Start collecting samples…tile, counter material ideas, ads for appliances of interest etc., and haunt kitchen resource stores. Talk to the staff designers. See what’s out there in person.
Now that you are armed with measurements, you’ll be able to estimate approximately how much tile or countertop material you might need, or how much “play” you have with the size of the refrigerator.
This will help you get a good sense of the cost of appliances, and materials so you’ll more easily be able edit and prioritize your selections intelligently.
While the need for a pot-filler is negotiable, if you are buying new appliances, look for the Energy Star label. ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program that lets consumers know that certain products have met EPA and Department of Energy standards for superior energy efficiency. Certain brands such as Bosch, LG, Asko and Kenmore have consistently high rankings.
You have vinyl, linoleum, cork, tile, stone, wood with finished stains or painted wood to choose from. There is also a lot to be said from a design standpoint for having the same flooring material, for the sake of visual continuity, carried throughout your home and into the kitchen too. If you love to cook, good wood floors are not only beautiful but have a little give to them. They are much better to stand on than stone or tile.
New is a relative term these days. If you are considering new wood floors, you are probably already clued into investigating reclaimed timber. In the case of “New equals Faux”, Trex is a flooring material made of a mixture of recycled plastic and sawdust from reclaimed hardwoods. Though the 20 ft. long planks look just like the real thing when installed, unlike the real thing, the planks won’t rot or splinter. Very well priced at around $5.50/square foot, it’s worth a look. Visit www.Trex.com for stores.
Stone and granite counters need sealers that should be re-applied yearly. Even then, wine or oil spills should be wiped up immediately. Would you be happier with Silestone or Ceasar Stone? These materials have the look and feel of stone, but are man-made from crushed quartz. They are less expensive than other synthetics like Corian, are very dense and uniform in pattern and color, and are the most stain resistant of potential counter surfaces.
It would be remiss not to mention the new “green” countertops. Here are a few of the new.
- Richlite – This is composed of layers of paper (derived for renewable of recycled resources) mixed with resin to form a highly stain-resistant material.
- Durat – This is a polyester based product that uses 30% recycled material and is itself 100% recyclable. It has a smooth silky look and feel, is extremely durable and can be renewed with slight sanding.
- Icestone – Strong and heat-resistant, the composition is 100% recycled glass in a cement matrix that can comes with a high polish but can also be honed or sand blasted.
These are just a few of the wonderful new and green materials that are available. Happy Hunting!
Guest post by Cindy Lee Bergersen for www.DecodingDecor.com.