When installing new kitchen countertops, homeowners often have to decide between two natural stone materials: granite and marble. While both are popular options with various benefits, there are a few aesthetic and functional differences to consider before purchasing. Here’s a look at how granite and marble countertops differ.
As countertop materials, granite and marble are quite hard and durable. They’re both heat-resistant, which makes them great for use in the kitchen around heating elements and hot cookware. Granite, however, is generally more resistant to scratches, abrasions, and stains, making it comparatively more durable than marble. Granite will also keep its original appearance longer, as marble is more likely to irreversibly dull and fade in color over time.
Granite and marble bring the beauty of natural stone into a home. While both are available in varying colors, styles, and textures, granite and marble each have unique physical characteristics and visual appeal. Granite contains a variety of minerals such as feldspar and amphibole that give the stone a freckled, colorful appearance. Marble, on the other hand, presents a softer, creamier appearance that’s lined with veins caused by natural impurities such as iron oxide. In regard to style trends, marble offers a more classic, timeless look, whereas the more exotic colors available for granite countertops can become outdated more quickly.
As natural stones, granite and marble are both porous and can easily stain when exposed to dark, acidic substances such as wine or fruit juice. Marble is generally more susceptible to staining than granite, but regular sealing can adequately protect both materials. In general, marble countertops should be resealed as often as twice a year and granite countertops should be resealed every two or three years; maintenance requirements ultimately depend on how often and heavily a kitchen’s countertops are used.
Sarasota-area homeowners can rely on Kirkplan Kitchens to provide a full range of kitchen and bathroom remodeling services. Our savvy team of designers will help you choose from a variety of granite and marble countertops to find one that suits your custom kitchen remodel. See examples of our work by visiting our online gallery, or get a free quote today by contacting us online or calling (941) 341-0401.
Kitchens are a place where families come together to cook and relax. But when children are involved, it’s important to consider safety, comfort, and cleanliness in addition to style. Here’s how to design a kitchen with kids in mind.
Choose Easy-to-Clean Surfaces
Where there are kids, there are accidents. From bright red fruit punch to bowls full of soup, food is bound to end up spilling and smearing across surfaces. To make cleaning easy, opt for surfaces that are easy to wipe. Quartz is a durable, man-made product that is less porous than stone, meaning it’s less likely to hold on to grease and grime during cleaning. Laminate is also a good option that can easily mimic more expensive granite.
Open It Up
Although it’s nice to have dinners in a dining room, the reality is that with a busy, kid-filled schedule, families are bound to spend a lot of time eating or snacking in the kitchen. Lean into this by choosing an open plan with a kitchen island or bar that children can snack at or sit and watch while parents cook. As children get older, this open plan will be beneficial while they learn how to cook family recipes with their parents.
Make Food Accessible
New parents may be inclined to keep food out of reach of prying children. But it’s not always a good idea to choose pantry locations with young children in mind, since kids will outgrow dependent stages quickly. Don’t worry about pantry accessibility while organizing new kitchen cabinets; instead, make sure that reachable pantries are filled with healthy options. This is particularly important because it can teach children self-sufficiency and healthy eating habits from a young age.
Round Out Edges
Sharp, rectangular edges may seem like the obvious choice for custom kitchen remodels, but they can be dangerous when growing children run through the house. Instead, opt for rounded-slab edge details, which can be much more forgiving if a child bumps into it. Keep this in mind while selecting chairs and tables that may also play into the floor plan. It’s true that kids won’t be small forever, but with these simple tactics in mind, it’s easy to keep them safe and comfortable while they’re growing. For more inspiration about optimizing your remodel for a Florida home full of children or for any type of living space, view our remodeling gallery online or call Kirkplan Kitchens at (941) 341-0401 today.
Remember bellbottom jeans? Trucker hats? Leg warmers? Yes, some things seem to be made just to go out of style so they can serve as a signpost for a particular era. Cherry cabinets, on the other hand, have sustained their popularity for centuries. Here are just a few reasons why homeowners have enjoyed cherry cabinets for so long, and why it continues to be an extremely popular choice.
Warm and Rich Color
Cherry wood is known in carpentry and woodworking circles for its warm, rich hues. It has a close wood grain that can feature beautiful variations like swirls, knots, and streaks that make it interesting and attractive. It also stains beautifully, providing a darker, weightier feel to the kitchen.
Cherry cabinets stand the test of time because the wood is durable without being overly dense. It has excellent shock absorbency and bending properties, and this flexibility helps improve its long-lasting qualities. While it is susceptible to scratching, these can usually be colored out with the application of an additional layer of staining.
An Affordable Investment
Cherry is not the cheapest cabinet wood on the market, but neither is it the most expensive. It hits that sweet spot of being a great investment in a long-lasting product that will beautify the kitchen for years without being too flashy or making a homeowner feel like they have to take out a second mortgage to afford it. Cherry cabinets are a testament to the fact that a true classic never goes out of style. From the 1700s to today, cherry cabinets remain a go-to for people looking for beautiful, affordable cabinets that will stand the test of time. At Kirkplan Kitchens, we can provide a range of remodeling services including cabinet installation on its own or as part of a custom kitchen remodel. View our gallery for examples of cherry cabinets in our recent projects, then call us at (941) 341-0401 to get a free quote.
In many homes, the kitchen is one of the busiest rooms, making it a great candidate for remodeling. But once a kitchen remodel is complete, there’s still a lot of organizational work that needs to be done. Here are a few tips for organizing all the dishes, cups, and cookware in new kitchen cabinets.
Decide What Stays and What Goes
From coffee mugs to cookware and wine glasses to cool gadgets, there’s no end to the list of things that fill the cabinets in most kitchens. It may be the hardest part of organizing after a kitchen remodel, but it’s very helpful to go through everything one by one and decide what should stay and what should go. When there’s less clutter, organizing everything into new cabinets will be a much simpler and more satisfying process.
Take Measurements and Install a Shelf Liner
Before putting a single plate or pan back into new cabinets, take measurements of all the available storage space to know exactly how much room is available and how each cabinet can be used efficiently. For example, vertical space can be maximized if larger cabinets are reserved for large items or stackable smaller items. And don’t forget to install shelf liners, which can help to protect more delicate items like glasses and china from chips and scratches.
Sort Items by Type
There are strategic ways to sort and place items into certain cabinets to maximize convenience later on. For example, it makes sense to store plates, glasses, and other similar items close together and keep them all close to the dishwasher for easy unloading. Similarly, larger pots, pans, and baking sheets are better off near the stove and oven, where they’re most likely to be used. Each kitchen is unique, so the cabinet organization should reflect how the room will be used most often. The design team at Kirkplan Kitchens wants to help you find your dream kitchen or bathroom. Learn more about our remodeling services with a look through our gallery, or call (941) 341-0401 today for a free quote.
Marie Kondo’s unique tidying method, documented in her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, was recently put to the test in a Netflix series. Now, many are wondering how to apply this minimalist method of cleaning and organizing to their own kitchen spaces.
The KonMari Philosophy
The KonMari tidying concept is a one-size-fits-all cleaning method that systematically tackles clutter. The first step in this method is to discard unwanted items or items that don’t “spark joy.” For example, old whisks or kitchen appliances that never really get used should be donated or discarded before the second step of organizing. KonMari also places heavy emphasis on being mindful and practical while still respecting the home and “thanking” items before discarding them.
Implementing KonMari in the Kitchen
To begin, consider making organizing an event and setting aside a day to complete it. After the first “deep clean” declutter, it will be easier to maintain a clean kitchen. Begin by letting go of unused items, like broken or worn-out appliances or highly specified kitchen tools that the household rarely actually uses. From there, organize the space. Kondo highly suggests using compartment organizers and ensuring that everything can be seen at all times. That is, the moment one drawer is opened, it should be easy to know the entirety of its contents. In addition to making decluttering easier, this also prevents homeowners from accidentally purchasing products they already have. Maintaining a regular decluttering schedule will keep a kitchen looking like it was newly remodeled.
Clean the Whole Home
Finally, according to Kondo’s method, it’s impossible to successfully organize the kitchen without organizing the home in its entirety. This is because clutter tends to leak from one room to the next. Instead, Kondo suggests tackling categories instead of rooms: clothing, books, papers, Komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, mementos or items that have sentimental value. Although it may be more practical to focus on rooms sometimes, looking at a home as a big picture can help prevent clutter from re-accumulating over time. There’s no better time to implement the KonMari method than after a kitchen remodel when you have a fresh start. For more information about our remodeling services, call Kirkplan Kitchens at (941) 341-0401 today or contact us online for a free quote.