Kitchens tend to be the most used space and are often referred to as the center or heart of a home. From makeshift office to family meeting place most home kitchens are used for more than just cooking. Finding a way to juxtapose all these various functions while creating a beautiful space can be difficult. There are many options to choose from when it comes to your kitchen.
Kitchen Flooring – Choosing the right flooring for your kitchen is more than just a color choice. Kitchen floors have to be durable, resistant to stains and most of all easy to clean. The two most common choices when it comes to kitchen flooring are linoleum and tile however you can have flooring made of everything from bamboo to rubber to concrete. Each choice offers different downsides and benefits. There are a lot of variables to consider when making this choice. Is you kitchen walked in/through often? Do you have indoor pets and kids? Do you spend a lot of time cooking/standing in the kitchen? What type of sub flooring do you have? All these questions should be considered when choosing a floor that is easy to clean, moisture resistant and durable.
Kitchen Cabinets – Kitchen cabinets are the ‘face’ of the kitchen, they affect the entire look of the space. It’s crucial you have a cabinet layout that suites your needs and makes things easy to access. Your choices here dictate the theme for the rest of your kitchen as well. There are so many choices it’s staggering and since cabinets can make up a major portion of the cost of a kitchen remodel, it is important to take your time with this decision.
Nowadays most prefabricated cabinets are plywood with a veener, above average quality and more than suited for the average home owner. Prefabricated cabinets come in set sizes and although they fit most kitchens fine they usually require spacers, shims or wood panels to fill in gaps. This can lead to a lot of unused space. Custom cabinets can be designed and fabricated specifically for your kitchen to make the most use of all available space. Some people will tell you that custom cabinets are better however it depends entirely on the build quality. One thing you’ll want to pay close attention to is the way the cabinets are joined. You can find cabinets joined by nails, wood, staples or glue but the best by far are dovetail joints which interlock and are glued creating a very strong bond. You should also make sure your getting solid wood or plywood and not particleboard. Particleboard is a low quality material and will not stand up to the heat and moisture of a kitchen. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money and like your layout you can restain, repaint, reface, veneer or refinish your cabinets as well. This can cost half the price of a full remodel but you still get a fresh new look.
Kitchen Counters – Countertops command almost as much attention as cabinets. Something to consider when faced with the mountain of options is durability and ease of cleaning. Your counter tops will face spills, drops and countless other accidents that they must be able to endure and recover from with little or no effort from the homeowner. Granite, quartz, tile, stainless steel, laminate and wood are just a few of the many choices available for your countertop. Some materials need more care and maintenance such as regular coating or being careful not to put hot pots or pans on them. It’s important to note that you do not have to use the same counters throughout the entire kitchen. You can go with a less durable material on an area you don’t expect to see much traffic. You can add a section of butcher board so you don’t have to pull a block out every time you need to cut. There are a lot of options to play with when it comes to counter tops. Just remember to use durable, easy to clean materials near your sinks and cooking areas, and save the less durable materials for the more showy areas of the kitchen like the bar top and island. The last thing to consider is the edge, there are a few choices available flat and rounded. If you like the style a rounded, bullnose or custom edge detail is not only safer for children it’s also more comfortable to lean on.
Kitchen Backsplash – A beautiful backsplash can add an extra dimension and pop to your kitchen. A backsplash should compliment the counter top and help it stand out a little more against the cabinets. You can have a backsplash made from just about anything. Tile, stone, or just painted drywall. A backsplash like a counter top should be easy to clean withstand scratches and cracks. A backsplash is a good place to go a little wild with design or create something unique.
Kitchen Sinks – There are a variety of kitchen sinks available in all kinds of materials such as stainless steel and cast iron. If your looking for something different you can go with a stone like granite or a composite like quartz you can even get gold or copper sinks depending on your budget and taste. Once you’ve chosen a good material and fixtures you’ll want to go over the mounting options you have available. Drop in sinks have a lip that goes above the countertop and are the most common option. Undermount sinks attach underneath the sink and are a little more expensive to install or replace than drop in sinks. Depending on the type of countertop you have undermounting might not be an option since certain types of countertops are too weak to support the weight.
Kitchen Lightning – Lighting a kitchen is a little more complex than you might think. There’s ambient and task lighting to consider as well as natural light coming in from the windows. Sometimes changing the position of a window in a kitchen can make a major difference in how it feels to cook in the morning or evening. Thankfully most people have gotten away from bulb lighting and are going with LED’s which makes it much easier to focus and place lights in specific areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. Mounting LED’s under upper cabinets is a good way to supply task lighting. Using canned lights or larger LED’s on the ceiling can create beautiful ambient lighting. LED’s can also allow for multiple color configurations as well. Choosing the right positioning and type of lighting is very important as it will affect your ability to cook or use the kitchen when natural light is not available. Making the best use of natural light is equally important as it will save you from having to run any kind of lights during the day which can save money on your electric bill.
Appliances – The appliances you choose both large and small are entirely dependent on how you use your kitchen. Appliances without a doubt can make or break a kitchens functionality. Finding appliances that go with the style your targeting as well as perform well and do everything you need them to is a challenge to say the least. Choosing the right fridge, freezer, oven, cook top and other appliances is a daunting task the main thing you want to ask yourself is what kind of cook are you? Do you cook everything from scratch? Do you put together meals from prepackaged foods? Do you just use an oven and microwave to heat your T.V. dinners? If you cook from scratch having a top notch oven and range are crucial. Having a range with more than 2 power burners can save you a lot of time, a induction cook top can save you even more. On the flip hand of that if all you do is microwave and us the oven you’ll be fine with a single or double power burner cook top. Same goes with the fridge. If your cooking meals mostly from prepackaged foods like frozen vegetables than you obviously need more freezer space than someone who’s cooking all their meals from scratch using fresh ingredients. All in all taking time to read reviews, consumer reports and consulting with experts pays massive dividends in the long term when it comes to appliances. Each have benefits and downsides however in this case someones downside could be your benefit so it’s good do do research and look for what suits you.
Thanks for reading if you have any questions or are interested in getting your kitchen remodel leave us a comment or call us today.