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

Murphy's Law and Remodeling

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Murphy's Law ... "If anything can go wrong, it will" ... was coined at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949.  Its namesake, Captain Edward Murphy, was an engineer working on a project to determine how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash. Upon finding a transducer wired wrong by a technician, he remarked, "If there is any way to do it wrong, he'll find it." The project manager added this to his list of "laws," referring to it as Murphy's Law.

So, how is Murphy's Law connected with remodeling projects?  Like the Air Force project, you can expect to have some aspect of a remodeling project go wrong. This can even include items outside the area being remodeled.

For example, in one of our kitchen remodeling projects, electrical work was required for the relocation of appliances and lighting, and the addition of undercabinet lights. In the process of completing this work, it became apparent that during a previous project in the home, shortcuts were taken with the electrical work. Breakers and wiring were overloaded creating a significant risk of fire. Not a pleasant or inexpensive surprise for the homeowner. As you would expect, the electrical issues were corrected before continuing with the kitchen renovation.

As you get ready for your remodeling project, here are a few "surprises" you should prepare for:

  • Products delivered late, damaged, or with missing parts
  • Incorrect products delivered to the job site
  • Miscommunication
  • More dust than expected
  • Mold/moisture from plumbing leaks
  • Finding termites or carpenter ants
  • Structural issues including insufficient support for load bearing walls
  • Need to remove asbestos or lead paint

Preparing yourself for project surprises will help minimize your stress and frustration when they occur. Including a budget item in your project for contingencies and surprises will allow you to deal with the problem without feeling like your budget is busted.

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