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Useful Vs Useless Counter-Tops

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

One of the most common items on homeowner’s wish lists is the desire for more counter-top space.  While no one wants exposed clutter out in the open for everyone to see, there is still a desperate need for more work space.  The trick here is in the “work space” not just more counter-top space.

There’s not much need for counters that we can not use as part of the kitchen.  If we have 40 square feet of counter located on the other side of the kitchen as the cook-top or sink area it quickly becomes a drop zone for the family.  We also affectionately refer to this area as the family “crap catcher”.  A bit crass but yet every family knows exactly what area in their kitchen this is referring to.  It’s OK, we all have one.

Our goal is to improve counter-top space WHERE YOU NEED IT MOST.  Check out the below examples:

There is quite a lot of counter-top in the above photo.  Unfortunately it’s not where you need it.  The sink has useful space flanking it but the cook-top was totally robbed of fulfilling it’s full potential.

Then there’s this classic arrangement above.  No counter-space, a wall (oven tower) built next to it, no chance for success.

It is our job as kitchen designers to make sure that we are getting you the quantity of counters you need but also the quality.  The kitchen must be laid out in a way that maximizes the square footage of the space but more importantly makes the most out of the square footage gained.

Granite vs Quartz products – In layman’s terms

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Have you heard that granite is no longer a viable counter-top option? Well it’s not true. There are many more choices now than ever before but that does not mean that granite is “out” or ever going out for that matter. Granite is still used primarily over quartz products due to the beauty and affordability but engineered quartz does bring strength and a distinct look as well.

There are pros and cons to all materials but let’s look at the main two that are being used:

Granite is a natural product from the earth. It’s been cooking up for a few million years. It’s beautiful and strong but does need to be sealed and can have fissures that occur from the “movement” in the stone. Those that are looking for a real statement may tend to like granite more because of the rivers and flows in the stone.

Quartz based products are about 97% real quartz, very strong and do not require regular sealing. There are some stunning options for colors but they can tend to get very expensive very fast. Quartz products are typically better for those that are very rough on their counter-tops or people who prefer less “crazy” that might be found in granite.

We like to use a sealer called Drytreat (www.drytreat.com) on granites and marbles. This is a 15 year sealer which levels the playing field for granite. All counters can stain but with the sealing taken out of the equation, granite becomes a better contender against quartz products.

While they both have their strengths and weaknesses it comes down to the look that you are going after. Personally, I like the “crazy” that natural stone offers but also like playing a natural stone off of a engineered stone for an awesome contrast.

Need More Countertop Space for Baking?

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

We love to bake and entertain at home during the holidays, but are always in need of more kitchen counter top space! Over the years we’ve learned a few tricks for creating a little more room:

Your kitchen table is perfect when baking – it’s a nice large surface and the lower height is just right for rolling out all of that cookie dough. For added counter top space when entertaining, a huge wood cutting board that is big enough to cover either your cook top or kitchen sink is an attractive way to gain more work surface! Just don’t turn on the faucet or the burners!