I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

kitchen cabinets

What You Should Know about Kitchen Cabinets

What You Should Know about Kitchen Cabinets

Most people take their kitchen cabinets for granted until they have to pick out new ones. Aside from color and style, you need to make sure they are going to be functional and last for a long time. That requires a bit of knowledge about cabinets in general. It sounds like a bore, but it is essential because new kitchen cabinets are a major investment. Here is what you should know about kitchen cabinets.

Box and frames

cabinet box diagram
Kitchen cabinets are nothing more than boxes with an opening on one side covered by a door. The difference from a good cabinet from a bad one is the material used for the box itself and the frames, if any, and the construction.

Material

Most modern cabinets today use wood composites rather than solid wood for the box and frame, mainly as a cost consideration. Wood composites are not as durable as solid wood, but they can last for a long time with reasonable care. Some cabinetmakers use solid wood for the face frames of higher-end models of framed cabinets, but the cost difference can be considerable.

Wood composites include medium density fiberboard or MDF, particleboard, and plywood. These materials do not have the graining of solid wood, which is why cabinetmakers apply some type of veneer or lamination over the box surfaces and face frames to simulate the look of wood. However, since cabinet boxes are out of sight, a layer of point or perhaps a thermofoil cover is a more durable, albeit less “woodsy” option.

Stainless steel is one option you can consider for cabinet boxes if you have an industrial-style kitchen. They are extremely tough and not vulnerable to the usual problems associated with all-wood cabinets, unless you have a wooden door. However, stainless steel cabinets are pricey, and if you have steel doors as well, you will have to wipe it continually for fingerprints.

Construction

The key thing about construction with regard to the box and frame is in the reinforcement, which maintains the shape of the cabinet box. This is the case for wood box and frames, not stainless steel.

Cabinetmakers use a variety of methods in reinforcing cabinet boxes. One of these is securing the corners with plastic, word composites, or solid wood triangular brackets or braces. Another method is the use of a beam brace slipped into a trench, also called a dado slot, made along the back panel or the length of the inner portion of the side panels. Both these methods are excellent ones for fixing the shape of the box.
If you see adhesive instead of these support features keeping the panels together, you run the risk of damaging the wood. Adhesive does not allow the wood any type of movement, which can cause the wood to crack as it naturally expands and contracts with changes in the temperature.

Doors

different cabinet doors
Cabinet boxes and frames are just one part of the equation, however. The doors are the other part, which turns open shelves into cabinets. Here are some key points about materials and construction of different cabinet doors.

Material

Most cabinetmakers offer a selection of cabinet door styles in solid wood to cater to people that want the natural beauty of wood and are willing to pay a premium for them. However, budget conscious homeowners also have the option of getting them in less expensive wood composites, which are still attractive.

The most popular alternate material to solid wood for cabinet doors is MDF. This is due to its flexibility as a construction material. MDF cuts and finishes in similar ways to solid wood, with the exception of staining because it has no grain. This is otherwise with particleboard, which would chip and fray. If you put good quality wood-type veneer or laminate on MDF, it would look a lot like solid wood.

Construction

Cabinet doors come in slab or frame styles. A slab is a solid front of wood or wood composite. The slab may be a single piece of material, or several pieces glued together. If made from wood composite, cabinetmakers usually covers it with a veneer, laminate, or themofoil layer to hide the lack of a grain.

A frame door typically has separate pieces for the outer frame and the center panel, which may be slightly above (raised) or flush to the outer frame. It is not a good sign of the quality if there is adhesive keeping the center panel in place. Putting these panels together usually involves a slot along the inside of the frame into which the center panel fits, although not too tightly. This is to allow for some room for the wood to expand.

Shelves

(cabinet shelf parts diagram
Shelves are not a necessary part of kitchen cabinets, especially if the cabinets are quite short. However, their presence in cabinets that are more than a foot high increases the storage capacity as well as the structural integrity. However, you still need to make sure the shelves are durable and properly constructed to maximize your investment.

Material

Shelves are usually the same material as the cabinet box, so it may be solid wood or wood composite, and between ½ and ¾ inches thick. If you have a wide cabinet, make sure the shelves are on the thicker side, as thinner shelves tend to sag when they are too wide. The shelves should have a smooth finish or some type of covering such as a wood veneer or laminate to protect the material and make it easy to clean.

Construction

As with cabinet boxes, the key to durable shelves is in the reinforcement method. You want a shelf with some type of reinforcement, such as a strip or rail of wood about ½-inch in depth that runs the length of its underside. This is to ensure the serviceability of your shelves over time and to prevent sagging even under heavy loads. You will usually see this in custom cabinets and good quality ready-to-assemble (RTA) or stock cabinets.

Conclusion

These are basic things you should know when choosing new kitchen cabinets. This knowledge can help maximize your investment for a long time. You can consult with a reliable remodeling contractor for specific concerns about kitchen cabinets. Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love it for life. We sell only top quality kitchen cabinets such as Schrock Cabinetry and other products manufactured by leading brands in the industry.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in supplying and installing kitchen cabinets to specifications, and installing them into your kitchen within budget and on time.

We also carry other products you need for your kitchen remodel, including natural stone and engineered stone slabs, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.

Contact us today to get a free quote for your inspired kitchen remodeling project.

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

kitchen with beautiful cabinets

Top Reasons to Choose RTA Kitchen Cabinets

Top Reasons to Choose RTA Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing new kitchen cabinets is an exciting time, whether on its own or as part of kitchen remodeling. Kitchen cabinets define the room about as much as kitchen countertops because both use up a lot of visual space. It is very important to choose just the right one, because there is no do-over once you make your choice, and kitchen cabinets are a significant investment.

You may already have a few cabinet brands in mind, such as Schrock, Wolf Cabinets, and Fabuwood. These companies offer many different options in term of materials, styles, colors, finishes, and construction. So much so that it is easy to get just a wee bit overwhelmed and go into a paradox of choice situation.

The trick to getting out of analysis paralysis is to focus on one aspect of the cabinets and choose one. For example, you can choose one color that works with your existing kitchen or new kitchen design, and go from there. Another major aspect you can use to focus on is the construction.

Cabinets sourced from a remodeling company typically fall under three types of construction: custom, semi-custom, and RTA (ready to assemble). Another category is stock cabinets, which are assembled cabinets typically available from big box stores in limited quantities and options. In appearance, all these cabinets can look identical. However, there are important differences. Here are the top reasons to choose RTA kitchen cabinets.

Overview

 RTA Kitchen Cabinets

Custom cabinets

Back in the day, all cabinets were custom cabinets. People would build their own cabinets on site, or hire someone to do it, based on their needs and the dimensions of the room. Today, you can order custom cabinets from a remodeling company with specific instructions as to size, shape, depth, material, and finish.

While this might sound fantastic, it takes a lot of time and money. Most kitchens have standard dimensions and cabinetmakers offer enough options to make custom cabinets unnecessary.

Semi-custom cabinets

Cabinetmakers produce semi-custom cabinets in standard sizes, but with you can customize some features to your needs. For example, you can specify the depth of the cabinet boxes, or resize the drawer fonts and cabinet doors. The customizability of these types is quite limited, but they do give you a little bit more control without having to pay the full price for custom cabinets.

RTA cabinets

RTA kitchen cabinets come in standard sizes and features and the most inexpensive of the lot. You cannot customize them, although they do come in a wide range of colors, features, finishes, and materials. The only thing you can customize with this type of kitchen cabinets is the hardware.

Why choose RTA kitchen cabinets?

RTA cabinets in box
You might be wondering why you should choose RTA kitchen cabinets when it gives you so little control. There are some good reasons to do so.
The cost is, of course, a major one. RTA cabinets are very affordable, so your choice often boils down to what you can or are willing to pay for your kitchen cabinets. However, this does not mean you are settling for an inferior product.

Some people might think that the lower price tag comes with some sort of trade off in terms of quality. This is not true at all. RTA cabinets are usually every bit as good as semi-custom or even custom cabinets as they often use the same materials. For example, RTA maple cabinets will have the same type of wood for a custom one.

The lower cost of RTA cabinets is attributable to three things: labor, quantity, and shipping. Cabinetmakers save a ton of money on labor costs because they have standard dimensions. They use machines to turn them out in the fraction of the time as cranking them out manually. Human operators still oversee the process, but machines can do it much more efficiently.
This also means they produce RTA cabinets in huge quantities without compromising the quality of the workmanship, so they are able to sell more. It is all a matter of scale.

In addition, cabinetmakers produce all the parts of a kitchen cabinet, but do not assemble them. They cut more labor cost this way. The manufacturers ship these parts to retailers and remodeling companies in flat packages, each box representing a complete cabinet. This means they can ship more RTA cabinets than assembled stock cabinets in the same space, which cut shipping costs considerably.
All these savings mean more profit for the manufacturer as well as lower overall costs for the consumer. You can comfortably go for RTA cabinets knowing you are saving money and still getting a great product.

The fact that RTA cabinets come in parts also means you can inspect them more closely and thoroughly for quality, defects and damage. This is not easy to do with other types of cabinets.

Choosing RTA over other types of kitchen cabinets may also mean potential savings on your end of the equation. RTA cabinets come with clear labels and instructions for assembly, so you can actually put them together with a bit of time and effort. You will probably need to hire someone to install them on the wall or the floor for you, but assembling it yourself shaves a bit off the top.
Another excellent reason to choose RTA kitchen cabinets when planning a major kitchen remodel is they are easy to store. You can order them ahead to make sure they are ready to go when the remodeling company is ready for them. Since they come in flat boxes, they take up very little room. You can stack them against a wall in the garage or basement to keep them out of the way until needed.

Conclusion

RTA cabinets are a great choice if you are short of money, time, space, or all of the above. The quality is quite as good custom and semi-custom cabinets if you choose them from a reputable remodeling company. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is the one for you in the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas.

We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.

We sell only top-quality products for all your kitchen remodeling needs, from top-brand kitchen cabinets of all type materials to natural and engineered stone slabs. We carry products from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your RTA kitchen cabinets and other remodeling projects. We guarantee you will love it for life!

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

modern undermount sink with granite vanity top

Tips for Choosing a Sink for Your Bathroom Upgrade

Tips for Choosing a Sink for Your Bathroom Upgrade

Small bathroom upgrades pay back more than you put in when you make strategic choices. The choice of bathroom sink, for instance, is more for function than design. However, simply replacing the sink can make a big difference in the look of the bathroom. The right one can even make the kitchen even more functional.

The best thing about replacing the sink in your bathroom is you can do it at any time. If you are putting in granite or marble vanity tops or making any structural changes, you probably need a professional to do it for you. Otherwise, you can probably do it yourself. Below are some tips for choosing a sink for your bathroom upgrade.

Space

bathroom being measured
The size of your bathroom will determine the amount of space you can dedicate to your sink. That usually depends on space needed by other elements in the bathroom, such as the toilet and shower. A remodeling company can help you figure it out, but general information about space requirements should give you a good idea of what type of sink you need.

Sink

You need at least 2.5×4 feet of space in front of your sink or vanity, although a clearance of 2.5 feet out of the 4 feet is acceptable if you have a wall sink with no vanity, which provides some knee space. You also need to plan for at least a clear 15 inches of space measuring from the center of the sink to the sidewall.

Toilets

You need at least a 15-inch clearance all around a toilet, measuring it from the center of the seat. There should also be minimum of 2.5 feet from the sink and other sanitary units, again measuring from the center of the toilet and the center of any sanitary component. If you have a bidet, you need at least a clearance of 2 feet in front of it.

Bathtub

If you have a bathtub, or plan to put one in, you need a 5×2.5 feet space for it, and easy access to any exposed plumbing and motors (if you have a hot tub).

Shower

You will need at least 32 inches of interior wall space, and the area of the interior of the shower of any shape should have a diameter of 2.5 feet.

The overall space of your bathroom will limit your options when it comes to your choice of sink, more so because of the required clearances of each element with relation to each other. This is not a major problem if you have a large bathroom. With small bathrooms, however, it requires some careful measuring and selection.

Function

Vanity with ample storage space
The sink primarily serves a sanitary function, so that is a given no matter what type of sink you choose. However, it can serve other functions as well with the right add-ons.

A vanity serves as a workspace and repository for frequently used tools and products for hygiene and grooming. You will want to have the vanity top in some durable material, such as granite or engineered quartz. The standard vanity is 24 inches wide, but they are also available in widths of 18 inches and depths of 16 3/8 inches. If that is still too much vanity for you, you can always have one custom made.

Vanities may or may not have storage space, which is desirable if you have a small kitchen. This puts the space under the sink to good use as a keep towels, cleaning products and tools, and extra toiletries out of sight.

Mounting

floating sink in modern bathroom
Still on practical matters, the space available and function of the sink will determine the type of mounting. If you want a vanity, a wall-mounted or pedestal sink is not going to let you do that. On the other hand, if the space makes it impossible for you to have even a tiny vanity, these are your best sink options.

This is not necessarily as bad thing, as pedestal sinks has a graceful and clean profile that hides the plumbing without using up a lot of space. Wall-mounted sinks are even more space saving, and the exposed plumbing fit very well with an industrial style of bathroom.

Style

Victorian-style bathroom with pedestal sink
Bathrooms need to be functional, but that does not mean they have to look strictly utilitarian. You are sure to use the bathroom daily, so it is a good canvass for expressing your personal style. One way to do this is in your choice of sink. If you are the conventional type, a plain, porcelain sink with standard fixtures is a good choice. If you have a modern flair, integrated granite sinks with state-of-the-art fixtures is more your speed. You can introduce this one element in any style bathroom and pull it in the direction you want.

Material

cast iron sink from Kohler
The material of the sink is a secondary consideration when it comes to size and function. The plain porcelain sink is available in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. They are also very durable and inexpensive. However, if you want a little bit of drama in your life, you can consider other materials for your sink. These include glass, stainless steel, cast iron, granite, marble, concrete, solid surface, or engineered quartz. There are even wood sinks, which are gloriously unexpected, expensive, and generally impractical.

Conclusion

These tips for choosing a sink for your bathroom upgrade should help you get an idea of the type of sink you can have. You can further narrow your choices (and they are many) by consulting with a reputable remodeling company. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is can help you with free in-home design consultation and quote for your bathroom upgrade and other remodeling projects.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.

We sell only top-quality products for all your bathroom upgrade needs, ranging from top-brand bathroom sinks of all types, fixtures, cabinets, and vanity tops using natural and engineered stone slabs. We carry products from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your bathroom upgrade. We guarantee you will love your new kitchen for life!

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

Bathroom Vanity Tops

Four Edge Profiles for Bathroom Vanity Tops

Four Edge Profiles for Bathroom Vanity Tops

A complete remodel is one way to upgrade your bathroom, but it is not the only one. You can make quite an improvement on its look and function by putting in a vanity or, if you already have one, putting in a granite or marble vanity top.

One of the decisions you need to make when putting in any type of granite or marble countertop is the edge profile. The fabricator hews the edge profile at the same time as the sink cutouts, so you need to indicate your choice after choosing the stone slab you want. It may not seem like a major issue, but it may be more important than you first realize.

The primary purpose of the edge profile is to enhance the countertop by showing off the beauty of the stone. In some cases, it also has a practical function. A description of four edge profiles for granite or marble vanity tops below will demonstrate its importance for you and your bathroom.

Square edge profile

bathroom with square edge vanity
The square or standard is a classic, one of the simplest and most common edge profiles. It is popular for both kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops, particularly popular for modern designs because of its clean, sleek look.

The square edge profile may seem to have sharp, straight lines at a casual glance. However, a closer look will show the edges are actually slightly round. Fabricators put in “kerfs” or tiny cuts in the granite or marble to soften the sharpness. A truly sharp edge may cause injuries, especially to the heads of small children that are just at the right height for it. Rounding the edge also makes it less likely to chip or break over time.

Variations of the square edge profile include the eased top and eased top and bottom. The eased top edge has a much more obvious rounding at the top and flat front, while the eased top and bottom has a rounded top and bottom edge, still with a flat front.

The square edge profile is suitable for granite or marble slabs of more or less solid colors and few noticeable features, and in smaller rooms, as the simple construction gives an illusion of spaciousness. It also focuses attention to other elements in the bathroom, such as an ornate mirror or dramatic light fixtures.

Beveled edge profile

bathroom with beveled edge vanity

The beveled edge profile is also a popular style for bathrooms as well as kitchens in both traditional and modern styles. The angled cut of this edge treatment is reminiscent of classic architectural styles, but also has a sleek look. Designers recommend this style as it provides additional reflection of light at the edge.

The popularity of the beveled edge style is due to its subtle elegance, an ideal element in most bathrooms. It was also a treatment used to prove that it is really granite or marble and not some cheap imitation, as the cut provided an inside look into the distinctive grains and features of the stone. Of course, this is no longer a reliable way to assess the nature of the material today. Engineered stone and laminate countertop manufacturers can mimic these features by incorporating these types of edge profiles into their products. However, this does not detract from the esthetic value of edge treatment for your countertops.

The bevel, also known as a chamfer, refers to the 45-degree slope at the top edge of your granite or marble countertops that extends nearly to the bottom. A simple beveled edge will feature just that. However, several variations of this type of edge treatment are available. One is where the angle is much steeper than 45 degrees, and called an extreme bevel or knife-edge profile. Another is a 45-degree cut at the top half of the edge, or alternately, a 45-degree cut at both the top and bottom of the edge, or a double bevel.

In some cases, you can direct your fabricator to customize an edge profile by combining a beveled edge profile with other edge profiles. Expert fabricators will almost always put kerfs along the sharp edges, but the beveled edge profile will always present a strong element to your design.

Mitered edge profile

bathroom with mitered edge
Granite and marble countertops are much more affordable today than a few decades ago. Nevertheless, they are still among the more expensive materials for countertop materials, so a mitered edge profile can help you save some money.

Granite or marble stone slabs typically come in 2 cm and 3 cm thicknesses, with some producers producing even thinner ones. As you might have guessed, thinner slabs are less expensive than thicker ones. If you are on a budget, you will probably choose the thinner, less expensive options, which is good enough for bathroom vanity tops. However, if you want to mask the fact that it is a thin slab, a mitered edge profile can create the illusion that it is much thicker than it really is.

A mitered edge profile presents as a simple square edge, so you can use it for any style of bathroom. However, this edge treatment joins two pieces of the stone set at a 90-degree angle to create this look. The fabricator cuts the edges of the stone at a 45-degree angle so that they fit together seamlessly. Using a special type of adhesive, the installer attaches the two stones together after installation. If you want something a bit more rounded, you can request your fabricator for an eased mitered edge.

The important thing with this type of edge treatment is the precise cutting of the stones in such a way that there appears to be no break in the stone where the two edges meet. This requires considerable skill on the part of the fabricator, as natural stones are notoriously random in terms of color and pattern.

Bullnose edge profile

bathroom with bullnose edge vanity
You have probably seen the bullnose edge profile in many bathrooms and kitchens in your time, and you may even already have them for your kitchen countertops. This type of treatment is popular because it has a soft, graceful look, and it is particularly safe for young children.
A bullnose edge is round from top to bottom with not a sharp edge or angle in sight. It is suitable for many types of bathrooms, but particularly attractive in contemporary designs.

Two variations are available for this edge treatment: demi-bullnose, and half-bullnose. Some people might point out that “demi” also means half, but in this case, at least, they refer to slightly different treatments. The demi-bullnose has a round top and angled bottom. The half-bullnose is similar, but the bottom half is more rounded.

Conclusion

These four basic edge profiles provide homeowners with additional design options for their bathroom vanity tops. Some companies offer these basic edge profiles as a freebie in their packages, but edge treatments are actually a complicated process requiring considerable skill on the part of fabricators.

If you are still feeling doubtful about your ability to choose the right edge profile for your bathroom upgrade, consult with a reputable remodeling company about it. Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured remodeling company, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia.

When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in fabricating kitchen countertops to specifications, and installing them within budget and on time.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love it for life. We sell only top quality products for all your remodeling needs manufactured by leading brands in the industry.

We carry the products you need for your bathroom upgrade, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your bathroom upgrade.

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

kitchen remodel

The Benefits of Natural Stones for Kitchen Remodeling

The Benefits of Natural Stones for Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen remodeling is an exciting project to undertake. Many levels of remodeling is possible, from minor improvements such as painting the wall, to a full-blown remodel that replaces kitchen cabinets, walls, floors, and countertops. If you are looking to simply replacing your countertops and putting in new backsplashes, you might want to consider natural stones.

Natural stones typically associated with kitchens are granite and marble. These high-end materials are surprisingly affordable, well within the reach of most homeowners. Cheaper alternatives are available, but there are numerous benefits of natural stones for kitchen remodeling, including increasing the value of your home.

Looks

kitchen with marble counters
Granite or marble are naturally beautiful, which is why it is a favorite as a dimension stone, Marble, in particularly, has that distinctive patina that most people associate with quiet luxury and elegance. A kitchen with marble countertops, floors, and backsplashes is sure to stand out to anyone that sees it. It is particularly a good choice for pastry tables.

If marble is not to your taste, or you prefer something more colorful than marble slabs, which tend to be mostly white, granite is a great option. You can find granite in a range of light and dark colors, many of which are quite dramatic and unusual because of the patterns of speckles, veins, and crystals.

Flexibility

kitchen with richly patterned granite counters
Granite has a more contemporary and robust appearance than marble, which makes it very flexible. It can go well with most kitchen styles and personalities with a bit of tweaking. You can let your creative juices flow when choosing granite for your kitchen remodel, as it can provide you with the inspiration for the whole kitchen. In a more restrained manner, marble can provide the same inspiration.

Aside from the color and design, natural stones such as granite and marble work well with other materials you may want to use in the kitchen. It brings out the best in hardwood floors, concrete countertops, ceramic tile backsplashes, and stainless steel cabinets in both looks and function.

Most people associate natural stones for kitchen countertops, but they are great options for your backsplashes, walls, floors, and even sinks. If you want to continue the look to other areas of the home, granite and marble are also good choices for fireplace surrounds, vanity tops, and tub surrounds.

You can also use natural stones outdoors. They will not fade over time or sustain any type of damage from exposure to the elements.

Hardness

granite slabs
Natural stones are durable. In fact, they are hard as rocks, and this is primarily due to the composition and manner of formation of the stones.
Granite has a minimum of 20% quartz in its composition, which is a very hard mineral, and it is an igneous rock. This means it formed from molten rock or magma under the surface of the Earth’s crust over millions of years under high pressure. It is a very dense, almost non-porous stone impervious to heat, stains, and scratches. This makes it an ideal material for the kitchen and other parts of the home that requires a robust material.

Marble is relatively softer than granite, but still very durable. Marble is composed primarily of calcium carbonate, and formed from a protolith or mother rock, usually limestone. The original protolith broke down from exposure to high temperature and heat, and recrystallized to form marble. Marble is more porous than granite, but usually protected with a sealer when used as kitchen countertops. The unsealed surface reacts quickly to even mild acids because of the calcium carbonate, but the stone itself remains intact. It is much easier to keep marble looking pristine than most people think, as long as it is properly sealed, and all spills are wiped up immediately.

You might also encounter some natural stones that look like granite, but which are actually not. Some might be granitoids such as gabbro or basalt, which share many of the characteristics of granite. These are actually denser than granite, so they will be just as durable as true granite.

The most important benefit of natural stones to the home is its longevity. Granite, marble, or granitoids will probably outlast your home or you. Marble even ages well, looking better over time. This is the reason they are a great favorite with homeowners and will make your home more valuable by their mere presence.

Individuality

granite counter or floor showing different patterns
One of the best benefits of natural stones is making your kitchen and home stand out. Granite is particularly good for this, because the bold colors and patterns of each slab is unique to each slab. No two slabs will be exactly alike, even if they come from the same source or even the same block of stone. You can choose a perfectly standard kitchen design and still avoid a cookie cutter look simply by choosing granite for your kitchen remodel.

Marble is actually just as unique. However, it is not as obvious because marble typically has very faint veins against a white background. Of course, colored marble is also available, in which case your kitchen will certainly stand out.

Return on investment

traditional kitchen with stone counters and floors
Natural stones do tend to be among the pricier materials in the market for kitchen remodels. However, they instantly increase the market value of your home, and that value increases over time. This is because natural stones look better over time, which makes it very appealing. With a bit of care and common sense, homeowners will have no problem keeping them in pristine condition, which also makes it a practical choice. If you are going to go to the trouble of a kitchen remodel, you want to choose materials that will give you a good return on your investment in time and money.

Conclusion

Natural stones are undoubtedly your best choice for kitchen remodeling. The only real drawback to natural stones is they require a professional to cut and install them in your home. They are so hard that you will need special equipment and considerable skill to do it correctly. Fortunately, Fairfax Kitchen Bath can do that for you if you are in the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

We are a professional remodeling company with years of experience with kitchen remodeling. We specialize in fabricating countertops tops to specifications, and installing them into your kitchen within budget and on time.

We carry the products you need for your kitchen remodel, including natural stone and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor. When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores.

We sell only top quality natural stone slabs and kitchen products manufactured by leading brands in the industry. Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.

We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia that houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose. You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love it for life.

Contact us today to get a free quote for your inspired kitchen remodeling project.

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

beautiful kitchen with an open layout

Budget-Friendly Ways to Home Renovations

Budget-Friendly Ways to Home Renovations

Home renovations are always a good thing. If you are planning to sell your home in the next few months, you should certainly consider making it more attractive. It is a good investment right now because the real estate market is on the uptick, so you are more likely to sell at a good price if you do some renovations before putting it up for sale.
Even if you are not planning to sell anytime soon, renovating your home can still benefit you. You can make it more comfortable and attractive for your own pleasure. If you have a small budget for these renovations, many levels of renovations are possible. Here are some budget-friendly ways to home renovations.

1. Curb appeal

well-tended-lawn
One of the easiest ways to do a home renovation is to make the front lawn look attractive. Most people have a good first impression of the quality and care of a home when these see a well-laid and maintained front lawn. It does not matter if you are selling the home or not. You can increase the value perception of your home by simply having a nice lawn.

The first thing you need to do is to have a landscaper lay down the basics if you have just bare ground at the front o your house. This typically means grass, plants, maybe a couple of trees. If you already have a working lawn, have a gardener get it in order and put in some vegetation to cover any bare patches. If you have some landscaping or gardening experience, this is something you can do on a tiny budget.

Once your lawn is in good heart, make sure you make it part of your daily routine to keep it that way. Mow the grass regularly, do weeding when necessary, and sweep up dead leaves. Keep an eye out for dead branches, flowers, and twigs, and remove them as soon as possible. This is especially important for any large dead branches, as they can do some serious damage to your home during a storm, or even just a strong wind. You also need to make sure to keep branches from growing too near your gutters, as the dead leaves can clog them up.

2. Painting spells

paint kitchen

Another budget-friendly way to renovate your home you might be able to do yourself is painting. Paint is available in a wide variety of color and types, and none of them is very expensive. Paint is that it can breathe new life into any home in amazing ways, and the great thing about it is you can do it in spells. You can tackle one part of the home at a time if you do not want to disrupt your routine too much, and you can do it yourself during weekends. You might even make it a fun family project, or an excuse to invite friends over and have a few laughs.

In line with improving your curb appeal, you might want to start with the exterior of the house. Nothing detracts from a home’s value as much as cracked, weathered paint, and this might also mean potential issues with weatherproofing. If the paint is a good color and condition, just do a bit of touching up any chips, cracks, or worn areas. Otherwise, prepare for a couple of weekends painting your exterior walls. You might also want to show your front door a bit of love by painting it a cheery or welcoming color.

You can move to the interior of the home, prioritizing rooms that need it most. You can choose the same color as before, or make some changes to the ambiance by choosing a different one. If you are planning to sell your home soon, you might want to choose a neutral color.
Whatever you do, make sure you have plenty of ventilation in the room. Take the time to prep the surface properly before laying on new paint. Otherwise, you might get splotchy, uneven, peeling, or unattractive results. If you are not sure how to do that, consult a remodeling company in your area to handle the painting for you.

3. Bathroom upgrades

low-flow shower
You can create quite a bit of an impact on the look of your home by simply upgrading your bathrooms. Experts say that you get back 70% of whatever money you put into bathroom renovation in terms of overall value of the home. Of course, this is for major bathroom remodels, but even small improvements can go a long way.

Budget renovations might be as simple as changing your fixtures or cabinet hardware, or replacing your showerhead with low-flow ones with temperature control. Dig a little deeper by replacing the grout of the bathroom tiles or the caulk of the bathtub, shower enclosure, and windows. If you really want to elevate the look of your bathroom without spending a fortune, put in marble, granite, or quartz countertops for your vanity.

4. Add more cabinets

more cabinets

The kitchen and bathroom are the top two rooms that affect the value of a home, and an important feature of both these rooms is storage capacity. You can benefit greatly if you can maximize your storage space in these rooms, for either your own comfort or that of a prospective homebuyer. The best way to do that is to add new cabinets and drawers.

Many top cabinetmakers offer a variety of special cabinets and accessories designed to fit awkward spaces such as corners, small gaps, and deep areas. If you have no cabinetry at all, or you can afford it, consider modern storage systems with soft-close features and other bells and whistles. It will up the wow factor in extraordinary ways.

5. Open it up

kitchen and living room with matching kitchen countertops and fireplace
It might seem a bit excessive, but the best way to make the most of a small space is to open it up. Knocking down a couple of walls can make a big difference to the amount of light and space that goes into the home, and it can make even tiny homes look much larger than it really is. An open layout also improves the energy of the space, especially the kitchen.

If you already have an open layout, you can make it even more effective by choosing flat-panel cabinets with no hardware, matching walls, countertops, and flooring from one room to the other, and strategic lighting.

Conclusion

Effective home renovations are possible even on a small budget. These tips can help you make the most of your investment.
When considering home renovations, you might want to consult with an experienced renovations company in your area for some advice and insights into your project. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is a reputable remodeling company that can help you with free in-home design consultation and quote for your home renovations.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.
We sell only top-quality products for all your renovation needs, from top-brand kitchen cabinets of all type materials to natural and engineered stone slabs. We carry products from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your home renovations!

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

Kitchen Cabinets

Different Types of Kitchen Cabinets

Different Types of Kitchen Cabinets

One of the things that will add to your cost in kitchen remodeling is replacing your kitchen cabinets. It pays to do it right the first time because kitchen cabinets have a major impact on the overall design and function of your kitchens.
The problem is making the right choice, as there are many different brands, styles, and types of cabinets available for different styles of kitchen. You need to account for many factors when choosing cabinets, mostly to do with the way you use your kitchen. You have to determine from the first the type of storage you will need to suit your lifestyle.

To make your choice a little easier, here are a few of the most common cabinet types and a brief description of their pros and cons.

Shaker

Shaker-style cabinets
Shaker cabinets are among the oldest and most common types of kitchen cabinets. The Shakers is a group of people that believed in the simple life, and their furniture reflected this belief. Shaker cabinets are functional and plain, but with classic lines, which is why they go well with almost any type of kitchen.

It is very likely that someone you know has Shaker cabinets in their kitchen. It has four narrow panels forming the rails and stiles of the door and a fifth panel forming the center. You can get this type of cabinet in any species of wood, and they are available in a variety of colors, stains and finishes.

Some people do shy away from Shaker cabinets because it is so common. However, if you are not out to make a strong design statement for your kitchen, Shaker cabinets is a good choice.

Flat

flat wood cabinets
Flat cabinets are basically a panel of wood that comprise the door of the cabinet. It is even plainer than Shaker cabinets, but it has its own brand of charm. Flat cabinet doors are a good choice if you have a modern or minimalist kitchen design, because it is quite featureless. The only way you can embellish flat cabinets is to put pulls or knobs.

In most cases, however, homeowners prefer to keep flat cabinets plain because it presents a clean, seamless profile. It is well in keeping with the minimalist trend in kitchens, although this is slowly giving way to a less stringent, transitional look. You can still go with flat cabinets, although you may want to go more for wood rather than laminate cabinets, as there is a movement back towards natural and mix-match materials in modern kitchens.

Flat cabinets are not as versatile as Shaker style cabinets, however. If you have a traditional, rustic, or country style kitchen, this may not be the best style for you.

Inset

Inset cabinets

If you are looking for something that shows off technical skill, inset cabinets is an interesting choice. This type of cabinets requires fitting the cabinet door within the frame of the box, so precision is required in its manufacture. Inset cabinets may be of any style as long as the door fits into the frame. You get a smidge more storage space because the door fits into the frame, which can make a difference when you have a small kitchen with limited storage.

Because it is more difficult to produce inset cabinets, they tend to be more expensive. They may also warp over time, which is why some older cabinets will not open or close properly. It also has hinges on the outside, so it is not a good choice for modern kitchens.
In terms of style, however, inset cabinets are a good choice for a rustic or country kitchen. You can choose shaker, bead board, louvered, or flat cabinet styles and it will look right at home.

Glass

glass cabinet doors with a nice design
Glass cabinets, as you can probably figure out, have a glass front instead of wood. It may be a plain panel of glass, of decorated with mullions of metal or wood. It is a good option if you want to create visual space in the kitchen without sacrificing storage capacity. Even frosted glass will create this illusion of space. It is also a great way to display decorative pieces while protecting it from dust.
Glass cabinets do tend to be more expensive than other types of cabinets, and if you choose clear glass, you have to keep anything in clean and in good order. You cannot simply shove anything in there. A good compromise is to have some cabinets in glass and some in solid wood. In most cases, glass cabinets are a good choice for wall cabinets, or the upper portion of tall cabinets.

Louvered

louvered cabinets
If you have a small kitchen, but you do not want glass cabinets, you might want to consider louvered cabinets instead. The louvers or horizontal slats of the cabinet doors make the kitchen look wider and more spacious. They also look quite sophisticated.
Louvered cabinets are also functional, as they allow air to flow inside the cabinet while the door is close. It is a good place to keep your cutlery, dishes, and food.

However, because it takes more effort to put louvered cabinets together compared to something with a solid front, they do tend to be more expensive. They are also more difficult to keep clean, as you have to get into each of those slats. If that is not an issue for you, then it is an interesting option.

Bead board

bead board cabinets
Bead board cabinets are another of those old-fashioned styles that is coming back into fashion, especially for country or rustic kitchen designs. Bead board is basically a series of wood slats joined together to form a solid panel, albeit with visible seams. In most cases, it involves some type of frame, although there is a trend today for frameless bead board panels for use in modern kitchen styles.
In either case, bead board cabinets are a good option if you want a bit of depth for the kitchen. It is not particularly expensive, but it may require a bit more maintenance than kitchen cabinets with a seamless front.

Conclusion

These are some of the more common types of kitchen cabinets available to you. It should help narrow down your choices for your kitchen renovation. The next step is to find a reputable remodeling contractor to help you carry out your project. Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love it for life. We sell only top quality kitchen cabinets such as Schrock Cabinetry and other products manufactured by leading brands in the industry.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in supplying and installing kitchen cabinets to specifications, and installing them into your kitchen within budget and on time.

We also carry other products you need for your kitchen remodel, including natural stone and engineered stone slabs, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products, including actual granite, marble and engineered stone slabs from which you can choose.
Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.

Contact us today to get a free quote for your inspired kitchen remodeling project.

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

nice kitchen with lots of cabinets

Top Indications for Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

Top Indications for Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets can last a long time with hardly any maintenance, and this is a good thing. Replacing kitchen cabinets involves quite a bit of change, so it is understandable why homeowners may not want to do it unless they really have to.
The thing is, kitchen cabinets do not have to on the verge of falling apart before you should replace them. Kitchen cabinets are primarily a functional feature of your kitchen, but they are also a highly visible one. Old, outdated, or otherwise undesirable kitchen cabinets have a major impact on the look and feel of your kitchen, so you want to make sure they are a credit to you as a homeowner.
Before you plan any type of improvements to your kitchen, look over your kitchen cabinets first. If you need to replace them, then that should be your priority. Here are top indications for replacing kitchen cabinets.

1. Moisture damage

water damaged cabinets
Moisture exposure is a real danger for wood-based kitchen cabinets. The moisture can come from steam from cooking food, the ambient air, or water splashing up or down near the kitchen sink. Because the kitchen is always rather humid, some type of water damage is always a possibility, especially if they are old or not installed properly. For base cabinets, leaky pipes are also a problem. If your cabinets show signs of water damage, the end is near. Here are some indications of water damage:

• Warping, which prevents doors from closing

• Bubbles on the surface

• Signs of peeling

• Bulging areas

• Color changes, especially apparent with a stained finish

You might be able to replace just the damaged areas if you catch it early enough, or do some repairs to address the problem. However, if the damage affects two or more of your cabinets, it may be necessary to replace the whole thing.

2. Mold gardens

molds in kitchen cabinet
Hand in hand with water exposure and dark corners are molds that can proliferate quite quickly before you are even aware you have a problem. Molds are not only unsightly; some can be a health hazard.

Molds are fatally easy to grow if you do not regularly clean all your cabinets and your kitchen is constantly humid. Molds can damage cabinets because they have roots that permeate into the material, compromising its integrity. If you have a mold forest growing in your cabinets, you might want to think about replacing them as soon as possible. Once you do, make it a habit to turn your cabinets out on a regular basis to avoid it happening again.

3. Quality issues

quality

If you have the misfortune of having installed cabinets that are poorly built or used subpar materials, you are most likely to need replacements sooner than you expect. Low quality cabinets are dangerous in the kitchen because they can give way unexpectedly, especially under heavy weights.
You can tell when a cabinet is likely to collapse if you take the trouble to check. Put some pressure on the surface, and you can feel it give a little. If your cabinets feel soft, don’t wait to replace them. The best-case scenario is you avoid Armageddon in your kitchen when it upends everything in them at any time. The worse case one is it falls on someone and cause injury to a family member or a guest.

4. Storage capacity

Storage

Sometimes, you just need to have more storage space. If you have been in the home for a number of years, chances are the storage you started with is not going to be enough. In the best of all worlds, you would get rid of stuff you don’t use every time you acquire new stuff. Realistically, though, most people do not do that.

If you find yourself distributing your kitchen stuff to other parts of the home, you clearly have a capacity problem. The only solution is to add to your existing cabinets and drawers. That may not be as easy as it seems, particularly when your cabinets are quite old. You may not be able to find new cabinets that will match your old ones. You can reface the old ones to update them, but that is a long and expensive process. You might find it more cost-effective to replace the whole thing with new, more space-efficient lines.

5. Appearance

ugly or outdated cabinets
Kitchen cabinets take up a lot of real estate in your kitchen as mentioned earlier, so you really cannot afford to “make do” with ugly cabinets just because they are in good condition. You might be able to salvage them by replacing just the doors or refacing them, but that may cost more than you think. Face the situation, replace them altogether with new, stylish ones, and have done with it. You will be glad when you do, especially if you are planning to sell your home anytime soon.

6. Layout

If you have a small kitchen and your cabinet placement is not efficient, you may have to replace them. Too high, too low, or awkwardly placed are all features of a poor layout. Storage space is a premium, so you cannot really afford to keep them in place. Unfortunately, most cabinets do not take kindly to relocation, and the labor costs may be prohibitive.
Getting all new cabinets according to space efficient layout can make a big difference to the way your kitchen works and feels. If you are like most homeowners that spend a lot of time in the kitchen, the investment is well worth it.

Conclusion

You need to pay more attention to your kitchen cabinets as they play a crucial role in the way your kitchen functions. Take note of these top indications that you should replace them and you will be glad you did.

Assuming you are ready to make the switch, the next step is to choose a reliable remodeling contractor to source and install your new kitchen cabinets for you. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is a reputable remodeling company that can help you with free in-home design consultation and quote for your kitchen remodeling project.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.

We sell only top-quality products for all your kitchen remodeling needs, from top-brand kitchen cabinets of all type materials to natural and engineered stone slabs. We carry products from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your kitchen remodeling project. We guarantee you will love your new kitchen for life.

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

Fabuwood kitchen cabinets

Eight Common Kitchen Cabinet Materials

Eight Common Kitchen Cabinet Materials

Kitchen cabinets are an essential part of the kitchen, but most people don’t give it a second thought. That is, until it’s time to replace them, and you realize that there is a bewildering number of options for you. Since kitchen cabinets are a significant investment, you want to make sure you get the right ones that will last for a long time.

One of the most important things you need to know about kitchen cabinets is the material. You might be surprised to know that the wood in kitchen cabinets may not actually be solid wood. In most cases, they are wood-based, but in some instances, they are not. Here you will find the top eight materials used to construct modern kitchen cabinets and their descriptions. This should help you make a decision.

Solid wood

solid wood cabinets
As you might imagine, solid wood cabinets use planks of actual wood from trees. The most popular wood species for cabinets are oak, pine, cherry, and maple, although some cabinetmakers may offer other types of wood.

When purchasing solid wood cabinets, you want to make sure they are actually solid wood all the way through, as these tend to be more expensive than composite. If you pay extra for it, you want to make sure you get it. In most cases, solid wood kitchen cabinets mean it has solid wood for the door, frame, or both, but not the box. Even then, this is more expensive than kitchen cabinets with no solid wood at all.

A good sign that you are getting solid wood for the door at least is when the brand offers staining as an option for the finish. Composite and engineered wood do not have graining, so staining is not possible for these types of materials. The box and shelves will most probably be some type of wood composite and covered in something that makes it look like wood, such as a laminate or veneer.

Medium Density Fiberboard or MDF

MDF cabinets
Medium Density Fiberboard or MDF is one of the most popular type of engineered wood or composite for many types of construction, one of which is kitchen cabinets. MDF forms from a combination of wood fibers held together with adhesive and then compressed under high pressure. Manufacturers offer a wide variety of MDF panels and boards for a variety of uses.

MDF is actually quite durable and dense, which makes it ideal for use with many types of furniture. It is heavy and fine enough to use for the box, shelves, and doors of kitchen cabinets. They always have a top layer of some type of plastic to protect the wood fibers from moisture, which will make it expand, and to serve as the primer for paint. You cannot paint directly on MDF without a veneer of some type. You can stain them but it has no grain, so that is not a good idea. The top layer may also simulate the look of wood or other material.

Particleboard

particleboard cabinets
Particleboard is perhaps the most popular type of engineered wood for home furniture. Instead of wood fibers, it has wood chip and particles mixed in with adhesives. It is also undergoing compression to produce boards and panels in different thicknesses, sizes, and shapes.
Particleboard is most useful in cabinet construction for the boxes and shelves. It is not as dense or fine as MDF, but it is more affordable. As with MDF, you cannot paint directly on particleboard. It needs some type of veneer or laminate as the paint-ready layer. You should not stain particleboard, as it has no grain.

Plywood

plywood cabinets
One of the earliest types of composite wood that made its way to the mainstream is plywood, and it has a myriad of uses. As the name implies, it is a material composed of layers or plies of thin sheets of wood (piles), alternating layers positioned at right angles to the previous one to make the product stronger. Adhesive goes between the layers of wood to hold it together. If you look at the cross-section of a piece of plywood, you will clearly see sandwich-like layers.

Plywood is technically solid wood, although very thin ones, so they tend to be more expensive than MDF or particleboard. In that respect, “all wood” kitchen cabinets made of plywood would be technically accurate. Higher-end kitchen cabinets tend to be all plywood, or a combination of plywood boxes with solid wood doors. Ask your cabinet supplier for details when purchasing “all wood” cabinets.

Metal

cabinets with stainless steel doors
While metal cabinets are much less common than wood-based cabinets, they are available from some cabinet brands. Mostly stainless steel, metal cabinets are usually a good choice when you have an industrial-type or ultra-modern kitchen. They are very durable, although keeping them in gleaming condition may be problematic because they show up fingerprints quite easily. Some cabinetmakers may offer stainless steel cabinet doors with wood-based boxes and frames, or vice versa. In most cases, cabinetmakers conceal the metal components in these hybrid cabinets under a wood veneer.

Laminate

laminated cabinets
Laminate cabinets are primarily wood-based cabinets, typically MDF or particleboard, and refer to the thin, top coating over the wood base. The laminate is a combination of resins and paper compressed and heated into a solid piece. It is the same product used for countertops, but much thinner. You might want to choose laminated cabinets if you have a small budget and you want something that is easy to clean.

Melamine

melamine cabinets
You may associate the term melamine with plates, because that is a popular application for this material. However, you can also use this chemical compound to coat the engineered wood of your cabinets to waterproof it. The composition of melamine is paper and polymer resins rolled out into thin, flat sheets that fit nicely over particleboard. You will usually see melamine cabinets paired with wood veneers to cover the cabinet surfaces.

Thermofoil

thermofoil cabinets
Thermofoil is a relatively recent entrant into the cabinet market. Most people have the idea that it has a metal component because of the “foil” in the name, but it is actually a vinyl film.

Thermofoil serves the same purpose of melamine and laminate in that it serves as the protective outer covering for engineered or composite wood materials. The difference is manufacturers apply the Thermofoil film over the cabinet materials using heat so that it will bond more firmly. In most cases, Thermofoil goes over MDF or particleboard.

Conclusion

These eight common materials for kitchen cabinets have their strengths and weaknesses. Your choice will depend on the number of factors, primarily cost and durability. Generally, solid wood and metal cabinets are probably the most durable, but they are also the most expensive. Kitchen cabinets using engineered or composite wood can actually last for a very long time with reasonable care, and they tend to be more readily available and in a wide variety of styles and colors.

Esthetics may also be a factor, as some people maintain that nothing beats the look of solid wood. However, technological advances have made it very difficult to tell them apart from engineered wood unless you look very closely.

If you are still in doubt over the type of kitchen cabinets you should choose, consult with the professionals. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is a reputable remodeling company that can help you with free in-home design consultation and quote for your kitchen remodeling project.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.

We sell only top quality products for all your kitchen remodeling needs, from top-brand kitchen cabinets of all type materials to natural and engineered stone slabs. We carry products from Schrock Cabinetry, Fabuwood, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your kitchen remodeling project. We guarantee you will love your new kitchen for life.

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.

kitchen remodel

Online Sites for Estimating Kitchen Remodeling Costs

Online Sites for Estimating Kitchen Remodeling Costs

Kitchen remodeling is a major undertaking, in both time and money. You want to make sure you are not making a big mistake when finally going through with it. Fortunately, you can go online and do research on everything from trending designs to remodeling contractor reviews. However, how do you know if you are getting a great deal?

In most cases, you can ask remodeling contractors for quotes and make comparisons. The problem is that takes a lot of time and effort to go through all the likely contractors in your area. Most will provide a quote without charge, but you have no assurance that these quotes are representative of the type of kitchen remodel you want at the right prices. The lowest bids may hide some costs, while the higher bids may be way over the standard for your area.

What you need is an objective look at remodeling costs. These online sites for estimating kitchen remodeling costs generally have no vested interest in misleading or outright lying to you. While these are just estimates, they will give you a good idea of what your costs should be, and thus help you find the right contractor for your kitchen remodeling.

CostHelper.com

kitchen design
If you want an honest and realistic estimate for your kitchen remodeling costs, CostHelper.com is the first site you should visit. The site itself is almost too full of information that can seem overwhelming. However, it does have a handy search function in the upper right corner with the leading “How much does {search term} cost?”

You can type anything in the window and the site will give you a list of relevant articles. The first five entries will be paid ads, so you should ignore them. After the ads, you will find some great articles.
If you type in “kitchen remodeling” in the search window, the first article you will see is “Cost of a Kitchen Remodeling – Estimates and Prices Paid.” The article provides a quick look at the typical costs of a kitchen remodel, links to useful sites, and a list of actual projects undertaken by readers, a brief description of the product, and the total cost.

The contributions from readers were very helpful, but many of them are several years old. Overall, CostHelper is a great way to get a toehold on the convoluted world of kitchen remodeling and to get a sense of community with all the readers that shared their experiences with other people.

DIYorNot.com

kitchen renovation
Most people feeling doubtful or overwhelmed by the costs of kitchen remodeling have wondered at some point whether they should DIY some stuff and save some money. DIY or Not provides a good hard look at what is involved in DIY kitchen remodeling and comparing it to the cost of having a professional contractor do it. The site shows the most popular job costs, and when you click on one, you will see a brief summary of the contractor versus DIY cost in money, adjustable by zip code. The costs have recently been updated, so you can use the figures as is. Interestingly, it will also show how long it will like, and DIYers typically take about twice as long as pros to complete a job.

Other useful features of the site are DIY word of the day, videos, and calculators. These calculators run at the top of each page such as Ceramic Tile Calculator and Paint Calculator. When you click on one and provide the required details, it will tell you how much material you need to DIY a project. This is very useful for keeping your material costs at just the right level, whether you are DIYing it or jobbing it out.
The idea for the site is to factor in everything that many DIYers fail to consider when undertaking a project to get a clear and realistic cost estimate. This can help you decide if it is worth doing yourself. In almost all instances, DIY comes out much cheaper. However, the benefit of the site to non-DIYers is as a source of objective costing for any upgrading or remodeling job.

The Spruce

kitchen
The Spruce hosts a large number of articles dealing with anything about the home, inside and out. Among these articles are roughly 150 articles dealing exclusively with home remodeling costs, from bathrooms to kitchen remodeling. It also includes articles that provide updated cost estimates for a typical remodel or upgrade projects as well as advice on everything from assessing a contractor to choosing whether or not to DIY a project.

One article provides a bird’s eye view of the cost of the average kitchen remodel. It then discusses how other factors might come into play in the total costs, as well as a breakdown of the work involved in a remodel.

This site is very helpful for people struggling to get a handle on kitchen remodeling. You can find anything you need to know by typing it in the search window, and you will not see any ads masquerading as articles. There are still ads on the page, but discreet enough not to be distracting.
These three sites are great online resources if you are trying to get an objective idea of kitchen remodeling costs. It may also be helpful to check out the Cost vs. Value Report published yearly by Remodeling Magazine, which calculates the average cost of home remodeling projects done in the previous 12 months.. The 2018 one should be out now.

Get free cost estimates now

All these resources can educate you about the reliability of your remodeling contractor. You can be sure that when you get a cost estimate from Fairfax Kitchen Bath, you are getting a realistic and reasonable one. More importantly, we guarantee you will love your new kitchen for life.
When you contract with us, you can be sure you will get a quick turnaround on your products, and receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in carrying out kitchen remodeling projects within budget and on time.
We sell only top-quality products for all your kitchen remodeling needs, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks,

faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.
You can see the products before you buy so you can decide for yourself if the quality is what you expect. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products. Our products come with manufacturer warranties that ensure your satisfaction with the quality and installation.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Contact us today to get a free quote for your kitchen remodeling project.

I am a remodeling expert that loves to build beautiful homes. I write about our beautiful place in Fairfax and the homes that I have help over the years.