Posts tagged ‘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.
Reclaimed wood is another option for a green choice. Everyone loves the butcher block look, so why not achieve that look with reclaimed wood? The cost starts at $40/sq. ft. and does require upkeep. The wood must be sealed periodically to ensure that it maintains it durability. These countertops will last a life time meaning money is well spent, however, wood should not be close to the sink or dishwasher meaning that you will have to have multiple countertop types within your kitchen. Recycled glass is a stylish way to add color and depth to your kitchen but comes at a steep cost of $50/sq. ft. Recycled glass runs relative to granite countertops in price, but because of the recycled glass makes this a better option than granite when searching for green products.
Not interested in going green?? There are many options to meet your needs and desires. Granite is a durable surface that is heat and scratch resistant making it a great option for a family who uses and loves their kitchen. With relatively low maintenance (sealing once a year) granite is a great option starting at $50/sq. ft. Marble is another stone material that can be used in the kitchen. While marble is a bakers dream due to the kneading of dough, it can be a nightmare in the kitchen. Marble stains and chips easily and needs to be sealed more often than granite. One option for someone who is desperate for marble is to simply have only one area that has marble while the rest of the kitchen is a different material, such as butcher block.
Concrete countertops are both stylish and eco-friendly; being poured on location makes this source of material a low impact on the environment. Concrete can also be dyed any color which allows for a unique and custom kitchen. Concrete is a porous material and does require more maintenance than other countertops, it needs to be sealed periodically and waxed every 2-3 months. Quartz is another material that is stylish but durable as well as more consistent compared to granite and marble because it is an engineered material. The color options are wider than a natural stone as well as being more resistant to stains and needing to be sealed only once year.
Kitchen countertops define the style and feel that you wish to portray not only in your kitchen but your home. With the kitchen being the heart of your home, choice of countertop is vastly important. Remember to decide what the priorities for your kitchen are and then get to work choosing your countertop! Enjoy!!
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!
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!
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.
When it comes to adding value to your home, put your money where your mouths are. The 2 rooms that add or detract value most from a home are the kitchen and the bathroom. Right now stainless steel appliances are the trend but there is no sense investing in them only to put them next to shabby cabinets in an outdated kitchen. When renovating a kitchen, start with the cabinets first. An older refrigerator or stove will look better surrounded by new cabinets.
Here are a few tips when looking to upgrade your cabinets:
- Look for products certified by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association, which are subjected to tests that replicate years of normal kitchen abuse. Certified cabinets survive exposure to humidity, temperatures ranging from –5 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and dousings of kitchen mainstays like vinegar, lemon, fruit juices, ketchup, and coffee without showing signs of blistering, discoloration, or other damage.
- Stock and semi-custom cabinets are the most popular types on the market. Stock reigns supreme because of its low price, quick delivery, and increasing accessory options like furniture feet and full-extension glides. Semi-custom models offer a wider range of sizes, finishes, and styles. Custom cabinets are the most expensive; they can take up to 12 weeks to fabricate.
- The extras cost extra. Today’s cabinets include user-friendly options such as full extension roll-out shelves, large drawers in base cabinets can hold pots, pans, and dry goods; they’re as popular as pull-out recycling bins and built-in open-storage systems like wine racks and china displays. These are all wonderful accessories but not necessities so really consider which ones, if any, you can’t live without while keeping a close eye on your budget. If the house you are updating is only going to be yours for a couple of years, go basic. If you plan on raising a family here and staying until retirement then make it yours.
- Take home the samples. You may have looked on-line at the color combinations that you like and the color of wood that you like but it’s just like paint; the way it looks in the store or on-line may be nothing as to how it looks in your home, with your lighting and your flooring. Light-colored woods, oak and maple make your kitchen seem brighter and larger. Darker woods like cherry and mahogany create a more dramatic, furniture like effect but can be overwhelming in a small kitchen.
- It’s the little things. If this is your “forever home” think about the little touches like knobs and pulls. Some people can overlook their significance when it comes to style but they really add personality. Here at Plumbtile we work with over 20 manufacturers of hardware for your cabinets. No need to go with the basic brushed nickel knob when you can have celtic, crystal or even novelty designs.
- Pick up a repair kit. This should include items like colored wax, putty, or markers to cover set nails or repair dings. When the baseboard and corners are put on you will definitely need to go back and fill in the nail holes unless you have the contractor do it.
- Be an Eco-Friendly Renovator. Programs like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores accept donations of cabinets for resale; most groups will even pick them up. Carefully remove the cabinets or tell your contractor you plan to donate them.
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.
We will never get tired of spreading awareness about our environment as well as providing our readers with the latest trends in green design.
Do you know what 2013 will bring to the world of kitchen design? Organic. That’s right, warm, earthy gourmet spaces. Mixing wood, slate, stone, and other rustic materials with industrial pieces.
Terry Mulligan of Yahoo gives us the latest trend in kitchen design:
Greens, blues, grays, browns, yellows, reds — these colors will be making a grand appearance in kitchens across the country. Whether on painted, weathered cabinets or handmade, upcycled tile, earthen colors will warm up our cooking spaces like never before. All shades are fair game, unless they glow neon. Stick to what you find in nature, and you’ll be right in style.
Organic Wood Cabinets
Instead of traditionally styled, stained, and glazed cabinets with fancy millwork, look for a more understated display of rustic wood on cabinet surfaces. Spalted maple or natural birch drawer fronts will be mixed with clean, industrial-styled cabinet doors and brushed stainless steel. And this year, austere shaker cabinets will be reinvented in many ways. It will be a welcome, yet unusual departure from the kitchens of the last 10 years.
Wood, Stone, or Tile Counters
Granite may not be the material of choice for countertops anymore. Wood and stone like slate should dominate — then add tile tops and backsplashes with a handmade look and feel. It’s all about color and textures that make you feel at home and comfortable this year.
Materials in Their Natural Form
Anywhere you can use materials in their natural form, it’s time to do so. Exposed beams on walls and ceilings will add a rural touch in some kitchens. Wood counters will sport natural, unfinished edges in their shift to a more organic style.
Rustic floors will be the rage. Reclaimed wood or polished concrete with amazing stain work will pull the other organic elements of the room together. Slate floors will also be in demand over highly polished marble or tile. Yet even in their natural form, these floors will still be a work of art. Artisans will be lending their expertise to make them part of a unique and extraordinary kitchen design statement.
At Plumbtile, the leader in all things bathroom and kitchen design related products, we have a wide array of green products from counters, faucets, and even tiles that are that are made from renewable resources that have none to minimal impact on our environment.
Let’s GO GREEN in 2013!
PlumbTile features the largest collection of premium brand names including Alno, Jado, Hansgrohe, Herbeau, Phylrich, California Faucets, KWC, Newport Brass, Toto, Ginger, Americh & Zuma Tubs, Hastings, Sugatsune, Classic Brass & more.
We at Plumbtile are thankful to our friends and all our loyal customers online. We have extended our Photo Contest promo to give everyone the chance to participate and win. The promo is now extended up to April 15, 2013.
If you haven’t heard about the contest yet, you will be pleased to hear that we are giving out $1000 worth of kitchen and bathroom products!
The rules are very simple. You just have to go to our Facebook fan page and upload a remodeling photo (past or present), and you will get the chance to win.
Tell all you friends! Share this article and spread the word!
Again, thank you from all of us at Plumbtile!
This will be the final installment in our sinks series. Previously we have covered pedestal sinks and drop in sinks. The undermount sink is a practical version that’s easier to install than most people think. Once installed, it allows a seamless surface for your counter, allow you to sweep up mess directly into the sink without it catching on any lip. (more…)
I’m the new guy. My name is Jim Hedger. I am working with Plumbtile to improve the Plumbtile.com website. As means of an introduction, I am a highly experienced webmaster with over a decade of high level web work under my belt. I have had an extremely fortunate career as a webmaster and hope to become a helpful resource for my new teammates and for the readers, shoppers and visitors to Plumbtile.com.