Advanced Cabinetry Information
Advanced Cabinetry inc. would like to introduce our newest team member, Season Kasten. Season comes to us with nine years in the design field. Her specialty is in 2020 design software as well as kitchen & interior design. Season earned her bachelors degree in Design from Michigan State University. She's passionate about working with people, being detailed oriented and bringing ideas to life. Come in to see Season for your next project!
Cutting Board Materials Matter:
Using a proper cutting board and hand washing your knives are absolutes; you're either doing it or you are not. Wood bamboo, and plastic are better for your knives than composite boards; harder boards like glass, metal, stone and ceramic will quickly destroy knives, experts say.
When I began studying interior design many (many!) years ago, I learned all about the much-venerated kitchen work triangle— in which the refrigerator, range and sink are placed 4 to 9 feet apart, forming a roughly equilateral triangle. This design principle was developed back when most people had smaller, closed-off kitchens, where only one person prepared and cleaned up meals. It's an efficient way to lay out appliances and the sink in a small closed or semi closed kitchen.
The work triangle is still useful today, but with kitchens that now run the gamut from tiny single wall galleys up to large open-plan kitchen, it's more useful to think in terms of work zones instead. Work zones are really just the natural evolution of the kitchen work triangle. As kitchens grew in size and opened up to other rooms in the house, it became more of a challenge to place appliances in a neat triangular layout. We also have more appliances than ever before — dishwashers, extra sinks, microwaves, separate cooktops and wall ovens — not to mention more people working and socializing in the space.
- Group appliances and fixtures according to use. To set up work zones in your kitchen, think of the tasks you perform regularly: storing food, prep, cooking, baking, serving, eating, cleaning, making coffee, chilling wine etc. A work zone contains everything you use to perform each task.
- Store what you need where you need it most. In addition to grouping appliances and fixtures according to use, give yourself enough storage in each zone for what you need to perform the task.
- Provide landing areas next to major appliances. For safety and efficiency, consider placing a countertop landing area next to your major kitchen appliances, especially the range, cooktop, microwave and wall ovens. You want to be able to quickly set down something hot without having to trek halfway across your kitchen. This will also give you a cooking work zone; you can store items like knives, cutting boards and pots and pans in the cabinets and use the countertops for chopping and cooking prep.
- Widen the aisles. Whether you opt for the traditional work triangle or to break up your kitchen into work zones, pay attention to your kitchen's aisle widths. The recommended minimum aisle width is 36 inches, but I prefer 42-48 inches, especially in kitchens with multiple cooks. If you cook and entertain often and have the space, you could go as wide as 54 inches. Wider than that, though, and your space will likely become inefficient, as you'll spend more time walking than cooking.
If you’re considering a counter-top upgrade you’ll want to consider both granite and quartz. Let’s start comparing them with a brief rundown and then dive into some of the finer points.
Granite counter tops are quarried directly from the earth as a single chunk. These counters are all natural stone that have been taken out as large blocks that can be later cut into individual slabs.
Quartz counter-tops contain crushed quartz mixed with resin in a ratio of 93% quartz to 7% resin. They are manufactured in a variety of different patterns and colors.
The benefits and drawbacks of granite:
Here are some of the most important drawbacks and benefits of granite that you need to know:
1. The appearance is not uniform. These stones are coming right out of the earth and are not perfectly designed by nature. For some this will be a benefit while others will consider it to be a drawback.
2. Granite counter-tops will need to be sealed before they are used and this will need to be repeated year after year for as long as you own the counter-top. Granite is a porous stone and can only be considered to be stain-resistant if it has been sealed properly. While some people only seal their granite counter-tops every 3 years, it’s best to be safe and to do it yearly. If for any reason the sealant on the counter gets compromised, your counter-top can get stained.
3. Counter-tops made of granite are extremely durable but should not be considered to be indestructible. It is a natural rock and can break or chip if subjected to heavy abuse. For regular day-to-day activities though, and with proper maintenance, this is a counter top that can last for a lifetime and beyond.
4. The stones are heavy and require a professional installation crew. Don’t even think of hiring your neighborhood handyman to put in your new counter-top to save a few dollars.
5. It’s impossible to hide the seams in a granite counter. Expect the seams to show up once it has been installed.
6. The samples that you see can slightly differ from the stone that you receive. Keep in mind that these are naturally occurring slabs so the samples cannot be a true 100% reflection of the stone you are ordering. There may be color variances or occlusions in the stone you receive that gives the slab a slightly different appearance. We highly suggest that you pick out your slabs in person and make sure you understand were seams, cut-outs etc will be.
The benefits and drawbacks of quartz:
As with granite, quartz counter-tops also have their own sets of drawbacks and benefits that go along with them.
1. Quartz counter-tops are just as strong as granite but have the added benefit of being more flexible. This makes them easier to work with during the installation process.
2. Quartz is non-porous and does not require any sealing – ever. These stones offer a virtually no-maintenance material solution for counter-tops.
3. These counters are also very durable but they cannot be considered indestructible either. They are stain-resistant as well so dropping a glass of wine on them simply requires a quick cleanup.
4. One drawback that you should definitely take note of is these counters can discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight. If you have a part of your counter that receives some of the UV rays from the sun while another part doesn’t, over time you may see a color difference.
5. These counter-tops need to be professionally installed and quartz is even heavier than granite.
6. You can expect to see seams with a quartz counter but they will be less visible if you choose a slab that’s darker in color. As well, the seams are easier to hide when you choose quartz because the counter has been colored and manufactured. If you buy a quartz counter-top in a solid color, it’s much easier to hide the seam to a certain extent.
Let’s compare the cost:
This can be the biggest consideration when it comes to choosing between a quartz counter-top and one that’s made of granite. If you’re like most people you have a budget that you’re trying to stick to for your counter-top material.
Granite can often end up costing a bit more than quartz since it is a natural rock. This means that the complete slab needs to be excavated from the earth as one chunk of stone. This extraction along with the shipping of the product consumes a lot of energy, time and ultimately money. When it comes to granite slabs, you’ll need to be willing to pay the price for a thicker piece. The thinner the granite is, the weaker it will be as well.
All in all, you may have to pay slightly more for granite, but the cost difference won’t be all that significant. The important thing is to choose a budget and then do your best to stay within it by choosing the quartz or granite stone that you think will look fantastic displayed in your kitchen.
So which one should you choose?
The one that you find the most aesthetically pleasing fits into your budget and highlight the mood and ambiance you are trying to create in your kitchen. Because when it comes down to it, there really is no wrong choice. There’s just personal preference.