Washington's Sheraton-Carlton Hotel will undergo a $14 million renovation so extensive that its managers have recommended Sheraton Corp. close the hotel during the 10-month project that starts in January, hotel officials said Friday.

The renovation will include opening walls and ceilings to install new electrical and plumbing equipment, alarms and a sprinkler system in the 250-room hotel at 16th and K streets NW. In addition, every guest room and the lobby will be redecorated, and the ballrooms and dining room will be redesigned.

The changes in the hotel, which was built in 1926 and received its last partial renovation in 1982, will leave the facade intact.

"We would like to transform the hotel into the city's premier luxury hotel, in both product and service," said Elmer Coppoolse, the hotel's general manager. He said about $250,000 will be spent on staff training programs.

The hotel, two blocks from the White House, is considered to have an excellent location. However, industry officials said it has been unable to compete with a number of newer Washington luxury hotels.

Sheraton's board will decide Dec. 17 whether to close the hotel during the renovation, Coppoolse said.

The Sheraton-Carlton is one of only a few hotels in North America that is 100 percent owned by Sheraton. Like other hotel giants, the company in recent years has concentrated on having others own the hotels it manages. The Sheraton-Washington hotel on Connecticut Avenue, for instance, is owned by John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co.

For some time, local hotel industry officials have believed Sheraton was considering selling the Sheraton-Carlton. Coppoolse said yesterday that selling the hotel was no longer under consideration.

"Sheraton has repositioned itself to improve the quality image of the entire corporation," he said. "The Sheraton-Carlton is one of the major gems it has as a top-quality, luxury hotel.