Basic Top Knowledge

Quartz Worktops

Quartz worktops might sound like a perfect solution for most people. Hence it might be a good idea to start knowing the reasons behind quartz success in the worktops world.

Let’s start by summing up all the positives including appearance, price, heat resistance, stain resistance and clean up. Quartz comes in a wide range of colors giving loads of options to choose from. The colour variety also enables one to pick the worktop that perfectly suits the design of the room intended for the redecoration project. Dollar signs are probably coming up right now. There is a good reason for the price difference between quartz and granite for example. Although both resemble each other, quartz has a neater and more systematic look.  Quartz ends up giving a symmetric look, no matter how big or small the cut required is.

In addition, quartz worktops are both heat and scratch resistant. Providing less burdens with maintenance procedures. No worries if a guest drops a glass of juice or a plate on your new quartz worktop. Not a single scratch can occur, making it a stress free environment. Quartz and Granite Worktops Lincoln and their other depots in Granite Worktops Harrogate and Granite Worktops Cheshire will probably let your kids be kids since no matter how hard they try their heavy tools and fingertips, scratches are not in the book. Luckily, quartz worktops are very easy to clean since they are stain resistant. Easy cleanup is the cherry on top a fantastic worktop.

Granite Worktops

Even though granite is usually mixed up with quartz, there is still a big difference between both worktops that deserves noting down before you decide. First of all, granite is a 100% natural stone. That is, when your kitchen has a granite worktop, it means you have a piece of nature possessing that special corner, or better say, making that corner, special. Furthermore, granite does possess the same heat resistance, scratch resistance and hygienic surface as quartz. Yet, you will definitely spend less time and effort choosing the right granite color to fit your home because, unlike quartz, granite color collection is limited. Nevertheless, granite only needs a soapy cloth to clean. No more hours and hours waste for cleaning up. Long cleaning up processes can indeed strip a lot of valuable time which, instead, could be spent enjoying the whole vibe of the room. Granite tops still can give you that sparkling appearance whatever color you choose. Yet, do not let that shiny surface deceive you. Since one of the main cons to granite surfaces is the presence of seams which are visible mainly in bright granite colors more than dark ones.

However, granite still gives you the hardness and elegancy of quartz with less price and affordable budget. Moreover, if you choose the right color, shape (to get a seamless slab) and stonemason, you can get a faultless granite masterpiece.

 

Comparing Sinks and Styles

A side-spray faucet includes a sprayer that is separate from the main faucet and is usually a less costly option for those on a budget especially alongside your Granite Worktops. Higher-end faucet lines, however, feature elegant pistols that match the faucet and other sink accessories like soap dispensers in order to achieve a more stylish look. Although perhaps a little more traditional, some customers still prefer the dual handled faucet style because they like being able to control temperature from separate handles. Dual handled faucets also provide a classic look. A popular dual handle look is the “bridge style faucet” where decorative pipe risers are seen above the sink or counter, and connect to the spout rather than being kept out of sight below the sink.

Kitchen faucets have come a long way in terms of technology in recent years. Motion activated faucets don’t require any touch at all to operate. This is particularly useful when you have messy hands and don’t want to transfer the gunk from your hands to the faucet. Touchless faucets also help us do a better job of saving water by turning off automatically when it’s no longer in use. If you are a little uncertain about this type of new technology, you will still have a manual control that gives you the ability to override the motion option.

Although perhaps a little more traditional, some customers still prefer the dual handled faucet style because they like being able to control temperature from separate handles. Dual handled faucets also provide a classic look. A popular dual handle look is the “bridge style faucet” where decorative pipe risers are seen above the sink or counter, and connect to the spout rather than being kept out of sight below the sink.

Pull down faucets are a very popular and distinct high-arc style that can make any kitchen look majestic – especially if you are going for a professional kitchen design. If you have a big kitchen sink, this style faucet may be a more appropriate size. However, be careful of conflicting height restrictions if you have cabinets above your sink.

 

What fully integrated appliances should you work into your worktops?

Choosing your appliances can be quite confusing during the hustle and bustle of a kitchen makeover. From built-in to integrated appliances, there are several different appliance styles for you to choose from. But when it comes to fully integrated appliances, which appliances should you have in your kitchen? Let’s take a look at what fully integrated appliances are and which ones should be included in your kitchen makeover.

WHAT ARE FULLY INTEGRATED APPLIANCES?

Fully integrated appliances work like a normal appliance but are styled to blend into your kitchen cabinet designs. This is one of the main differences between an overlay and a fully integrated refrigerator. Fully integrated units are completely camouflaged into your Granite Worktops Lincoln when they are installed. There will not be any visible hinges or compressor vents to give your appliances away. When they are closed, these appliances look identical to the kitchen cabinets. These appliances are one of the top choices for kitchen designers because they do not take away from the design and adds more versatility to the space.

WHAT APPLIANCES SHOULD BE FULLY INTEGRATED IN YOUR KITCHEN?

There are a lot of options for you to choose from when selecting your appliances for your kitchen remodel. During this process, it is important for you to think about your space as well as which appliances you would like it your kitchen. Many homeowners choose to integrate their refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven while leaving their stove top unintegrated into its surroundings. Another option for your kitchen remodel is to integrate the refrigerator and dishwasher while having your oven and microwave as built-ins, which will stand out from your cabinets for a modern design. Choosing what appliances should be fully integrated into your kitchen should be something you should discuss with your designer.

 

Ways to add a your touch to your Kitchen.

Working with a designer is a partnership, where the kitchen specialist can help you realize your requirements in a beautiful, well-functioning space.  You will ultimately live, work, and socialize in your new kitchen, so use the design process to make this space your own.  There are many ways to add your personality to a kitchen renovation so the end product is more than the sum of its parts.

Here are a few to get you started:

Open display shelving ideas

 or glass front kitchen Granite Worktops Barnsley cabinets like those below can be incorporated throughout your design or in one area only, such as upper cabinets or in the kitchen island.  Not only do they break up the appearance of standard cabinets they also offer an opportunity to display personal items such as your grandmother’s china or pottery you brought back from the trip of a lifetime.

A feature colors

offers a chance to include a favorite color in an otherwise relatively neutral landscape.  White and grey are still the most popular colors for kitchens – for a good reason.  A kitchen investment should last, so hard to replace items are typically neutral shades not likely to go out of style.  Incorporate a feature color in something that can be replaced such as paint color or cushions for island barstools.

Custom tiles

 can be incorporated in a number of ways, like including a feature with a special color or pattern.  Incorporate a personal item into the tile design like the wine corks pictured below left, or use a bold tile that portrays your style like the southwestern backsplash below right.

Mix and match countertops

materials or colors to highlight a favorite material in one section such as the wood countertop sections shown below.  You could also allow space for a personal interest such as a piece of marble countertop reserved for pastry if you are an avid baker.

Hardware

is available in many materials, finishes, and styles, which can make selecting the perfect one a difficult task.  Work with an experienced kitchen design specialist to navigate product ranges and find the perfect ones to bring out your personality.  Hardware is more easily changed over time than cabinets, so this is an excellent way to add a unique flair to your design.

Cozy seating

can be a window seat or even a comfy chair that creates a space for relaxation all your own, like those pictured below.  Including a comfortable seat in the kitchen offers a place sit and read, search for recipes, or just take a pause in your busy day.

 

Position is Everything, Where do I put my appliances?

The kitchen layout is the main starting point for any kitchen remodeling project.  You must get this piece of the design puzzle right first.  Understand your space, who will be using the kitchen and for what purposes, and design a layout that promotes an easy workflow through the kitchen.

While today’s kitchen serves many purposes, the heart of the kitchen is still food – storage, cooking, and eating.  A key part of your layout is careful positioning of appliances to meet these needs. This could include a primary refrigerator, beverage refrigerator, dishwashers, oven, range, microwave, and more.  Consider where they are placed, their proximity to each other, ease of access to them, and their size.

 

Think about your work areas and practicality.

The kitchen layout is typically based on work zones that allow particular activities to take place simultaneously, possibly with multiple people at once, without tripping over each other.  This may include food preparation, clean up, dining and entertaining, and possible a study zone or pet area.

The sink, main refrigerator, and stove should be in close proximity to each other.  You require a minimum of 4 feet between each point to easily maneuver, and equally not more than 9 feet.  This allows easy access to get food from the refrigerator to a preparation point, and then into the oven.  A dishwasher is typically located near the sink.  In a large kitchen design, you may have a second clean up sink and put the dishwasher in this area, perhaps in the kitchen island.

Consider the flow of traffic and how many people are in there at once.

Workflow is critical to smooth functioning of the kitchen.  You need to have a clear path from one area to next when cooking or cleaning up, without worrying about tripping over people or obstacles.  Make sure you can easily move between refrigerator and food preparation areas, then to the oven and range, and finally to a clean-up area that includes the dishwasher.  Consider putting a Granite Worktops St Albans secondary beverage or snack refrigerator in a separate area so guests or kids can access food and drink without interfering with the cooking.

What do you need, or more importantly, what don’t you need.

You may love the idea of a massive refrigerator or a large, professional oven, but do you really need it?  If you do not cook enough or have a large family to feed, these large appliances become nothing more than decorations that take up space.  Consider how your family and home function, how much space you have, and choose appliances to fit your kitchen design requirements.

 

8 Steps to Granite Success

Set a Budget and be clever with it

Set a budget, and then plan on spending 80% of it: That 20% you held back from your budget can be used to cover any unforeseen circumstances which inevitably pop up such as small changes or unperceived problems.

Over time you acquire quite a lot of stuff in your kitchen and you do not want to clutter worktop space with these items.

Get involved in the design process, since it is yours!

Enjoy designing your kitchen: Its the most used room in the house, the heart of your home. Get everyone involved with the planning. Make it a family affair and youll get through it with a lot less stress.

CAUTION: Dont make the mistake of agreeing with a kitchen design just to please the salesman.

Your new kitchen should reflect your taste, not the designers. Work with the designer to achieve the practical, tasteful space that fits your needs and lifestyle. Ask for virtual drawings and stay involved throughout the design process.

As with anything, plan in advance

Plan your kitchen as early as possible, particularly if you are having an extension.

CAUTION: Avoid using a kitchen company who wont design a kitchen until the walls are in place.

A kitchen design and quotation can be worked on from your architects drawings and a check measure carried out when the walls are up.

The Circle Of Life… The Triangle Of Kitchens

The Working Triangle: Kitchen layouts are based on a concept called the Work Triangle. This means that for the most efficient use of space in your granite worktops york, the oven, sink and fridge should form a working triangle, ideally no more than 2.5m apart.

CAUTION: You dont want your new kitchen to look cramped.

Try not to crowd tall units and wall units too close to windows and doors. That makes the kitchen feel smaller.

Quotes

Make sure the company you choose give you a quotation describing the work, the specific products to be used, costs and starting and completion dates -plus the terms of payment. Get detailed drawings of the project to ensure that you, the designer and the contractor are envisioning the same kitchen.

CAUTION: Dont rush!

With so much to consider when buying a new kitchen, you have to take your time and look at all the options.

Ovens, Washing machines, sinks, fridges

Buy Rated Appliances: Ovens, refrigerators and dishwashers can be very expensive to run. Using Rated appliances will reduce your annual energy bills and is better for the environment

CAUTION: Dont include items which are too hard to replace or repair:

Avoid specialised items so that repairs and replacements dont turn into logistical nightmares. All joinery, electrical, plumbing and gas work should be repairable with the minimum of fuss.

Great Materials

Invest in well-built cabinets and drawer mechanisms since they get the most use. Make sure all cabinets are manufactured from 18mm board and are supplied with solid backs as standard. Good hinges such as Blum are also very important.

CAUTION: If possible avoid buying cheap worktops:

As the worktops cover such a vast area of your kitchen, a cheap laminate worktop can make even the most expensive doors look cheap, but good quality worktops can make budget cabinets look premium priced.

Qualified and Trustworthy Professionals

The most important ingredient in a successful kitchen project is selecting the right people to work on the job. Any gas work carried out should be done and certificated by a qualified gas safe installer and any electrics should be carried out by a certificated Part P qualified electrician. The installer should be an expert in joinery kitchen installations.

 

Colour. Can It Help When Choosing a Worktop?

When selecting a quartz, marble or granite worktop it’s often just one element in an over design scheme to consider. Selecting the correct colour combination can be a daunting prospect when you care so much about getting it right, especially as stone worktops are at the premium price end of the kitchen worktop range.

The worktop may simply be for an existing kitchen with set colour scheme. Or it could be a complete redesign which is a blank canvas to create a totally new look. Making a decision on design and layout can be difficult, but there are colour design theories which can be applied to help choose the right Granite Worktops Lincoln colour.

Designers use a Colour Wheel to illustrate the colour’s of the visible spectrum. It’s a simplified model, however using the colour wheel can take some of the mystery out of selecting a colour scheme for your kitchen or home.

Complementary Theory

When you see a colour wheel, these are colours in opposite positions on it. Opposing colours are said to be complementary colours, because they work well together. Red and green are opposite each other on the wheel, so they are complementary colours. Orange and blue also are at opposite points. In using them, you’ll have an instant complementary colour scheme.

Monochromatic Theory

This is the tone-on-tone, colour scheme. A monochromatic colour scheme takes a single colour, or hue, and runs through several of its tints, tones and shades. Using different shades of the same colour can have a comforting effect on the home. Paint manufacturers set up paint chips as monochromatic colour schemes. An easy way to add interest to a room is to select several colours from the same chip card.

Analogous Theory

When you select a series of colours that sit next to one another on the colour wheel, the resulting colour scheme is said to be analogous. Yellow-orange, orange and red-orange are a simple, analogous colour scheme that makes a statement that exceeds the sum of its parts. Yellow, yellow-green and green make up another analogous color scheme. Analogous color schemes tend to bring with them an instant sense of classical balance.

Selecting granite worktops which have variations in colour within the material, can sometimes makes it harder to match if you are looking for a specific colour. However, engineered quartz worktops are available in literally hundreds of colours, so are perfect for the modern kitchen designs.

It’s important not to get too hung up on the letter of these design rules; it’s better to think of them as guidelines. Good design starts with the basics like the color wheel, then plays around from there. At Cheshire Granite Worktops we always consider your kitchen design scheme when helping you to select the right colour and style for your new worktop.

 

What To Expect. The Proper Procedure

As a customer what can you expect from your initial enquiry through to the final fitting? Here’s a very brief outline of the process.

1. Quotes

Mistakes made here can impact on the final cost as important elements maybe missed off, or worse not enough material is included in the quote for the worktop requirements. This is where we make any final amends before the job is confirmed and Invoices issued.

The way we quote is important to us as it gives the customer a full scope of the job we are proposing to do. Quotes should be clear, precise, and easy to read with the kitchen worktop plan layed out in the quote, mirroring your kitchen plan.

2. Payments

Once a job is confirmed, we ask for a 50% deposit payment 7 days before the agreed templating date. Invoices are then updated and emailed to show receipt of monies. Once the worktops are fitted and the customer has inspected and signed the work off, we then take the balance payment.

3. Installation

Once we’ve fabricated the granite worktops lincoln, they are always fitted within 5 working days, unless the customer has requested a delay in the fitting. We pride ourselves on our fast turn around times, usually within 3-4 working days, but always delivered to an exceptional standard as our many customer testimonials will evidence.

And The Template

This is a key stage in the whole process. We book the template date inline with when your kitchen is being installed, arranging a date where possible as close to your kitchen fitting.

If a customer changes a template date due to other factors, where possible we will accomodate the new date. We understand things can go wrong and are always understanding when they do, which is quite often!

 

 

Kitchen worktops come in all shapes

Kitchens and the worktops that adorn them come in all shapes and sizes, with just as many different styles and designs to choose from. That’s why it’s important to know what the options are from the outset when planning your kitchen design, as mistakes can be costly!

Here are just a few ideas to inspire you when finalising your kitchen design and layout, whether in Granite, Quartz or even Marble.

The Island Unit
Of course you can only use an Island Unit if your kitchen has the required space of one metre clearance all the way round your Granite Worktops Lincoln. So if you can accommodate an Island Unit then you have the potential to make a major statement. An Island Unit can incorporate a hob, sink or simply be an eating area. Depending upon how creative you want to be a stylish worktop overhang can be used at one end giving you a breakfast bar area for casual or even formal dining. But always check with your worktop fabricator first that the size you are planning is feasible within the allowances of quartz and granite slabs. Oversized is not always possible so consult before deciding on that monster island unit!

Breakfast Bar
A breakfast bar can be a fantastic social focus for the family especially on a lazy Sunday morning and generally takes up less space than an island as it runs off another worktop, meaning most kitchens have the scope to include this useful work surface.

Back Splash

For practical reasons we often use this area underneath the cooker extractor hood, behind the hob, to protect the walls from cooking splashes. And the hob splash back doesn’t have to be purely functional, it can also make a visual statement like the example below in granite.

Drainer Grooves

Applied only to undermounted sinks, Drainer Groves provide a natural drainage outlet. When asked to apply Drainer Grooves we can do so to any shape or form and this is usually finalised at the template stage. Drainer Grooves can be applied left or right of the sink and in some cases both when using a double Belfast Sink, seen in the photo below.

Window Sills

If your new kitchen is part of a renovating or extension, chances are you will require a new window sill. Using the same material used on your worktops on sills, adds style and provides a beautiful finishing touch to complement your luxurious quartz or granite worktops.

 

6 Kitchen Trends To Look Out For Soon

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and given how long we spend cooking, eating, and enjoying time with family and friends in them, it’s no wonder we want them to look their best. So, whether you’re planning to save costs with a quick uplift, or going all out with a full refit, it pays to know which design trends you’ll be loving in 2017.

Nordic design was big in 2016, and our love of crisp white interiors is set to continue into 2017 and beyond. Consider white on white kitchen worktops to bring some hygge into your home.

Black is starting to make an appearance as a key kitchen trend; with black on black even popping up for the design mavericks out there. However, rather than high-gloss 1980s style surfaces, many people are opting for a more elegant, natural look. While, at the moment, black on black Granite Worktops Leeds is only for the very brave, we predict it will increase in popularity throughout 2017.

Bringing luxury, drama, and opulence to any kitchen, marble has been on the rise as a design trend for a few years now. However, while marble is undoubtedly beautiful, it’s also very high maintenance. Offering a compelling alternative, some natural quartz worktops closely resemble marble, combining unparalleled performance with stunning aesthetic appeal. Scratch and stain resistant; quartz also provide a nonporous surface, so stains and harmful bacteria are never absorbed; making it virtually maintenance free.

While chalky colours are still proving popular, there has been a definite shift away from pale grey kitchen cupboards to heavier shades with black and blue tones.

Rather than moving somewhere new, many homeowners are working to improve their properties, and kitchen extensions are more often than not the focus of such improvements. With larger kitchens creating more integrated living spaces, the kitchen island is taking centre stage.

Granite worktops have a natural beauty and a harmonious colour palette. While historically, it has been almost impossible to replicate this with engineered quartz, the latest natural quartz worktops now offer exquisite designs, a wide range of colour options, and striking visual appeal. And because the quartz mineral is only three levels below the hardness of diamond, it truly is a warrior in the kitchen when it comes to being scratch resistant. Your knife will blunt before you even start to scratch the surface! What’s more, with quartz as hygienic as stainless steel, it’s no wonder that it has taken over from granite as the number one choice of kitchen worktop.