One option to consider is butcher block countertops. Find out if they can increase the value of your home.
Among the various countertop options available today, butcher block counters are growing increasingly popular due to their rustic charm, many color options, and the natural appeal of solid wood.
However, before deciding to install a butcher block countertop, it’s essential to consider if this choice can boost your home value. In this guide, we will help you understand the impact of butcher block countertops on home value and how they differ from other options.
Factors That Influence Home Value
Several factors influence a home’s value, from the location and size of the property to interior design and maintenance. Among these factors, the kitchen’s condition plays a pivotal role.
The kitchen often serves as the heart of the home, a hub for family meals, and a space for entertaining. Thus, the aesthetic appeal of a kitchen can set the tone for the entire house. The color scheme, quality of fixtures, type of flooring, and even the choice of backsplash can either invite admiration or dissuade interest.
Additionally, a functional kitchen further increases a home’s value. It must have an efficient layout that maximizes storage, provides ample countertop space, and accommodates modern appliances.
However, it’s important to remember that trends in real estate can fluctuate. What’s considered stylish and desirable today may appeal differently in a few years. Open-concept kitchens might be all the rage in one decade, while in another, the charm might lean towards cozier, partitioned spaces.
Among a kitchen’s many features, countertops hold a place of prominence. They occupy a large visual space and are the primary work surface. A countertop’s material, finish, and maintenance needs can sway a potential buyer’s decision immensely.
For example, marble may scream luxury but requires more care than other materials. On the other hand, butcher block countertops, being both aesthetic and functional, offer a warm, organic touch that many contemporary homeowners appreciate.
Understanding Butcher Block Countertops
Butcher block countertops, also known as solid-wood, finger-joint countertops, or hardwood countertops, are crafted from cuts of wood glued together under high pressure. The resulting block reveals the wood’s natural grain, providing a visually stunning and practical work surface.
As homeowners become more environmentally conscious and lean towards natural aesthetics, butcher block countertops have found their way into many kitchens worldwide. The name originates from their initial use in butcheries, where the robust, durable surface was ideal for chopping and cutting.
A wide range of woods is used in these countertops, from affordable species like ash and birch to more premium options like maple, oak, and walnut.
The choice of wood significantly impacts the countertop’s aesthetic appeal, durability, and maintenance requirements. For instance, maple is popular due to its dense grain character and light color range. On the other hand, walnut, known for its distinct color variations and beautiful curved grain pattern, adds an exotic touch to any kitchen decor.
Advantages of Butcher Block
There are several advantages to using butcher block in your kitchen, and many of these advantages increase the value of your home. Here are just a few of the benefits of butcher block countertops:
It adds a cozy charm: Unlike stone or stainless steel countertops, wood provides a welcoming and inviting space, giving a more homely vibe.
Each countertop is one-of-a-kind: Their organic grain patterns, knots, and color variations make each butcher block countertop unique. This natural artistry of each custom countertop can serve as a captivating focal point in a kitchen, increasing its value.
They are incredibly durable: With proper care and maintenance, they can withstand daily kitchen activities and last for years. Even when they begin to show wear, they can often be refinished to look brand new. They are also kinder to sharp blades than harder surfaces, making them an excellent choice for avid home chefs.
It’s Eco-Friendly: Since many butcher block countertops are crafted from reclaimed or sustainably sourced wood, they are a top choice for those keen on conserving natural resources.
It keeps the kitchen peaceful: Wood’s natural sound absorption property contributes to a quieter kitchen ambiance, unlike stone or steel surfaces.
While there are plenty of advantages to having butcher block countertops in your kitchen, it’s crucial to be aware of any challenges that butcher block presents. Here are some things to consider:
Butcher block requires maintenance: Some homeowners are concerned about butcher block countertops’ maintenance. They require regular sealing with food-safe oil to prevent drying and cracking.
Accident prone: Butcher block can be prone to scratches and water damage if not correctly cared for. However, these can often easily be sanded out and the countertop resealed to look new.
It’s susceptible to water damage: Since wood is prone to water damage, it’s crucial to wipe up spills promptly and ensure that the countertop is adequately sealed, especially around sinks. Avoid prolonged exposure to water to ensure the countertop’s longevity.
Comparing Butcher Block Countertops to Other Options.
While butcher block counters have gotten considerable attention recently, it’s essential to understand how they compare to other popular countertop materials like granite, quartz, and laminate. Each offers unique advantages and disadvantages, and their costs can vary significantly.
We start with granite. A popular choice for many homeowners, this ever-durable material is a go-to choice for many homeowners due to its luxurious appearance and resilience. Its natural color variations and patterns are beautiful and warmer than wood countertops.
However, granite countertops can be expensive, with prices typically exceeding those of butcher block countertops.
Next, quartz countertops are another popular option, known for their durability and non-porous nature, making them resistant to stains and bacterial growth. Quartz is more expensive than a butcher block, though not as pricey as granite.
Since quartz is a manufactured stone, it offers a consistency that other materials don’t. Although they have different colors and patterns, these countertops can’t match the organic warmth and natural charm of butcher block.
Laminate countertops are among the most affordable options, often cheaper than butcher blocks. These countertops come in vast colors and patterns, mimicking the look of more expensive materials like granite or quartz.
However, the lifespan and durability of laminate countertops don’t match up to butcher block ones. Scratches and burn marks on them are generally permanent, whereas you can sand and reseal a butcher block countertop to remove similar damage.
Butcher block countertops can offer a good ROI, especially if the kitchen’s design highlights natural, warm aesthetics. Their timeless appeal and the trend toward eco-friendly materials can enhance resale value. Their ability to be refinished is also a selling point.
Kitchen renovations, including the selection of countertops, significantly impact a home’s value, functionality, and overall appeal. Butcher block stands out for its organic warmth and unique visual appeal among all kitchen countertops. But does it increase home value?
Butcher block countertops can potentially increase home value, especially when they align with contemporary eco-friendly and natural design trends. While they may not offer the immediate ROI of materials like granite or quartz, their unique aesthetic appeal, and functionality make a home more appealing to potential buyers.
The decision to install butcher block countertops should not be based solely on their potential to increase home value. It’s equally important to consider personal preferences, budget constraints, and market trends.
For example, the rustic charm and warmth of the butcher block might be perfect for those seeking a cozy, welcoming kitchen ambiance. Others might prioritize low-maintenance, sleek materials like quartz or granite.
Remember, the goal is to create a space that meets your functional needs, aligns with your aesthetic preferences, and optimizes your investment.
If you’re looking for a new home featuring butcher block countertops, search property listings to find something you like. However, if you want a professional opinion, contact Eastside Deign & Build. With their expert guidance, you can navigate your options and make the best choices.
A kitchen renovation is a big deal. Here are some tips and considerations to help ensure you’re fully prepared:
If you’re still in the planning phase, consulting Eastside Design & Build can provide you good ways to find ideas and design elements you love.
Looking to upgrade your home fixtures? Check out this helpful guide on how to choose the right fixtures for your home. Learn about different types, materials, and finishes to match your style
In the grand symphony of a home’s design, fixtures take on a leading role, influencing both functionality and aesthetics. From the elegant faucets that grace your bathrooms to the practical sinks in your kitchen, fixtures are the unsung heroes that elevate daily living. But with the vast array of options available, making the right choices can be overwhelming. Enter Eastside Design & Build, your trusted compass in the fixture labyrinth. In this guide, we will embark on a journey through the world of fixtures and offer insights into how Eastside Design & Build can help you navigate this realm to make the best choices for your home.
Functionality and StyleSelecting fixtures is an art that balances functionality and style. Different rooms have distinct demands, from the luxurious faucets in the master bathroom to the durable yet chic sinks in the kitchen. Eastside Design & Build understands the intricacies of this balance. With our expertise, we guide homeowners in choosing fixtures that align with their unique needs while seamlessly integrating into the overall design of their spaces. Functionality and style, two seemingly divergent aspects, become harmonious allies with our guidance.
Material and Durability
The materials from which fixtures are crafted are more than mere aesthetics; they impact durability and maintenance requirements. Opting for high-quality, durable materials ensures that your fixtures remain robust and visually appealing for years to come. Eastside Design & Build recognizes that your choices should stand the test of time. Our familiarity with various fixture materials enables us to recommend options that guarantee enduring performance. Your fixtures should not only enhance your home’s appearance but also stand resilient in the face of daily use.
Water Efficiency and Sustainability
As the world embraces sustainable living, fixture choices have evolved to reflect this ethos. Water efficiency is now a crucial consideration. Opting for fixtures equipped with low-flow technology not only conserves water but also reduces utility bills. Eastside Design & Build is committed to weaving sustainability into your choices. We are dedicated to guiding homeowners toward eco-friendly fixture options, ensuring that your home is both efficient and environmentally conscious.
Call Eastside Design & Build to find the best fixtures for your home!
The journey of selecting fixtures is far from arbitrary; it’s a symphony of choices that define your home’s character. As we’ve explored functionality and style, material and durability, and water efficiency and sustainability, the importance of expert guidance shines through. Eastside Design & Build is not merely a plumbing service; we are your partners in making your home functional, stylish, and environmentally responsible.
If you find yourself at the crossroads of fixture choices, remember that you don’t have to navigate it alone. Eastside Design & Build is here to offer expert advice and personalized recommendations tailored to your needs. Your journey to finding the perfect fixtures becomes smoother and more enjoyable with our guidance. Contact us today to discover how Eastside Design & Build can help you make the right fixture choices for a home that is not only functional and stylish but also aligned with sustainable living.
2323 and the coming year will see us continuing to invest in our homes. That may mean taking the leap from couch desk to proper desk, perfecting your living room gym, buying more plants to add a little nature to your space, or trying out any other number of strategies to bolster the comfort, functionality, and boundaries of our living spaces.
“The changes to our homes brought on by the pandemic fall into two categories: stopgap measures that involve short-term updates and adjustments, and lifestyle changes that will likely stick with us in some form,” says Eve Epstein, vice president content, media, of the home and design website Hunker. “Of course, most people don’t have a bunch of extra rooms lying around, just waiting to be converted into offices or classrooms or yoga studios. So another big storyline has been solutions for multi-functional spaces.”
For many, simplifying our spaces will allow us to view our homes as retreats from, rather than sources of, stress. “People are taking the time to clear out all those extra items that they realize they don’t really need and focus on what makes them happy in their home,” says Bobby Berk, interior designer and co-host of Netflix’s Queer Eye. Not only will people seek to declutter, but they will be more mindful about the products they buy, investing in quality over quantity.
“People are taking the time to clear out all those extra items that they realize they don’t really need and focus on what makes them happy in their home.” —Bobby Berk
In fact, investing in quality items for the home has perhaps never been more important than now for those who find themselves newly working from home—and needing to cultivate a remote office environment from which to log on. “Working from home—for those of us fortunate enough to be able to do our jobs remotely—is here to stay,” says Epstein, who notes that Hunker has seen a huge demand from its audience for desks, so much so that retailers have been struggling to keep them in stock. To address demand, office furniture suppliers have pivoted from fulfilling bulk orders for companies to small orders from weary workers sick of typing from their couches, beds, or baths.
“There’s a new wave of dual-purpose furniture, and I’m seeing more investment in the crossover between good, well-built staples, like a dining table to anchor a room that can also be used as a desk,” says Larry Cohn, principal architect at Shadow Architects in New York. “If your space is really tight, or you have the opportunity to create a separate room for work by installing a fold-away bed that can be a desk area during the day, then go for it.” Indeed, the wall bed market is expected to grow from nearly $1.45 billion to $2.34 billion by the end of 2026, indicating that we can expect rooms to continue prioritizing their multi-functional, transformative potential.
By maximizing the square footage in our homes with functional furniture intended to serve our varying needs (like by working in the same room where we sleep and talking to our therapists at the kitchen table), the struggle to maintain boundaries between the workspace and personal space is real. That’s why next year, we’ll be using technology to create a mental barrier between work and rest when a physical one isn’t possible. “You can engage all five senses to create boundaries for a clear separation between work and life,” says interior designer Laura Britt, president and managing principal at Britt Design Group in Austin. One way she recommends doing this is by “scene setting” with light. “Lighting can be used to signal your brain that work is done for the day, or that it’s time to sleep,” she says. A slew of new smart lighting products slated for a 2024 release from Dyson, Phillips, Lutron, and Bios Lighting will make it easy to flip the switch to “relax mode” when the time is right.
Sound—or lack thereof—can also help set the right mood. Razer, Jabra, and Anker have all released noise-canceling headphones in the last quarter of the year, and Bose will introduce a new pair meant to work as well on your run as on your next conference call. Loftie and Hatch, meanwhile, launched alarm clocks that double as white noise machines in April and May, respectively, indicating that many of our devices are becoming as multi-purpose as our spaces.
In addition to tech, many folks are investing in art as a way to set a calming mood in their homes, says Jeanne Anderson, senior vice president and general manager of online art gallery and artist network Saatchi Art, which saw an “enormous increase” in sales this year. “A well-designed, harmonious environment can absolutely contribute to overall mental health. Abstract art, in particular, is popular for that reason—gentle shapes, brushstrokes, and soft colors can be deeply soothing and help you relax in your room,” she says. To help clients find the art to best meet their emotional needs, Saatchi launched the Art for Your Mood collection this fall.
“2024 will continue the trend that started in 2023 with people investing into renovating and decorating their spaces,” says Julie Matrat, senior vice president and general manager at global art marketplace Society6. The past year has led many to view the home in a different light (perhaps even literally with lighting upgrades). Into 2021, we’ll continue thinking creatively about how to transform the spaces where we spend so much of our time—pandemic or not—into the sanctuaries that truly support our multifaceted lives.
As a homeowner, you’ve probably realized that home improvement projects = decisions galore. And choosing the right kitchen cabinets is no exception.
With an array of different styles and materials, how do you know which is best?
The word “difficult” is often associated with home improvement endeavors. We’re hoping to eliminate as much of that as possible; take the guesswork out so you can get the perfect cabinets installed.
We’ll review the pros and cons of the most popular material: laminate and wood, as well as their variants.
We’ve also slipped in some essential extras to ensure you make the right choice.
Key Takeaways: You can choose laminate or wood cabinets, but how do you know which one is best for your kitchen? Solution: Knowing the advantages of the different types of cabinets can equip you to make the best decision.
Cabinet Materials Overview
Cabinets are the unsung heroes of both kitchens and bathrooms. They conceal unsightly appliances and clutter and look good doing it.
Traditionally made of wood, cabinets have expanded to incorporate more versatile options, such as:
When people “ooh” and “ahh” over a home’s original features, you can bet that home contains some wood cabinetry.
Until the 1980s, you could find wood cabinets in almost every home. Visually appealing, wood cabinets feature uniquely gorgeous variants in the movement of the wood grain.
Overall, solid wood kitchen cabinets are pretty durable. However, they are susceptible to cracking or becoming warped with too much moisture and varying temps.
They are also a little harder to clean. On the plus side, wood cabinet refacing is relatively simple — a little s anding and staining will go a long way.
Pros of Wood Cabinets:
Here are some popular wood cabinet choices and their characteristics:
Able to withstand differences in temperature better than other hardwoods. Maple works well with light spaces but you can stain it to suit richer, deeper tones too.
The grain is usually subtle and uniform, without much color fluctuation.
Cherry is a hardwood featured in many high-end remodels. It darkens with age and sun exposure and can appear slightly reddish brown.
You’ll find white oak in most traditional cabinets. It is durable and usually has a light stain, as darker stains can cause too much variation in the grain.
Red oak has a distinctive slight curve to its grain and is the more affordable of the two.
With a swirly grain and knots, walnut comes in rich browns, as well as reddish tones and gray.
Hickory comes in a variety of colors, from light creamy hues to reddish brown and even black. With its unique patterns and fluctuation in grain, a clear natural finish takes full advantage of its appeal.
Plywood is an excellent solution for those who prefer natural finishes but don’t want to splurge on solid wood. To construct plywood cabinets, narrow sheets of thinly sliced wood — known as flitches — are sandwiched and glued together in opposite directions.
Besides being less pricey than its solid wood counterparts, it’s incredibly durable, versatile, and water resistant.
Those interested in plywood cabinets should know that they come in different grades. The lower quality, less expensive option is more likely to crack and splinter.
Pros of Plywood:
Kitchen Cabinet Style Options
Besides material, there’s another obvious consideration. What style of cabinets are you going for?
The style you choose significantly impacts the overall feel of the kitchen, and each décor scheme has a particular cabinetry look associated with it.
If you’re looking to spend more on higher-quality cabinets but need to keep them within a set budget, the style you choose can provide some wiggle room.
Let’s take a closer look.
Arguably one of the biggest trends in kitchen design, open shelving is affordable, too. At its most basic, your budget needs to account for the slabs of wood you’ll use as shelves and the brackets used to hold them in place.
The open shelving look is visually appealing when not too cluttered. You can display plates, glassware, and cookbooks artfully and practically.
The lower cabinets — usually the traditional type with doors — can house all the bulky, visually unappealing gadgets.
Open shelving also works well in the bathroom when incorporating the same minimalist principle.
A true craftsman look, gleaming glass framed doors on upper cabinets showcase what’s inside — framing it so it appears unique and precious.
Some cabinet designs select just a few upper cabinets to fit with peep-through glass (some even have illumination to really make the contents sparkle!). This can lead to a highly elevated look if the cabinet contents are not too cluttered, mismatched, or otherwise cracked and chipped.
Perfect for modern, traditional, and transitional kitchens, Shaker-style cabinets (named after the Shaker religious community who popularized them) are designed for simplicity and utility.
With this style, each cabinet door contains a simple thin trim framing the edges. The upper cabinets can be left as is or have handles or knobs attached.
All in all, the timelessness and versatility of Shaker cabinets make for an excellent design choice.
Flat Front Cabinets
A nod to mid-century modern design, flat front cabinets (also called slab doors or slab cabinets) are precisely that:
Flat front without embellishment.
This is an excellent style for when you want the grain of your wood cabinets to stand out or if you’re going for something sophisticated and minimal.
If you love the traditional look, raised panel kitchens are the way to go. Exactly as they sound, they have a panel framing the edge (sometimes in an arc as well as a straight line) and a raised panel emerging from the center.
Nowadays, some consider this look outdated and fussy, so it’s frequently passed over in favor of more sleek and minimal designs.
Laminate cabinets are usually less expensive than natural wood. They’re made from medium-density fiberboard and particleboard*.
Commonly distinguishable by their glossy finish, laminate cabinets are durable. The ease with which they can be made into custom cabinets makes them a slick and appealing addition to any kitchen remodel.
Depending on how they’re manufactured, there are different types of laminate material. High-pressure laminates are stronger and can withstand pressure and dings better than low-pressure.
Both high-pressure and low-pressure laminates can withstand heat and humidity. This makes them ideal for kitchen and bathroom cabinets in small or poorly ventilated spaces, prone to humidity and frequent use.
They are scratch-resistant, and laminate cabinet doors are easy to clean. Usually, a sponge or rag with hot soapy water does the trick and removes any buildup or grime.
One downside is that most laminate cabinets are heavier than wood and may need extra reinforcement. Additionally, the coating that hides the particleboard may peel over time, and restoring them is tough.
*Particleboard is engineered from wood chips and fragmented wood materials mixed with a synthetic resin.
Pros of Laminate Cabinets:
Particleboard With a Wood Veneer
Those who love the look of solid wood cabinets but not the price may consider particleboard with a wood veneer.
Here, a thin layer of wood adheres over the cabinet material itself, usually particleboard. This is a great option for those who love the look of more exotic woods.
You can stain the wood to accentuate a natural pattern (although sometimes the strips are smaller, so on larger surfaces there may be interruptions in the wood grain). Or, you can paint it; however, if you desire a distressed look, the wood veneer is likely too thin and won’t be able to withstand sanding.
This cabinet is highly susceptible to water damage — if water penetrates and seeps into the particleboard, it will swell. This makes it unsuitable for bathrooms, lower kitchen cabinets, and high-humidity situations.
Additionally, it may chip on the edges and scratch easily (you can buff out superficial scratches with furniture polish). This type of cabinet is also harder to clean; due to the thin veneer, you must treat and handle them with care.
Pros of Particleboard:
There’s really just one (but it’s a good one). It’s a budget-friendly way to incorporate expensive-looking wood.
Cons of Particleboard:
Choosing the Right Cabinet Material for You
With different materials, styles, and price points — as well as space usage — there’s much to consider when upgrading your cabinets.
Space and Budget
The size, ventilation, and how often you use the space all factor in when it comes to cabinet choice.
If the space is smaller and well-ventilated, solid wood cabinets may still be in the budget because you need less of them.
If budget is a concern, or you care less about natural materials and prefer super low maintenance, laminate is your best bet.
If you love wood — even if you don’t have the biggest budget — there are still ways to slip it in so you don’t feel like you’re totally compromising.
What goes inside the cabinets is essential too. If you have a lot to store, you’ll need the cabinet space to store them.
In a smaller home, you may have to get creative with storage.
For those looking to pare down and declutter, there’s nothing like a kitchen remodel to inspire you into action. After you’ve moved everything out, it’s much easier to go through it all and see what you have. If you have duplicates (triplicates even!), you can let go of the excess.
Think about how great it will feel to fill your brand-new cabinets with only the things you value, love, and use.
Solid wood cabinets can positively influence a home’s resale value.
Choosing something simple and timeless, such as a Shaker design, is a safe choice. Trends or more intricate and specific designs may not appeal to everyone.
Additionally, you want your cabinets to fit in with the rest of the design.
What are your countertops made of, and how do the two work together, as well as with the kitchen design as a whole?
It goes without saying that the higher quality material lasts longer. For someone who uses their kitchen frequently and loves being in that space, maximize this however you can.
If a kitchen that you can render spotless quickly and efficiently appeals to you, choose materials that allow you to do that.
If you love the beauty and hardiness of nature and don’t mind taking a little extra care to keep these pieces looking their best, pick the wood that works best.
Overall, when considering cabinets, think about:
The important part is choosing cabinets that fit into the overall scheme and provide you with functionality and ease of use for decades.
There are a lot of factors to consider when planning and building your dream kitchen. You may have the budget for an excellent looking kitchen with all the facilities for cooking, but then it may not be well-designed to meet your purpose. A kitchen perfect for more than just cooking is a balance of appearance and functionality.
Think how you are going to use your kitchen. This is the first step on how you can come up with a good concept when you build or remodel your kitchen. Think how you will answer these questions:
Who will be using your kitchen? Is it just you or also other members of the house hold? This will help you determine the size and plan the flow of traffic in your kitchen.
Will it be frequent that more than 2 cooks will be using the kitchen at the same time? If that is the case, think of the working space and other necessities like the counter and the sink.
Do you host parties frequently? You have to remember that during these parties you don't want to be isolated in the kitchen. Open up the space so you will be able to join the fun happening in the other parts of the house.
What else will you need in the kitchen? Some families make their kitchen as their home office. Some have an extra breakfast bar. Others have their laundry closet in their kitchen
Any special designs that you need to consider? If someone who is old, physically or mentally challenged will be using the kitchen, think of special adaptations in your design to make it easier for them to use.
Style and Design
You may have a dream kitchen that you have seen on TV, in a magazine, or when you visited the show room. The color and finishes or the changes that you want to make are very important. You also have to think about the lay-out so the kitchen can be utilized well.
Modern designs typically suggest a U shaped counter or an L shaped counter incorporating an island. In both designs, it is vital to have the sink and stove close to each other. The same spacing is also applicable around the stove. A small space near the microwave will be also helpful when getting those hot dishes.
From one side of the sink, have a foot or two of space and a bigger space on the other side for stacking some dishes and other kitchenware. You also have to consider the space where to set food when you get them from the refrigerator.
The basic lay-out of a kitchen is based on the concept of a work triangle. The three major points are the sink, the refrigerator, and the stove. The three legs of this triangle, when added, must be at least twenty three feet.
Cabinets for storage are also very important. Some prefabricated cabinets normally has a depth of 2 feet, height of almost 3 feet, and widths increasing from three inches up through 3 feet.
The Most Important Factor
Budget. This will make or break plans of building or remodeling a kitchen to suit your needs. Plan according to what is practical and affordable.
Planning on some home improvements? The Eastside designers can add value & beauty to your home. Contact Us for free consultation.
No one wants to deal with unsightly seams in their kitchen countertop. Get advice on how to prevent them here
Upgrading to stone countertops is the best way to transform a kitchen from grungy to gleaming.
Stone boasts sweeping, clean lines and unique naturally occurring patterns and colors. Of all the countertop materials on the market, these alluring pieces instantly revamp any space. Plus, they’re super durable, and most are easy to maintain; they hold up well no matter how skilled of a chef you are.
If you’re sold and ready to go all in, you need to be aware of something many don’t think of until it’s too late: the dreaded countertop seam.
An abrupt disruption in the movement and color of the natural stone pattern is jarring. It detracts from the overall feel and can draw attention away from the intricate veining and beauty of the slab.
Keep reading to learn how to maximize your countertops’ appeal by nixing the potential of an unsightly seam. We’ll touch on the most popular stone options, their average cost, and factors contributing to a seam. In cases where seams are inevitable — we delve into artful ways of concealing them.
Stone Countertops: Which One’s Right for You?
When it comes to stone countertops, not all are created equal. Here are some of the pros and cons of the most popular options.
If you want to get up close and personal with each before you decide, we highly recommend visiting a showroom or ordering samples online.
Short of a blow from Thor’s hammer, granite countertops are highly durable. Their ability to handle the demands of a bustling kitchen — like a piping hot cast iron Dutch oven — is why they’re the most popular countertop go-to.
Another reason more than half of all homeowners gravitate toward granite is the diversity of colors and patterns in this stone. Plus, granite countertop seams are relatively easy to hide (depending on the slab).
One caveat: granite is porous, so it needs sealing to prevent staining.
Quartz countertops provide a stunning, almost 3-D look. Like granite, they’re highly durable.
Quartz kitchen countertops are becoming the coveted option for high-end kitchen remodels, and it’s not hard to see why. During the manufacturing of quartz countertops, any impurities get culled out. Additionally, pigment can be added to alter the hue of the slab, color-matching it to the rest of the kitchen design.
From cool greys and blues to beige, white, and subtle peachy tones, quartz has similar patterns common in granite.
Quartz is durable and resistant to water, stains, and scratches. Because of its non-porous nature, quartz countertops don’t require sealing.
It’s important to plan the location of the quartz countertop seam appropriately. Placing the seam on top of the countertop support is best; otherwise, it may result in a weak spot.
Quartz averages out to about $60 per square foot.
When you think of marble, do you hear the “cha-ching” of a cash register quickly tallying up the price?
It’s hard not to. Marble is synonymous with luxury. After all, it’s the material Michelangelo used to sculpt David.
Marble is the softest of the stone countertops. This means it’s prone to staining and needs regular sealing — every three to six months, depending on the frequency of use. It’s worth considering the type of chef you are: if you get lost in the process with a lot happening at once, marble may not be the right option.
However, marble makes up for being somewhat high maintenance with its classic, timeless look. Its neutral hues and gentle veining and patterns are a statement unto themselves.
Averaging about 3 billion years old, incorporating limestone into your home is like incorporating a museum piece. Primarily made from oceanic shells and the skeletal remains of marine life, limestone comes in off-white and sandy tones. It’s a gorgeous neutral base for various finishes, such as copper or stainless steel.
Though durable and able to withstand the impact of a heavy pot, limestone is prone to scratching.
Limestone is also porous and especially sensitive to acidic fluids; you must have it sealed to prevent stains.
If you love deep charcoal greys, you’ll love soapstone.
While not as popular as other countertop options, soapstone is easy to work with. It’s less likely to crack and is non-porous, so it does not require sealing. It’s heat resistant, though not as durable as other countertops; it’s is a softer stone, prone to chips and scratches.
Because of its makeup, it’s easier to achieve a tight seam which — depending on the veining or pattern of the slab — makes it harder to detect.
A new darling in modern kitchen design, slate, is the most durable of the natural stones used for countertops. It’s non-porous, so it does not require sealing.
The dark grey and greens that slate comes in — often mottled with terracotta or other natural tones — result in an elegant statement. Slate creates an ideal backdrop for copper and other colors to pop.
A potential downside is slate slabs are smaller, which means more seams.
How Do Kitchen Countertop Seams Happen?
Seams occur for various reasons, from slab size and kitchen layout to a contractor unfamiliar with your chosen stone.
Here we’ll go over some of the main reasons seams occur and things to know beforehand so you can avoid them.
Mismatched Color and PatternNothing screams seam like an abrupt change in color or pattern.
You want your new countertop to be free of visible seams. The best way to do that is to know the answer to these questions before picking out your stone slab:
Poor CraftsmanshipHiring someone unfamiliar with the task at hand will more than likely leave you with visible seams, but that could be the least of your concerns.
Stone installation can be tricky. It’s heavy, prone to cracking, and dents and scratches can’t simply be tossed since you’re working with a single piece. You want to hire someone who can complete the job at industry standards or above.
Best Ways to Hide a Countertop Seam
Here are some of the common techniques used for seamless execution. While standard in any remodeling job, the first tip is vital for stone countertop installation.
Hire a Pro
A skilled contractor is worth their weight in gold.
Finding someone experienced in working with countertop fabrication makes all the difference. Your expert will be able to help you through the selection process and make suggestions for inconspicuous seam placement.
The tricky part is finding a pro, someone experienced, reputable, and, above all, trustworthy.
Hiring an expert will minimize the risk of cracks, slopes, lippage*, large seams, and other unsightly mishaps that occur when someone less skilled tries to complete the job.
*Lippage is when one part of the counter is higher or lower than the adjacent slab.
When mixed with tints that match the color of the countertop, epoxy can adhere two pieces of stone countertop together. The epoxy resin binds the pieces and can also smooth over dents and chips, should they occur.
An expert contractor should be able to match the epoxy color so that the seam isn’t obvious and ensure the gap is no wider than 1/16th of an inch.
Match Similar Segments
Matching similar segments is another way to camouflage a seam. Because granite tends to have a somewhat chaotic pattern, it can be easier to match.
Stone with swirly undulating patterns and variation in tone makes it tougher — though not impossible — to disguise a seam.
Your contractor should be able to help you through this process. Go over the parts you want to feature so the fabricators can cut the piece and keep the seam location indistinguishable from the rest of the pattern.
Before countertop installation, your fabricator will have a better idea of how to cut the pieces by creating a literal template. They can do this digitally as well as the “old fashioned” way. The template will show the best ways to install and piece it back together, minimizing any noticeable seams.
Take Advantage of Your Kitchen Layout
Let your kitchen layout be your guide. Cooktops are a great place to hide seams. They act as a natural divider; if there’s a seam, you can hide it at the back of the cooktop, where the countertop is just a thin strip.
Another place to hide seams is around sinks since the space they occupy is cut out of the surface of the countertop.
If one large slab is being cut to fit, find an interruption in the pattern. Perhaps a solid color if you’re going for color-matched epoxy. Or, if two pieces will be connected, find similar patterns or veining and use those to join.
Seam-Free Kitchen Countertop Options
If you crave the look of stone but don’t want any seams — regardless of how well they’re hidden — here are some solutions that offer both.
However, short of building a home around your countertops, bear in mind you’ll need to get the material past your entryway and into the kitchen.
With a look many mistake for marble, neolith is manufactured in slabs up to 144 inches long and can be as thin as three to five millimeters.
It’s lightweight (yet still heat resistant and durable!) compared to other stone countertop surfaces, which makes transporting and installation much easier.
It’s man-made, manufactured from natural components such as silica, feldspar, and clay. For those who love a backsplash that carries on with an uninterrupted pattern to the countertop, neolith is one of the best ways to achieve this look.
Color Quartz blends crushed quartz with polyester resins and pigments to achieve a surface four times as resistant as most stone. Besides being ultra-durable, it’s also low maintenance. No sealing or other fussy upkeep is necessary.
Color choices range from fresh white to rich midnight black, but it comes in other colors too. Its veining and natural patterns make it virtually indistinguishable from a quartz slab or other type of stone.
The seams can be blended during installation, so they’re virtually invisible.
For smaller kitchen decor touches, check out: Plants to Decorate Kitchen Cabinet Tops
Congratulations, now you know the “secrets.” You know the best ways to disguise a seam and how to find a licensed professional who’s up for the task.
It’s time for the fun part — finding the perfect slab!
Contact our team at EastSide Design & Build
There are a lot of homeowners planning on doing a kitchen remodel this year. Many of them will emerge victoriously from the process with the kitchen of their dreams. However, there will be plenty of homeowners who’ll soon find out that they made costly, time-consuming and frustrating mistakes during their renovation. Get your pen and paper ready because we’re going to reveal the top remodeling secrets that you need to know about before starting your kitchen remodel to ensure your projects success.
Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes To Avoid
Renovating your kitchen is a huge undertaking with many variables and critical details to consider that are key to a successful finished product. The last thing you want during your remodel is regret! We’re going to reveal the most common design and remodel mistakes, so you can take the necessary steps to avoid them and be sure you’re left with the fully functional and gorgeous kitchen you envision.
Mistake 1: Putting Form Over Function
It’s natural to want a beautiful end result when you’re doing a kitchen remodel. However, don’t focus on aesthetics to the exclusion of functionality. You still need to spend every day in the kitchen working – and you’ll be unsatisfied with your kitchen design if you find out it creates more work for you in doing your everyday tasks. For example, good kitchen design focuses on work zones. For food prep, your stove, refrigerator and prep counter should be in close proximity. Sometimes homeowners design a kitchen putting the refrigerator on the other side of the kitchen or even on the other side of the island. While the design may look good, you’ll quickly grow tired of all the extra legwork when you’re doing food prep and cooking.
Another common “form over function” mistake when doing kitchen remodeling is to not consider how your cupboards, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher open. For example, can you open the refrigerator and nearby cupboard door at the same time? You probably think this is something silly that never happens in real life, but it’s a lot more common than you may think. A design slipup like this is especially frustrating when putting dishes away or for families that tend to have more than one cook in the kitchen at a time.
Mistake 2: Designing for the Neighbors
Sometimes homeowners do a kitchen remodel with their friends, family and neighbors in mind. They buy appliances they think will impress others, get custom kitchen cabinets that “one up” the cabinets their neighbors just purchased. They put in an expensive tile because it’s the “in” thing to do. Keep in mind that your friends and neighbors don’t live in your home. They don’t prepare or cook food in your kitchen, much less go through an everyday routine in your home relying on function and efficiencies. You can also bet they’re not going to pay your invoice when you do a kitchen remodel either. I mean if they are, then you’ve got yourself a good friend, but chances are that’s not the case. Point is, don’t design for other people – design for yourself. Create a home you’ll love with the features that most benefit you and your family. Don’t worry about what anyone else will think of it, unless you’re remodeling solely for the purpose of selling your home. In that instance you’ll want to do your due diligence in determining the features within a kitchen that are in current demand, but that’s an entirely different topic.
Mistake 3: DIY Remodeling
If you are an HGTV fan, you are probably thinking it’s an easy task to renovate your home. What could go wrong? Whereas you may be excited and raring to go on your remodel, performing portions or all of your remodel yourself can actually be more costly and time consuming than you realize. Television shows are anything but reality it seems. Forty-eight hours and two thousand dollars will not produce a modern gourmet kitchen like they portray. There is a lot that a homeowner can do, but unless you are a general contractor, it’s important to work with a licensed professional to make sure that you take all the necessary factors into consideration. There will be plumbing and electrical plans, and perhaps even structural and permitting concerns that need to be addressed in the design stage. Depending on the year that your home was built, there’s a chance that upgrades such as the plumbing and electrical will be needed in order to meet current building codes, or safety concerns such as lead or asbestos to worry about. And of course, you don’t want to risk having to tear apart your newly remodeled kitchen to repair faulty electrical or plumbing work if you take on tasks you aren’t really qualified to do. It’s cheaper, by far, to pay someone who has the necessary skills to get the job done right (and in a timely manner), than to have to re-do major work later.
Mistake 4: Losing Site of What the Kitchen Is For
It’s easy to get caught up in all the latest styles and the look that you are going for, and forget that the function of the kitchen is the most important part of your design. No matter what amenities you add, the basic “work triangle” is going to be key to your kitchen’s functionality. The sink, stove, and fridge should be convenient to one another and there should be enough space to move easily between them. Design Tip: When you are designing your remodel, think about which way every appliance will open and make sure they don’t interfere with each other. If you are adding an island, make sure the oven and refrigerator doors still have room to open fully, and ideally that you’ll still have room to walk around them when they’re open. Likewise if your appliance opens into the heart of the kitchen or into a wall. When you look at model kitchens, it is likely to be the colors, styles and patterns that initially catch your eye, but choosing major appliances is a key step that needs to happen very early in the design process. Think about what your family needs, and determine which appliances best meet that need. Then when you know how much remaining space you have to work with, you can design around those appliances.
Mistake 5: Failing to Include Enough Storage and Counter Space
You can’t work efficiently in a kitchen without counter space, and since lack of it is such a common complaint, it’s a good idea to make it a point of focus when you are designing your new kitchen. Speak with your general contractor about tips and tricks they have up their sleeve for increasing your countertop space. One way to extend your counter work area is by adding decorative elements to the ends of your cabinets, such as corbels or shelving supports to create added room for the top to extend. Another idea involves reconfiguring the layout or flow of your space to include a peninsula or freestanding island.
Just like you need space to work in, you need places to keep all your kitchen tools. Excess storage is never a problem, but a shortage always is. Experienced general contractors, like TWD, have experts on staff that are nationally certified in universal design. Meaning they can advise you on the best way to include adequate storage that is easily accessible to you now, and as your needs evolve. The last thing that you want to do is design a beautiful kitchen today that doesn’t meet your needs tomorrow.
Mistake 6: Neglecting the Lighting
It’s easy to understand how homeowners might forget to include lighting in a kitchen remodeling project. Lights often just seems to be there as a given, and not warrant much thought right? However effective lighting not only makes it possible to prepare food more efficiently, but it also rejuvenates you. Pay particular attention to lighting sources over your stove and countertop areas where you will be spending the most time. Taking it a step further, as we age our vision adjusts and changes. While we may never admit to it, it is inevitable. Incorporating sufficient lighting will add to the ambiance of the space now, and it will also aid in your independence to safely perform everyday tasks when those days come.
Ideally for a beautifully designed kitchen, there should be at least three types of lighting. General overhead lighting for illumination of the room, task lighting that is more focused and accent lighting. Pendant lights are great for illuminating prep areas. Under-cabinet lighting, over-cabinet lighting or even along the toe kick of your cabinetry show off and accent some of the design elements that you love the most, like that sexy backsplash that you splurged on.
Mistake 7: Ignoring the Aesthetics
Designing a kitchen remodel is a lot of work, and it’s easy to forget that what you love about certain designs is how they look! It may seem silly to focus on appearance, but picking your color scheme and decoration is an important part of remodeling because it determines how much you will enjoy being in the room when it is all done.
Particular colors speak to us in different ways. Some are calming. Others are passionate or mysterious. There are specific schemes that invoke feelings of all natural or organic qualities making them great choices for eating areas. Color psychology plays an important part in any home improvement project, especially in rooms that you and your family spend a substantial amount of time in, like the kitchen.
Mistake 8: Busting Your Budget
Your remodeling contractor can advise you what to do about almost any aspect of your kitchen remodel; though nobody but you can work out your budget! You’ll need to assess your finances, home value, local real estate prices, what the overall goal is for your kitchen remodel, what your needs versus wants are, etc. A comfortable budget needs to be established in the very beginning during the planning phase of your project. It does your home no justice to go through the planning and design phase of your kitchen remodel project, only to then determine that the funds to support your vision are not available.
Be sure your budget includes a way to pay for contingencies. You may plan to spend all your savings on the remodeling, and have a credit card for backup. That’s fine as long as there is credit available. Otherwise, you have to plan to set aside some money for “just in case” situations. In any remodel project, there are unknowns that can arise once a wall is opened up or material is removed. Rule of thumb is to set aside 10% of the total cost of your renovation as a precautionary safety measure.
Mistake 9: Tunnel Vision
Homeowners can get too focused on their vision, and lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s important to be aware of how your kitchen fits in with the rest of the house. Your colors can match or contrast with the colors used elsewhere, but they must work together. Remember to consider all elements of your space: cabinet hardware, backsplash, fixtures, flooring, wall color, etc and how they all tie together. You also have to think about the future. Be sure to include the features that will add the most value, and will be what future owners will want unless your plan is to age in place staying in your home for the foreseeable future.
Mistake 10: Skimping On The Small Stuff
Once you dive into planning your remodel, there’s no hiding the fact that the cabinetry will be the most expensive item in your kitchen remodel. Don’t let the price tag of the cabinets themselves shut down your consideration for the small add-ons. The cabinets, while costly, will be a lasting feature in your home. Sure, you or a future buyer could switch out cosmetics like the appliances, paint scheme, flooring or even the countertops, but unless you are performing a large scale remodel chances are the cabinets will be there for the long haul. That being said, don’t hastily pass on the small cabinet add-ons just because of the base price tag. While it may not seem like a make or break situation to your kitchen, including features such as drawer dividers, pantry pullouts, lazy Susan's, etc. will help maximize your available kitchen storage and efficiency. Not to mention, these features typically cost more to add to your kitchen design later on.
Mistake 11: Insufficient Electrical Outlets
Everything you love in life seems to require power. Your can opener, KitchenAid, and even smart device that you need for your favorite recipe all plugs into the wall. You’re going to need more than two outlets to make those famous blueberry muffins! Talk to your general contract about ways to hide additional outlets within the island, backsplash or in a drawer for those times you need another nearby socket available.
Mistake 12: Too Much Open Shelving
If you’ve been scouring Pinterest or binge watching remodel shows on television, then you’ve seen the hype on incorporating open shelving into your kitchen design. While it is gorgeous in the magazines when the trendiest dishware can be perfectly staged alongside the fresh flowers that you can only assume were just picked out of the garden. That is undeniable. However, do real families actually live, eat and do dirty dishes in those staged kitchens? Be honest: Do you want everyone that steps foot into your kitchen seeing your mismatched glassware, novelty mugs or generic-brand spices on display 24/7? Odds are, no. Open shelving is a great addition … in moderation. During the planning stage, think about what items you would like out on display that you can realistically keep clean and organized. Perhaps wedding china, heirloom dishes, the artsy bowl you picked up overseas, or wine glasses are perfect to exhibit, then hide the rest behind closed door cabinetry.
Mistake 13: Overlooking Oven Backsplashes and Ventilation
The oven tends to create a lot of mess and odor, which is why your kitchen remodel should include plans for making it easier to clean the air and surfaces. One such pragmatic item is a backsplash, which is an element that makes it easier to clean the spatters, oil, grease and other foodstuffs around the stovetop. It’s much easier to clean a backsplash than it is it clean wallpaper or even a regular wall. Indeed, heavy cleaning of these items can lead to wear and tear on your paint and wallpaper.
The second item you’ll want to make a priority when you’re doing a kitchen remodel is installing good ventilation. Nobody wants to walk in smelling the bacon you cooked a few days prior? An inexpensive oven may come with a hood which re-circulates air, but it doesn’t truly clean the air. It’s better to invest in a ventilation system that will help pull the odors out of the air, vent smoke and heat out of your space.
Mistake 14: Forgetting About Your Surroundings
While you may only be remodeling your kitchen, think about the entrances to your kitchen. Are there any connecting rooms? During the demo phase and even build out of your new kitchen, construction dust will be in air. You’ll want to make sure that your general contractor has made adequate plans to contain as much of this construction dust and debris to the one room being worked on and/or to the staging area for your remodel. In addition to that, if you will be keeping any large or bulky furniture in the construction zone, be sure to properly protect it from drywall mud, paint drippings or spills that could happen.
You’ll need to properly plan how your contractor will have access to the construction area. In some instances a rear door may be most convenient point of access to avoid workers trudging through your entire home having to use the front door. This is a topic that you’ll want to discuss with your contractor at the pre-construction meeting to ensure that everyone is on the same page come start day.
Mistake 15: Overlooking The Trash
Trash is not something you want as your focal point of your newly remodeled kitchen. If cabinetry space allows, having a cabinet dedicated to trash and recycling pull-outs is ideal for keeping unsightly garbage tucked away. This design option makes recycling convenient and easy to manage for your entire family. Treat yourself to soft-close cabinetry while you’re thinking about it.
Case in point when a cabinet is not available, you’ll want to carefully consider a dedicated placement within your kitchen. Having an open wastebasket in the center of the kitchen most likely is not a part of any kitchen you’ve dreamt about.
Mistake 16: Waiting To Choose Appliances
Choosing your appliances last or later in the design phase of your project can cause a lot of extra work on your part, as well as your contractor. The size and specifications of your appliances are imperative to know as they have a direct effect on the size of the surrounding materials. By choosing your gadgets first, it is easier to design the cabinetry and countertop around it for a perfect fit instead of the other way around.
Mistake 17: Stainless Steel Overload
Your major appliances have been planned since day 1 (from our advice in mistake 16 listed above, of course) and like most homeowners, you may have chosen stainless steel for your fridge, oven and dishwasher. Be mindful of going overboard with stainless, as you will still be adding in a microwave, toaster, coffee station, cooking and frying pans, etc. Stainless Steel overload can have a cold feeling, rather than the cozy inviting space you were planning on. Try mixing in a colored or different metal choice for your hood or other cooking gadgets.
Mistake 18: Making Changes During Construction
You know the saying, cross all of your T’s and dot all of the I’s before you begin something. Same goes for construction. Once your kitchen remodel is underway, the cost of making changes skyrockets. All of the materials that you have chosen have been ordered, received and have been staged ready to begin your remodel. Changing your mind on the floor tile, fixtures or other selection midstream can result in …
- Your project coming to a screeching halt.
- Additional operating costs to re-order and revise the current contract.
- Extra funds being needed to cover the difference in pricing between materials.
- Applicable restocking fees of the original material (can often be up to 25%),
- Labor and/or material delays holding up your project.
Mistake 19: Forgetting To Have Fun
Let’s not forget that you’re planning your dream kitchen. Your vision will soon be a reality. No more of that dingy space that you simply don’t love. You’re in motion towards getting rid of that broken cabinet, that drawer that sticks, and hello … the 80’s called and want their color palette back! How exciting is that? While remodeling can be stressful at times, when you entrust an experienced general contractor to take care of the details it allows you to focus on what you will enjoy most in your newly remodeled space or how you’ll decorate it. Don’t be afraid to incorporate in that cheery pop of color that you connect with.
Mistake 20: Not Hiring Berceli for Your Remodel
While this may be your first time doing kitchen remodeling, the team at Berceli has worked on remodels of all sizes and complexities since 1999. Building an extensive portfolio. They have the knowledge, skills and experience to turn your kitchen design ideas into a beautiful reality. With over 21 years of experience as a remodeling contractor throughout the New York area, they’ve seen it all, and fixed quite a bit of it too. Just look at their gallery of recently completed remodel projects and you’ll quickly see how versatile their services really are. A good kitchen renovation not only boosts the value of your home, it also makes your home more warm, inviting and comfortable. On the flip side, a bad renovation can be a stressful, costly and time-consuming mistake. That’s why you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid these mistakes when doing your kitchen remodel
The more you understand about kitchen layout, the better you will be able to find the best ways to utilize your sources to your benefit. One of the very first things you need to find out about house design is what is feasible. There is not just one manner in which every kitchen area can look. Find out more about home design kitchen on Eastside Design & Build's web page. The cooking area might have been designed for the family cupboard or for the office kitchen. You can also discover that a cooking area may not be as efficient as you would like it to be. One of the very first points you must consider when trying to find a house style is where the food will come from. Will it be put near the stove or in a cooler? You additionally require to take into account the number of appliances you will need in your kitchen. Are you thinking about a little kitchen area with only a refrigerator or one that will have an island with a number of drawers? Having a cooking area layout similar to this will enable you to much more efficiently make use of the area you have readily available. It is very important to consider the general design of your house.
Do you live in a house with a lot of antique furniture? Or is your kitchen area modern with stainless-steel appliances? These are points to take into account when thinking of home design. A huge component of any kind of kitchen is the countertop. Kitchen counter products can make or break the general look of your kitchen. Read more about the New York kitchen remodeling on this page. Granite is one of one of the most typical countertops discovered today. It has the benefits of being cost effective and also sturdy. It likewise makes a wonderful choice for a premium kitchen style. An additional crucial facet to take into consideration is the illumination in your cooking area. The components you pick will depend upon the total style of your residence as well as your very own personal taste. Components come in lots of designs such as typical, contemporary, country, Victorian, and also art Deco. There are many alternatives to select from, that you are certain to discover a fixture that will function well with your kitchen's format. Also the type of light bulbs you use in your kitchen area can greatly impact the look of your cooking area. With a lot of selections, you make certain to find something that suits your house layout. Go to Eastside Design & Build.com or come visit our showroom in NYC
Spring is the perfect time to remodel your home in New York City. With a little planning and preparation, you can make your home more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family.