14 Jan Time for a Kitchen Renovation?
The kitchen has been and remains the heart of most homes, everyone and everything passes through the kitchen, it is the place to cook, eat, do homework and socialize, everyone maritimer loves a good kitchen party! . It doesn’t matter if you are a professional or amateur chef or just using the microwave, the kitchen is still a critical part of your home and the right design and features can make your kitchen both functional and beautiful. There are a lot of decisions to make in the kitchen design, such as: kitchen layout & function, cabinet style, countertop, backsplash tile, sink, faucet, lighting, appliances, flooring and wall colour are a few of the decisions to be made. Therefore, it is wise to always contact and hire the right team, starting with the general contractor/renovator, who will provide all the information on suppliers, designers, cabinet builders, etc. Having a great working relationship with your renovator is critical as they will be responsible for all aspects of the project and work with you to ensure you get the kitchen of your dreams with function and beauty.
Replace existing cabinets or refinish? Often a kitchen is dated or worn, but the general layout and base cabinets are in good condition. In this case, refinishing may be the option verses complete replacement. Typically, we replace the doors, installing hidden hinges and painting all cabinets for a fresh clean and modern look. This can be an affordable option. However, if the existing layout doesn’t work and the cabinets are in poor condition, then a complete replacement is in order. When doing a complete replacement, this may be the time to remove walls and completely change the function of your kitchen, if you wish. “Open concept” kitchen are extremely popular and removal of walls is typical. When considering the removal of walls always consult a professional to determine if they are structural. Relocation of electrical, plumbing and ventilation may be required when removing a wall.
Countertop options, what is best for you? Laminate countertops have come a long way and provide a beautiful and functional countertop with great pricing, often between $20-25/lineal foot. They do have limitations, they can be damaged by water over time and typically can only be installed with surface mount sinks, no under-mount sinks. However, if solid surface countertops are what you are looking for there are several choices, quartz (man-made stone), granite, marble, concrete, acrylic polymer (Corian™), butcher block, etc. These products can vary in pricing from as low as $60/square foot to $180/square foot. All these products have advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to know how you wish to use your kitchen and what you wish to have for a style. The colour possibilities are almost endless, so do your research and ensure the product you select is right for you.
Built-in appliances or not? In the modern kitchen many times you will see fridges, dishwashers, ovens and microwaves that are built-in to the cabinetry to provide an elegant and seamless design, which provides the image that the appliances are completely integrated into the kitchen design rather than an after-thought. Built-in appliances can add cost to the kitchen cabinets and the appliances being installed, so it is important to have this discussion early in the process. One area of progress with appliances is with the counter depth fridges. Kitchen counters are a standard 25” deep, however most fridges are 30-34” deep, which causes them to protrude into the kitchen space and look out of place. The counter depth fridge is 24” deep and provides a more uniform appearance. Counter depth fridges are typically more expensive then a regular fridge. Another appliance to consider in the range and how to vent it to the outside to remove cooking odours and moisture from the home. There are commonly two (2) options, updraft or over the range hood or down draft, which are typically used when the range is in a peninsula or island and clear views are desired. Downdraft ranges are more expensive and this should be considered when designing the kitchen.
Islands are furniture to the kitchen? The island has become the focal point of the kitchen and is often designed as a significant piece of furniture, with different wood, colour countertop and style from the remained of the kitchen cabinets. The island is the function center piece of the kitchen, a place for congregation during the kitchen party or the space to do homework while Dad prepares supper, the area to prepare for the gourmet meal. The island can contain the range, dishwasher, prep-sink, recycle area, microwave, it can be 4 ft long or 24 ft long depending on your space, it is limited only by your imagination and the space you have to work with.