Tile Installation: It May Not Be Rocket Science, But It’s No Walk in The Park

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blog-31a-300x225Thanks to YouTube and Pinterest, we all have a new found confidence in do-it-yourself projects. Seeing a picture of someone doing some project makes us feel like, “Hey, if they can do it, I can too!” And while with some projects, this gusto gets you a great looking craft, with other projects you end up wasting time and money and throwing away your attempt. In fact, there are whole websites dedicated to these epic Pinterest fails. When it comes to tile installation, it may look easy, and sure, it’s not rocket science, but it isn’t a walk in the park either. At American Kitchens Inc, we highly recommend seeking out a professional for your tile installation, and we would love to help you get the job done right.

For starters, while tile installation may look like nothing more than a giant floor puzzle with glue, it actually takes a lot of planning and foresight. You need to think a few steps ahead to figure out where to start laying, how much tile to buy, what pattern you will have on your floor, and which direction you want your pattern facing. Sure, it’d be great to have a floor with the perfect square footage for the size tile you want, but it’s highly likely you will need to cut tile in order to cover the whole floor. You will need a wet tile saw. Of course, you can rent these at equipment rental stores, but there is actually a little skill required to not break the tiles when you try to cut them. And if you’ve ordered expensive tiles, especially ceramic or porcelain tiles, you will not want the added expense of breaking every other tile. You will need to install a sub floor before your tile installation can begin. Also not super difficult, but a step you probably hadn’t planned on that will require a lot of time. And once you are ready for the actual tile installation, you’ll need to make sure they all are both level &in straight lines- that doesn’t just happen on its own.

When it comes to tile installation, we recommend hiring our professionals to help you with the job. You can sure try it on your own first, and we’ll be here to help when you finally give up, but we’d like to save you the time and money and do it right the first time. Call us today at American Kitchens Inc.

What’s Trending in Tile?

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ThinkstockPhotos-176581822-300x200Tile is usually the material of choice when it comes to bathrooms. Choosing the right tile can make or break your dream bathroom. With so many choices to choose from, the task of selecting the right tile to suit your needs and tastes can be a little bit overwhelming. Let’s talk about some of the hottest trends in tile right now.

As with most older, or “retro” styles, they eventually make their comeback. Hexagonal tile is all the rage right now. These tiles are great in larger sizing for floors, or smaller sizes for backsplashes or shower walls. They draw the eye and create an instant and unique style.

It’s hard to do any research on tile lately without being flooded with reviews on wood-look tile. This tile is very versatile, and an excellent alternative to traditional, and expensive hardwood flooring. Wood porcelain tile is also a lot easier to clean and maintain. It comes in a vast array of grains and colors, which is also a huge bonus.

Gold is one of the biggest and timeless trends. Gold is king when it comes to all that glitters. You can get gold tile in glass and porcelain. The metallic trend is huge, and gold seems to be the front-runner. A touch of gold tile in your kitchen could be the focal point that makes your kitchen unforgettable.

Patterned tile is eye-catching and memorable. Patterned tile can make a bold statement in a large or small space. With so many colors and shapes to choose from, you can create a unique look that captures not only the current trends, but your personality as well.

Our friendly design experts at American Kitchens Inc. are up to date on all of the latest trends and styles and would be happy to show you some examples to make your vision a reality.

Why the Finish on Your Natural Stone Countertops Can Make or Break Your Kitchen Renovation

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ThinkstockPhotos-160840210-300x206When initially choosing a stone countertop, most homeowners often overlook the choice in finish for their counters. The finish on your stone countertops can affect the whole kitchen design.  For this reason, it is very important to understand what each individual finish looks like, feels like and how it can change the look of your stone of choice.

  • Polished: When envisioning a marble or granite countertop, most people think of a polished finish. This finish is brought about by the buffing and grinding of the stone countertop. A polished finish is shiny, slippery, smooth and glossy. A polished finish will magnify the true color and character of your stone countertop. In order to maintain the true luster of a polished finish, your natural stone countertop will require the use of special cleaners and an annual re-sealing.
  • Honed: A honed finish on stone countertops is a little less show than the polished finish. A honed finish is typically softer and does not reflect the intensity of shine. Though it is less shiny, it is just as smooth, boasting a more traditional look and feel. If stone countertops could be compared to photo-finishing, the honed finish would be comparable to a matte finish. A honed finish also hides flaws better than the polished finish and is great for casual and low-traffic areas of your home.
  • Leathered: This finish is only available to marble. This is a rougher finish that gives a natural impression and weathered feel – hence the designation “leathered.” This finish is most commonly used on dark stone countertops and has a smooth, yet slip-resistant texture.  Leathered stone countertops are known for their ability to hide smudges and fingerprints.

Contact us or stop by our showroom to see some fine examples of all of the above. We are located on Mercator Drive in Orlando, Florida. One of our friendly design experts will be happy to help you with choosing the stone countertop that suits your family’s needs and style.

The Most Popular Choices for a Home Remodel: The Kitchen and Bath

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logo-featured-300x135 (1)There are a number of responsibilities that come with home ownership. There are ongoing maintenance issues to contend with to keep your home in top condition. Another task is making sure your home is kept up-to-date, so its value doesn’t diminish with time. When a few years have gone by and it is time for a home remodel, the most popular choices are the kitchen and bath. Not only do these add the most value to your home, but they are the most enjoyed by the family, as well.

  • Kitchen – A kitchen home remodel project can be as simple as changing the facing on the cabinetry or as complex as gutting it completely and changing the floor plan entirely. Since a more open floor plan gives a home a more modern, open look, a kitchen remodel can also include removing walls. It is always wise to consult with a contractor before doing any type of demolition, though, so you don’t try to remove a loadbearing wall that could result in a collapse of your roof.
  • Bath – The second most popular home remodel project is a bath remodel. Popular choices include new tile, a larger shower, a garden or Jacuzzi bathtub, and having a double sink in the master bath. An older bath with the long-abandoned colors of harvest gold and avocado green is a key reason why many opt to update their bathroom. There are many new trendy colors you can go with, or you can go with white if you do not want to need to remodel again when the trends change in a few years.

At American Kitchens Inc. in Orlando, FL, our designers will be happy to discuss your nexthome remodel project. Give us a call or come in to our showroom to see what’s new in the world of home remodeling.

Organizing Your Dream Kitchen

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ThinkstockPhotos-160103733-300x200So now that you have your dream kitchen, the trick is keeping it an oasis of organization. Sure, there will always be dishes to be done, and the odd spill to be mopped up, but we want you to keep your vision of a beautiful, stress-free and inviting space. We have picked a few tips to ensure that your experience in your new dream kitchen is clean, convenient and organized.

  1. De-clutter. The dream kitchen you envisioned probably didn’t entail stacks of paper, homework, and that dusty old cookie jar that you will use “someday.” Go through your whole kitchen and sort your belongings into three piles: keep, toss, and donate. Not only will this experience help you on your path to organization, but it may also help you to find that cookie cutter you were looking for last Christmas, or finally part with that banana keeper that looked better online than it was useful. Embrace this experience! When you are pulling everything out, organize it into classifications: glassware, baking utensils, seasonal glassware, etc. This will make it easier when you are putting everything back.

 

  1. Most of your organizing will be intuitive and practical. All of those nifty features that you had installed in your dream kitchen are about to come in handy. Pots and pans should be near the stove in that extra deep drawer that you had installed, and your new pull-out cabinets are an excellent place for all of your oversized baking pans, trays and racks.

 

  1. One Word: Pinterest. That place where you gleaned information, glitzy pictures, and imaginings for your dream kitchen, is also a place to find great ideas on how to further maximize the amazing features you just had installed. There are hundreds of great ideas for not only organizing your new dream kitchen space, but also for maintaining all of its glory.

 

Don’t have your dream kitchen yet? We would love to help you bring all of your kitchen dreams to fruition. Contact us today for a custom design consultation. We have expert staff, and we pride ourselves in being a friendly and family-owned business. Is there anyone better to contact to help build your dream kitchen? The answer is no. We are Florida’s kitchen experts.

Kitchen Cabinets: 4 Things You Need to Know

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ThinkstockPhotos-137435655-300x200With the kitchen being the heart of the home, one of the first features to be noticed is your kitchen cabinets.  Installing new kitchen cabinets can turn your dated and inefficient kitchen into an organized, functional and stylish space. With so many choices for style, color, finish, concept and price-points, a little good advice will go a long way.

When considering installing new kitchen cabinets in your home, there are 4 things that you need to know.

  1. Look for kitchen cabinets that are certified by the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association. Kitchen cabinets that are certified by the KCMA are put through rigorous tests for temperature, exposure to humidity and surface tests with common kitchen substances such as vinegar, coffee, ketchup and citrus juices. Certified kitchen cabinets are also tested for stain-resistance and discoloration.
  2. With custom kitchen cabinets, you can make your storage personal. There are many custom designs to allow for conveniences such as pull-out recycling bins, deep drawers for pots and pans, or roll-out shelving to save your knuckles from being scraped while reaching to the back for the cinnamon. When you are shopping for new kitchen cabinets, make sure that you ask about the custom features offered that will make your life easier.
  3. Lighter colors make a room look bigger, while darker colors can have a more dramatic effect. There are a ton of different colors and stains to choose from when you are shopping for kitchen cabinets. What shade best suits your space or personality?
  4. When you are ready to dispose of your old kitchen cabinets, consider donating them to an organization such as Habitat for Humanity. Make sure you tell your contractor that you want to donate your old kitchen cabinets to ensure that they are carefully removed in order to preserve their future use.

The Top Three Reasons Why Quartz Countertops Are So Popular

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ThinkstockPhotos-160417928-200x300A new quartz countertop can be a simple home improvement that changes the life of your kitchen or bathroom. Besides being beautiful to look at, quartz has many other reasons for being your #1 choice for your new kitchen or bathroom re-design. Here are the top threereasons you should consider quartz countertops instead of their granite counterparts. No pun intended.

  1. Quartz countertops are stain resistant and very easy to clean. Quartz, like marble, is a non-porous surface. Not only does non-porous mean a sleeker shine, but this also means that with quartz countertops, you won’t have food and bacteria becoming trapped in the countertop. Quartz countertops are also heat-resistant, which means no scarring from hot pots and pans placed on their surface.  Another benefit to quartz – it doesn’t have to be sealed like its granite counterpart.  Due to its non-porous nature, it never has to be sealed, whereas granite has to be sealed upon installation and then at regular intervals for proper maintenance.
  2. Quartz countertops have natural durability. Quartz is a mineral, and it rates at 7.0 on the Moh’s hardness scale. The Moh’s hardness scale is the accepted measure of scratch resistance for a specific material. Only sapphires, topaz, and diamond have a harder rating, at 10.0, than quartz.
  3. Quartz countertops are cost effective when it comes to your home improvement. When you want the best value for your money, quartz is more cost-effective than its higher-priced, granite counterpart. Depending on the size of your kitchen, the cost of your new countertop can be a little overwhelming. By choosing quartz countertops, you can get that beautiful kitchen or bathroom without compromise.

At American Kitchens Inc. we have an expert design team ready to help you with all of your custom countertop needs. Contact us today to set up your own personal design consultation.