Category Archives: Kitchen

How to Choose the Right Kitchen Flooring

So much goes on in the kitchen that the floor needs to stand up to a lot of use and abuse. Wood is warm and beautiful, but tile is tough and resilient and vinyl is so easy to clean … the choices for kitchen flooring are almost endless.

To help cut through the chatter, homeowners should answer a few questions to determine which flooring option best suits their lifestyle:

  • Is there a lot of cooking?
  • Was the home designed with an open floor plan or is the kitchen a little more isolated?
  • Is low- or no-maintenance a priority?
  • Is environmentally-friendly materials important?
  • What is the budget?

Hardwood – up to $20/square foot installed

Warm, beautiful and timeless, hardwood can stand up to some serious traffic, but it’s also susceptible to contraction and expansion because of the amount of moisture generated by cooking. Hardwood is a great flooring choice in open-floor plan homes because it ties the living spaces together seamlessly.

Tile – up to $30/square foot installed.

Ceramic and porcelain tile are the workhorses of flooring, especially in the kitchen. Both materials hold their looks for years (with proper care) and provide one of the most durable surfaces available in such a variety of colors, patterns and textures – including the look of wood! – it’s almost impossible to not find a tile that will work in a kitchen.

Cork – up to $20/square foot installed

Cooking can often involve hours of standing and moving around, so flooring that is both durable and kind to joints like knees and backs might be the right choice. Cork fills the bill on both counts, and it’s eco-friendly because it’s harvested every eight to 10 years from trees that regrow their bark.

Vinyl – up to $10/square foot installed

If the kitchen is the heart and stomach of the home, vinyl might the perfect flooring choice. Not only is it extremely durable – waterproof and almost maintenance-free – vinyl is also the least expensive flooring choice, which can be important if budget is an issue. Color, pattern and texture choices are also almost unlimited so finding the right vinyl is a snap.

 

Faucet Style: Defining Traditional, Transitional, Contemporary, Country

Traditional … Transitional … Contemporary … Country … so many style choices, but what does it all mean, and what would a traditional faucet look like compared to a contemporary faucet? Let eFaucets break it down:

2 traditional faucet Delta

Traditional: Choosing a faucet to fit a traditional kitchen means looking for familiar lines and details the evoke a sense of the past. Embellishments are few and symmetry is key. (Delta Leland faucet)

transitional faucet Brizo

Transitional: Here is where traditional meets contemporary with straightforward lines that are not as ornate as traditional or as severe as contemporary. The focus is on comfort and practicality. (Brizo Belo faucet)

contemporary faucet kohler

Contemporary: Typically viewed as stark, contemporary design is really quite bold, veering more toward curves and reflective surfaces. This style is very sleek and can veer toward the industrial. (Kohler Clairette faucet)

Country faucet moen

Country: Classic, comfortable, clean, and warm all describe a country style sensibility. Finishes are rustic – more oil-rubbed bronze instead of chrome – and functionality is paramount. (Moen Waterhill faucet)

 

3 Items that Clean & Deodorize the Garbage Disposal

The smelly truth about garbage disposals is that they sometimes stink like the garbage that gets ground up inside them and whisked away.

Using a harsh chemical cleaner could potentially smell worse than the odor causing all the trouble in the first place, so try one of these solutions instead:

1. Lemon juice & baking soda: pour a generous amount of baking soda directly into the disposal followed by the lemon juice. The acid in the juice will react with the baking soda and foam up and out of the disposal. Leave the mixture for at least an hour and then rinse with cold water and run the disposal for 15 to 30 seconds.

2. Lemon juice, baking soda & vinegar: Pour a tablespoon of lemon juice down the disposal then use equal parts baking soda and vinegar and pour the solution down the disposal. After only five minutes, rinse with hot water.

3. Lemons, vinegar and ice cubes: Slice a lemon (or a lime) in half and put them down the disposal one at a time. Pour in vinegar and ice cubes while the disposal is running to dissipate the odor and sharpen the disposer’s blades at the same time. Or, create vinegar ice cubes with slices of lemon (or lime) in them and put them in the disposal, then run it for up to a minute.

Still need help choosing a garbage disposal? Click here for handy “how to” tips.

Top 5 Kitchen Design Trends for 2015

Kitchens in the last several years have moved from strictly utilitarian design to primary gathering space for family and friends, and that trend shows no sign of diminishing.

What is changing a bit are the details; kitchen trends for 2015 are all about improving functionality while maintaining an overall vibe of warmth and welcome.

1. Wood cabinets – Wood tones are making a comeback, but not necessarily the generic golden oak hues that have been a favorite among builders for the past decade or so. Decorator’s Wisdom noticed that stained wood in darker shades is gaining popularity and so is cherry in major metropolitan centers like Chicago and Philadelphia.

2. Warm metal finishes – Polished chrome and stainless steel still have their place, but homeowners are increasingly turning to the warmer side of metal like brushed brass and oil-rubbed bronze. Style at Home notes that brass adds sparkle and warmth and looks great with both white and grey.

3. White cabinets with white appliances – Despite the uptick in wood tones, white cabinets remain a top choice, and white appliances are being chosen as well. Homeowners who flocked to stainless steel are now buying white stoves and refrigerators to create a more seamless look and easier clean-up since fingerprints and smudges aren’t as obvious.

4. Multiple Storage Solutions - Walk-in pantries, roll-out cabinet shelves, and clever pull-outs to maximize storage is a necessity in the kitchen of 2015 because making life – and food prep – easier is the name of the game.

5. Smart appliances/docking stationsUsing a smartphone to control when the coffee starts to brew and having a built-in charging station for an iPad to better read recipes or follow a how-to video are becoming more prevalent in 21st century kitchens, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

The bottom line is that kitchens in 2015 have to be livable spaces where every member of the family – including pets – feels comfortable. But, kitchen remodels – no matter if the job is a complete gut or just an update – should also strike a balance between classic and trendy because the changes are expected to last for years.

What must-haves are on your list:

Come join the conversation! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.