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Planning A Kitchen Remodel

by Kim Kinrade

Planning a kitchen remodel is one of the most daunting jobs of any renovation you will do. The forces which have to mesh to make a successful kitchen are many, including ergonomic concerns and the placement of the modules. For example, the fridge, stove and dishwasher have to be accessible without long jaunts across the kitchen to each appliance and the doors of both new kitchen cabinets and appliances should never impede the actions of each other.

Oak is always a popular choice for cabinets but cherry cabinets are making inroads. The natural coloring of cherry breaks up the monotony of other light woods. Many kitchen renovators build the cabinets first and then get the doors made from a specialty shop. The pulls and knobs, like the detailing and trim on a classic vehicle, bring out the colors of the wood and tie the whole kitchen together. Automatically-closing drawers are also popular. The mechanism works when the drawer is pushed in manually to a certain point then it grabs the drawer and slowly pulls it shut. This is a great idea for safety as well as convenience.

Thanks to the modern kitchen trends cabinet install particulars can be mixed and matched rather than the “uni-kitchen cabinet” placement of a few years ago. In other words the island can have a different cabinet designation than the wall cabinets and, instead of granite have a formica counter.

When it comes to the kitchen floor many homeowners are sticking with ceramic tile floors while others are trying other products such as cork and laminate. Water is an enemy of wood, especially the laminate products, so these products should be sealed when used for kitchen applications. Ceramic floor tile installation or linoleum need only minimal sealing, usually around the edges. Tile can be placed in various patterns instead of the standard “checker-board” appearance. Diamond patterns and designs with two or three different sizes and/or colors of tile will bring out an appealing pattern to the area setting off the cabinets. Bold, pre-assembled, tile designs can be the centerpiece of this flooring.

Granite still leads for the countertops although composite stone is catching up. This amazing product, originating in Europe, is made from stone particles pressed with an epoxy. The result is a strong, heat-proof, waterproof surface that needs no sealing. It is a revolution in kitchen bath design.

 Not to be ignored the backsplash is another trim specialty. Once the cabinets, countertop and flooring have been installed this area above the counter should tie both the vertical and horizontal lines of the kitchen. A glass backsplash is especially striking as the pieces can come in a myriad of colors and shapes rather than the usual 4” squares. However, this is not to say that the standard tiles do not have an extraordinary variety for choice. Many kitchens are defined by their backsplashes and the 4” tile is still a leader.

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