Posts filed under ‘kitchen’
Kitchen countertops are the pride and joy of any great kitchen, which means picking the right countertop material, is an important task. Asking yourself (or the cook of the family) some important questions will help in the search for the perfect countertop. What is the priority in the kitchen; style, durability, usability, green factor or maintenance. All of these items should go into choosing the correct countertop for your new kitchen.
Let’s start with the “green” options for kitchen countertops. While no material is completely green due to the energy factor, there are better choices when it comes to countertops. Recycled paper countertops are one of the cheaper options for green countertops. Starting at around $30/sq. ft. and a savings of close to 80% on install, the paper and resin countertops are not only stylish but help to reduce the use of non-renewable sources such as granite or marble. The resin mixed with the paper makes the countertop extremely strong with very little maintenance for the future.
Earth Day has been celebrated since 1970 and has grown in popularity from an environmental movement that only hippies cared about to a global movement to save and clean up the Earth. Trees are planted, parks cleaned up, green is made “cool” for one specific day. Citizens of the world give up time and energy to help make the Earth a little more beautiful.
Hangrohe is a product that is offered at Plumbtile that not only offers green products but has also made green manufacturing plants to help the environment. Founded and based in Germany, the environmental standards for this company are extremely stringent. Earth Day is something that should be celebrated daily, what a better way than ensuring that products used in your home and office are manufactured green and help to reduce waste.
Want to find a cost efficient way to go green in your house? Install a Duravit low flow toilet to minimize the amount of water wasted when using the bathroom. In the 1980s, Duravit had already harmonized the geometry of the body of the toilet with the flushing volume and reduced the amount of water consumed by its toilets to six liters as opposed to the nine or more liters that were standard at the time. Thanks to ongoing research and development, Duravit is today able to offer toilets that flush hygienically using just six, four and a half or even less water (see Dual Flush). At international level, Duravit offers toilets that also flush efficiently with a low flushing volume and that carry the “EPA WaterSense High Efficiency Flushing” label.
Who says that luxury and green can’t go together?? Graff products are not only ergonomically efficient but bring luxury and class to your home. Choosing green products does not mean giving up style. Style can be found and used in the best ways, by saving the Earth and meeting all of your design standards!
American Standard is another great company really thinking about the environment. Save money and more than 33,000 gallons a year simply by installing water efficient American Standard toilets, showers and faucets. American Standard is a proud recipient of the WaterSense® Partner of the Year Award for 2012 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Their commitment is to pioneer water-saving solutions and educating people across the country about protecting the earth’s water source. American Standard WaterSense certified products offers water savings of 20 percent or more. You can conserve water without sacrificing style or performance.
Celebrate this Earth Day by doing something great for the Environment. Chose a product that will help to bring style to your home and reduce waste in the process. Visit Plumbtile and shop for your favorite green products.
Need a casual and easy going eating experience? An eat-in kitchen might be the answer to all of your problems. In today’s fast pace and busy families, an eat-in kitchen can allow for a busy family to still eat together without the need for formal dining. There are really three options for an eat-in kitchen; counter dining, breakfast nooks or a tradition eat in kitchen with table. Convenience is a driving factor for most families who are looking for a more modern take on the family dinner concept.
This is the most popular option of the three and can accommodate almost all families. If there is already a bar or peninsula in your kitchen, simply adding stools or chairs to the area will turn it into an instant eat-in kitchen. However, this is not always convenient or safe with families with young children or older members of the family, due to the bar stools that usually needs to accommodate a bar setting. This kitchen is a great example of how easy it is to convert an island into an eat at counter. Most people are looking for space in the kitchen and may not relish giving up space for eating; however, unless someone is currently sitting at the island, you lose no space. This is a great compromise of using the space for more than one purpose; it is house multi-tasking at its best!
A breakfast nook can add comfort and style to any kitchen, finding the space however can be a challenge. Using a window as a back drop for this type of eat-in kitchen is key to keeping the space open and bright. A breakfast nook is a great option for a busy family or one with young kids. Benches are safer than stools for kids and a wheelchair could easily be rolled up to the table for an elderly member of the family. Benches can also add for additional storage which is always needed in a kitchen space. This space also allows for cooking and cleaning to be accomplished while keeping the family together at meal time. Kitchens tend to be the congregating location in a home and with a nook; kids can do their homework while their parents cook dinner. Keeping the family together is a large reason that people are searching for eat-in kitchens.
TRADITIONAL EAT-IN KITCHENS
A traditional eat in kitchen is one in where you are able to actually have a table in the kitchen with chairs. This picture depicts the perfect eat in kitchen, a mix of style, functionality and convenience. The table is able to be located at one end of the kitchen allowing for an easy flow in the kitchen. The biggest challenge of a table in the kitchen is to keep it out of the main traffic flow while still having it feel like a part of the kitchen. The main positive for this layout is that the table can double as extra work space when cooking or prepping food. Don’t be afraid to allow your personal style to dictate the type of table you have, it can be formal or eclectic, classic or modern, any style will work.
Eat-in kitchens have always been in style, however, the style of eat in is what has changed. Whether you choose a bar, a table or a nook, your eat-in kitchen will be the envy of the neighborhood if you place your family’s needs first when designing and laying out your plans. Bon Appetite!
After months and months of searching, you have finally found your dream home. You’re walking through the kitchen, and you’re thinking of all the wonderful dinner parties you will have, in your new, beautiful kitchen.
As you’re walking around the kitchen you see three broken tiles near the base of the wall. You think to yourself, “I can fix that”, nothing is going to stand between you and your dream home.
The first thing on your ‘to do’ list, after you purchase your home, is to fix those three broken tiles. Now where to start, how to get them out, without breaking any other tile? Follow these simple steps, and before long you will be having your first dinner party.
Steps to Repair Tile Backsplash:
1 Pull a grout saw along the edge of the joint to remove damaged grout, but do not mar the tiles. Cut into the good grout slightly so the new grout can bind to a solid surface. These devices either have serrated teeth that you use like a saw or abrasive-textured blades.
2 Place painter’s tape along the edges of tiles you don’t plan to remove. This helps protect their edges as you remove adjacent tiles.
3 Insert the tip of a small chisel into the joint with the tip facing the broken tile you need to remove from the backsplash. Tap gently on the chisel with a hammer to loosen and remove the tile. If you have multiple tiles to remove, pop them all out in this manner. Some may break as you remove them.
4 Continue using the chisel to remove any thin-set mortar that remains on the substrate behind the tile. Wipe the substrate clean with a damp sponge.
5 Dry fit the new tiles into the openings. If the new tiles have spacers, you may need to remove them, using tile nippers, to get the tiles to fit. Smooth rough edges with a sanding stone.
6 Mix thin set mortar with latex additive until the thin set resembles mashed potatoes. Let the mortar set for a few minutes for any air bubbles to dissipate.
7 Apply the thin set mortar to the substrate with a trowel. Butter the back of each tile with the mortar as well, placing more thin set in the center of the tile’s back. Reset tile into position on the wall, taking care to keep joint lines straight and even. The tiles should be level with adjacent tiles as well. Allow the thin set to dry for 30 minutes before proceeding. Remove the painter’s tape.
8 Mix un-sanded grout with enough water to make the grout resemble mashed potatoes. Wipe the grout into the joints diagonally with a grout float. If you can’t push the grout into the joint with the float, push it in with your finger. Smooth the joints so they resemble the existing joints. Wipe off excess grout with the float. Allow the grout to dry for 10 minutes.
9 Wipe the tiles with a clean, damp sponge. If a haze develops, polish it off with a soft, dry cloth.
If completely replacing your backsplash tile is not in the budget, these repair steps will get you by!
For a homeowner, there is nothing more satisfying then to walk in to a room, and see a beautiful finished home improvement project. A project, that you, the homeowner, completed yourself.
Fed up with looking at that same old tired paint on the wall? Want something beautiful; elegant that’s also easy to clean? Install a tile backsplash, a backsplash that makes your kitchen or bathroom look fresh and new.
Follow these simple steps to achieve the desired effects, without paying a professional to do it.
If your countertop is tiled, plan the layout so the backsplash grout veins line up with the countertop grout veins. If you don’t have a tiled countertop, start the first tile in the center of the base of the backsplash.
Turn off the power to electrical outlets in the area where you’re working. Remove electrical outlet covers.
Clean the area with warm water and allow to dry.
Apply the manufacturer’s recommended adhesive with a notched trowel. Hold the trowel at a 45-degree angle and spread a very thin layer. Work in small 3-foot-by-3-foot areas to prevent the adhesive from drying out.
Lay the first tile in the center at the base of the backsplash. Position the tile using a slight twisting motion. Use a level to make sure the tile is square. Place a spacer on each corner of the first tile. Cut one end of the spacers off in order to fit them between the countertop and the bottom of the tile. Push the spacers into the adhesive.
Working out from the first tile, continue laying the tiles in a row, flush to the spacers. Wipe off any excess adhesive that oozes up between the tiles. Leave enough space to fill in with grout. Occasionally check to make sure the tiles are level. After one row is complete, begin with the next row and follow the same pattern. Apply adhesive as needed.
If you need to cut tiles, score the tiles with a tile cutter. Don’t score the area of the tiles that will show. Use tile nippers or a saw to cut away the area carefully.
When you place the tiles around an outlet, be sure the outlet cover hides the tile edges. Continue tiling as usual.
When you’ve laid all the tiles, wipe off any excess adhesive with a damp cloth. Use a rounded stick to clean between the tiles.
Allow the adhesive to set according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After the adhesive sets, remove the spacers.
Mix the grout according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Since grout may irritate eyes and skin, wear safety goggles and latex gloves. Apply the grout using a rubber float. Spread the grout diagonally at a 45-degree angle across the tiles, packing the grout between the tiles. Wipe off the excess grout with a damp sponge when the grout becomes firm.
Shape the grout joints using a rounded stick. Clean the tiles again and smooth the joints with a damp sponge.
After the grout dries and a haze forms, wipe off the tiles and shine them with a clean cloth.
Replace the electrical outlets and switches. You’ll need longer screws to replace the outlet covers. Use 1-1/4-inch to 1-5/8-inch screws with plastic washers behind the outlet to bring the outlet flush with the tile.
***If you have to cut tile, mark the proposed cut on the glazed side of the tile corners. Don’t mark on the clay side. The ink can be absorbed and bleed through to the other side.
Follow these tips for installing tile countertops or backsplash and your kitchen or bathroom will have a whole new look and appeal!
Having a galley kitchen does not mean that you need to sacrifice style, efficiency or dreams of gourmet bliss. While a galley kitchen can be short on space, when laid out correctly it can meet all of your needs and exceed expectations. Because a galley kitchen is small on space, using high end products can be accomplished at a smaller price than a larger kitchen. Always dreamt of a farm style sink but never thought it was something you could fit into your budget?? Having a galley kitchen with a smaller space to update might be the key to your dream sink, backsplash and tiles.
USING THE TRIANGLE
The triangle (fridge, sink and range) is the most important factor in any kitchen, but more so in the galley style. To maximize space a great trick is to use a microwave on top of the range instead of the typical hood which can be aesthetically pleasing but not a necessity when a microwave can double as a hood. The ideal triangle will place the range and fridge on one wall with the sink being on the opposite wall. Another way to “add” space is to choose a full range instead of a cooktop and wall ovens.
In a galley kitchen having “zones” for prep, cleaning and cooking will change the functionality and efficiency of your tight space. Having your prep and cooking area close to each other will cut back on the amount of time that you are moving about in a tight space.
STORAGE, OH STORAGE
Storage in any space is key but more so in a kitchen where gadgets can number high. A trick to expanding space is to have cabinets that reach to the ceiling so that there is no wasted space. Keeping clutter to a minimum in a galley kitchen will also ensure that the space looks its largest and functions at its highest capacity. Choosing sleek cabinets with simple lines will also make the area appear to be larger than it is, increasing the efficiency in the space.
TO USE COLOR OR NOT
Like any room choosing the right color and accessorizes can make or break your space, the kitchen is no exception. Choosing a lighter or even brighter color tile will allow for the space to appear larger than it actually might be. Accessories in a galley kitchen should be kept to a minimum to increase the efficiency and function of the tight space.
Who hasn’t been there, the dilemma of a small kitchen and how to utilize the little space that is available? Whether it’s your first apartment or you are buying in a city where space comes at a higher price, here are some great ideas to transform the small space into a kitchen that you will love and have great pride in.
This kitchen was lacking in space so by making a simple change of using a 24” (counter depth) fridge versus a standard 30”, the homeowners were able to maximize space and style by keeping everything sleek and in line.
Another quick and easy space saver is using a deeper sink instead of a wider sink. This will help to increase counter space without losing the ability to have a sink that meets all of your needs.
Utilize all space floor to ceiling in areas like a pantry where items that are used less can be placed at the top and accessible by a foot stool. Vertical space in a kitchen can add not only functionality but also style by using a glass front and displaying decorative dishes.
Each of these ideas will help to increase the square footage of your small kitchen without having to do any demolition work!
Color in a small space can mean the difference between feeling blocked in and not realizing how small a room actually is. Using cooler colors such as blues and greens (light) will make a space appear to be larger, whereas warmer tones such as dark red will make the space to appear smaller.
There are multiple ways to ensure that storage is properly used in a small kitchen. Keeping the kitchen divided into 3 areas (prep, cooking, cleaning) all like items will be together and easier to find and use. The use of open shelves or a ceiling mounted pot rack can use space that would otherwise be rendered useless. Also the use of modernized accessories like a Kitchen Counter Trash Chutes would eliminate using up space for a trash can that needs to be set in the kitchen.
Small kitchens can be difficult to work with but with a little imagination, great design and the right materials you can transform a tiny kitchen into the heart of your home.
Summer is coming! Are you ready to entertain guests with your outdoor kitchen and dining area? Cooking up a great outdoor kitchen is easier than you think.
Your outdoor kitchen can have the same options as your indoor kitchen, giving you the convenience you experience with your indoor kitchen amenities. As long as items are waterproofed like stainless steel, stone or ceramic, you can corporate kitchen cabinets, counter tops, grills, refrigerators and even fireplaces in your new outdoor cooking and entertaining area.
What will you be cooking on? BBQ grills are the more popular choice of cooking outside. But you have other options. One easy method of cooking and providing a cozy focal point for your guests to gather is an outdoor fireplace. How about an outdoor oven in your kitchen? A brick or stone pizza oven maybe a better choice to consider for your outdoor cooking. Something more on the casual side would be a fire pit or a grill over an open flame.
Storage is beneficial for your outdoor kitchen. Being an outdoor room, you would need to invest in waterproofed storage cabinets. You can build your storage area with woods that are resistant to weather exposure, or go with the stainless steel or ceramic to add protection and elaborate content to your outdoor kitchen.
Kitchen sinks are always in need while cooking in your outdoor kitchen. Outdoor sinks can be hooked up to your homes main water line or simply attached to a garden hose. The best sinks for outdoor use is to go with stainless steel or ceramic materials. Simple entertainment sinks will do the trick on keeping your outdoor utensils and cooking accessories clean.
Counter space for your outdoor kitchen would be helpful in preparing your delicious meal. You can also give your outdoor space an eat-on counter. You can us stone or ceramic tiles and other materials that would substain the outdoor elements. Materials like granite, slate, stainless steel, brick, and stucco would be a good pick for your outdoor countertops as well. These materials would also be great for tile flooring in your outdoor kitchen and dining area.
Add some useful appliances to your outdoor kitchen. Implement a stainless steel gas grill with a rotisserie, a smoker box for wood chips, and storage below. To save spaced, in your kitchen install an under-counter refrigerator. Other popular appliances include wine coolers, ice makers, and warming drawers.
Imagine this summer enjoying the warm sun and the summer breeze while you prepare your meals and give your guests an outdoor entertaining room. With the right weather proofing and durable materials, your outside kitchen can be your favorite room this summer.
At Plumbtile, we like to research about the newest trends and news about green living and design. It is our advocacy to spread awareness about using sustainable, recyclable, and eco-friendly materials for the home.
ThisOldHouse came up with a list of new interior materials that are on trend and in the market. Here are some of them:
Even luxurious leather gets thrown away; scraps from furniture, shoe, car seat, and other tanneries eventually make their way to landfills.
The naturally sound-absorbent tiles install like cork or vinyl (preglued tiles are available). For care and upkeep of floor tiles, use a damp mop to clean them; wax them three times a year, or use a topical sealer once every five to 10 years. Wall tiles do not need wax or additional maintenance.
This luminescent material is 100% post-consumer recycled glass that’s heated and compressed to create solid-surfacing slabs. It contains no binders, colorants, fillers, or other admixtures, and has no off-gassing.
Sample shows slight markings from the bottom of a recycled beverage bottle. To enhance the upgrade, lighter colors can be underlit to make agglomeration markings stand out in dramatic fashion.
To find out more about going green and the use of renewable sources and materials, go to http://www.plumbtile.com/go-green.html or call 1-866-758-6284.
Looking to find out what’s hot and what’s not in the world of kitchen and bathroom design? If you are still in the planning stages of your remodel, you might want to check the latest National Kitchen & Bath Association’s trend study: 300 member designers were polled for the latest trends and news about bath and kitchen designs and remodels and below are the results.
Curious to see what’s HOT this season?
GRAY COLOR SCHEMES – that’s right, shades of gray are growing in appeal for both the kitchen and bathroom, and been growing in popularity since 2010.
“Among the overall trends identified for this year, gray color schemes in both kitchens and baths have witnessed a dramatic escalation since 2010, particularly over the past year, according to a written statement about the study. “Used currently in 55 percent of kitchens and 56 percent of bathrooms, shades of gray are growing in appeal, creating chic, sophisticated spaces that many consumers desire.”
The appetite for sleek shades of gray in kitchens and baths might be linked to the colors popularity in fashion over the last few years. NKBA stopped short of linking the color’s popularity to the steamy best-seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James.
Despite gray’s recent appeal, white and off-white are still most popular, used in 73 percent of kitchens and 71 percent bathrooms. The neutrals of beige and bone come next in popularity, followed by grays and browns, according to NKBA.
View full article.
QUARTZ – second most popular counter-surface material used in kitchens and baths last year, and is closely gaining popularity to granite on the top spot.
WHITE CABINETS – this is a popular trend for kitchens, it has been a top choice since last year.
GLASS BACKSPLASH – this trend has grown in popularity in the last 3 years, it’s no surprise.
TOUCH-ACTIVATED FAUCETS – at Plumbtile you will find many of these trendy faucets, we love them!
For the complete trends for the bath and kitchen, you can view the full list here. Call 1-866-758-6284 and ask your friendly Plumbtile consultant about the latest trends, they’re always ready to help!