If you've ever received an estimate to remodel one of the rooms in your home you know that you start with a certain budget in mind. Often times when customers provide a list of 'must haves" and then give us their budget, it just isn't feasible. When this happens we will usually give the customer an estimate with all of their 'must-haves' on it that is over budget (sometimes by a lot sometimes not by much). We do this not because we want to go over their budget but to show them that it isn't a realistic budget for what they are asking for. When this happens if often times scares customers away...they either give up on their project all together thinking they cannot afford it or hire a company that promises them they can give them what they want within their budget that either takes their money and runs or does poor work leaving the customers leery of ever trying another remodel project.
What you should do when you receive your initial estimate is try working with your contractor to get it to a price you are comfortable with by removing items that aren't as important. This sometimes isn't as easy to figure out as you would think. Below is an excerpt from our Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel Survival Guide, it has an assignment that we recommend all potential customers do to help them narrow down what's really important to them. Often times customers find that they can still get a great kitchen/bathroom/basement without getting everything they initially thought they needed. Something to keep in mind is you can always add the items from your 'Desire' list at a later date.
Below is the excerpt from our Survival Guide which you can also use for a basement remodel.
To help plan your budget, you need to develop a list of “Needs, Wants, and Desires”. This list helps you prioritize the styles and functional elements you want to see in your new kitchen or bathroom and ultimately stay within your budget. To create this list, we recommend the following steps:
-Make a list of everything you don’t like about your current kitchen/bath. Once you think you have a pretty good list of “dislikes” (you can always add more later) take a few minutes to number this list with one being the most important change you need to make.
-Go through all of the design ideas you have gathered and make a second, separate list of every design and functional element you want to see in your new kitchen/bath. Be sure to leave room for new ideas that may come up as you’re shopping. Draw three columns to the right of your list labeled “Need”, “Want”, and “Desire”.
-With your list of “dislikes” close by, begin going through your list of new features. For each one, if it clearly addresses one of the things you dislike about your current kitchen/bath, put a check in the “Need” column. If it does not, put a check in the “Want” column for something that adds value, or check in the “Desire” column if it is simply an “oh wow” item, like decorative moulding or chocolate glaze. This is one of the most important steps, and the challenge here is to remain honest with yourself.
-Prioritize all of the items in each of “Needs”, “Wants”, and “Desires” columns, beginning with number one as the most important. Compare the item to what it “fixes” from your first list to help determine how important it might be. You might need to repeat this step a couple of times to make sure you are happy with the order.
-Rewrite the entire list, in the order you have just selected. This last step may seem trivial, but it gives you a final opportunity to make changes and adds a little peace of mind that you were thorough.
Once you’ve made your list, you’re ready to meet with the contractor who provided the estimate and adjust items as needed to fit within your budget.
Whether you choose to work with our company or not we highly recommend following these steps on any remodel project.. it will help to save a lot of time, stress, and money!
Contact our office today at 240-398-9003 for a FREE copy of our Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel Survival Guide !
We've compiled a list of our favorites from the Kitchen and Bath Show 2015 in Las Vegas, NV. This includes the latest technology and newest releases from some of the leading brands in the industry.
1. Arabesque Tile by Granada Tile- 4" cement Arabesque wall tile . Approximately $15 per sq ft
Moroccan inspired mosaic tiles, with 11 colors to choose from, this tile will give any space a unique edge.
2. Retro Stove by Big Chill Hardware. Starting at $4,295
Choose from 8 standard colors and 200 custom colors ( at an additional cost). With stainless steel construction and authentic chrome trim and handle. Available in natural gas or propane. Easy to clean sealed burner top. Automatic electronic ignition system. 24" oven depth. Convection fan. Full extension oven rack. Direct-fired ceramic infrared broiler. Full motion grates with 4 burners. 1 year warranty on parts and labor. Choose between 30" or 36" wide unit.
3. Artesso Single Handle Articulating Arm Kitchen Faucet by Brizo. Approximately $720
Features: ADA compliant, Diamond Seal Technology ( an internal contact surface made up of tiny diamonds that makes the valve leak-free and durable and keeps water free of contact with potential metal contaminates), Magna Dock Technology ( powerful magnet mounted in spray head that helps to center and pull the wand firmly into place) , Euromotion Technology ( long-lasting leak free performance with an ergomatic Euro-Motion valve), TouchClean (Soft rubber nubbins allow you to easily wipe away calcium, lime, and build up with the touch of a finger), and No Lead Compliant( Compliant with State and Federal drink water legislation).
4. Cottage Style 2x4 Island/Helpmate 'Server' by Twin Star Home Furnishings.
Features a black granite top, beadboard paneling on the back, and brushed nickel hardware.
Provides additional seating and storage without the permanency of an island. Side one features 2 open shelves with 2 drawers on top and side two is a breakfast bar with room for bar stools.
5. the Sektion Collection by IKEA . Approximately $2,200 for a 10x10 Kitchen
The all new kitchen system offers more storage and configuration options, deeper top drawers, 4 door styles, and organizers like the drawer in a drawer. Comes with options to suit any style and budget, with a wide range of fronts from sleekly modern to warm traditional and materials ranging from solid oak to high gloss foil. And they offer a 25 year warranty!
6. 12" Brookside Prismatic Light by Progress Lighting. Approximately $121
Comes in Brushed Nickel. Features clear Prismatic glass shade, diffused light, and metal stem to cover the cord. Light types: Incandescent, CFL, and LED. With it's vintage undertones and train-station styling this light would add charm to any kitchen type.
7. Home- Center Cabinets by American Woodmark (found in Home Depot) Approximately $185 per LF
Gray is the on-trend color of the moment for cabinets, it's versatile and mixes well with any palette. Cabinets pictured in Painted Stone.
8. Formica Laminate Countertop- Jonathan Adler Collection. Sheets Approximately $17 per sq. ft.
Features a glossy, scratch resistant surface and provides the look of luxury without breaking your budget. In this picture- Zesty Orange Greek Key backsplash and Lacquered Linen countertop.
9. Spectrum Color Barn Door Hardware by Real Sliding Hardware. Approximately $433
Comes in Scarlet, Tangerine, Lemon, Forest, Cobalt, Violet, Metallic. These punchy colors are sure to brighten up any room. Use it to draw out the accent tones of throw pillows, artwork, your favorite armchair, etc. Each kit includes a track, hanger, and bottom guide
10. Temp2O Water Faucets by Delta. Approximately $140.
Features Temp2O Technology- with a digital temperature display and background color indicator that turns blue when cold, magenta when warm, and red when hot, making it clear when the water temperature is safe for you and your family.
11. Electrolux Ergorapido Bagless Vacuum. Approximately $150
Features 180 degree swiveling head, self cleaning brush roll, one-touch release dust cup, built-in hand vac, and flexible charging stand
12. Decolav's Matt Muenster Designer Series. Sold at Lowe's. Approximately $696
Granite topped with stained veneer (pictured in Espresso). Features individual modules purchased separately to configure your own semi-custom vanity. Includes sinks, countertops, and door pulls.
13. Moen Mosaic Flush Mount Multi-Function Body Sprays. Available July 2015. Approximately $183 each
Offers customizable showering or vertical spa experience with the option to switch between 2 spray functions (traditional or pulsing massage). With it's easy-to-operate lever you can toggle between 2 functions to direct the water exactly where it's wanted. The sprays can be tilted quickly and easily. Provides 67% greater angular adjustment.
14. Discovery Gas TouchTop Stainless Steel Range by Dacor. Starting at $2000
Comes in 36" or 48". Features 2 SimmerSear burners with melting feature (800-18,000 btus), 4 high performance sealed gas burners with true simmer (800-15,000 btus), exclusive extra wide continuous platform griddles, brass burners and valves, sealed burner and porcelain enameled one-piece spill basin for easy clean, Perma Flame auto reignites flame for continuous heating and uninterrupted cooking should a burner unexpectedly go out, Smart Flame reduces flame contact with grate to prevent grate discoloration and increase longevity, interchangeable accessories, Island trim included, Illuminated knobs (Dacor signature flame blue) to let you know when burner is on, and brass and black burner caps (you get both).
15. Houzer Porcela Undermount Sink. Approximately $452
Made of enameled resilient steel, it has the charming vintage look of a cast iron sink without the laborious install and 65% less weight. It's durable and chip resistant. It's also heat, stain, and scratch resistant. 100% non-toxic.
16. 36" Multi-Door Freestanding Kitchenaid Refrigerator. Approximately $4,200.
With Platinum interior design, 5 doors, 2 soft-close drawers, Preserva Food Care System which uses 2 independent cooling systems (keeping food fresh longer), and under-shelf lighting for greater visibility. In black-stainless. 8 cu. ft of storage.
17. Crackle Hexagon Knobs from Home Decorators Collection. Home Depot. Approximately $2.88 each
Zinc die-cast base with ceramic head and antique brass finish. These knobs will add a noticeable change to any room.
18. Kohler Touchless Toilet Kit. Approximately $67.
Easy to install retrofit kit. Hold hand over tank sensor to activate flush. Mounts inside tank. Powered by 4 AA batteries (included). Works with most canister and flapper toilets and is not compatible with dual-flush, top-mount flush, pressure assisted, or ballcock valve toilets. Install takes less than 20 minutes.
19. Merola Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile. Approximately $1.97 each.
Comes with 3 options: Revival Ring, Boheme Full, and Twenties Classic. First quality. Ceramic glazed finish with low sheen. Semi-Vitreous. For commercial and residential use. No sealant required.
20. Panasonic Cyclonic Wave Microwave Oven. Approximately $330.
Microwaves in a 3 dimensional circular pattern, dispersing microwave energy to contact food evenly. Can be used as a countertop or built-in. Has electrostatic glass touch control panels, 1250 watts of cooking power, multi-stage cooking, 20 programmable sensor cook and reheat options, and turbo defrost mode.
21. GE Cafe Series French Door Refrigerator with Keurig K-Cup Brewing System. Approximately $3,300. Available Fall 2015.
Dispenses fresh filtered water ( advanced water filtration system). Comes with dishwasher safe Keurig K-Cup Brewer, hot water dispenser, precise fill setting, full width electronic temperature controlled drawer with colored LED lights, and Twin Chill evaporators. Water is purified through the only filter tested and verified to remove 98% of five trace pharmaceuticals from water and ice.
22. Brondell Circle Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System. Approximately $400 for unit and $23-$80 for filters.
Key Features: Water saving smart technology-up to 10x more efficient than conventional RO systems. Designer chrome faucet with integrated LED filter change indicator. Space saving compact design leaves plenty of room for under sink storage. Patented Smart Valve & flexible water tank delivers max water efficiency. Auto filter flushing significantly extends life of RO membrane filter (2 yr). Certified 4-stage filtration- sediment filter, carbon plus filter, RO membrane filter, and post carbon block filter. Gold Seal Certified by WQA (Water Quality Association)
23. Palm Shower from Delta. Approximately $250. Available Fall 2015
Simple, one-handed operation, slides easily into the palm of your hand with it's rubberized grip securely hugging your hand. Attaches to a sleek grab bar making it easy to adjust the shower spray's height.
24. Wellborn Pullout Table from the Estate Collection. Approximately $1,380.
Hidden behind a drawer front in a pantry style cabinet is a small slide out table. It provides extra space for meals and meal preparation. Great for small kitchens! Finished to match cabinetry.
25. The Frigidaire Professional Series.
With smudge-proof stainless steel and professional grade appliances. When purchased all together the cost for the range, dishwasher,and microwave are under $5,000, add another $3,200 and you can get the refrigerator too.
26. Modular 3000 Freezer by U-Line. Approximately $3,470
This built-in frost-free freezer seamlessly integrates with your base cabinets. Sits flush and comes with a stainless or panel-ready door. It's hinges can be concealed and it's height adjusted. Equipped with LED theater lighting that turns off automatically when the door closes. 3 Full extension, durable, vinyl coated freezer baskets are removable for easy cleaning. Front ventilation engineered to circumvent the need for additional airflow.
27. Wilsonart Quartz. Approximately $65-$85 per sq. ft.
Man-made quartz that's durable and requires zero upkeep. Wilsonart's new line offers dozens of colors and patterns (including Lyra, shown). An affordable alternative to granite. Virtually eliminates visible seams. Can be carved like wood so that edges can be sculpted or layered .
28. Caesarstone Classico Concrete-Inspired Collection.
Starting at $65 per sq. ft.
Caesarstone's concrete-inspired collection provides the industrial look of concrete with the low maintenance of quartz. There are 3 colors to choose from, including Fresh Concrete (pictured), Raw Concrete, and Sleek Concrete. It is scratch, stain, and crack resistant. Resistant to most household chemicals including acids and solvents. Mold and Mildew Resistant. Non-absorbent and non-porous. Has flexural strength (bend strength), color consistency, immunity to freeze and thaw, and somewhat heat and burn resistant.
29. Cattura downdraft by BEST Range Hoods. Approximately $1,530. Coming August 2015.
Moves smoke & steam at the rate of 600 cu ft per minute. Vents are strategically placed along the top and sides to handle serious cooking ventilation requirements . The integral self-closing cap completely hides the lowered downdraft for an unobstructed view of the kitchen. LED lights illuminate the cooktop. 35% quieter than other downdraft systems. Heat Sentry detects excessive temperature and adjusts speed to high automatically to prevent the damaging effects from heat and increase the life of the product. Convenient 10-minute time-delay shutoff feature and filter maintenance reminder light for a fresh kitchen. Works with optional Automatic Make-Up Air Dampers.
30. Toekick Drawer Modification by Diamond Cabinets a Division of Master Brand Cabinets Inc . Starting at $515
Features a 3" tall by at least 18" wide storage solution. Push-latch closure allows for a completely hidden drawer with no knob to giveaway its secret. Great place to store flat kitchen accessories or even jewelry.
31. Flood- Proof Flooring by Shaw Floors. Approximately $4.50 per sq. ft.
These wood-look vinyl planks are quickly and easily installed. Should you have a pipe that springs a leak (or worse) they can be pulled up, dried out, and reinstalled. Because of it's durability, it can even be installed in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and basements with no worries. Has the elegant look of hardwood without the worry of moisture, buckling, and mildew.
32. Gridscape Series by Coastal Shower Doors. Approximately $800.
Gridscape Series V1 or V2. Both provide 3 glass options: clear, satin, and smoke grey. The 36 x 72 multi-functional door can be ordered as a stand-alone panel, room divider, or bypass shower door. Custom configuration is also available. Has a 10 year guarantee. Made in the USA. Comes with adjustable rollers.
33. Hold by Sabi. Approximately $150
This circular grab bar made of powder coated aluminum delivers strong, secure, reassuring grip. Can be held at multiple angles and heights. Comes in Dark Blue, Gray, and (punchy) Yellow. Pro installation suggested.
34. Aquatic Serenity 55- Alcove Size Soaker Tub. Approximately $1,805
Designed to fit a typical 5 1/2 ft. alcove. This oval acrylic tub has an elongated backrest and armrests giving it a roomy feel despite its modest size (63 x 34). Comes with deep bathing well, lucite cast acrylic surface, and limited lifetime warranty. Options include: premium color, cable drive and waste overflow (chrome, oil rubbed bronze, polished brass, brushed nickel, biscuit, bone, or white), Oval comfort pillow (biscuit, white, or black), Chromatherapy LED lighting (Hot Soak Option), and Life gate delivery. Standard Colors = White, Biscuit, Bone, and almond. Premium Colors = Black, Cashmere, Mexican Sand, Red, Sand Bar, Sterling Silver. Jet Trim Options- Chrome, Polished Brass, Brushed Nickel
35. LumaWarm Heated Nightlight Toilet Seat by Brondell Inc. Approximately $199
Say goodbye to the freezing cold toilet seats and glaring bathroom lights during those midnight trips to the bathroom. The LumaWarm toilet seat is heated and comes with a blue LED nightlight. It's energy efficient and has 3 adjustable temperature settings. Comes with a sturdy and sittable lid that's also gentle-closing
Winners of the Kitchen and Bath Show 2015
Best of Show: LG Hausys TechTop Wireless Charging Surface
Embeds wireless charging technology into Hi MACs solid surface or Viatera quartz allowing you to charge your phone by placing it on top of the countertop surface. No more tangling cables or outlet hunting!
Best of Bath Gold: Walker Zanger's Sterling Row Porcelain Tile Collection
Inspired by the best Men's tailors in London, Manahattan, and Paris this collections color palette consists of grays, blacks, and whites. Consists of 8 patterns: Link, Houndstooth, Wingtip, Oxford, Argyle, Tuxedo, Chesterfield, and Buckle. Can be used on all interior surfaces and exterior walls and pool lines.
Best of Bath Silver: Michael Berman Graceline's C-Spout Widespread Lavatory Faucet
Features sleek lines and industrial details. Inspired by luxury ocean liners of the 20s and 30s. Features a long, graceful arch, and complemented by lever or dial shaped handles reminiscent of ship cleats. Thumb depressions on the handles and knurling banded escutcheons add a hint of glamour
Best of Kitchen Gold: Brizo Articulating Faucet
(Listed above # 3 (on our list which is in no particular order). A clever twist on the classic pull-down architecture, the spray wand can be easily docked and undocked for maximum function and efficiency while maintaining a fluid and streamlined form. Will be incorportated in two distinct collections by Brizo: Artesso (TM) and Solna (R).
Best of Kitchen Silver: Brondell's Integrated Faucet
Delivers pure filtered water, in addition to the hot and cold tap water, directly from your main kitchen faucet. Easily installed in the existing faucet space with no need to drill your countertop or install a separate pure water faucet. Constructed from the most durable materials, such as 304 stainless steel and comes in 4 styles and 2 finishes.
The size of your bathroom should never limit you as a homeowner. With the following tips and ideas you can transform your small bathroom into a beautiful and luxurious retreat.
Try using a compact elongated toilet, it provides most of the comfort of a traditional elongated bowl in the same space as a round bowl. It features an oval shape and has a larger feel than a round bowl despite being roughly the same size.
Install a tub that will maximize space, like one of the tubs pictured below.
A skylight is another way to really open up a small space. If your bathroom is on the top floor of your home and it fits within your budget, go for it!
(The cost to purchase a skylight starts at $200 and to install varies greatly depending on the size of the window and the complexity of the roofing . The figure is usually somewhere between $500-$1,400 for labor and building materials).
Bonus: Skylights also save electricity!
Keep a monochromatic color scheme, blending tile with the wall color. Busy patterns and extreme contrasts can make a small space feel even more cramped.
Use paint to open up your small bathroom. Painting the walls and ceiling the same color keeps the room from feeling like its closing in (painting the ceiling a different color can make it look lower than it is). If your bathroom is shaped like a rectangle, you can paint the shorter walls just a shade lighter. You can achieve this by mixing in one cup of white paint per gallon for the shorter walls; add just a little more white and you have the color for your ceiling! You can also try painting wide horizontal lines ( they appear to 'push out' the walls) thus making your bathroom appear larger.
Use larger tiles in lighter colors and/or lay tiles diagonally.
Try to keep the space as open as possible. You'll notice in the fourth picture above that the wall between the shower and the bathtub really divides the space and not in a favorable way, if you removed that wall and put up a glass shower wall it would really open it up.
Choose your vanity wisely. The right vanity for you depends on how small your bathroom really is. If it's tiny, you may opt for a pedestal sink (the one pictured above has a little more storage than your typical pedestal sink). A floating vanity makes the room appear larger by leaving open floor space (adding a light underneath opens it up even more). You may need more storage than those options give you, that's where a larger vanity with a linen cabinet to the ceiling come in. Or you may just choose a smaller version of a traditional vanity.
Small Bathroom Perks
There are advantages to having a small bathroom. Adding luxury to a smaller bathroom is easier than to a large bathroom. Think of the square footage difference and the cost per square foot you're saving! Having a smaller bathroom means you can purchase more expensive wall tile and floor tile since you won't have to buy as much. You can upgrade your small tub with a large shower head or with a rain shower head. Since there won't be as much countertop surface to fill, you can use a pricier stone .
In closing, you don't have to follow every tip listed above, you can pick what works best for you and still achieve a grand transformation of your small bathroom!
- Timeless and trend-proof
- Best option for smaller kitchens (white cabinets can make the kitchen appear larger than it is)
- Compliment almost any style- modern, contemporary, traditional, country, etc.
- Best choice if you tend to update your kitchen often
- Perfect for kitchens with limited natural light
- Shows dirt, smudges, and food particles
- Not always recommended for large families or families with small children
- Can show signs of aging
- Some people think white cabinets have a hospital-like feel to them
- Have a formal, rich look to them (they tend to look more expensive)
- Black kitchen cabinets are supposed to be a huge trend in 2015
- Can transform a boring kitchen
- Make a great accent to almost any color (especially lighter colors)
- Not recommended for small kitchens (can make it feel small and closed-in)
- Not recommended for kitchens without a lot of natural light (can give the kitchen a heavy, dark feel)
- The color/stain/shade trends are always changing with darker cabinets
- Shows food particles, dust, and water splotches
- Shows scratches and dings
*Things to Consider:
When choosing between white or darker cabinets...
the architectural style of your home should be taken into consideration; For example, dark cabinets might look more natural in a craftsman style home and white cabinets may look better in a farmhouse.
the lighting in your kitchen should be taken into consideration. A kitchen with a lot of natural light would look great with white or dark cabinets, but if you have a kitchen with only artificial, or very limited natural light then you should consider white cabinets.
Leave a Comment...What's Your Preference and Why?
Many people have family and friends traveling to their home for the holidays. Traveling is stressful enough as it is, adding that it's a holiday makes it more trying. If you are having guests for the holidays, you will most certainly want them to be comfortable and stress-free. Below there are some tips on how you can make your guests feel right at home just by preparing your guest bathroom for them.
There are so many decisions to be made when remodeling your kitchen, it can be overwhelming. We have compiled a list of some of the most popular countertops being used this year, we listed the benefits and the drawbacks of each and the average price range. Use our list to help you narrow down your options!
Engineered Quartz countertops are arguably one of the best choices for a kitchen, they are durable, with a rich, luxurious feel to them. They have virtually no maintenance and will outlast cheaper materials.
- Almost maintenance free
- Stain, scratch, acid, heat, and impact resistant
- Because of it's nonporous surface, it doesn't need to be sealed (unlike natural stone)
- It's extremely durable, because it's made from one of the hardest materials on earth
- Comes in a wide range of colors and patterns (has a wider range of colors than the other natural stones)
- Leaves less of a carbon footprint than granite
- Safer Choice- it is difficult for bacteria and other pathogens to develop on its surface (You can even
choose to add an antimicrobial agent to its surface )
- On the pricey side, however usually slightly cheaper than granite
- Can discolor over time when exposed to a lot of sunlight
- Heavy and should be professionally installed on sturdy cabinets
- Seams are visible, but less noticeable when a darker color is chosen
How it's Made:
Engineered in a factory and made up of approximately 94% quartz combined with polyester
resins and pigments for color. Some designs also use small amounts of recycled glass or metallic flecks.
$40-$185 per s.f. (installed)
- Great for resale value
- Has a high-end look
- Durable prep surface
- Comes in a wide range of colors and patterns
- It is a natural product
Pro/Con- Each piece is one of a kind- this is both a pro and a con because it may make it hard to find slabs that go well together, however no one will have the exact same countertop as you.
- Can stain easily, so spills should be cleaned right away, especially oils, wine, and soda
- Because each slab is unique, matching them can be tricky
- To keep in good condition, they should be sealed once a year
- On the pricey side
- Heavy and should be installed by a professional on top of sturdy cabinets
- Impossible to hide the seams
Types of Granite Countertops:
Slab- Most expensive and elegant option- a solid piece of stone cut from the ground in chunks, then cut and customized to your needs.
Modular- Mid-range price; comes in a range of pre-cut sizes.
Tiled- The most budget friendly option; tiles are placed edge to edge and secured with epoxy. Can be hard to clean because of all of the seams.
Polished- Shiny, glossy look
Honed- Soft, matte finish
How it's Made:
Granite comes straight from the ground; once granite is found, a quarry is made around it and large chunks are cut and drilled from the ground.
$35-$200 per s.f. (installed)
- Not easy to clean (even though it does not require special chemicals) it takes caution and effort
- Not as durable as natural stone
- Excessive or hard cleaning can cause marks and damage
- Can and will look dull and old if it gets damaged, can also start to peel due to wear and moisture exposure
- Easily cut and scratched (always use a cutting board)
- Not heat resistant and burn marks are NOT easy to remove
- Difficult to repair if damaged
- Because of it's raw particle board core, it cannot be used with an undermount sink
How it's Made:
Laminate countertops are made of paper blended with resins and fused to particle board
$10 to $50 per square foot (installed)
- It has classic beauty
- If you are looking for a white countertop, it will be almost impossible to find one that's as bright
- Naturally cool surface (which is especially great for baking)
- Heat resistant (but you still should NOT put a pot or pan directly from the stove on it)
- Very susceptible to stains
- Regular sealing is required
- Special care with acidic products is needed in order to prevent etching
- Sharp knives can scratch the surface easily
- Heavy pots or mugs can chip or even break off a piece (if slammed hard enough)
How it's Made:
Marble is a metamorphic rock that changes from it's original sedimentary form (limestone/dolemite) to marble under severe pressure and heat (the materials completely re-crystallize)
The more budget friendly option- cultured marble is made of crushed marble and a manufactured thermoplastic resin (stains are less of a concern with this option)
$40- $250 per s.f. (installed)
- Ideal for food prep-when properly sealed, you can even cut meat on it
- Budget friendly
- Highly heat resistant- you don't have to worry about hot pots and pans
- Can be mixed and matched with other countertop materials such as natural stone
- Has a warm natural appearance
- You can sand scratches out of it
- It is a quieter work surface (you won't hear the loud banging you would with other surfaces)
- Works with all design styles ( including Traditional, Country, French Country, Mediterranean,
Old World, Modern, Contemporary, Transitional, Eclectic, etc.)
- Warm to touch
- Can be made from recycled/re-purposed materials
- Easy on knives (the blades will last longer)
- Swells and contracts with moisture exposure
- Must be sealed properly or it's naturally porous surface will harbor bacteria and germs
- Needs frequent oiling; at least 2-3 times per year or more
- Must be kept dry around sink areas and after spills
How It's Made:
Can be made of almost any wood or a combination of woods. Usually made of strips of wood bonded together. Commonly made from Maple, although Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Teak are also used, and eco-friendly Bamboo is gaining popularity as well.
$35-$250 per s.f. (installed)
- Coordinate with any color
- One of the easiest to clean; all you need is a cloth and a mild soap
- The MOST hygienic countertop available (no mold, bacteria, or other common germs)
- Durable/ Industrial strength
- Resilient to almost anything- heat, water, stains, etc
- Has a non-porous surface- no liquids can penetrate into it (at all)
- Does NOT stain!
- Hot pots & pans can be placed on them without worry of heat damage (although it will make the surface under it heat up..the heat won't spread to the rest of the countertop)
- Will stay cool during the summer
- Custom made to fit your needs; you can even have your countertop made with an integrated sink ( no seams or edges to clean), can be cut to any size, seamless edges
- Can be strategically placed to create the illusion of a larger kitchen
- 100% recyclable
- The surface WILL get scratched! However after it's scratched due to usual wear and tear, it starts to patina, which is a look many people like
- Can dent if you are careless (or if accidents happen)
- Some think the stainless steel look is 'cold'
- They are noisy- clanging, etc.
- Considered low maintenance, but could also be considered high maintenance, due to it's tendency to show smudges, fingerprints, and small crumbs
How It's Made:
Made of a metal alloy that contains about 10% chromium. Stainless steel sheets are purchased then molded and welded according to the desired size and shape.
$75-$150 per square foot (installed)
- Can be cut into any shape
- Has endless color options
- Easy to clean
- LED lights can be used to illuminate the surface
- Non-porous surface (no liquids can penetrate)
- Versatile- can be used to house fabric/artwork between its layers or embedded with materials that mix browns, blues, greens, etc to suit any color palette
- Heat resistant
- Durable (make sure to get glass that is at least 1 inch thick and tempered)
- Can be made to emulate granite
- Pricey (if budget is a concern, you can use glass in conjunction with another surface)
- Can crack or break
- Scratches and fingerprints are visible
- Cannot be repaired, must be replaced if damaged
How It's Made:
Resins are used to bond together crushed particles of glass mixed with pigments, ash, or ceramics. Each company has it's own proprietary mixture which provides unique results.
$50-$200 per sq. foot (installed)
- Highly customizable in color and layout
- Mixes well with many different materials
- Energy efficient- when the temperature in your home rises, the concrete captures the heat and releases it when the temperature cools
- Flexible- Can be formed to any shape or size and has the ability to incorporate other functional features, such as integral sinks, butcher blocks, and drain boards
- Can be personlized with unique embedded items, such as pebbles and recycled glass
- No visible seams when a seam filler is used
- Stain resistant (when sealed)
- Unlimited color options
- Custom edges
- Extremely hard and tough
- Needs sealing-when made and every 1-3 years after
- Costly- costs about the same as Granite
- Hot pans will burn
- Can be damaged by water and heat if not properly sealed
- Even with proper sealing, moisture or oil can make it look wet or sloppy
- Producing cement for concrete and transporting the concrete, emits greenhouse gases
How It's Made:
Made of cement, light weight aggregates, and a combination of additives (such as fiber, sand, gravel , stone, and crushed glass).
Made 2 different ways-
Precast- Cast offsite in a shop where conditions are controlled, the concrete is poured based on a template of the layout, it's left to cure, then sealed
On Site- Poured right on top of the cabinets and set in place, can be formed to any client's particular needs
$70-$150 per square foot (installed)
- Highly stain resistant
- Bacteria/germ resistant
- Non-porous; it will never absorb liquids so you won't have to worry about spilling red wine or acidic drinks
- Available in a range of gray tones from pale green, light gray, to a dark, almost black, gray
- Does not require sealing
- Regular application of mineral oil can disguise surface scratches and dents
- Durable- available in a varying degrees of hardness
- Unique- No 2 slabs are the same
- If quarried in Brazil it will have veining like fine Marble
- Environmentally friendly- Can be 100% recycled, contains no sealers or toxins of any kind
- Good ROI (return on investment) from 50%-80%
- The installation is more cost effective, it does not require a specialist
- Scratches can be left as a part of natural patina or you can sand them out
- You can choose the texture-from slightly rough to smooth
- Scratches and dents easier than other stone; because it's a softer stone (but it can be repaired with sandpaper, mineral oil, and a cloth)
- If you choose a slightly rough surface, it can scuff China and glassware
- If you want it to darken, you will have to oil it regularly
- Limited selection- limited colors and patterns
- The installation is cheaper but the actual price of the stone is comparable to other natural stones
How It's Made:
Harvested from the earth and custom cut to fit your needs
$60-$105 per square foot (installed)
*Make sure to select architectural grade, NOT artistic grade (this type is meant for sculptures, etc.)
*Can be purchased as a slab or tiles
- Very durable and sturdy
- Comes in a variety of sizes and colors
- Heat and moisture resistant
- Easier to cut and shape
- Each slab/tile is unique
- Cheaper than Granite
- Very aesthetically pleasing
- Environmentally friendly
- Reflects light, making kitchen appear brighter
- If you don't fill and seal its pitted surface, food and bacteria can get trapped and liquids absorbed, making it more high maintenance (has a porous surface)
- Even minor spills can stain
- If you use your kitchen often, this is NOT the countertop for you
- Requires special cleaning products
- Mats should be used underneath hot dishes and cookware, place mats under ceramics, silverware, and china, and coasters underneath drinks to prevent damage to countertops
- Must be sealed once every 1-3 years
- Should disinfect regularly to prevent the growth of bacteria due to liquid absorption
How It's Made:
Combined with cement then smoothed and polished to provide a more uniform surface
Tiles- $25- $135 per square foot (installed)
Slab- $35-$150 per square foot (installed)
Why settle for your current bathroom when you can customize it to fit your family's needs? If you are considering or already planning on remodeling your bathroom you may want to answer the following questions first. These questions will help you focus on what your needs are for your new bathroom.
1. How many people live in your home? What are their ages?
2. How many bathrooms are in your home? How often is each one used?
3. Which bathroom or bathrooms do you plan to remodel?
4. What is/are the bathroom/s you plan to remodel primarily used for? Guests? Is it your Master Bathroom? Is it a child's bathroom?
5. Do you anticipate any changes in your family that may need to be considered? A new baby? Are your parents or in-laws moving in? Do you have a child leaving for college? Will any of this effect the needs of the bathroom/s being remodeled?
6. Does anyone in your family or anyone who frequents your home have any physical limitations that should be considered in the design and layout of your new bathroom/s?
7. Do you have any water usage concerns? i.e. Do you run out of hot water often?
8. Is there anything about the current layout of your bathroom that makes it difficult to use?
9. Is there anything about your current bathroom that you would like to remain the same?
10. Other than the usual bathroom activities, what else do you use this space for? Makeup application, getting dressed, relaxation, etc.
11. Do you prefer taking a bath, a shower, or both?
12. What appliances/fixtures do you use in the bathroom?
13. Do you have enough electrical outlets in your current bathroom?
14. Is there enough surface space in your bathroom?
15. Do multiple people use this space at a time? Brushing teeth together, etc.
16. Is there enough privacy in your current bathroom?
The kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in the home. It is also one of the most popular rooms to remodel, because of it's high ROI (return on investment). When you make the decision to remodel your kitchen, it is best to be prepared before you begin. Without proper preparation, a kitchen remodel can turn into a disaster. If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen, contact us for our free, Kitchen and Bath Remodel Survival Guide.
Below are questions you should ask yourself before remodeling, it will help you and your contractor (if you're using a contractor-which we strongly recommend for kitchen remodeling!) get an idea of where to start.
1. Assess your current kitchen and the wants and needs of your family.
a. What do you like about your current kitchen?
b. What would you most like to change about your kitchen?
c. What would your dream kitchen look like?
d. What colors do you like?
e. How would you describe your home decorating style?
f. What feeling would you like your new kitchen to have?
g. Do you want/need multiple work stations in your kitchen?
h. How many people are living in your home?
i. How many 'chefs' are in your home? What are their ages?
j. Does anyone in your family have physical limitations? If so what are they?
k. How many times a month do you entertain?
l. When you entertain, do you have large events with a lot of people or small gatherings?
m. Do you want an 'open-concept' kitchen?
2. What activities will take place in your kitchen?
a. Cooking- does your family generally do fast easy meals or large family meals from scratch? Do you do gourmet cooking? Do you do a lot of baking? Do you do a lot of cooking for guests/entertainment?
b. Dining- Will you have a dine-in kitchen? If so what type of dining does your family do? Formal? Informal? How many people generally dine with you?
c. What other activities will take place in your kitchen? laundry, tv, school or office work, computer time, crafts, house work, etc.
3. What items will you store in your kitchen?
a. Food/Beverages-canned goods, fruits, veggies, spices, oils, coffee, milk, etc.
b. Cookware/Dishes- pots, pans, plates, cups, silverware, measuring cups, cookbooks, etc.
c. Other items- paper plates & cups, food storage containers, baggies, foil, pet food and supplies, and cleaning products.
4. What type of cabinet storage will you need?
a. Base Cabinets- full-extension sliding shelves, hinged swing-out wire shelf units, Lazy Susans, door-mount racks, slide out racks for storage bins and trash cans, etc.
b. Wall Cabinets- pull-down overhead shelf units, flip-down shelf, etc.
c. Other- storage cabinet for TV, ceiling-mount pot rack
5. What features will you choose for your kitchen?
a. Will you be doing any structural changes? Adding/removing walls? adding or removing a door or window? Building an addition to extend kitchen space?
b. Cabinets- What style will you choose? Traditional, contemporary, transitional, cottage, modern, etc.
What type of surface will you choose? Wood? If so, what species and finish. Laminate or vinyl overlay. Metal?
What door style will you choose? Full overlay (shows very little of the cabinet frame giving it a modern, seamless appearance or a half inch overlay (leaves 2 inches of the cabinet frame exposed between the doors giving a more traditional look)
Will you have other options- Such as multiple surfaces, cabinet hardware, an island, matching range hood, matching appliance panels, etc.
c. What type of surfaces will you use for your backsplash and/or countertop? ceramic tile, concrete, laminate, quartz, solid surface, stainless steel, stone (such as granite), wood, etc.
d. What options will you choose for your sink? Material- acrylic, cast iron, composite, enameled steel, solid-surface, stone. What configuration will you choose? Single, double, or triple basin? Apron front? Prep sink?
What fixtures will you choose? Faucet-Single-handle, bridge, high arc, pull-out, pot-filler, or wall mount? Will you choose a built-in water filtration system? Will you select a built-in soap or lotion dispenser? Will you have a garbage disposal?
e. What type of flooring will you choose? Bamboo, ceramic tile, concrete, cork, laminate, linoleum, sheet vinyl, vinyl tile, wood, engineered wood, stone, etc.
f. What type of ventilation will you have? chimney hood, custom insert, down-draft, island hood, microwave-hood combo, under-cabinet hood, etc.
g. What type of lighting will you have? under-cabinet lighting, accent lighting, sky light, task light, recessed lighting, or pendant lights.
h. What large appliances will you have? Conventional oven, convection oven, microwave, steam oven, cook top stove, free standing range, slide-in range, warming drawer, refrigerator, freezer, built-in refrigerator, built-in dish washer, regular dishwasher, washer, dryer, washer/dryer combo, etc.
i. What small appliances do you/will you have? toaster, toaster oven, rice cooker, slow cooker, blender, bread maker, deep fryer, food processor, coffee maker, espresso or cappuccino machine, juicer, etc.
With this list completed, you are one step closer to having the kitchen of your dreams! Call us today at 240-398-9003 and we can help you with this process or if you are interested in our free Kitchen and Bath Remodel Survival Guide, contact us and we will email it to you! or if you are on your smartphone...click here to call:<a href="tel:2403989003">Click HERE to Call: 240-398-9003</a>
Located in Fort Washington, MD. We service Northern Virginia, PG County, Montgomery County, and Southern Maryland, including Charles County, St.Mary's County, and Calvert County.