The Sober Kitchen

DIY tips and advice around the kitchen

Countertops on a Budget

budget countertopsIf you are wanting to remodel your kitchen but don’t have the budget for expensive counter tops such as marble or granite counter tops, you need to consider Laminate Counter tops. Laminate counter tops are a cost effective, attractive, counter top solution to your remodel needs. Laminate counter tops are not the cheap vinyl counter tops of the past; they are now a sleek, durable, cost effective material that is very easy to maintain.

There are many design possibilities now available when it comes to laminate materials, they come in many colors and textures that will appeal to any home owner. They even are available in stone imitations that will impress all your friends. Laminate counter tops are growing in their popularity mostly because of their cost to durability ratio. They are easy to maintain and if you preserve them well they can last you well over 20 years. Some suppliers of laminate counters even offer upwards of 40 year guarantees on the product.

The counter tops are constructed from a plywood base or particleboard that extends across the top of  a cabinet. This plywood is then covered with the decorative laminate formica sheets using a specific adhesive, and then sealed. For a wide selection of formica and other laminates to choose from, home depot is a great place to start. You can hire a professional to install the counter tops or if you are adventurous or savey with a circular saw you can tackle the project yourself. Hiring a professional will probably run you about $30 per linear foot. If you plan on doing the job yourself you can easily save yourself a couple hundred dollars in labor alone.

The key to preserving  your new investment is maintenance. You will need to watch for scratches and never cut or lay hot items directly onto the laminate counter top surface. Laminate will show scratches and scuffs on high glossy finishes will show these scuffs more then a matte finish where those scratches will show as part of the design of the laminate. If you encounter rough scratches or the scuffs are unbearable, you can repair and resurface the laminate for fraction of the cost to replace.

Cracks and burns are repaired with a specialized filler and sanded to fill in any rough damaged areas, then sprayed with a topcoat that gives the appearance of a brand new counter top. This process takes four to five hours and your kitchen will be ready to use the very next day.  So if you are interested in installing laminate counter tops in your kitchen or bath, talk to a counter top installer today and enjoy the benefits and longevity of your laminate counter tops for years to come.

Choosing a Refrigerator To Furnish a Rental Home

Refrigeration can be said to be among the greatest achievements as far as engineering in the 20th century is concerned. It is very convenient as it removes heat a from a space that is enclosed. Refrigeration is mostly used for preservation of all kinds of food; meat, groceries etc. this way refrigeration has made people’s lives much easier thus a happier population as it also makes it easy for people to save money when it keeps food fresher for longer.

Home owners who want to rent out a house may debate over whether to include a refrigerator in the house for the tenant. This may be good for you as the home owner but there may be some disadvantages as well. The advantages may be that house that has a refrigerator may be very attractive to potential tenants thus the home owner may not have to wait for so long before a tenant moves into the house. As compared to a home that is not finished with a refrigerator, the house finished with one will fetch the home owner a good amount because the price of the refrigerator will be included in the rent. Some home owners may also argue that it is better to deal with repairs of a refrigerator than to deal with repairing the kitchen once something is broken as a tenant is moving the refrigerator either in or out of the kitchen. Before you purchase just any fridge, it is important to do your research. For a list of Maytag Refrigerator Reviews visit one of the many review sites available such as refrigeratorgeek.com where you can compare brands, prices, options, colors and much more.

There are disadvantages of furnishing a rental home with a refrigerator. There are tenants that are not so careful when taking care of refrigerators they have found already installed so they may end up damaging it and there may be a tussle as you are trying to get compensation once the term is over. You may also feel bothered when the refrigerator breaks down and the tenant always calls you for even for the tiniest malfunctions the refrigerator may have all in the name of wanting to get the worth of the money they pay for renting the home . At the time when the refrigerator was not working properly, you may have to compensate the tenant for the food that was in the fridge and may have gone bad. At times the refrigerator may be broken down such that it is not possible to repair. This may mean an extra cost which you may not have planned for. If the tenant decides to repair or replace a refrigerator they found in the rental house themselves then you will get a lesser amount.

You should evaluate the advantages and disadvantages so as to determine whether you should furnish a rental home with a refrigerator.

Laminate Countertops not for you? Try one of these popular Countertops

Corian Countertops

Corian countertops are chosen over any other countertops in homes, real estate projects, and condominiums. These countertops do not only have the best quality but less maintenance is required to maintain its beauty. What makes corian countertop different is that it does not get stained easily because of its non-porous characteristic. When this kind of countertop is properly cleaned, it will prevent the growth of molds and bacteria. Corian countertops are not only stain resistant but also scratch and heat resistant too. Corian counter comes in different shapes and curves. What makes it popular is its seamless look that adds up to the elegance.

With corian, a person does not need to worry about sealing. Sealing is done to prevent any stains and add shine to the countertop. Corian does not need it since it is a stain and heat resistant countertop.

When one is thinking to change or upgrade his or her own kitchen, always put the countertop on the top of your list. Like appliances and other things, having a poor quality of countertop will destroy your kitchen. If a person is out to the mall and looking for a Corian pricing, expect that these countertops cost a lot. To reduce the amount of expenses, a person can save thousands of dollars if the installing is down by the person himself. There are easy to do kits available that will give an individual an idea on how to install the countertop. So, in looking for the best corian countertop, what are the things that we need to consider?

First, ask if the company creating these countertops offer customization. This will ensure that the counter needed to be made will fit in with the measurement and shape of the kitchen. There should be an extra one and a half inch on the front edge. Also check out for the selection and prices. Companies should offer a wide variety of colors and textures to choose from and samples should be given at a minimal price. Samples are important since this will help a person decide on what would be the final look of the countertop.  Next, ensure that the company can communicate well with its buyers. To make sure that everything is right, send a drawing of your layout and the dimensions to the company. The company will then respond by also sending to you the list of materials, colors, styles and textures available where the buyer can choose from. The company should also be open in answering any questions or clarifications from the buyers. Warranty is the important thing to consider. A person should choose a warranty of ten years.

Cleaning the countertop is important. Use warm water and mild detergent in cleaning the countertop day to day. Wipe the surfaces using sponge and water and let it dry after to prevent spots and marks to occur. Use baking soda and spray it on the surface. Rub it with a damp sponge and let it sit in for ten minutes. Do not cut anything or put any hot items on it.

Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are a beautiful, durable and cost effective option for the kitchen. Granite comes from a Latin word which is “granum” which means “grain. Granite is an eye catching and natural stone that will add style to your kitchen. Having a granite countertop will prevent an individual from worrying too much on cracks and scratches. These granite countertops existed for more than ten years. And this kind of countertop has been used by a lot of homeowners. With granite, a person is given a lot of color options to choose from like white, red, green, blue and black. But the widely used colors are more on the earth tones like brown. Kitchen granite countertops are very resistant to hot items, stains and even oils and grease. Cleaning granite countertops is very easy to do and the polish of the countertop will not wear off. What makes kitchen granite countertops unique? It is because no two pieces of granite are the same.

Granite can give a very appealing design and will definitely add richness to your own kitchen. Be amazed on how these countertops create luster and class to the kitchen. Its natural beauty will certainly stand out. Granite changes its appearance when sunlight strikes on it. Granite is also a sanitary material that will not harbor bacteria and can be fixed easily once it is damaged. Granite countertops will last for a lifetime. Having a granite kitchen countertop will add value to your home especially when a person is planning to sell it. Today, there has been an increase demand for homes with granite countertops. Though this may be expensive but this keeps the value of the home better. Surely that your investment for the countertop will go back to you in three or four folds.

So if a person has plans of getting granite countertops, first thing to do is to choose for the right color. Granite comes in different colors that will go well with a person’s kitchen design. If you are thinking to replace your old countertop with granite, first thing to do is to measure the granite. In renovating your kitchen, do not forget to include granite as one of your options since it will provide a different addition to your home.

Homeowners having granite countertops should remember the three main rules of granite care. First is to wipe any spills right away. Tough granite is resistant to stains, a person should always put in mind that granite can absorb the spills especially if they are left there for a while. So when a person loves cooking and baking don’t let the spill remain. Clean it up right away. Next rule is to use mild cleaning solutions. Wiping your countertops using cleaning solutions by mixing detergent with water will work well. Use a soft cloth in wiping off spills, grease and other residues. Avoid using bleach, lemon juice, ammonia and vinegar because these products contain a very high acid content that can damage the granite. Using a stone cleaner and sealer is also recommended at least once a week.  These tips will really help in keeping a person’s kitchen beautiful.

Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are now becoming popular in every kitchen all over the world. This is because concrete has proven itself as a different kind of countertop. With concrete, there are no boundaries or restrictions as to the design, color and shape of the countertop making it flexible and all around compared to the other types of countertops. The appearance of the concrete countertops is influenced by a lot of factors link the aggregate, kind of binder used, sealers and imprints. Aggregates can be coarse or fine and both of these can affect the look of the countertop with added finer particles. Sand on white cement can creates a hue effect. Pigments can also change the color. Buyers also love to choose those countertops with imprinted designs that can create a personalized effect. Sealers also change the appearance of the counter. So what are the advantages of a concrete countertop?

First is the appearance. The look of the material is subjective. Some materials used can create a better design. Second is that this countertop is stain-resistant. Some stain resistant countertops include concrete and stainless steel. Laminated countertops can be stained easily. Concrete is also heat resistant. Heat resistant materials are ceramic, concrete and granite but to avoid any damage to occur it is better to avoid placing any hot items on the countertop. Solid surfaces may be susceptible to scratches but it can be removed without any difficulties. Another advantage is that this countertop is very easy to install. These countertops also go in a wide range of colors. Concrete countertops can be custom tinted based on what a person’s preference is. Lastly, this countertop needs no high maintenance. It doesn’t even need any sealing. This can be cleaned using a soft cleanser and cloth. In choosing a concrete countertop, it is important to always consider the homeowners preference and lifestyle.

How can one take good care of the concrete countertop? First, avoid dropping of any objects on it. Concrete may be durable but damage can still happen especially when proper care is not done. Hard hits and drops can cause cracking of the countertop that can lead to problems. Second, avoid playing with knives Concrete may not be scratched by cutting into it directly but the sealer used to protect the countertop might be damaged. When cutting some foods, always use a cutting board. Second, avoid placing any hot items on the countertop. Yes, concrete is heat resistant but the sealer may be damaged.

Third is to clean stains right away. Concrete may not get stained but the sealer can. Avoid any discoloration by cleaning up any spills immediately using a soft cloth. Cleaning the countertop can be done by using soapy warm water and a clean cloth. Avoid using harsh items that can damage the countertop. Find a cleaning solution that has a neutral pH to protect the sealer. Bleach or ammonia should not be used to prevent damage to the sealer. Concrete countertops are definitely amazing and pleasing to the eye.