Monday, October 28, 2013

10 Kitchen Remodel Tips the Pros Think you Should Know

by Cultivate



When it comes to kitchen remodels, there isn't much room for error. The consequences of the decisions you make now, good or bad, will last you for years to come. (Sure you might not need a double wall oven now, but will you in five years?) When in doubt, design and remodel professionals often offer the best advice for avoiding potentially regrettable decisions. Whether or not you decide to hire a pro for your remodel, read on for 10 thoughtful, before-you-remodel tips from knowledgeable designers and architects.
 


 


 
Cabinets

 

“Invest in good cabinetry—it’s one of the most expensive kitchen features to replace later. If you have to do so, you are basically looking at gutting the whole kitchen.”


 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Kitchen Island
 
“Countertop height determines how comfortable you are working in the kitchen. Start by measuring the distance from the floor to your flexed elbow; then adjust based on the task at hand. For prep work, the counter should be three to four inches below this measurement, five to seven inches below for cooking surfaces, and two to three inches below for the sink. Beyond that, design your prep area so you face the center of the room when working and can make eye contact with your family and guests. You will enjoy entertaining more because you can be sociable.”
 
 
 
Countertop Materials
“The single most important aesthetic feature in a kitchen is the countertop. Select one in the same way you select an everyday set of dishware. Food should look good on it, and it should be easy to clean. A quartz counter offers performance and aesthetic at a reasonable cost; a deep stainless steel sink is a wonderful compliment to most natural stones.”
 
 
 
Backsplash

“Keep outlets out of the backsplash. I always put a plug strip out of sight underneath the upper cabinets instead.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Backsplash Tile
 
“When selecting tile, make sure you hold a few samples up against the wall to make sure they work with the countertop. Samples can look entirely different in the actual space.”
 
 
 
 
Appliances
“Start the design process by going appliance shopping. It helps you discover how you want the kitchen to function, and it determines design choices later. It’ll seem intimidating at first, but once you’re done you’ll be ready to tackle more complex decisions.”
 
 
 
 
 
Lighting
 
“Keep this in mind when choosing lighting: Darker finished surfaces are a lot more light absorptive. An all-white kitchen requires dramatically less light (40 to 50 percent) than a kitchen with dark wood cabinets and walls. Also, a highly polished countertop acts like a mirror so any under-cabinet lighting will show in its reflection.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
Flooring
“Kitchen floors are tricky. Although stone and tile are beautiful, they are uncomfortable to stand on for a long time. They can also be noisy and fatal to your dishware if something falls. My favorite kitchen floors are wood—they are warm and comfortable and can be painted or stenciled to lighten the room and add character. "
 
 
 
 
Layout
 
"Avoid dead space in the middle of a kitchen—either make it large enough to include an island or narrow enough that you can use the room efficiently."
 
 
 
 
 
Overall
“Think of your kitchen as a modern day drawing room, make it a comfortable place for friends and family to spend time.”
 
 
Ready to remodel?  Let Cabinet-S-Top help you transform your kitchen and take the hassle out of the remodeling process.  We are located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ecofriendly Kitchen: Healthier Kitchen Cabinets

by Michelle Jeresek
 

Earth-friendly kitchen cabinet materials and finishes offer a
host of health benefits for you and the planet. Here's a rundown


Ecofriendly cabinets aren't just for tree huggers. Anyone wanting to improve their home’s indoor air quality or reduce the toxins they and their families are exposed to should pay careful attention to the makeup of their kitchen cabinets. Here are some handsome ecofriendly cabinet choices, along with explanations of what makes them healthier. 





Formaldehyde-free alternatives. Cabinets, and particularly their interior boxes, are commonly constructed of particleboard, fiberboard or plywood — all of which are often made with added urea formaldehyde binders or glues, which release fumes.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. A recent U.S. Congress bill requires that formadehyde emissions in these substrates be reduced to safer levels by 2013. Until then, err on the safe side with formaldehyde-free and low-VOC alternatives, including FSC-certified plywood, bamboo plywood and agrifiber boards, which make smart use of agricultural by-products, an annually renewable resource. Formaldehyde-free cabinets can be stylish, as this kitchen demonstrates.



No- and low-VOC finishes. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are chemical fumes emitted from some materials. For improved indoor air quality, select finishes labeled "no-VOC" or "low-VOC." Water-based products — with naturally fewer VOCs — are best for a  safe and durable cabinet finish.

The quality of water-based finishes has improved in recent years as the demand for safer alternatives has increased. For added confidence of product safety, you can seek certifications from Green Seal or GreenGuard — two industry-independent organizations that give their seal of approval to building products with low chemical emissions.

This airy and light-filled kitchen used no- and low-VOC finishes as part of a whole-house approach to sustainability.


 
FSC-certified wood. Making a sustainable wood choice can be as easy as seeking certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which ensures, in part, that wood products come from responsibly harvested forests. This stylish San Francisco kitchen utilizes FSC-certified cabinet boxes.










Salvaged wood. The most sustainable option, salvaged wood delivers richness and personality with its history. Seek out wood with a story that you will enjoy sharing with its admirers. This sunny kitchen is outfitted with salvaged Douglas fir cabinets built onsite.





Wood veneer. Veneer, just a thin slice of wood adhered to a substrate, provides the look and feel of wood without using an excessive amount of valuable hardwood. The wenge veneer on this kitchen's cabinets proves that veneer can be just as luxe as solid wood.









Renewable wood: bamboo. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, and it's naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods. In this kitchen, Plyboo, an FSC-certified bamboo product, is set in a darker wood frame for an exotic look.








 

Renewable wood: Lyptus. These cabinets are made of Lyptus, a relatively new engineered product from a hybrid eucalyptus species grown on Brazilian plantations. Lyptus touts the beneficial traits of hardwood and reaches maturity in just 15 years, a quarter of the time needed for typical hardwoods. The appearance is similar to that of mahogany or cherry, with a fine grain.








Durability. Durability is an essential component of ecofriendly cabinets. Choose well-built cabinets with robust hardware that can hold up to years of operation, exposure to heat from the range and steam from the dishwasher. When making decisions, do so with the expectation that your kitchen will be in place for decades.




Cabinet-S-Top,  1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~ www.cabinet-s-top.com