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.
(www.energy.gov/energysaver/radiant-heating)
(www.warmlyyours.com/en-US/floor-heating)

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


RADIANT FLOOR HEAT

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. 

TYPES OF RADIANT FLOOR HEAT

AIR-HEATED 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
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 RADIANT FLOORS
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.
(www.energy.gov/energysaver/radiant-heating)

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

Soapstone



Soapstone
What Are the Pros and Cons?
Pros to Soapstone:

Durability

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.

Workability

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.

Density

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:https://countertopinvestigator.com/soapstone-countertops/


Thursday, September 22, 2016



Fall Trends in Kitchens

There are three things to think about when remodeling your kitchen this fall. Think: Simplicity, Convenience, and Color.

Color:
Lee_Eisemann Pantone Color of the Year 2016 ROSE QUARTZ & SERENITY
  • Benjamin Moore Color Studio came up with 22 color trending now.  Check out link to see the colors.  After careful review of more then 250 white selection it was decided that Simply White OC-117  is the most neutral  in various light sources.


  • For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity (PANTONE 13-1520 & PANTONE 15-3919) are chosen as the PANTONE Color of the Year.

Color Blocked Kitchens — Two-tone and color blocked kitchens were trendy in 2015, and we expect to see them remain popular in 2016 as well.

Black Kitchens
 — Black is popping up in many kitchens, and many manufacturers are banking on black to be a noteworthy color for kitchens in 2016.


White Kitchens — White is currently the most popular color for kitchens, particularly for kitchen cabinets. Other popular kitchen elements include white kitchen tile backsplashes and white appliances.

Gray Kitchens — Gray is still a noteworthy color for every room in the home in 2016, but it’s an especially popular choice for decorating the kitchen.

Blue Kitchens — A range of blues are currently popular in 2016, and they’re all workable for use in decorating the kitchen. Navy blue and lighter blues pair beautifully with white, gray or other colors to complete the look.

This blue and white kitchen is on-trend for 2016.
Example of a Blue kitchen. (www.decoratorswisdom.com)

Are you thinking about what style would suite both you, your house and resale value down the road?  Here are some Kitchen Style Trends:
This picture gives you a glimpse at some of 2016's hottest kitchen design trend.
(Photo courtesy of Moen.com) Depicts some of 2016 hottest kitchen trends

Transitional Style Kitchens
A transitional kitchen is one that incorporates elements that are both traditional and contemporary. Transitional was an important design style for kitchens in 2015, with many homeowners remodeling their kitchens to reflect this style. We expect to see transitional kitchens remaining popular in 2016.
Shaker Style Kitchens
“Shaker style” is a style that fits within the broader transitional style. It is a minimalist look that is more traditional than modern style, but shares some common characteristics such as clean, simple lines and an uncluttered appearance.
Contemporary Style Kitchens
In 2015, transitional style had a slight edge over contemporary style; however, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, contemporary style was surging in popularity and was a close second to transitional style in terms of demand. As 2016 progresses, we expect to continue seeing strong demand for contemporary style kitchens.
In addition to Kitchen Style Trends there are Remodeling Trends. Here are some ideas to think about when putting in your dream kitchen.


Gourmet Kitchens
Many homeowners want to stock their kitchens with all the amenities it takes to cook healthy, delicious gourmet meals. Those who are remodeling their kitchens are making space in both their floor plans and their budgets for these amenities.


Home Offices, Docking Stations and Work Stations in the Kitchen
In 2015, the National Kitchen and Bath Association reported that desk or home office space has been created in a majority of new kitchens being designed by their members — approximately two-thirds of them. This space is also likely to include a docking station for recharging mobile devices.
The Decline of the Traditional Kitchen Table


When remodeling older kitchens in 2016, many homeowners continue to replace their kitchen tables with other choices such as kitchen islands or additional counter space.
Among those who are choosing to keep tables in their kitchens, pub tables, tall gathering tables and counter height tables are trendy choices for 2016. These tables are characterized by their height; they are typically 36 to 42 inches tall, which is taller than the standard kitchen table height of 30 inches.
Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans aren’t new by any means; this is a mature trend that is still current for 2016.
Let's think Countertop!
Granite Countertops Still Going Strong for 2016 — Those of you who follow trends are aware that granite countertops have been popular for what seems like ages now and still going strong.
White Granite Kitchen Countertops — White granite doesn’t always read as white; it often takes on a grayish appearance. This makes it an ideal surface for use by those who are embracing the gray trend, and also for those who are installing black or black-and-white kitchens. 
Quartz Kitchen Countertops — While quartz has a small percentage of the total overall market share for kitchen countertops, the demand for quartz counters is growing. This is definitely a trend to watch for 2016 and the years ahead.

Image result for granite countertops
Get started on your kitchen today!!

(Trend ideas from www.decoratorswisdom.com/)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cabinet Hardware

How Do I Know What is the Right Hardware for My Cabinets?

When it comes to hardware it is personal preference. Think of hardware like jewelry for your cabinets. What is your kitchen type? Is it Traditional, Mission, Rustic, Contemporary, Artistic, Farmhouse, Asian inspired, Mineral (rock) look, retro, Tuscan, etc.  There are pulls and knobs to fit any style and preference.  Search the web and get some ideas. You will be holding these knobs and pulling these pulls time and time again they need to feel right as well as look right.  If you are going to order on line you may want to order one set to get the feel, see how you like the look and functionality.

     
                Rustic                                     Traditional                                       


    
         Contemporary                                  Rock On                                      


  
               Artistic                                          Mission

    
               Farmhouse                                Asian Inspired                             

    
              Tuscan                                          Retro
                               

  
                 More Fun                                  Do-It-Yourself
Pictures from Bobvila.com

As you look at options, think about walking around your kitchen and the types of clothing you wear. Will your clothing get caught on these knobs or pulls?  This is a really important factor that many people don't think about.  Many of us think about the look but not the functionality,  Think about that favorite sweater or that favorite pair of flowing pants. You would hate for them to get caught on a pull or knob and tear.  Hardware is an investment and something you are going to look at for many years.  

Here at Kitchen Concepts one of our most popular lines is berensonhardware.com.  A current popular trend is the elongated stainless steel drawer pulls.  It is a modern and contemporary look showing clean lines..  Just updating your knobs and pulls can transform your kitchen.  Start looking into new knobs and pulls that are just right for you.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Do I Go Granite






Should I Go Granite?

Vyara JuparanaBlue Flower

Moon White
So you are wondering if you should go granite.  I am here to answer a few questions to ease your mind.


Q: I want granite, but how expensive is it? 
A: Granite is very affordable granite can be as low as $49 a square foot to $100 a square foot depending on the granite you choose.

Q: Granite is beautiful, but is it hard to clean?
A: Granite is very easy to clean, just use a little mind dish soap and warm water to clean up anything.  Windex will shine you counter up beautifully.

Q: If I put a hot pan on the granite will I ruin it?
A: Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth’s crust.  It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan.  Granite will not burn with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.

Q: Can I cut on my granite countertop?
A: Cutting on your granite countertops will not harm your granite.  Granite is actually harder than your knife and will quickly dull your blade.

Q:Will me granite countertop chip?
A: Granite is a very dense material and under normal wear and tear conditions it will NOT chip or scratch.

Q: Will my granite stain?
A: In general, no.  Granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture.  A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact.  For example, a puddle of water left on the counter may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries.  

Q: How often do I need to reseal my granite countertop?
A: There is a test you can do to see if your granite needs to be resealed.  Let water stand on your countertop for 15 minutes.  If the water is still there after that time then you do NOT need to reseal.  If the water has absorbed into the granite then you will need to reseal. Granite does not need to be sealed often. In fact, there are sealants that give a lifetime warranty against staining with just one single application. Some granites don’t require any sealing at all.

Q: What is the life expectancy of a granite countertop?
A: With proper maintenance and care you granite countertop will last a lifetime.

Q: What if I think granite might be to busy for my taste?
A: There is a stone for everyone's individual taste.  There are over 50 colors and styles to choose from.  There's a color for everyone!

Q: Is granite is safe for food preparation?
A: Granite countertops are expected and intended to come into contact with food, especially when installed in a kitchen application. That’s why there is testing in place to ensure that granite countertops are safe for food preparation and daily living. MSI meets and in many cases exceeds standards that have been put in place to ensure granite countertops are a good, green option for your home, with certifications from GREENGUARD and theNational Sanitation Foundation (NSF). Further, because granite is low in porosity and typically sealed, it is easier to keep clean and is resistant to bacterial growth, which helps to make your home environment healthier for your family!

Hopefully these questions and answers have put your mind at ease about granite.  Go check it out.  You can find the right one for you.  

Check out this fun kitchen visualizer:


Saturday, March 26, 2016

All About Backsplaches

All About Backsplashes


When designing a kitchen there are so many things to think about and coordinate. Often times backsplashes are the last detail to addressed in finishing off your new kitchen. It can be overwhelming to select the right backsplash and then you have the task of deciding how much you want in the kitchen.  Don't worry we have some tips for you.

How do you know what to pick?  Where do you start looking?
1.  If you are installing granite with pattern your best bet it to continue the granite up the wall or go with a solid color.  Try to stay away from a patterned tile with a patterned granite. Think about what you want you focal point to be in the kitchen. To much pattern can be very distracting in the kitchen.

2. If you go with a solid color or very light pattern counter top of quartz or laminate the sky is the limit with a patterned backsplash.

Where should the backslash end? 
1. Most backsplashes end at the end of the counter.  Some people just put the backsplash behind the stove and sink. Other people decide to have the backsplash end with the cabinets. It is all preference.  Ending the backsplash with the counter tends to look cleaner.
2. There is NO need to round a corner with your backsplash unless there is a water source.  It is preference where it will end.  Below you will notice the top picture stays flush against the wall. The bottom picture round the corner. There is no real reason for that.  The stove isn't that close to cause splashing.  It is all preference.
 


Some people go for a focal point.  Here is one example.
Image result for kitchens with backsplashes
Other people want different textures in their kitchen.




Here is  link to give you some ideas for backsplashes to go with granite
http://www.houzz.com/projects/58421/granite-countertop-and-tile-backsplash-ideas

What is the right look for you?  There are so many choices but have fun and don't let all the choices overwhelm you.  Good luck!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

We Are Back!
It has been almost a year since we have updated our blog.  One of our new years resolutions is to be more connected and to share what we have to offer more frequently.  We have done so many amazing projects in the past year and many more to come. 

Trends are always changing in the world of kitchen remodeling. You may be thinking about making a change but you want to know what would be the most economical now and what the resale down the road will look like. Let's talk about that. 

GO WHITE!!  Believe it or not WHITE kitchens are continuing to be the most popular.  According to Houselogic sixty-seven percent of National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) members said that white is their choice for cabinets, a 20% increase from two years ago. If you want color add a little neutral gray with your white.  Gray is great as long as you pair it with the right colors.  

Right now we are offering a beautiful granite counter top to go perfect with your white kitchen or neutral gray.  Moon White is on special during February for $49 sq. ft. installed.
Moon White