Ring in the New Year With These Four Home Updates

A fresh new year is the perfect time to make a few choice updates to your home—or at least think about what projects you might like to accomplish in the coming months. Bathroom renovation ideas are always at the top of everyone’s list. After all, they’re on ours, too! But most homes also have a number of other living spaces that owners would love to update or change completely. Here are a few options with a good return on your investment in both enjoyment and value:

1.  New Counters for the Kitchen, Bath, Laundry or Work Room

With both aesthetic and functional value, countertops have a commanding presence in a room. Their composition and patterns demand that paint, cabinetry, appliances and associated features be complementary. Likewise, their integrity is key to performance and safety, so there are any number of reasons to replace or add countertops:

  • Imperfections and flaws like cracks, stains, burns, chips, fading, age and fatigue compromise protective finishes, give germs places to hide, and can even cause spills or burns.
  • Updates to kitchen or bathroom fixtures like sinks and faucets often involve countertops. You may not be able to install an undermount sink, for example, with your current countertop, or your current counters may not fit your new cooktop.
  • Adding counter space can supply much-needed additional workspace. You may be able to use different countertop materials that work together for more aesthetic interest.
  • Cabinetry changes usually require new countertops due to concerns over fit, stresses and integrity.

Redoing counters works especially well if you’re ready to also improve features like backsplashes, fixtures or built-in appliances. It’s a well-timed opportunity to make a huge difference in a room’s functionality and appeal.

2. Upgraded Flooring

Floors are an investment. They have to withstand literally everything, and you really only want to have to put a floor down once. However, a great floor is worth having. After all, it’s usually a selling point in property listings. Following a few tips can help you get the most out of your quality materials:

  • Match the flooring to the use it will have to withstand. Bathrooms should be non slip and moisture- and humidity-proof, for example, and kitchens able to easily handle all hot, greasy, staining, gooey or otherwise unidentifiable spills. Soft carpet may work for bedrooms, but common living areas may need something tougher.
  • Maintain a harmonious flow. Having a different type and color of flooring in every room can make a house feel choppy. Floors can vary but should offer a sense of continuity throughout a home’s living spaces.
  • Pick something easy to maintain. If you have pets or children or entertain frequently, you may want to opt for solid-surface flooring like laminate or tile topped with area or accent rugs that are easily cleaned or replaced.
  • Check that the subfloor will support and maintain the floor you put down. Be sure to address any leaks, moisture problems, load needs, threshold challenges or levelling issues before you install your new floor.
  • Install the floor correctly. Tile can fail if the thin-set and grout aren’t just right. A too-tight installation can make engineered wood or laminate later buckle or shatter. Vinyl can curl, and carpet can pucker, wrinkle or pull. Professional installation is just as important as quality materials.

Flooring materials range from hard surfaces like wood, engineered wood, ceramic, porcelain, stone, stone composites, laminate and vinyl, for example, to various categories of carpets able to shed the grimmest of stains. Many beautiful, affordable flooring materials are engineered to meet every challenge.

3. Fresh Landscaping for Problem Areas

The landscaping on your property is constantly changing because it consists of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees that grow. This can be both a challenge as things spread and get larger or sometimes wither and die. Finding a solution for either case matters because landscaping is not only crucial to curb appeal — it also offers solutions to many common property issues:

  • Perpetually soggy areas are perfect sites for a bog garden with irises, cannas and other plants that thrive in soggy conditions.
  • Overgrown foundation cover is often the result of years of trims. Shrubs like boxwoods, gardenias or yews become thick-limbed and sparse or so huge that they block windows and light. Replacements may start small but will quickly fill in with vibrant color and fullness.
  • Privacy problems can be great landscaping opportunities. Plant a hedge screen of ornamental shrubs, for example, establish a border garden, or add a vining trellis that will mature quickly and perhaps even flower.

Boring entryways often lack the liveliness of thriving greenery. Trade the “plant lineup” for some arcs, curves, and layers in both depth and height. It will soften the look, make your home more inviting, and let you be more creative in the plants you use and how you place them. Don’t forget high-impact planters bursting with flowers, potted topiaries, hanging plants and espaliered ornamentals.

4. Modernized Shower Space

A shower doesn’t have to be quick, but cleaning it should be. Moreover, the relaxing enjoyment factor of using it is a must. What you need is a modern shower space—walls and a floor—that you can feel really good about, and that’s exactly what Swan delivers with its selection of super-easy-to-clean, grout-free Swan shower walls, shower alcoves and shower kits in Swanstone and Veritek.

  • Swan’s Swanstone shower walls feature a strong, high-performance compression-molded solid surface that is designed to last a lifetime. It won’t crack and is heat-resistant up to 450 degrees for prolonged periods of time, allowing for a steam unit. The surface is nonporous, making it easy to clean, and it can easily be renewed or repaired if necessary. It’s also nontoxic, noncarcinogenic and non-VOC-emitting.
  • Swan’s Veritek shower walls feature a compression-molded composite material with molded-in color and a natural gloss surface. With color running throughout, Veritek is also nonporous and resilient, wear-resistant, easy to maintain and affordable.
  • Swan shower walls can be purchased as single walls in various sizes, as three-sided alcove walls or as shower kits complete with floor pan, always ensuring a fit perfect for your space. Shower walls are available in colors and patterns that are clean and stylish—from cool marbled Carrara modern subway tile with a textured grout line to smooth panels in dramatic colors like ice, sandstone, charcoal or black.

Installation is easy, seamless and designed for ADA compliance. Glue-up panels can be installed over existing surfaces, making remodeling easy. Likewise, for nail-up panels, walls simply fasten directly to the studs. The result is beautiful, clean and engineered to last a lifetime.

If you love Swanstone as much as we think you will, Swan also makes vanity tops and sink basins to match or complement its shower walls and alcoves. You can achieve a luxurious designer look yet enjoy simply using it knowing that the materials can withstand high temps like a curling iron, for example, as well as harsh chemicals like drain cleaner, bleach or nail polish remover.

Best of all, you can feel good about adding Swan products to your home because they’re made in the U.S. by a company dedicated to implementing the latest eco-friendly technologies and sustainable manufacturing processes.

Ring in Your Renovation at Coburn’s

Start your new year in your home right. Visit your local Coburn’s showroom, or explore our website online. We’d love to answer any questions you may have about bathroom renovation ideas or your other home improvement projects for 2022 and beyond.


Counters https://www.archcitygranite.com/10-reasons-why-homeowners-replace-kitchen-bathroom-countertops/ and https://www.laslokitchens.com/7-things-know-replacing-kitchen-counters/

Floors https://homeandgardennj.com/ready-for-a-flooring-upgrade/

Landscaping https://www.bonicklandscaping.com/top-5-reasons-to-update-your-landscaping/

Shower Walls https://swanstone.com/en/products/bathroom/shower-walls

Several SWAN pdfs on Sustainability, the Swanstone product, and vanity tops found on https://swanstone.com/en/pros-corner/resources