Natural Bamboo Flooring

Natural Bamboo Flooring – Pleasing Looks & Durability

Bamboo floors for kitchen come in many choices – the most popular of which are natural bamboo flooring and the carbonized bamboo flooring. Natural bamboo flooring has a beautiful off-white blonde shade, which is a colour we identify with bamboo. Carbonized bamboo comes in a caramel-like brown colour, which is a result of boiling the bamboo for a longer time. This is because the natural sugar present in the bamboo caramelizes, giving the bamboo this warm colour.

Of the two, natural bamboo is considered at least 30% tougher than the carbonized bamboo, although both are equally preferred, the criteria being related to design and look.

Aesthetically appealing

Natural bamboo flooring looks a lot brighter and some people even feel that it looks a lot cleaner than other shades. Many homeowners go in for this kind of bamboo flooring because of its resemblance to natural oak flooring. Bamboo flooring can look quite stunning.

Even in natural bamboo flooring there are shade variations giving you different selection options. There is the natural light shade that gives our flooring that bleached look. Then there is the natural medium that is slightly darker, which many people prefer for its warmer tones.

Natural bamboo flooring can make your home look quite striking. For those who feel that a large stretch of light colour is a bit too much, then the option could be to go in for natural bamboo planks with the darker bamboo edging, or by alternating different coloured bamboo planks. Some people go in for creating a design at the centre of the floor, gradually giving way to the natural bamboo flooring. If you would rather not mix and match or go in for the design, you can always break up the monotony by using colourful rugs.

The Green Alternative to Expensive Wood Flooring

Apart from stunning looks, remember that bamboo is a great alternative to the traditional wood floor, thanks to its ability to grow quickly and be replenished, unlike wood that must grow for years before it can be harvested. Also, cutting trees is harmful to our environment. You no longer must worry about this since bamboo is eco-friendly. It looks as good, if not better than traditional wood flooring. It is also as strong and as durable as wood flooring and best of all, costs a lot less. Bamboo does not shrink or expand like wood. It is dent proof as well.

You can go in for horizontal or vertical planks depending on what you like, visually. There are many reputed manufacturers with websites through which you can browse to get an idea of what is available. If you think bamboo is available only in natural and caramel shades, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that you can get a whole lot of colours. Bamboo is stained to make it available in different colours.

Cost is a major appeal with bamboo, since it is not as prohibitively expensive as many types of hardwood. You don’t have to compromise on any of the qualities you look for in a flooring material with nicely finished natural bamboo flooring.

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Bamboo Flooring

Bamboo Kitchen Floor is Wonderful for Your Family

A bamboo kitchen floor is among the trendiest kitchen flooring materials. An environmentally friendly option, bamboo flooring is comparable to hardwood flooring, but without the high cost associated with it. In terms of looks, bamboo is beautiful.

Bamboo is a grass that grows very quickly. When it matures, the stalks are milled into strips. These strips are then used as floorboards. Also in addition to strips you can also go for plank bamboo flooring. You can get both unfinished and pre-finished boards. The unfinished bamboo kitchen flooring comes with squarish edges. Roughly 3/8 or 5/8 inches thick the boards are arranged to look like a hardwood floor.

You can get pre-finished bamboo in two colours – natural bamboo flooring and carbonized flooring. There is also a choice of glossy or matte finish. The carbonized bamboo is like natural cherry color and gives the kitchen a cosy warm aura.

Carbonization involves steaming the bamboo at high temperatures where it undergoes a change in colour. Bamboo can also be stained to achieve darker colours. The grain can be set to go horizontally or vertically. With the horizontal grain you usually find wide strips that look more like natural bamboo while the vertical is in narrow strips.

It is advisable to have a layer of padding under any furniture on this type of flooring since it can scratch easily. Even though bamboo is fairly water resistant, around the sink or stove area, it is better to place area rugs to ensure that any spills or puddles of water are contained.

Bamboo kitchen floors are easy to clean since you only have to sweep and mop it. At the time of installing, it is best to get it professionally done to avoid possibilities of moisture getting locked in.

Pros and Cons of Bamboo Flooring

As mentioned earlier the best thing about bamboo is that it is environmentally friendly. It is available pre-finished. It is a durable as well as looks great. Bamboo is stronger than most woods and lasts for decades. It has high fire resistance.

Probably the only shortcoming is that there is not much choice in colour since you must confine yourself to the natural to dark shades. However, recently a lot of bamboo manufacturers are offering a much wider choice.

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Laminate Flooring

All the Looks at a fraction of the Cost

Kitchen designers love to work with laminate kitchen flooring due to its versatility. Laminate is so trendy that people consider it as portable flooring.

Since it is installed by joining pieces to make a stretch of flooring, at the time of moving, you can simply dismantle it and take it along with you. Laminate flooring can be glued or assembled by joining interlocking pieces together.

Laminate flooring can look exactly the way that you want it to, because it is designed with just that thought in mind. The layer that you see under your feet is made of an image of your choice, covered with a clear layer of melamine. A layer of laminate can be up to half an inch think.

While installing laminate kitchen flooring, it is advisable to ensure that the base layer is flat. This base can be plywood, or an existing tile or vinyl floor.

It is not surprising that laminate flooring in your kitchen has become such a hit among homeowners. Because of the burgeoning interest, manufacturers have tried to provide a host of features that can make laminate flooring resemble any kind of flooring you would want, with most people going in for wood or tiled look.

Installation has also become much easier. While the old laminate flooring had to be necessarily glued together, the current variety comes with an interlocking mechanism that can be assembled almost seamlessly to make up the floor. Since there is a wide variation in quality, and therefore in cost, there is a laminate floor to suit just about any budget.

Pros and Cons of Laminate Kitchen Floors

Probably the biggest plus point of laminate flooring is its flexibility in looks and installation. This flooring is easy on the feet, cost effective and the appearance does not diminish with age. It is simple to maintain and scratch proof. Even if one plank is damaged, you can easily replace it. Laminate is also fire resistant due to its fire-retardant coating.

In terms of style choices, some users find laminate as limited. Laminate can also get dented. The fibreboard core is an issue with certain allergies. Moisture is also a problem, depending on quality of material.

Easy to maintain, these floating floors are made from recycled material like sawdust, wood chipping and other leftovers that are milled, dried and flattened out into floor panels that make up the kitchen flooring. If you are looking at transforming the appearance of your kitchen, yet must watch your budget, laminate kitchen flooring is ideal and durable.

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Cork Flooring

Cork flooring and kitchen flooring is an environmentally friendly flooring material that is natural. Made from the bark of the cork oak tree, cork tiles are available in a wide choice in colours and patterns. This sturdy material is appreciated for its strength and durability. The chances of anything breaking when dropped on a cork floor are highly reduced because of its cushioning effect.

Rather than go for a uniform look, a lot of people mix and match the versatile cork flooring to get a distinctive appearance that can transform the kitchen. Baking cork results in interesting shades. The longer it is baked, the darker it gets. This is also stained to get a huge range of colors to match different types of décor.

The cork flooring, we get today is well sealed to make it water resistant. The best thing about cork is the feeling of practically walking on air because of its millions of air cells. Most cork floors used to be installed with one square foot sized tiles that were 5/10 inches thick. Today, you can get cork planks, tiles as well as mouldings that are easy to install.

The best time to install cork flooring especially in places where the climate is humid is to do it at the time of the year when it is driest. Once installed, the cork flooring must be well treated with sealants. The finishes most commonly used for cork flooring are water-based polyurethane and wax. Cleaning the cork floor is easy.

Cork is also wonderful for your family as it resistant to different types of moulds and fungus. Also, another trait of cork is that is naturally resistant to over 40 different types of bugs, including termites. One last positive for your family is due to the process involved in making cork it takes longer to burn then many other flooring materials.

Pros and Cons of Cork Flooring

Cork’s biggest advantage is its strength. It is affordable and feels good under your feet. It absorbs heat and sound and stays warm. It repels allergens and does not involve any major maintenance Imagine dropping something on the floor and you discover that it didn’t break! Cork can be fire resistant thanks to a waxy substance called Suberin in it which inhibits the fire. It is also water resistant.

Among cork’s shortcomings is its typical smell, the likelihood of fading, denting and not much colour choice. You will need to make sure that you provide padding wherever there’s a heavy impact on the floor through your appliances, furniture, etc. as it can cause dents. The effect of sunlight on cork results in fading.

Cork flooring can be installed over an existing floor or a concrete base. The latest kind of cork flooring is glue less. This mould-resistant antimicrobial flooring choice is a great choice for its various benefits. I highly recommend FastFloors.com as a wonderful place to purchase cork flooring.

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Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring has been around since the 1950s and continues to be the favourite choice in kitchen flooring in many homes even today. In fact, vinyl has evolved to become more environmentally friendly over the years, with manufacturers making a conscious effort to use recycled materials. In terms of performance, vinyl gets full marks.

Added to this, its durability and economic pricing make it very attractive to those who are working within a budget.

Vinyl comes in a huge variety of colours and patterns. You get them in inlaid patterns and rotogravure or surface patterns. The inlaid patterns are longer lasting since the design runs all the way into the material unlike the surface patterns that wear off over time.

The inlaid vinyl costs more and is made by getting color granules into a sheet of vinyl resulting in the entire sheet of vinyl getting colour. This looks fresh for years to come. The surface design costs less and usually wear faster than the inlaid design.

The different kinds of vinyl kitchen floor material come based on what the top layer is made of. This layer comes in a variety of thicknesses, so the tougher it is, the more resilient it will be. Nowadays we get vinyl with the top layer infused with nylon and aluminium oxide for higher durability. Vinyl can be completely water resistant when it is sealed in the right manner.

The latest vinyl kitchen flooring sheets come in 2 meters width, unlike the original vinyl sheets that where 1 meter wide. Finishes can be made to look just like stone, concrete, tiles and other finishes that may match the look you want to achieve. In fact, vinyl can be made to look like anything you wish, in any colour you want.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Kitchen Flooring

Vinyl is highly flexible, feels good under your feet, comes in huge variety and is very durable. Add to it the low investment when you compare it with other types of kitchen floors. Easy to maintain, vinyl kitchen floors come with a good warranty. Vinyl is resistant to heat and water.

Some vinyl sheets can fade. The lower end vinyl’s pattern can fade away. If not installed properly, the ends can lift and look ugly.

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Kitchen Glossary

We know that definitions are never a favourite topic but when it comes to something as big as a kitchen renovation it’s best to be as well informed as you possibly can. Knowing what everything means when your spending your hard-earned money is a very important thing and can be the difference in spending extra money that you don’t need to. Below is a list of terms that should help you towards becoming an educated consumer.

Accent lighting: Lighting designed in enhances architectural amenities or display areas

Ambient lighting: basic, overall room illuminations.

Appliances: An appliance is an instrument or device designed to carry out a specific task or function within a home kitchen.

Backsplash: The backsplash is the wall protection at the back of the countertop; which is designed to seal the counter and protect the wall from spills and damage; it can also be integral to the counter or applied directly to the wall.

Batten: a narrow strip of wood used to fasten or reinforce the joint between two pieces of lumber.

Beam spread: the area brightened by the light a fixture casts in a room.

Bevel: the angle of a line that meets another at any angle other than 90 degrees.

Bottom-mount units: freezer below the fresh-food compartment.

Bridge faucet: traditional-style faucet; deck or wall -mount, with handles and spout linked by an exposed tube.

Btu (British thermal unit): The amount of heat needed to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. Heating and cooling equipment commonly is rated by the Btus it can deliver or absorb.

Building code: A local ordinance governing the manner in which a home may be constructed or modified. Most codes deal with fire and health, with sections relating to electrical, plumbing, and structural work.

Built-in unit: refrigerator sized to fit flush with the countertops.

Bullnose tile Also called cap tile, shaped to define an edge of a surface, such as a countertop.

Butt-Joint: a joint that is formed by two surfaces placed squarely together.

Canter racks: wine storage with a permanent incline to keep corks moist.

Cartridge: component that controls flow can be single or dual-control, ceramic-disk cartridges on better-quality models block water flow when pressed together.

Ceramic tileMade from refined clay, usually mixed with additives and water and hardened in a kiln. Can be glazed or unglazed.

Ceiling-mount fixture: overhead lighting that provides general illumination.

Concealed Hinge: a hinge that is attached to the door and inside panel of a cabinet.

Convection: a setting that circulates heated air with fans, cutting cooking times by 25 percent.

Countertop cutout: an opening in the countertop that accepts and sometimes supports the sink.

Crown or crown molding: A contoured molding sometimes installed at the top of a wall or cabinet.

Cycle: the wash program you select according to type, amount, and dirt level of items loaded.

DimmerA switch that lets you vary the intensity of illumination emitted from a light fixture.

Disposers: built-in grinders and filters that remove food waste during the wash.

Double-File Kitchen: a kitchen form that has two rows of cabinets at opposite walls, one with the kitchen, and the other with the sink and stove.

Downdraft vent: a range or cook top ventilator that pulls cooking fumes down instead of up; ideal for island and peninsula installations.

Dovetail: a tight interlocking joint formed by one or more tenons and mortises.

Dowel: a piece of wood or round pin that fastens or aligns two adjacent pieces.

Downlight: Recessed or attached to the ceiling, a spotlight that casts light downward.

Drawer slides: The metal tracks or wood cleats mounted to drawers and the inside of cabinets for suspending drawers and enabling them to open and close.

Drop-in/self rimming sink: sink with a raised rim or lip that rests on the countertop; lip helps support the sink within the countertop cutout.

Dual-fuel ranges: all-in-one range that combines a gas cook top and electric oven.

Dual thermostat: separate temperature controls for the refrigerator and freezer compartments.

Edge treatment: special shaping or materials applied to the front edge of a countertop, usually to provide a rounded contour or to hide the exposed edge of the substrate.

Electric-coil heating elements: a traditional circular coil that provides radiant heat.

Engineered wood: laminated wood layers, tough as solid wood but more stable.

Exotic wood: species from Asia, Australia, and South America that are often noted for their hardness and intense colors.

Extractor Hood/Exhaust Hood/Kitchen Hood: is a device containing a fan that removes the airborne grease and other combustion products from the air above the stove.

Face frame: The front structure of a cabinet made of stiles and rails; it surrounds the door panels or drawers.

Farm sink: single, large rectangular bowl with exposed apron front; popular for cottage and European-style kitchens.

Fixture: (1) Any electrical device permanently attached to a home’s wiring: (2) Any of several plumbing devices that provide either a supply of water or sanitary disposal of liquid or solid waste.

Floating floor: The tongue-and-groove laminated and or the engineered-wood sections connected to each other but not fixed to the floor beneath.

Fluorescent light: An energy-efficient light source that uses an ionization process to produce ultraviolet radiation. This becomes visible light when it hits the coated inner surface of the bulb or tube.

Flush: On the same plane and/or level with the surrounding surface.

Fractional freezing: an icemaker feature that drains residual water and eliminates impurities.

Framed Cabinets: cabinets with a front frame around the cabinet opening to which the door is attached.

Frameless Cabinets (European Style Cabinets): cabinets that have no front frame. The cabinet doors are attached directly to the sides of the cabinet.

French-door unit: Usually these are side-by-side refrigerator doors above a freezer drawer.

Frieze: a plain or decorative horizontal band along the upper part of a wall.

Gallery: A kitchen layout characterized by two parallel runs of cabinetry on opposing walls.

Garbage Disposal: an appliance used for disposing garbage and other refuse.

Gas heating element: an element that heats by controlled flame

Glazing: A protective and decorative coating that is fired onto the surface of some tiles.

Gooseneck or high-arc faucet: tall, arched spout that makes it easy to fill large or deep pots and tall vases.

Grain: The direction of fibres in a piece of wood; also refers to the pattern of the fibres.

Granite: A quartz-base stone with a tough, glossy appearance; granite is harder than marble.

Grout: Grout is the material that is used to fill as well as seal the joints between ceramic tiles.

G-shaped: A U-shaped kitchen configuration with the added element of a peninsula joined perpendicularly to one end of the U.

Halogen heating element: an element that heats via halogen bulbs in ceramic-glass cook tops and quick-cooking wall ovens.

Hardwood: Lumber derived from deciduous trees such as oaks, maples, and walnuts.

High speed: a setting that combines traditional heat with convection, microwave, halogen, or infrared technology to produce quality results in as little as one-third the time; available in wall ovens only.

Honed finish: This is a satin finish instead of a high-gloss finish which is obtained by removing the highly polished surface.

Humidity control: mechanism to adjust humidity levels in crisper drawers to prolong produce life.

Hutch: A two-part case piece that usually has closed storage on the bottom and open shelves on the top.

Impervious tile: Tile least likely to absorb water.

Induction heating elements: a surface that conducts heat magnetically to iron or steel cookware.

Incandescent bulb: A light source with an electrically charged meal filament that burns at white heat.

Indirect light: Light directed toward, then reflected from, a surface such as a wall or ceiling.

Inlaid vinyl: colored vinyl chips that create heat-fused patterns and provide color throughout the entire thickness, not just on the surface.

Inset Drawers/Inset Doors: drawer and door fronts that are recessed to fit flush with the cabinet frame.

Island: An independent segment of cabinetry that doesn’t touch any walls and is typically centrally located within the kitchen floor plan.

Laminate: A hard plastic decorative veneer applied to cabinets and shelves. Can refer to a material formed by building up layers, such as flooring, or to the process of applying veneer to a surface, such as a countertop.

Lamp: another word for bulb.

Layout: A plan showing where cabinets, appliances, and fixtures will be located.

L-Kitchen: a kitchen form where the cabinets occupy two adjacent walls.

L-shaped: A kitchen layout characterized by two perpendicular runs of cabinetry that form an L-shaped.

Marble: A hard and durable limestone characterized by varied patterns and colors of veins.

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard): an engineered wood manufactured from pressure cooked wood fiber, wax, and resin.

Microwave: an appliance using electromagnetic waves to cook food.

Mineral Streak: a discoloration in hardwoods caused by injury during growth.

Miter: two angles joined together to form a continuous surface.

Moisture settings: a warming-drawer feature that keeps heated foods moist or crisp.

Mosaic tile: (1-or 2-inch) vitreous tiles mounted on sheets or joined with adhesive strips.

Muntin: a strip of wood or metal set between two rails in a door or in paneling.

Ogee: a molding with the shape of an S-shaped curve.

Onlay: something applied or laid over something else.

Oven: an appliance used for heating, roasting, or baking food.

Overlay: something that covers or is laid over something else.

Patina: The Patina is a natural finish on a wood or a metal surface that is due to age and polishing.

Pendant: fixture that hangs from the ceiling via a stem, wire, or cable to provide task and/or general illumination; one fixture may have more than one pendant.

Peninsula: A typically short section of cabinetry joined perpendicularly to one end of an L-shape or U-shape kitchen configuration.

Plank flooring: boards 3 inches and wider.

Pot-filled faucet: wall spigot that delivers cold water only, mounted near the range or cook top so cooks needn’t carry heavy, water-filled pots from the sink.

Professional-grade: high-performance appliances designed for residential use; often stainless steel with more features.

Pullout faucet: two piece spout functioning as both a faucet and a pullout sprayer.

Racks: Multiple storage levels, which are often adjustable, The rack provides the best position dishes for both washing and drying.

Rails: The horizontal members of a face frame.

Radiant heating element: an element that provides continuous electric heat from beneath ceramic-glass surface.

Receptacle: An outlet that supplies power for appliances and other plug-in devices.

Recessed fixture: general and/or task lighting that installs unobtrusively in the ceiling (only the bulb and lens are visible)

Resilient: These are vinyl, linoleum, cork, and rubber tiles and sheets cushioned for comfort and flexibility.

Restaurant/commercial-style units: large, built-in, often stainless-steel refrigerators.

Resurfacing: the placing of a supplemental surface on an existing surface to increase its strength or improve its conformation.

Roof Sheathing: the sheet material or boards that are fastened to the roof rafters, onto which roof covering is laid.

Rotogravure vinyl: vinyl flooring with colour and pattern printed only on the surface.

Rout: to hollow out, groove, or furrow using a router.

RTA (Ready to Assemble): items that are targeted towards do-it-yourselves.

Sensors: electronic devices that evaluate the size and condition of each load, usually by measuring water contamination, and determine times and temperatures to best clean dishes.

Side-by-side unit: refrigerator configured with frozen-food compartments on the left and fresh-food compartment on the right.

Single-File Kitchen: a kitchen form that has the kitchen cabinet, sink, stove, and refrigerator all along one wall.

Sink: a water basin that has a drainpipe and a piped supply of water.

Single-hole or post-mount faucet: faucet that needs just one hole in sink deck or countertop useful where space is limited.

Soffit: the underside of a structural component, such as the area between the top of the wall cabinets and the ceiling.

Steam cooking: a method of cooking without oil or fats; retains food’s colors, textures, and nutrients, available in wall ovens only.

Stiles: The vertical members of a face frame.

Stone tile: Marble, granite, limestone, and slate are some examples. Dimensioned (or gauged) stone is cut to uniform size. Hand-split (or cleft) varies in size.

Stove: a gas or electrical appliance used for cooking or warmth.

Strip flooring: boards less than 3 inches wide.

Substrate: the structural material, often either particleboard or plywood, to which a finished surface material, such as tile or laminate, is applied.

Task lighting: fixture that brightens a specific area or surface for certain tasks.

Temperature zones: temperature settings in wine refrigerators for cooling different types of wine appropriately.

Tenon: a projection at the end of a piece of wood shaped for insertion into a mortise to form a joint.

Thermal oven: conventional oven with two gas or electric heating elements-one on the top for broiling and one below for baking and roasting.

Toe-kick the indentation at the bottom of a floor-based cabinet. Also known as toe space.

Top-mount unit: frozen-food compartment above the fresh-food compartment.

Tongue and Groove: a joint made by fitting a tongue on the edge of a board into a corresponding groove on another board.

Traffic flow: The route followed to enter and exit a kitchen and move through the work core.

Track lighting: ceiling-mount electrified bar that houses movable and directional lights for task or accent purposes.

Trash Compactor: a device used to compress garbage and refuse into smaller packets for easier disposal.

Trim panels: a method to cover appliance fronts to help them blend with surrounding cabinets or present a different finish.

Trim tile: Tile that is shaped to turn corners or decline the edges of an installation. Includes cove, bullnose, V-cap, quarter-round, inside corner, and outside corner.

Under cabinet fixture: compact strip or track that installs under a wall cabinet to provide bright light for a countertop, eliminating shadows; most use halogen lamps, which show a food’s true colour.

Under mount sink: rimless sink, recessed below tile, stone, or solid surfacing countertops.

Uplight: A light fixture that casts light onto the ceiling.

U-shape: A kitchen layout characterized by three runs of cabinetry joined perpendicularly to form a U-shape.

UV-resistant glass: glass tinted to block damaging ultraviolet rays.

Veneer: a thin finely grained wood glued to the base of an inferior material.

Ventilation System: a mechanical system used to circulate air.

Wash arm or level: the primary water source, along with spray jets and wash towers, which determines a machines effectiveness.

Wear layer: visible surface of synthetic coating factory-applied to resilient flooring.

Wood Grain: the alignment, texture, and appearance produced in wood.

Work triangle: The triangle formed by drawing lines from the sink to the refrigerator to the cooktop and back to the sink.

Zones: Interrelated centres, or stations, laid out to make your kitchen more organized and comfortable.

Please remember that if you have come here looking for specific terms and you have not found them on the list someone else probably has as well, and if no one tells us about them we won’t add them, so please send us the term so that we can add it to the kitchen glossary for future visitors.

 

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Kitchen Cabinets

Quality kitchen cabinets can add grace and functionality to your kitchen, as well as enhance the value of your property. It could be quite an overwhelming task to select the right kitchen cabinets with the kind of choice available in styles, materials, designs and trends.

Kitchen renovating is one of the best ways to give your home that makeover you always wanted. It is important to be neat and organized in the kitchen, and that is the primary purpose of kitchen cabinets. In terms of materials wood, steel, bamboo and plastic are quite popular for their sturdiness and looks. You also have the choice to pick a finish that matches the rest of your décor.

Basically, you would have to consider the size of your kitchen and your maximum budget when it comes to getting kitchen cabinets, whether it is for a new kitchen or for a renovating project. Kitchen cabinets must take rough handling; yet meet your storage needs comfortably.

That said, it is not very difficult to arrive at the most suitable choice even as you balance your budget with the style you want. It is best to keep your specific needs in mind when you go shopping.

If new kitchen cabinets are not in the budget one alternative that can still transform your kitchen would be to resurface your kitchen cabinets. An important aspect of choosing your kitchen cabinet design is cabinet doors. Here the popular choice is maple wood closely followed by oak, cherry, hickory, pine and alder. Door style is important. You can look at flat, raised or curved; plain or carved. But this does not mean you must confine yourself to wood.

You could also opt for polyester or plastic laminates that come in a variety of finishes. So, does steel and glass. As far as cabinetry finish goes, here also you have a choice of painted, glazed and natural finishes.

While it is great to keep track of what the latest trends are, what perhaps looked fabulous on the cover of Good Housekeeping might not really suit your style. There are plenty of reputed kitchen cabinet manufacturers who will let you customize according to your needs. Therefore, browse around and go forth on your mission with confidence!

Styles and Materials

There are a lot of magazines and illustrated design manuals online that feature a variety of kitchen cabinet styles and the appropriate materials for these. While you could easily visit a store and browse around, it is always better to browse online so that you can decide on the style that seems to appeal to you the most and can pursue the options available in that style.

Interestingly, kitchen cabinet style is based on the door design, which is why choosing the right door is important. Here are the styles you will come across:

  • The slab door is a single door covering the kitchen cabinet’s front. This is a nice simplistic design with a clean smooth look.
  • The raised panel door has a wooden frame that could be decorative in design. This style is good if your décor is formal.
  • The recessed panel door has the panel behind the frame of the kitchen cabinet’s door. These are suitable for country style homes.
  • There are doors that come with an arch at the top and suit most kitchen cabinets.

When it comes to kitchen cabinet material the choice seems practically limitless. Your main decision would be from wood, metal or laminate. Wood looks great and can be in any colour or finish. Unfortunately, wood could warp over time. These days, however, this has been overcome. Metal kitchen cabinets are equally popular and look good in just about any kitchen. Stainless steel, though expensive, is easy to maintain. Laminate is a cost-effective option and is available in any colour. You can also use a combination of materials for your kitchen cabinets.

Trends in Kitchen Cabinets

In some sense, trend is what you make it because kitchen cabinets are a matter of personal preference. There are so many colour choices available today and people are no longer confined to plain whites. The new trend then, is more colours giving you the choice of matching it to the rest of your décor.

Wood is also sometimes preferred. Functional designs move faster especially the storage type. Being organized has become a necessity. You can get pieces that can be retrofit into your existing cabinet if you are looking for a makeover. After you look at the choice available, you might like to mix and match and also keep the option to expand, open.

People are opting for a kitchen cabinet design that will even include a work area, buffet storage, wine racks and a host of other accessories to make life easier.

Kitchen cabinet design can be stock cabinets, frameless cabinets and personalized cabinets. Since your kitchen cabinet will take up the maximum space in your kitchen. Which design you choose depends on your budget, style, type of door, material you choose, the color and frames. If your budget does not stretch too much, refacing your kitchen cabinets can be more economical.

With kitchen cabinets, quality counts. Being the area that sees the maximum traffic in your home, you want to ensure that your kitchen cabinets are sturdy and withstand rough use. As an investment that is quite substantial, you must get the right company to supply your cabinet. It is best to browse around and read ratings and reviews of various kitchen cabinet brands in the market so that you get the maximum out of your investment.

Today’s Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Has Changed Drastically

Accessory shopping is always a pleasant task, particularly when you have a lot of choice, and it is no different with your kitchen cabinet hardware. Your kitchen cabinets become that much more attractive with the right choice of hardware.

There are plenty of online stores that offer you a massive choice for different types, colours, shapes, styles and designs – that it can be quite mind-boggling to make the selection.

Cabinet hardware in the form of handles, pulls and knobs are available in a variety of materials to suit any décor, whether it is traditional, trendy, classic or eclectic.

You can look at pretty crystal, brushed nickel, hammered iron, polished chrome, rock, tile, cut glass, ceramic, brass, steel, silver – you name it and you have got it. The knobs and drawer pull add greatly to the décor and can come in many shapes and sizes.

Choosing the right hardware can add the finishing touch to your kitchen. Often referred to as the jewellery that adorns your kitchen cabinets, your kitchen cabinet hardware in the form of pulls, knobs and handles don’t have to match perfectly. However, you can create a harmonious look that everyone will admire. Here are some tips.

-You can achieve an elegant traditional look with:

Antique brass hardware with a glossy or brushed finish Nickel finished steel Wrought Iron Wood

-For a modern look, go in for shiny chrome or enamelled steel

-Preferably, create a complementary look. This means a mixture of shiny/brushed brass, enamelled metal, nickel, steel – in the same kitchen can look jarring. Remember that your hardware might be visible from the room into which the kitchen leads. Thus, stick with a maximum of three colours.

-Your kitchen cabinet hardware can create a completely customized kitchen. If you have got prefabricated cabinetry, then you can always replace the knobs and pulls with interesting hardware. Since quite a few tend to come with plain chrome, you can shop for interesting shapes and sizes that enhance the looks of your kitchen.

While making your choice of hardware, the shape also matters since some can look and feel traditional while some are more modern. Many people transform their kitchen’s looks and give it a total makeover by simply replacing the existing hardware with something completely different. All you have to do is browse your local hardware store or online and order.

Custom Made Kitchen Cabinets Give You More Choice

For any homeowner, custom-made kitchen cabinets bring a great sense of excitement because with it, comes the freedom and flexibility to design it according to their needs. Kitchen cabinets are not just a place to keep your stuff; their design can influence the entire look of your kitchen.

One thing is certain; for custom cabinetry, the choice is virtually limitless, and it is advisable to do some research so that you can plan what you want, whether you intend removing your old cabinets and getting new ones or setting up a whole new kitchen in a new home.

Most people tend to believe that custom cabinetry is very expensive, but this is not necessarily true. Depending on what you want, a cost-effective material can be engineered to the required specifications so that you have a custom cabinet at probably half the cost of stock cabinets.

The space available in the kitchen will determine the design and plan of your kitchen cabinets. Factor in space for other home appliances like refrigerator, cooking range, microwave, blender, and dishwasher, washing machine/dryer that will also be in the kitchen and plan your cabinets accordingly.

When you go in for custom made cabinets, you can choose from hand-chosen wood, reclaimed wood, which is a more environmentally friendly option and rich woods like mahogany, oak, rosewood, etc. You can also get the cabinetmaker to reface or finish your existing cabinetry to give it a whole new look. Other options are fitting glass doors that are decorative, convenient corner cabinets, and drawers with gliders, etc.

Kitchen cabinet design, in its most basic form is usually taken as a straight line along the longest wall to maximize space. There is also the L or U-shaped layout, but you will have to decide what is best based on your specific space. Preferably keep the refrigerator and cooking range far apart. If you intend including an island in your kitchen, plan the position of your kitchen cabinets accordingly.

To summarize, here is what you should look at while ordering custom made kitchen cabinets:

-Your kitchen layout – new cabinets or just renovate by replacing the doors for a new look.

-Material – since it will influence the price greatly

-Cabinet doors and drawers – do you want framed, panelled or plain? While decorative looks great, plain can also make a statement.

-Countertops – need to be coordinated with your cabinets for a harmonious look, so choose the complementary material with care.

-Cabinet accessories – hardware makes a difference in the appearance of your cabinets and in ease of use. It is always advisable to get good quality hardware in the form of hinges, handles, pulls, knobs, etc.

Check the quality of the material used to build your kitchen cabinets, depending on what you intend storing in the cabinets. In the long run, higher priced good quality is always better than short-term cheap material for your custom-made kitchen cabinets.

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Stone Flooring possibilities

Stone flooring is truly unique. It is natural and easy to feel comfortable in.

It is beautiful, and it is often a valuable investment into your home. People have been using a variety of types of stone I their homes and in other buildings for centuries. It has long been considered one of the best investments that can be made.

While this may be true, you should consider how well it fits your own unique needs and style designs. For many, there is nothing better than falling in love with true stone flooring.

There are several types of natural stone flooring available on the market.

Granite Flooring
Slate Flooring
Marble Flooring
Travertine Flooring
Limestone Flooring

Each of these is a natural stone that is found in layers and layers of earth, dug up in quarries and cut, polished and prepared for use in the general marketplace. They are not manufactured.

Rather, they are all-natural products, which is why you are sure to see differences from one piece of stone to the next. No two pieces will ever match each other exactly. Much of the stone found today that is used for buildings and flooring comes from Spain, China, Italy, Canada, Mexico and the United States, though there is evidence of stone available in most other areas as well.
While it used to take years to form enough stone to make a palace floor, today, many types of stone products are readily available to be used within your home.

You can even find much of it available online or through your local home improvement store. Like any other product you may find, though, you do need to consider quality. Not all products are equally made and that can cause several problems for you if you do not know how to buy top quality.

There are many different options, so it is best to go and look at them individually.

You will find that granite is one of the most alluring options since it is the world’s hardest stone. The colours and striations found in granite flooring are amazingly beautiful. You may want to consider the rich marble flooring options available.

While more expensive, there is something majestic about it. Many like limestone because it offers a softer appeal than other types, but it is porous and needs protection. Travertine has been popular for some time, for its beauty and its slightly lower cost.

Each of these stone flooring options is readily available in many locations.

You can purchase it and install it yourself, especially if you can install tile blocks of the stone. But, with its weight and because of its price, do polish up your skills or hire a professional to get it just right.

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Vinyl Flooring Repairs

Vinyl flooring is a great choice for many homes. It has long been an important part of the home, as it has been used for several years as the affordable, good-looking solution for high traffic areas.

The problem is, there can be problems with the tiles over time, which is not uncommon for any type of flooring you may have. Prior to investing in a whole new floor, you may want to consider a few methods to improving the vinyl flooring by doing a few repairs.

Replacing The Tiles

One of the nice features of vinyl flooring is that it is now often installed as tiles rather than whole sections of flooring. This can help to make repairs incredibly easy to do.

Here are some tips:

Remove the damaged tile by using a blow dryer which is set to the hot setting. As the tile heats, the glue holding it in place will melt enough to be removed.

Remove any old glue completely using a putty knife (carefully) as this will help the tiles to lay flat and even.

Fit the new tile into place, without adhesive first. Ensure that it fits well and then apply the adhesive and attach.

This way, you can ensure it is in place and the right fit first.

Remove any extra adhesive from around the edges after placing the tile in place and pressing it firmly down. It is easy to remove the adhesive at first, with a wet cloth, but not so easy after it dries.

This is great so long as the problem with the vinyl flooring is replacing a tile. But, what if it is just a small hole, such as one from a fallen plate? There is a fix for this, too.

Purchase an acrylic paint and a clear epoxy. The acrylic should match the colour of your vinyl as much as possible. Then, place a piece of masking tape around all four sides of the whole.

Add the acrylic paint to the epoxy until the colour matches properly. Fill the hole with the solution you have made. Then, level it off and remove anything that is extra.

Use a straightedge from a putty knife to ensure a level edge. Allow to dry, with the tape in place, for 24 hours before removing.

Vinyl flooring is a good investment. If you purchase it in a higher quality, repairs are easier to do since the flooring will take more damage (and not need those repairs too often) and they will fit well within the flooring structure.

You can easily make these repairs and have your floor looking great within a matter of a few hours. That is one of the benefits of this easy to use flooring.

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Planning Your Kitchen Remodel

If you’re doing a major remodel of your kitchen, you might want to visit other homes in your neighbourhood to see how current trends are running. Not that you must do the same thing, but you want to keep the price of your home comparable to others in your neighbourhood and you want to realize a return on your investment should you decide to sell your home.

The planning phase is so important; you want as little in the way of surprises and distractions as possible. If you do need to hire a contractor or other professional, there are certain things you need to do to ensure things go smoothly.

Contractors and other professionals in the industry are licensed, or they should be, and you want to make sure any professionals you hire have up to date, current, and active licenses. This is, perhaps, the most important part of the planning phase, ensuring your hire competent professionals.

Once you have verified all license information, which you can do for free online, it’s time to check references. Once you’re satisfied that you’re dealing with a reputable professional, the negotiation process can start. Leave nothing to chance, insist on a contract and spell everything out, including price, date of completion, and who is responsible for getting the materials.

It’s a tedious process, but proper planning before you begin your remodeling project will ensure more success and far less headaches in the end.

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