Kitchen Remodeling Design Tips

  • Use glass tile for vertical applications. Glass tile tends to be a bit more expensive than ceramics. So to keep a handle on the budget, just use it as an accent to inject that pop of color along with coordinating ceramic tile.

    Glass front cabinets are really pretty. But try to limit the number of cabinets with glass to keep your kitchen looking tidy. Don’t forget the lighting inside the cabinets with glass fronts. You can use different glass patterns instead of plain clear glass to add more sparkle to the design.

    Our goal when remodeling these days is to open up the kitchen as much as possible to the rest of the house. But do not sacrifice all of your upper cabinets for that design plan. Be sure to have well placed upper cabinets in close proximity to a sink for drinking glasses. Cabinets for dishes and bowls should be placed close to the dishwasher for easy unloading.

    Islands can be a great way to expand storage in a kitchen. Clearance around an island for 2 people should be at least 48 inches. When an island has appliances in it or the appliances oppose the island, make sure there is enough space for all the appliance doors to open.

    The sink, refrigerator, oven, range or cooktop, and microwave should always have counter top space on either side for placing plates and pans. The width of the space should be a minimum of 15 inches. More is best but sometimes not possible. An opposing island is a good alternative.

    Leave enough space for one person to stand to the side of a dishwasher to load it. This normally is not a problem in a rectangular shaped kitchen. But in a kitchen with angles, this could be a problem. Your designer should always draw design plans displaying appliance doors open to demonstrate adequate spacing.

    Traffic patterns should not intersect the work triangle area. That means your kitchen should not be used as a hallway. This is also true for utility or laundry rooms.

    The optimum height microwaves should be as follows: the bottom should be at counter height to eye level of the user. That would be 36 inches to 54 inches off the finished floor.

    When replacing old vinyl flooring in a kitchen, you really should replace counter tops at the same time if you have a dishwasher. Flooring companies have no problem land locking a dishwasher with new tile in order to make the sale. But this is WRONG. As a water appliance, you should always be able to pull your dishwasher out for service. Flooring companies will tell you just to keep spare tile and pop out a couple of tiles to service the dishwasher and repair the tile. What they don’t tell you is the grout is never going to match again. If you run out of tile at some point, the tile may be discontinued and you are out of luck. If you replace the counter tops at the same time as the flooring, we can raise the counters just a bit to allow for the new flooring installed under the dishwasher and this never becomes an issue.

    Task or under cabinet lighting should always be considered in a kitchen remodel. If you are doing the back splash, be sure to have your electrician hard wire your task lighting.

    Plugs are a necessary evil for back splashes and can really interfere with a gorgeous back splash design. One solution is to have your electrician move the receptacles up to the top of the back splash, just under the upper cabinets.

    We at BK Design Associates prefer solid wood cabinets.  Kitchens and baths are wet zones. Particle board and MDF cabinets are subject to swelling if they come in contact with water. Composite material cabinets are usually constructed with glues and can emit dangerous gases. Solid wood cabinets are far superior to composite material cabinets. And surprisingly, our solid wood cabinets are only slightly more expensive than the lower end composites.

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