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finally redoing the kitchen - tell me your "favs"

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Sep 01, 2013, 07:40 PM
finally redoing the kitchen - tell me your "favs"
I am ripping my kitchen out to the walls and redoing floor to ceiling, including all new appliances, except range and hood. I've never done a whole kitchen before. I've read several books and talked with my cabinet guy and a general contractor (both clients) and watched a ton of DIY and This Old House. My kitchen size is not huge and my small house requires that I maximize storage.

What I'm wondering is, if you've done a kitchen lately what one or two things are you very glad you did and what would you not do again? I appreciate any advice or help.
Sep 01, 2013, 08:33 PM
Good: Soft close drawers (especially if there are any young kids in the house)
Good: Side by side ref /ref with pull-out freezer below. Just seems to work well.
Good: Faucet where sprayer attachment is part of the regular nozzle, not a separate faucet on the side.
Good: In-sink soap dispenser.
Bad: Low voltage "hockey puck" task lighting. Transformers only last 6 to 9 months.
Comment: Spend the extra money and get a high-end dishwasher. Much, much quieter.
Good: Deep sink, undermount if possible
Good/bad: Go for solid surface tops. If budget decrees laminate, get custom made directly from a countertop manufacturer. Do not buy laminate slabs from big box stores as those few edges will deteriorate in time.
Comment: Light! Lots of light

Sep 01, 2013, 09:23 PM
Wow! Thanks Jaybee. Sounds like I'm on track. Doing a solar tube - great natural light for AZ. I like the solid surface too - not stone and I'm done with laminate.
Appreciate the response immensely.
Sep 01, 2013, 10:09 PM
I started using the in-sink soap dispensers years ago, and loved them. But I found they only last a couple of years and then need replacing. And replacing them wasn't easy to match the style, and they weren't cheap, so I quit using them.

And I have met people that quit using them because it is too hard to add more soap to the holder -- I had to point out that you can remove the squirter and pour the soap in thru the top.

Also, check out what your plan is for a garbage pail for the kitchen. Under sink, or in a slide out drawer in a cabinet (my favorite). You can try Rev-A-Shelf for pics and info and stuff for the kitchen.

And I'm a particular fan of a base cabinet depth pantry cabinet with slide out drawers that is floor to upper cabinet height.

And what about cutting boards? Some cabinet shops love to pretend they don't exist, but I like them built in to the cabinetry.

And I prefer full overlay doors with cabinets that have no center stiles to get in the way. And to me, cabinet knobs and handles are 'jewelry' to cabinets -- it dresses them up.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
Sep 01, 2013, 10:10 PM
I haven't remodeled my kitchen, but what I would include if I did are these features:

Same comment as Jaybee on a sprayer attachment that's not on the side.

Good lighting is really important, but I would get it in both extra windows and a ceiling fan, which to me is an absolute necessity for dispersing the heat from cooking and baking. The difficulty is positioning it if you have a gas stove so that it doesn't blow over the flames.

Windows above the stove to help vent heat from baking and cooking.

A platform type shelf which would lay flat, or retract into a space above a lower base cabinet but which could be pulled out for extra cutting or working space, or even cooling baked goods, then slid back in when not needed.

A plate rail or some type of reachable rack for drying herbs.

If a closet butler's pantry isn't possible, at least a drawer specifically for linens, potholders and napkins.

This would really be for a remodel or rebuild that could change the location of the kitchen, but I'll offer it anyway: a north or east location, so the kitchen doesn't absorb the southerly and westerly sun, which in my case is the hottest and most intense.

I'm sure I'll think of more things, but these are just a few "off the top of my head."
Sep 02, 2013, 10:54 AM
All great ideas. I love the soap dispenser my soap dispenser - maybe it would make sense to buy two of the same kind at the start.
GardenSprite, I have ceiling fans in every room of my house except the kitchen. Between the pot rack, 7'8" ceiling and cabinets there is just not room for one. But I've got great natural light overlooking my desert gardens. The kitchen looks to the north and is in the center of the house, so doesn't get too hot.

Re-mdlr, where do you build in a cutting board? Into the counter top? Or a pull out board? We currently have a really nice old end grain board that just sits on top of the counter. My mom had what we called a bread board that pulled out of the cabinets. It was great for extra space of for cutting. When the family got too big for the table, we would lay it across one of the lower drawers with a small stool and a kid would eat there! Very versatile!

Thanks much!!!! I'll keep you posted.
Sep 02, 2013, 11:15 AM
Thought of a few more ideas, also raised by Re-mdlr:

Slide or pull out drawers for baking pans and casserole dishes, especially the glass pie plates and Pyrex items. It would be easier than squatting down and removing them to get to the items in the back of the cabinet (like I do).

Electrical outlets by all of the work spaces so multiple appliances can be used. Otherwise, the area with the sole outlet looks like an appliance storage area.

This is a really personal preference, and probably would be costly, but if I had no financial limitations, I'd have the sink plumbed so that the grey water could be discharged outside and used for recycling in the garden or on the lawn.

I must really be behind the times - I didn't even know built-in soap dispensers were used in residential kitchens!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Sep 02, 2013, 11:53 AM
all good ideas EXCEPT the solid surface counter top. I speak from experience and what my wife and I have found is that it scratchs very easy and if you get a white built in sink, it stains easily. You have to be careful not to put a hot pot or pan on it as it will melt the acrylic it is made from
If we were to do it again, we would use granite
My wife even said she preferred the laminate that the corian replaced
Sep 02, 2013, 03:46 PM
When I mention a cutting board, I'm thinking of one built into the cabinet just below the countertop, it has a slide out board -- maybe you call it a bread board.

And here is an appliance lift which I've installed several. Add an electrical outlet to the cabinet so it is always plugged in. It swings up and locks, then swings down out of the way. Click for appliance lift You can shop it for prices better than shown.

And slide out drawers all over are well worth it. They aren't expensive to add, but they're nice. I often use my foot to slide open the lower drawer, then if what I'm looking for is not there, I just use my foot to slide the drawer back in. (Getting old is tough).

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
Sep 07, 2013, 09:54 AM
Thanks everyone - these are very helpful. Nona, I may reconsider. Seems all surfaces have some drawbacks. Hmmmm!
Sep 07, 2013, 10:10 AM
I agree with you on that they all have drawbacks.

I've installed solid surface tops and like them -- but I didn't live with them so I can't speak from experience on how user friendly they are. But you can call in a countertop company and they can rework the surface and make it look like new if it wasn't too badly damaged.

And granite countertops have that jaw dropping appeal, but it seems like I spend too much time cleaning it so it looks good. And one countertop, I set a caustic chemical container on it and it ate into the finish. oops

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Re-mdlr,
Sep 20, 2013, 03:29 AM
Christine Welby
A great idea to customize a kitchen worktable is to install tiles over the countertop. I would choose some beautiful mosaic tiles. Bondera TileMatSet is way to handle tiling projects and it’s cost-effective. Because it is an advanced pressure-sensitive adhesive, it makes tiling projects easier, faster and cleaner than any other traditional methods such as mortar or mastic. It combines three features into one product: tile adhesive, water resistance, and crack isolation. I hope to see some “before & after” pictures, this would be great!
Sep 20, 2013, 10:27 AM
Well, what a surprise! Christine is back hawking Bondera again. Never gives up, does she?

She doesn't include a link, other than in her last post which included a phone number to an obscure company.

Is she a sales rep, does she have stock in Bondera? What's the story, Christine? Please enlighten us.

And you slipped up on recommending subway tiles, another of your favorites. Are you no longer representing a tile company?

BTW, I can't imagine anything uglier than subway tiles in a kitchen or bath. They have absolutely no appeal whatsoever. And who wants their home to resemble a subsurface tunnel?!