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Easy Ways to Make that Ugly Kitchen Gorgeous

Is your kitchen so ugly, it's embarrassing?

No need for it to stay that way.

Matt Blashaw, a licensed contractor and host of the DIY Network's "Worst Kitchen in America," shared pointers on "The Early Show" to help you make that disastrous room into one you'll be proud of - and that could help increase the value of your home or apartment.

Pictures: Ugly Kitchens

Matt also filled in viewers on DIY and Food Network Magazine's "Worst Kitchen in America" competition which could get you a free makeover of yours if DIY deems it the most - deserving!

He suggested steps to aid your quest to make your kitchen gorgeous:


A beautiful countertop is one of the best investments that you can make in your kitchen. They instantly upgrade the value of your cooking space. Plus, they look awesome. Here a few of the most popular options:

Granite and Quartz have become a countertop of choice for many. They are durable, with terrific heat resistance. They are also available in hundreds of different unique colors and styles. Also, it has a nice depth to it, so the color and texture have a nice uniform appearance.
PRICE: Both will run you about $50 to $160 a square foot

Concrete countertops have become very popular in the past few years. They are just as durable as granite or quartz. They look terrific in any urban style kitchen. Also concrete can literally be molded into most any space. Every concrete countertop is unique. No two are the same.
PRICE: Expect to pay about $100-$150 a square food for concrete counters

Laminate has taken on a whole new look recently. It doesn't really have the stigma of being a low end countertop anymore...and is still a good choice economically. In fact, laminate countertops are about a third of the price of granite, quartz, and concrete. There are more colors and patterns that look like granite and quartz.
PRICE: About $10-$20 per square foot


An ugly, dirty, worn out kitchen sink is a huge eyesore. But installing a new one can cost you as little as $100. Also, if you are replacing a sink bowl, go ahead and replace the faucet Here are some typical options with typical price points:

Drop-in sinks are usually the least expensive option and the easiest to install. These sinks have a lip that is over-sized to the hole and they simply "drop in" a counter top. Stainless steel drop-in sinks are pressure fit to the top surface with a clamp system from underneath. Cast Iron are adhered to the countertop with caulking make sure you use silicone caulking not water-based to avoid rust rings. This creates a self-trimming installation without the use of a frame. Kitchen sink versions are often stainless steel. Plumbing waste and supply lines are concealed in the cabinet base. Stainless steel sinks are popular in kitchens because they will not chip, rust, stain or fade.
PRICE: About $100-$750

Flush mounted, known as tile-in sinks rest level with the counter, and are the common choice for tiled counters - like its name, it is perfect for a tiled environment as they are the same thickness as a countertop tile. It sits on the substructure of the counter, like a drop-in, but the tiles will butt up to the edge of the sink, making for a level countertop. They allow for easy countertop cleaning, and they are great when you are looking for a uniform and integrated look. Installation is going to be costlier than a drop in sink.
PRICE: About $250-$1000

Under-mount sinks sit below the counter surface. These are more difficult installations and are suited for solid surface or real stone countertops. Under-mounted sinks leave the edge of the countertop exposed and allow for easy cleaning of the counter. Enameled cast iron sinks are ideal for under-counter installations because of the broad range of sink colors to complement/match the colors of the stone or solid-surface countertops. You will probably want to call a pro for installation. And make sure you love the sink, because once an under-mount sink is installed, it is there for the life of the counter. Just about the only way to remove an under-mount sink is to remove the countertop. Also, most faucet installations with this type of sink require drilling through the countertop.
PRICE: About $250-$1000


Adding a backsplash or changing the look of an existing one can be a quick and easy way to brighten up your kitchen. Tile is a great way to go when you are creating a backsplash. Tiles come in different materials, textures, shapes and colors. They are easy to install and easy to clean.

Four-inch tiles are one of the least expensive options. You can buy very simple single color pieces, or deck it out by combining the singular tiles in a cool pattern.
PRICE: Ceramic tiles run between $1 and $20 per square foot

Glass comes in different colors as well as shapes and sizes. They are easy to clean and resist stains, mold and mildew. The tiles reflect the light so your kitchen will look bigger and brighter as a result.
PRICE: About $12-$50 per square foot

If you are looking to go a little artistic, there are hundreds of choices. These types of tiles come in both glass and ceramic. If you choose to go a little lower end, the art tiles are going to run you a little less than if you choose a designer brand. However, higher end designer tiles can be beautiful.
PRICE: Low end $50 to $80 per square foot
High end $180 per square foot

A stainless steel backsplash is a good modern touch for urban and chic kitchens. They also look great with stainless steel appliances. Some glue straight on to your wall. Add a little grout, and you're done.
PRICE: $30-$125 per square foot


If you are looking to give your kitchen an overhaul without a lot of work, one way you can help is a kitchen island. A built in kitchen island will cost you $5,000 to $10,000 or more. But there are many alternatives that run about $150 on the low end of the spectrum, with $1,000 on the high end.

This island is perfect for a smaller kitchen. It's got storage space, which helps you organize, and it's got a condiment caddy and a towel bar. You can move it around the kitchen as needed, or lock it into place. You can also design it to match your kitchen, with a variety of color and countertop choices.
PRICE: $300

If you cook like a pro, a solid rock hard maple butcher's block is a great way to go. It's a great space to help you prep food, and you don't need a cutting board to chop, and it's easy on your knives.
PRICE: About $500 to $1000

A stainless steel island cleans up easy, and is heat and water proof. Stainless steel islands can cost you about the same price as wooden islands. If you want a secret to saving money on stainless steel islands: check restaurant supply stores. The one Matt had on set cost less than $250.
PRICE: A pure stainless steel island can easily cost more than $1000.

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