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.

granite vanity top

Ten Bathroom Upgrades for the Holidays

Ten Bathroom Upgrades for the Holidays

Christmas is coming, and it is coming fast! The holiday season is usually the time when friends and family come to visit most in any two-week period, so you want to make sure your home is guest-ready.
Put up your holiday decorations and spiff up the display cabinets, but don’t forget that most of your guests will go to the guest bathroom at some point. If you have people staying over for the holidays, this is a certainty. You have to make sure the bathrooms are all guest-ready and awesome as well.

Here are 10 bathroom upgrades you can do for the holidays before the masses converge.

1. Replace the vanity top

bathroom vanity top
The bathroom vanity is especially important when you have guests, because this is where they are most likely to spend the most time. You want it to be gorgeous and ready for anything, and a stone one will do the trick. You can probably get one for as little as $50 per square foot, installed. Get a free estimate for an idea of the cost.
In most cases, you might think this will be too much too late, but replacing the vanity top with granite, marble, or quartz is not that big a deal. Get in touch with a reliable remodeling contractor in your area today with a quick turnaround. They should be in and out of there in a couple of days, and you have the awesome vanity top you always wanted.

2. Replace the hardware

shiny new sink fixtures
Another great and easy way to spruce up your guest bathroom is to swap out old and tired-looking hardware and fixtures for new ones. You can ask your remodeler to bring them in and install them, or you can buy and put them in yourself. New cabinet or drawer pulls and faucets can make a big difference to the look of the room.
Bonus tip: You might want to invest in a faucet with motion sensors so your guests will never have to touch anything to turn the water one. It is a good way to step up hygiene, especially when lots of people are using the bathroom.

3. Add some shelves

fun shelves holiday-themed decoration
Most guest bathrooms have a modicum of storage, so you probably have quite a few blank spaces in there. Put in some unusual and interesting shelves to store stuff in. It is easy enough to do on your own. It can also serve as décor you can spruce up with holiday-themed hand towels or tissue paper.

4. Put up cheerful curtains

holiday themed window curtains
If you guest bathroom is a full one, you can swap out the ducks with Santa or a snowman for your shower curtains. If you don’t have a shower or tub, you can still get into the holiday spirit by putting up seasonal window curtains. You can also opt for simply adding a splash of cheery color like a bright yellow or cheerful orange to plain curtains with fabric paint if you don’t want to go over the top with the holiday theme.

5. Break out the displays

spa products on marble vanity
If you have nice vases, decorative trays, guest soaps, scented candles, holiday-themed hand towels, and other display worthy stuff, the guest bathroom is a good place to put them. Place the extra tissue rolls on the tray to form a Christmas tree or fill a glass vase with guest soaps to add flair to your bathroom at no added cost to you.
It is also a good idea to lay in a supply of lotions, powder, and other spa items for the use of your guests, and encourage them to do so. These extra touches give your guest bathroom spa-like vibe.

6. Put in plants

indoor plants on granite vanity
A bit of green is also a great way to spruce up the guest bathroom. Some plants are merely decorative, while others actually absorb bad smells or give off good ones. Ask your local nursery about indoor plants that will thrive in bathroom conditions, and you will have them the whole year round. Poinsettias, amaryllis, and anthuriums are some great-looking holiday plants.

7. Replace or spruce up the mirror

decorative mirror in bathroom
If you have a plain mirror in the guest bathroom, dress it up with garlands or other types of Christmas décor, preferably in line with the overall theme of house. You can also replace your old mirror with something a little more ornate and decorative.

8. Put wallpaper

pink flamingo on black background wallpaper
Putting holiday-themed wallpaper is a bit much, but you can actually use wallpaper to upgrade the look of your bathroom. Choose a wallpaper design that reflects your personal style or overall feel of the house and go to town with it. You can go for demure Victorian or flaunting pink flamingoes, and they will look fantastic in their own ways. It is also something you can do on your own quite easily at very little cost.

9. Splurge on luxury mats

bathroom with matching mat and toilet cover
Nothing feels more luxurious than a deep pile bath mat with matching toilet cover. These are ideal for guest bathrooms as they look fantastic, but will not bear up with regular use. You will want two of these bath mat and toilet cover sets so always have a clean set in there when guests come.
An alternative is to do away with fabric mats altogether and replace it with a wood one. It still looks fantastic, but it is much easier to keep clean.

10. Install a towel warmer

towel warmer in bathroom
If you have guests staying over for the holidays, you want to make sure they are comfortable. Install a towel warmer that keeps towels nice and toasty. A towel warmer in the guest bathroom ensures your guests will not shiver in a chilly draft after taking a shower. It is sure to impress your guests.

Conclusion

Bathroom upgrades do not have to be expensive or time-consuming. You can make your guest bathroom ready for the holidays by doing some of the suggestions above. The most impactful would be replacing the bathroom vanity top and the hardware, and for that, you want a reliable contractor that can do it on time and on budget.

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 receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in fabricating bathroom vanity tops and backsplashes to specifications, and installing them within budget and on time.

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.

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 that 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 timely bathroom upgrades.

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 under cabinet lighting

Installation Tips for Under Cabinet LED Lighting in Kitchen Remodeling

Installation Tips for Under Cabinet LED Lighting in Kitchen Remodeling

One of the major considerations when planning your kitchen remodel is the lights. You need to make sure you include the placement and type of overhead lighting at the very start so your remodeling contractor can include the work required for it in the quote.
One type of lighting is often an afterthought, however, and that is under cabinet lighting. While these are not essential to a standard kitchen, they can have a significant impact on the look and function of the kitchen.

The most popular type of under cabinet lighting is light emitting diode or LED lighting. This is because they are the most energy efficient type of lights, and they emit little or no heat, which is a good thing for under cabinet lighting.
Different types of LED lights are available for use under cabinets, and each one requires varying levels of difficulty and expertise in installation. Some will require the skills of a professional installer, while others can provide amateur DIYers with a fun and satisfying project.

A Note for DIYers

installing a light
If you are an avid DIYer and you think under cabinet lighting is something you can do, you will have to take a good hard look at what you can actually do. Your level of skill and expertise in installing lights can have a major impact on a successful project involving under cabinet lighting.

For beginners, it might be less satisfying but more practical to choose battery-powered LED lights as these will not require any wiring or construction experience. Many of these lights are easy to mount, and you can put them anywhere.
You can also consider LED strip or rope lights that come complete with plugs, as these are easy to install. You just have to make sure you have a power outlet available in strategic locations. This is why it is important to include this in your kitchen remodeling plans even if you plan to
DIY it.

Below are installation tips for different types of under cabinet LED lighting you can use in kitchen remodeling.

Strip lights

bright under cabinet strip lights
Strip lights are generally popular for under cabinet lighting because they lay flat and are virtually invisible, and they give an even distribution of light. However, strip lights come in a wide variety of brightness, configurations, and color. What you choose will depend on your intended purpose and preferences.

Generally, you should choose bright, white LED strip lights if you are going to use it primarily as work lights. Under cabinet lights often shine directly on countertops, and they play a big role in making kitchen tasks go more smoothly.
However, the purpose of some under cabinet lights is for accent lighting, in which case you should choose a warmer or softer color of lower intensity. Fortunately, LED lights are dimmable, so you can actually control the intensity of your lights as needed. In addition, some LED lights come in several colors, which you can control by turning it on and off until you get the color you want. If this is something you might want, ask the store about color changing LED lights.

Once you have chosen the right LED strip, the next step is to install it. Before you do anything, however, check if the lights all work. The store should have done this for you. If this did not happen, or you are using strip lights you have had for some time, you will need a power supply appropriate to the voltage of your lights.

It is very easy to do this if you have some basic electrical wiring knowledge. The strips come in roles, and you just need to measure the cabinet and cut the right length of strip light. These often come with an adhesive backing or clips, so it just takes a few seconds to attach it under the cabinet.

The tricky part is attaching the dimmer to the strip, and the dimmer to the step down transformer, if needed. Strip lights can be 120V, 12V, or 24V. If they are normal or line voltage (120V), you will not need a transformer. However, if it is 12V or 24V, you need to convert the power from the standard outlet (normally 120V) to 12V or 24V.

If you are at all feeling overwhelmed by this, forget about doing the wiring yourself and call in someone who knows how to do it, preferably an electrician. Some stores have an in-house electrician that might be able to do it for you, so be ready with the measurements of your cabinets.
Once your strips are wired up properly, all you must do is stick or clip them on and plug them into the power outlet. If you prefer to hardwire your strip lights, make sure to include it in your kitchen remodeling plans or hire an electrician to do it for you.

Puck lights

close-up of recessed puck lights under cabinet
Puck lights are small, round LED lights that provide focused lighting and typically hardwired. If you choose puck lights for under cabinet lighting, you want to space them between 8 and 12 inches apart. Make sure you include this in your remodeling plan as the electrician will have to provide for them.

Installing the puck lights can be easy or not so easy. Surface mounted ones are easiest, because you only have to screw the mounting cap to the underside of the cabinets where the wires are waiting. You need to attach the wires before mounting them, of course. Make sure the power to the wires is off before messing with the wires.

Recessed puck lights require making a hole in the cabinet to accommodate them. Some contractors put a false bottom to the cabinets to accommodate the puck light housing without making a hole in the cabinet bottom itself. In either case, it would be advisable to have your contractor prepare the wiring and holes for you if you insist on installing the lights yourself.
As a rule of thumb, you want to place strip and puck lights as close to the front of the cabinet as possible so they are less visible. This makes practical sense as well, as you avoid the glare of the lights from shining directly into your eyes.

Conclusion

Under cabinet lights are a small but important component of kitchen remodeling. These tips should help you with your kitchen design, or even DIY it after. It is all about planning for it ahead of time.

Kitchen remodeling is always a stressful undertaking, but the results can be awesome if you choose the right remodeling contractor. Fairfax Kitchen Bath guarantees you will love you new kitchen for life. 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.

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.
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.

unusual modern kitchen

5 Core Design Features for Kitchen Remodeling

5 Core Design Features for Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen remodeling is a big investment in time and money. It is not the same as “dong over” other rooms in the house (with the possible exception of the bathroom) because it is not enough to simply rearrange or buy new furniture and picking out new paint or curtains. Renovating a kitchen can run from anywhere from 6 weeks to six months, depending on the size of the kitchen and the extent of the remodel.

In addition, most of the big-ticket items in the home are in the kitchen. These include not only the appliances, but the cabinets, countertops, floors, and backsplashes. Replacing those means picking out the best ones for your needs from a wide range of options, and you must get it right the first time.

In most cases, replacing your appliances usually means choosing the latest, energy saving models in a color that fits your general kitchen design, so that is not such a big headache. Other elements of the kitchen remodel are not so simple. For example, one type of countertop may look just as well as another, so it will boil down to budget, personal preference, and lifestyle. It can be overwhelming, which is why many people would much rather not contemplate a kitchen remodel.

However, it is undeniable that a well-planned and executed kitchen renovation can greatly increase your convenience and the value of your home, so it is worth the resources you will have to expend on it. To make sure you cover all your bases in this oh-so-daunting task, here are 5 elements for which you must plan before you start knocking down walls.

The backsplash

granite backsplash
Most people will consider the backsplash last in a kitchen remodel, but people notice this first when they come into the kitchen. If you want to make a good impression, make sure you have an awesome backsplash.
Unfortunately, the backsplashes in most kitchens reflect a lack of imagination or focus. They are often in boring, outdated, or worn tiles, usually a plain color, or completely absent. If you have an old house, you are going to need to replace or put in backsplashes to bring your kitchen up to date.

Back in the day, backsplash options were limited to ceramic tiles in different combinations. Nowadays, you have your choice of granite, marble, quartz, waterproof wallpaper, engineered wood, or even metal. You can stick to one material or mix them up in interesting ways. If you can imagine it, you can put it in a backsplash.

The floor

kitchen floor

All kitchens have a floor, but there is a big difference between a functional kitchen floor and an attractive one. Many kitchen floors are unattractive and in crying need of some design panache. Floors often reflect the homeowner’s lifestyle, so a scuffed, cheap, and/or horrible looking floor is not good. This is especially true if you are planning to sell your home anytime soon.

You want a kitchen floor that is not just functional, but low maintenance, durable, and attractive. The best choices would be granite tiles or hardwood, which you can arrange in interesting designs without sacrificing function. You can also consider modern kitchen floor tiles available as heated panels, cork, or even vinyl. It all depends on your lifestyle, budget, and overall kitchen design.

The countertops

quartz countertops
One of the benefits of a kitchen remodeling is it gives you a chance to reconsider your overall kitchen design. Among the most crucial of these design elements are the countertops. From a functional standpoint, your countertop can be any material that lets you work comfortable on it. From a design perspective, however, the choice of countertops has a direct bearing on your overall look.

You want a countertop that is not only durable and low maintenance, but also ties in the design elements in the room together. Countertops take up a lot of visual space and get a lot of use, so it is important that it stands out in a good way.

You can use the countertop as the inspiration for other key elements of the room such as the backsplash and floor, either to match it or complement it. Doing this gives your kitchen depth and character. The top favorites for kitchen countertops are granite and quartz because they have all the features you want in a functional and design-worthy countertop. You can even indulge your passion for marble without having to worry about maintaining it by choosing quartz that mimics the look of marble.

The cabinet hardware

cabinets with modern hardware
The thing about kitchen cabinets is that they tend to look classic. Almost any door style will work with most kitchens, so it may not even be necessary to replace them if they are in good condition. Cabinet hardware is a different issue, however.

Cabinet hardware is like hairstyles. They tend to follow certain trends, so they can become outdated. Fortunately, it is easy enough to replace the hardware to update your cabinets. Just keep in mind that neglecting to include it in your design can change the look and feel of your cabinets and kitchen.
Be careful to choose hardware that is not only trending, but also fits the overall look you want for your kitchen. You will be surprised at the difference it will make.

The paint

kitchen with bold paint colors
Choosing the color palette for the kitchen is crucial, because it not only sets the look but the mood of the room. Even if know nothing about the psychology of color, you know from personal experience that some colors make you happy, while others make you sad. You should understand why the color palette is important, and how it affects your choice of paint for your walls, doors, and cabinets.
You can play it safe by choosing neutral colors that will go with any design. This is a good move if other elements in your kitchen have interesting features, bold colors or busy patterns.

You can also choose colors that express your personality, and this could mean bold colors for a vibrant look. This is a bit of a risk if you plan to sell your home soon. If this is the case, you might be better off choosing a cheerful but neutral color and express your personality with accents and accessories you can easily remove or replace.
At the end of the day, it is easy enough to replace paint, but not the color palette. Consider your color palette carefully and let that dictate your choice of paint color.

Conclusion

A kitchen remodel does not have to be the nightmare you keep coming back to years after it is done. It can give you your dream kitchen or help you sell your home if you give due consideration to these 5 core design elements. You can also get professional design ideas from a reputable remodeling company such as Fairfax Kitchen Bath. We guarantee you will love your new kitchen for life.

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 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.

Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and 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.

Green Bathroom Remodeling

How to Do a Truly Green Bathroom Remodeling

How to Do a Truly Green Bathroom Remodeling

Going green is something that has caught the imagination of the socially conscious population, and that is a good thing. The drive to keeping to a small carbon footprint and protecting the environment have permeated into everything, including bathroom remodeling, and product manufacturers are happy to oblige.

However, the hype around the buzzword “green” has triggered a flood of products that may not necessarily mean environmentally friendly. Companies in the remodeling industry are jumping on the green bandwagon to cash in on the movement by touting their “sustainable” and “green” products and services, when they are not really all they claim to be. Products claim everything from energy efficiency to low toxic content with little or no foundation.

In many cases, these companies are not actually lying about their products. They exaggerate, misstate, or mislead with their claims in a growing practice called “greenwashing.” They use trigger words such as eco-friendly or sustainable to make their products more attractive to consumers, but fail to disclose everything about it.
For instance, a product may contain recycled materials, which makes it environmentally friendly, but the company fails to mention the high amount of energy required in manufacturing it. They are walking a fine line here, but greenwashing companies have it down to a fine art.
In other cases, the claims have no basis whatsoever. The companies simply use the terms that are music to the ears of eco-conscious consumers, and leave it at that.

If you truly want a green bathroom remodel, you need to put in a little more work into finding out more about the products you choose. You want to avoid greenwashed products, and for that, you need to know how to spot them. Here are some tips to help you with that.

Look for certification

labels
The best way to identify genuinely green products is to look for certification. A seal of approval or certification from WaterSense, Cradle to Cradle, or Energy Star goes a long way towards reassuring consumers about green claims by manufacturers about their products. These and other reputable certifying organizations carry out meticulous investigations and analyses before giving out these sigils of approval.

You will often see these symbols or logos in the label, so make that your first stop of inquiry. It is not enough to see them on the company website, as this does not necessarily mean all the products they produce have passed muster. If you do see them on a label, it is a good sign of a true claim. If you are not sure if a seal or logo is from a reputable certifying organization, look it up.
That said, you should know that not all genuinely green products would have certification. The process of certification is often a long, arduous, and expensive one, and some companies are too young or too small to have them at the time of your purchase. In those cases, you have to look a little deeper into the claims.

Research online

Google search box
If a green label is not in the offing, you can easily do a bit of research online to find out more about the company and the product. Go to the company website and pay special attention to any specific mention of the manufacturing process for a particular product. You might also look into reviews and comments about the products to find out what other consumers know about it.

You can also get the contact information of the company and make direct inquiries about green claims. For example, if the company claims the product is from recycled materials, you should ask them for specifics regarding nature and composition of the recycled material. If the product contains 10% recycled material, it is still a good thing, but perhaps it is not what you expect. In another example, if a product is supposed to be energy efficient, ask them to qualify in what sense.
Once you have all the information you can glean online, you can either come to a conclusion about the genuineness of the claim, or investigate further.

Look for trade offs

fine print in contract
Sometimes, companies use half-truths and technicalities to get their way. For instance, they may claim to the high heavens that their product is eco-friendly in one way, but murmurs about how it is not so eco-friendly in another way. It is a bit like a magic trick, where they misdirect you with one hand while doing something else with the other. They are not technically lying, but they are not upfront about it, either.
For instance, the company trumpets about using recycled wood for a product by saying so repeatedly in large letters on the packaging, in commercials, and so on. In the meantime, they slip in information about certain toxic resins or adhesives they use in the product in much smaller letters in the inset they include with the product. Technically, they have disclosed everything, but bank on the fact that most people do not bother to read everything.

You have to look at everything that goes into the product, including shipping and packaging, to determine if they are truly green, or there is some trade off somewhere. All these factors have an overall effect on the environment, so you must be vigilant.

Know about regulations

skeptical looking person
The drive to becoming friendlier to the environment has been going on for a long time, and many regulations are in place to ensure that manufacturers are doing their part. This means that they have to follow these regulations or face severe fines and sanctions. Claiming that they are following these regulations do not make them unique, yet some companies manage to make it seem as if they are voluntarily doing their part in the green movement.

For example, the government banned the use of lead, asbestos, and CFC in any consumer product a long time ago. A product that is “lead-free” is not something to admire about it. It’s the law. Do not be hypnotized by this type of sleight of hand. Know the regulations they must follow so you can distinguish between a compliant company and a truly green one.

Conclusion

If you are considering doing your part as a consumer and doing truly green bathroom remodeling, remember these tips for avoiding greenwashed products. If you are not sure you can do it as thoroughly as you would like, you can take a shortcut by consulting with a reliable contractor. They will tell you everything they know about the products they offer, and you can take it from there.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath is contractor you can rely on to carry out your green bathroom remodel in 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 receive it much faster than ordering what you need from big box stores. We specialize in remodeling bathrooms to specifications, and executing them within budget and on time.
We have the expertise to carry out any type of remodeling you need, including a truly green one. We carry the products you need for your bathroom remodeling, 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 that 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 green bathroom remodeling.

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 kitchen outlets

Outlet Facts for Your Kitchen Renovation

Outlet Facts for Your Kitchen Renovation

A kitchen renovation requires quite a bit of planning and decision-making. Aside from picking out the colors and general theme, you have to decide on just the right cabinets, countertops, lights, tiles, and a hundred other options. It is not surprising if you miss a thing or two. However, the one thing you should not forget is the outlets.

Kitchen outlets are essential. It would not be an exaggeration to say the kitchen would not work without them. It isn’t enough to have them, either. You have to plan their placement carefully not only according to design and function, but also legal rules. If your kitchen does not follow the electrical code of your area, your home may not pass safety inspection, which is a big problem for you and any homebuyer.
In most cases, a reliable contractor will know about these rules and follow them as a matter of course. You should still know the basics, however.

Area requirements

kitchen counter along outlets
Kitchen outlets are necessary for providing power to a host of small appliances, which most homeowners have, and most probably quite a few in a small area. Due to these circumstances, the electrical code requires at least one GCFI (ground fault circuit interrupter) for every square foot in the kitchen work areas. The GCFI ensures you have sufficient electrical supply to run two or more high power appliances running at the same time without blowing a fuse. Some homeowners opt to put GCFI outlets in lieu of receptacles, but this is more costly. GCFI outlets are also larger than regular outlets, which may ruin the lines of your kitchen work area.
Note: You cannot exceed 48 inches between GCFI outlets.

GCFI

close of GCFI circuit breaker
For any kitchen, the electrical code requires at least two GCFI receptacles or circuit breakers to accommodate typical appliances such as toasters, blenders, and coffee machines. How many receptacles you need will depend on the size of the work area that host these appliances.
As the name implies, GCFI receptacles monitor the electrical flow of outlets for possible leaks and breaks. These can lead to any one touching the outlet into receiving a bad electrical shock. The GCFI shuts down power to these outlets if it does detect a leak as a protective measure for you as well as your appliances. Each receptacle comes with a test and reset button, which you can use if the GCFI shuts down because of a surge in the flow of electricity. If you push the test and reset button and the GCFI does not restore power, you need to call an electrician to check it.

The code requires that each GCFI receptacle receive power from circuits with a minimum of 20 amps at 120 volts. This is usually enough to power several small appliances running at the same time, and you cans safely run two or more outlets from the receptacle without overloading the circuit. Planning for enough outlets to service each area means you never have to use extension cords.

Non-GCFI outlets

regular kitchen outlets
The code also specifies when you should have non-GCFI outlets. Some appliances need a power source that will not shut down in the middle of operation, especially if no one is likely to notice it at once and reset the outlet. However, these non-GCFI outlets need a dedicated line to make sure the appliance gets the power it needs without tripping the circuit, causing everything in the kitchen to shut down. Among these special appliances are:

• Microwave

A microwave typically runs to 1000 watts at any given time, so you need a dedicated line with 20 amps at 120 volts using a 12/2 cable, which is normal for delivering 20 amps.

• Electric range

An electric range needs even more power than a microwave. The electrical code requires a dedicated line of 50 amps at 120/240 volts. You will need a double pole circuit breaker and larger cable to accommodate both 120 and 240-volt supply.

• Refrigerator

Refrigerators require a bit of power, but the reason you want a dedicated non-GCFI outlet for this one is it is continually running. If your GCFI trips during a weekend you are out of town, you may not be able to reset it before all the food inside it becomes a smelly mess. This is particularly grim if your area experiences minor fluctuations all the time. For this appliance, you need a non-GCFI outlet with a supply of 20 amps at 120 volts. The only exception is when the refrigerator is in an unfinished basement or garage, in which case the code specifies a GCFI-outlet.

• Dishwasher

You need a dedicated line of 15 amps at 120 volts by way of a 14/2 cable, which is normal for 15 amps. This is to accommodate the heating feature.

• Garbage disposal

The same specifications for the dishwasher applies to the garbage disposal, which needs a bit of juice to power the grinder motor.

• Lights

You do not usually have outlets to supply power to lights, but the code does require all the lights in the kitchen should come from a non-GCFI receptacle supplying 15 amps at 120 volts. One is enough for a typical kitchen, but you can put in an additional line if you have more lights than usual. You can also choose to put in a circuit that supplies more amps.

Safety issues

 tamper resistant outlets
An additional safety requirement of the electrical code is especially important if you have children in the house. All kitchen outlets have to be tamper-resistant, which means they require two prongs pushed in with more force than a child can exert before any electricity will flow through.

Conclusion

You need a number of electric outlets in your kitchen, but this rarely gets the attention you need to have when planning a kitchen renovation. The electric code ensures safety and convenience in your home, and remodeling contractors should know this. If you know it, you can find the right remodeling contractor for your home.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath has a thorough knowledge of the electric code that pertains to the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. You will get the safety you need in your kitchen to love it 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 remodeling kitchens and bathrooms to specifications, and executing them within budget and on time.
Aside from professional electrical services, we have the expertise to carry out any type of remodeling you need. We also carry the products you need for your kitchen remodeling, 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, 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 safe and code-compliant 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.

unappealing guest bathroom

Four Paths to a Budget-Friendly Bathroom Upgrade

Four Paths to a Budget-Friendly Bathroom Upgrade

Regular bathrooms are an essential part of your home, and often get the most attention when schemes for home improvement come to the fore. Guest bathrooms tend not to get as much love, however, which can be a mistake.

Guest bathrooms are not as crucial to daily life as regular bathrooms, and more often than not homeowners tend to use it as auxiliary storage spaces for stuff they have nowhere else to put. However, guest bathrooms are the ones guests see, so you want it to look its best. An awesome guest bathroom also makes a great first impression with potential homebuyers in case you plan to sell your home in the future.
The bottom line is you need to pay more attention to your guest bathroom, and make the most of it with some key upgrades. You can do this even on a small budget if you are smart about it. Here are four paths to a budget-friendly bathroom upgrade.

Mirror magic

white half-bath with mirrors
A smart trick for making a guest bathroom look bigger is to use mirrors. Guest bathrooms tend to be on the small side, and in many homes, they are more of an afterthought than part of the grand design. In some cases, they are little more than a closet with a sink and toilet, so cramped is a generous description. Making them bigger without knocking down a wall is a challenge, but mirrors usually do the trick quite nicely.
You want to choose a large, frameless mirror so it reflects the opposite wall, giving the illusion of space. It would be even better if your bathroom walls were a light color such as white, light blue, or lemon yellow. This will reflect light better, giving the room a more airy look. If the walls are dark, consider repainting the walls, and maybe put in a white marble or quartz vanity top to complete the picture.

Wall bling

guest bathroom with decorated walls
A great way to upgrade your bathroom with just a little effort is to add some accents to plain walls. You can go with decals, or you can use stencils to put in something fun or interesting such as a flock of birds, butterflies, or flowers.
You can also put in some eye-catching artwork, maybe a reproduction of something famous like the “Sunflowers” series by Vincent van Gogh. If that’s a little off for you, consider framing some fun or motivational quotes such as “If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying!”
Whatever you choose, it should be in line with the general theme and color palette of the bathroom. You want it to be striking, but not jarring. It won’t cost a lot of money, but the impact is beyond price.

Say it with hardware

close-up of interesting bathroom faucet
Another easy way to create some drama in your guest bathroom without enacting one on your wallet is to replace all the hardware. You can replace your boring old faucet with a stylish one in black matte metal the shape of an old-fashioned water pump. You can also do a number with your cabinet pulls, toilet paper holders, towel bars.

Try to have a theme when choosing your new hardware, and see if you can work with some unique items. There are many options out there from top brands as well as garage sales, so don’t limit yourself to just one place to get some ideas.
If you are DIYing, find some tutorials online for putting them in your new bathroom. If you don’t have the budget to buy new hardware that will make a difference to the look of your bathroom, look online on how to give your existing stuff a new finish and make them look more interesting.

Match and match

matching bath towels/seashells/decorative soaps on vanity
Sometimes, all you need to is to put in the right kind of accessories to make your guest bathroom much more appealing. You can get some decorating ideas from Pinterest or other such website to make your own guest bathroom look fabulous. Most of it is just about staging such as putting decorative soaps, choosing the right soap dispensers, getting thematic trashcans, scented candles, and matching hand towels.
You can get a lot of stuff to match and accessorize your bathroom without breaking the bank, and you guest bathroom will look fantastic. Anything goes as long as you focus on the effect you want to create.

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money in upgrading your guest bathroom if it is not in the cards. These tips should help get you there. Of course, the best way to really make your guest bathroom awesome is to do a major overhaul with the help of a reliable remodeling company. Fairfax Kitchen Bath is just the contractor 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. You will love your guest bathroom 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 remodeling kitchens and bathrooms to specifications, and executing them within budget and on time.
We have the expertise to carry out any type of remodeling you need. We also carry the products you need for your bathroom remodeling, 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, 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 fabulous 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.