Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Countertop is best for you?

What is the best countertop?

The first thing that should be stated is that with all the counter top choices available, there is no one utopian top. They all have different characteristics. You must choose what the best fit for your lifestyle is.

There are many different countertop materials available including natural stone, solid surface, quartz, laminate, wood, metals (stainless steel, copper, etc.) concrete, paper stone, glass composites etc. The three most commonly used are stone, solid surface and quartz.

Natural stone (granite, marble, soapstone, limestone etc.) exhibits a variety of colors and patterns. Since it is natural, no two stones are alike. This creates a top that is truly unique. The main benefits of natural stone are that it is heat and scratch resistant. Its downfalls are that it is porous, which requires more attention to clean up and periodically requires a sealant. Also if the design dictates a seam the seams will be visible.

Solid Surface materials (Corian, etc.) are made of a thermoplastic material that is available in a variety of colors and patterns but is a finite offering. The benefits of solid surface materials are that it is non porous and is easy to clean as well as it does not require a sealant. The seams are also inconspicuous and often invisible. If the top is damaged most often a professional can repair the top in place. The repairs are often invisible as long as there is material left from the same batch. The installer should leave you a sink or cook top cut out for this reason. Its downfalls are that the material is not heat resistant and you cannot put a hot pot directly on the top. It is also not very scratch resistant but the homeowner can usually easily repair it.

Quartz (Caesarstone, Cambria, Zodiaq, Silestone) is a becoming a very popular top choice. The material is a combination of natural stone (quartz) and binder. Quartz is like solid surface in that it is non-porous for easy cleanup and does not require a sealant. It is like natural stone in that its look is more stone than solid surface including visible seams. Quartz is not heat resistant like stone but more scorch resistant than solid surface.

Determining the best countertop choice for you is something that you should discuss with your kitchen designer.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Welcome to Cabinets Plus

I am Louis Nardolillo, CKD (Certified Kitchen Designer). I am the owner of Cabinets Plus in Riverhead, New York and have over 20 years experience designing mid to high-end custom cabinetry. With degrees from SUNY Buffalo & New York University, I worked as an industrial arts teacher for 14 years. It was during this time that I began designing kitchens, eventually launching my own firm 23 years ago, making the transition to full-time custom kitchen design.

My son Louis Jr. joined Cabinets Plus 5 years ago after leaving his first career working for an environmental firm. Louis has become an indispensable asset to Cabinets Plus. He is very talented and well on his way to becoming a fine designer.

We strive to make each project, not only functional and beautiful, but an enjoyable experience as well.

With our new blog we are offering you valuable tips all around your cabinets starting our first blog post with one of the most asked questions at our showroom:

How do I care for my new cabinetry?

Many people’s first instincts are to immediately start stocking up their cabinets as soon as they are completed. This is not only bad for your cabinets, but anything you put in there will most likely get dirty. The first step is to wipe both the outside and insides down with a damp cloth. The cloth should be moist, but not wet. If you wish a shelf liner may be used to protect against any spills or items being knocked over.

For daily cleaning and minor spills, use a damp cloth then wipe dry with a soft cloth.

For a more thorough cleaning use soapy water or a mild cleaner such as Murphy’s Oil Soap and wipe dry. Abrasives or harsh cleaners should never be used. Always remember to remove spills as quickly as possible.

Should you have a particular question about your cabinets, please give me a call at 631.727.8062. I would be delighted to help you!