10 Top Kitchen Countertops in 2020

In our last blog, we talked about how unique backsplashes can transform your kitchen.  Just as backsplashes are far from plain and simple, there are so many choices for countertops available now.  Many of them will give your kitchen the high-end look that you have always dreamed of. The only thing standing between you and your dream kitchen is that first step. Are you ready? Here are the 10 top kitchen countertops in 2020 that will help you choose your ideal countertop.

How to decide?

The kitchen countertop is one of the most crucial elements of most kitchens. It is where we plan meals, prepare food, and clean up and often eating meals on that countertop.  Having one that is stylish and upscale makes it enjoyable. When it comes to choosing the right kitchen countertop, there are many questions need to be answered:

  • What is the best countertop for your money?
  • How much does kitchen countertop cost?
  • What is the most durable countertop?
  • What is the best material as a kitchen countertop?

If you are looking for some budget material, laminate countertops may be a good deal for you. In this article, we’ll only focus on countertops made of natural stone.

How much does it cost?

If you are renovating your kitchen or just decide to replace your kitchen counter, you may want to check the price tag first. In general, the most expensive ones are the granite countertops. They range from $70 to $300 per square foot. The others such as quartz countertops have a price tag ranging from $60 to $175.

If you are looking for something high-end, elegant, stylish, and sophisticated which will add a positive spirit to your kitchen, you may consider buying a granite countertop. Of course, while you choose the countertop, kitchen cabinets play an important role because the color, the feel and look of the cabinets must be consistent with your material.

Replacing a countertop will cost around $4000 in material (the fabrication and installation depend on the fabricator, but will be, at least as much as the material itself). While an inexperienced person can install some type of countertops, materials like granite and marble will definitely require expert installation. Trying to save money can be more costly if you don’t know to handle such precious natural stones.  *Price costs edited by Homework Remodels

Durability of Countertops

There are many trendy kitchen designs nowadays. Fashion may influence our choices but durability is also very crucial. Granite is the most durable material among other countertop options. Quartz comes second in terms of durability. Other materials follow these two.

Granite Countertops

Because it is a natural stone that can absorb heat easily and resist scratching and staining. This stain-resistant stone is also easy to clean. Most granite countertops come in 1 ¼” or 3cm sizes up to 10‘x 6‘. These sizes make it quite functional to use as a seamless piece of material in kitchens for countertops and kitchen islands. This is one of the best solid surface countertops on earth.

Quartz Countertops

Quartz can be found on earth easily. It is very abundant material. There are different types of quartz. The usage of quartz as a surface covering material is after the technological advances in natural stone cutting and mixing technology. This artificially created countertop is a cheaper alternative to marble and granite. It consists of resin and raw quartz.

Marble Countertops

Marble is a timeless and classic natural stone. It was once a symbol of luxury and richness. It was used in ancient cities to build temples, houses, statues. It is still a beloved and very popular natural stone that will add value and character to your kitchen.

Travertine Countertops

Granite is by far the first material that comes to mind when speaking of countertops or kitchen islands. But if you want to try something different, we have a wide selection of different travertine slabs as an alternative to granite. Travertine resembles marble rather than granite and its installation requires a technique called precision edging. It has a more tiled look than granite. Its maintenance is easier and it gives a more historical look to countertops. Because this stone dates back to days of the Roman Empire. Many sections of the Colosseum in Italy were made out of travertine.

Limestone Countertops

Limestone slabs are quarried as limestone blocks. It is mostly used to make kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, and other design elements. It is a sedimentary rock. It has been used widely throughout history in different buildings such as the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is elegant, beautiful, and tames bold colors. Of course, there are some disadvantages to this sensitive stone. It requires more care than granite or marble when it comes to care and maintenance of this natural beauty. You have to be careful when you put a hot pan on it or be careful not to scratch it.

Onyx Countertop

Onyx is a stone that has had many definitions applied to it over the centuries. Traditionally it will present as having distinctive bands… but not always. As a rule, it is somewhat exotic in appearance and therefore Onyx Slabs bring a level of desirable luxury into any modern space.

Exotic statements of nature… Onyx is a magnificent gift of nature. it is a gift of warmth that includes an incredible depth of color. The stone is formed by nature into translucent layers of marble. They provide a focal point wherever they are used. The onyx color palette goes from a rich neutral to exotic depths of color. Define your living space, your statement of design, and your appreciation of truly natural art. Enjoy entirely unique this gift of nature.

Soapstone Countertops

Soapstone is a sedimentary stone that has a talc-based component. Soapstone Slabs are easily worked into kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity tops. The material enjoys a depth of color and texture that allows for a highly stylized visual image inside the modern home.

Porcelain Countertops

For people who are looking for more alternatives, porcelain countertops may be the solution. Made from non-porous ceramic clay which contains minerals like kaolinite and silica, this material looks very elegant as a kitchen countertop. It is highly resistant to scratching, cracking, and heat. The only main downside of this elegant countertop is about its patterns. Patterns on porcelain countertops are only surface deep, meaning they lack the look of depth.

Slate Countertops

Slate is a metamorphic stone. It is usually quite fine-grained and can be found in basic grays, greens, and blacks. Also, more exotic color ranges exist that bring to space a uniqueness of spirit rarely found elsewhere. Slate slabs yield exquisitely interesting kitchen and bath tops.

Quartzite Countertops

Finally, we have reached the end of our list. Quartzite is one of the harder more durable building materials that you might choose. Quartzite Slabs contain very high quartz content and with that comes density, stain resistance, and minimal care requirements. A modern kitchen countertop is a perfect place for this material. The main difference between quartz and quartzite lies in its creation. While quartzite is 100% natural stone, quartz is a man-made material that is engineered with quartz crystals and strengthened by resin.

For more photos from this blog, you can learn more here.

Greater Phoenix Area Award-Winning Remodeler

Contact us at (480) 895-3442 if you are interested in remodeling your home and adding to the unique appeal you enjoy from your living spaces.

Peruse our portfolio for more ideas for creating spaces that will make you enjoy your home again!

Featured on HGTV

Featured on HGTV

This mid-century modern home was originally designed and built by Ralph Haver in the Marlin Grove neighborhood in central Phoenix. Our remodel of this unique home was featured on HGTV and gained national recognition as well as locally on the Modern Phoenix home tour and website. The remodel of the home’s interior involved updating the kitchen, guest bathroom, and great room areas. This unique space was transformed and given a high-end European feel while retaining its 50’s flair

A more open floor plan

The mid-century modern kitchen remodel created a more open floor plan by removing the original box-like island from the kitchen. Then we replaced the island and the rest of the original cabinets with new frame-less acrylic-finish UltraCraft cabinetry. Adding bold touches of orange cabinetry as well as stainless steel kick plates accented this unique kitchen.

Quartz counter-top material wrapped three sides of the new island. The same quartz counter-tops were used on all of the kitchen cabinets, extending out onto the “floating cabinets” in the dining area.  The kitchen was also tiled with the same porcelain rectangular tile used in the adjoining great room.

Floating cabinets allow light

The floating cabinets are supported by a tubular steel framework between the kitchen cabinets and the dining room block wall. We replaced an unused exterior door in the dining area with a picture window. The floating cabinets allowed the light from the window to flow above and below the cabinetry into the dining area.

Additional lighting features

The mosaic glass tile back-splash was accented by the touch-to-activate under-cabinet lighting. A boxed fluorescent ceiling light was removed and replaced with cable lighting that would not conflict with the exposed ceiling beams.

For an even more in-depth view of this home remodel, check out HGTV’s video here.

Home Remodeling in the Greater Phoenix Area

Start your project by calling us at (480) 895-3442 or emailing steve@trilitebuilders.com to discuss remodeling your home, kitchen, or bathroom. We offer no-obligation ZOOM or in-home consultation.  See more of our award-winning remodels here.

Bathroom Sink Materials You Need to Know About and Why

 

Are you in the process of renovating your bathroom or simply replacing your bathroom sink? If the answer is yes, you may think that you can easily walk into any home improvement store and pick up a new sink immediately.

We are sorry to say that that is not the case!

There are so many different sink materials that you can choose from and you need to make sure that you pick the one that will work best for your needs.

Here are 5 bathroom sink materials you need to know about and why:

  1. Ceramic

 

Most of us are familiar with ceramic sinks and we love them because they are durable and resistant to scratches and chipping. That makes this material one of the best since this sink will be used constantly throughout the day. Maintenance and cleaning of ceramic sinks is easy, as dirt and grime are unable to penetrate through the surface.

 

  1. Porcelain

 

Porcelain sinks are even more durable than regular ceramic and it is a common choice amongst homeowners, due to its low moisture absorption and the fact that it is easy to clean. We recommend cleaning this material with an all-purpose cleaner and avoiding vinegar, as the high acid content will destroy the finish. This material can get chipped easily if something is dropped into it and stains will set if they are left longer than a minute.

 

  1. Natural Stone

 

Natural stone is beautiful when it is used for sinks and since it is a natural material, no two stone sinks will ever look alike. You can choose a polished and finished sink, or you can go rustic and purchase one that is unfinished. These sinks must be sealed prior to installation and you will need to reseal it every year or two. A stone cleaner is your best option when it comes to cleaning this material and it is necessary to wipe the water out of these sinks after using them, so that the mineral deposits do not build up over time.

 

  1. Stainless Steel

 

Stainless steel sinks are normally found in kitchens, but you can also place one inside your bathroom. This material is resistant to germs and bacteria and it can be scrubbed constantly to keep it looking nice. These sinks are quite durable, but you need to use caution that you do not scratch them. This sink is easily washed with a mild soap and water and any standing water should be wiped up to prevent the sink from changing colors due to the buildup of minerals.

 

  1. Wood

 

Wood sinks are becoming more popular and teak is a favorite option due to its moisture resistance. Cleaning this sink is easy with gentle soap and a soft cloth. It is important to note that wood sinks do change color over time, so you may want to choose a lighter color to begin with. To keep this sink looking beautiful, you will need to apply teak oil to it approximately four times a year.

 

We recommend choosing the bathroom sink material that will not only meet your needs, but also meet the time that you have available for cleaning and maintaining it. After all, there is no point in purchasing a sink that requires a lot of maintenance if you have no time to do any of it!

 

4 Types of Bathroom Faucets and How to Choose the One that is Best for You

 

Remodeling a bathroom can be quite intimidating, due to the amount of decisions that you need to make during the entire process. One of the most challenging things that you will need to figure out is what type your new bathroom faucet will be. There are four different options and then you have all the different finishes to choose from as well.

Here are the 4 different bathroom faucets that you can choose from:

  1. Center-set: This faucet is affixed to a plate that has a spout and two handles and it is normally used on sinks that have three faucet holes.

 

  1. Widespread: The widespread faucet has a spout and two handles as well, but they are each mounted separately into the holes in the sink.

 

  1. Single Hole: The single hole faucet takes up less space, plus give your bathroom sink a more modern look.

 

  1. Wall Mount: If you do not want your faucet attached to your sink, then you can choose one that attaches to the wall over it. Your water supply needs to be accessible through the wall, which means that you may need to pay more to have this type of faucet installed.

 

Here are the 5 questions that you should ask yourself, so that you can choose the best faucet for your bathroom:

 

  1. What faucet will fit your sink? It is always important to choose a faucet that will fit the hole openings in the sink in your bathroom.

 

  1. What features are you looking for in your new sink? There are plenty of features available in newer faucets, which means that you will need to know which ones appeal to you the most. Do you want a low-flow one to conserve water, an aerator to reduce the water that comes out to save some money, or a hands-free faucet that only turns on with motion? You will be amazed at all the options that you can choose from.

 

  1. What finish do you want? There are plenty of finishes to choose from but the most common include some type of chrome, nickel, and bronze. Thankfully, most faucets are available in all finishes, so you do not need to worry about settling for your second or third choice.

 

  1. What is your budget? Faucets are just like everything else, which means that you can spend a little money or a lot of money on just one faucet. We recommend having your budget in mind before you venture to the store to pick out a faucet or you may find yourself even more overwhelmed when you get there. Your budget can at least help you avoid at least a third of options!

 

  1. What faucets are used in the other homes in my neighborhood? If you are close to your neighbors, you probably know what type of faucet they have in their bathrooms. This knowledge will help you know what you do not like and what you may prefer for your bathroom.

 

Once you have answered these five questions, you will be ready to purchase and install the faucet that will work best in your bathroom.

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets for Your Remodeled Kitchen

Cabinets not only add beauty to the kitchen, they are vital to keeping it organized. Like other features, the size, quality, style, material and finish are all important. This can increase the difficulty in finding the right type, but these tips may be helpful.

  1. Start with a budget. How much you spend depends on the type of wood, the size and the style of the cabinets. This can account for as much as 45 to 50% of your remodeling budget. If you have a total budget in mind you can have a rough idea of how much you might spend on cabinets.
  2. Get measurements. Determine where cabinets will be installed and get the measurements. This sets the basic cabinet size, and helps in setting the cost.
  3. Decide between custom or pre-made. Pre-made cabinets are the more affordable option, but there are some drawbacks. You may be forced to adjust other features to accommodate the sizes. These types are generally not the same quality as custom cabinets. Custom cabinets also generally offer wider ranges in design, style and sizes.
  4. Find the right style. The look of the kitchen and your home’s architecture should guide the look of your cabinets. The diverse style can make choosing difficult, but there are plenty of great ideas in home improvement magazines and on the Internet. A carpenter can also help you to find the right style for your kitchen.
  5. Think about wood type and color. The kitchen’s color scheme and the countertop material should be a good visual fit for cabinets. Cabinet finishes can be bright white, dark wood or anything in between.
  6. Consider organizational features. Just as important as the look of your cabinets is how you will use them. How many shelves will they have, and what will the shelf height be? Nifty features like pull-outs for utensils, wine or condiments. Corner shelves and roll out shelves can also boost efficiency in the kitchen.

The desire for additional options may rule out pre-made kitchen cabinets. Stock cabinets can be difficult to modify, so it makes sense to invest in custom styles to get exactly what you want right from the start. Additionally, stock cabinets usually need to be replaced more quickly than custom types. Do not buy kitchen cabinets until you fully work out the size, look and finish. This way you can expect them to last for years and reap the benefits of a functional kitchen.

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas that Add Functionality While Increasing Your ROI

One of the advantages of home remodeling is the return on investment (ROI). Some projects pay off more than others, and one of the most attractive in terms of ROI is bathroom remodeling. Typically, these average between 60 – 65%, but it can be even higher with luxury upgrades. Here are some of the best ideas that will appeal to buyers and boost the property’s profile.

  1. Aging in place upgrades. More families are staying under one roof, so it is likely that some buyers consider the needs of aging parents. Additionally, these features can be useful for individuals with disabilities. Bathrooms with these upgrades will make the home safer, and buyers will be willing to spend a bit more if there is no need to carry out their own upgrades.
  2. Sink/vanity combo. An attractive vanity can instantly transform the look of a bathroom. Choose a style and finish that blends with any other improvements. If the sink is in good condition, its age could detract from the décor. Think of a new sink as making a contribution to the new look. The vanity does the same thing, plus it helps to keep the bathroom free of clutter.
  3. New lighting features. Too many bathrooms suffer from poor lighting, and this is even worse when the bathroom is not located beside an exterior wall. The bathroom should only be bright, it should have layered lighting options. If the mirror does not have its own lights, adding sconces to either side will be a simple but elegant touch. The shower or bathtub should also have its own light source.
  4. New tiles. The range of colors and patterns can give any bathroom a visual boost. The right tones such as terra cotta, can add warmth, and other can make the space luxurious. Choose a non-slip texture to enhance safety. If you are willing to spend a bit more, there are also custom tile options available.
  5. A statement bathtub. Some homeowners are getting rid of bathtubs in favor of spa-like showers, but this is still something that home buyers expect to see. If you want a return on your investment consider adding a statement tub. An elegant freestanding tub gives the bathroom a classic touch. It also reinforces the idea of this space being ideal for relaxation after a long day.

When you decide to remodel the bathroom, one of your first thoughts will be about the cost. However, given that these projects tend to pay off well, choose quality materials and products to get the best results.

How to Plan for Your 2019 Home Addition

2019 can be a big year for you, especially if you take the time to finally do that home addition that you have been dreaming of! Imagine all the new space that you and your family will have and how you finally won’t be tripping over each other as you go about your days and nights.

Here are 4 things to do as you are planning for your 2019 home addition:

  1. Create a Budget: Now that you know that you want a home addition built onto your home, you are going to need to decide how much you want and can spend on this venture. The amount that you choose should be reasonable, as this is not something that you can do for a few thousand dollars. However, you do not want to choose an amount that is so high that you will never recoup those costs when you sell.
  1. Find Your Property Lines: There is nothing worse that creating a design for your home addition and then finding out that your property lines will not support that design! We recommend that the first thing that you do, after deciding that you want to construct a home addition, is find your property lines and learn the codes of how close you can build to them.
  1. Create a Design that Works with Your Current Home: This step is not something that you will be able to do on your own, unless of course you are an architect or residential designer. Therefore, we recommend that you hire someone to work with you to create a design that will work with your current space. After all, you don’t want your home addition to look like it just dropped out of the sky and landed in a heap in a weird spot!
  1. Utilize Your Design to Create the Plans for Your Home Addition: The plans that you have created during this step will include all the materials that will be used during the construction process. It will take time for you to decide which materials you want to use throughout this space, which is why this can be the most time-consuming and frustrating part. We do recommend that you choose multiple materials for each item on the list, as you may find that you need to compromise in some areas due to your budget and the availability of some materials.

Constructing a home addition can be challenging, but the above steps can make the process much easier for you and your family. If you follow these steps carefully, you will have everything in place when the construction phase starts. That means that almost all the work can be done without problems arising on the items that you planned out so carefully. Of course, you may still have a few other issues pop up, but those will seem mild in the end!

Choosing the Right Appliances for Your Newly Remodeled Kitchen

Remodeling a kitchen is overwhelming enough, but once you add in choosing the right appliances, you may find yourself going over the edge! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with everything that you need to know about choosing the perfect appliances.

Here are 4 things you need to do when choosing the right appliances for your newly remodeled kitchen:

  1. Create Your Plan: Yes, you will need a plan for your appliance purchase, as it will help you avoid buying something that will not make this new space look and feel as it should! We recommend that you take the layout of your new kitchen, your budget, your lifestyle, and the style of this space into consideration before deciding on the appliances that you want.
  1. Choosing Your Range or Cooktop and Wall Oven: Depending on how much room you have in your new kitchen, you may have the option to install a cooktop and wall oven instead of a range. Each option has its own benefits, but you will need to know which one will benefit you the most. Of course, if your new kitchen is smaller, you won’t have a choice but to stick with a range. Thankfully, there are multiple fantastic options available, so you can get one that meets all your criteria. Oh, and don’t forget about features like speed cooking, which can cut your time in the kitchen in half!
  1. Choosing Your Refrigerator: There used to be a time when all refrigerators were the same, but that is not the case today! Nowadays, you can choose from a top or bottom freezer and side by side units. You also have the option of freestanding, built-in, and fully integrated models. We do recommend that you have an idea of what size refrigerator you will need before you design your kitchen remodel, so you create a large enough space for the one that you eventually purchase. You may also want to consider purchasing a supplemental refrigerator that fits underneath your countertop, as it is an excellent place to store beverages and even a few snacks.
  1. Choosing a Dishwasher: Dishwashers no longer need to be out in the open in kitchens, as they can be fully integrated just like refrigerators. That means that the look of a dishwasher is not as important as it once was. Therefore, you can focus more on the inside of the dishwasher, as you see how much can fit inside and how well it does its job. If you do not want a standard dishwasher or are looking at installing a second one in your newly remodeled kitchen, we recommend considering one of the new dishwasher drawers. They work well, do not take up as much space, and can even be installed in an island. And, think of how much faster you can get the dishes done when you are entertaining!

Taking these four things into consideration will help you as you are choosing the right appliances for your newly remodeled kitchen. Do not think that you can walk into a store and pick out the first appliances that you see. Some thought needs to go into this process or you will find yourself using appliances that do not work as well as they should for your needs!

Create a Guest Bathroom to Be Proud of Before the Holidays with These Helpful Tips

When was the last time you spent a little bit of time in your guest bathroom? Do you use it all the time or do you basically walk in to give it a once over before guests arrive? If you do the latter, then we recommend starting to use your guest bathroom for a few days. This will allow you to view it through your guests’ eyes and that will show you what improvements may need to be completed.

Here are 4 helpful tips that will allow you to create a guest bathroom to be proud of before the holidays:

Update Your Vanity

Outdated vanities can make bathrooms look dated as well, which is why one of the first things that you will want to do is replace yours. You can choose the same style or switch things up by choosing something new. You may even decide that you want to purchase a vanity that has more storage, especially if this is something that you have been lacking in the past.

Update Your Knobs and Pulls

Removing your old knobs and pulls and replacing them with new ones can instantly change the appearance of your bathroom. This is the easiest tip that we can give you for this holiday season, so if you are short on time, start with this one. However, we also recommend considering replacing your towel bars and hooks, as you are replacing your other hardware. This way everything will be shiny and new!

Upgrade Your Paint

Bathroom walls can look tired when the paint has been on them for many years. If your walls are looking a little dingy, or you have never been thrilled with the paint color in your guest bathroom, give it a fresh coat of paint. This may take a couple of days, but the results will make it look like you spent hours in there.

Add Some Accessories

Guest bathrooms can look so bland and boring, because many homeowners do not take the time to add any accessories or other décor. Add some scented soaps, a festive holiday bouquet, a scented electric candle, or other holiday décor to the room. Holiday towels will also give this space a little extra style.

You are going to want your guests to be able to relax when they are using your guest bathroom instead of rushing through what they need to do before bolting out! Give this space a little TLC before the holidays begin and you may find that you even want to use this space more in the future.

Consider These 5 Things as You Plan to Remodel Your Kitchen Before the Holidays Arrive

Do you use your kitchen differently during the holidays? We bet that you do, because we know that we are doing different things in ours once this busy season arrives. If you are trying to plan a kitchen remodel before the holidays arrive, we urge you to keep in mind that you will need this space to work differently at certain times of the year. This way, you can incorporate those things into your new space.

Here are 5 things to consider as you plan to remodel your kitchen before the holidays arrive:

Incorporate Out of the Way Seating

Seating is quite necessary in a kitchen, but we understand that you don’t always want to be bumping into chairs and benches. We encourage you to try to incorporate seating that will be out of your way when you are planning your kitchen remodel. Install a lounging area on a wall or under a window for the ultimate in comfort. Add some vibrant cushions on top and even add storage below, so you never need to worry about where you are putting all those extra holiday kitchen items.

Add a Fireplace

There is nothing cozier than a fireplace, especially during the holiday season. The dancing flames will add ambiance to the room, while creating a focal point and a place for everyone to gather.

Add Open Shelves or Glass Fronts on Cabinets

Displaying special dishes and décor out in the open will make your kitchen look more inviting, plus when people can see things, they do not need to ask where to find a glass or plate. We do not think that you should go overboard with open shelving though, as couple of shelves will do. Any more may make your kitchen look cluttered or overwhelming. However, you can never go wrong with glass fronts on cabinets, as long as you can keep everything inside nice and neat.

Install Garbage and Recycling Areas

We understand that you do not want your garbage can out in the middle of your kitchen floor but storing a small garbage can under your kitchen sink can be just as annoying. Your guests might want to throw things away as you are cleaning up a few dishes or they will be continuously asking you where the garbage is located. We recommend installing pull-out drawers that can store your garbage and recycling cans and even leaving them ajar, so everyone can find them easily during parties.

Create a Drink Area

Everyone loves grabbing a cup of coffee or tea after their meal, and you can make it much easier for everyone by installing a drink area in your newly remodeled kitchen. A coffee pot that makes individual cups can be placed in this area, as well as cups, coffee, tea, creamer, sugar, stirrers, and maybe even some hot cocoa for the children.

Don’t worry, you will appreciate all these renovation ideas at any time of the year, so do not think that you can only use them during the holiday season. Instead, incorporate them into your new kitchen and then utilize them any time that you wish. You’ll be happy that you included them!

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