean, cut Easy Liner shelf liner to fit each shelf. Easy Liner protects cabinets from spills and can be cleaned by washing it in a clothes washer.
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Comforter Cover Tip
To put a duvet cover on a comforter, turn the cover inside out and lay it on the bed with the open end at the foot. Spread the comforter out on top of the cover. Start at the head of the bed and roll the comforter and cover up together. Take the open end of the cover and turn it inside out over the comforter. (Watch Video)
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Moen MotionSense Kitchen Faucet
To turn the Moen MotionSense faucet on and off, simply wave your hand over the top of the faucet or put your hands or a pot under it. It also comes with an easily retractable, three function, pullout wand. The Moen MotionSense faucet is available at The Home Depot in several finishes. (Watch Video)
Ask Danny Lipford:
Cleaning Stainless Steel
A clean cloth dipped in warm water can be used to clean stainless steel appliances. For tougher cleaning jobs, add a little dishwashing liquid to the water. Glass cleaner is great for removing fingerprints. To add shine apply olive or baby oil to a clean, dry cloth and rub it over the surface. (Watch Video)