Bathroom Vanities – Add a touch of elegance to your home!

Bathroom vanities have long been associated with luxury and style, and these days there’s a huge choice of elegant bathroom vanity furniture available, making it easy to give your bathroom a stunning new image. Bath vanities come in loads of different styles, from those with a sink in the counter top and a cabinet beneath, to decoratively presented dressing tables. Which type you choose depends not just on your personal tastes, but the layout and size of your bathroom.

A bathroom vanity table with an upholstered stool or chair can look very attractive in larger bathrooms. Alternatively, a well chosen bathroom sink vanity can help lend a sense of grandeur to bathrooms where space is limited. Bathroom vanities come in a range of styles and finishes. Polished wood such as aged walnut or cherry, can look great in an antique themed or period home. For a country style or rustic bathroom, distressed or hand painted designs can compliment the décor perfectly. There are also numerous sleek and contemporary bathroom vanities for modern homes.

Being able to store your beauty products in a vanity cabinet or display your perfume bottles in a table top tray is a really convenient luxury. If you decide to opt for a sink vanity unit, you can choose from a selection of durable and attractive vanity tops that can stand up to years of daily use. Choices include granite, marble and glass, among others. Vanity sets usually include all the matching accessories you’ll need, or you can purchase items such as mirrors and lights separately. Whatever your decorating theme and budget, some new vanity furniture can be the icing on the cake for your bathroom’s makeover!

7 Materials For Creating The Perfect Kitchen Countertop

The kitchen countertop has to be able to take a lot of abuse including the heat of pots, cutting and knives and abrasive cleansers. The ideal countertop should be able to stand up to heat and the sharp edge of a knife.

Let us take a look at 7 of the most popular kitchen countertop materials being used today:

Granite – A natural stone, granite is a popular choice for it’s classic beauty and durability. Granite is the hardest and densest of the natural stones. It can create a kitchen countertop that is extremely scratch resistant and can keep its luster longer than most materials. granite slabs are the most expensive of all kitchen countertop surfaces, although it is still considered a very practical material in that it is virtually indestructible.

Marble – Another natural stone, marble is considered to be the height of elegance and will last longer than most kitchens. It is however, is very expensive and requires some care: acidic foods such as orange juice will etch the finished surface of a marble kitchen countertop.

Slate – Because of it richness and beauty slate is usually used in interior applications such as kitchen countertops, bathroom sinks or fireplace surrounds. It can be used in either modern or traditional kitchens as well as in combination with marble. Slate is durable, strong, and can withstand hard use. It is less expensive than marble

Concrete – This is one of the biggest trends in kitchen countertops today. It is a good look for clean, industrial and contemporary kitchen designs. Available in pre formed sections or poured and formed on-site. Concrete is a good material for unusually shaped counters. Concrete kitchen countertopsare expensive, require a sealant and must be treated with care. The countertop can crack if the concrete should contract. Concrete can be stained any color. The most popular color is a natural gray tone. The top layer can be finished as desired.

Corian – A solid surface material that first became popular in the 1990’s It is highly recommended by kitchen countertop experts. It is a totally manmade product and is not porous. As a solid surface it can easily be repaired if scratched or burned.

Stainless Steel – Advantages include very hygienic, easy to clean, has ability to stand up to exteme wear and heat. Stainless steel can provide a great look for an ultra modern kitchen. Some disadvantages with stainless is that it can be noisy and that scratches can develop.

Tile – Tile surfaces can be tough, hard-wearing, takes hot pans, heat and stain resistant as well as beautiful. There are many types of tiles including ceramic, porcelain, quarry, glass, natural stone and mosiac. Available in many colors, sizes and textures. It has good design flexibility. Tile can often be used for trim or backsplashes. The downside of tile is that the grouts can be easily stained. Also the tiles can become chipped or cracked.

Advantages of Kitchen Granite Countertops

kitchen-cabinet-refacingKitchen granite countertops are created by nature and fashioned by man are a beautiful, durable and cost effective choice for kitchens and baths. The term granite comes from the Latin root word granum, which means “grain.”

Granite is often imported from Europe, Africa, Brazil and other regions of the world rich in natural stone. Granite is an attractive natural stone that will add color and warmth to your kitchen. Granite is an extremely hard material that will not blister, scratch or crack.
The hardness of granite is rivaled only be the hardness of diamonds. In fact diamonds are used to cut and polish granite.

Over the last 10 years kitchen granite countertops have become popular with homeowners, after first being popular with designers for decades. Granite is available in hundreds of colors, from various shades of white to browns, reds, greens, blues, and black. The most popular tones are brown and beige.

As well as being hard kitchen granite countertops can take hot items, like pots and pans, and is very stain resistant to hot grease and oil if it is sealed with a silicone-based impregnator. It can easily be cleaned and cut for a basin. Granite has a cool polished surface that makes it an excellent surface for rolling out pastry dough. The polished finish of granite will not wear off.

Kitchen granite countertops are unique because no two pieces of granite are exactly the same, therefore granite provides an interesting design element and adds certain richness and texture to your kitchen not found in other surfaces. Kitchen granite countertops can create a brilliance and elegance that is only found in nature. Granite adds a personality and character to kitchen countertops that is unsurpassed. Kitchen granite countertops have a natural beauty that is capable of complementing any tone of wood or style of cabinets.

It doesn’t matter if you are planning a new home or remodeling an existing kitchen, with granite kitchen countertops you can be sure that you will add to value of your home.

Kitchen remodelers and home builders have experienced a boom in the demand for kitchen granite countertops. Although it can be more expensive to put in granite countertops, they remain the odds on favorite choice for more upscale homes, since they keep their value better than most home improvements

The investment you make in kitchen granite countertops should pay you back at least three times what you invested. If you are selling your home you will find that home buyers wanting kitchen granite countertops will be willing to pay more for your home than if you have ceramic tile or plastic laminate.

Planning out your kitchen granite countertop first involves selecting the right granite color. You should concentrate on the most popular colors. Even though granite tones are usually neutral, you may find that a certain color goes well for your kitchen design.

If you are replacing the old countertop material in your kitchen with granite, carefully diagram all the measurements for the granite installer. If installing new wholesale kitchen cabinets is part of your kitchen remodel ask the granite fabricator what they recommend for cabinetry.

Since you are using such a superior product as granite, you should think about the right type of sink to go with your new kitchen granite countertop. You should definitely consider going with an undermount stainless steel sink, as opposed to an overmount sink that would be difficult to clean around.

In addition to getting the right kind of sink installed, it is also important to select the just the right faucet to go with the sink. A stainless steel faucet would go well with the looks of a rich kitchen granite countertop.

The next important area is upgrading your cabinet hardware. The handles and knobs should also be of high quality in order to provide good accent to the overall look of the kitchen. Even if you are not replacing the cabinetry having high quality hardware with make those cabinets and the whole kitchen
stand out.

So in planning your kitchen remodeling, just remember that kitchen granite countertops will make a provide a world-class addition and increase the re-sale value of your home.

Things To Consider When Buying A Dishwasher For Your Kitchen

The dishwasher has now been labeled as one of the most important appliances in an average-income and medium-sized household. It is usually used three to seven times a week in an average household.

Buying a dishwasher is not as easy as simply selecting the cheapest one that can do the task. There are several important things that should be considered before choosing a dishwasher.

Size

Choose the dishwasher that has the right size for your household needs. Compact capacity models can contain eight place setting and six serving pieces, or less. Standard capacity models can hold more than eight place settings and six serving pieces. Most of the standard capacity models fit a twenty-four inch space under the countertop.

Before choosing the compact capacity model, consider how often you will be using the dishwasher. If you will be using the compact model frequently, it will consume more energy and water than if you have a standard capacity model.

There are also some dishwashers that have fold-down tines and adjustable racks, for differently-shaped serving pieces. Some dishwashers allow adjustments to have plates be cleaned on both layers at the same time. This is helpful if you are hosting large parties.

Wash Cycles

The basic cycles usually are light, normal, and pots and pans. Some dishwashers have a rinse and hold setting to delay washing until the load is full.

Consider having a dishwasher that has multiple wash cycles so you can choose the cleaning level according to the dirt on the dishes. Check if there is an energy-saving or light cycle setting. Such a setting saves you money by operating in less time and consuming less water. Apart from these, other cycle settings may not be as important.

Cycle Time

A dishwasher can take 80 to 150 minutes for the normal cycle time. Longer cycle times do not really affect the level of cleaning. So if choosing a dishwasher, the cycle time should only be within that range.

EnergyGuide

Check the EnergyGuide stickers to know more about the power and water consumption of the dishwasher model.
A regular dishwasher can consume three and a half to twelve gallons of water per load. Energy costs can reach up to $65 a year. So always select an energy and water efficient model.

Dirt Sensors

A little while ago, dirt sensors were only available as a premium feature. Most new dishwasher models now have dirt sensors to adjust the water consumption to the level of dirt of the dishes.

Noise

Check the noise ratings of the dishwater. You may be able to get a good-functioning dishwasher for a low price but the noise may be one of its disadvantages.

Design

Since having a dishwasher is now popular, several designs and colors are now available. The most common colors are white and black. Those with a stainless steel finish are popular but remember that these can show smudges and fingerprints.

Some dishwashers may also be fitted with a customized front panel, so it can blend with the design of your kitchen cabinets.

Most of the new models have one door, eliminating the bottom panel for the dirt trap. This design creates a clean look.

Some smoothly designed, costlier models have the controls along the top edge of the door. However, this makes the buttons difficult to operate and labels hard to read.

Self-cleaning filters

Self-cleaning filters may provide ease of maintenance but it can add to the noise. A clogged filter degrades the dishwasher’s performance. Since filters can be easily cleaned by taking it out and rinsing it, you may just opt for those without self-cleaning filters.

Price

The price for domestic brands ranges from $200 to $1300. Foreign-made brands can cost from $350 to $2000.

Upon selecting the dishwasher to fit your household needs, your last concern will be the installation and delivery costs. Installation usually costs within $100 and $200. If replacing an old unit, also check the company’s rates for removing your old unit and replacing it with the new one.

With this information, surely, you can confidently select the right dishwasher that will save you money over time.

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