Sunday, July 16, 2017

Pros and Cons of Pine, Hickory, and Alder Cabinets

The pros and cons of three lesser-known cabinet wood types.

Pine has a long, continuous grain that offers a rugged look. Its natural appearance lends itself particularly well to country-style kitchens.


  • Price. Pine is inexpensive compared to other wood types.
  • Takes paint well. Because of its smooth texture, pine looks beautiful when painted.
  • Natural appearance. Pine develops a nice, rustic patina from age and use.
  • Moisture resistant. Pine resists shrinking and swelling.


  • Dents easily. Because pine is a softwood, it is prone to scratches and dents.
  • Choose in person. Because the surface of pine cabinets can have many knots, it is recommended to choose pine cabinets in person.

Hickory, also known as “Pecan,” is a member of the walnut family. It is grown in the eastern U.S. and is the hardest, heaviest, and strongest American wood species. Hickory has a unique appearance with intense color variation from near white to dark brown often in the same board.


  • Strength and hardness. Hickory is tougher and stronger than maple and oak.
  • Unique appearance. Hickory's eye-catching appearance is sure to make any kitchen look attractive and customized.


  • Gentle care. Cleaning hickory cabinets requires gentle care. Hickory cannot be scoured with any kind of abrasive cleaner or cleaning utensil.
  • Price. Hickory is more expensive than other cabinet wood types.

Alder, sometimes called “poor man’s cherry,” has light red tones, a soft grain pattern, and offers an appearance similar to that of cherry.


  • Cost. Alder is less expensive than cherry and provides a similar aesthetic appearance.
  • Darkens less over time. Alder does not darken as much as cherry over time.


  • Softer than cherry. Alder is not as hard as cherry. If something a little more dent resistant is preferred, opt for cherry. If the possibility of denting is less of a concern, then alder is a great, cost-effective option.

Summing up.
While there are a variety of cabinet wood types to choose from, and each one has its own list of pros and cons, the main differences between cabinet wood types are price and aesthetic appearance. The primary question to ask yourself is,"what do you think looks best?" What will make you fall in love with your space and breathe a sigh of relief when you walk into your kitchen, bathroom, or other room in your home?

I hope this was helpful and aided your investigation into finding the right cabinets for your home! Stay tuned for next month's blog post where we'll talk about the differences in aesthetic appearance between cabinet wood types. We might even include tips on how to pair cabinets with granite counter tops!

Until next time!

If there's something you'd like to see us cover in a future blog post, please leave a comment with your request below!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Pros and Cons of Maple, Cherry and Oak Cabinets

Hi Everyone!

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Pearl, and I'm the new sales assistant at Kitchen Concepts!

Let's get down business - or should I say cabinets! As a new sales assistant at Kitchen Concepts, I have been researching cabinetry so that I can be more helpful to customers when they walk through the door. I thought I'd share what I've learned so far, so in this post I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of maple, cherry, and oak cabinets.

Maple is a hardwood with a fine, uniform grain pattern. It is a light-colored wood and is often stained or glazed and sealed with a light finish to bring out its natural color and cream-like textural appearance.

  • Versatile. Maple is great for both traditional and contemporary designs. It takes both light and dark stains well.
  • Durable. Maple is one of the strongest, hardest wood types, making it an ideal choice for high-use areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Affordable. Maple is more expensive than oak, but less expensive than other wood-types.
  • Price. Maple is more expensive than some types of wood, such as oak and pine.

   Design Tip: Maple can be stained to mimic a pricier wood such as cherry or mahogany.

Cherry has a pinkish-brown hue and a soft, elegant grain pattern. It is one of the most highly sought-after wood types in North America by both consumers and manufacturers because of its beautiful appearance and exceptional durability.

  • Durable. Cherry is one of the hardest wood-types. It is very durable and resistant to decay. It is an ideal wood for high-use areas, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Polishes well. Cherry sands to an almost glass-like smoothness, making it exceptionally beautiful when finished.
  • Grain pattern. Cherry’s fine, straight grain makes it perfect for all types of finishes.
  • Natural aesthetic. Even unstained, cherry has a rich, beautiful color.
  • Price. Cherry is one of the most expensive types of wood.

Oak is known for being very hard, heavy, and strong. Its grain characteristics include knots, wormholes, and random varying patterns. Its texture is coarse, and its porous surface takes stains well. Oak is both affordable and durable, which makes it a practical choice for any homeowner.

  • Durable. Oak is often cut in a way that makes it resistant to warping.
  • Lightweight. Oak is lighter than other types of wood.
  • Affordable. Oak is less expensive than maple or cherry, and is still attractive and durable.
  • Stains well. Red oak cabinets stain evenly.
  • Distinctive grain. Oak has a distinctive grain pattern that may not appeal to all buyers. Also, stain can overly darken and exaggerate the grain and end up looking two-toned.
  • Mineral deposits. Streaks of yellow, green, or even black can appear in oak cabinetry due to mineral deposits in the wood.

I hope you found this post helpful and that it answered your maple, cherry, and oak cabinetry questions! Keep an eye out for next month's post where I'll continue to discuss the pros and cons of other less popular cabinet wood types including pine, hickory, and alder!

If you have any questions in the mean time, do not hesitate to contact Kitchen Concepts or stop by our showroom. Contact information can be found on the homepage of our website.

Thanks for reading and good luck with your kitchen remodel!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Shades of gray

Shades of Gray
While white and wood remain the most popular choices for kitchen cabinets, gray has been becoming more and more popular in 2017. This new neutral provides a sleek sophisticated alternative for modern homes. When paired with white or black countertops, gray cabinetry provides an understated backdrop that allows accent colors to really pop. Because gray is a neutral shade, it compliments all hues and pairs well with almost every color, and every wood tone.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

  •  Sleek and stylish Drawer Pulls
A great choice for modern and contemporary kitchens, elongated stainless steel drawer pulls enhance kitchens clean lines.
  • Subtle contrast hardware
Elegant rubbed- bronze hardware highlights dark brown flecks in countertops and contrasts with light- colored cabinetry.
  • Traditional Elegance
Understated brushed nickel knobs compliment the ornate beveled edges and molding of cabinetry.
  • Antique Detail Knobs
This vintage inspired hardware collection features unique painted patterns on the knobs and pulls that compliment the design of the kitchen.
  • Classic Drawer Pulls and Knobs
Dark rubbed- bronze cupped drawer pulls and knobs , paired with clean white cabinetry, enhance kitchens simple classic look.
  • Eclectic look vs. Traditional knobs
Beaded kitchen hardware is a visually appealing alternative to traditional knobs and pulls.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

  • # 1 in performance among all countertop surfaces.
  • Engineered with optimal fusion of quartz and resin.
  • limited residential lifetime warranty.
  • Q premium natural quartz is manufactured using internationally patented bretonstone system of Breton S.p.A ., Italy, as well as state-of-the-art manufacturing systems across the globe.
  • 99.9% solid, non porous surface provides superior stain, scorch, scratch, and chip resistance.
  • impervious to bacteria and other microorganisms
  • NSF certified.
  • GreenGuard gold certified.
  • Member of the US Green Building Council.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Radiant Floor Heat

Radiant Floor Heat

Are Your Feet Cold?

Are your feet cold always cold? Mine are! How amazing would it be to walk around your house during the winter in socks or barefooted and have your floors be warm?  Let's talk about that.

What is radiant heat? 

Radiant Heat: Radiant heating systems supply heat directly to the floor or to panels in the wall or ceiling of a house. The systems depend largely on radiant heat transfer -- the delivery of heat directly from the hot surface to the people and objects in the room via infrared radiation. Radiant heating is the effect you feel when you can feel the warmth of a hot stovetop element from across the room. When radiant heating is located in the floor, it is often called radiant floor heating or simply floor heating. Electric in-floor heating systems generate an even heat throughout your home and will not disturb dust, reducing the chance of possible allergic reactions. What's more, radiant heated floors reduce noise levels and the amount of dry air in your home. There are other benefits to floor heating as well, including financial perks, as they are inexpensive to install and typically don't add more than a quarter to electric bills.

Cost for Radiant heat:
Electric radiant floor heating costs about $5 to $7 per square foot for the materials or $8 to $12 or more per square foot with professional installation.  $6 to $16 a square foot for a professionally installed hydronic radiant floor heating system


There are three types of radiant floor heat:
1. Radiant air floors (air is the heat-carrying medium)
2. Electric radiant floors
3. Hot water (hydronic) radiant floors. 


Air cannot hold large amounts of heat, so radiant air floors are not cost-effective in residential applications, and are seldom installed. Although they can be combined with solar air heating systems, those systems suffer from the obvious drawback of only producing heat in the daytime, when heating loads are generally lower. The inefficiency of trying to heat a home with a conventional furnace by pumping air through the floors at night outweighs the benefits of using solar heat during the day. Although some early solar air heating systems used rocks as a heat-storage medium, this approach is not recommended (see solar air heating systems).
Electric radiant floors typically consist of electric cables built into the floor. Systems that feature mats of electrically conductive plastic mounted on the subfloor below a floor covering such as tile are also available.
Because of the relatively high cost of electricity, electric radiant floors are usually only cost-effective if they include a significant thermal mass such as a thick concrete floor and your electric utility company offers time-of-use rates. Time-of-use rates allow you to "charge" the concrete floor with heat during off-peak hours (approximately 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.). If the floor's thermal mass is large enough, the heat stored in it will keep the house comfortable for eight to ten hours without any further electrical input, particularly when daytime temperatures are significantly warmer than nighttime temperatures. This saves a considerable number of energy dollars compared to heating at peak electric rates during the day.
Electric radiant floors may also make sense for home additions if it would be impractical to extend the heating system into the new space. However, homeowners should examine other options, such as mini-split heat pumps, which operate more efficiently and have the added advantage of providing cooling.
Hydronic (liquid) systems are the most popular and cost-effective radiant heating systems for heating-dominated climates. Hydronic radiant floor systems pump heated water from a boiler through tubing laid in a pattern under the floor. In some systems, controlling the flow of hot water through each tubing loop by using zoning valves or pumps and thermostats regulates room temperatures. The cost of installing a hydronic radiant floor varies by location and depends on the size of the home, the type of installation, the floor covering, remoteness of the site, and the cost of labor.

Now you can decide if radiant heat is the right thing for your house.  Keep your feet warm in the winter.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


What Are the Pros and Cons?
Pros to Soapstone:


Durability is one of its’ biggest pro to soapstone and it’s common to see soapstone stoves and sinks that were manufactured in the 1800s still being used today in the northeast section of the United States. If you decide to purchase one for your kitchen work surface you can consider it to be a beautiful investment for life.

Aesthetic value

When it comes to any soapstone countertops, no 2 slabs are ever the same. The one that you have decorating your kitchen will never be duplicated in any other home. Your countertop will become a personal treasure and will grow on you as it ages.
The color of the stone can vary depending on the area that is coming from. The colors can range from an almost pale green to a light gray and if you choose a slab that comes from Brazil, you’ll often see the same type of veining that you’d find in fine marble. You’ll have the option of applying mineral oil to soapstone countertops to darken the look or you can keep it looking natural and avoid the oiling process completely. Mineral oil does not have to be applied and you’ll have the choice between a lighter and a darker countertop based on your own personal preference.
It’s natural beauty makes it blend in perfectly with older traditional homes and cottage style houses but you’ll find it also appearing in higher-end luxury homes.


This stone won’t get damaged from heat and doesn’t stain. It’s a lot easier to cook with a soapstone countertop since you won’t have to worry about spilling things or placing hot items on it.  It is easy to clean.  Just mild soap with a sponge on dish rag.


They are are non-porous so it will never absorb liquids. Spilling a glass of red wine on the counter is not a problem and any acidic liquids can be wiped right off as well. This type of stone is so dense that no type of sealant is required at all. You can only oil the countertop but this is only done for aesthetic reasons.
Environmentally friendly
Soapstone countertops are harvested from the earth and simply custom cut to fit your kitchen. It’s all-natural and can be recycled completely. No sealers or toxic chemicals of any kind will be introduced into your home. Nothing needs to be done to make soapstone beautiful since nature has taken care of this all on its own. Once it has been quarried from the earth it simply needs a cleanup and a trimming before it arrives at your door in its natural state.
Cons to Soapstone:

Regular maintenance

Some people prefer a hands-off approach when it comes to maintenance of a kitchen counter. If you want the surface to darken evenly you’ll have to oil it regularly to have this effect. If you’re not at all interested in any maintenance and don’t want to enjoy the natural look that comes along with normal wear and tear, you’d be better off with a grainte or a quartz countertop.
Some people just aren’t a huge fan of dealing with mineral oil that is greasy and can get on your clothes. With a quartz or stainless steel countertop it’s a set-and-forget type of deal. With granite, you’ll only have to apply sealer approximately once a year to keep it sleek and shiny.

Limited selection

When it comes to this stone, your selection of colors and patterns is going to be extremely limited. If you’re looking for something trendy and colorful, you won’t find it with with this stone.

Cost factor

While the cost of installation can be greatly reduced by doing it yourself, many people prefer to have the installation done by a company that has experience with this stone. This makes the whole process quick and easy but at the same time much more costly. In general, they can end up costing you more than what you would have to pay for other natural stone counters when the installation is supplied by the retailer that is selling you the soapstone slab.
Information taken from: