Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

Our last post focused on the benefits of range hoods ... removing airborne contaminants, steam, and heat from your home. The next question is determining the style of range hood to select for your home. We will discuss focus on the three common range hood designs in this blog ... wall mount/chimney style, microwave/undercabinet, and ceiling mounted.

Wall / Chimney mounted hoods go directly against a kitchen wall, above the range or cooktop. This style typically prevents cabinets from being installed above the hood. Space also needs to be provided between the range hood and the cabinets flanking each side of the hood. Numerous shapes, styles, and materials are available to choose from.

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Wall Mount Hood

 

Under Cabinet / Microwave hoods, like the wall / chimney option, attach directly to a kitchen wall. These units typically have smaller blower motors, so are not as powerful as a full-size range hood. From a price perspective, these are inexpensive. While performance may not be ideal, they can be a good answer depending on your kitchen's size and layout.

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Finally, range hoods can be mounted to the ceiliing. These are "free-standing" and used over a cooktop / stove located in an island or peninsula. Installation of a ceiling mounted hood is more complex and best done by a contractor. This style is large enough to accomodate a powerful blower.

ceiling mount hood

Range hoods are vented one of two ways ... outside of your home or recirculated back into the kitchen. Ideally, a range hood will be vented outside the home.  This gives optimal performance with regards to noise and air quality. However, venting outside the home is not always possible, requiring the air to be recirculated. One example requiring recirculation is a high-rise condominium. In a recirculating hood, charcoal filters are used to eliminate odors and airborne contaminants before sending the air back into the room. The downside of recirculation is a reduction in airflow, additional noise, and periodic cleaning. 

Watch for our next blog ... we will talk about CFM and sizing. Thinking about a kitchen remodel?  Give us a call or stop in our Carmel, Indiana showroom and let us help you.

When choosing appliances for a kitchen renovation, range hoods are often overlooked. It is important to understand the purpose of range hoods, various designs, CFM requirements, and venting options to avoid buyers' remorse. Keep reading to learn more about range hoods.

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There are three elements to a range hood ... a canopy, blower motor, and venting. The canopy is the most visible part of the hood. It is the "capture area" located over the stove or cooktop. As the name implies, it captures the steam, heat, and smells rising from the cooking surface. The blower motor creates airflow to pull steam, heat, and smells upward. It is important to correctly size the blower motor to the cooking surface. We will talk more about CFM in an upcoming blog post. Finally, the venting carries the air away from the kitchen and out of the home.

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The purpose of a range hood is to extract "dirty" air resulting from cooking and force it outside your home. There are a number of benefits from removing "dirty" air, including:

  • Drawing airborne grease from cooking out of the house before it settles on your new cabinets. This helps avoid / minimize time consuming cleaning to remove grime in your home.
  • Pulling steam, smoke, and heat from the cooking surface up and out, keeping it away from your face. This is safer and it makes cooking easier.
  • Preventing your house from smelling like last night's dinner. A number of foods and spices have very strong smells. Installing a range hood cleans up strong smells so they don't linger.
  • Improving overall air quality of your home by eliminating various airborne contaminants and moisture from cooking. Range hoods also encourage the inflow of fresh air.

While not the most exciting kitchen appliance, range hoods serve a valuable purpose. Watch for future blogs and our discussions of the various range hood styles, venting options, and how to correctly size a range hood for your kitchen.

 

Please give us a call or stop into our showroom if we can be of assistance in planning your kitchen renovation. 

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

Quartz Sink 1

 

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.

Cabinet Inspirations & Ideas

Why Quartz Countertops?

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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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