8 Kitchen trends that are HOT!

#1 White on White Kitchens

White appliances are so much easier to keep clean than stainless, which smudges if you as much as look at it. Plus, a white look is always on trend because it’s able to blend into any style.

And since stainless has filtered down to the masses, it no longer has that expensive and exclusive cache it once had. But white will always have staying power.

#2 Smaller Appliances

Small kitchens are big these days. Micro-living is taking off for millennials and retirees. Owners of multigenerational homes are installing tiny, secondary kitchens for returning adult children and elderly parents.

Typically, these micro-kitchens feature a two-burner cooktop, combo microwave/convection oven, 18-inch dishwasher, and 60-inch fridge or refrigerator drawer.

#3 Quartz Countertops

“Consumers Reports” says quartz is the toughest countertop material, which resists scratches, burns, and chips. Crushed quartz stone is mixed with resin to produce countertops that range from solid colors to the look of real granite, but they’ll beat natural stone in toughness. It’s easy to maintain, and unlike granite, you don’t have to seal it annually to prevent stains.

#4 LED Rope Lighting

Ribbons of LEDs are showing up in the weirdest — and most wonderful — kitchen places: Along toe kicks as nightlights; on the inside of cabinet doors to show off grandma’s china; concealed in crown molding to wash ceilings with light. It’s a pretty cool kitchen trend that’ll stick around because:

  • LEDs come in a rainbow of colors, from bright to soft white, red, blue, and green.

  • You can get creative about where you install them.

  • LEDs emit virtually no heat, so you can keep them on forever without burning cabinets or walls.

  • LEDs are energy efficient, lasting 50,000 hours on average — five times longer than CFLs.

And they’re coming down in price, making them more affordable for the average homeowner than they were a few years ago.

#5 Multiple Small Fridges Instead of One Big One

Refrigeration is no longer limited to a single, hulking unit. Homeowners are customizing their cooling needs with “point of use” refrigeration, adding cool where they need it.

That could mean adding a counter-height produce fridge in your prep island, next to a wine cooler for the adults, and a juice/soda fridge for the kids.

Don’t think we’re talking about dorm-fridge quality and prices. U-Line point-of-use refrigerators, for example, offer (depending on the model) 11 shelf positions, full-extension slide-out bins, and five food and beverage settings labeled deli, market, pantry, root cellar and beverage. Units typically sell for $2,500 to $4,000.

Refrigeration is no longer limited to a single, hulking unit. Homeowners are customizing their cooling needs with “point of use” refrigeration, adding cool where they need it.

That could mean adding a counter-height produce fridge in your prep island, next to a wine cooler for the adults, and a juice/soda fridge for the kids.

Don’t think we’re talking about dorm-fridge quality and prices. U-Line point-of-use refrigerators, for example, offer (depending on the model) 11 shelf positions, full-extension slide-out bins, and five food and beverage settings labeled deli, market, pantry, root cellar and beverage. Units typically sell for $2,500 to $4,000.

#6 Touch-Activated Faucets

Touch-activated faucets are bursting out the fad category into the kitchen must-have column. In fact, in 2013 their popularity jumped to 30% from 20% the year before.

On the face of it, touch-activated seems a little gimmicky, and with prices starting around $350, it’s certainly a lot of money. But it’s great for those times when you’ve got dirty, chicken-goopy hands, and for those in your household who refuse to turn water on and off between tasks because it’s too much hassle. And as water becomes scarcer, anything that saves gallons will have value — and save you on your water bills.

A reason we recommend touch free over hands-free: As you know from public bathrooms with hands-free activiated faucets, they’ll often turn on when you don’t want them to and not turn on when you do.

#7 Transitional Design

More than 60% of NKBA designers say contemporary, with its sleek simplicity, is the fastest-growing kitchen style. Fussy doodads and decorative and distressed glazes are out.

Contemporary looks sleek and clean, but can also come across as cold. Contemporary design encourages a non-cluttered look, which can be hard to maintain in a busy home. So it’s better to hedge your bets with transitional design, which combines contemporary and traditional to exploit the best parts of each.

#8 Accessibility

Aging in place is a big snore — until you get to that age when the right kitchen trends will allow you to stay in your home. And since a large part of the population is reaching retirement age, accessibility finally is catching on — even with homeowners who aren’t intentionally seeking those features. Why? Because the designs make so much sense.

It’s not a trend that’s going away. The NKBA’s 2014 survey shows that 56% of designers specified accessible/universal design features in kitchens during 2013, and most believe they’ll add more and more features in the years to come.

Three here-to-stay trends:

1. Side-opening ovens at counter height: You don’t have to reach up or bend down to fetch your turkey, just comfortably slide it out. It’s one of those slap-your-forehead tweaks that make cooking so much more ergonomic and accessible for everyone.

2. Drawers with deep pockets: Base cabinets have evolved from back-bending storage for pots and pans to deep drawer space — typically 24 inches deep — that can hold just about everything in your kitchen.

Continuing that evolution — heck, let’s call a revolution — are deep drawer organizers, ranging from $7 to more than $200, that make sure everything stays in its place, rather than rumble around in chaos. You can customize drawers with:

  • Slots to hold plates and store knives

  • Dividers to keep your water bottles separate from your vinegar collection

  • Stackable trays that keep utensils away from flatware

  • Removable boxes that let you reorganize the drawers at will

3. Microwave drawers: Just like the side-opening oven, by installing the microwave below counter height in a drawer, it’s easier for everyone to use. Just open it up put your food inside, close, and start it. That’s better than above-oven height, which has been the typical location for many years.

Kitchen Decorating Dilemmas

Kitchen Decorating Dilemmas

So you have this newly completed kitchen with the cabinets you’ve always wanted, a beautiful countertop, shiny new hardware, and fancy appliances, but one thing is missing… the décor! Just as there are rules when it comes to designing a kitchen, there are some rules of thumb when decorating it.
We’ve answered a few kitchen decorating dilemmas below…
Which stools should I get based on my countertop height?
It’s important to select a stool with the right seat height for your countertop. If you select one that’s too short, it will be hard to reach the bar and one that’s too high will force you to slouch over. Both instances also look off when placed at the counter, but you don’t have to make that mistake!
Here’s a guide to help you get the right seat—
Counter Stool: This stool has a seat height of 24″ and is best used at a countertop that is 36″ high, a typical height for kitchen counters.
Bar Stool: A bar stool has a seat height of 30″ and is designed to be used at a raised countertop.

This kitchen island has the appropriate height stools based on the height of the countertop.
What do I put in my glass cabinets?
Glass inserts in cabinets are a great way to break up cabinetry and provide visual interest in a kitchen. They are also fabulous for displaying your most special of pieces and can help bring style into the space.
It’s best to edit what you put in your glass front cabinets because if the cabinets look cramped or cluttered, it takes away from the specialness of the display. If the kitchen is all white, glass display cabinets are an opportunity to add color with a bright vase. On the other end of the spectrum, you could place only white decorative pieces in the cabinets to create a crisp, clean look.

A creative use for glass cabinets placed right off the kitchen, this homeowner has their collection of books on display.
How high do I hang pendants over an island?
Pendants over a kitchen island are a helpful way to add task lighting, as well as add interest, to the space. Hanging them at the correct height over the countertop is important. Too high and they will draw attention to the wrong area of your space. Too low and you might bump your head on them. Plus, they can interfere with your line of sight. Pendants look best when they are hung 28-34″ above the counter, or 72′ above the floor.

 

 

These pendants provide extra task lighting and plenty of style in this customer’s kitchen!
Looking for some guidance on your kitchen remodel? Cabinets.com has professional kitchen designers on staff ready to help customers plan out their space. If you’d like design help for your kitchen, submit a design request to start working with a Cabinets.com kitchen designer today!

Kitchen Cabinet Color Trend This Summer 2018

 

New Kitchen Cabinet Color Trends

This year, the new colors on the block in the kitchen cabinet scene are navy blue and purple. You might find this surprising – but if we scratch the surface a little we can quickly understand why. Perhaps, in school, you learned about color theory and if you need a little reminder, colors can reflect and influence our mood. All the colors in the spectrum are organized on a color wheel. The wheel considers some colors “warm” and some “cool”.

Cabinetcorp-Summer-Kitchen-Color-Trend-2The Color Wheel Low-Down

The colors yellow, red and orange are warm. When you sit in a cozy yellow kitchen you feel just that, cozy and warm. All because your mind sees yellow and reads warm, comforting, and sunny.

The colors green, blue and purple are cool colors. This means when you are sitting in a kitchen with a blue color scheme you are likely to feel chilled out and cooled down.

Now, is it making more sense why navy blue and purple are the two new hot trends as summer approaches? Of course, there isn’t one particular reason why a color begins trending at a given moment. However, the fact that people are anticipating the approaching heat of summer seems a simple driving force towards choosing cooler color schemes.

The Trends – Introducing Navy Blue

Cabinetcorp-Summer-Kitchen-Color-Trend-3Navy blue is a delicious color which often goes unsung and unappreciated. However, at the moment, navy blue is trending and finally it’s moment of glory has come. At the moment, we can see kitchens using navy blue cabinets splashed over every magazine and blog.

The color is very versatile and works well on cabinets in a kitchen with contrasting lighter colors. For example, in a two-tone color kitchen with white and blue, the navy blue cabinets act as a strong contrast with white walls and wood highlights. In a one-toned blue color kitchen, the navy blue cabinets can contrast with other blue elements used in lighter tones.

Navy blue comes in a wide range of different tones. You can find rich shades of the color, to more muted shades which lend well to matt textures. Once you know you want to use navy blue in your kitchen, you can choose the shade you would like based on the other colors you plan to use in your kitchen makeover.

Navy blue gives weight to the room, and the lighter elements act as a contrast. The result? A modern space, a new take on classic forms, and a refreshing space for you to entertain in.

The trends – Introducing Purple

Cabinetcorp-Summer-Kitchen-Color-Trend-4Purple is a strong color reflecting creativity and innovation. This year, the color is trending in the design world. Perhaps, it is no coincidence Pantone chose UltraViolet as their color of the year for 2018.

Even so, as a powerful color, you need to use purple with care. Purple is not a color to create a one-tone kitchen with purple everywhere. Of course, there is nothing to stop you but you might raise a few eyebrows! Rather, you can use purple as an accent tool, and in this way introduce sparks of creativity into your kitchen space.

You can use bright or pastel purple kitchen cabinets to add a dash of spirit to your kitchen. The cabinets then act as a focal point. You can combine purple kitchen cabinets with a lot of white or grey elsewhere in the kitchen which balances the power of the color very well.

Purple also comes in darker and more muted tones, so you don’t have to think purple necessarily has to mean big, bright, and dramatic. Not necessarily. By using darker eggplant tones on your kitchen cabinets, you can create a beautiful smoldering room. Darker shades of purple work very well with metals, and grey colors elsewhere in the room.

The Existing Favors – Introducing Neo Colors

A less surprising trend in the kitchen design world is the ongoing use of neo colors. This means the three colors, black, white and grey.

White

Cabinetcorp-Summer-Kitchen-Color-Trend-5It’s a well-established fact that white is a popular choice for kitchens, and continues to be an essential color tool. White is a great choice for a one tone kitchen but works well with any other color in a two-tone kitchen as well. Using white is a good way to make space in your kitchen for bright colors. This is because white doesn’t compete and allows the brighter color to do it’s thing while tempering down the color’s boldness so it doesn’t overwhelm.

Grey

Two Surprising Kitchen Cabinet Color Trends This SummerGrey has been steadily rising in popularity in kitchen color themes over the last number of years. While grey sometimes gets a bad rap, the color is actually very versatile and useful. With some care, you can use grey in the kitchen and achieve some truly beautiful results.

When using grey, think about the colors you can partner with it. Gray works well with carefully placed bright accent colors and the result can give a very modern feel to the room.

You can also use grey as a stepping stone between white and black in the kitchen. In general, too much dramatic contrast in the form of white and black in the kitchen doesn’t work. However, you can use well-placed grey features to temper the contrast between them.

Dark Colors (Black, Espresso, Dark Grey)

Cabinetcorp-Summer-Kitchen-Color-Trend-7Dark goes with everything and works great in the kitchen. Especially, if you are itching to do something bright and bold. Some carefully placed black elements with bright highlights or accent walls can create a kitchen with a big wow effect. But, take care not to go overboard with dark. The color needs other colors to contrast with or to temper it down.

How To Achieve The Custom-made Vibe In Your Kitchen

Choosing which cabinets or kitchen island to install in your kitchen is not all that hard, given the amount of guides and catalogs you can find online. However, the real headache starts when you think about the custom design – that’s why, today I’ll try to show you what are your options if you want to create a truly unique kitchen, by mixing and matching pieces of ordinary design to create something individual.

Why the custom vibe?

I’m sure every single one of us experiences the same thing, at some point in their lives – we watch catalogs or websites about interior design, looking at the template examples of certain styles, and think to ourselves that we would kill for a house like that. However, as you get more into the interior design and all its nuances, it becomes apparent that it’s hard to impress anyone with a house which may indeed have all the elements of a given style, yet lack the custom and personalized twist to it.

While there is nothing wrong with template houses, the custom-made furniture and elements of design are what instantly signal any of your guests that the owner of the house they’ve just entered is a bit more experienced and seasoned in the matter of interior design, than your average catalog reader.

In my honest opinions, the kitchen is the interior where people crave the custom design the most – after all, it’s the heart of our home, and every heart is one of a kind, so your kitchen should be no different but individual and unique.

Let’s take a closer look at accomplishing a stylish yet individual kitchen, by mixing the core elements of a given design, with custom twists in the design of cabinets and kitchen island.

Kitchen molding

There aren’t many design moves which come close to the cabinet molding in terms of adding the sense of a custom style. Adding a fancy molding will not only create that but also change the way your kitchen cabinetry is perceived from ordinary to rich and finished.

Contemporary kitchen with a crown molding. |

Molding pieces can be used alone, or together with others to create some really interesting designs – everything is up to your creativity, and of course, the style in which your kitchen was designed, as the molding should be more or less cohesive in style with the style of your kitchen.

There are plenty of molding styles to choose from, and they vary from relatively simple to really complicated and impressive ones – let’s see what are the most popular ones. With any of these, rest assured that your kitchen will be everything but boring and ordinary.

·         Traditional crown – one of the simpler molding designs, and the most popular too. It fills the gap between your cabinets and the ceiling, and not much past that.

·         Stacked crown molding – if your ceiling is way higher than where the cabinetry ends, consider stacked crown molding. Many pieces of molding are stacked on top of each other, finished in a rich and luxurious way. The price reflects that, though.

·         Stepped crown molding – in the case of stepped crown molding, different cabinetry pieces have moldings of different heights. An unusual look, but an intriguing one nonetheless.

·         Edge molding – this solution is about molding the outside edges, and not only the tops of your cabinetry and shelves. Look it up, it’s very efficient at providing your kitchen with a highly finished and custom look.

·         Shoe molding – it’s not only the top of your cabinets that could use some molding. Shoe molding is about molding the base of your kitchen island or cabinets, creating a more fluent transition between the cabinets and the floor.

These are the most popular types of molding, but there are many more options, so if that’s something you’d like to use to make your kitchen more unique and interesting, look them up – I’m sure you’ll find something right for your taste.

Custom legs never fail to deliver

Another area of the kitchen design which can be used to enhance the overall feeling of your kitchen, and whether it feels like a template kitchen or a truly unique one are the legs of your kitchen table or kitchen island.

Naturally, there are some well-proven solutions to picking the legs of your kitchen furniture – the more detailed, interesting legs are considered to work best in the traditional, rustic or cottage kitchens, while the simple, minimalistic legs are preferred by the owners of modern kitchens.

Keep in mind, however, that these solutions aren’t obligatory, especially so if you want your kitchen to show the signs of custom-made design. So if you’d like to break the convention and create something unique, then by all minds, you can match the legs in a different way.

Tip: you may want to consider attaching legs to your cabinets, which are installed above the ground, creating a mix between a wardrobe and kitchen cabinetry. This way, your cabinets will feel more as elements of kitchen furniture.

Don’t use the standard colors

Considering this article is all about distinguishing your kitchen from the plethora of other, standard kitchen, then maybe you should consider using a different kind of hues and colors on your cabinetry?

While the neutral colors, and by that, I mean black and white, are the most popular colors in the kitchens around the world, if you want to break the convention and make your kitchen unique, try bold colors on your cabinets.

Let me just tell you, that such a move is a pretty risky one, so you need to know exactly what you’re doing – always pick colors which are lively, yet in the overall tone of your kitchen. For example, in the case of a black kitchen, use some strong colors like red and purple, but in the case of the subtle white kitchens, try out light greens or blues.

Not only will that add a lively vibe to your kitchen, but also make all the other colors, the ones on your walls and ceiling, for example, or the ones coming from the unpainted materials in your kitchen, come to life and play a more substantial role through contrast with the newly added hue.

Tip: for an even more intriguing effect, you can consider coloring only some of your cabinets in a lively tone, leaving the rest the standard way, black, white or wood. However, remember this requires proper knowledge of color mixing, so look up guides about color schemes.

Cabinet fronts

Another aspect of your kitchen cabinetry which can be used to create the custom vibe are the cabinet fronts.

Taking into account the simple fact that the cabinet fronts constitute for around 30% of the size of your walls in your kitchen, and in some cases, even more, the impact of changing the cabinet fronts into something more stylish and unique than the template fronts is huge.

Let’s see, what are the most popular cabinet fronts you can find on the market? I’m sure from these, you can pick something to completely alter the look of your kitchen.

Glass fronts – they add depth, make your space appear larger, and above all else, can be used together with other types of cabinet fronts. The glass itself can be frosted, seeded or transparent, allowing for a great deal of creativity. And then, there is the fact that glass fronts allow you to enhance the design of your kitchen with decorative kitchenware behind the glass.

·         Louvered fronts – sophisticated and intriguing, but also expensive and luxurious, the louvered fronts can be a real asset to any kitchen. Horizontal slats make your interior appear wider, too.

·         Shaker fronts – the most popular fronts these days. They get the job done, but don’t count on the ” wow” effect with these fronts. However, they work if you’re aiming to create an elegant and minimalistic kitchen.

·         Flat fronts – similarly to the shaker fronts, these were designed to serve in the modern kitchens. Not much to say about these, to be honest, but if you’re looking for something to improve your kitchen design with sleek and seamless design, then go with the flat fronts.

·         Beadboard fronts – excellent fronts if you’re trying to introduce a cottage vibe into your kitchen. The only problem with these pretty fronts is the fact that they are a bit harder to maintain than say, flat fronts. However, if you don’t mind the extra effort you’ll have to put into cleaning them, they are a real eye-candy.

·         Inset fronts – similarly to the louvered fronts, they will cost you extra, but they are worth the extra expense, at least in my opinion. You install these inside of the cabinets, which makes them take just a bit less space than the other kinds – which might prove to be crucial if you’re an owner of a smaller kitchen.

·         Distressed fronts – these are not about the construction of the fronts themselves, but about the style they come in – you can order any of the aforementioned fronts in the distressed option, which means they will be produced with the signs of wear and tear, imitating something of age, and used for a long time. If you want to create a traditional, rustic vibe, then consider the distressed fronts – they really make the design of your kitchen look less standard.

Now, of course, you can still come up with something new and order a totally custom-made cabinet fronts, but any of these are fine if you use them to enhance the custom vibe in the kitchen – you can use them the way they were designed, like pick flat fronts for a modern kitchen, or break the convention with seemingly mismatched fronts for your kitchen style.

Tip: for additional “wow” effect, think about using more than one style of cabinet fronts in your kitchen. However, remember that’s always risky because there is a thin line between stylish design and chaos.

Corbels enhance the design and create atmosphere

Corbels aren’t something you see just in any kitchen – in fact, they aren’t all that popular yet. That’s because they are a bold and distinctive feature of a kitchen they happen to be in, and some people are still afraid of using them.

Since you’re looking for ways to add the custom-made feeling to your kitchen, then maybe they are just what you need.

Corbels work best in the traditional, luxurious kitchens, but not only there, as you can choose from a variety of oversized, detailed corbels,

subtle ones and even plain, minimalistic. Whatever it is that will be cohesive with the design of your kitchen, I’m sure you can find corbels in any shape and form for just a perfect match.

Storage is not only for the functionality

When talking about storage, people usually think about the practical aspect of it, but that’s not everything there is to it. You can easily make the storage of your kitchen enhance the design, and make a statement about the character of your kitchen.

Custom- made drawers are becoming more and more popular these days, because they are not only practical but also underline the habits of the owners of the kitchen they happen to be in. We’re looking for something unique and individual today, so cabinetry which shows your individual interest is just priceless.

Be it the baking sheets, spice racks or pull-out drawers with special holders for the wine bottles, as soon as you pull out such a special drawer, all of your guests will immediately notice that not only is your kitchen stylish and beautiful, but it also reflects all of your individual habits and lifestyles. It’s hard for a kitchen to be more individual than that, right?

That’s it for today – I’m sure that with any of these kitchen design solutions, your kitchen will immediately gain the name of a unique, custom-made and individual interior. As always, don’t forget to show the results of your design in the comments!

 

 

 

SHOULD I REPLACE MY KITCHEN CABINETS OR REFACE THEM?

If your kitchen cabinets have become frail with age, you must be hoping to give your kitchen a new look. When it comes to kitchen remodeling, many people have a difficult time deciding whether they should replace their kitchen cabinets or reface them. There are many factors to consider when deciding on cabinet replacing vs cabinet refacing.

Cost Difference

Ten years ago, the main reason why people were refacing their cabinets and replacing the doors was mainly due to cost. In more recent years, the cost of the full cabinet has gone down and the quality has actually gotten better. So, the cost difference is not that much more to replace your cabinets completely.

Veneering the Face Frame

One of the main things to consider when you are replacing your kitchen cabinets is the face frame veneer. A contractor who would reface your cabinets would just veneer the face frames, rather than replacing them. They would veneer the face frame with a new color, and then put a new door. The problem with this method is that you are just covering up something that is still old. The structure and integrity of the cabinet doesn’t change or get any better. On the surface it looks a little better, but you still have old cabinets, which will be noticeable mainly in the interior. It’s similar to the new tub coverings where you are basically just covering up dirt (not removing dirt.)

Style and Color Choices

The options are more limited as far as styles and colors when you are going through the refacing process versus getting a completely new cabinets. When you replace your kitchen cabinets, you have the choice to completely change the look and layout of your kitchen.

Damage

If you have any damage to the old cabinets and you just reface them, you are still going to have that damage and possible any damage on the interior or structure of the existing cabinets. Refacing does not make sense when your existing cabinets are already beginning to fall apart or are not well-built. Refacing also does not solve rusting and structural issues in your kitchen cabinets.

Installation

A common assumption is that it is a lot easier to do the install and construction for refacing vs. installing new kitchen cabinets, when this is actually not necessarily true.

It is actually harder to work with the old kitchen cabinets (getting them veneered and stained with the new color of the door) versus tearing everything out and starting fresh. No time is gained on the installation of new cabinets, since there is a lot of work involved with putting a new facelift on an old product.

Quality Difference

The quality of a refaced cabinet will be the same quality that you had with the old cabinets. The door does not affect the quality of the entire cabinet box. The new door may be made out of a better material than the old door, but the structure of the entire cabinet box will not change. Many times, contractors don’t even put new doors on. They just reface and resurface the old door so you basically have the exact same thing you had when you started – all old cabinets.

You are seeing a lot less of refacing kitchen cabinets in the past ten years, ever since the cost started to be about the same as replacing your entire kitchen. Even the installation cost is about the same now. For the same money, you can get a brand new kitchen of your style and color choice, knowing that the quality is much better!

 

Maximize Your Tax Refund with These Value Cabinets Kitchen Remodeling Tips

whs

whsTax season is the perfect time to make decisions for a kitchen remodel project. When you maximize your refund, you are making a premier investment to help raise the overall value of your home. Learn the top reasons you should choose to remodel, upgrade ideas you can tackle for $1000 or less, and larger projects to make a different in the value of your house.

Why Remodel?

Whether you plan on staying in your home for a few years or decades, anyone can benefit from a kitchen remodel. To start, remodeling allows you to improve the functionality of the space to meet your needs. This includes storage, appliances, and work space. Spend time evaluating what you need in the space if you plan on staying for the long term. Planning a move? Make the space attractive to prospective buyers. This includes adding quality stone counters, energy efficient appliances, and new cabinets Look at trends and what other homes selling in your area feature to help you determine what to do.

Small Upgrades for $1000 or Less

Have a small tax return? There is still much you can do.

  •          Paint: A fresh coat of paint will revitalize the space. Choose a lighter color and consider an accent wall if would like to mix things up. You can choose paint for the wall, as well as shiplap wood or wallpaper.
  •          Fixtures: Knobs, handles, electrical outlet covers, lights—all of these fixtures can eventually become dated. Updated all of them to be consistent and match your style. When choosing a fixture finish, such as brass, brushed nickel or gold, use that same color throughout your home.
  •          Backsplash: A great way to give your kitchen a refreshed look is with a backsplash! You can work with your local stone company to find patterns and designs that fit your price range. Kitchen backsplashes are a perfect project to pair with a fresh coat of paint.

 

Larger Projects to Consider for Increasing Value

If you have a larger budget for your home, you can put your tax check towards larger upgrades and renovations. This is one of the best ways to cut costs and avoid putting too much on charge cards if you do not have all of the funds upfront. Some of these ideas include:

  •        Energy efficient appliances: For a smaller additional expense, energy efficient appliances will help you to save in the long run.
  •        Flooring: If the flooring in your home, especially your kitchen, is outdated and in rough shape, consider replacing it. Hardwood in particular is a great choice. It is easy to clean and hypoallergenic.
  •        Layout change: Another way your go-to granite and cabinetry specialist can help you with your remodel project is with a layout change. If your kitchen is inefficient, work with them to create a new layout that better fits the space. This will cover cabinets, counters, islands, nooks, and more.

Make sure you know all of the ways to save on your kitchen remodeling in Glendale and the surrounding areas—and contact Aracruz Granite and Value Cabinets for help. Our team will provide you with quality service, leaving you very happy with your tax return investment. Contact us today at 602-795-4331 to get started.

 

MDF vs Wood: Why MDF has Become So Popular for Cabinet Doors

 Solid wood is obviously the winner here, right? This is the most common perception when it comes to comparing between wood and MDF. Wood is seen as this strong and sturdy material while MDF is often viewed as a weak and cheap alternative. The truth is, both have their pros and cons for a kitchen remodel. Despite popular belief, wood is not always the superior choice; in some situations MDF might be the better material.

For homeowners who are building or undertaking home renovations, knowing the difference between the two materials and the features of each is essential. Below, we review both MDF and solid wood, noting the pros and cons of each and the best uses for each material.

Solid Wood

Solid wood has been the primary material for furniture for millennia. For definition purposes, solid wood refers to natural lumber while the term ‘engineered wood’ refers to other types of wood-based materials such as MDF. While solid wood consists of wood only, engineered wood is a mixture of real wood, veneers, fibers, resin and adhesives.

Advantages of Solid Wood

  • Strength and durability – Solid wood is impressively strong and sturdy. If you are looking to buy something that will last for decades, solid wood furniture is perfect. Solid wood is so strong that it has been used all over the world to put up entire buildings and even bridges. Of course, different types of wood have varying levels of strength. For instance, oak is stronger and will last longer than cedar.
  • Aesthetics – In terms of appearance, solid wood is unparalleled in beauty. It has a beautiful grain that results in great looking furniture. If aesthetics and style is a major priority for you, solid wood is, well, a solid choice. But just like strength and durability, different wood types have different aesthetic qualities. For instance, while red oak is stronger than white oak, white oak is more commonly used because it is better looking.
  • Customization – when using solid wood, furniture can be customized in numerous ways including shape, finish and color.
  • Value – furniture made from solid wood tends to have more value than those made from engineered wood, though in some cases MDF furniture can be quite pricey. For homeowners looking to get a better price for their home, adding elements of solid wood can boost up the price tag.
  • Variety – there are numerous types of wood, each differing in strength, cost and look.   You can take a look at our project gallery for an idea of what options you may have for your cabinets. Combine this with the many varieties of stains and finishes and you can find something highly unique for your home.

 

Disadvantages of Solid Wood

  • Moisture damage – in its unfinished state, wood is not waterproof. While stronger woods such as red oak can withstand constant moisture exposure, most woods will get damaged. To protect the wood, a waterproof finishing usually has to be applied.
  • Warping and cracking – wood tends to expand and contract with changes in temperature and humidity. The result is a tendency for solid wood furniture to warp or even crack when exposed to temperature and humidity fluctuations. The cracking can be even more noticeable when the wood is painted. With time, wood makers have developed crafting methods and technologies that minimize warping and cracking.
  • Bug infestation – Solid wood is more vulnerable to pest attack than engineered wood. It requires regular maintenance and the right finishing to keep the wood well protected.

MDF

For people who prefer a cheaper but still strong alternative to solid wood, there is MDF. What is MDF wood?

MDF is an abbreviation for a type of engineered wood. The full name is Medium-Density Fiberboard. MDF consists of thin panels made from wood fiber, resin and wax. When it comes to engineered wood, MDF is often considered a level above plywood. It is denser, stronger and more durable. For these reasons, it has almost as many applications as solid wood.

Many homeowners tend to look down on MDF with the perception that it performs poorly when measured against solid wood. But as we mentioned in the beginning both solid wood and MDF have their good and bad points. There are situations where MDF is the superior choice.

Before we lay out the pros and cons of MDF, it is important to note that there are varying types of this engineered wood. They vary by density, size, glue type, moisture content, wood species and thickness. The thicker and denser the MDF board is, the costlier it is.

Why Choose MDF?

In homes, MDF is mostly used in constructing cabinet doors. In fact, solid wood cabinets will opt for MDF doors. There are several reasons for this.

  • MDF does not warp or crack. MDF, like wood, expands and contracts when there are fluctuations in temperature and humidity. But unlike Wood, MDF does not warp. This is because the board, thanks to its structure, moves as a unit. Even with extreme changes in humidity and temperature, you do not have to worry about any damage to the cabinet doors.
  • MDF is made from very fine particles meaning that it does not have noticeable grain. This results in a better and smooth finish especially when the board is painted. If you plan to get the cabinet doors painted, we would highly recommend MDF over solid wood.
  • Easier to customize. Cabinet doors come in a wide variety of styles. There are shaker-style cabinet doors, flat paneled doors, inset doors, raised doors and many more. The ease of customization of MDF boards is to thank for this variety. Because of its structure, MDF can be cut and drilled in many different ways without any damage.
  • Some boards have better water resistance. If you plan to use MDF in high moisture areas like the bathroom, you can get MDF boards that have been specially made to be highly water resistant.
  • Available in larger sizes than solid wood. If you have a project that demands a large piece of wood with no joints, MDF is the recommended choice.   Finally, MDF is often cheaper than solid wood but it is still as strong and can last quite long with proper maintenance.

On the downside, MDF gets easily scratched and cannot be repaired after this. This is unlike wood that can be sanded down to eliminate any damage on the surface. Additionally, MDF does not do very well when exposed to extreme heat as the core materials can get damaged. This is why MDF is not a good material for outdoor furniture.

Where MDF is Used

MDF finds its most common use in kitchen cabinets. Most kitchen cabinets comprise of both solid wood and MDF elements. MDF is usually found on the doors and interior paneling for the reasons stated above (easier to paint, easier to clean, does not warp and so on).

But it is not just the kitchen where MDF finds its use. In the bathroom where there is a lot of moisture, MDF is the preferable choice over solid wood. This is because it does not get damaged with humidity and temperature changes in the bathroom. When getting MDF for use in the bathroom or any other damp environment, check that it is specially made to be moisture resistant. Normal MDF boards will easily get damaged when they come in contact with water.

For fire protection, fire retardant MDF is recommended. While this type of MDF is more common in commercial areas, it can also be used at home to provide fire protection especially in places like the kitchen and bedrooms.

Another consideration when using MDF, is when it is compared to plywood.  This is not necessarily a comparison you would do for kitchen cabinets, but in other construction instances choosing a plywood vs MDF may be a choice you need to consider.

MDF can also be used purely for aesthetic purposes. A good example of this is wainscoting. Unlike past years when wood was the sole wainscoting material in use, today there is a variety of materials used including MDF. MDF wainscoting can be customized in many styles and can be used in the kitchen, living room, or even bathroom.

Another area where MDF is used is in shelving. Whether it is the inside of a cabinet, an open wall shelf, or a bookshelf, MDF is preferred because of its smooth surface. But be careful about placing heavy weight on it as it can sag with time. If you plan to place heavy weights on the MDF shelving, consider reinforcing it with solid wood.

Finally, MDF is widely used as a material for both interior and exterior doors. There are specially made MDF boards designed to be stylish, hardy and durable. In fact, MDF doors can provide more customization options than solid wood doors.

MDF vs Solid Wood: The Verdict

Both types of wood are good and we cannot declare any one of them the ultimate winner. This is because they both have their pros and cons. There are situations where one is better than the other. But when it comes to cabinet doors, we highly recommend MDF. It provides far more benefits than solid wood.

If you are in the process of giving your kitchen an upgrade, consider choosing cabinets with MDF doors. As always, we are here to help with anything. Contact us with any questions and queries on using MDF in your home.

 

How to Clean Kitchen Cabinets Using Murphy Soap


Murphy Oil Soap, formulated as a safe cleaner for finished wood, cleans kitchen cabinets as well, even if the cabinets are a laminate rather than wood. Oil soap does not leave behind a residue, so it does not require rinsing.
Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets
Remove hardened food debris by picking at the edges of the substance with a fingernail or the bowl of a plastic spoon, working toward the middle of the substand. Apply a dab of Murphy Oil Soap on a damp sponge or soft cloth; then wipe the soiled area. Wipe the area again with a dry cloth. To clean the entire cabinet surface, mix 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the oil soap into a gallon of warm water, the amount determined by the type of cleaning your cabinets need: mild or deep. Wipe the cabinet surfaces first with a microfiber cloth to remove dust; then dip a sponge or lint-free cloth into the water, wringing out most of the moisture. Wipe down the cabinet surfaces, rinsing the sponge or cloth out and dipping it back into the soapy water as needed. Use oil soap only on sealed woods or laminate surfaces, rather than on unfinished or waxed wood, as the moisture may harm such wood.

The Kitchen from Start to End

Capistrano Painted Silk kitchen

The Kitchen from Start to End

You decided you want a new kitchen and yes, it is quite an involved undertaking. You will need to determine what will be the best design and find the best suppliers at the best prices, schedule everything and live through the construction. Most of us are not sure where to start because we only go through this process once every 20 years or more. Our goal is to provide as much helpful information on our web site which will guide you through this challenging process. The following are the steps you will need to take:

Idea Phase

Some people dream about their kitchen renovation for several years until taking the first step. During this process, there are several good places to look for ideas. One of the best places is other people’s homes. When you visit other homes, you may find some great looking kitchens so ask your friends and family for advice. Another great place to find ideas is to visit kitchen showrooms in your area. Kitchen and bathroom design magazines as well as architectural and interior design magazines will always feature some of the most beautiful kitchens. However, as with most things now days, the best place to look is online. You can always search for photos, manufacturers and kitchen design studios and you will find a lot of ideas, but probably the best place to look today is Houzz.com. Houzz is the best resource for everything related to home design and remodeling. It’s very convenient because you can “clip” photos you like and start your own personal idea books.

Make a Sketch

If you can, it’s best to make a quick sketch with some dimensions. It doesn’t have to be precise or professional looking, but a sketch will help you talk to some kitchen professionals. If you can measure and add the dimensions of your walls, ceiling height, and openings (doors and windows) this will make it easy to start a conversation when talking to design professionals or walking into kitchen showrooms.

Design Professionals

Schedule an appointment at a Value Cabinets kitchen showroom. If you are ready to get going it’s best to meet with are kitchen design professionals. Our professional designer will help you with a complimentary design consultation and share some of their ideas with you. In some cases, it’s better to start with a meeting at our kitchen showroom because this will allow the kitchen designer to discuss various products and finish options with you.

Designing Your Kitchen

Keep in mind that good design must make 3 things all work together: price, style, and layout. It’s important to realize that your style or selection of the various products is almost separate from the layout. You can start with your kitchen layout place the various items where you would like them to be even before you decide on colors and types of materials because normally your finish selection can work with any layout you choose. One of the big challenges when designing a kitchen is to make it work within your budget. It’s useful to establish a spending budget for the entire project and start to break it down into the various product categories as you’re discovering how much things cost.

Deciding who your team will be

Of course, the most important thing as with anyone you will be working with is to trust the people you will be working with. Most kitchen designers, contractors, architects, and interior designers would be willing to show you some design options and pricing to help you make a decision. Most people meet with more than one company. Although it is not always necessary what you like, trust the person you are meeting with. Once you decide you’d like to start the design process, most kitchen showrooms will request a design retainer which is similar to small deposit towards the purchase of your kitchen.

Purchasing

You should always start with the cabinets because everything revolves around the kitchen cabinets and that’s the most important part of the design. Your kitchen designer can help you select appliances based on your style and budget which will work with your kitchen cabinets. You will also need to purchase a countertop, sink, faucet, backsplash, lighting, flooring, accessories, and hardware. Typically, your kitchen designer will be able to help you make all the decisions.

Delivery and installation

The most important thing to realize at this stage is that installing your kitchen is a process. No matter how good your kitchen design team and suppliers are it’s very rare that everything will be 100% easy and seamless. Removing your existing kitchen, measuring, designing, ordering, and installing a new kitchen is a complex engineering project so you should expect some unexpected delays and issues. However, if you’re working with a reliable kitchen supplier and good contractors you will find that they will be on your side through the process to make sure your kitchen will be completed to your satisfaction.

Ready to get your kitchen design process started?  Call Value Cabinets 602-795-4331

Or visit our Beautiful new show room at 51st Ave and Bell Rd.

 

Value Cabinets

4915 W. Bell Rd. #102

Glendale, AZ 85308

info@valuecabinetsllc.com

Best Countertops for Busy Kitchens

Pros and Cons of 7 Countertop Materials

By Mary Farrell
July 12, 2017

Replacing a scratched, scorched, stained, or just plain unattractive countertop can transform any kitchen. Happily, there are lots of options in a wide range of prices. A new laminate countertop can cost as little as $5 per square foot. Or you could easily spend 10 times that on quartz, granite, or recycled glass.

Consumer Reports tested more than a dozen popular types of countertops to see how well they resisted stains, heat damage, cuts, abrasion, and impact, and found seven that passed muster. Here are the details.

In our countertop tests, performance varied from one material to the next but there was little difference among competing brands of each type, so be sure to shop around for the best deal on your countertop material of choice. The prices below are per square foot. For the pros and cons of each type, see the numbered entries below.

Countertop Intelligence

  1. Quartz

Cost: $20 to $60 per square foot

Pros: It mimics the look of stone yet needs less maintenance. Hot pots, serrated knives, abrasive pads, and most stains were no match for quartz, which is a combination of mineral, color, and resin. It comes in vibrant colors in addition to patterns that look like granite and marble.

Cons: Edges and corners can chip, and you’ll need a pro to repair them. Rounded edges help.

  1. Granite

Cost: $20 to $60

Pros: Each slab of this natural material is unique; rare colors and veining cost more. Heat, cuts, and scratches didn’t harm granite in our tests. Polished and matte finishes resisted most stains when properly sealed, so pick the look you prefer.

Cons: Periodic resealing is needed to fend off stains. Like quartz, edges and corners can chip and must be professionally repaired.

  1. Soapstone, Limestone, and Marble

Cost: $20 to $75 (soapstone or limestone); $25 to $75 (marble).

Pros: Soapstone isn’t as common as granite, and it’s superb at resisting heat damage. Small scratches can be repaired by sanding finely and applying mineral oil. Limestone (pictured) and marble are classic materials. Limestone also has a natural-stone look without heavy veining or graining, and it resists heat.

Cons: Soapstone nicks, cuts, and scratches easily, and some stains are too tough to be washed away. Limestone and marble also have those drawbacks, and heat damaged our marble.

  1. Laminate

Cost: $5 to $25

Pros: Inexpensive, easy to install, and so much better-looking than you probably remember, thanks to new printing technology and decorative edges. Stains and heat didn’t damage the laminates we tested.

Cons: Cutting directly on it easily and permanently damages laminate, so use a cutting board.

  1. Solid Surfacing

Cost: $15 to $50

Pros: Available in a variety of colors and patterns, it can be used for the counters, sink, and backsplash, creating a seamless look because joints are almost invisible. And like quartz, its color won’t vary much from the store sample. Solid surfacing is resistant to most stains, and small nicks and scratches can be repaired.

Cons: It scratches and cuts easily, so a cutting board is a must.

  1. Recycled Glass

Cost: $25 to $100

Pros: Large shards give it a fun, contemporary look; finely ground glass makes it less busy. Most glass counters we tested resisted stains, cuts, scratches, and heat.

Cons: It’s the only material for which we found a difference among brands. Cosentino’s Ecocounters were the only ones that developed a thin crack during our heat tests.

  1. Butcher Block

Cost: $20 to $60

Pros: It adds warmth and is easy to install and repair, but the finish makes a difference. Varnish improved stain resistance, but penetrating oils diminished it.

Cons: Nicks and scratches can easily happen, though they can be sanded out.