A Brief Guide for Choosing your countertops—Quartz and Large-Format Porcelain

Today, I am going to continue the topic on how to choose right counter-tops for your kitchens. I talked about natural stones for countertops last week. If you haven’t read it, you can click here

Quartz

If you are the one who want modern look with less care but still want some natural elements, quartz countertops  are  the kind for you.

Quartz are engineered stone products  consisting of about 95-percent ground natural quartz and other materials with 5-percent binding resins. Here are the main features for quartz countertops:

1.Moh’s scale 6.5—7

2.Engineered from natural materials(Quartz) and added polymers, pigments and resins.

3. Engineered to be heat, scratch, pitch and stain resistant (but not bulletproof)

4. Mild soap and warm water to clean

5. Polished and textured finishes

6. Kitchen and bath applications

7. Not acceptable for outdoor applications.

Not all quartz countertops are created equal. The main players include: Silestone, Cambria, and Caesarstone.

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Caesarstone Countertop Kitchen
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Cambria Countertop Kitchen
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Siltstone Countertop kitchen

Large-Format Porcelain

Large format porcelain tiles are really hitting the countertop market with their versatile designs now thanks to the advanced digital print technologies. Composed of clays and minerals fired at very higher temperatures, porcelain is a durable surface and is on the rise for use in kitchens and bathrooms.

Slabs of porcelain can come in sizes as large as 10’ x 5’, though they can be custom ordered to be much bigger or smaller. One of the most notable qualities of these slabs that you might discover in person is how thin they are. Measuring just 6-12mm in thickness, they automatically become some of the easiest and most lightweight materials to work with.

Here are some features of porcelain countertops:

  1. Moh’s scale: 7—9

2. Engineered material

3. The hardest, most heat, scratch and stain resistant materials of all materials used for countertops.

4. Mild soap and warm water to clean

5. Polished and textured finishes

6. Kitchen and bath applications

7. Indoor and outdoor application

8. Commercial application.

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Companies such as Neolith and Florim have come out with stunning surfaces, with patterns that look almost identical to marble. Metropolitan has been fabricating full height backsplashes and full height fireplaces with large format porcelain, creating unique and beautiful spaces.

I hope you find the above information helpful

There are some protection kits. cleaning kits and pain kits you may find useful for your quartz countertop.

Happy Thursday

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.com

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A Brief Guide for Choosing your countertops—Natural Stone

There are several big decisions if you are planning  to renovate your kitchen. One of them is how to choose the proper materials for your kitchen countertops.  Two categories of materials are very popular in today’s kitchen remodeling market—natural stones and engineered materials.  Today, I am going to talk about the natural stone countertops.

50% of my clients really love the organic looks and elegant veins of natural stones.The popular natural stones in kitchen & bath applications include granite, marble, quartzite.

Granite

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Granite still stays very strong in the market demand.  Granite has following features:

  1. Moh’s scale 6-7.  Moh’s scale is used to measure the relative hardness of a mineral by its resistance to scratching. From softest to hardest, the ten minerals of the Mohs scale are talc (measuring 1 on the scale), gypsum, calcite, fluorite, apatite, orthoclase, quartz, topaz, corundum, and diamond (measuring 10 on the scale).
  2. Natural materials;
  3. High heat, scratch, etch and stain resistance;
  4. Minimal maintenance, mild soap and warm water to clean;
  5. Polished and textured or honed finishes;
  6. Excellent for kitchen and bath applications;
  7. Outdoor applications. Be careful for the dark-color granite. They can become really hot if  exposed in high heat for a very long time. We usually recommend clients to use covers.

Marble 

Marble countertops, specially Carrara marble,  are extremely popular in the west coast thanks to its natural and elegant veins.

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Marble is a metamorphic stone found in mountainous regions of North America, South America, Asia, and Europe—from Colorado to Brazil and Italy. It’s created by the physical or chemical alteration of sediment into a denser form through heat and/or pressure. The resulting rock has a crystalline nature enabling it to take a polish. It also has veins of mineral deposits that pattern it, no two slabs are exactly alike. Marble has following features:

  1. Moh’s scale 3-4;
  2. natural materials;
  3. Heat resistant.
  4. Less Scratch, etch and stain resistance than Granite, quartzite and engineered quartz;
  5. Mild soap and warm water to clean;
  6. Polished and textured finishes;
  7. Acceptable for kitchen and bath applications. 
  8. Not for out-door application.

Please click here to learn more

Quartzite

quartzite-countertop-crush.jpgQuartzite is a very hard metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone. … Quartzite is ideal for any countertop surface due to its strength and long-lasting composition. some of quartzite features include:

1. Moh’s Scale 7( harder than Granite);

2.Natural material;

3.High heat, scratch, etch and stain resistance;

4Mild soap and warm water to clean;

5. Polished and textured finishes;

6. Excellent for kitchen and bath application;

7.Acceptable for outdoor applications.

Happy Thursday

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.com



Cool Technologies from KBIS2019 Series 1–Sous Vide cooking

It has been 2 weeks since the closing of KBIS 2019.  There are just so much information we got from the show and it does take time to digest everything.  Meanwhile, I read some articles about trends from the KBIS show. Yes, there is a sea of  info out there.  I think that may be a good approach if I just share some cool technologies and ideas  that really blew me away in a series and really go deep on each topic rather than writing kind of general for everything.

So, today , I will share one take-away— Series 1 from KBIS2019Signature Kitchen suite‘s new feature for the residential range cooking—Sous Vide. First of all,  from what I learned, this built-in Sous Vide feature might just be exclusive to Signature Kitchen suite Duo 48″ by now.  And  I am sure that other brands will catch up soon.  Second, if you are just like me, never heard Sous Vide before, don’t worry. We are going to learn this new way of cooking together here.

Ok, well, the words of Sous Vide, not surprisingly is a  French term for “under vacuum”.  Sous Vide  is a method of cooking in which food is placed in a plastic pouch or a glass jar and cooked in a water bath for longer than normal cooking times  at an accurately regulated temperature. The temperature is much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 55 to 60 °C (131 to 140 °F) for meat, higher for vegetables. The intent is to cook the item evenly, ensuring that the inside is properly cooked without overcooking the outside, and to retain moisture” —quote from Wikipedia

Simply put,  sous Vide is to cook your vacummed and sealed  food in a water bath with a precisely controlled and lower than regular temperature(the lower temperature can retain nutrients better).  You might already  experience the evenly cooked and juicy steak from one of Michelin-rated restaurants and wander why ? Yes, this is the result of Sous Vide cooking —their secret weapon to guarantee that the food will NEVER be over-cooked. Of course, Sous Vide is not a new concept for commercial cooking and of course they have all sorts of gauges to make it happen.  But now, Signature Kitchen suite just introduced  this cool way of cooking to residential cooking .

So how does Signature Kitchen Suite built-in Sous vide work?

 

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There are 4 steps:

STEP 1

Fill your water bin to the recommended level and set your temperature and time to your desired doneness.

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Step 2:

Season according to the recipe and seal your food in a high-grade bag with the vacuum sealer we’ve provided as a gift-with-purchase with your product registration.

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Step 3:

Place the bag into the water bath and cook according to your desired time and temperature. Don’t worry, it’s nearly impossible to overcook food with sous vide.

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STEP 4

Remove from the bag and finish on both sides with a quick sear on a cast iron skillet on our Ultra-HighTMheat gas burners, or on your gift-with-purchase induction grill plate over the dual-zone induction burners.

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Here is the video that you can learn the importance of Sous vide:

https://www.signaturekitchensuite.com/us/our-story/sous-vide#sous-vide-steak

 

By the way, Signature Kitchen Suite won Best of KBIS – Kitchen Gold for the 48-inch Dual-Fuel Pro Range with Built-in Sous Vide! And here is the big party they hosted on the show:

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Tile Trends 2019 II

Hello, everyone, here is our part II tile trends in 2019.  If you haven’t red the part I, please click here to learn more 

 

I  recently attended Daltile designer event for the showcase of new tile products.  I feel it is pretty amazing specially I can find the local manufactures who custom-made such fashionable and cool design tiles right here in our backyard.  Here are 2 of trends I observed from the showcase:

  1. Moroccan tile influence : Moroccan tiles are famous for its hand-made quality, its uniqueness,  fun patterns and craftsmanship. People start to bring these vibes to machine-made ceramic tiles with lower cost and much-faster lead time. Here are some samples I found  from the showcase:
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Don’t you just like this  fashionable vintage color pairs : sky-blue and bright yellow in such a playful Moroccan-style geometric pattern.
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Do you notice the chiseled edge? It’s quite boho and organic. I think these tiles can make a very adorable counter backsplash. Again, the pop of yellow make me feel cheerful.
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This tile design is one of my favorites. I love the muted neutral color palette. This pattern can be quite classic and modern at the same time. It truly can make your kitchen stay timeless.

2. Color, color, color : there will be more bold colors for tile design in 2019.  I did a lot of grey tile projects in the past several years and I am open to some fashionable and bold colors.

I found coral and red at the showcase. The colors do make me feel excited:

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This coral tiles will be perfect for a guest bathroom—warm and inviting.
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What do you think of color of red. This red tiles will make a strong statement in a powder room.  I specially like the textured surface.

We will be in KBIS 2019 next week, please follow us on our Instagram story for more trend findings.

5 Principles to Re-paint your Kitchen Cabinets

How do you like painted kitchen cabinets?

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In case you just want to have a quick make-over of your kitchen, re-painting your kitchen cabinets might be one of the fastest ways to achieve this goal.  However, there are some principles you can follow to make the result of your painting job  look good. Here are 5 principles in the aspects of prep, tools, kinds of paints, paint finishes, coatings…

You can read more by click here 

5 Under-rated Appliances You Should incorporate into Your Kitchen

If you are thinking how to make your kitchen more efficient, more supportive for healthy eating and more fun for entertaining, here are 5 underrated appliances you definitely should consider to incorporate in your kitchen project: click here for detail

 

 

Trend Altert—eat-in kitchen with built-in banquette

Wouldn’t be nice to have a cozy and intimate eat-in area in your kitchen.   The built-in banquette solution, for sure, help achieve this kitchen goal while often providing neat looking and  extra storage.  Here are some of or favorites.

 

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Better using the corner space while add a touch of chic style in the kitchen.  Love those pillow throws and cute chairs!
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While the kitchen still keeps its traditional vibes, a eat-in area with marble dining table lend a hand of modern flair. 
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A sunny day with a comfy seating.
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Buit-in bench with artwork above creates such a neat, open and clean looking.
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Elegant
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Cozy and intimate

Happy Thursday

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.com

7 Kitchen Remodeling Trends

If you are planning a kitchen  remodeling this year, you probably would like to know what’s in at the current moment.  Who doesn’t want to have the newest and best materials, products and design options for their home remodeling projects.  Plus, to get to know the trends always help you a lot on how to decide to invest your money wisely in terms of the resale values.  Here are 7 most popular trends in kitchen & bath modeling projects:

 

  1.  The most popular feature to upgrade in a renovated kitchen was the countertop, followed by the sink and backsplash, according to the survey. Faucets, wall finishes, lighting fixtures and cabinets were next on the upgrade list. kitchentrends1quartz-stone-kitchen-countertops-worktops-bench-tops-solid-surface-stone-for-kitchen-countertops
  2. The most popular kitchen countertop material is engineered quartz. White and multicolored countertops top the list.
  3. Wood floors are the top choice for kitchen flooring replacement. and wood tone is the most popular color.       kitchentrends2beautiful-white-kitchen-design-ideas-grey-metal-pendant-lighting-stainless-steel-double-door-refrigerator-freezer-brown-wooden-laminate-flooring-tile-ceramic-backsplash
  4. Shaker is the most popular cabinet style by far. The most popular cabinet style among those upgrading their cabinets was Shaker, followed by flat-panel (also known as slab).  kitchentrends3nice-white-shaker-style-cabinet-doors-best-25-white-shaker-kitchen-cabinets-ideas-on-pinterest-shaker.jpg
  5. White cabinets continue to rule kitchen cabinet upgrading followed by wood cabinets.  kitchen24.jpg
  6. The most popular kitchen backsplash is white.
  7. The most popular wall color is gray.

You can read the details by clicking here 

 

Happy Wednesday

 

http://www.khkdesignsinteriors.con

Hot Kitchen Design Trends in 2017

We all agree that kitchen is the heart of home.   Today, people treat kitchen more like a new living room, where, besides cooking, they lounge, entertain and host get- together parties.   Therefore, kitchen design has shifted from traditional triangle focus to creating multi-functional zones.

Summer is coming.  A lot of people start to plan kitchen remodeling.  According to NKBA’s 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends Report, here are 10 kitchen trends to watch for.

1. Clean lines, built-ins and simple door styles dominate kitchen designs. Contemporary- styled kitchens will overtake traditional to be the second most popular design after transitional. Emerging: industrial and mid century modern. Mountain modern and coastal are variations on contemporary.

 

NKBA-Trends2017-Clean lines-Nar-Bustamante
 Credits: Designer: Nar Bustamante. NAR Fine Carpentry Inc., Carmichael, CA. Photo: Fred Donha

2. White and gray painted cabinets dominate kitchen color schemes and show no signs of slowing down, especially gray. Blue painted and high gloss cabinets are emerging. For overall color schemes, blue as well as black are emerging.

NKBA-Trends2017-White-gray- Cheryl Kees-Clendenon
Credits: Designer: Cheryl Kees Clendenon. In Detail Interiors, Pensacola, FL. Photo: Greg Riegler

3. Two-toned kitchens are gaining in popularity. Also mixing it up: materials and metals, across surfaces and as accents.

NKBA-Trends2017-two-toned-Leslie-Lamarre
Credits: Designer: Leslie Lamarre, CKD, CID. Co-Designer: J. Michael McGinn, CID. TRG Architecture + Interior Design, San Mateo, CA. Photo: Bernard Andre

4.While wood cabinets dominate kitchen designs, metal – currently a small segment of the cabinet market – appears to be emerging. Metal cabinets are most frequently specified by younger and male designers.

NKBA-Trends2017-Metal-cabinets-Sandra-Gjesdahl
Credits: Designer: Sandra Gjesdahl. Co-Designer: Scott Gjesdahl. Bristol Design and Construction, Seattle, WA. Photo: Cory Holland

5.Furniture-look pieces, rollouts, pullouts and under cabinet lighting (LED) are among the most popular kitchen cabinet features. Crown molding is declining. Rustic and reclaimed woods were mentioned.

NKBA-Trends2017-furniture-rollouts-Gina-Bon
Credits: Designer: Gina Bon, CMKBD. Airoom LLC, Lincolnwood, IL. Photo: Cherie Cevantes

 

6.Quartz is the most popular kitchen countertop material, and trending up. Granite, the second most popular countertop material, is trending down.

NKBA-Trends2017-Quartz-counter-Dedra-Hinano-Nahinu
Credits: Designer: Dedra Hinano Nahinu, CKD. Co-Designer: J.R. Ludlow, AKBD. Inspiration Interiors, Honolulu, HI. Photo: Augie Salbosa

7. Induction cooktops and convection ovens are trending higher, and microwave drawers are outpacing freestanding or built-in microwaves.

NKBA-Trends2017-induction-oven-Gladys-Schanstra
Credits: Designer: Gladys Schanstra, CKD, CBD. Schanstra Interior Design, Melrose Park, IL. Photo: Eric Hausman

8. Technology in the kitchen is increasing. About one-third of NKBA professionals included wiring and pathways for future tech integration. Also trending: internet connected appliances and docking stations.

NKBA-Trends2017-technology-Leslie Lamarre
Credits: Designer: Leslie Lamarre, CKD, CID. Co-Designer: J. Michael McGinn, CID. TRG Architecture + Interior Design, San Mateo, CA. Photo: Bernard Andre

9.Interior barn and pocket doors are trending up.

NKBA-Trends2017-pocket-doors-Robin-Fisher
Credits: Designer: Robin R. Fisher, CMKBD, CAPS. Robin Rigby Fisher Design, Portland, OR. Photo: Dale Lang

10. Accessible and/or universal design features continue to trend up for kitchens.

NKBA-Trends2017-Universal-design-Cassandra Nordell-MacLean
Credits:Designer: Cassandra Nordell-MacLean. William Standen Co., Sarnia, ON. Photo: Gerald Mabee

For more NKBA studies on this topic, please click here

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