We have received so many great questions on our ASK THE EXPERT page on our website that we thought we would share them with you. We figured if one person had a question, surely someone else would be wondering the same thing. We hope you find our answers helpful and informative.
Q: My builder says I will be just as happy with the finish his painter can do…… will a jobsite applied finish be as durable as the finish offered by Wood-Mode and/or Brookhaven?
A: No. Wood-Mode and Brookhaven use a multi-step finishing process using hand and machine sanding operations to ensure quality. Filtered make-up air is supplied to the main finishing areas. A finish area with positive pressure is critical for producing a high quality finish because dust and dirt are then pushed away from and not pulled into the finish room. A catalyzed sealer is used to create lifetime durability and beauty. All finishes go through at least 5 oven-baked drying operations for quality and durability. Also, Wood-Mode and Brookhaven offer a life time warranty (for details ask a sales associate). The quality of finishes and the process cannot be matched in a home because of the uncontrolled environment. Another thing to consider is the warranty; a jobsite built kitchen is rarely under warranty for longer than a year.
Q: How do I choose the right door style and finish for my space?
A: That is what kitchen designers are there for! If given some information on your style- traditional, contemporary, country, minimalistic, etc.- designers can show you a variety of door styles and finishes that would fit your home. Pictures from magazines, websites, and your own home that you like are also great indicators of what doors/finishes you would be interested in. It might seem overwhelming at first to make selections, but the designers are there to narrow down options for you based on your taste.
Q: I wish to install a walk-in tub for my aging parent, she is afraid that while waiting for the tub to fill and drain she will get very cold. Are there ways to keep her warm during the filling and draining process?
A: Install an efficient heater light/vent directly above the tub to keep her warm will waiting and a thermal towel warmer nearby for when she gets out of the tub.
Q: What is the difference between Wood-Mode and Brookhaven Cabinetry?
A: Both cabinet lines are made by Wood-Mode and offer a lifetime warranty. The Wood-Mode line is considered a custom line versus Brookhaven which is considered a semi-custom line. Wood-Mode, the custom line, offers more door styles and finish options as well as more flexibility in custom design. Wood-Mode also offers color matching. Both cabinetry lines offer custom dimensions in height, width, and depth free of charge, down to a sixteenth of an inch. They also both come standard with soft-close Blu-motion drawer glides.
Q: What do I measure when taking measurements to bring into a designer?
A: The more the merrier! The important things to measure are the walls, windows, and door. Make sure to measure height, width, and depth where possible. Also, make sure to note whether you included the casing on windows and doors. Other things that may play a part are light switches and outlets, plumbing, and gas hook-ups. If you are looking for a rough estimate, the walls, windows, and doors will do.
Q: What is the difference between Silestone and Granite? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A: Silestone is considered a man-made product because it consists of 93% quartz and 7% resin. Because of the grinding of the stone and mixing with resin, Silestone offers a consistency in color that other natural stones cannot offer. You also have over 70 colors to choose from. Granite is a natural product, to put it simply, it is sliced off the side of a cliff. While the standard granite colors are mostly consistent, part of the beauty of granite is its variations. There are exotic granites that have a lot of veining and movement caused by the mineral content of the stone. The advantages and disadvantages depend completely on where you plan to get your granite. Not all granite is created equal. If you are comparing Silestone to Sensa Granite they are very competitive in price and durability. They offer a 15 year warranty on both and are scratch, scorch, and stain resistant. (Sensa granite was created by the manufacturers of Silestone. The slabs of granite are dipped in a vat of Senguard which is absorbed into the lattice of the stone, allowing it to breathe without allowing bacteria in). If you are comparing Silestone to untreated granite you have to worry about sealing the granite every 6 months to a year and need to check the warranty before using certain cleaning products on it.
Q: What considerations are needed when planning a space for a new range?
A: Great question! You need to consider safety. Proper countertop space on either side of the range and proper ventilation are needed to follow fire codes. When purchasing a range be sure to talk to the sales person about what ventilation system is needed. Some require venting outside the house while others can be filtered through a charcoal filter back inside the house. A lot of codes depend on whether you are installing a gas or electric range. Speaking of, make sure you have the proper hook-up for the one you choose. General rules for calculating how many CFM are needed: For conventional gas cooktops, calculate the minimum CFM by multiplying the linear width (in feet) of the cooktop by 100 (ex. 36” cooktop = 3’ x 100 = 300 CFM). In the case of a high performance cooktop divide the number of BTUs by 100 to calculate the minimum CFM (ex. 60,000 BTUs/100 = 600 CFM). When a grill or griddle is used, add 200 CFMs to the estimated minimum.
Q: What is the difference between framed and frameless construction on cabinets?
A: Framed cabinets have a face frame where the doors are considered inset, standard overlay, or full overlay. Inset doors are flush with frame of the cabinet. Standard doors overlay the frame, leaving up to 1 1/2” reveal compared to the ¼” reveal with full overly doors. Framed cabinets tend to look more traditional. They have a stile down the center which can restrict access. On frameless cabinetry the doors line up with sides of the cabinet box and do not have a face-frame. They also do not have a stile in the center (unless the cabinet is over 36” wide, typically) allowing easier access to the cabinet. About 90% now use frameless cabinetry. While frameless cabinetry used to be considered contemporary it now is seen as clean and elegant when paired with a traditional door style or finish.
Q: How can I tell a good cabinet from a bad cabinet?
A: Basic construction is a great place to start. How are the drawers and components of the cabinet put together? If you see staples… be worried. Dovetail joints are extremely durable and the way to go on drawer construction. Dowel or mortise and tenon joints are perfect for joining the sides and back of the cabinets- similar methods are used in furniture to create the strongest of bonds. Other things to consider in construction are the hinges and glides. Are they stable? Do they offer soft-close hinges and/or glides? Are the drawers full-extension (do you have full access to the drawers)? Other things to consider are the thickness of the sides and shelves, warranty the company offers on their products, and finish quality. Any one of these things can affect the strength, durability, and appearance of your future cabinets.
Q: I see a lot of kitchens with different colors, door styles, and materials in the same space… how many different colors, styles, and materials are too many?
A: Two or even three-tone kitchens are very popular right now and I only see it growing in the future. My policy is to keep something consistent. If you are interested in using different cabinet finishes, keep the countertops the same. Or if you want to use different counter top materials or colors to accent different areas, keep the cabinets the same or at least incorporate more neutral tones than accent colors to balance the space.
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