Similar to the recently concluded “Cash for Clunkers” stimulus program, the U.S. government will soon roll out the “Cash for Appliances” plan.

Backed by an initial $300 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the rebate program is intended to help make American homes more energy-efficient while further stimulating the economy. Each state, which will administer its own cash for appliances program, will be free to select which residential Energy Star qualified appliances to include in their programs and the individual rebate amount offered.

So what does this mean to the tile industry? How can the replacement of old appliances add to YOUR bottom line? As a mother, wife, and editor for a publication that focuses on the tile industry, I was wondering the same thing. And then it hit me, literally, when my old oven door finally gave way to several years of use by my boys (who think the handle is something to hang onto while lifting themselves up) and myself (who prefers homemade, from-scratch cooking and baking). Our 30-year-old oven finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel, and decided to answer the call. But I digress.

For many families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where everyone hangs out during parties, getting in each other’s way, laughing, eating and holding serious and not-so-serious discussions.

In my opinion, this room sees more abuse than any other room in the house. Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to utilize the new government-funded program to buy an energy-efficient appliance, or two, and in turn, tear out the material currently lying on the floor and replace it with new tile to match the new appliances? It makes sense to me!

I’m curious to hear your opinion. How are you going to make this program work for you? Will you offer any type of discount, or package deal with the local appliance installer or retailer, or with licensed plumbers and electricians? Let me hear your comments, and in turn, we can learn from each other.

As a last thought, if I buy a new over, I definitely want to retile the kitchen floor (which is also 30-years old. The problem is, there are SO many beautiful products and designs out there that it’s hard for me to decide!