6 Reasons Granite Countertops Top the List for 75% of Homeowners

According to Zillow, approximately 75% of all homeowners will choose granite countertops for their home. Many of them make that choice simply because they believe that granite is an option that everyone will want, while others like all the positive benefits that the material offers. We decided to put together a list of reasons that most homeowners choose granite countertops for when looking to buy a new home.

Here are 6 reasons why granite countertops top the list for 75% of homeowners:

  1. Price: Countertops can be expensive, but there are many quality pieces of granite available at reasonable prices. In fact, you may be able to get a quality piece of granite for less than a high-end piece of laminate countertop.
  2. Scratch Resistant: Granite is a very hard material, so it is very difficult to scratch and nick it. This is a fantastic quality, especially if you have a family who isn’t as careful when setting things down as they should be.
  3. Heat Resistant: Granite is one of the most heat-resistant materials available for countertops. You will no longer have to worry about whether someone is using a trivet when placing a hot pan on your countertop, because it will not blister or melt.
  4. Easy to Maintain: Granite is one of the easiest to maintain countertops available and there is very little that needs to be done to it. You can simply wipe it down with a cloth when it becomes dirty. The only extra maintenance that needs to be completed is when your countertop needs to be resealed. Thankfully, the sealants have improved over the years and most of them will last for ten years before needing to be reapplied.
  5. Stain Resistant: Everyone spills stuff on their counters, but when you have granite countertops, you will not need to panic over any of them. As long as your countertop has been sealed properly, it will stay stain resistant for a long time.
  6. Natural Material: Granite one of the few natural materials that you can purchase for countertops. It is simply taken out of the ground and then cut into slabs to use as kitchen counters. When you use this material, you are reducing the amount of chemicals and additives being used in your home.

Granite Countertops for Your New Kitchen in Phoenix

Granite has been a popular countertop choice for quite some time, and it doesn’t look like that is going to change anytime soon. There may not be as many color options available for granite countertops, but the other benefits seem to outweigh that negative issue. Call us at 480-895-3442 if you’re planning to remodel your kitchen in the near future and would like to schedule a design consultation.

5 Tips for Childproofing Your Kitchen

A new baby brings many exciting things, of which one of them is childproofing. We bet that you can’t believe how many nooks and crannies you have in your home that a baby can get into, that you never knew were there. Hello outlets, extension cords, remote controls, penny jar… The list could go on and on.

Here are 5 tips for childproofing your kitchen:

  1. Electrical Elements: There are so many electrical elements inside your kitchen and they are all waiting for little fingers and little hands to reach out and touch them! You need to be a step ahead at all times and the first step is to utilize outlet covers and appliance locks. After that, you can use the back burners on your stove whenever possible and install an anti-scalding device on your kitchen faucet to keep little hands from getting burned.
  2. Install Corner Guards: The corners of your countertops and tables are sharp and it will only take one bump of your child’s head for them to get seriously injured. Installing foam corner guards on your counters and tables are an easy way to ensure that if your child falls they will not end up in the emergency room.
  3. Cover Your Trash Can: You may think that you are safe with anything that you throw away, but children are curious, and they think nothing of digging through a trash can to see what they can find. To keep temptation away as much as possible, we recommend keeping your trash can covered and even out of sight if possible. Plus, if you know that there are dangerous items in there, like chemicals, remove the bag and take it outside immediately.
  4. Install Cabinet Locks: Cabinet locks are a great solution to keep children out of those cabinets that they shouldn’t be in. Those cabinets are normally the ones that include cleaning supplies or sharp objects.
  5. Safety Gates: A safety gate can be a wonderful option to keep children out of your kitchen while you are cooking dinner, especially if you have a small kitchen. It isn’t always as great as including a child in the entire cooking process, but it can help if you are in a time crunch and need to get dinner on the table very quickly.

Kitchen Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

There are many obvious things that you will need to childproof inside your kitchens, but then there are the not so obvious ones. Those are the ones that you will need to get down on your hands and knees for, so that you can see everything from a child’s viewpoint. And don’t worry, you will miss something, we all do. But, your child will quickly let you know what it is. They always do. Call us at 480-895-3442 if you’re in the greater Phoenix area and would like to schedule a design consultation for your kitchen remodeling project.

5 Tips to Quickly Update Your Kitchen

We know that you cannot live without your kitchen for that long, which is why we want to share some quick ways that you can update it to make it look new and fresh. These changes won’t take a lot of time or money, but they will make your kitchen look like you just did a major renovation.

Here are 5 tips to quickly update your kitchen:

Change your cabinet hardware

Changing your cabinet hardware is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a big impact on your kitchen. Going from a knob to a pull or vice versa can completely change the look and feel of this space as can the finish that you choose.

Change your window treatments

The window treatments in your kitchen can affect the entire mood of your kitchen. Heavy drapes can make the space dark, while blinds do not add too much visual appeal. Changing out the window treatments in your kitchen can bring in more light, while also adding texture and privacy. You may even want to consider leaving your windows bare and let the light shine through them to really open up the space.

Change your light fixtures

If you are getting tired with your light fixtures or you simply want something a little different or bolder in your kitchen, you can change out your light fixtures. This is easy to do, and you may find that you will have better lighting after the project is finished.

Paint

Adding a new coat of paint is another easy and cheap way to change the look of your kitchen. You can choose a completely new color or just go a shade or two darker or lighter than the one that you have now. If your kitchen is on the smaller side, a bright white or light gray will instantly make it look larger.

Change your faucets

Faucets can get dingy and outdated, and after some time they can make your kitchen feel old and unloved. There are multiple types of faucets available nowadays, and you can choose one from many styles and different finishes. You can even decide to purchase a touchless one, so you don’t have to touch it when you need to turn it on.

Small Changes – Big Impact

These five things will instantly make your kitchen look like you just spent a lot of time renovating it even though you didn’t. We recommend that you begin with these items and then see what else you think needs to be done in your kitchen. You may be surprised when you are finished, because there may not be anything else that needs to be completed.

We’ve been working with Phoenix area homeowners to improve their kitchen for many years. Call us at 480-895-3442 if you’re in the Phoenix area and would like to schedule a consultation with our kitchen designer. We’ll make sure you get the kitchen you want and deserve.

5 Tips for Creating a Realistic Budget for Your Kitchen Remodel

Creating a budget for your kitchen remodel can be difficult, especially since you might not know exactly know how much everything is going to cost for your dream kitchen. However, a budget is necessary if you do not want to go into debt during the entire process.

Here are 5 tips for creating a realistic budget for your kitchen remodel:

Know the Averages

Some people can do a kitchen remodel for less than others, but it is important to know the average that everyone spends. The average seems to be around $30,000 depending on the size of the kitchen and the types of materials that are used.

Save 10% to 15% for the Unknown

Even though you have your maximum budget set, we recommend setting aside ten to fifteen percent of that for unknown expenses. You never know when you might encounter work that isn’t up to code, mold, rotted wood, or more.

Keep the Big 3 in Mind

The three things that will cost the most during your remodel are your cabinets, countertops, and appliances. You may need to make adjustments to what you want if it doesn’t match what you have set up in your budget.

Nix Custom and Think Refaced

If your kitchen cabinets are still in excellent shape, we recommend having them refaced instead of having new custom cabinets installed. This will save you a lot of money in your budget and allow you to do a lot more with your new space.

Extra Expenses

There are normally some extra expenses during a remodeling project and you will need to account for them as well in your budget. You may not need to move out, since you are just having your kitchen done. However, you will need to account for the possibility of a couple more takeout meals and a few more trips to the grocery store.

Kitchen Remodeling in Phoenix

Having a realistic budget will help you successfully create the kitchen of your dreams when you are remodeling. You will be surprised at how much you will be able to do in your kitchen once you have your budget set and you start working with your contractor on the design. Give us a call at 480-895-3442 if you’re in the Phoenix area and would like to remodel your kitchen with us.

The Pros and Cons of Choosing a Soapstone Countertop

Soapstone is a material that is becoming more popular for kitchen countertops, and for good reason. It is a natural quarried rock that feels soft and soap like. The natural soapstone is mixed with quartz for countertops, so that it is more durable and stronger than it would be if it were left in its natural state.

Kitchen counters get used quite often, which is why you need to choose the material for yours very carefully. If you are considering purchasing soapstone for your next kitchen countertop, then you will want to look at the pros and cons and make the best decision that you can.

Pros of Soapstone:

  • Warm and natural looking, plus is goes with almost any type of décor.
  • Softer material, but since it is durable it will not get damaged as easily as other materials. If it does get scratched, it is easy to sand the scratches out.
  • You only need warm water and soap to clean this type of counter. In fact, it is not recommended to use chemicals on soapstone countertops.
  • Non-absorbent, so bacteria cannot penetrate the surface. This makes it perfect for food prep.
  • Heat resistant, so you can set hot pots and pans directly on the counter.
  • Very low maintenance, you only need to apply mineral oil on occasion to make it look more aesthetically appealing.
  • Darkens over time, which creates a rustic look.

Cons of Soapstone:

  • More expensive than other countertops.
  • Limited selection of colors for soapstone countertops, which could be a problem if you have your heart set on a certain color countertop.
  • Smaller slabs, so if you have a larger countertop, you will have more visible seams.
  • May be more susceptible to scratches and scuffs over time. These can be sanded out, but that will take time and could be considered maintenance.

If the pros outweigh the cons for the soapstone countertops, then you may have found your next kitchen countertop. We know that soapstone isn’t for everyone, but the people who have it love it. We believe you’ll love soapstone countertops if they’ve already made your top three list, and they’re still a strong contender. Call us at 480-895-3442 to schedule a consultation for remodeling your kitchen. We’ll help you make the important decisions and guide you through the process.

Renovate Your Bathroom to Grow with You and Your Family

While we would like to think that our bathrooms will continue to meet the needs of our growing families, we know that that is never going to happen easily. After all, our babies are going to grow into toddlers, and then rambunctious children, then teenagers, and then they will be back visiting with a whole new generation for the cycle to begin all over again. Or we hope that they will just be visiting!

Add More Space

There are numerous things that you can do to renovate your bathroom to grow with you and your family. First, you can go bigger if it all possible. Bumping out an external wall or shifting an internal wall can make a huge difference in how much space is in your bathroom.

Discuss Your Plans with a Bathroom Designer

Once you have determined how big your bathroom is going to be, whether you love the size or not, it is time to bring in an expert to plan the layout. You may be wondering why, especially since everything is already in place, but the layout that you have might not make the most sense. Our designers can help you decide whether there is a better location for every item that will streamline everything and make your bathroom a better space.

Redesign Your Bathroom

Next up is the ergonomics of your bathroom and how you and your family do everything in the bathroom. This could be as simple as adding a step stool for a toddler to adding lever door handles instead of door knobs for the future.

Consider Privacy

Privacy is key in any bathroom and if multiple people may be using this space at the same time, you may want to consider having numerous zones. The toilet can be in a separate space behind a closable door, while a shower is tucked away behind another wall. Of course, these options are only possible if you have the space for them.

Ensure Storage Needs are Exceeded

Storage is a must in any bathroom, so you will want to make sure that you have enough for every stage of your life. We always recommend installing at least twice as much as you think that you will need, but in this case, you may want to install even more since you want this room to grow with your family.

Bathroom Remodeling in Phoenix

Preparing your bathroom for the future is not going to be an easy task, which is why you are going to need the help of a professional. They will be able to ask you the questions that you probably never even considered and that will help you determine what you will and will not need in this space. Although, try as you might, you still may find yourself making changes to your bathroom as your family grows. After all, we all cannot truly guarantee what the future holds and what was important to us a decade ago may not be important to us a decade in the future. Call us at 480-895-3442 to start the bathroom remodeling process with us.

Choose the Perfect Tile for Any Room in Your Home

 

Tile is a wonderful material for flooring, because it is fairly easy to keep clean. We have plenty of natural-looking tile options to help any room feel open and airy. You can also use tile for walls, incredible backsplashes, showers, and tubs. Tile is so versatile it even makes a viable countertop material if you’re looking for something completely custom.

Here are 4 options that are perfect for any room in your home:

Travertine

Travertine can be smoothed out so that the natural pattern of the stone shines through without causing it to become too shiny. This type of tile is available in matte or satin finish and it does not get too slippery.

Terra Cotta

Terra cotta tiles can give any room a warm and cozy feeling, and make anyone want to curl up and stay put for a long time. These tiles are made from clay that has been fired at high temperatures, and they have a matte finish that is natural. That matte finish is preserved with a sealant that prevents staining. These tiles can be expensive, so you may want to consider the ceramic tiles that look like terra cotta.

Limestone

Limestone tiles are perfect for areas that have a lot of traffic, like kitchens. We recommend choosing the ones that have been tumbled with sand and grit, so that they look distressed and naturally aged. That process gives them a rustic look that we know you will love. The only downside to these tiles is that they have some pits and crevices that dirt can get trapped in and it is impossible to get it out while cleaning.

Honed Slate

Honed slate has been polished for a matte finish, but you can also choose a riven finish that has a more rugged and natural look. Slate is quite durable and should technically last a lifetime, but it will need to be sealed for extra protection. Slate can also be pricey, so we do recommend considering ceramic tiles that look like slate if your budget is going to be compromised.

Installing New Tile in the Phoenix Area?

These tiles will be perfect in almost any room in your home, but you will need to choose the one that matches not only your style, but your lifestyle and décor. If you have any concerns about the one that you want, give us a call at 480-895-3442 so we can help answer your questions. We’ll help you choose the best type and color tile for your application.

7 Things You Should Consider Now During a Kitchen Remodel to Stay in Your Home as You Get Older

 

None of us want to think about getting older, but let’s face it, it is going to happen eventually. The best thing we can do is plan for it, and be prepared for whatever comes our way. Thankfully, there are numerous things that we can do inside our current homes that will allow us to stay there forever, so that we never need to move or change our routines.

Here are 7 things that you should consider now during a kitchen remodel to stay in your home as you get older:

Pullout Pantry

Shelves in a pantry are wonderful, until you find that you need to climb up to get things or reach or bend down, and you can’t. Pullout pantries are much better, because they can be accessible whether you are still mobile, or if you are using a walker or a wheelchair. The pullout shelves or drawers can be easily manipulated with one hand and it is simple to place things in and take things out.

Rounded Countertop Edges

Actually, we recommend making sure that all the edges in your kitchen are rounded in addition to your countertops. As you age, you have a tendency to bump into things more often, and those sharper edges can cause bumps and bruises easily.

Move Your Sink Closer to the Stove

You may find that it is easy to carry large pots of water to the stove now, but as you get older, that pot is going to feel heavier. While moving the sink closer to the stove is a great option, you may even want to consider placing a faucet over your stove, so that you can fill your pots right there.

Move Your Microwave

If you have your microwave above your stove, now is the time to move it. The best spot for it in the future is going to be on the counter, or even underneath the counter. This will make it easier to reach, and put things in and take things out.

Replace Cabinets with Drawers

Cabinets can cause you to stack multiple items on top of each other, and oftentimes cabinets can reach the ceiling. Drawers, on the other hand, can be easier to load and unload, plus you won’t need to climb on a stool. The drawers can also be helpful for replacing your cabinets near the floor as you will not need to get down on your hands and knees to search through them.

Allow for Space

You never know when you will need a walker or a wheelchair in the future, so you will want to allow for extra clearance in your kitchen. The regular guidelines only suggest 36 inches of clearance, but the ADA guidelines recommend between 40 and 60 inches depending on the layout of your kitchen.

Choose Slip Resistant Flooring

No one wants to fall as they are walking through their kitchen, so we recommend installing slip resistant flooring. This type of flooring will not get as slippery even when something is spilled on it.

Kitchen Remodeling and Aging in Place in Phoenix

We recommend taking care of these items now, especially if you are already planning on tackling a kitchen remodel. That way, you will not need to make any changes in the future, and you will be ready if something unexpected happens. We can also make other recommendations that you will benefit from. Call us at 480-895-3442 if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding area and would like to discuss remodeling your kitchen with us.

Design Ideas and Advice for Remodeling Your Bathroom

 

You have so many options available to you nowadays when you remodel your bathroom. You don’t have to stick with the usual vanities, showers, tubs, and even lighting fixtures. Instead, you can choose some newer versions that will add style and appeal to this space.

Here are 6 ideas for your bathroom remodel:

Floating Vanity

There is no rule that states that your vanity needs to touch the floor, which is why we recommend choosing a floating one. These types of vanities will make your bathroom look and feel larger, while also creating an appealing focal point.

Add Furniture

A chair or bench can be a great option for your bathroom, as it will give you a place to sit and relax. The chair should be cushioned and comfortable, and the bench should include lots of pillows and be placed under a window in possible.

Add Music

Music can add to the ambiance of your bathroom, which is why we recommend adding either surround sound or another music playing option like Amazon’s Echo.

Add Shower Features

There are many items that you can incorporate into your shower including a bench seat, multiple showerheads, and steam options. All these features will create a spa-like feeling in your bathroom, which we know you will enjoy tremendously.

Create Ample Storage

Storage doesn’t need to be boring and dull, but it is something that you will need plenty of in your bathroom. You can choose both open and closed storage options, and we recommend mixing it up a little with frosted glass doors for some of your closed storage options.

Create Multiple Spaces

Everyone seems to need to get ready at the same time in today’s world, which is why it is necessary for you to create multiple spaces in your bathroom. You will want to consider two sinks, two mirrors, and a larger shower. You may also want to consider separating your toilet from the rest of the bathroom space, to ensure privacy when it is being used.

Bathroom Remodeling in Phoenix

Your bathroom will be stylish and more appealing if you incorporate any of these design ideas during your remodel. Once it is completed, you will find that you will love your new space and that it will be exactly what you have dreamed of for so long. Call us at 480-895-3442 to start making plans for your upcoming bathroom remodeling project.

5 Items Every High-End Bathroom Needs

 

If you are planning a bathroom remodel, you might as well decide to go all out and make it fabulous! After all, you probably aren’t going to do a project like this again anytime soon, so why not do it right the first time?

Here are 5 items every high-end bathroom needs:

  1. Separate Bathtub: A separate bathtub is a luxury that most people love, so if you love soaking in the tub, you will want to consider this option. You can choose from a soaking tub, a jetted tub, or an old-fashioned clawfoot tub, whichever one matches the style of your new space.
  2. Spa-Like Shower: A shower is no longer just a place to get clean, and we recommend turning this into the ultimate space. You may want to consider enlarging your shower while also adding numerous jets, rain showerheads, steam, and seating. Add in some natural stone and you will have the perfect spa oasis.
  3. Warm Floors: We know that you really do not like stepping out onto cool or cold floors after your hot shower or bath, so we recommend installing heated floors. These are especially wonderful for those middle of the night bathroom trips. The best thing is that these floors can now be set on a timer, so it is only heated during the times of day that you are using it.
  4. Custom Cabinets: Storage is always an issue in bathrooms, so you will want to consider custom cabinets for this space. This will allow you to fit more in your bathroom without losing out on the appealing style that you are wanting.
  5. Add Stone, Glass, or Porcelain: Actually, add all three of these items for the most elegant and luxurious bathroom! All these items will help you bring nature indoors and it will create a calming and tranquil area that you will love to be in.

Everyone loves going to the spa, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that you want your bathroom to feel and look like one. Every spa has high-end features, and you can create that same look inside your own home. Your contractor can help you devise a plan, so that you have everything on your wish list when your bathroom is completed. Call us at 480-895-3442 to discuss bathroom remodeling ideas that will transform your existing bathroom into an amazing spa-like experience.