Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

Stainless steel sinks continue to be used in the vast majority of kitchen remodeling projects. While hard to get exact figures, one sink manufacturer estimates stainless steel represents approximately 70% of all sink purchases. It is easy to understand why ... stainless steel sinks are relatively inexpensive, durable, and available in a variety of configurations and sizes. While stainless steel remains the leader, we are seeing more clients opt for quartz sinks.

Like quartz countertops discussed in our previous blog, quartz sinks are made from a combination of natural quartz and acrylic resin. The typical ratio is 80% quartz and 20% resin, providing a very durable sink with the look and feel of natural stone

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Quartz sinks are becoming popular for a number of reasons.

  • As noted above, quartz sinks are very durable. They are resistant to heat, scratches, dents, and chips.
  • Quartz is a non-porous material making it hygienic and resistant to bacteria/odors.
  • Quartz has inherent sound-proof characteristics, making it quieter than stainless steel sinks.
  • The availability of an assortment of colors makes it easy to find a color to complement your countertop.
  • With most quartz sinks costing between $200 to $600, they are an affordable option.

As you consider quartz sinks, there are a couple of additional characteristics to keep in mind. Quartz sinks are hard. Dropping dishes, glasses, or fragile china on the sink can cause damage. These sinks are also prone to showing water spots. To avoid this, they need to be wiped dry after every use.

Caring for a quartz sink is relatively easy. You will want to regularly clean it with a mild detergent and wipe dry after use. Do not use abrasive cleaners or sponges to clean these sinks.

Give us a call at 317-848-1111 or stop in our Carmel, Indiana showroom to let us help you with your kitchen renovation, including your sink selection.

Over the last couple of years, the popularity of quartz countertops has increased significantly. The majority of our clients are choosing quartz, instead of granite, solid surface, or laminate for their kitchen or bathroom projects. This shift is due in part to quartz manufacturers developing the ability to create random patterns and more color options. It also helps that quartz does not require any maintenance. The major manufacturers of quartz tops are Cambria, Caesarstone, and Silestone.

Read on for additional information on quartz countertops.

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What is Quartz?

Quartz is a man-made, engineered material with characteristics very similar to natural stone. It is sometimes referred to as man-made granite. Quartz countertops are made by grinding natural-quartz crystals into a dust or aggregate and then fusing with resin binders and color pigments. This is done under heat and pressure to form a solid slab. Pieces of glass or metallic flecks may also be added for more visual interest. The slab is then cut to the correct measurements in the same manner as granite, with a variety of edge profiles.

Like granite, quartz tops are very heavy. Installation is not typically a DIY project and should be left to certified installers.

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Pros/Cons of Quartz

Quartz has a number of benefits. As mentioned above, quartz is non-porous, making it maintenance-free. Many customers select quartz based solely on this characteristic. Granite, on the other hand, requires regular sealing. Quartz is also anti-microbial. Finally, a number of quartz colors come in "jumbo slabs." These slabs are larger than normal, allowing fewer or no seams in a counter or island top.

On the downside, quartz is typically more expensive than other countertop materials, including granite. Quartz cannot be used in outdoor settings as direct UV light can impact colors.

If you are considering new countertops, stop in our Carmel, Indiana showroom and we will be happy to talk with you about all the countertop options, including quartz.

 

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A kitchen remodel can be complicated enough without the addition of drama. Cranky neighbors and spiteful construction workers can make your project go from disruptive to torturous in a hurry. You may want to brush up on your remodeling etiquette before passive-aggressive (or just aggressive) overtures from neighbors or workers consume your life.

When dealing with neighbors, the National Association of Home Builders' website suggests the following measures:

  • "Let neighbors know well in advance about your home remodeling plans and keep them apprised of progress, detail by detail. Tell them when work will begin, the approximate completion date, what work will be done and whether workers might have to come onto their property. If delays arise, promptly contact your neighbors to inform them of the revised schedule."
  • "Make sure noisy power tools are only used during standard business hours. Reasonable hours are 8am to 5pm."
  • "Inform your neighbors of any large trucks entering the neighborhood and ask subcontractors to park on one side of the street only."

Since you are paying the construction crew that is working on your home, you might not feel like they are entitled to anything extra. How you treat them is clearly your perogative, but small gestures can help keep morale from dropping.

One suggestion is to provide contractors with bottled water or pop. This is not expensive and can help work move along, especially during the hot days of summer.

Cabinet Inspirations & Ideas

How Do You Prepare for a Kitchen Remodel?

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So, you made the decision to remodel your kitchen. Now you’re wondering what to do did with everything in the existing kitchen. Here are a few tips to help you in the process.

 

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Cabinet Contents – During a kitchen remodel, it is unlikely you will be using the various dishes, serving plates, utensils, and pots/pans as you normally do. Obtain several boxes and packing paper/bubble wrap and pack away all the kitchen items that will not be needed for the duration of the project.  This can be a good time to dispose/donate kitchen items that are no longer needed or used.

Refrigerator – Depending on the scope of the project, the refrigerator may be moving to another location in the house.  Like the cabinets, this creates a great time to clean it out and get rid of any items with strange colors growing on them.

Temporary Kitchen – If you have the space, you might consider setting up a temporary kitchen. This space could include a microwave, coffee pot, paper plates, plastic cups and other items to help make quick, simple meals while the kitchen is out of commission. Set up your temporary kitchen close to a sink to facilitate water access and clean-up. We have seen temporary kitchens put in a spare bedroom, along the side of the family room, or even setting up a refrigerator and microwave outside in the garage.

Minimizing Dust – You will need to prepare for dust in your home.  Your contractor will typically provide temporary plastic “walls” to close off the kitchen, minimizing dust from getting into the rest of the house. You may also consider covering furniture or draperies that are close to the area as dust will inevitably find its way out of the space being remodeled.

Children & Pets – When remodeling a kitchen, there can be a number of potential safety hazards. As much as possible, you want to shut off access to the kitchen for your children and pets. This can include setting up baby/pet gates, moving your kids’ toys, and relocating your pets’ food/water bowls. Talk to your remodeling contractor about any concerns or questions about how to keep both your children and pets safe.

 

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If you have additional questions about remodeling your kitchen, stop in our showroom or give us a call. Our designers would be happy to help you better understand how to make getting a new kitchen go as smooth as possible.

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