Monday, October 29, 2012

Center Bathtubs take Top Billing

Whether you're going for drama or just a clear footpath, setting your tub in the middle of your bathroom can be just the ticket

by Shawn Gauthier
It seems laying out the bathtub in the center of the space is configured one of two ways: The tub is placed either between two vanities to create a separation and clear walkways to the sinks or smack dab in the middle of the room for dramatic effect. Either way, the look adds definite style and a sense of luxury.

Dividing two vanities with a bathtub provides spaces with a sense of equilibrium. Plus, if you share your bathroom, the tub in this layout almost acts as a room divider, giving each person a sense of individual space. Extra room between the vanities and tub in this example offers a spot for towel storage.

Carrying the same backsplash across the vanities and bathtub creates cohesion among the different elements.
For a classic feel, choose a freestanding tub. These types of tubs lack the flat edge and storage of built-in units, so consider incorporating a table for bathing supplies, towels or a glass of wine.

Designers also choose to place a tub in the center of the room to create a dramatic focal point. This, of course, is best achieved with beautifully designed tubs. This luxurious space is likely more eye candy than reality for many of us; this bathroom could be the size of my apartment.
An intricate tile design and a unique shape allow this central tub to truly stand on its own.

A circular tub makes a perfect focal point in the middle of this space.

When coupled with an eye-catching light fixture, this contemporary tub design deservedly takes center stage. A nearby table is a functional accessory.

A more traditional style also commands attention when placed in the center of the bathroom.

Taking advantage of views is another reason why designers will place the tub in the middle of the room. Sure, you could put the tub against the wall, but why not the center of the room if that’s the best vantage point?

Winding down with a long soak is surely much more enjoyable when you have a beautiful view to take in.

A central window is a more soothing focal point when seen from a central tub.
A centrally located tub can allow the focus to be on a beautiful piece of artwork too.
If you have a narrow bathroom, a tub between the vanities may provide a better footpath than if the tub were against the wall.

Some layouts allow for additional furnishings. Placing the tub in the center of this bathroom freed up wall space for a bench and two armoires.

Perhaps your bathroom is already equipped with a shower, but you long for a tub. If your space is large enough, you may be able to avoid a larger renovation by sticking the tub in the center. 

Cabinet-S-Top would love to create your bathroom design to incorporate a center tub.  Stop by our showroom to talk about ideas. 

We are located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256, 330-239-3630.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tips & Tricks for Removing Stains in Natural Stone Countertops

Courtesy of RSW Countertop Guide

Do not panic if you stain your natural stone countertops because you can easily clean off stains with a few household items.  Depending on the kind of stain, you may need to use different mixtures.

If the stain is heavy and cannot be removed by simple warm water and mild dishwashing liquid, then create this sure-fire formula:

Combine together about one to two teaspoons of dishwashing liquid, one cup of flour and just enough water until the solution becomes thick (about the consistency of paste or spackle).  Simply spread over the stain.  Cover the area with plastic wrap and leave overnight.  You can then lightly scrape the mixture away with genle pressure, preferably using a piece of thin wood, cardboard, or soft plastic.  Do not use metal putty knives, forks, knives or metallic objects.  Rinse thoroughly - the stain should be gone.

Grease stains, oil stains and milk stains:

Grease stains, oil stains or milk stains require a different solution altogether.  Combine together one to two tablespoons of hydrogen peroixde (in place of dishwashing liquid), a cup of flour and enough water to make a paste.  Apply the stain, cover the area with plastic wrap and leave for about 12 hours.  The stain should be gone when you scrape off the mixture in the morning.  If this does not work, replace the hydrogen peroxide with ammonia.

Tea, coffee and fruit juice:

If the stain is organic, such as tea, coffee or fruit juice, then combine hydrogen peroxide (about 12% will do) with about two drops of ammonia.  The solution should take organic stains off immediately.

Marker stains and crayon marks:
If your child left marker stains or crayon marks from her artwork right on your countertop, don't worry - you can still remove them.  Try either acetone or lacquer thinner -- they are great for wiping marker stains and crayons off dark granite stones.  If your granite is on the lighter shade, then switch to hydrogen peroxide.  If these chemicals do not work, then try a stronger formula -- combine pure bleach with an all-purpose plaster to make a paste and then spread it over the ink stain (this also works for wine stains).  Let it sit for about half an hour, then remove the paste and rinse the area.

Cabinet-S-Top, 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330-239-3630

Monday, October 15, 2012

Laminate Countertops Overview

Courtesy of RSW Surfaces Countertop Guide

For the budget-conscious buyer, laminate surfaces offer an attractive, low-maintenance, affordable alternative to stone and solid surfaces without sacrificing style and appearance.  Today, laminate surfacing is second-to-none with amazing earth-tone colors, textures and patterns that are warm to the touch and feature the widest array of choices of any surfacing material.

Laminate surfaces are famous for easy care, and are highly resistant to stains and wear and tear.  Whatever pattern and color you choose, there's a laminate surface that will fit your decor at a price you can afford.

Laminate Summary:

General Care:  Warm water and mild soap

  • Inexpensive
  • Extensive array of styles, colors and patterns
  • Durable and functional
  • Easy care, cleaning and disinfecting
  • Perfect for active households with children
  • Liquid resistant and maintenance-free
  • Can chip
  • Laminate substrate is typically particle board
  • Laminate can separate from substrate if not properly bonded
  • Visble seams
  • Fair heat tolerance
  • Can melt and burn under extreme heat
  • Can fade in direct sunlight
Beware of:  Substrate and seam separation

Sealing Needed:                 No
Polishing Needed:              No
Stain Resistance:               Very Good
Heat Resistance:                Fair
Scratch Resistance:           Very Good
Bacteria Resistance:          Good
Mold/Mildew Resistance: Very Good
Impact Resistance:            Very Good
Chemical Resistance:        Very Good
Durability:                         Very Good
Porosity:                             Non Porous
Fabrication Versatility:    Excellent
Functionality:                    Very Good
Repairability:                    Good
Cleanability:                      Excellent
Visible Seams:                  Yes, consult with installer
Green Sustainability:       No

Composition:  Made of several layers of Kraft paper bonded together with plastic resins, under heat and very high pressure.  The topmost layer of resin-impregnated paper is colored and/or patterned.

Cabinet-S-Top, 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330-239-3630

Monday, October 8, 2012

Wood Countertops: Pros & Cons

Courtesy of RSW Surfaces Countertop Guide

Bring your design dreams to life with fine solid wood countertops, expertly crafted to bring elegance, warmth and sophistication to any environment.  Wood countertops add a unique, luminous touch to kitchens and bathrooms, turning the ordinary into something extraordinary.

You also have the option to choose recycled/reclaimed wood from original sources; including barns, factories, warehouses, textile mills and other commerical buildings.  Reclaimed wood is great for the environment, and each material has its own unique characteristics and history that adds warmth to kitchen countertops, bathrooms and beyond.

Wood Summary:

General care:  Warm water and mild soap

  • Beautiful, warm aesthetics
  • Good price
  • Decent durability
  • Simple care and cleaning
  • Can be refinished
  • Environmentally responsible
  • Excellent fabrication versatility with numerous edge profiles available
  • Susceptible to dings and scratches
  • Fair heat tolerance
  • Not recommended for active households
  • Needs periodic maintenance and oiling
Beware of:  Staining and bacteria if not properly maintained

Sealing Needed:                            Yes (periodic oiling)
Polishing Needed:                         No
Stain Resistance:                           Good
Heat Resistance:                            Fair
Scratch Resistance:                        Fair
Bacteria Resistance:                      Very Good
Mold/Mildew Resistance:              Very Good
Impact Resistance:                        Good
Chemical Resistance:                    Good
Durability:                                     Very Good
Porosity:                                        Slightly Porous
Fabrication Versatility:                  Excellent
Functionality:                                Very Good
Repairability:                                Very Good
Cleanability:                                  Excellent
Visible Seams:                              Yes
Green Sustainability:                    Yes
Recycled Products Available:        Yes

Composition:  Natural wood, reclaimed wood

Wood countertops add a stunning design treatment in your home, with a beautiful, natural appearance.  However, wood countertops do need more delicate care and maintenance to keep them looking good and to prevent bacteria.  Wood surfaces need more attention with spills to prevent staining and do require periodic maintenance and oiling.  Wood countertops are not recommended for active households where they are subject to more abuse and wear and tear.

Cabinet-S-Top, 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630

Monday, October 1, 2012

Solid Surface Countertops

Courtesy of RSW Countertop Guide

The fabrication versatility and broad range of styles, colors and products available on the market, make solid surfaces one of the most popular materials for countless applications.

What is a Solid Surface:

A solid surface material such as DuPont's Corian, Avonite or Staron is a composite surface made from natural minerals and acrylic polymers and resins.  Each manufacturer varies the recipe, heating and reaction times, and additives to achieve whatever their blend happens to be.  During manufacturing, colorants and particulars are added to achieve the vast array of colors and styles in the solid surfacing market.

There are many reasons solid surfaces are very popular.  The main reason is fabrication versatility; because of their composite make up, solid surfaces can be cut, routed, drilled, sculpted, bent or worked like a fine wood.  As a shapeable but durable material, the uses for solid surfaces are endless and continue to grow.  Other reasons are that solid surfaces are non-porous and can hold up to stains and other abuse without having the finish destroyed.  Solid surfaces are also popular due to their ease of repairs and inconspicuous seams.

Additionally, the broad range of styles, colors and products available on the market, make solid surfaces an ideal product for many commerical applications as well.  Solid surfaces, such as DuPont Corian, Avonite and 'green' products such as PaperStone can be found in countless retail, healthcare, and commerical establishments.  Due to its non-porous, hygiene-friendly attributes, solid surfaces are also popular with food preparation areas, cafeterias, food courts, restaurants, and restrooms.

Solid Surface products offer hundreds of beautiful colors and surface styles to meet the many needs of residential and commercial customers.  Solid varieties, shower surrounds, laundry areas, and office surroundings can be perfectly integrated into any interior setting.

Another benefit of solid surfaces are the endless design possiblities.  Sinks and backsplashes can be perfectly integrated into your countertop, giving you a solid one-piece unit with inconspicuous seams.  Simply put, there are no limits to the design possibilities of a solid surface countertop.

Solid Surface Summary:

General Care:  Warm water and mild soap

  • Various product brands to choose from
  • Extensive styles, colors and patterns
  • Durable and functional
  • Use fora very wide variety of applications
  • Inconspicuous seams
  • Perfect for food preparation and food serving areas
  • Hygiene-friendly
  • Can be shaped, formed and sculpted
  • Option to integrate solid surface sinks
  • Can scratch dulling over time/can be resurfaced

Sealing Needs:                         No
Polishing Needs:                     In Some Instances
Stain Resistance:                     Excellent
Heat Resistance:                      Fair
Scratch Resistance:                 Good
Bacteria Resistance:                Excellent
Mold/Mildew Resistance:         Excellent
Impact Resistance:                  Very Good
Chemical Resistance:               Very Good
Durability:                               Very Good
Porosity:                                   Non Porous
Fabrication Versatility                Excellent
Functionality:                            Exellent
Repairability:                             Excellent
Cleanability:                              Excellent
Visible Seams:                           Inconspicuous
Green Sustainability:                  Yes
Recycled Products Available:     Yes

Composition:  Natural minerals with acrylic polymers and resins.