Spend Less, Live Large With Laminate Benchtops

Laminate benchtops have gone from blah to wow in just a few years. Once considered cheap and tacky-looking, laminate has become one of the most thought-after low-cost and eco-friendly materials. Benchtops are only one component to benefit from it; even floors do and with long-lasting results. So what's the big deal with laminate? How and…

Laminate benchtops have gone from blah to wow in just a few years. Once considered cheap and tacky-looking, laminate has become one of the most thought-after low-cost and eco-friendly materials. Benchtops are only one component to benefit from it; even floors do and with long-lasting results.

So what's the big deal with laminate? How and why is it receiving so much attention? Following the principles of the lamination process, laminate is made by fusing together multiple layers of materials to create a strong, stable and insulating product. The layers typically consist of a large percentage of recycled fibers, a trait which has gone down well with today's smart consumer.

Very low maintenance

Aside from the green factor, laminate is very easy to care for. This is important because kitchen work is heavy as it is and having to meticulously maintain benchtops is an unwanted responsibility. One could excuse that ceramic tiles do as good or a better job at minimizing maintenance than laminate but grout lines tend to catch dirt and there's a tension for ceramic to crack. Beside, ceramic is cold and even though benchtops do not affect overall temperature much, you may notice a marked difference during winter.

Laminate only requires a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth. Spillage should be cleaned immediately – as is the case with all types of benchtops – and a mild cleaner used, if needed. No toxic chemical-laced agents. If basic care can be followed then there's no need for frequent replacement.

Highly customizable and affordable

Only a few materials can boast the versatility enjoyed by laminate. Unlike stone which looks like stone or ceramic which looks like ceramic, laminate has no true form. It can mimic wood, stone, brick and even cement since its customizable. All this without you spending for the cost of authentic stone, wood etc. In fact, most homeowners now prefer installing laminate for benchtops because the savings are simply too great.

Easy installation

Consider the weight of stones like granite or even hardwoods. Laminate is comparatively very lightweight and easy to lay which means DIYers can handle installation with few problems. For consumers trying to cut costs, this makes a huge difference.

Durable

Although not as hardy as stone which is extremely weak, laminate still scores big points for being very durable. To lengthen its life, a cutting board must always be used and anything aflame can not be set down on the surface. However, it can take a lot of heat so placing hot pans is not a problem. The same with stains which do not form as fast. For the price of around $ 20 a square foot, it's a very good deal.

Does not cost much to replace

All countertops must be replaced sooner or later since there are only so many times they can be re-sanded and repaired. With laminate, the job is simply simple and does not cost much. With new designs flooding the market, it's the perfect choice for homeowners who like change.

All these benefits are not without a few drawbacks but that's the case with all benchtop materials. The appeal of laminate lies in the fact that it offers affordable topping options for people who can not or do not want to spend much, for consumers who prefer the greener route and for homeowners who like to take on installation tasks alone.

Countertop Polishing, What You Didn’t Know and How You Can Make Them Shine Again!

Tired of your granite countertop looking dull? Fed up with the hard water stains around the sink and faucet? Have you tried cleaning it with the strongest over the counter cleaner and received poor results? Granite countertops add an amazing feeling to any home, but like anything else they need regular maintenance. The kitchen is…

Tired of your granite countertop looking dull? Fed up with the hard water stains around the sink and faucet? Have you tried cleaning it with the strongest over the counter cleaner and received poor results?

Granite countertops add an amazing feeling to any home, but like anything else they need regular maintenance. The kitchen is one of the most utilized areas of any home and maintaining a clean and sanitary eating surface is very important. Granite countertops are expensive and being able to properly care for your investment is a must. Although granite is a very hard stone that does not scratch with a knife, hard water stains can wreak havoc on your countertop.

Over the year's detergents, contaminants, and water can and will dull stone. This causes light to be deflected instead of reflected. Most local water supplies are filled with salts, sodium's and other minerals. These white mineral deposits around your sink and faucet are known as efflorescence. As you know, this buildup is not easily removed and gets worse over time. Another enemy of granite is food grease. These fats attract soil into the grout lines and the stone itself. Most times over the counter cleaning agents do more harm than good. The agents used to clean leave behind residual that ends up attracting more grease and dirt then prior to the cleaning.

The good news is that all these buildups can be removed leaving behind clean granite. But why polish the countertop? Polishing aides in the removal of hard water and mineral deposits. It also protects and revitalizes the stone while increasing the reflectivity and the natural color of the granite. This is very important in minimizing the appearance of fingerprints and maintaining a sanitary eating surface. Polishing also brings out colors that were never seen before. In fact many times a professional granite polishing will make the countertop shine more than the day it was first installed.

Equally as important as a good clean and polish is a granite specific sealant. Only certain sealants are able to properly penetrate the surface of the granite. A proper granite sealant will leave nothing behind. It is designed to completely absorb into the granite. The correct sealant is the most effective way at repeating oil based and water stains. They are also created with the ability to wear off over time, allowing for a proper cleaning and reapplication.

Things You Should Know Before Signing Up for Gas Service

Just like smartphones today, gas service was once just a luxury. Today, you will not find a lot of households that do not have them. Whether you're moving or have gotten your gas service disconnected, there are a few things you should know before having it connected or reconnected. Know Your Suppliers If you live…

Just like smartphones today, gas service was once just a luxury. Today, you will not find a lot of households that do not have them. Whether you're moving or have gotten your gas service disconnected, there are a few things you should know before having it connected or reconnected.

Know Your Suppliers
If you live in an area where you have your pick of gas companies, try to research more. You may find that one company has cheaper service than the other. Since cheaper does not always equate to good service, you will want to ask around. If you have moved into an area where different homes choose different companies, ask for their opinions so you can formulate your own.

Get Quoted
These days, it's easier to find quotes for any service you're planning to get. From insurance to photographers, you can find quotes from different companies through the internet. These quotes are given to you for free, too.

Most, if not all, of these quoting sites only require you to enter your postal code and the type of service you want to check prices for. Some would ask for your email address or phone number or where you want to receive your quotes. Others allow you to choose from the different suppliers available in your area. This gives you the freedom to back up a few pages and enter a different supplier to get quotes from all of them. You can visit Connect Now here to see how quoting sites work.

Read Fine Print
There are two things in this world that people rarely read: instruction manuals and contracts. Always read and review your contracts before signing them. If you see any lines that you find questionable, ask them about it. If you find yourself facing a verbal contract, always look for a physical copy.

Ask Questions
If you have your eyes set on a particular company, it is always practice to ring them up and ask for more details. You do not sign up for a phone plan without knowing if there's anything that can result in extra charges. This is the same for a gas company.

Ask questions. How long does it take to get an installation team to your home? If you sign up on a particular date, when is your first month's bill? Even the most mundane questions can help you understand the company you're talking to better.

Asking around can be time-consuming. While it is worth it, you can actually spare yourself the trouble. If you're looking at quoting sites, some of them can actually talk to the gas supplier you want to connect with. This saves you having to call different suppliers and listening to hold music for several minutes. You may visit Connect Now here for more information about how you can do this.

Get Ideas for Your Kitchen Renovation Project

Design your kitchen for great style and practical usability. Adorn your kitchen walls in a stylishly pleasant way. Your kitchen should be carefully designed keeping in mind the style of the rest of your home. Without making a big hole in your pocket give a striking overhaul to your kitchen interiors. The walls could either…

Design your kitchen for great style and practical usability. Adorn your kitchen walls in a stylishly pleasant way. Your kitchen should be carefully designed keeping in mind the style of the rest of your home. Without making a big hole in your pocket give a striking overhaul to your kitchen interiors. The walls could either be left open for easy cleaning or optimize it efficiently to fix kitchen tools. You can get a simple breezy feel by using sunny colors and fitting natural accessories and winter cooking stuff appliances.

When you are planning for an kitchen kitchen renovation or just want to make some fast alterations over the weekend, you certainly would want to make every penny count to get a big impact for an affordable price.

Listed hereunder are a few things that will help you with your kitchen renovation project.

Lighting:

Stunning new pendant lights can smartly become the main attraction of the room. Without breaking the budget, you can install hand-blown glass pendants that are amazingly flexible.

Hardware:

If you want to augment the look and feel of the complete space, classic hardware is worth installing. You need to keep a careful watch over the price per piece when buying kitchen accessories as it adds up quickly, especially when you have a larger kitchen with several different cabinets.

Consider Repaining Cabinets:

Suppose your kitchen cabinets are having old looks or you want to generate a more personal touch than the common white cabinets, you can consider about adding color. For instance, you can try something like duck egg blue or pale sage green which would be an ideal choice as they match with several different finishes and materials. For obtaining a high-contrast look consider painting half the cabinets. A palette of white and black with metal and wood emphasizes insights glossy and fresh in the kitchen. To get an enriching look consider painting the upper cabinets with white and the bottom cabinets and the base of your kitchen in island black.

Kitchen Appliances:

You can consider changing your old kitchen appliances if they are not functional or not sufficient for your use. You will easily get advanced kitchen appliances now-a-days literally for every task that too at quite affordable rates.

Kitchen Accessories:

When you have restricted chances of adorning your kitchen, it's crucial to get the maximum out of small kitchen accessories so select them wisely.

Working with Rustic Elements:

Typically to an ordinary kitchen, farmhouse accents out rightly adds warmth and temperament. Consider changing the kitchen or pantry door with a descending barn door, hang copper pots from a ceiling bracket or bring in a well-worn historic wooden stool.

Simple Shelves for Storage:

Rustic wooden shelves over metal brackets are effortlessly and inexpensively installed, which offers usable display space for routine dishes.

Get Roman Shades for a Refined Look:

For a refined look use Roman shades as they add up a graceful look to any room. In the kitchen too, Roman shades would give refreshing soft looks. To acquire a consistent look and feel, you need to use matching shades for glass doors in the same room.

These are some of the ideas that you can use for your home kitchen revamping project.

Design Trends for Your Kitchen Remodeling

The kitchen is the heart of a home and keeping it updated and in good shape helps to keep the value of a home up. Many people who want to increase the value of their home will remodel the kitchen, but you want to make sure that it is done in a way that appeals…

The kitchen is the heart of a home and keeping it updated and in good shape helps to keep the value of a home up. Many people who want to increase the value of their home will remodel the kitchen, but you want to make sure that it is done in a way that appeals to potential buyers. There are several different kitchen remodeling trends to look into before contacting a kitchen remodeling business to get the job started.

Functional Islands

These have become very popular and will include things like a prep sink, seating area, and even a wine cooler. These can be complicated to do so getting the help of an experienced kitchen remodeling franchise is a good idea. In modern kitchens, the island is where the family congregates and gets everything done. This is where things like cooking, eating snacks and breakfast and socializing happen so these islands are built with this in mind.

Coffee Centers

Built-in coffee centers are very popular right now and they are usually built into wall cabinets. These include sophisticated machines that can make espresso, coffee and cappuccino by just pushing a quick button. These save a lot of space on your countertops and they are very modern. A good company can install them in a single day and you will be enjoying custom, gourmet coffee in no time. This allows homeowners to eliminate several appliances, including espresso machines, coffee machines and bean grinders because these built-in machines can do all of this.

Modern Cabinetry

There are many options for more modern cabinets that homeowners can take advantage of. Modern cabinetry is floating and minimal and does not have a lot of bells and whistles. They usually have sliding doors as opposed to traditional cabinet doors and there is no hardware. The new surfaces include things like aluminum, high-gloss lacquer, bamboo, and semi-translucent glass. These are often made in basic colors like white, black, red, and blue, but you can find wooden options too if you want to balance out the modern with the more traditional. You can customize and design these to best fit your needs, style, and personal preferences.

Custom Counter tops

Custom counter tops offer a large variety of options and include marble pastry slabs and wooden butcher block inserts. Materials are being mixed and matched with the latest trends, such as metal and glass mixed together. Other popular materials include marble and soapstone. Of course, granite is still a go to counter top option for many modern and traditional homes. Sealed concrete, stainless steel, and engineered quartz are also very popular. Engineered quartz has many benefits because it requires far less maintenance than granite, but looks very similar. It offers the high-end look, but just keeping it wiped off is usually enough to maintain it. The new trends are sleek and simple and they often use a combination of materials.

Basic Kitchen Layout Shapes

What's determines your kitchen layout? You've heard of the phrase “form follows function”. This is true when it comes to the layout of a kitchen. There are, however, some basic kitchen layout shapes ie Straight, Galley, L, U, and G that are based on the work triangle. The work triangle is formed by tracing an…

What's determines your kitchen layout? You've heard of the phrase “form follows function”. This is true when it comes to the layout of a kitchen. There are, however, some basic kitchen layout shapes ie Straight, Galley, L, U, and G that are based on the work triangle.

The work triangle is formed by tracing an invisible line between the sink, range, and refrigerator. No leg of the triangle is shorter than 4 feet nor longer than 9 feet. With the total of all legs not being greater than 26 feet.

No obstructions in the triangle.

STRAIGHT | ONE WALL

The one wall kitchen layout is the smallest of all kitchen design layouts. There really is not work triangle as such for obvious reasons. This kitchen layout is ideal for smaller homes or as a secondary kitchen in a larger homes. This type of kitchen plan is best suited for an efficiency style of apartment and is often incorporated into loft style or open floor plans.

Because its small stature the one-wall kitchen design often lends itself to the use of combination appliances. Hood / microwave works well here as does a range for cooking rather than a cooktop and separate oven. Try not to crowd appliances too closely together. Leaving ample space for cabinetry between appliances will make the kitchen much more functional.

Pros:

  • The single wall design totally eliminates outside traffic flow in this kitchen.
  • This is the perfect choice for an open floor plan or basic kitchen layout.
  • Likely to be the lease expensive kitchen to remodel.

Cons:

  • The lack of a traditional work triangle in the one-wall kitchen design makes it a less efficient kitchen layout.
  • Lack of size can lead to limited storage space.
  • Storage can be very limited in a smaller kitchen such as this.

GALLEY CORRIDOR

The galley or corridor style kitchen design layout gets its name from the galley of a ship. This kitchen is also referred to as a refrigerator kitchen layout or plan. With this kitchen plan all cabinets and appliances are in a straight line on opposite walls. This can be one of the most highly efficient kitchens to cook in due to its small size. Everything the cook needs is not far from hand and a lot of the back and forth movement by the cook can be eliminated here.

The main draw back to this kitchen layout is that it is designed as a pass through kitchen. This invites traffic into the kitchen and as a result things can get crowed. Shoot for a minimum of 4 feet between countertops to allow ample room.

Try to keep guests from passing through if possible. If carefully thought out this kitchen can offer ample cabinet storage and adequate counter space. Space saving appliances such as smaller refrigerators and under cabinet appliances are ideal in this kitchen design.

Pros:

  • Due to the smaller work area and basic kitchen layout this is one of the more efficient kitchens to use.
  • Easy to keep clean and clutter free.
  • The limited space means remodeling this kitchen should be less expensive.

Cons:

  • Traffic can be a concern if the galley kitchen is open on both ends.
  • Cooks are typically not engaged with the rest of the guests and can feel a bit isolated in a galley kitchen.
  • Typically not designed for eat in use. If planned properly a snack bar can be added.

L-SHAPED

Perhaps the most common kitchen shape is the L-Shape kitchen plan. In this kitchen layout the problem of pass through traffic is eliminated. The possibility of corner storage also comes into play with the wall and base cabinetry at the inside of the L shape. It is important to take advantage of this space and use it wisely. Blank or dead corners should be avoided here.

Take care not to make each leg of the L too long to avoid unnecessary amounts of travel while working in the kitchen. A maximum leg length of 12 to 15 feet is ideal. If you have a large enough room to work with you can explore the idea of ​​adding an island to this kitchen plan.

Pros:

  • Excellent choice for a typical medium sized kitchen.
  • If laid out properly this is an extremely efficient kitchen to cook in.
  • If space permits an island or peninsula can add additional storage and function.

Cons:

  • Household traffic can interfere with work triangle.
  • Reduce traffic by placing the refrigerator at the end of one leg of the L shape.
  • Microwave / hood combo is most efficient use of space but not great for maximum ventilation.

U-SHAPED

The U shape kitchen is a close cousin to the L shape but offers more storage and counter space. In the U shape, however, you will have two inside situations to address. Lazy susan cabinets, blind corner cabinets and magic corner cabinets are all possibilities here.

This kitchen layout is suitable for larger kitchens and can be enhanced by adding a kitchen island. Should you decide to use an island try to have no less than 42 “of clear walking space around the island.

The addition of an island will likely break up the flow of a traditional work triangle so you may wish to consider the idea of ​​incorporating another work zone to add functionality to this plan.

Pros:

  • Good for larger kitchen plans. Lots of counter space and storage.
  • Ideal for adding an island to your kitchen layout.
  • Traffic through the work triangle is eliminated.

Cons:

  • Unless there is a dedicated work station at the island his is usually a single cook kitchen.
  • Try to have a minimum of 12 feet along the back wall of the U to avoid a crowded feeling in the kitchen.
  • Keep appliances a minimum of 3 feet from the corners.

G-SHAPED

The G shape kitchen is really a modified version of the U shape. Many times the G shape is completed by adding a peninsula area to create the G shape. The addition of a peninsula is an excellent way to make your kitchen more inviting especially if it incorporates seating for guests.

The downside to the G shape kitchen plan is that it does limit access to the main kitchen area so care must be taken so the kitchen does not feel cramped. Make sure there is plenty of room between the leg of the G and cabinetry on the opposite wall. Try to keep an entry access distance of no less than 48 “here.

Pros:

  • Can offer more storage and counter space than small kitchens.
  • Can offer seating space for a few guests.
  • Ideal way to limit access to the busy work triangle area of ​​the kitchen.

Cons:

  • Can make the kitchen feel closed in or smaller than it actually is.
  • Care must be taken to leave adequate ingress and egress to main kitchen work center.

This is just a sampling of the many configurations that are available. No two kitchens are exactly alike.

The kitchen layout will be completely YOURS.

A New Kitchen Design Takes Planning

The kitchen is the most essential room in your home. You want your kitchen design to be comfortable and welcoming while refelecting your lifestyle and personality. A new kitchen design means you need to learn all you can. Ask yourself questions about your lifestyle, needs and desires. However, finding the perfect balance for your kitchen…

The kitchen is the most essential room in your home. You want your kitchen design to be comfortable and welcoming while refelecting your lifestyle and personality. A new kitchen design means you need to learn all you can. Ask yourself questions about your lifestyle, needs and desires.

However, finding the perfect balance for your kitchen is no easy task. From choosing a designer to picking out colors, materials, styles and the latest trends. A new kitchen project can be daunting. How do you turn your dream into a reality? Where do I start gathering kitchen ideas?

Take the time to ask yourself some questions about you FAMILY and LIFESTYLE …

  • How many members are in your household?
  • What are the approximate ages of family members?
  • How long do you plan on living in the home you are to remodel or build?
  • Where does your family eat a kitchen, dining room, family room?
  • How often do you entertain? Do you entertain in the kitchen?
  • How many do you want to seat?

The there are some questions about COOKING STYLE and KITCHEN USAGE …

  • Who is the primary cook?
  • How may other household members cook?
  • Does the primary cook have any physical limitations?
  • What other activities do you do in your kitchen (Baking, Canning, Arts and Craft, watch TV, listen to the Radio, etc)

Then there are some DETAILED QUESTIONS about what you would like to have in your kitchen …

  • What small appliances do you use in your kitchen?
  • Which items need specialized storage?
  • Which items do you recycle?
  • Where would yo like to store items?

And then finally what DESIGN | STYLE and DECORATIONS | FINISHES do you like …

What type of feeling would you like your new space to have?

  • Formal
  • Traditional
  • Sleek / Contemporary
  • Open and airy
  • Family retreat
  • Country
  • Personal design statement
  • Strictly functional, etc.

What colors do you like ?

What colors do you particularly dislike?

What wood types or finishes are you considering for your new kitchen?

There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to these questions. Everyone has there personal preferences. The purpose of them is to allow you to pick your own brain and engage in the design process. Think about the products and services you will need for your project.

If you are engaged in the design process you can quickly, easily and painlessly design your project before construction begins.

Good design is not a secret. You can turn you dream kitchen into a reality.

Survival Tips For Your Kitchen Remodeling Project

Homeowners often report that a kitchen remodeling project is worth the hassle, but only if they've had a few months to remove themselves from the experience! If you're considering starting a project of this magnitude, here are a few ways that you can make the experience more bearable and less stressful. Know Where Your Water…

Homeowners often report that a kitchen remodeling project is worth the hassle, but only if they've had a few months to remove themselves from the experience! If you're considering starting a project of this magnitude, here are a few ways that you can make the experience more bearable and less stressful.

Know Where Your Water Shut Off Valves Are Before Starting Kitchen Remodeling

If you're having a new faucet or dishwasher put in, you're going to need to turn off the water before removing the old fixtures. Some homes have a shut off valve under the sink that enables homeowners to simply turn off the access to the sink and dishwasher. If you do not have these, you'll probably have to turn off the water to your entire home! Luckily, installing a shut off valve that controls the kitchen's access to water is simple and can typically be done by a handyman before you start your project. It's a small step, but one that can definitely make your life easier during the remodel.

Move Your Refrigerator

If you're replacing the flooring or changing the layout of your cabinets, you probably need to move your refrigerator to another part of the home. If you can, plug it in so that it can run in another room in your house. It may be a slight hassle to have to go to another room to get a glass or milk or a snack, but having access to perishables can cut down on the meals that you have to purchase during your kitchen remodeling.

Try To Eat Healthily

You may not expect to gain weight during your kitchen remodeling, but the truth is that most people do gain a little. When you do not have access to an oven, you may feel forced to eat restaurant foods like burgers and fries or pizza. If you can, look for healthier options such as cold cut subs with light mayo or salads with lower calorie dressings (if your fridge is working, add your own wearing so that you know just how many calories are in each tablespoon of salad dressing!) . If possible, try to find a few healthy slow cooker recipes that can be cooked without using your oven. Grocery stores even sell plastic slow cooker liners that can minimize the mess.

Use Disposable Dishes

Now is not the time to do dishes by hand, especially if your sink is not connected to a water supply. To help make your life easier, buy a supply of disposable cutlery, plates and bowls. While this is not a very eco-friendly option, it will be temporary. Once your sink and dishwasher are connected, you'll be able to go back to washing your own dishes instead of using disposable ones.

While it's true that a kitchen remodeling project can wreck havoc on your home life, most homeowners report that the end result is well worth the hassle. To help your family survive, use these tips and you'll end up with a kitchen of your dreams once the remodeling job is complete.

Wonderful Wood – Choosing A Finish

Replacing your kitchen cabinets are a more cost-effective way of updating your kitchen without investing in a full on re-fit, however you do have to part with some cash so it's a good idea to see what's on the market and choose your finish with care. Kitchen trends update with the seasons and they can…

Replacing your kitchen cabinets are a more cost-effective way of updating your kitchen without investing in a full on re-fit, however you do have to part with some cash so it's a good idea to see what's on the market and choose your finish with care. Kitchen trends update with the seasons and they can change as often as the fashion trends in the shopping malls; the best way to make the most of your decision is to choose something classic and timeless, that will always be in vogue and promises style and chic for years to come.

Wooden cabinets are always a classic choice and will never go out of fashion, they can also be practical too; professional cabinet makers ensure that their materials are naturally sourced, sustainable and Eco-friendly. When it comes to deciding which wood to use and how to finish it, there are hundreds of options to choose from. Timber comes with a wide range or characteristics from knotted oak styles to smooth and minimalist ebony; all of these then can have more character added or removed with different lacquering or varnishing.

A popular and timeless choice is to have your cabinets painted in a particular color; white is always a winner and works well in humble cottage kitchens or alongside stainless steel in cutting edge, modernist environments. It's casual and understated whilst brimming with elegance. If white is not your color, consider light, natural colors that can compliment the timber.

High gloss finishes are a great choice for a kitchen trying to obtain the modern look. Acrylic finishes can be expensive but they are solid, durable and easy to clean. The major downside to acrylic finishing is that it comes in a very limited range of colors and wood veneer is not one of them. Polyester is another popular high gloss finish which comes with a cheaper price tag and a wide range of colors and style options

If you've got a collection of fine china and would prefer to keep it on display, then you should consider glass or Perspex doors. Glass doors come in a wide range of styles, from completely transparent to opaque. You can combine glass with wood to create completely different and exciting combinations from traditional to modern.

On top of all of these choices there are hundreds more, from laminate solutions to stainless steel fronts. No matter what you want, there is a cabinet-maker who will go the extra mile to give you the finish that you desire. Before you contact a cabinet-maker, it's a good plan to have a rough idea of ​​what you want and how large your budget is. Try to search online or through catalogs for your ideal style to get an idea of ​​how much it should cost, and then take it to your master cabinet-maker who will refine your plan and offer creative solutions to keep your costs down.

Your kitchen cabinets will be the most prominent feature of your entire kitchen, so it's important to spend some time on the design process!

Chloramines in Drinking Water: Should My Family Be Worried?

Most people know about chlorine in their drinking water. They associate it with that “pool smell” and an unpleasant taste. Other contaminants may not be so obvious, however. For instance, chloramines, a chlorine relative used to further disinfect public water systems, are potentially hazardous but not well-known. The presence of chloramines in drinking water goes…

Most people know about chlorine in their drinking water. They associate it with that “pool smell” and an unpleasant taste. Other contaminants may not be so obvious, however. For instance, chloramines, a chlorine relative used to further disinfect public water systems, are potentially hazardous but not well-known. The presence of chloramines in drinking water goes ignored by people all over the US, but it could have harmed the environment and their health. Here's what you need to know.

What Are Chloramines?
Chloramines are used as a secondary disinfectant in city water systems. They break down more slowly and have the ability to keep killing bacteria, viruses and other dangerous organisms long after chlorine has stopped working. Most chloramines are made by combining ammonia and chlorine. They are weak against microorganisms, but they are thought to reduce the risk of infections spread in drinking water. US water systems have contained chloramines for almost 100 years, but their concentrations are increasing.

How Are Chloramines Dangerous?
Because chloramines persist in the water for longer than other disinfectants, they can have unexpected side effects. For instance, when this type of substance comes into contact with organic matter, it releases what are called disinfection byproducts or DBPs. These by products can be toxic. Some are even considered carcinogens in lab animals and may damage organisms or weak immune systems in people who are exposed to them.

Chloramines also increase the amount of lead that gets into the water if they come into contact with lead pipes. While almost all buildings no longer have this kind of plumbing, some older buildings still retain lead piping. Ordinary water does not pick up very much lead from them, however. Acidic water or drinking water treated with chloramines tend to leach more lead out of these antiquated pipes, increasing the danger to people who live in older buildings.

What Can I Do to Remove Chloramines in Drinking Water?
If you're concerned about the presence of chloramines and other chlorine derivatives in your water, you have the ability to do something about them. Look for a high quality countertop water filter capable of removing these substances. Most will also take out all the undesirable contaminants that chloramines can add into your water, such as lead. That means that you'll be able to benefit from chloramines' disinfectant properties without risking your health.

Everyone desires Clean drinking water, but many people do not realize how contaminated their supply might be. Check out your local water report or have your tap water tested. If you see evidence of contaminants, it might be time to get a water filter for purer, healthy drinking water.

Saving Money on Granite Counters

Granite's natural beauty, durability, and infinite variety of patterns and colors make it one of the most desired and practical countertop materials. Granite, along with several other natural stones is one of the easiest countertop materials to maintain and, with proper care, will stay new looking for years. When it comes to finishing your kitchen…

Granite's natural beauty, durability, and infinite variety of patterns and colors make it one of the most desired and practical countertop materials. Granite, along with several other natural stones is one of the easiest countertop materials to maintain and, with proper care, will stay new looking for years.

When it comes to finishing your kitchen countertop with granite you have several options to consider. The main options consist of a large, solid slab. Solid slabs require professional installation, and the labor and materials cost can become extremely expensive. Granite tile is by far the most economical route to take. Most granite tile countertops are made up of small 12 “x 12” tiles and a front edge cut and polished by hand. This method, although inexpensive, is very time consuming and the resulting edges are never perfectly smooth.

Some of the tile manufacturers have created pre-fab large granite tiles in several sizes and configurations, making your kitchen install a fast and painless process with edges that will impress even the toughest mother-in-law. Your counters will have a luxurious look and feel that only a slab granite top can give you, but for the price of tile! Installing these granite tiles in your kitchen is guaranteed to make your neighbors jealous … and you can tell them you did it yourself!

Most of these tile components are made from only premium A-grade granite, color-matched for a seamless flow and available in several colors. These tile manufacturers use granite from large lots to ensure shade flow and consistency are the same for your own kitchen project. Each order goes through rigorous quality control standards to minimizeize shade variations and is then securely shipped in custom-designed packaging materials.

Other than gentle cleaning, all you need to do is reseal with a penetrating stone sealer at least every year or two to prevent staining. This type of sealing is standard for granite or any other natural stone such as marble, travertine, and slate. Granite is porous and must be sealed with a penetrating stone sealer after installation. This will protect the granite from staining or scratching and will also maintain the beautiful shine.

Seal with a penetrating stone sealer, such as Stone Care International Stone and Grout Sealer. To clean your granite countertops, use a cleaner recommended for that will gently and safely clean while sealing and protecting the granite. Always use a neutral cleaner with a pH between 7 and 10.

Choosing High Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets have many purposes. Not only do they hold appliances, dishes, and food, they also bring the essential style to the kitchen. Buying kitchen cabinets can be expensive and difficult, but understanding the different cabinet options on the market and finding reputable kitchen cabinet distributors will be able to get a beautiful kitchen without…

Kitchen cabinets have many purposes. Not only do they hold appliances, dishes, and food, they also bring the essential style to the kitchen. Buying kitchen cabinets can be expensive and difficult, but understanding the different cabinet options on the market and finding reputable kitchen cabinet distributors will be able to get a beautiful kitchen without breaking the bank.

Shaker, flat panels, and raised panels. Pocket and swing doors. Eco-friendly cabinet options. These are all basic things that buyers need to know before finalizing on the kitchen cabinets. These terms may sound complicated, but they are not as intrinsic as buyers may think.

Door styles include shaker, flat, and inset. Choosing the perfect kind is important since it could have been the largest kitchen expense. Shaker cabinets are the most common door style. It is a five piece flat panel that has a frame made from four pieces and a single flat center panel for the fifth piece.

Flat panel doors are simple and stylish and do not have any expensive details. They contain hard lines and a minimalist form that makes it perfect for contemporary and modern kitchens. Flat panel cabinets work best in modern kitchens. Hardware needs to match this style. Clean and simple pulls look contemporary and work well with this cabinet style.

Inset is one of the most expensive styles on the market but it is a classic door. The door is set inside of the cabinet frame and is constructed with precise measurements so it nests well. Raised panel cabinetry looks best in traditional kitchens. Classic and old world fixtures fit best with this beautiful style.

The cabinets do not have to be traditional wood. Getting glass doors are a great way to open up the kitchen to light and space. Glass doors have some negatives as well. They are easily fingerprinted so require more frequent cleaning. The interior cabinets also need to be organized at all times for aesthetic purposes.

Standard cabinet doors swing, but there are also flip up doors, corner drawers, and pocket doors, can make cabinets more functional. Flip up doors use a hydraulic mechanism to raise the cabinet door up instead of opening them sideways. They are great for specialty areas.

Pocket doors are used to hide the heavily used task and prep areas in the kitchen. Corner drawers are a twist on the corner cabinet that pulls out from the corner. They are fully accessible that allow the difficult corner cabinet to be opened easily.

Open shelving is a great idea to make a kitchen more modern. It is a simple and clean storage style that works well with any home. They exhibit the feel of a lived-in workable space. It makes the kitchen the heart of the home no matter what style the kitchen is.

Adding molding to the cabinet is an easy way to make any kind of cabinet look custom. Adding crown molding to an existing kitchen or edge molding to new cabinets will help the kitchen look more elegant and rich. It is a great addition to do after buying new cabinets for the kitchen.

Decorative supports, aprons, and corbels are great extra features to add to cabinets. They are not standard on most cabinets, but are a great project to add on to the kitchen after installation of the new cabinet. Decorative supports put an artful emphasis on upper cabinets. The supports were originally designed to help support cabinets, but now they only serve as decor.

Corbels are a great focal point to add to make a kitchen more elegant. They work best in island corners. They are very ornate and stand out on kitchen cabinets to draw attention to certain features. The apron is a piece of wood that travels under and around the countertop overhang. A standard apron height is three inches to leave room for legs under the countertop.

How to Create a Modern Kitchen

Updating the kitchen to look more updated and modern can do wonders for the rest of the home. Since the kitchen is the busiest room in the house, updating to clean lines and a modern cabinet design will help improve the look and functionality of the room. A modern kitchen reflects to the specific design…

Updating the kitchen to look more updated and modern can do wonders for the rest of the home. Since the kitchen is the busiest room in the house, updating to clean lines and a modern cabinet design will help improve the look and functionality of the room.

A modern kitchen reflects to the specific design style from the early to mid-20th century that broke traditional styles of kitchens dating from the Industrial Revolution. The term can be confusing, since it is often used to describe something that is opposite of traditional. This can vary depending on the time period being referred to.

Modern kitchen designs comprise frameless cabinets, sleek hardware, clean horizontal lines, and not too much ornamentation along with the use of natural and eco-friendly materials.

A flat panel door style for cabinets is a signature element of modern kitchen design. While shaker door designs are popular in modern kitchens, they are more of a transitional style than modern. Shaker styles can still be used, but it is not the best option for those who want a truly modern look.

Frameless and full overlay cabinet construction is when the cabinet door overlays the cabinet box. This is most often used in modern kitchens because it is a sleeker than a flush inset cabinet. Flush insets are associated with traditional cabinet and furniture design. In a frameless cabinet, people will not be able to see a face frame at all.

There will be consistent spacing between all the doors and drawers and even between two cabinets. In a framed overlay, there is still face frame and varying space between doors and cabinets. When the door is closed on a frameless cabinet, the frame can not be seen except for one eighth of an inch shadow line between the cabinets.

Sleek and simple hardware, such as C-channel hardware integrated into the cabinet, tubular pulls, and flat linear pulls, are used to create the look of a modern kitchen. Horizontal lines of the cabinets are accentuated by cabinet hardware that runs the full length of the drawers and doors.

The signature look of a modern kitchen is a lack of ornamentation. There is no patterned tile shapes, multiple materials with texture, or color in a modern kitchen. The flat panel doors and sleek hardware combine with a full height glass backsplash and countertops without any pattern or veining.

Use of natural materials, such as bamboo, is another great way to make a kitchen scheme modern. When modern kitchens have ornamentation, it comes from the natural characteristics of materials used in cabinetry and countertops. This can be the veining of marble or the vertical or horizontal look of cut bamboo cabinets.

Modern kitchens emphasize horizontal lines in their design. The lines are long and wide with stacks of drawer cabinets lined in a row along with hardware set long and horizontal to accentuate the lines of the drawers. Cabinets can also have horizontal grooves in addition to the grain being horizontal on all cabinet fronts.

Accent pieces need to be consistent in a modern kitchen. Accents can be lighting, tables, chairs, and bar stools. These elements need to stay consistent, unlike eclectic kitchens where every piece is different. They should show simple and clean lines with a lack of ornamentation.

Sleek bar stools and pendant lights are consistent with modern style. However, the architecture of the actual kitchen does not have to be modern in order to match the design scheme. There can be a hundred year old stained glass window over the sink with full overlay cabinets surrounding it. Color can also be introduced as accents in a modern kitchen.

Things to Do Before Transferring to a New Home

Relocation is never easy. It's a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, you get a fresh start somewhere else. On the other, you have to say goodbye to a place or people you've come to love. The mixed emotions often add to the stress of doing all the necessary preparations for the move, so it's always…

Relocation is never easy. It's a bittersweet feeling. On one hand, you get a fresh start somewhere else. On the other, you have to say goodbye to a place or people you've come to love. The mixed emotions often add to the stress of doing all the necessary preparations for the move, so it's always a good idea to emotionally brace yourself as well.

The first thing you'll need to do is come to terms with the fact that you're leaving. Most times, relocation is approached about by fresher opportunities somewhere. Perhaps you were promoted and need to be in an office in another state. Perhaps you're tagging along with a special someone or you bought a house somewhere to start living together.

Perhaps you're doing it for the kids, with better futures awaiting them somewhere, scholarships and all. Whatever it is, the fact that you're leaving is more often than not an indication of a better life somewhere, and you have to hold on to that.

Yes, the new place may be different. It could be the same. It could have been more hectic or a lot less busy. Letting go of your old place is not easy. But you will be able to adjust. It's just a matter of time.

Your new place will not be the same as the old one, and there can only be so much that you can bring along with you. Visit your new place a few weeks before the day of the trip. At first glance, you should be able to figure out what items you can carry over to the new house.

Get a sense of how the new home is built. Plan simple things like where to put your extra chairs. If a piece of does not fit in the new living room, maybe there's more space in the bedroom upstairs. You can bring everything to the new house if it's about the same size as the old one. Just set them all up differently.

If there are any things that will just not fit, consider leaving them behind. You can give them to charity or have a garage sale. In about my family's third move, we passed some of our furniture off to my sister and her husband since they had a bigger house. You can do the same. Start packing whatever is left.

Once you've figured out how much cargo you have, you can decide whether there's a need paid help. If you can obtain a vehicle, you can do all the hauling yourself. If not, sometimes you have friends you can borrow a truck from.
The bottom line is this: doing everything yourself is a cheaper option, but requires a bit of manual labor.

If you decide to work with transportation companies, they'll do all the heavy lifting. They may also work with setting up utility services on your home, or at least provide you with a list to choose from.

Your new home should be prepped and ready when you arrive. One of the worst things that can happen is by the time you get into your new home, you find holes in the roof or leaking faucets. Try to visit the new house prior to the move so as to know what needs repairs and what services need setting up.

If there are utilities that need reconnecting, then you should try to arrange them in advance. Call up various companies to see what works best for you. If you need internet service transferred to your new home, let your provider know at least two weeks in advance. The same goes for gas companies and cable providers. If you're a little short on time, go online. There are sites that allow you to find quotes on various services. The same sites that offer quotes may also be able to arrange connections for you.

A Efficient Way to Organize Your Cabinets

Your kitchen is one of the busiest areas in your home. For most women, it's where the magic happens – turning simple market finds into sumptuous meals. As the case may be, your kitchen is also home to your many pots, pans, containers, etc. While all these kitchen tools and equipment are necessary to make…

Your kitchen is one of the busiest areas in your home. For most women, it's where the magic happens – turning simple market finds into sumptuous meals. As the case may be, your kitchen is also home to your many pots, pans, containers, etc. While all these kitchen tools and equipment are necessary to make great meals, it can be quite challenging to keep them all organized. Follow these easy steps to have a well-organized kitchen so that your everyday cooking is hassle-free.

Remove Everything First
Organizing is easier when you start with a clean slate. Remove everything from your cabinets. Lay it all out on your kitchen table. Do not get overwhelmed with the voluminous stack of tools and equipment you'll have after emptying your cabinets. We all have a great deal more of this stuff than we realize. Perform the next steps and all those items will disappear in a few minutes.

Sort. Decide what you can do without.

Often, our kitchen cabinets are filled with various items that we do not really need anymore. Many of us are guilty of keeping rusted tin pans and containers, old jars, and broken utensils. Now that you have it all right in front of you, decide on what you need and do not need anymore. Throw away (or donate, if possible) all items that you will not be using anymore. This will definitely give you more space in your cabinets.

Arrange according to type and usage

Arrange your items according to type. Gather plates in one place, pots and pans in another. Make sure that your kitchen items are grouped together according to type. Keeping the large and small plates in the same location helps family members find things when mom's not around. The same goes for bowls. Try to place your dishes close to the dishwasher for convenience when putting things away. Often pots and pans can go in bottom cabinets. Glasses should go close to the sink so it's easy to get a drink of water. Place cups closer to the coffee pot.

It's also a good idea to sort your kitchen items according to how often use them. In those high or remote cabinets, you can store pots, pans and dishes that you do not use very often. We all have turkey roasters and platters that only get used a couple of times each year so be sure to put those in out-of-the-way locations.

Organizers

If you have a lot of little kitchen items and gadgets, it's a good idea to purchase small cabinet organizers to reduce clutter and keep things in place. Drawer organizers for utensils are inexpensive and keep things tidy. The office supply section of your local department store will have many types of plastic organizer trays. These are great for bottle openers, ice cream scoops, ladles, etc. Use canisters for some food items like flour, sugar, and biscuit mix. Make sure that these containers are air-tight to maintain freshness and prolong the shelf life of your food items. Large-mouted glass jars are great for rice, pasta and beans.

Put Things Back

Now that you have your kitchen fully organized, encourage your family to put things back where they found them. You can put little sticky notes on items left out that say cute things like:
“I was left on the counter. Please help me find my way home.” This is a fun way to teach your family to put things away. The whole house stays more comfortable and less cluttered when everyone does their part.