Cabinets and Countertops

Making the change

Changing the cabinets and countertops in your home can be a big undertaking. There are millions of choices, some that work well from some people, but not for others. There are also smaller details that should be looked to make sure that you get the most beautiful kitchen you can.

Here is an article that can get you started right away with choosing kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen Cabinets

There is a huge variety of kitchen cabinet styles and materials. From ultra-modern to traditional, from oak to mahogany to laminate, there are as many styles as there are kitchen to put them in.

Here is a brief list of styles of kitchen cabinets that are available.

  • Contemporary
  • Modern
  • Rustic
  • Shaker
  • Country
  • Mission-style
  • French Country
  • Retro
  • Tuscan
  • Craftsman-style

This is far from a comprehensive list. Also, many manufacturers will rename these styles to their own names. Ultimately, the best way to discover what might work best is to consult with a professional.

Start here at www.qualitysmith.com .

Deciding on the Right Cabinets

Making a decision on the right kitchen cabinets is often something that you might consider hiring a professional to assist with.

Replacing versus resurfacing

One of the possible ways to renew your kitchen is to resource the cabinets instead of replacing them.

Resurfacing and/or refinishing your cabinets involves putting on new doors and refinishing the cabinets’ exterior. This means that you won’t have to worry about tearing apart you kitchen. You will simply need to have a couple of days of inconvenience and you will have a new looking kitchen.

This is perfect if your cabinets already meet your needs. If you don’t really need new designs or reconfigured cabinets, then this is the way to go.

Starting Over

When most people think about replacing their cabinets, they imagine tearing out what they have and starting over. This allows them to essentially have a brand new kitchen, from top to bottom.

The advantage is that you can reconfigure your kitchen to be anything you want it to be. Very often, we have moved into a house that someone else has designed. Their kitchen setup might now work for your needs. With new cabinets, you can put in anything you want, from a Lazy Susan to fancy multi-level drawers.

The downside is that the more that you do, the more mess and time it takes. Obviously, this is also a much more expensive job. Whether you choose prebuilt cabinets or custom-made cabinets, it will likely cost you a lot more than simply refinishing the cabinets. Also, tearing out old cabinets will make a much larger mess than taking off doors and replacing them.

Check out this Quality Smith article on choosing the right cabinets .

You may also find this article on tips and tricks helpful.

Cabinet Features that You Might Want

There are a number kitchen cabinet features that you might consider including in a remodel. Many of these have been around a while, but are gaining popularity. Others are new inventions that make life easier and more fun.

  • Island cooktop – Rather than having a stove against a wall, an island cooktop in the center of the room is a great way to be able to see the room and interact with guests. If this is added to great workspaces on the right and left, you have something that looks like it belongs on a Food Network set.
  • Dishwasher Drawer – Nope, that’s not a misprint. Essentially, this is a small dishwasher located in a large drawer. They only do a few dishes at a time, but they can keep the mess in the kitchen under control without having to give up space to a full-sized dishwasher. In homes will a lot of people and a lot of dishes, this can be a great addition to a full-sized dishwasher, taking care of late night dishes rather than having them pile on the counters.
  • Coffee Bar – For those of us who worship the java bean, a coffee bar can be an amazing thing. A small alcove set into the counters, a coffee bar has a water supply, room for an espresso machine or a Keurig machine, and even a microwave for heating water. You can even a custom Keurig cup holder built to keep those little cups neatly arranged.
  • Deep Drawers – For those of us who have older cabinets, we envy people who can put all of their pots into a single drawer. Deep drawers make your cabinets more useful and versatile. They eliminate the need to use pantry space for stock pots and pans.

Countertops – Formica isn’t All There Is

There are many different types of countertop materials. They are designed to durable, non-porous and easy to clean.

  • Quartz – Made from crushed quartz and a bonding epoxy, quartz countertops are durable and come in a huge variety of colors and styles. This allows you to use quartz to fit nearly any décor.
  • Granite – A natural stone, granite is a hard stone that is associated with the most elegant kitchens. There are hundreds of different types of granite around the world, from white to green to black. Granite tends to be expensive simply because it must be cut a s full sheets.
  • Marble – Frequently associated with granite, marble is a stunning natural stone that is hard and durable. It sometimes requires special cleaning simply because it can be a bit porous.
  • Recycled glass – Similar to the way that quartz countertops are made, recycled glass is put into an epoxy resin. This type of countertops is relatively inexpensive and very durable. The variety of styles and colors of the glass make it an easy complement to any design.
  • Tile – Tile is a classic countertop materials. You can choose from plain white to sunning designs. Tile is durable and if one chips, it easy to replace it.
  • Butcherblock – Made from pieces of hardwood glued together, butcherblock is an old time favorite.  The fact that is shows wear, like cuts from knives, enhances its beauty.
  • Stainless steel – Only recently becoming popular in homes, stainless is the standard in professional settings. If you are a germophobe, stainless steel is perfect. Bacteria can’t survive on stainless steel and it’s incredibly easy to clean. This is the perfect countertops for anyone who loves cooking shows or professional kitchens.

Choosing a Countertop

One of best ways to choose a countertop is to go to a store that sells them and touch them. The feel of butcherblock counter versus tile versus granite is all very different. How you feel about the countertop is as important as what it’s made from.

Matching your countertop colors and materials to your cabinet choices is the next step. You can look at what will fit best and then decide on colors.

Don’t be afraid to mix two or three countertop materials. A work surface of butcherblock in a kitchen of stainless steel is perfect. Having a section of flat marble in a tile countertop will be perfect.

All that really matters is that you remember to mix beauty and practicality. If you choose only on looks, you have the prettiest kitchen in the world for take-out food because you won’t want to cook in it.

[Link] to an article about roofing materials

Considerations for Hiring a Cabinet and Countertop Contractor

Nearly any contractor will tell you that they can do cabinets and countertops. The truth is that most can, but there is a difference between a generalist and a specialist.

A cabinet specialist can advise you on the best choices for colors, materials, and more. They are more likely to know all of the different specialty items you can get, like multilevel drawers and lit up corner cabinets. Their expertise can turn you cabinets from a simple place to store things to a centerpiece of your kitchen.

As always, be sure that they are fully licensed and insured. You not only have the right to ask, but you have an obligation to get that information from every contractor and verify it. Someone who is not insured and licensed can end up costing you a lot of money down the road.

A note about the contractors that the big box stores recommend. Those contractors don’t work for the store. They are independent and the store is not liable for anything they any more than Google is liable for someone you find online. Even if they are recommended to you by someone in the store, you have to check them out and make sure that they are insured and licensed.

Having Fun

Remodeling a kitchen, even if it’s just to change the cabinet doors, is an undertaking. Try not to get too caught up in the process. Focus on the end result: The gorgeous and comfortable kitchen that you will be able to live and work in. It will be a meeting place for family and friends.

Your kitchen is the heart of your house. Let it shine with the most amazing style. Let it tell the world what you think and what you love just by looking at it.