Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Benefits of Stainless Steel Kitchen Sinks


by: Jason Gluckman
Stainless steel has emerged as the most popular choice of materials for new sink installations because of its low cost, light weight, and almost unbreakable construction. Stainless steel sinks are made in many sizes and several thicknesses, measured in gauge.

The gauge of the stainless steel is the thickness of the stainless steel sink. The most common gauges are 18 and 20. The higher the number gauge, the thinner the steel. Eighteen is the most recommended gauge for sinks.

Stainless steel kitchen sinks are easy to clean and will stay looking newer for longer when cared for properly. You won’t have to worry about leaving lemons in the sink overnight or cranberry stains, but it can become dull and scratched. It is best to put a plastic or rubber mat in the sink to protect it from scratches. A mat will protect the shiny surface and keep it looking new longer.

When choosing a kitchen sink, there are many different decisions that need to be made. Even the simplest of sinks are available in different styles and colors. The first consideration is the size. Make sure that your sink fits. Most kitchen cabinets are standard 24" measurement front to back.

Sinks are made with various qualities of stainless steel. Light-gauge stainless steel is more vulnerable to denting and scratching.

Stainless steel is also available in a mirrored finish, which gives it a shinier appearance. In brushed-stainless finishes, which is the latest trend, scratches are less visible. Also popular are satin bowls with mirrored rims.

Kitchen sinks come in one bowl, two bowl, or three bowl models. The bowls can be deep or shallow. Single bowl sinks are basic, and their depth can vary from 10” to 12”. Two and three bowl sinks allow for multi-tasking. For example, you can rinse or store dishes in the large bowl, and use the small bowl for a garbage disposal or to rinse vegetables.

Stainless steel sinks are available in a variety of price ranges that depend on many factors such as the manufacturer's brand image, the size of the sink, the finish it comes in, and the features it boasts.

About the author:
Kitchen Sinks Info provides detailed information on stainless steel, copper, vintage, granite, corner, and acrylic kitchen sinks, faucets, and more. Kitchen Sinks Info is the sister site of Granite Counter Tops Web.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gain Extra Seating With Bar Stools


by: Kathryn Whittaker
Today’s kitchen can become a complete entertainment center thanks to a sleek kitchen and bar furniture, including a breakfast area with a stylist breakfast bar and bar stools. Many people remodel their kitchens to accommodate a small bar area where they can grab a bite to eat before work or entertain friends with cocktails at a dinner party.

The kitchen has become more than a place to cook due to new technologically advanced appliances and less traditional furniture. Space-saving appliances such as ovens and microwaves combined not only reduce cooking time but save a lot of space too.

With more space, smart homeowners have more space to accommodate an additional seating area to satisfy their entertaining style. It could be another table, a counter with stylish bar stools, or even a couple of lounge chairs.

If you decide to create a little bar area in your kitchen, you need to find the best location for it. Many people disassemble one wall and install a bar counter instead, or leave two pillars and a four-foot riser to be used as a counter. The bar area should not block the traffic in the kitchen. That’s why the best location for it is near the wall, or if that’s not possible, then on an island in the middle of the kitchen.

A bar counter in the middle of the kitchen requires some space around it for comfortable seating and allow the kitchen to function properly. Don’t fall prey for tricky salespeople who may try to sell you a counter with cabinets bigger than your kitchen can accommodate! The access corridor around the bar area should not be less than 3 ft wide.

Luckily, contemporary bar stools require much less space than their traditional counterparts usually seen in restaurants and pubs. Bar stools for home use are much lighter and more artistic in color and style. Since people spend less time at their home bar than behind a table, contemporary bar stools are usually backless or have a very low ergonomically designed back. The most popular ones are swivel, with sturdy legs. Contemporary bar stools can be made of aluminum, fiberglass, or metal.

There are many bar stool options available on the internet. Customers can choose specific heights, colors, wood color and type and seating fabrics for bar stools creating full custom sets. Customers can also choose from free samples of fabrics and other upholstery types, finishes and wood samples. This way, you can have a set of bar stools to perfectly match your current home style. There are web sites that allow you to send in your own fabric to be used as upholstery for the bar stool set.

A great finishing touch to your bar area is to install a radio or small TV in to watch while you cook, eat a quick meal or relax over drinks.

About the author:
Kathryn Whittaker writes articles on a number of different topics. For more information on Bar Stools please visit http://www.bar-stools-guide.com/and for additional Bar Stool articles please visit the following article page http://www.bar-stools-guide.com/barstools-articles/.

Tuscan Style Decorating For The Kitchen


by: Lee Dobbins
A Tuscan decorating theme can put some old world charm into your kitchen and make it a warm homey room to gather in. The Tuscan style incorporates warm earth tones along with natural materials and architectural accents to create a time worn look. Although the look is of a centuries old kitchen you can achieve it without having to buy priceless antiques.

Color

The colors mimic those of the Tuscan landscape – rich golds, earthtones and even tones from the sea mingle together for this look of old Italy. Buy some majolica pottery (either new or old) and use those colors to influence your wall and floor choices. Using natural materials like stone, slate, granite or terra cotta for your flooring and countertops will help complete the look. Try some faux painting on your walls to give it the look of antique plaster.

Lighting

Think old world in your lighting and stay away from new or modern styles. Some nice antique looking wrought iron lights will be right in style. It’s OK to also have recessed lighting for your task lights, but choose your pendant lights or chandeliers carefully. Stay away from anything too shiny and stick with muted metals.

Accessories

You can buy accessories like those you might find in a Tuscan kitchen brand new today, or you can scour the antique shops to get real antiques. Look for old pottery bowls and pitchers as well as painted or antiqued wooden bowls. Majolica makes a nice addition to a Tuscan style kitchen and you can buy whole sets of this pottery new today and use it for everyday use. Use lots of decorative jars of oils with peppers and ropes of garlic, peppers and grape vines. Antique look signs with a wine motif can add to the wall decor as can wallpaper murals in the form of Italian frescos and niches. Soften it up with lots of greenery.

Furniture

You want your furniture to have an old world look. Chunky wood tables with chippy or distressed paint go nice. A distressed wooden cupboard (perhaps with chicken wire doors) can give you some extra storage and add to the look if you have the space. Display your majolica or old world pottery behind the chicken wire to authenticate the look.

Decorating a Tuscan kitchen can be a lot of fun. You can get the look with brand new accessories, or if you enjoy collecting antiques, you can scour the flea markets and antique malls for those perfect pieces. Either way, you will be creating a kitchen with charm and character.

About the author:
Lee Dobbins is owner of http://www.a-kitchen-decorating-idea.comwhere you can find lots of ideas for decorating your kitchen. Find more decorating themes at http://www.a-kitchen-decorating-idea.com/kitchen-decorating-themes.html

Monday, November 2, 2009

Repair And Maintenance Of Kitchen Faucets


by: Guy Morris
The kitchen is the heart of many homes. This is the room where the family prepares and shares meals together. Because so much time is spent here, the fixtures and accessories need to be functional and fit with the style of the room. Kitchen faucets in the sink and kitchen islands are made with style in mind. With so many choices, you are sure to find the right fit for your home. Most people match the fixtures to style of kitchen cabinets.

Styles of Kitchen Faucets

The sink faucet use to be merely functional; the purpose was to deliver water to sinks for cooking or cleaning. Nobody really thought about what it looked like or if it matched the d├ęcor in the room. Those days are over. Kitchen fixtures are now available in a range of finishes and styles to match every home.

Some of the available finishes include:

+ Brass (natural is more popular than polished)
+ Weathered brass
+ Nickel
+ Bronze
+ Antique copper
+ Brushed nickel
+ Stainless steel
+ Porcelain
+ Chrome
+ Black

The brushed and weathered look is more popular than the shiny, polished finishes. The polished chrome faucet is most often used in contemporary style kitchens now. Elaborate Victorian designs are available for more formal looking kitchens. Their use as a design feature has resulted in fixtures being one of the most popular upgrades for people purchasing a new home.

If your home has boring fixtures that seem out of date or don't match your home, replacing them is easy and inexpensive. Just make it part of a small home improvement and decoration project. The price for replacements varies and the finish plays a role in the price. Chrome is the least expensive and most durable material used. Other materials can be quite a bit more expensive and require extra care. Visit your local plumbing or home improvement store to see the various styles available. A plumber can do the job for you in about fifteen minutes.

Installation Procedures

The new faucets are easier to install than older models. Most manufacturers include all connections and fittings needed to install the unit yourself. Complete installation instructions are included with the faucet. Look for complete kits that come with the flexible hoses needed to attach to your water supply. If these aren't included, you will need to purchase them separately. Don't be alarmed if you notice particles in the water when you finish installation. This is just particles trapped in the fixture from manufacturing and installation. They will rinse clear if you let the water run for a few minutes.

Kitchen Faucets: Repair and Maintenance

Repairing and maintenance is easier than ever before and can be done by a handy homeowner. Rubber rings can be easily replaced at home when needed. Before working on the sink, turn off the water and cover the drains. Properly cleaning and maintaining your faucet will extend the life and keep it in good working order.

Check the manufacturer's directions for cleaning the finish. Most can be cleaned with mild soap and water or window cleaner. Don't use harsh cleaning products, which can damage the finish. Polish matte finishes with a furniture polishes. Check the label to be sure the product you use is safe for the material of your fixtures.

Shower and Bathroom Fixtures

The combination of style and function found in kitchen fixtures has extended into the bathroom as well. There is a wide variety of choices available in shower faucets. You can choose the standard wall mount faucet or go for a removable head. Many can be adjusted to regulate the water flow according to your preference.

There are two basic choices in handles: pull out and individual knobs. Some people find one handle to be more convenient and easy to use. Two handles are more stylish and a variety of styles are available in the handles. You should choose according to the style of your sink or bathtub. Faucets can be matched for the tub and sink, if you choose.

About the author:
Guy Morris is a successful author and regular contributor to http://www.kitchen-cabinets-tips.comRobert is specializing in subjects like kitchen faucets http://www.kitchen-cabinets-tips.com/kitchen-faucets.htmland kitchen designs.

5 Ways To Decorate Your Kitchen On A Budget


by: Lee Dobbins
Getting a kitchen remake can be tough on your bank account, but there are some ways that you can give your kitchen a whole new look even if you are on a tight budget. These 5 decorating tips won’t break the bank but will have a lot of impact on the way your kitchen looks.

1.Spruce it up with paint.

Paint has the biggest bang for the buck when redecorating any room and especially for the kitchen. It’s fairly inexpensive and easy to use and can change the whole look of the room in a day! You can use paint to update worn out cabinets as well as adding a new look to your walls. If you are adventurous, you can even try some faux painting to give your walls the look of old world plaster or marble. Your local home improvement store probably gives lessons in this for free.

2.New hardware and knobs.

While this may cost you a bit more than paint, replacing your cabinet hardware and knobs can make a huge difference in the look of your kitchen. There’s tons of different styles and colors to choose from – everything from a 1930’s glass drawer pull to knobs styled like modern aluminum kitchen utensils. If you are planning on redecorating your kitchen, you might want to look at knobs first – you might find a style or color that gives you the inspiration for the whole room!

3. Put Up A Border

A wallpaper border is easy work and can make a drastic change without putting much or a dent in your kitchen decorating budget. Sometimes you can even find a pleasing pattern in the discontinued bin for little money. Just make sure there is enough to paper the area you want before you bring it home! If you don’t like any of the paper borders, find a stencil that you like and use that – the cost of paint for this will be minimal. A traditional place for a border is a the top of the wall next to the ceiling, but it can also look nice at chair rail height and also as a backsplash above your kitchen countertops.

4.Go For A Molding

Want a new cabinet look but new cabinets aren’t in your budget? You can buy moldings for the sides, top and doors of your cabinet that will enhance and change the look of any kitchen. You can even buy little bun feet to put on the edges to give your kitchen a country look. While these might cost a bit more than some of these other ideas it is well worth it for the dramatic change it has on your cabinets. Fancy rope trim, and fluted moldings can be glued on to your cabinets to give them a little pizzaz. Decorative crown moldings can be added to the top. If your doors are too plain, you can even buy moldings to add interest to the door panels.

5. Vinyl Tiles

If your floor is outdated, dirty and grungy then getting a new floor will make a huge difference in the look of your kitchen. You may not even notice how dingy the floor looks and may be reluctant to budget in any money for a floor but try to take a fresh look at it and really notice what it looks like. When I sold my house I thought my kitchen floor was a little old but just fine – my realtor took one look and convinced me that a new floor would help me get more for the house. I put a new floor in and couldn’t believe the difference! You can install vinyl tiles yourself for as little as 50 cents a square foot, of course the more you pay the better quality floor you will get and the longer it will last so a mid range price of $3.00 a square foot is probably more realistic.


About the author:
Lee Dobbins is the owner and editor of A Kitchen Decorating Idea Guide where you can get ideas for dozens of kitchen decorating themes for every budget.