Recently I came across an article at HGTV where the author inquired after the choice of readers regarding costly custom cabinets and the cheap stock versions. The answers and reviews were quite interesting and one fact which was reinforced was the importance of budget in preparing for a new cabinetry or refacing the old ones. Cabinets occupy the lion’s share of the renovation budget and as such the need to consider all pros and cons are very important. Then there is the option of semi-custom cabinets which are id way between the two budgetary extremes. Choosing the right one is entirely your decision.
Custom cabinets are made of the best materials available, having said that there are several varieties which can make a huge difference in terms of price and quality. No matter how much you consider or generalize, as a rule of thumb, custom cabinets are costlier than stock or semi-custom ones.
Refacing Old Cabinets
One significant factor in case of custom, stock and semi-custom cabinets is the door. If these are in good shape then a refacing job will be enough to put the shine back on the cabinets. Veneers are available in classic, hybrid and modern styles. This is a smart alternative to buying new kitchens without spending even a fraction of what is needed for it.
Are your cabinets dented or bent? Do not worry, you can sand paper the surface a bit after a layer of putty and repaint them to look like new. Little thing such as changing the wall colors, tiles or the floors can make the necessary change. There is no need to feel constrained by your budgetary limits.
Among the wide range of things that are available in the name of kitchen hardware it can sometimes be confusing to narrow down one a few that suits your needs. If you get your head spinning with these many things to choose from, here is a quick guide which we think will be of some help to you while shopping for kitchen hardware.
One mistake that many homeowners make while purchasing kitchen cabinets is putting the hardware issue on the back burner. As far as I am concerned this the fun part that I enjoy the most. I like looking around all the several things crafted out of different materials and in all sorts of sizes and shapes. These are available in a wide range of economically viable to premium range. Hence the perfect hardware for you kitchen is sitting at the stores for you to pick them up. All it takes is a little looking around. If you look at the right places, you will find antique knobs and pewter pulls at dirt cheap rates.
Planning for the hardware
The first thing to do is to set a budgetary limit for all your expenses, manpower expenses and final finishes. Once this is done, get yourself to one of those stores which specializes in hardware, especially for the kitchen. You can also use the Internet to good use and find yourself some good deals. This way you redress your kitchen in a new attire before you at a price that will amaze you.
If you are strapped of cash, one thing that you might do is refinish your cabinetry with veneer. But before you decide on anything we suggest you to visit all the stores and home improvement depots that are within your reach and look for special priced sales or offers that are available at times. If you do not find anything worth spending your precious money, you can go for premade or unfinished cabinets. These do not come with any extra features hence they are priced lower. No matter what you do, take some time and weigh all your options well and most importantly plan well in advance.
If you have been looking too hard at the green options for your kitchen, then your wait is about to end. The wonderful collection of Mauricio Arruda, the Brazilian designer is one of those few masterpieces that we in the domain of cabinetry see once in every blue moon. At the first sight, these might seem like plastic crates that you come across everywhere, but with closer inspection you will find a different story all together.
One of such designer collection by Mauricio Arruda is the Jose Collection. It is placed on strong steel or wooden legs. These wooden parts are procured from forests which are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The remaining part is constructed using recycled plastic. Hence it can be named one of the most environment friendly products in the cabinetry market. The metal parts are coated with protective, anti-corrosion paints. The overall finish is done with carnauba wax.
One of the specialties of the designs created by the designer is that you can pull the drawers all the way out and go shopping with these by your side. These design of the drawers also makes it easier for you to place larger pans and pots inside them.
Other Green Options
A simple search over the Internet will throw up several green alternatives to what we have just described. To give a feel of what we are talking about, here are a few things that you can look for. Bio-composite materials, coconut plants, bamboo and storm ravaged vegetation are some of the natural resources which can be harvested or used for the purpose of furniture and cabinetry making. Always look for some sort of certification which ensures that you are buying environment friendly products, you can always look for the FSC certification that we have already mentioned.
You can find a host of such products which are certified. Adhesives, paints, flooring materials, wall coverings and parts of kitchen cabinetry are a few worth mentioning.
We have seen cases when homeowners have installed new counter tops only to find that the place has become poorly illuminated. Obstructing the light sources will not only cause problems during the course of preparing food, but also make it harder to clean the area. This is the reason why we insist on you to plan for the illumination if you have plans for refacing or buying new counter tops for your kitchen. If you plan for lightings well ahead in time, it will help the contractors in installing wirings at the right places.
The rule of the thumb is to place lights every 25 inches to minimize dark areas, apart from this installing spot lights over workstations is also a good idea. This can draw out the charm of your cabinetry and make them look even more beautiful. Dedicated lights over the cutting board, cabinets, displays and wall hangings have also become quite popular in most houses.
Energy Efficient Under-Cabinet Lights
Lowe’s, the home improvement experts says that puck lights are a great way to augment the ambiance of the kitchen without burning a lot of energy. Two affordable options that are available are halogen lamps and Xenon lights.
Purchase under cabinet lighting systems that come with step down transformer to lower the voltage to power the lights. Since the wirings will run through the kitchen cabinets, it is wise to place them during the installation process. Ask your contractor to plan for these in advance.
We have efficient tools available for download free of cost. We can also help you decide whether it is the right time to buy a new kitchen cabinet or reface the old ones.
Did you know that VOC or Volatile Organic Compounds are in fact invisible gases which are regularly dispersed into the home environment in most American houses. The reason behind this is the use of harmful chemical components in paints, lacquers and paint related products such as solvents. In severe cases, the amount of such harmful gases can be a hundred times higher than outside.
The presence and inhalation of VOC is the primary reason behind rashes, irritation, headaches, troubled breathing and even damage of vital organs such as the eyes or throat. This disturbing fact has been confirmed by Environment Protection Agency (EPA). You would be surprised to know that the level of VOC rises to roughly 1000 times more inside the house.
Getting Rid of VOC using Green Counters
There are several green or rather environment friendly products which are bundled together as green products, among those here we have listed some of the easily abvalable ones which you can conveniently adopt in your houses.
Tiles are a great option, provided you use an adhesive which in low on VOC. Solid top counter tops are preferred by many because of their low VOC quotient. Be warned that top of the line products such as Terrazzo counter tops are not without the VOC hazard.
Many homeowners like using composite materials in their cabinetry. These are made by recycling products which are bonded together using resins which might be hazardous. You should insist on seeing a certificate of the manufacturer to ensure that they have adhered to health standards.
Steps you can take to avoid VOC
The best you can do to avoid VOC is to know all about them, that way you can choose to buy products that are free of such harmful contents. Apart from adhesives, paints are also an important source of VOC. W advise you to purchase laminates which are made of recycled plastic and bound using non-formaldehyde based glues. Formaldehyde is a harmful material which should be avoided as far as possible even while purchasing butcher block counters.
Take a look around all the products within your budget and choose only those which will ensure a VOC free environment in your kitchen and the home.
The truth about designs and trends is that they can be confusing at times. If you have gotten your head overwhelmed with designs and trends, take a deep breath and read on.
Create your own style, yes, this might seem a risky thing to do but all the trends were started by people like you and me. There is no hard and fast rule that you will have to follow designs favored by others. In Arizona, people are using Asian concepts and combining them with armoire pieces. There is no end to how you can combine elements of several designs and create a novel trend that others will want to imbibe for their kitchens. Homeowners on the east coast are using all the colors they can get on their hands and painting their cabinets in yellow, black, green or whatever suits their fancy! The writing on the stone is ‘create your own trend’.
Extreme Fashioned Kitchen Cabinets
The kitchen cabinets with distressed effects are also selling like hot cake, this fact has been confirmed by reputed cabinet company Hangzhou Huierbang Kitchen Company. However HGTV warns against the purchase of heavily distressed products. They predict the rule of Tuscany or painted finished products.
Patterns in molding, door panels as well as drawers will be carved in the European style and suspended heavy hardware with vibrant colors are going to be popular. People may warn you against experimenting with exotic colors, but you can always row against the tide and listen to your heart.
For those of you who love antique looks for the kitchen décor, there are several options choose from. Antique cabinetry comes at a premium and exotic woods like Mahogany, Alder and Maple will definitely stretch your pocket. Choosing from environment friendly categories will also be widely seen in the days to come.
We expect to see dazzling reds and other disparate colors. One thing which we would love to you all against is losing control over your creative streak. Do not overdo the kitchen décor, everything should harmonize with each other.
To get a flexible and versatile design option most home owners prefer unfinished kitchen cabinets. These are also good if you do not want to engage professional service for fixing kitchen cabinets. The only thing that needs to be taken care of are the primers and stains which you might want to add. Another great advantage of unfinished cabinets is the wide choice of colors that you will find at your disposal which can easily accompany the looks and the color schemes of your kitchen. Even the collection at Lowes is worth gazing for an hour.
We have been receiving requests from our readers who are eager and unexperienced in the field of installing unfinished kitchen cabinets. Hence, here we have detailed the steps which we think will go a long way in smoothening the experience of installing cabinets.
Step 1- Hanging the cabinets and aligning them
Before we proceed with the steps, let us clarify that you need to take proper measurements before you buy any cabinetry. Even after purchasing cabinets the saga of taking measurements does not end. Take a pencil and mark the location on the walls using a plumb line demarcating the top and the end of the edges. Ensure that you have enough space between the counter top and the cabinets.
A stud finder can be used to position the spots for the studs 16 inches apart using a pencil. The top of the cabinet should be attached to these stud points, but before doing that it is advisable to assemble the cabinets on the floor.
Step 2 – Painting the cabinets
It is not as simple as it looks, over-staining the cabinets will impart a dark look to the cabinetry, unless you want that, extra stains are not at all helpful. Th best way to stain the cabinets or paint them is to test the color on the interiors. If every thing seems fine, proceed with the rest and you will get a superior result. Try to redo or retouch uneven spots will create a plethora of ugly looking smudges.
If you prefer a ready reckoner at your side, consider Reliable Remodeler which has several important things laid out in plain language. Make sure that you do not drip paint on the floors. You can place an old rug or plastic covers on the counter top to protect them.
The order of these steps can be interchanged to suit your requirements.