Picking a Contractor for Your Small Bathroom or Kitchen Remodeling Project

Finding the right contractor for your small bathroom or kitchen remodeling project is just as important as the materials you are using in the redesign, because whoever you choose will oversee the overhaul from start to finish. When you are not available, a contractor will be your stand-in for making decisions about the project. You want to be sure that you’ve chosen someone you trust to work on this important aspect of your home. Here are some tips for picking out the perfect business or individual to make the necessary refurbishments to your home.

Seek Referrals

Even in this emerging technological age, referrals are still the best and most direct way to find a qualified contractor to tackle your overhaul, no matter how much work you’re having done. Be sure to ask friends, family members, and neighbors who they have had good experiences with in the past. Also, inquire as to what made the experience with that contractor positive. Did the company or person finish the overhaul in a timely manner? Was their workmanship good and sound? Did they treat the homeowner with respect? This information is extremely helpful when vetting a potential company to do work in your home, even if it is just a small kitchen remodeling project.

Confirm Credentials

After you have received recommendations from friends and family, begin doing preliminary research, whether it’s calling the business’ phone number or visiting the company’s website. You need to find out whether they hold all necessary licenses with the state or local governments, as well as the appropriate certifications from professional associations, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the National Association of Homebuilders. It’s best to consider workers who have invested in courses or passed tests to earn a reputation with respected coalitions in their respective fields.

Meet with Potential Candidates

Cut down your list of applicants to a few and initiate meetings with these people. Try to keep the number of interviews to three or less, because more interviews can be difficult to keep track of. How a potential contractor answers your questions about the design is extremely important; listen not just to what they say but also to the manner in which they say it. Remember that communication goes both ways during these interviews. Be upfront about the specifications of your bathroom or kitchen remodeling project.

Follow-Up with References

Before allowing a business or individual to begin working on your project, ask to see examples of their related projects. Have they completed a design like yours before? If you think that they could do a good job, request endorsements and call former clients to verify their work. Ask the clients for their opinion of the whole enterprise. When you’re in the process of hiring a craftsperson, you are purchasing a service, not a finished product. The quality of service can dictate the quality of the finished goods.

If you keep these things in mind and follow the proper procedures in the hiring process, you can sign your contractor’s agreement with confidence. No matter the size of your bathroom or kitchen remodeling project, having a contractor that you can trust will make the entire endeavor smoother, easier, and less stressful for everyone involved.

Choosing a Backsplash With Your Granite or Marble Countertops

If you fell for a gorgeous slab, pair it with a backsplash material that will show it at its best.

You’ve chosen granite countertop for their beauty and durability. Are you still stumped about what to use for your backsplash? We have accumulated a few popular choices made by various designers, home-owners and builders.

Granite is tricky. There are so many different color and pattern choices. Some are very busy with wither movements or tones, while others are subtle. Some are dark, others are light. Some have large natural blotches (which some of us just love it for being “natural”) while others are dotty or splattered.

Each granite or marble slab is unique, so it’s impossible to make sweeping generalities about what will work with every color of granite. But if you look at why and how these pairings are pleasing and important, you’ll get some good ideas for a material to pair with the particular stone you’ve fallen for.

1) The same granite or marble, all the way up:

Full high backsplash are pretty common. Not only you get to see the beauty of the stone vertically (and match veining horizontally) to create a book match, it also makes it easier to clean and maintain. Just a regular swipe with soap water does the magic. When you are considering a full-high backsplash (as they call it) choose the part of the slab (whilst selecting) that you would like to highlight. It could be a particular section of colors or a dramatic mica or a pretty consistent movement. Think of it as an art painting on a kitchen wall.

2) The “standard” 4-inch backsplash in the same countertop:

This is usually called the “standard” as most fabricators provides these with the countertop to hide the gap between the countertop and the wall. This helps them complete the transition. If you prefer the white wall or just paint the wall to your color theme instead this is the way to go. You can always add glass mosaics or subway tiles later when you are ready.

3) Large rectangular tile:

Large subway tiles are in fashion now. 4×12, 4×16 even 6×12 or 6×24 planks. They make the room look larger. Coordinate these subway tiles and mosaics in travertine, porcelain and ceramic or even glass to create the kitchen backsplash that’s minimalist and warm.

4) Subway tiles:

The evergreen 3×6, 4×4 or 6×6 subway tiles comes in travertine, slate, glass, porcelain and ceramic and takes you back in time when they were first used in New York subway system. You could pick a color from your granite or marble countertop or the color which is dominant to choose the shade of your subway tile.

5) Glass tile:

The gloss finish of glass tile complements many granite and marble countertops. Consider a neutral tone that’s a close match for the main color field in the granite.

6) Interlocking mosaic tile:

It is a beautiful combination of glass and stone or glass and stainless steel mosaic tiles. Not only they are newer and modern they help you create or carry on the theme into another room. Match it with your living room fireplace or bar in the next room. The changes in tone in each of these handmade mosaic tiles are quiet and lovely. It’s easier to cut and install mosaics with meshed backing. The interlocking mosaics locks in place for the next piece for a smooth grout line finish.

7) Brick mosaic tile:

This one may seem counter-intuitive (no pun intended), but the 2×4 or 1×3, and other sized brick mosaic tile in are elegant mosaics which plays nicely with your color combination. It might seem like they would be two busy patterns, but the material and coloring of the backsplash is a calming counterpoint (pun intended).

8) Metal inserts and listello accents:

Plain subway tile might have been too plain here, but the dotting in the eclectic tile pattern plucked from the range mosaic adds a playful touch. Use chair rails and pencil liners to complete the project in style. Using metal inserts with natural stone backsplash such as travertine mosaics and marble tiles gives the look for richness. If you’re looking at a palette that has a lively travertine pattern but feels like simple white or cream blocks of tile then you should consider livening things up over the range. Creating a frame within the backsplash (behind cook-top) using chair rails or pencil moldings gets oomph effect.

9) Tumbled marble tile:

Tumbled subway tiles comes in marble, travertine and slate mosaics. The uneven edges creates that mid-century look on your backsplash. With wide grout lines they have no competition. When choosing your backsplash tiles, you’ll have a few places to pick up the right hues. Look to the range of colors in your countertop pattern to find the right darker tones. Look to your cabinet color as well. Tie the cabinets to the countertops with these tumbled subway tiles.

Now that you have seen some designers’ ideas, you can start to play with the colors, sizes, shapes, scales, materials, finishes and patterns of your backsplash-countertop combination until you get it right. Remember to pay attention to the colors and materials of the cabinets and walls too.

Using Copper in the Kitchen – Try These Fun Methods All Popular for 2016

There are a variety of ways to bring copper into the kitchen this year, and metal finishes are a great trend to jump on board with. From copper kitchen range hoods, to faucets, countertops and other elements check out some of the best ways to upgrade or build a kitchen and make it stand out from the rest.

Copper Kitchen Range Hoods

Add warmth to a kitchen with a copper kitchen range hood. They come in various shapes, styles, sizes and can be mounted to the wall, under the cabinet and over the island. Rather than simply a functional element, copper kitchen range hoods have become more of a centerpiece to the kitchen of 2016.

They can be made custom to fit the kitchen perfectly or ready-to-assemble and they can be easily mounted by any professional or do-it-yourselfer. Shop around for unique styles and have fun with this copper addition.

Copper Countertops

Choosing a copper countertop will certainly set a kitchen apart from any other. This soft and beautiful metal will age well and gain more character over time. Some choose to shine them, while others prefer to let them age. Copper will be less expensive than other options, and as a bonus it will kill bacteria better than most materials; it is also easy to clean.

Copper Fixtures

Copper kitchen fixtures are the perfect way to add metal elements to the décor. They’re great with a copper sink, which is great to have as copper repels bacteria. Copper faucet, soap dispenser, and drawer pulls are just a few ideas.

Often times, if one is having a copper kitchen range hoods custom built, they can also order a sink to match from the same manufacturer.

Copper Cookware

Invest in some copper cookware and hang it over the island or on a wall. It will add interest and make the kitchen look more professional. Copper is known as the best metallic conductor next to silver, and because the temperature spreads evenly throughout the pan there will be less a chance of burning.

Classy and timeless, copper cookware has long been used and sought after by chefs worldwide, so displaying it in the kitchen is always a good decision.

Copper Lighting

There is a wide variety of copper lighting on the market today. Adding this efficient and unique element to the kitchen is always a smart move. The lighting can hang over the island in a pendant style, over a table or be mounted on the wall. There are several options!

Copper Backsplashes

While the backsplash is a functional addition to a kitchen, it’s also an artistic element. A copper backsplash can simply be a sheet of copper mounted behind the cooktop, or it can be compromised of tiles that are spread behind the range, and all under the cabinetry for a beautiful look. There are no limits to the type of backsplashes available via home improvement stores and special suppliers.

Be Creative

The beauty of using copper for the various elements in a kitchen is that they don’t have to match perfectly, and they easily go with stainless steel to create a very unique look unlike any other. Decorators shouldn’t be afraid to mix copper items with other metal finishes as they can be brought together easily with soap dishes, spoon rests and other items that perhaps have both finishes upon them.

Mixing and matching coppers and other metals is a fun choice for the kitchen, but also looks great in bathrooms, bedrooms and a variety of other rooms within the home. One is only limited to their imagination when using copper and making the home more stylish than ever this year.

Do’s and Don’ts for Routine Care Of Your Kitchen Counters and Vanity Tops

Kitchen countertops and vanity tops are great ways to beautify your home, but if not properly cared can make it look messy. Many people consider them hardy and use everything available within arm’s reach and clean the surface, or don’t clean at all. The result, scoured surface, ugly marks of dried up liquids, or etching marks or acidic stains.

If only people knew small tricks involved in keeping the stone surfaces spic and span, they would not opt to buy a new countertop just to hide the nasty looking one. In this article you will come across inexpensive DIY maintenance tips that can save your natural stone from landing in a junkyard.

Sharp and heavy objects in racks

Natural stones vary in hardness ranging from soft ones such as soapstone and travertine to harder ones such as granite and quartz. Softer ones easily attract scratches, while harder ones resist to some extent. So be careful while placing sharp objects, or heavier and harder ones such as vessels on your kitchen surface. A better option would be to use boards to cut vegetables, coasters for placing vessels on countertops, and racks for utensils.

Keep away acidic juices

Acidic juices such as orange or grape are beneficial for your health not for your countertop. Keep it away or wipe away the spilled juice from the countertop surface immediately, as the longer it stays deeper the stain gets.

Periodic maintenance

If you do not want to spend huge money on countertop maintenance, but still want it to look great, using hot water and a soft cloth would just do the trick. This removes oil residues and dirt from the countertop, thus eliminating abrasive materials and also the chances of scratches.

Neutral cleaners

As countertop or vanity top fabrication involves using natural, engineered, or solid surfaces neutral cleaner are a safe bet. As stones such as limestone and travertine, marble, and granite are vulnerable to acidic solutions (in the decreasing order), avoid cleaning them using vinegar, lime juice, ammonia or any other strong cleaners. There are neutral cleaners which remove scars and stains, and do not etch. Remember not to clean mirrors on vanity tops using strong solutions as splashes or over sprays can affect the surface.

Clean soft rags over scrubbers

Most of the scrubbers and detergent powders have materials that can leave scratches on your vanity surface. Use a clean soft rag along with neutral cleaners to wipe clean the surface. Removing dirt using vacuum cleaner and then with hot water and neutral soap, before using scrubbers on stubborn buildups ensures scratch-free surface.

Sealing for shielding

Once your vanity top is clean, you can use penetrating sealers protect the surface and prevent stains getting deeper into it. Drop a little water on the stone countertop and see; if the water forms a wet mark on the stone, the vanity needs sealing.

Stainless steel or engineered surfaces such as quartz are an alternative to natural stone surfaces, which lacks pores and would not stain. Regular cleaning using hot water is enough to keep the surface safe from dirt. As strong solutions can stain your countertop, immediately cleaning the spilled surface helps avoid future troubles.