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 remodeling

Smart Tips for Kitchen Remodeling this Holiday Season

The holiday season is just around the corner, and chances are you are thinking deeply about how to make your home more inviting for family and friends. The kitchen is typically the center of festivities, not only for food prep, but for entertainment as well.
You want to feel that your kitchen is up to the challenge. What better way to ensure this than by doing some kitchen remodeling. You have enough time to do a complete remodel if you have a reliable contractor such as Fairfax Kitchen Bath in Fairfax, VA. However, you can also do smaller projects if you want. These smart tips for kitchen remodeling this holiday season can point the way.
If you are not sure that kitchen remodeling is right for you at this time, here are some reasons to go through with it.

Better organization

A kitchen remodel can help you organize your kitchen for better space and work efficiency. This can be a major help when preparing for large parties. More storage in the form of cabinets, drawers, and kitchen islands can make all the difference when it comes to food prep and cooking. It also makes it easier to find things when you need them, especially when you are feeding a lot of people during holiday celebrations.
Better appliances

It is not necessary to replace all your kitchen appliances, but it does make a difference as well. Battling with a temperamental oven that could ruin your dinner can be highly stressful. New appliances are also more energy efficient, so you come out ahead in the end. Choosing appliances that match your overall kitchen design can also earn you some kudos in the esthetic department. You might want to think about replacing your refrigerator and oven, as well as adding other mod cons such as wine coolers and espresso machines that make holiday entertaining a pleasure for you and your guests.

Better atmosphere

A well-designed kitchen can be the hub of your entertainment activities. Many homeowners involve guests in food prep for the holidays, so ample workspace is the key to making that an enjoyable experience. Other than that, a space efficient kitchen keeps homeowners in a relaxed and festive mood, so it is important to reconfigure the space to best advantage. A kitchen remodel can give you that.
Smart tips for kitchen remodeling
Given that kitchen remodeling is in the works, you need to be smart about it. It will defeat the purpose for the holidays if your kitchen remodel is stressing you out. A major one can be quite complicated. Here are some ways for you to get the kitchen you want without having to go whole hog. You can tackle each one individually, in pairs, or all together. It depends on your budget and inclination.

Put in a kitchen island

One of the best things you can do for your kitchen is to put in a kitchen island. The type will depend on your available space, but if you can manage a full one, that would be the best option. You will need a remodeling contractor that supplies top quality cabinets and countertops to do this project for you, and the extra storage and work space it will give you will be well worth the expense. You will have a great addition to your kitchen for daily use as well as an entertainment area for your guests.

Replace your cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are visually prominent, so you want to make sure they are holiday perfect. Replacing kitchen cabinets is not a decision you should take likely, however. The investment is significant, so if your kitchen cabinets are in good condition, you might want to consider refacing or repainting them instead of replacing them. That said, brand new cabinets that are perfect for your kitchen will completely change the look. The good news is swapping out old cabinets for new does not take a lot of time. You also have the option of simply changing the cabinet doors, and that will take even less time and money.

Get better lighting

One of the easiest things you can do for your kitchen to bring it new life is to get better lighting. It can change the whole vibe of the room, and make even the dullest and darkest kitchen sparkle.
Replace old lights with those energy efficient LED lights. You can save quite a bit of change with them, and they are cooler overall. Kitchens tend to be warm, so anything to keep the temperature a little is a smart move.
You might want to invest in a nice chandelier if you have a high ceiling, or pendant lights with some esthetic panache. You can also consider placing new task lights over your countertops and kitchen island. Better lights will also make working in the kitchen a lot easier.
Better lighting can highlight the best features of your kitchen. New lights will make the holidays a lot merrier, warmer, and beautiful.

Repaint the walls

In some cases, repainting the walls is the only thing you need to do to make your kitchen holiday friendly. It is also an affordable way to upgrade your kitchen without too much trouble. You might even be able to do it yourself over several weekends, making it a fun project for you and your family. The right color paint can change the whole atmosphere of the kitchen, and it is especially important if your old paint is just ready for an overhaul.

Replace your countertops

Like cabinets, kitchen countertops take up a lot of real estate. They dominate the kitchen, often dictating the overall design when you do a complete remodel. However, you can just replace the countertops and get an awesome kitchen.
You have many options when it comes to the material for your countertops. The top choices are quartz and granite, although marble is a serious contender for durable worktops. Your best choice will depend on your lifestyle and kitchen style. For low maintenance, we recommend quartz or granite. For elegance and luxury, marble is your best bet.

While you are at it, you might also want to choose a sink that can handle all the food prep and dirty dishes in your calendar for the holiday season. Double sinks are not as popular as they once were, but some design might give you pause. To be on the safe side, however, choose a large and deep stainless steel undermount sink. It will do the job wonderfully.

Conclusion

Getting ready for the holidays can be stressful. However, you can make it less so by preparing your kitchen for the holiday onslaught. You should really consider these smart tips for kitchen remodeling this holiday season. You should consult with a reputable remodeling contractor in your area.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath help you choose the right type of kitchen remodeling for you. We serve 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.

beautiful kitchen

A Breakdown of Kitchen Remodeling Costs for 2019

The average kitchen remodel in 2019 will cost you about $150 per square foot, but many homeowners spend as little as $75 per square foot. The cost will depend on the size of the kitchen, the materials you choose, and any structural changes you might make. It is perfectly possible to opt for a small project that will cost you just $10,000 by simply replacing the countertops, backsplash, and sink. If you want to go the distance, you may be looking at spending more than $30,000.

While this might seem like a lot of money, it is worth making your kitchen the best it can be. If you are like most people, you spend a lot of time there on a daily basis, as well as for special occasions, like the upcoming holidays.
The thing is, kitchen remodeling can be complicated. Here is a breakdown of kitchen remodeling costs for 2019. This can help you find ways to cut down on some costs.

First things first

Industry standards place the money you spend on kitchen remodeling should only be between 5% and 15% of the market value of the home. If the market value of your home is $100,000, you should not spend more than 15,000 for your kitchen remodel.
Assuming that the minimum you will spend for your kitchen is $75 per square foot, you might want to consider what you want with the space you have such as the layout, functional areas, and configuration of the storage spaces. If you have a limited budget, you can manage your money by refinishing or refacing your cabinets, keeping your existing appliances, or doing small remodels in stages until you get the kitchen you want.
Breakdown

Materials, labor, and fixtures for a major kitchen remodel will cost you an average of $23,500. The typical breakdown looks like this:
• Design – 4% (from $920)
• Labor – 17% (from $3,910)
• Appliances and HVAC system – 14% (from $3,220)
• Cabinets – 29% (from $6,670)
• Countertops – 10% (from $2,300)
• Lighting – 5% (from $1,150)
• Floors – 7% (from $1,610)
• Doors and windows – 4% (from $920)
• Walls and ceilings – 5% (from $1,150)
• Plumbing and faucets – 4% (from $920)
• Miscellaneous – 1% – (from $230)

Design

Hiring a designer to work with you on your kitchen design will cost between $100 and $200 an hour, more if the designer has certification from the NKBA and does the work onsite. Some remodeling companies like Fairfax Kitchen and Bath do offer free design consultation, and even provide 3D designs based on your space and specification, and you do not have to commit to them to get them.
Of course, it would be more efficient to have your design carried out by the same company that made it for you. At any rate, you can shave off as much as $920 from your budget by simply taking advantage of this offer.

Labor

You will need professionals to carry out your design, including installation of your floors, ceilings, cabinets, and countertops. The cost range is from $3,500 to $6,000 just for the labor if you contract each one independently. The total cost will depend on the scope of work.
In most cases, you want to get a package deal from a remodeling company that includes labor costs for the entire project. These companies also work regularly with different professional, so you only have to coordinate with them for any issues you might have with the work.

Size

Your total cost will depend on many factors, but a major one is the size of your kitchen. A small kitchen, which would be less than 70 square feet in area, will cost between $5,000 and $20,000. A large one, which would be more than 200 square feet, will cost from $30,000.

Small kitchens

If you have a small kitchen, you have quite a few choices to make that will dictate the overall cost. You need to establish a budget and look at doing some of the work yourself to keep your total investment small. You can also consider the following to save some money in the long run.
• Use LED lighting, which are low energy and easy to install on your own
• Choose green products for faucets and appliances
• Install double-paned windows for better heat efficiency
• Put in accessories that will help you maximize storage, such as Lazy Susans, roll-out trays, pull-out shelves, racks, and roll out countertops

A great way to make more space in your small kitchen is to choose an open space layout. It might mean removing a couple of walls and replacing some cabinets with a kitchen island, but you will have more visual and actual space in which to work. Have a contractor check if the wall is a load-bearing one before finalizing your design. If you live in a condo, ask about any rules or codes that might not let you remove walls in your unit.

Large kitchens

If you have a larger kitchen, congratulations. However, it also means you will probably spend quite bit more upgrading it. You can spend as little as $30,000, but it can go up from there, depending on the upscale features you choose. Typically, this will include:
• Full kitchen island with seating and cook top
• Wall ovens
• Commercial grade stove
• Breakfast bar
• Recycling stations
• Built-in appliances

Conclusion

Kitchen remodeling costs for 2019 might seem a lot, but you have complete control over it. Your best option is to find an expert remodeling company to help you every step of the way.
Fairfax Kitchen Bath can be that expert for you. 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.

Hardware for Kitchen Cabinets

Choosing Hardware for Kitchen Cabinets

You should take our time choosing hardware for kitchen cabinets whether you are doing a complete remodel or simply replacing your old hardware for your kitchen cabinets. Cabinet hardware can be subtle or striking, depending on what you choose, and what you choose will have a distinct impact on the look and function of your cabinets and kitchen.

You will use your cabinets at least once a day, so your hardware keeps you from handling you cabinet doors directly and wearing out some portions of it. They also definitely have to be up to the challenge of frequent use, so you do not want low quality, flimsy pulls and knobs.
Fortunately, cabinet hardware is easy to find. They are available in most hardware stores and home depot, although you will get much better options from a remodeling company.

The thing is, with so many choices available to you, it might be hard to find hardware that works for you both functionally and aesthetically. A good rule of thumb is to choose your cabinet pulls or knobs after you have chosen everything else for your remodel, or after you have chosen your cabinets. This will give you a better idea of what you need. Here are some other tips to follow when choosing hardware for kitchen cabinets.

Choose a type

hand holding pull of drawer
Cabinet hardware is typically either a pull or a knob, and you can choose one or the other depending on your preference. Some people want just one type for both cabinets and drawers to keep the look cohesive.

Functionally, pulls and knobs work equally for cabinets because these do not normally bear any weight. An exception to this would be a pantry cabinet, which might have shelves built into the inside of the door. On the other hand, pulls are usually better for drawers and other types of doors that you pull out because they give you a better grip. This makes it easier to open a heavy drawer.

Stylistically, using just one type of hardware is actually common in older homes. While this does not necessarily make it a bad choice, the overall style is outdated. A kitchen that used knobs or pulls, but not both, was trending during a time when options were more limited.

If you do choose just one type of hardware, it can still work with the right design. However, if you choose pulls, you might want to think about orientation. The standard is mounting them vertically for cabinets and horizontally for drawers, in which case you should choose slimmer, lighter models to avoid making the kitchen too heavy. If you want a contemporary look, consider mounting all your pulls horizontally for both cabinets and drawers.

Choose a shape

ornate versus contemporary hardware
Another thing that can affect the look of your cabinets and kitchen is the shape of the hardware. The most popular ones are curved or square. Curved hardware tends to be more ornate and has no sharp angles, which makes them ideal for traditional and vintage kitchen styles. Square hardware with its sharp angles looks more at home in modern and contemporary kitchens.

The shape of the hardware you choose should match or complement the general lines of the kitchen design. The most obvious peg is the cabinet style, but you should also consider the countertop shape and edge treatments as well as the lighting to determine if you are better off with a square or a curve. For example, if you have a Shaker-style or flat slab cabinet over a standard countertop with a square edge, you want to go with square hardware.

Choose the finish

different cabinet pull finishes
The finish of your cabinet hardware often matches that of their sink faucets, so if you have a chrome faucet, you might want to choose a chrome finish. If you have one of the new faucets with a matte or brushed finish, then so can your cabinet hardware. However, the faucet is just one element from which to get inspiration. Your choice of finish should reflect the overall style of the kitchen. If you have a modern kitchen with sleek lines, your hardware should look like it belongs there.

Below are some of the types of finishes from which to choose:

  • Aluminum
  • Antique pewter
  • Black
  • Black matte
  • Clear glass
  • Dark bronze
  • Light or dark bronze
  • Oil-rubbed bronze
  • Pewter
  • Rust
  • Satin brass
  • White

Choose for comfort

person checking out different pulls and knobs
Because you will be holding those pulls and knobs many times in your kitchen, you want to make sure they feel comfortable in your hands. You can usually find displays of mounted knobs and pulls in the showroom of your supplier, so use them. You should be able to fit your hand through or around them, and there should be no sharp or hard edges.

Choose quality

You need to choose the best hardware your budget will allow. This ensures that they will last for a long time and give you better return for your investment.

You can expect to pay between $6 and $10 for good quality knobs and between $7 and $12 for pulls, depending on the material, design, and finish. Hardware made of bronze or stainless steel is generally more expensive. Since you have to multiply this by as many drawers and cabinets you have, the sun cam be a significant bit of change. It will be worth it, however.
You can get these pulls at a discount if you purchase them from a remodeling contractor instead of big box stores. Remodeling companies usually get significant discounts from the manufacturer, and in some instances, you can cut your costs by half.

Conclusion

It might seem like a finicky thing, but cabinet hardware is actually an important design and functional element in your kitchen. These tips can help you choose the right one. You can also get advice from your remodeling contractor.

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, including a large collection of cabinet hardware.

We sell only top quality products for all your 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 or bathroom remodeling project.

small kitchen with kitchen cabinets

Choosing Kitchen Cabinets for Small Spaces

High real estate prices in cities have driven people to choose smaller spaces in which to live. It is a practical choice, although it also means making do with much smaller spaces, especially for kitchens.
While most people manage, storage is always a problem. Fortunately, a little creative thinking and some organization can help. Here are some types for choosing kitchen cabinets for small spaces.

Go vertical

kitchen cabinets up to the ceiling
An easy fix to your storage problems is to make the most use of your vertical space. Choose wall or tall cabinets that go right up to the ceiling to reclaim the wasted space that typically exists there in many kitchens.
The standard kitchen ceiling is 8 feet or 96 inches. Most people choose the standard 36-inch high cabinets. If you follow the standard heights for base cabinets and wall cabinets, you have between 4 and 6 inches of overhead space. Choosing taller wall cabinets can claw back a lot of storage space. If your kitchen ceiling is bit higher, you might even be able to fit a whole bank of smaller cabinets in there.

Make use of cabinet accessories

pull down shelves
Going higher and deeper with kitchen cabinets will obviously give you more storage space. A couple of inches higher and deeper can make a lot of difference. However, this can also make some of the spaces harder to access. You can solve that problem by using cabinet accessories.
These range from pull down shelves to Lazy Susans that provide you with a way to get into these spaces or at the contents more easily. Ask your remodeling company about the available options for these cabinet accessories.

Use organizers

spice rack attached to cabinet door
Technically also accessories, cabinet organizers deserve a section of their own because you can use them inside or outside a cabinet. Organizers include spice racks that fit in narrow spaces between appliances, or attach to the side of refrigerators using magnets.
You can also get tray dividers on open shelves to house trays, plates, pot covers, and other space-hogging stuff vertically for better space efficiency and access. Cutlery organizers usually fit easily into drawers, allowing you to organize and put in more forks, spoons, knives and kitchen tools than if you leave them loose.

Use hooks

hanging rack with pots
Most kitchens have various wall and cabinet side spaces that are ideal for placing wire meshes. These allow you to use hooks or other hanging accessories from which you can hang pots, pans, cutting boards, and anything with a handle or hole. This will free up space in your cabinets for things you cannot hang.
Wire meshes and hooks are inexpensive and easily accessible, and you can install them yourself. You might even get some sturdy chains and hooks to hang a mesh from the ceiling over your kitchen island or table. You can hang your pots and pans there if they are nice enough to display so prominently.

Put wheels on them

portable kitchen island using base cabinets
People often use RTA cabinets as the base for kitchen islands, and in many cases, they are fixed in place. A good way to make the most use of the space is to put wheels on your kitchen island so you can move it around where you need it. Put granite countertops on them and you have a great extension of your workspace as well as storage space.

Customize

custom cabinets
RTA and stock cabinets are inexpensive, but they come in standard sizes. You might need to invest in custom cabinets if your kitchen has non-standard dimensions.
Some semi-custom cabinets might fit the bill, saving you some money by avoiding fully custom cabinets. Among some of your options for special cabinets are corner cabinets, wine racks, drawers, and rollout pantries.

Choose open shelving

open shelving
Some kitchens are so small that choosing closed wall cabinets simply takes up too much space. Choose open shelving instead and maximize the available wall space. This will also make your kitchen seem larger as it creates visual continuity all the way to the wall.
Inexpensive floating shelves in all sizes and configurations are available in home and hardware stores. You can install these shelves yourself on any available space quite easily. You can also make a design statement, depending on their placement.

Backsplash double duty
magnetic strip with knives

The kitchen backsplash is for the protection of your walls from dirt and grease from cooking. However, it is also an excellent space for storing your knives or hanging towels. Place a strong magnetic strip on the backsplash to hold your knives, or attach a small towel holder for your dishcloths. You can also use the towel holder to hold kitchen implements using hooks.

Doorway to storage

shelves over the doorway
Most small homes have an open floor layout to maximize the space. However, if your kitchen has a door or windows, you might be able to put some shelves or racks over them to hold some stuff, such as books or wine bottles. You can install these things yourself, but you have to make sure they are level and have guards to keep stuff from falling off the sides. .

Conclusion

Many people have tiny kitchens, but that does not mean there will not be enough storage. The trick is to make the most of the available space, and these tips for choosing kitchen cabinets for small spaces can help. You can also benefit from advice from experience remodeling experts to do this.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath can be that expert for you. 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.

beautiful modern kitchen

Upgrading Tips for Kitchens using Kitchen Cabinets

A complete kitchen remodel is not always the way to go, especially if you have budget constraints. In many cases, an upgrade will work quite well, and you will not have to deal with the stress of a full-blown remodel. An upgrade is also a practical decision, as small-scale remodels or upgrades increase the market value of your home up to 80% of what you choose to spend on it, so the return on investment is quite good. If you are doing home improvements in preparation for selling your home, that is something to think about.

The issue is deciding on the type of work you can do to upgrade your kitchen. This is not as hard as it looks. In most cases, all you have to do is choose one major thing in the kitchen you think will do with some improvement. Some people automatically think of putting in quartz countertops or granite countertops, and that works quite well. Another option is to replace kitchen cabinets. In terms of costs, there is not much to choose between the two.
If you decide that your kitchen cabinets definitely have to go, you should make the effort to ensure you choose the right ones. Kitchen cabinets are very prominent visually, but the right ones tend to blend in very well. Most people are not even aware that they have a drastic effect on the look and feel of your kitchen until they choose the wrong ones. Here are some upgrading tips for kitchens using kitchen cabinets.

Choose white

kitchen with white tall cabinets up to the ceiling
Small kitchens can seem a lot larger if the ceiling is high. If that is not the case in your kitchen, you can create the illusion of space with a low ceiling by choosing white cabinets that go all the way to the top. You can have regular wall cabinets or a combination of tall cabinets on either side of a bank of regular cabinets. Tall cabinets are cabinets that go all the way from the floor to the ceiling. The effect is a wall of white that seem to go high and deep.
The advantage of putting in tall cabinets is you can maximize your storage space. Tall cabinets typically serve as pantries or utility closets, and the way you use it will determine the types of divisions you want in there. Your cabinet supplier or remodeling contractor can advise you on the best way to use your tall cabinets.

If you already have white cabinets that do not go all the way to the ceiling, you should cover up the space. If it is a small gap, you can use MDF board and crown molding painted white, If the space is large enough, you can add special cabinets that will fit into the space and extend your storage capacity. You can then add tall cabinets if you want. You can also repaint non-white cabinets if they are still in good condition.

Go bold or go home

kitchen with bright green or orange cabinets

Blending in is fine, but sometimes making your kitchen cabinets stand out is the best move. This is a good way to make your kitchen look hip and updated.
Instead of choosing stained wood or other neutral colors for your cabinets, choose a bold one such as orange, yellow, or green. It might seem a bit of a risk, but these colors will definitely make a statement to anyone that walks in. Of course, you should choose a color that makes you feel happy and comfortable, and not just for the snazzy factor. You will need to tone down the colors of rest of the kitchen, as too much color can be overwhelming. For bold colors, choose a smooth and glossy finish.

Open and shut case

kitchen with both glasses
Most people prefer cabinets with a solid front to keep their contents hidden. However, you should consider mixing in some glass-fronted cabinets to add elegance to your kitchen as well as make it look bigger.

You can put your display-worthy items in glass-fronted cabinets and everything else behind closed doors. Add lighting inside your glass-fronted cabinets for dramatic effect, especially if you have some nice crystal glasses or dishware in there. Just make sure you keep them in pristine condition, both the glass and the contents.

In most cases, you can have glass fronts for wall cabinets and solid fronts for base cabinets. Alternatively, you can have sections of glass front and solid front wall cabinets, or intersperse open shelves with your closed cabinets. Open shelves are trending, and they are much easier to keep clean than glass-fronted cabinets.

Finish it off

kitchen cabinets with reclaimed wood look
Most kitchens have wood cabinets, and while classic, some styles do not always stand up to the test of time. You can update the look by choose less traditional finishes. For instance, choose a smooth veneer instead of a wood stain, especially for cabinets using MDF or wood with an unimpressive grain. You can also go for a distressed look, or milk paint. Some manufacturers offer cabinets using reclaimed wood for a rustic effect. If you are going for a modern look, mix it up with quartz countertops and glass shelving.

Conclusion

Kitchen cabinets can have a significant effect on your kitchen, so putting in new ones or upgrading existing ones are good ways to upgrade a kitchen on a budget. These tips can help you do that to maximum effect. However, you can get best results if you consult with a reliable remodeling company when planning your upgrade. 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 carrying out kitchen remodeling projects within budget and on time

We sell only top quality products for all your kitchen upgrade needs, ranging from top brand kitchen cabinets to natural and engineered stone slabs. We also supply 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 guarantees you will love you new kitchen for life. Contact us today to get a free quote for your kitchen upgrade project.

beautiful new kitchen

Basic Steps to Kitchen Remodeling

It is easy enough to say that kitchen remodeling is the best way to get the kitchen of your dreams. However, this is not an easy undertaking, and productive of quite a bit of stress. If you plan do any major work in your kitchen, you should know the basic steps to kitchen remodeling. This will help you prepare for what you are about to face, and take the necessary steps to make it go as smoothly as possible.

Kitchen design

3D kitchen design
The first thing you have to tackle for a major kitchen remodel is the design. You need to decide on what it will look like, how it will work, and where everything will go. Back in the day, you would need the services of an interior designer, which meant an extra expense. Today, you can choose remodeler such as Fairfax Kitchen and Bath that will offer you this service free of charge.

This will make it easy for you to decide on the best design for your lifestyle. In most cases, the remodeler will present you with a 3D design following tried and tested kitchen layouts that follow the kitchen work triangle. These include the one-wall, galley, L, double L, and U layouts. All you usually have to do is tweak the design to fit your preferences.

Building permits

image of building permit
Many homeowners are not aware that they will probably need to get building and other types of permits whenever they undertake any major changes in their homes. This means applying for permission from several agencies, from local building agencies to utility companies.
You can get around this inconvenience by employing a licensed and bonded remodeling company in your area. They will take care of all the required paperwork, and all you have to do is to pay for any fees.

Ad hoc kitchen

temporary kitchen in garage
One of the most stressful steps in kitchen remodeling is living without your kitchen for the duration of the build. This can take a few days to a few months, depending on the extent of the remodel. Your contractor or remodeling company will advise you the need for preparing an area to serve as a temporary kitchen in another room, such as the dining. If you’re lucky and have an outdoor kitchen, then you will not have too much of a problem. Otherwise, resign yourself to a lot of takeout, cooking on a portable stove, and disposables. You can save a bunch of money by cooking up a lot of food and freezing it to be reheated later, and angling for dinner invitations with friends and family.

Demolition

demolition work
When work begins on your remodel, expect a whole lot of dust and noise from the demolition. This is usually the first stage of the remodel after the workers relocate all your appliances to a safe place. You also have to do some prep work by clearing out and storing all your kitchen stuff.
Depending on your renovation plans, demolition might involve removing cabinets, breaking down countertops, and removing tiles, walls, and floors. It is dirty and noisy work, and might even be dangerous if you live in an older home, as the wall insulation might have used asbestos.
In most cases, your remodeling company will handle everything, including carting off and disposing of all the debris in a legal manner. Your part is to stay out of the way, so you might want to designate a safe zone for everybody and stock up on earplugs. Alternatively, you might want to arrange to be away from home during demolition.

Building out

build-out photo
After demolition, the next step is the structural build out, which is putting up the frames of your kitchen design. The extent of the framing will depend on the level of restructuring you have planned. If you plan to put in a new window, for instance, the build out is quite complicated. Once the build out is complete, you will have a good idea of what your new kitchen will look like.

Roughing in

people working in a skeleton kitchen
Roughing in starts right after the build out, and involve spouting in the ducts, vents, wiring, and plumbing. This stage of the remodel takes quite a while as different professionals work on it at the same time.

The time it will take to complete the rough in will depend on the extent of the restructuring. If you are rerouting pipes, for instance, this might mean breaking up concrete or drilling through walls, which can be a long business. Building codes might actually require you to install new lines for your plumbing and electrical wiring. You will need plumbing and electrical wiring rough in work done by licensed plumbers and electricians in these instances. This typically involves getting an inspector to sign off on the work before you can close it up.

Closing up

putting in dry wall
If all goes well with the rough in, the remodeling company can go ahead with the rest of the work. This includes putting in insulation before closing it up with drywall. The drywall will then have to be prepped with plaster to accept paint or other finish, which will not take too long unless the weather is wet, as this will keep the plaster from drying properly. In such cases, you contractor will probably use portable heaters to dry out the plaster faster.

Flooring

putting in floors
The next step in the process is the flooring if your plan requires changing your existing ones. Since demolition should have taken care of the old floors, all that needs to be done is cleaning the prepping the subfloor for the new floors, and typically takes between three and five days, depending on the area and the type of flooring.

Cabinets and counters

putting in counters
With the new floor in place, the cabinets and countertops can come in. Installation can take just a few hours if you have RTA cabinets as long as you have them on hand, and your remodeling company has already fabricated your kitchen countertops. If you choose the DIY route, this can take a few weeks and a lot of hassle. Do yourself a favor and have pros do the work. In either case, the cabinets have to go first, as it will support the sink and countertops.

Final touches

cleaning up
The last step in the remodeling process is cleaning up the work area before putting in fixtures and the appliances. Make sure you are on hand when this happens so you can ensure everything is in good condition and goes to where you want them.
Do not hesitate to ask questions or express any concerns you might have about the work. Your contractor has an obligation to follow the terms of your agreement. Inspect and test everything to ensure they work before you complete payment and sign off on the work.

Conclusion

Kitchen remodeling is no joke, so it is a good idea to have some background on what to expect during the process. It also helps a lot if you have a reliable remodeling contractor to handle the work for you. 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 are experts at kitchen remodeling, and sell only top quality products for all your renovation needs. We have top-brand kitchen cabinets of all type materials and natural and engineered stone slabs 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!

closeup of kitchen base cabinets

The Importance of Base Cabinets in Kitchen Remodeling

Deciding to put in new kitchen cabinets or replacing existing ones is a big decision. Kitchen cabinets tend to cost up to 50% of a kitchen remodeling or design budget, so choosing the right ones is obviously an important one.
However, most people tend to think of kitchen cabinets as a pair of wall and base cabinets, and not separately. While this is true for most kitchens, base cabinets can work quite well alone. Wall cabinets are primarily for storage, so open shelves can work in its place. Base cabinets, on the other hand, serve many more functions.

You will realize this best when In the middle of kitchen remodeling, and you have to choose between wall and base cabinets. Aside from providing storage, the availability of base cabinets also determine the layout of the kitchen as they provide support for the sink, kitchen countertops, and the space for other appliances such as your cooking range, dishwasher, and refrigerator.
Fortunately, even RTA kitchen cabinets come in many styles, sizes, and configurations. You will be able to find base cabinets for any type and size of kitchen, so you will not have to go through extraordinary lengths to accommodate them. Even if you did, you really need to do so, because the importance of based cabinets cannot be overstated. Here are some of their uses.

Provide storage

base cabinet with rollouts
Kitchen cabinets are primarily for storage, so no surprise base cabinets provide quite a bit of that. While most people use wall cabinets to store glasses, plates, and food, base cabinets can store a wider array of items. For one thing, drawers only go into base cabinets, so your cutlery and cooking tools go in there. You can also put in organizers such as rollouts to store everything else that the wall cabinets cannot accommodate, such as large pots and pans, baking sheets, and cleaning stuff.

Base for kitchen countertops

kitchen countertops
The term “base” cabinet rather than “floor” cabinet is used mainly because it provides a base for many things in the kitchen. Among these are the kitchen countertops, which cannot stand alone. They need substantial support as the countertops are quite heavy, and people work on them regularly. Technically, you can create build a table to support the countertops, but that would be less space efficient than using base cabinets, which can also provide storage and hide plumbing.

House sinks and range ovens

kitchen sink
The sink is an essential element in any kitchen, and base cabinets are peculiarly suitable for providing the housing for it. They provide a frame for it and a hiding place for the plumbing at the same time. Additionally, the base cabinets provide storage space for your cleaning products. You can also use base cabinets to allot a space for a standalone oven or house a wall oven if you have one.

Carry out a layout

kitchen floor plans
Since base cabinets go directly on the floor, they virtually carry out the kitchen layout you want for your new kitchen. It does not matter if you choose a one wall, galley, L, double L, or U layout. In any of these cases, your base cabinets will trace the outline of your layout.
This is the reason remodeling contractors position the base cabinets first. Precise placement of the base cabinets will dictate the smoothness of installing everything else, as base cabinets just a tad off from the layout will disrupt the placement of your appliances. If you have tall cabinets to serve as utility closets or pantries, you have to plan it carefully as well as these are going to affect your layout horizontally as well as vertically.

Create kitchen islands

kitchen islands
While kitchen islands might be in a category of its own, most are actually just a set of base cabinets arranged strategically and placed in the middle of the floor rather than against the wall. Some contractors might build a kitchen island if you ask them, especially if you need a full kitchen island with sink, but they are still base cabinets essentially. If you want to save some money, eschew custom kitchen islands and use two or more RTA base cabinets to build your island, and top it with a granite or marble countertop. You have an extension of your workspace as well as added storage. Put in an overhang and use the island as an eating area to make it even more space efficient.

Conclusion

The importance of base cabinets from a functional and esthetic perspective is significant, which makes including them in your kitchen remodeling design essential. You can install them on your own if you have some DIY experience, although that might turn out to be a bit more difficult than you think if your floors or walls are not perfectly level. It might be a better idea to simply have the pros do it for you.

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.

We offer free 3D design consultations, so you can be sure we will be able to address all your cabinet needs and concerns as well as any remodeling issues you may have. Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your new base cabinets and other remodeling projects. We guarantee you will love it for life!

freestanding cabinets

Back to the Future: Freestanding Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets today typically consist of fixed wall and base cabinets. These have finished fronts and sides, but any side that is not visible is often unfinished. This includes most of the sides, as the cabinets join end-to-end, leaving just one side on each end exposed. They also stand on their own legs, so they are seldom fixed to the floor.

Freestanding cabinets are different, as all sides, including the back, are finished. Popular during the 1950s, it has since made a comeback as more people are looking back to the past to improve their future. Here are some interesting things about freestanding cabinets.

A history of kitchen cabinets

prewar kitchen with freestanding cabinets
Prior to World War II, all kitchen cabinets were freestanding. People would make or buy freestanding cabinets and place them in different areas of the kitchen. The only fixed type of cabinet would be the one that held the sink, as the plumbing is not movable.

Wraparound metal cabinets became popular in the 1940 because the technology and materials were readily available due to wartime activities. This made it easy to produce postwar, much easier than making freestanding cabinets as these were made by hand and usually with wood. In other words, it was just more practical to make and buy this type of cabinets, so freestanding kitchen cabinets slowly and quietly faded from the picture.
By the 1950s, metal cabinets were no longer affordable, so homeowners began to choose mass-produced and affordable stock cabinets. They began to take more control over the design of their kitchens, and this meant readymade cabinets installed by contractors.

The old is now new

kitchen island
Freestanding cabinets were popular back in the day because it was convenient. When it was no longer so, new styles came into fashion. As kitchens became bigger, and homeowners more interested in everything retro, freestanding cabinets became more desirable.

In fact, freestanding cabinets are highly functional. Kitchen islands, for instance, are typically freestanding, and provide a lot of badly needed additional storage. Some homeowners even put kitchen islands to better use, putting in either the primary or secondary sink or cook top as well as additional workspace and eating area. Saving space and adding storage are always good ideas.

Don’t think that fixed cabinets are on their way out, however. Wall and base cabinets are still pretty much part of the modern kitchen, especially kitchens that do not have the space for freestanding cabinets on the perimeters. That said, freestanding cabinets still have its place, and cabinetmakers make it their business to have freestanding cabinets in various configurations available to clients. Since these are no longer handmade, they are much more affordable, and a definite choice many homeowners can make.

Freestanding cabinets do still tend to cost a bit more because the materials are ready for a show-ready finish on all sides. This is why many freestanding cabinets have solid wood on all sides, although laminated plywood and particleboard are also acceptable.
Should you choose freestanding cabinets for your kitchen? Consider the pros and cons.

Pros

Freestanding cabinets appeal to homeowners with an eye for the classic and traditional styles. However, the best thing about freestanding cabinets is most are moveable. With all sides finished, you can put them anywhere in the kitchen, or the house for that matter, and it will work. All you have to do is to choose countertops to match whatever room in which you plan to put them.

This also makes them much easier to install because it does not need to be. In most cases, you simply unpack them, and you can easily put several units together to form a whole in different considerations. You can even adjust the height of most freestanding cabinets by fiddling with the leg screws and using a level to make sure the top is straight. This is an obvious advantage if your floor is not completely true.
Cleaning freestanding cabinets is also much easier, even if they are a full-function island and fixed in place. You can go around them to clean each side, not missing any spot as you might with regular cabinets because they are stuck to the walls. The fact that they are usually on legs means you have a clear space underneath the cabinets, so you can clean it more thoroughly.

Cons

The real problem with freestanding cabinets today is that they tend to be a bit more expensive than regular base cabinets, and they are not available in the same range of designs and styles. That will probably change in the future as their popularity grows, but in the meantime, you have to work with what you have. You can choose to have them custom built, but that makes it even more expensive.
Freestanding cabinets also rest on the floor, although it can be base or tall cabinets. However, if you want wall cabinets, freestanding cabinets are not for you.

Conclusion

Quality might also be an issue, as some cabinetmakers produce poor quality cabinets. You have to make sure you get your cabinets, freestanding or otherwise, from a reputable supplier. 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!

well lighted kitchen

Types of Lighting for Kitchen Upgrades

Upgrading a kitchen instead of a full remodel is a less expensive way to improve the home and its market value if budget is an issue. A good way to do that is to replace kitchen countertops with granite, marble, or quartz, or replace kitchen cabinets, or both. It might also pay to add new lights, which can dramatically change the look and character of the kitchen.

Quite a few options are available when it comes to lighting fixtures. Here are a few types of lighting for kitchen upgrades you might want to consider.

Under cabinet lights

under cabinet lighting
An easy and clever way to light up your kitchen is with under cabinet lighting. Wall cabinets often cast a shadow directly beneath them, an strong central lighting only makes it worse.

Under cabinet lights provide illumination for the kitchen countertops, making this a practical choice for additional lighting. Additionally, you can choose what areas you need to illuminate, and may not even need to put on the central lights, helping you save some money on utilities. This is especially true if you use LED lights.

Aside from these practical considerations, under cabinet lighting can bring out the best features of your granite, marble, or quartz countertops and blacksplashes. In some instances, it can even give your kitchen a dramatic ambiance.

The great thing about under cabinet lights is that you do not need a professional to install it for you. You can do it yourself if you choose one of the various LED light types available for this purpose. Of course, you can include this in your design when doing an upgrade, and mist contractors will not charge you extra to install them.

LED lights come in strips, ropes, and bars that you can simply stick to the underside of your wall cabinets, and plug into a regular socket. These LED light types are readily available from hardware stores and home depots in any length you need.

Floor lights

floor lights
Floor lights can be a bit like under cabinet lights but attach to the toe kick of base cabinets rather than the underside of wall cabinets. These are very dramatic, providing you with illumination at night and during parties. You can use any of the LED variants described above to achieve this effect.

Another type of floor light is those you install in the floor itself. You can put them in different areas of the kitchen, not just under the base cabinets. However, this does require the services of a professional remodeler, so expect to pay a hefty price for this upgrade. You might get a break if you are doing a kitchen remodel that includes replacing the floors, so definitely include it in your design.

Recessed lights

recessed lights in kitchen ceiling
Recessed lights, as the term implies, go into some surface. It could be the ceiling, floor, or walls, but it is usually in the ceilings. The main purpose of recessed lights is to provide lighting without getting in the way. What you get is a sleek, uncluttered look to your ceiling. These are particularly useful in kitchens with low ceilings.

Some people call these can lights because the housing of some variants resembles a can. However, since this is mostly out of sight, recessed lights are a more obvious term.

In most cases, you will need a professional to install these types of lighting, as it requires creating holes on the surface. You will also have to arrange for a power source, so you probably need an electrician as well.
Take note that since most of the light fixture is inside a surface, the light can only shine directly down, rather than down and out like with non-recessed lights. You will need to put several of them together to give off enough light to work.

Side lights

side lights on wall
One type of recessed light are sidelights, which are precisely like those that go into ceilings, but they typically go into walls. Sidelights provide a narrow area of illumination directly beneath it, so you will need a series of these lights in one area to get a good amount of light. Aside from the kitchen, which gives it an attractive light-washed look, sidelights also work well in hallways.

Tray ceiling lights

tray ceiling lights
Tray ceiling lights are also hidden, but they are different from recessed lights. These light bars or strips go into a type of ledge in the ceiling called an open soffit, providing indirect lighting to a room. This is a common lighting type in hotel lobbies, paired with larger central lights such as chandeliers.

When used in the kitchen, you can choose to put in a soffit in the center of the room, or all around the sides. A central soffit works if you have an open layout, while a perimeter soffit is appropriate for a closed off kitchen.
Tray lights give a look of elegance and luxury to any room, including the kitchen. However, it should not cost you too much with a little strategy.

Obviously, you will need a professional to put in tray lights if your kitchen does not have an existing soffit, because you will need to create a space for the tray lights. The best time to do this is during a remodel. However, if you have an existing soffit, you can put in your own tray lights using LED strips or bars.

Conclusion

Different lighting types can have varying effects on the kitchen, but it is an easy way to upgrade your kitchen. If you need professional help to do this, make sure you consider Fairfax Kitchen Bath 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 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. We would be more than happy to advise and assist you in putting in better lights for your kitchen upgrade.

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

kitchen cabinets

A Comparison of Particleboard and Plywood Kitchen Cabinets

The importance of kitchen cabinets cannot be overstated, and neither is the amount of thought you need to put into choosing the right one for your kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets take up a lot of visual and physical space, so you can be sure they will have a big impact on the look and function of your kitchen. Aside from style and design, which takes up a lot of decision juice right there, you also must think about the base material.

Traditionally, kitchen cabinets are solid wood, and they are very durable. However, those are expensive, and all solid wood cabinets are typically for bespoke or custom cabinets. You will rarely find them in mass-produced products such as ready-to-assemble, stock, and semi-custom models. These may come with solid wood, but only for the cabinet doors and drawer fronts.

Generally, cabinet manufacturers turn out products where the cabinet boxes are plywood, particleboard, or a combination of the two. When deciding on the cabinets for your kitchen, you need to know which one works best for your needs. Here is a comparison of particleboard and plywood kitchen cabinets.

Particleboard

particle board cabinet
Particleboard, frequently called furniture board or pressboard, is a type of engineered wood meant to provide an alternative for solid wood. The composition of particleboard includes wood dust, shavings, chips mixed with polymer resin to bind them.

Manufacturers apply high pressure to the “press” them into a solid piece before putting it between two sheets of melamine and cutting them into standard 4-foot by 8-foot sheets. Melamine is a type of hard, durable plastic made from organic compounds that gives particleboard a smooth, paint-ready surface. Most melamine sheets are white, but they may also come in solid colors or mimic wood grain.

Once assembled, you can particleboard with a table, rotary, or hand saw into any shape and size you need to make furniture, hence the term furniture board. Cabinetmakers use it to make the shelves, frame, and box for cabinets as well as drawer boxes.

Modern particleboard is very durable and easy to use, but that was not always the case. When the product first came out in the 1960s, it was so flimsy that it fell apart very easily, especially when it got wet. This understandably led people to form a bad impression about particleboard and avoid it for their homes.

If you do decide to consider particleboard, you should know that manufacturers produce particleboard in several grades. Top brand cabinet brands use only furniture-grade board, which is dense and strong enough for use as furniture, including kitchen cabinets. The material allows a good grip on screws and does not typically contract or expand significantly with fluctuations in humidity and temperature. This is obviously an important characteristic for kitchen cabinets, where heat and humidity are a constant issue.

Plywood

plywood cabinet
Plywood is like particleboard in that it is a manmade wood product meant to replace solid wood in durable construction. However, the composition of plywood is slightly different. In place of loose wood detritus such as shavings and chips, plywood uses several pieces of very thin layers or plies of wood glued together in alternating orientations, and then cut into standard 4 by 8 feet boards.

Alternating the orientation of each ply makes the product stronger, although the number of plies is also a factor. Commercial ½-inch thick plywood, for example, could have between 9 and 13 plies, and a 9-ply piece would be less durable than a 13-ply one, all things being equal.
The best cabinet brands use only high-quality plywood to make the boxes and frames for the cabinets, and in some case use it for the doors as well. Plywood is generally stable, lighter than particleboard, and easier to cut and manipulate, which makes it a favorite with cabinetmakers. The only problem with plywood in relation to particleboard is that it is up to 20% more expensive.

You should understand this, because some cabinet brands stay competitive by using thinner plywood for their products. You need to check this to avoid ending up with an inferior set of cabinets. Cabinets using ½-inch plywood is fine, but if you paid for cabinets that should have 5/8 or ¾-inch thick plywood, you should get it.

Water damage is a real issue with plywood and particleboard, although particleboard absorbs water much more readily. Nevertheless, you want to make sure you protect cabinets made with either of these engineered woods from water exposure.

Conclusion

Overall, plywood tends to be a more durable material than particleboard, although the difference in price may offset that considerably. Plywood also mimics the look of solid wood more closely as it has a grain, so you can stain it. This is not possible with particleboard. On the other hand, you may not need a finish for particleboard because of the melamine cover.

If you have the budget for either material for kitchen cabinets, then your personal preference will decide the matter. What you do need to do in either option is to get kitchen cabinets from recognized brands (which also typically have the best warranties) from a reputable supplier.

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 can advise you on the type of kitchen cabinets you need for your remodel or upgrade, as well as other remodeling concerns.

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!