As a homeowner undertaking an exciting home improvement project, there is a world of options to explore when choosing countertops for your new kitchen or bathroom.
Let’s start with the material itself. Could quartz be the best option for you? Here are five benefits to help you decide!
Maintenance and cleaning
Quartz is a man-made material, so it requires less care and routine maintenance than natural materials, such as granite. No polishing or sealing required! Did your latest culinary masterpiece leave a bit of a mess? Simply wipe your quartz countertop with regular soap and water for easy cleanup!
What makes quartz so easy to clean? These countertops are designed to protect against the growth of bacteria and mildew, and some manufacturers even mix antimicrobial compounds right into the quartz and resin. You can feel safe about food preparation when you choose quartz countertops in your beautiful new kitchen.
Non-porous and durable
Unlike granite or other natural materials, quartz is non-porous. This adds to the hygienic benefit of the material, but it also means you don’t have to worry about stains! A spilled glass of cabernet sauvignon is no fun, but at least your countertop is safe! (Your carpet, well… not so much.) It’s also scratch resistant and incredibly strong, though the use of cutting boards is still encouraged!
The price of quartz countertops generally runs around the mid-range price of granite. Do you have a large kitchen? Quartz is versatile, strong, and won’t break the bank. Plus, you won’t need to compromise on aesthetics just to keep costs low. In most cases, quartz is available to purchase by the square foot, which means you won’t have a leftover 800 pound chunk of stone leaning against your garage.
Now that we’ve gotten the practical details out of the way, let’s talk about looks (i.e. the fun part!). Quartz countertops are crafted to achieve the color, texture, and pattern that you desire. There’s no need to cut around defects or variations, which means you have control over the end result. This also means there are fewer variables to run up the cost. When you choose quartz, you’re choosing consistency. The wide range of available colors and patterns can add a beautiful finish and allows your countertop to pair easily with cabinets, backsplashes, and the overall design of your project. Quartz is often used in bathrooms where tile with a lot of color and movement is being installed, because it complements the tile instead of going to war with the patterns, which is what often happens with granite.
Your home is your palace. Here at Accent Construction and Remodel Corp., we want to help you create a space that is both harmonious and beautiful, but also practical and budget-friendly. We keep up on the latest innovations in materials and design so you can finally create the home you’ve always wanted. Contact us today to get started!
TIPS ON KITCHEN SINKS
1. Stainless Steel – The most popular choice
One of the world’s largest manufacturers of kitchen sinks reports that over 70% of sinks sold are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel is a relative bargain and can come in a variety of installation types to better fit your kitchen’s needs. It can achieve any number of looks, is heat- and stain-resistant (but you will have to clean up water spots), and is easy to clean. Go with a heavier gauge through good manufacturers like Franke or Kohler. Try to avoid lesser quality sinks that have a “tin-like” sound to them,since they will scratch and dent more easily.
2. Cast Iron – A Great Choice
This material will literally stand the test of time in durability and style. COLOR IS SUCH A GREAT OPTION! Finishes range in colors that can coordinate beautifully with your choice of countertops. The porcelain enamel finish is what makes the cast iron kitchen friendly while giving it extra strength and stain resistance. It’s extremely easy to clean, won’t show any spots and won’t fade from the sunlight.
3. Porcelain – Tried and True Durability
This type of sink is simply an extremely durable, molded ceramic clay with porcelain enamel. While it can be more durable than cast iron, the enamel can have chipping if you roughly drop items into it. It is an expensive choice but has great style.
4. Composite – Granite
If you like the look of granite for your kitchen, a composite sink may be the way to go. It’s made of ground up granite or quartz (with granite being stronger), and mixed with resin so it’s actually more durable than solid granite. It has the same aesthetic as the real stuff, as well as a range of pleasing colors to work with your countertop – without the maintenance or durability issues.
1. Single Bowl
Just what it sounds like, a single bowl sink gives you more room to maneuver—especially when space is limited. If you clean a lot of large items, a single bowl will make the job a lot easier, and it will be easier to clean because it lacks dividers and crevices.
2. Double Bowl
Double bowls optimize the flexibility of your kitchen sink by giving you different areas to multitask. Be aware of the type of cooking, and therefore cleaning, you do so you can match the size of the basins to your needs. Consider differing sizes in the bowls, including the depth, if you have a variety of items to clean.
3. The Half Rise –Great Compromise Sink
This sink is the best of both above choices. It gives you a big bowl option of a single sink while having a partition that goes up a few inches and divides the lower portion of the bowl. This way you can have separate bodies of water as well as having the option to have one large basin when bowl is filled with water.
4. Farmhouse – Trendy but Fun!
This is the style of sink you should choose if you want to make a statement. Farmhouse sinks have a large, forward-facing decorative section that replaces part of your counter. While it began to appear in traditional or country-style homes, lately it has been used with more contemporary styles.There are also issues with retrofitting this type of sink into existing cabinetry, so proceed with good measurements and caution in installation. Note that this is a style that may be a trendy type that will date your kitchen in years to come.
4. Undermount – Preferred for Stone
Undermounts, as the name implies, seamlessly drop down from the countertop. They have a clean and modern look but are more expensive than topmounts since they have to be glued to the underside of the counter. This type of sink can be used with any type of stone or man-made quartz, but not with tile or formica types of counters.
5. Topmount– Budget Conscious!
This is the easiest style of sink to install if you are on a budget and have chosen either a tile or formica type of counter top. This is the type of sink people replace when going to a stone countertop. It should be noted that this type of sink has cleaning and maintenance issues.
6. Commercial – For the Serious Chef
Whether you cook a lot, use a lot of big items or just like the style of a professional sink, this sink will certainly stand up to anything you throw at it or in it. Made with heavy-gauge steel, freestanding and extremely durable, professional sinks have lots of washing space and are very easy to clean. Choosing this option means that you often do not have to figure out how to fit it into your counter.
Showroom glamour can really WOW us with appeal and enticement! Modern, classical, and neo-classical fixtures and appliances, gorgeous granite countertops, and the amazing in-store lighting which is often difficult to replicate in a home environment all tend to excite and dazzle our senses. But before you get carried away making emotional choices, be sure to take a look at the downsides of some of these elements which can disappoint and dismay us later on, after there’s no going back. Here’s some tips that the designers often won’t tell you.
Refrigerator door-front water and ice dispensers
These conveniences are among the most popular! Everyone wants instant, cool refreshment in the home.
What you’ll want to know: Refrigerators with these features generally require a great deal more repair and maintenance than those without. They also take up precious volume inside the fridge, as well as increasing the price.
What to do: Check out these excellent choices which don’t have a door-front dispenser, such as the Samsung RF261BIAESR, $2,100, the top-rated French-door bottom-freezer, or the $1,510 Kenmore Elite 79043, with the best conventional bottom-freezer.
Stainless steel, industrial-like ovens and pro-style ranges have the heavy-duty commercial look everyone loves. Such allure has a hefty price however, but does it have to be so heavy on our pocketbooks?
What to do: Take a look at every option. Check out the KitchenAid KDRS407VSS, $4,000. It ranked the best of the 30-inch pro-styles, but has a small oven and broiling is just so-so. In 36-inch models the KitchenAid KDRU763VSS, $6,000, was the favorite. Both of these are dual-fuel ranges, pairing a gas cooktop and an electric oven. And be sure to take a look at stainless slide-in ranges. The controls are up front so there’s no back panel and the look is built-in. Among the tested slide-ins, check out the GE PS920SFSS, $2,500, an electric smoothtop, or the GE PGS920SEFSS, $2,800, a gas range that was impressive overall but its broiling was mediocre. Both slide-ins are popular choices, but each have their pros and cons.
Granite, marble, and quartz are all very popular selections for the kitchen countertop. While granite seems often overused, style isn’t the only thing that should affect your own choice. Only quartz ranks slightly better in usability and durability, but granite tends to chip a bit easier if you’re using heavy cookware and have an accident.
What you’ll want to know: Granite can look amazing in the kitchen showroom, often because it’s never really been used. In daily usage at home, grease tends to spread around and soak into the granite, which will then accumulate dust and more grime.
What to do: As a porous stone, granite needs to be cleaned daily and be sure it’s professionally sealed after installation. A nice granite cleaner used once or twice a year will help keep the shiny, beautiful look you originally intended!