BLOG

Wood Countertops

Wood countertops have been making a comeback in recent years. Many of our clients love the idea of using wood countertops for warmth and contrast in design. And it’s a great idea! We most often recommend wood countertops for an island or even a portion of the island as a focal feature in the kitchen.

Why do we recommend wood countertops?

We recommend wood countertops for three reasons. Wood countertops are more sanitary than you may think! Some species naturally inhibit bacteria growth, while a quality clear coat finish seals the wood for an easily cleaned surface. Secondly, wood countertops are a durable surface for hard-working kitchens. Thirdly, wood offers warmth both visually (the color) and tangibly (in contrast to cold stone surfaces) and a gorgeous, natural style.

What types of wood species are available for countertops?

Countertops are offered in many wood species such as cherry, maple, hickory, walnut, teak, or sapele mahogany.  After you choose a wood species, you can choose a stain color and a finish. A natural finish will benefit from a regular application of food-grade mineral oil to keep it from drying out and seals the wood. Or a quality clear topcoat will seal the wood for easy clean-up and protection against water.

Why are designers using two different countertop materials in one kitchen?

A well-designed kitchen uses a combination of materials to provide both strong and subtle contrasts. Contrast is distinctive and is necessary for a well-defined space. But blending textures using wood countertops creates a harmonious balance which makes us think: “there is something so inviting about this space.”

What other tips can you give us?

If you use your wood countertop as a cutting or chopping surface, be willing to accept cuts and scratches on the surface. A redeeming quality of a wood surface is the scratches can be sanded out!

Original post: https://studio76kitchens.com/designing-wood-countertops/

Some Tips for Creating a Great Bathroom Space

As with any bathroom design, invest in a good shower, toilet and sink with a vanity cabinet. Make sure there is a mirror and decent lighting for people to get ready. A bathtub probably won’t be necessary in your guest bathroom design unless you anticipate visitors with small children. While you can experiment with color in the master bathroom, it’s best to adhere to a neutral or monochrome palette in the guest bath. Play with textures and shapes and incorporate a statement piece but try to appeal to everyone’s taste.

You’re not running a hotel, but it’s still nice to add luxe extras for your guests to enjoy during their stay. They’ll probably bring basic toiletries but put out a basket of high-end pampering products as well as supplying essentials they may have forgotten. Have a plush robe on hand for each person in addition to fluffy towels in different sizes, remembering to hang hooks or rails for them to dry on. Candles and diffusers give a welcoming feel and show your guests that you’ve taken the time to make them feel special.

While it’s important to show visitors that everything is at hand, things should be displayed with thought and presented meticulously. Open shelving is the best solution as people can find what they need without rooting around. When displaying items, sort them into groups and then vary their size, to give an ordered yet interesting look. Hairdryers and toilet paper can go in a little vanity included in your customized bathroom design storage. If open shelves isn’t an option our designers can make sure we’re maximizing the bathroom countertop space you’ll have. 

Remember to leave some space free when planning your remodel. Guests will appreciate having somewhere to put their own essentials. Resist the urge to accessorize too much. Guests might have to move a bowl of potpourri to clear space for their medications and essential toiletries! Also, remember that this is not a room to store your extra things. It should be a dedicated room for guests, at least while they are staying with you. A linen cabinet along with a vanity cabinet will offer plenty of space for your guests items. 

Think about who will be coming and for how long.  Bathroom rugs are a good idea to prevent elderly people slipping on a tiled floor. If your guests are long-term visitors (more than a few days) then include a laundry basket for them to use. Don’t forget extra touches like plungers, air neutralizers and extra toilet paper, to avoid potential embarrassment. This also applies to your frequently used powder room.

 

A Few Signs You May Need to Remodel

#1: You hate being in your kitchen.

There may have been a time when you were excited to spend time cooking in your kitchen, but as a decade or two have passed you find yourself exhausted. Updated kitchen cabinets and countertops can offer not only a new look, but kitchen organization. Using a kitchen is the only way to figure out whether or not it works for you and most of us find several problems with old floor plans. A kitchen remodel would remedy this.

#2: You want to keep up with trends

A good enough reason to remodel is the simple fact that you’re a trendy person. Updated kitchen cabinets can provide a fresh feeling that is sure to “keep up with the Joneses.” A good perk of this is that it’ll also add value to your home.

#3: Your kitchen is a mess

This could happen for a couple of reasons: one being that you’re just a messy person or for a lot of us it happens because we lack adequate kitchen organization. New kitchen cabinets give you the ability to customize your organization to your needs. Moving into a house with a dated kitchen can be frustrating. Trash cans aren’t conveniently located, cabinets are hinged on the wrong side, dishwashers get in the way when open, or the floor plan simply doesn’t make sense. Several design mistakes could be present and might have you in desperate need of a remodel.

Stock Bathroom Cabinets in Omaha

White and shades of grey are still popular in bathroom vanity cabinets. Simplified door styles also are carrying over into 2019 as a dominating trend. In order to make the bathroom remodeling process much faster we’ve taken it upon ourselves to stock 3 grey/white options. Stone, oyster, and white are all available to take today! They’re all in the popular shakes door style. These stock bathroom cabinets are a sure fire way to update your bathroom on a budget without sacrificing quality.

Considerations for Your Kitchen Remodel

1.     CHANGE UP YOUR LAYOUT.

The layout is the foundation of every kitchen design, and without an effective layout the best cabinets and appliances will not make your kitchen function well.  Try to imagine your kitchen as a blank slate and design it the way you want it.  You may find this requires moving the kitchen sink to a different location or re-configuring your kitchen cabinets.  Get this level of planning right and everything else will fall into place.  You will find it easier to move around in your kitchen and to peacefully co-exist with your family, friends, and guests.  You may even find with the perfect kitchen layout that you are ready to tackle new recipes or to entertain guests for a dinner or holiday party.

2.     KNOCK IT DOWN.

Maybe you find your kitchen is too small or awkwardly shaped.  While some changes can be made within the confines of your existing space, getting the kitchen design you really want may require more drastic measures.  No, we don’t mean you have to sell up and move, but you might consider making a structural change to your existing home.  Knocking down an internal wall, moving a wall, or bumping out an external wall are all options that allow you to turn a small, enclosed kitchen into an open plan space that is a dream for everything from cooking to relaxing to entertaining.  Before you pick up a sledgehammer yourself, remember that some walls contains electrical wiring or pipes, while others are load bearing walls.  Work with a kitchen design and remodeling professional that has experience in kitchen projects to make sure your project gets done right the first time.

3.     ADD MORE STORAGE.

If a key concern with your kitchen design is lack of storage, look beyond the confines of your kitchen to create more effective storage solutions.  Consider first what you need to store, the size of the items, and how frequently you use them.  If you only use your stand mixer for holidays, find it an off-season home in the basement or attic.  If, however, you have items you need to access on a more regular basis that are creating storage issues, look at the areas surrounding your kitchen for a solution.  You may have a small closet, hallway, or another space that could be re-purposed into a kitchen pantry.  To deal with kids dumping their muddy shoes and school bags in the kitchen, consider adding customized entry way or mudroom storage. 

4.     LOOK BEYOND THE KITCHEN.

Remember that your kitchen is an integral part of the functioning of your home, but it does not work alone.  What is your goal in remodeling your kitchen?  Are you trying to improve family life or make your kitchen design more conducive to entertaining?  While you are engaging a professional and embarking on a kitchen remodel it may make sense to also update your adjacent laundry room, utility room, or powder room.  Taking care of these requirements at the same time can save you time and even money, and it means you get the dream space you need rather than a sparkling new kitchen next to a dull, outdated powder room.  You home will function better and you will be ready to host amazing parties in your newly remodeled space!

Tips for Saving on Your Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom Remodeling Tips on Saving

Bathroom remodeling is an expensive affair that prevents many people from remodeling their bathrooms. There are many options that would help in cost cutting, which would help you to finally get to remodel your bathroom. While working with a professional designer may seem a little over the roof in prices, the result in many cases turns out to be more cost effective, and efficient. Here at Cabinet Factory out design process is totally free and our designers want to work with your budget to create an amazing space! This article discusses some of the remodeling tips which can help you save.

Have a Plan

Though many people love to work on a spontaneous way, there are many reasons why planning is important for you. Just as it is important to follow a guide on kitchen remodeling, a good plan helps you to save on incumbent expenses when remodeling your bathroom. Planning is important also as it helps you to know what you need and what you can forego. Reference our previous blog post on what to expect while remodeling.

Keep the Plumb Work

When working on your remodeling plan, it is important that you avoid changing the plumb work. Plumb works are expensive to work on, and they need an incredibly high amount of money to change. To save on your cash, your professional designer will help you work through the process of remodeling your bathroom without having to change your plumbing. It could even be as simple as replacing your current cabinet doors to get that updated look. Even if the bathroom vanity cabinet needs to be replaced our designers can help you figure out a way to do it without messing with any of the expensive plumbing work.

A choice for Tiles

While many people prefer to install tiles on their bathroom walls, tiles turn out to go way on top of the budget. This makes it hard for people to do a bathroom remodeling project. However, options such as bead board can act as your choice for tiles. You can also consider using reclaimed wood panels to cover the walls. Although wood needs more effort in its maintenance, it has a cheaper cost, its warmer, and a lot cozier than tiles. Either way we can find you something within your budget that’ll make you love your bathroom!

On Trend: Contrasting Cabinets

Contrasting Perimeter/Island Cabinets

One of the most common ways to create a two-toned kitchen is to have a contrasting finish on the island while keeping the all the perimeter (wall) cabinets the same. We recommended keeping the perimeter cabinets light as they provide a neutral backdrop for the island finish. The kitchen island, the centerpiece of your kitchen, should be the show stopper! For a more traditional look, you can go for a warm wood stain for the island finish and pair it with a white or similar painted cabinet on the perimeter to finish the look.

Changing up the Upper and Lower Cabinets

Recently, we have seen contrasting finishes between the upper and lower cabinets. It’s a great twist to this kitchen cabinet trend! For balance, our designers recommend keeping the upper cabinets lighter in color, such as white, oyster, or light gray painted, and have the lowers be a darker shade. If you do the opposite, it looks like the upper cabinets are too heavy for the space.

Same with the design of contrasting perimeter and island finishes, you can have fun with the finish combinations. We see a lot of light painted finishes selected for the top with a darker paint or stain for the bottom cabinets, but you can also switch it up with stained finishes for a more traditional look.

Pairing Cabinets and Countertops

 

 

Matching your kitchen cabinets and countertops can be a tricky task. There are hundreds of possibilities for each, which means thousands of different possible combinations. All of these options may get a bit overwhelming, so we’ve assembled this handy guide to walk you through some of your options.

Modern Minimalism

If you prefer a more modern, minimalistic look in your kitchen, you probably want to go with a frameless cabinet with a full overlay type door style that is not too ornate. Or, perhaps a slab door style with a laminate or an exotic veneer. Depending on your preferred color palette, you can go with a solid painted door or go with a wood species with a calmer grain pattern with a stain. Your modern countertops should be something subtle with clean edges blend in with the simple lines of the cabinetry. Choose some sleek stainless steel appliances to go with it, and your new modern kitchen will be complete!

Keep it Traditional

If your tastes tend to be a bit more traditional, you would possibly like framed cabinets with inset doors. Darker woods such as oak, cherry, mahogany, and walnut will add warm tones to your traditional kitchen for that classic feel. A traditional kitchen design involves careful attention to details, such as more ornate door styles and moldings. For your traditional kitchen’s counters, granite, marble, wood or patterned engineered stone will help complete the look.

Best of Both Worlds

If you can’t decide whether to go modern or traditional, your design taste lies somewhere in the middle. Transitional style is a beautiful combination of modern and traditional that is sure to create a beautiful kitchen. Before starting on your transitional kitchen design project, it is important to have a clear theme in mind. It may help you to search for design ideas on the internet and print pictures of elements that you like from both modern and traditional. Allow your designer can help you figure out how to put them together.

Our designers and free design process here at Cabinet Factory Outlet are ready to help you find the perfect cabinet and countertop pairing.

What Cabinets Should you Pick?

While there are a wealth of details in cabinet design styles, they all fall into two main groups: framed and unframed. Framed cabinets, with a raised panel of wood circulating the perimeter of the face of the cabinets, offers a warm, traditional look. If you’re looking for a warm and inviting style that fits with traditional aesthetics, then framed cabinets are the way to go. Unframed cabinets, consist simply of single, sleek panels as the faces of the cabinets. These types of cabinets are excellent for conveying a modern and sophisticated style.

After you’ve decided whether you want to go traditional or modern, the next step is to choose the material your cabinets will be constructed from. If you’re looking at wooden cabinets, then maple, cherry, oak, and pine are all gorgeous choices that won’t put too large of a strain on your wallet. If you have a bigger budget, then you may want to consider ebony, walnut, or bamboo for a more custom look. Many modern frameless cabinets are made of synthetic materials. Materials like glass, laminate, and lacquer. These materials offer more flexible and unique styles. If you’re looking to create a modern kitchen that stands out and impresses your guests, then looking into these modern materials will be beneficial.

Many homeowners do not require any sort of custom design in their kitchens. However, there are many others who find that the design of custom kitchen cabinets fits their lifestyle better and makes working in the kitchen much easier. Of course, custom kitchen cabinets will cost more than the regular stock cabinets, but if you have room in your budget, it’s definitely worth the expense for all the trouble it will save.

Solid Wood Countertops

Aesthetics.

  • The wood countertops will grant your kitchen that natural warm appearance you always longed for. The wide variety of wood species that we offer translates into a similarly wide variety of colours and shades, allowing you to find the perfect match for your kitchen and home. Expressions of the Mother Nature’s play, individual variations in colour and grain patterns or individual marks will further add personality and make your top quite unique. Unlike many other materials that are heavily promoted by diverse fashion trends and then sooner or later enter a shadow cone, the solid wood, due to its friendly and familiar glow, remains a choice that will always be in fashion, no matter how the interior architecture will evolve. There is no man-made material that can compete with the hardwood’s naturalness, variety and beauty, neither there is another material that can better grant us that sense of “home comfort” the way the wood does. Needless to say, hardwood surfaces blend naturally with wood cabinetry and hardwood floorings, visually tying the kitchen together in a harmonious whole. Our designers are here and willing to help you find the right wood top with our free kitchen design service. 

Functionality.

  • Despite its hardness, the wood surface does not dull the knife-edges; and because it represents a natural material, with a minimum of chemical, synthetic components, it is extremely safe in contact with foods. The wood countertops become, thus, the Chef’s favourite option when it comes about cutting, slicing and chopping, for preparing and rolling dough, as well as for many other kitchen duties. The feedback we got from many customers, contractors and business partners suggests that no other countertop surface can offer a similar multi-functionality. The hardwood surfaces considerably attenuate the clatter even in the noisiest houses and provide a surface much gentler with porcelain, glass and crystal items than most other materials.

 

Durability.

  • If cared for, there is no reason your countertop wouldn’t last a lifetime. As a matter of fact, not only it is likely that your children will be using it, but, as it ages, the wood will get a more attractive look. The European beech, the oak and the maple that we proudly supply are counted among the most durable wood species available. Each and every lamella you can see within our wood tops was carefully selected before being processed into butcher block-type panels. Beside this fact, our full warranty against delamination will further reinforce the warranty for your countertop life span.

 

Easy maintenance.

  • The mineral oil that we recommend for finishing offers a fairly good overall protection. Most of the stains that might occur can be removed by using a moist cloth, while the persisting stains, scratches and scars will be easily removed by sanding the area where they occur. A new coat of oil will make your countertop look new again; in fact, the wood countertop represents the only renewable area from your entire kitchen.

Hygiene.

  • Scientific studies proved that the wood surfaces are much less prone to bacterial colonization than plastic, laminate or stainless steel surfaces. The studies, aiming at micro organisms such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococus aureus, Campylobacter jejunii, Listeria monocytogines, Salmonella sp. that constitute the cause for the most frequent food diseases found that while the great majority of solid surfaces (including polyester plastic, laminates and granite) allowed the bacteria to persist and multiply (although they were easily cleaned and disinfected), the wood surfaces killed the bacteria within 3 minutes, without any external intervention. These bactericide properties the wood chemical structure strongly exhibits are likely to promote the wood tops as the first choice of a health-conscious person.

Versatility.

  • Not only the wood countertop does allow a wide variety of options regarding the edge profiles, but it also matches the most integrated kitchen solutions (like granite insertions, stainless steel grids, drain boards or knife slots or holders, etc). Hardwood surfaces can be used as an island top, as a section of countertop, as an inserted kitchen cover or as a butcher block hidden under the countertop that can be pulled like a drawer. Your imagination will surely find plenty of other interesting, nice-looking applications.

Price.

  • The average price for wood countertops falls far below the prices of granite, marble, solid surface, tile, concrete or steel tops. As long as don’t want to spent your entire kitchen allowance on countertops, but you also want something different than laminates, than look no further; since the solid wood appears to be the most affordable material you can use. If we are to define the quality as a specific blend of aesthetics and functionality, then we strongly believe that the solid wood countertops would offer the best price/quality ratio. This is a fact that we tried to emphasize in the table below, by listing very briefly the most relevant pros and cons for the main materials you might consider for your kitchen tops