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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

How to remodel your kitchen in Costa Rica

Don’t we all love to have an awesome kitchen in our home? Some people consider the kitchen the most important room in their house. When shopping for your next home, especially when you are hunting for a bargain, you will find that cheap homes usually need a kitchen renovation, to say the least.

If you are on a budget, your options of finding a nice home you can afford will be much greater if you are open to doing some low-budget kitchen remodeling. This will get your foot in the door to own a home that you would not be able to afford if you wanted to buy new. You can always do a total kitchen remodeling job once your finances are in better shape than they are now.

If you already own a home and you or your spouse thinks you need to replace the old kitchen, you might want to save yourself some money and follow some of the ideas in this article.

Kitchens become outdated very quickly, and most homeowners do not pay much attention to keeping the kitchen in good shape. Many homeowners in Costa Rica have a housekeeper who usually cleans the kitchen.

When drawers stop sliding well or cabinet doors do not close well, nobody pays attention. Countertops are probably horrible because they’re Corian, acrylic, veneer or laminate and are out of fashion, while granite, silestone and quartz are in. A large percentage of the homes for sale in Costa Rica have a kitchen that needs to be replaced, or….

Most of the time, no matter how old the existing kitchen cabinetry is, the cabinet boxes might still be in good shape and you can work with what you have without having to totally replace the kitchen cabinetry. What are your options?

Reface the existing cabinetry

Transforming the existing cabinets with brand-new drawers (or refacing them), plus doors and hardware (hinges and knobs) has never been easier than it is today. There are local kitchen factories in Costa Rica that can help you reface your cabinets if you want to give the kitchen a completely new look. They can probably also replace any parts that cannot be repaired.

Depending on the material of the existing cabinet boxes, you can spray-paint the cabinets yourself or find someone who has the necessary professional equipment to do it for you.

There are many articles online on how to repair, replace or change your kitchen cabinets very cheaply. If the cabinetry is covered with veneer, you could just replace the veneer or give it some other kind of facelift. You can give an old kitchen a farmhouse or industrial look, or any other style that you prefer in a totally different color and finish than the existing kitchen cabinets.

Replace hardware

Many times, you can get away with just replacing the existing hinges and knobs. You can change the face of your kitchen cabinets tremendously by just changing the knobs, pulls or handles, giving them a traditionally styled, contemporary or elegant look.


In Costa Rica, most new homes and condos have granite kitchen countertops, although you will find a lot of quartz countertops in luxury homes and luxury condos. The U.S. National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2015 Trend Survey  shows that kitchen designers today are using quartz countertops more than granite, so it is possible that we will see more use of quartz in our kitchens in the near future. You will be surprised how cheap it is to replace an old countertop for a new granite countertop with or without bullnose (a type of rounded trim), while the use of quartz is quite a bit more expensive.

Faucet and sink

As for replacing the kitchen sink and faucet, you should shop around for prices. Make sure you purchase a faucet that you can buy spare parts for (even washers and rings), as many brands available in the stores don’t bother supplying the stores.

You need to be a little careful if you want to change the kitchen sink and use the same measurement of the existing one, unless you are able to rebuild the cabinet underneath.


Adding a backsplash to your kitchen can make a huge difference if you are looking to upgrade and it’s not necessary to spend a lot of extra money on a real nice one. Ceramic tile is still the winner, although natural stone, glass and even metal are being used more now.

Ivo Henfling founded the American-European Real Estate Group in 1999 — the first functioning MLS in Costa Rica with affiliate agents from coast to coast. You can read other articles like this on his blog. Contact Ivo at (506) 2289-5125 / 8834-4515 or at

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