YOUR REMODELER FOR LIFE!

Kitchen Remodeling Tips And Advice

Why Remodel?

Kitchen remodels can be exciting and discouraging at the same time. There are many reasons why you may want to remodel. You may not have enough space and storage to work comfortably in your kitchen, or everything is so outdated that it is needed. Whatever the reason is, focus on your main reason so that your vision will be achieved. Also, take into consideration improving the value of your home and your budget. When it’s all said and done these two things will give you a piece of mind.

 

Questions to ask yourself

  1. What is your objective?
  2. How long do you plan to live in the home?
  3. Do you have children or pets?
  4. Do you have allergies or health issues to consider?
  5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?
  6. What is your budget?
  7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what has been their limitations?
  8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?
  9. What’s behind those walls?
  10. When do you want to start?

Get A Professional Involved

It is very important to not take on a kitchen remodel without a professional because kitchens are one of the more complicated projects to tackle. It also provides a relief to know it will be taken care of and you won’t have to worry about it every time you have free time that you need to spend it on your remodel.

 

A Few Things To Ask A Contractor:

Are you licensed and insured?

Can you draw up a detailed proposal?

Do you have in-house workers or do you sub-contract jobs out?

Do you have a designer on hand?

How often do we meet to check-in on the renovation?

How is your warranty protocol?

 

How A Project Is Sectioned Out

  • 29% cabinets and hardware
  • 22% design and installation
  • 16% walls, ceiling, floors, doors, & windows
  • 14% appliances and ventilation
  • 9% electrical and plumbing

 

Ways To Save On Your Cabinets

Choose a manufacturer that offers the door style and finish you want as a standard option, with no up-charge. Don’t pay for factory-built or custom organizers. Aftermarket utensil dividers, rollout trays, and back-of-the-door spice racks are a fraction of the cost. Websites such as organize.com and cabinetparts.com are good ones to check out. Avoid custom configurations. You can often use stock wine organizers, cubby units, and even appliance panels to fill awkward spaces that might otherwise require you to buy a custom cabinet.

 

Think About The Details

  1. Installing multiple outlets along the backsplash or on the island is a detail that most forget. It helps to provide electricity wherever you need it.
  2. Having a cabinet for your garbage and recycle bin is very helpful in clearing space up in your kitchen and keeping the smell to a minimum, some cabinet companies are even designing a board to separate the drawer from the garbage pull-out to keep the smell contained even further.
  3. Newer cabinets are now being designed for organization and so you can find soft closing drawers, inserts for knives, pull out storage for large appliances and spice racks. Think about your lifestyle and how easy you want to make it when working in the kitchen.
  4. Another detail to think about is designing with future cleaning in mind. Find products that will keep cleaning minimal to save you time and energy in the long run. Flush-set or under-mount sinks don’t catch as much dirt and grime. Quartz countertops have way less maintenance than granite countertops.
  5. Designing wide pathways for your kitchen is important for easy traffic flow. The standard paths throughout the kitchen should be at least 36 inches wide and in the cooking-zone area should be about 42 inches wide. When planning makes sure your kitchen island or peninsulas have a good width for you to get around with ease.

 


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Feel free to Contact Us here at Retro Pro Kitchen and Bath and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!

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How to Choose a Bathtub

Bathtubs aren’t simple anymore. In today’s modern day bathroom, tubs are becoming outdated especially if you have two or more in the house. Losing a tub in the master bathroom isn’t going to devalue the house especially if you want to put in place a giant walk-in shower. But if you want to have that classic master suite bathroom there are many types of bathtubs to choose from that fits your family’s needs. There are two basic kinds of bathtubs but many styles, sizes, and materials come in those two styles.

 

Freestanding Tubs

This type of tub stands alone and is usually finished on all sides. They are usually more expensive than built-ins, depending on the fixture choices. They are becoming more affordable than before because of their popularity. Plumbing can be harder to hide and be more extensive. They also take up more space in the bathroom, so make sure space is compatible with this choice of the tub.

 

Built-in Tub

A built-in tub is a bathtub that is unfinished on at least two sides and is installed against a wall or within a pre-built tub surround or enclosure. Depending on the choice of material for the surround it can become more expensive than the freestanding tubs. Usually fairly easy to hide the plumbing in these types of tubs.

 

Types of Materials

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is the least expensive type of material, also called fiberglass-reinforced plastic or FRP. It is made by forming layers of fiberglass into the shape then coated with something called Gelcoat resin. Fiberglass does scratch easy so there is more maintenance involved, which is why it isn’t the number one choice on the market anymore.

 

Porcelain on Steel

Another name for this is called enameled steel, which is another inexpensive type of tub and very common. This type of tub is stamped from a thin sheet of steel, then finished with a layer of porcelain enamel. These are very durable, easy to clean, and little to no maintenance. Americast is a little better of a material where it is reinforced in a molded composite backing. The finish is resistant to common chemicals and will keep the gloss for quite some time. This is a heavier style of tub, than fiberglass or acrylic, and can rust and chip under impact. One downside is it is limited to shapes and sizes compared to other tubs.

 

Acrylic

Acrylic is fiberglass sheets that are reinforced by an underneath vacuum-formed sheets of colored acrylic. They are very similar to fiberglass but are more expensive and more popular in terms of maintenance.The finish can scratch or discolor over time but the better grades of tub finishes have now reduced that problem to a minimum. There are a variety of choices on shape, sizes, and colors. It’s a very good choice but doesn’t appear high-end for some people.

 

Cast Iron

This material is very long lasting. They are made by pouring molten iron into a mold of any shape, then it is smoothed and coated with a thick layer of enamel. It is one of the most durable tubs available and the type of finish used is resistant to chemicals, chipping, scratching, and denting. The heavy material holds the water’s heat and is available in many colors. They are extremely heavy and may require extra labor and often a floor reinforcement to install. This is the one of the most expensive material on the market and has been around for ages.

 

Solid-Surface Materials

This is a new type of material in the bathtub market. It’s very durable and retains heat well. A variety of materials are used, some examples include minerals, polymeric materials, resins and then finished with a Gelcoat finish. They come in a variety of natural-looking colors, shapes, and sizes. Repairs can easily be made to the finish if needed.

 

Cultured Marble

Cultured marble is crushed limestone mixed with resin and then finished with a Gelcoat. You have so many options for color, size, and style. The Gelcoat used with cultured marble is more durable than the one used with fiberglass and the price is in between acrylic and cast iron.

 

Ceramic Tile

These tubs are made on site to whatever size and shape desired. Your design options are more array than any other but you will have to deal with more maintenance because of the grout and some people complain about the irregular interior surface is not comfortable on the bare skin. You can choose an acrylic tub and have it encased in ceramic tile to make the comfort level better. This will create a higher end look and reduce the cleaning.

 

Stone and Wood

This type of tub is custom ordered from a variety of natural stone materials including granite, marble, onyx, travertine, basalt, sandstone and other materials. They are extremely heavy and require special structural framing to support the weight. Wood usually also custom-ordered and is made from teak wood which is a tropical hardwood tree species.  Some other woods can be Hinoki wood or Port Orford Cedar. Wood tubs do hold the heat longer than any other tub material. As you can imagine these custom tubs are going to give your bathroom a “wow” factor but it also comes with a price tag that isn’t cheap and maintenance will require a lot more to preserve the beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

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Remodeling during Thanksgiving

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When it comes to Thanksgiving and remodeling there is never enough time to prepare everything in time no matter how much planning goes on prior. There is always something that comes up or delayed or taken off the list completely. We found that having a new warm environment in your home helps reduce Thanksgiving stresses because everyone’s too busy admiring your newly remodeled space to care if there is no cranberry sauce because you forgot to pick it up earlier in the week and now they are sold out. The planning, organizing, and the patience that goes behind remodeling can also increase stress so here we are going to give you a head start to preparing for a newly remodel space during the busiest time of the year.

And when it’s all said and done, you will have a more efficient space with a variety of storage options for all those Thanksgiving goodies. It will create more functionality for not only you and your family but also your guests.

 

Here are some tips to help stay stress-free during remodeling

Organize

Just like planning a vacation or a wedding you don’t want to just go with the flow. It is important to start a binder or folder where you can put anything and everything about your remodel.

Be Patient

This is a long process so I would start the patience right away. You have to research, pick out ideas, check referrals, not to mention demo day and then the anticipation of seeing little by little done each day. When you are among the chaos it seems to drag on forever but if you start with patience it will be easier to get to your end result with little or no stress. Remember it mind over matter.

Plan Ahead

There will always be setbacks, delays, or even the opposite everything going better than planned just keep an open mind and remember anything can happen and just be prepared.

Set ground rules but be flexible

Setting ground rules in the beginning will help keep your contractor on schedule and also keep you organized but remember flexibility is really what will get the project done faster.

Don’t get discouraged

Getting discouraged is the worst way to go about a remodel project but especially during the holidays you want to stay sane for all those guests who will be amazed at your new remodeled kitchen or bath.

Ways to prepare your kitchen for Thanksgiving during renovation

The best way to plan is to just set up a temporary kitchen in a different area of the house. Ideally someplace with a sink near by. A couple of great ideas is to take a couple of old cabinets and set them up in your makeshift kitchen to help you prep. Think of it like camping but better; it’s indoors and you still have electricity. Plus you’re not in the wilderness. Maybe a folding table and some chairs to make a dinner table will help it feel more inviting for the family. Get some clear storage containers and keep your most used kitchen items inside labeled to help you find it when you need it. Making some big meals ahead of time and freezing them in small portions will help. Some other ideas to help with the weekly menu is clipping coupons for take out and making different sandwiches for dinner to reduce cooking.

 

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Countertop Buying Guide

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Installing new kitchen countertops is one of the most dramatic ways to express your sense of style in your home. Whether made from a natural stone such as granite or quartz or another such as laminate or solid surface, countertops can enhance your lifestyle and add equity to your home. This buying guide explains the features and maintenance requirements for each type of surface so you can feel confident you’re selecting the countertop that will work with your lifestyle for years to come.

 

Start With How You Use Your Kitchen

 

To find the countertop that works best for your home and lifestyle, start by taking a look at how you use your kitchen. If yours is like many households, you want a countertop that complements your overall kitchen décor while standing up to everyday use for your family without too much maintenance. On the other hand, if you entertain guests often, you may prefer a countertop with all of these features plus a more elegant look and finish. By offering a wide range of countertop materials, styles, finishes and colors, the Home Depot makes it easy for you to match your countertop to your lifestyle.

 

Factors to Consider

 

Budget 
There’s a countertop to match almost any budget, with laminate countertops at the lower end of the spectrum and wood or metal countertops among the more higher-priced materials. If cost-effectiveness is an important factor for your project, consider sturdy and easy-to-care for laminate or even solid surface countertops. If visual appeal and style is more important, explore the look and features of natural stone countertops like those from Stonemark® Granite or Silestone® Quartz.

 

Maintenance
Some countertop materials and styles require little maintenance. When it’s time to clean up, just use a soft cloth and mild soap or detergent and they’re ready for use again. On the other hand, those made from specialty materials like marble and other natural stone surfaces, may require more maintenance

 

Lifestyle

How you use your kitchen plays an important role in the type of countertops you choose and how they are integrated into your kitchen as a whole. For some, the kitchen is more of a “work” area than a “show” area. If you plan to use your kitchen more as an area for entertaining, there are options in each of our unique surfaces that show off your unique style.

 

Materials

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Granite

Composed of natural stone that’s endured for millions of years, granite countertops are a favorite choice for many homeowners who use their kitchens as a way to express their unique style and taste. Granite countertops are extremely hard and durable and highly stain, scratch and heat resistant. Granite slab viewing and selection available in most areas.

Unlike generic granite which requires annual sealing, Stonemark Granite, available exclusively at The Home Depot, features a revolutionary anti-stain technology that requires no sealing for at least 15 years. While granite countertops will hold up to virtually all ordinary kitchen use, they aren’t indestructible and will chip or break if they’re mistreated.

 

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Quartz
Quartz is the natural choice that provides a unique feel and offers a non-porous and scratch resistant surface that’s ideal for use in the kitchen. Made from engineered stone, quartz countertops require no sealing or polishing. Silestone® Quartz countertops offer a choice of more than 50 dazzling, gem-like colors in two distinct finishes for your kitchen. Silestone features built-in anti-microbial protection, which makes the surface impervious to bacteria, mold and mildew.

Like granite, quartz is extremely durable but it will break and can be damaged with prolonged exposure to high heat from hot pans or plates. Avoid cleaning quartz with strong                                           chemical cleaners or solvents.

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Solid Surface 
Solid surface counter tops are made from sturdy acrylic materials that are easy to care for and highly resistant to bacteria, mold and mildew. They are durable, non-porous and offer a seamless appearance, making them a popular choice for active households. These counter tops are available in more than 130 colors as well as a wide range of patterns designed to mimic the look of stone, granite and quartz.

Solid surface counter-tops are less resistant to scratches and heat than their stone counterparts but they can be easily renewed and are usually a more affordable counter-top choice.

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Laminate 
One of the most cost-effective countertop options, laminate has long been a popular surface for kitchen countertops. Composed of a sturdy particleboard core with layers of tough bonded plastic, laminate offers durability as well as a broad variety of colors, patterns and textures that mirror the look of more expensive surfaces.

Laminate countertops are vulnerable to scratches, cuts and heat, so using a cutting board or trivet is recommended. Care must also be taken to clean wine or other stain-causing liquids quickly, as they can discolor the surface.

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Wood  
A wood island-top adds warmth to your kitchen and complements your other countertop surfaces. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, Heirloom custom wood countertops are available in a variety of premium and domestic woods, from luxurious Black Walnut to exotic Zebrawood. Unique shading and grain patterns in the wood add to the natural beauty.

Finished with organic, penetrating waterproof oil that repels moisture and resists stains, Heirloom wood countertops are also extremely durable, easy to maintain and the non-porous surface can be kept sanitary and safe for food. They are put through a rigorous quality inspection process and are backed with a limited lifetime warranty on seams. Please call your local Home Depot to confirm availability.

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Stainless Steel & Copper
 For a clean, sophisticated look, consider adding stainless steel or copper countertops. As functional as they are elegant, these durable surfaces provide a striking hygienic space for food preparation and can be custom-built to any size or shape. Complement your metal countertop with a variety of enhancements, from backsplashes and integrated sinks to cutting board inserts or beveled edges. Designer finish options include leather embossed stainless steel or hand-woven seared patina copper. Please call your local Home Depot to confirm availability.
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Other Considerations

 

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Corners, Edges & Inlays
Personalize the look of your countertops with your choice of edging styles. Add straight or beveled edges for a contemporary look, or bring a traditional elegance to your kitchen with the timeless curves of an S-shaped Ogee design. Rounded profiles like the Bullnose work with almost any design and are less likely to chip. For a more personalized design, add a custom or patterned inlay.
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Sinks & Faucets
If you’re installing new countertops, you’ll need to replace both your sink and faucet. Sinks mount to countertops in various ways, including drop-in, undermount and apron styles. Solid surface countertops can be created with an integrated sink seamlessly molded into the material. The countertop material and style you select determines the complexity of the installation. Browse our wide range of sinks online or at your local The Home Depot, or get a select Stainless Steel sink installed with your countertop though our Revere program.

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Custom Shapes 
Make a statement about your personal style in your kitchen with a distinctive, unique shape for your countertop incorporating unique angles or curves. To create these custom cut shapes, such as a 45 degree angle over a corner cabinet, additional countertop material may be required in order to generate the desired shape.[/full_width]