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How To Increase The Value Of Your Kitchen

You may already be thinking of renovating your kitchen. Perhaps you have started thinking about upgrading your benchtop and cabinetry, and have your heart set on a particular style, colour and theme. All these can be achievable and Craftbuilt Kitchens can help you fulfill your dream kitchen.

At first, you may have lingering questions about how your dream kitchen can be possible if you have a tiny space. When you visit the Craftbuilt Kitchens showroom, our designers will help you maximize your kitchen’s full potential. You can get the best value out of your kitchen renovation! You may be seeing a tiny, cramped kitchen now. Wait until our designers offer suggestions that can increase the value of your kitchen. Here are three out of the many advices we offer:

Removing A Wall Creates Open Space

You may be thinking how your dream kitchen will materialize in such a cramped space. Your kitchen renovation is the perfect opportunity to increase the scale of your kitchen. Right now you may be seeing a tiny, cramped kitchen with limited moving space. How can the whole family fit in that small area? Imagine how your whole kitchen (and home) will look if you take out a wall. Your kitchen will have a more open space that will link your dining area to your kitchen, and even to your living area. Our designers offer expert advice on that aspect as it involves the foundation and structure of your home.

 

An Island Bench Increases Socializing Time And Storage Space

What next? Removing one wall can open up the opportunity to install an island bench. This may be something you’ve never envisioned before. Considering an island bench for your kitchen can open up a culture of socializing. It gives that feeling of intimacy you get when family and guests come over, without getting in the way during meal preparations. An island bench is also an ideal storage space.

 

 

Lighting Makes A Difference

Lastly, picking out the right type of lighting will add value to your kitchen’s over-all effect. Sure, the single fluorescent tube in the middle of your ceiling is serving its purpose. However, choosing the right accent lights and modern downlighting can display your kitchen’s best features and makes the kitchen appear larger than it seems. Even using natural light from windows can make a huge difference and it saves you quite a bit from the electric bill. Our designers not only aim for comfort and usability but also style.

 

These are just a few ideas that will take your kitchen renovation to the next level. Our Craftbuilt Kitchens designers can help you maximize your kitchen without breaking the bank. Considering even just one suggestion mentioned above will not only add value to your kitchen but of your entire home.

Modern and Versatile Stainless Steel Benchtops

Once only found in professional kitchens, the stainless steel benchtop has made its way it every day homes. They are a fantastic option for kitchen benchtops in Brisbane and inspire feelings of cleanliness and style. One of the more contemporary benchtop materials available, stainless steel will not corrode, stain or rust like regular steel. Stainless steel comes in various grades and types so when you are looking to add stainless steel to your kitchen, be sure you are getting the grade that will suit the use it is intended for. An alloy combination of chromium and iron, stainless steel gets its rust resistance and shiny appearance that is so popular from the chromium.

Ideal To Clean.

Taking care of your stainless steel benchtop will ensure you can enjoy using it for many years. Stainless steel is safe to be bleached unlike many other benchtop materials and if you choose a textured or brushed finish it will be easy to hide any marks or scratches. Due to the fact there are no joins in stainless steel benches there will be no foodstuff gathering from food preparation. Not only will this make cleaning up easier but you are assured of a healthier germ free benchtop. Giving your stainless steel a really good clean is as easy as washing with soapy, hot water before applying stainless steel polish. Following this you buff the surface dry with a dry clean towel or cloth. It is because of this easy cleaning process and sanitary conditions that comes with having a stainless steel benchtop that has made this material popular in commercial kitchens in Brisbane for so long.

A Steadfast and Durable Choice.

Because stainless steel is not just coated with rust resistant metal but the material is all the way through it means it is more durable against damage. Hot saucepans, sharp knives and anything else that can damage the surface will not open your benchtop to the risk of rust. With the knowledge that stainless steel looks outstanding in the kitchen and is a robust material that can withstand just about anything you throw at it you are bound to be thrilled with the choice. You would be further impressed to know that stainless steel is a great environmental choice as it is recyclable. Approximately 60% of the initial material used can be converted into different products. This is an important factor to consider in our current environmental climate.

The benefits certainly outweigh any downfalls with stainless steel. Cost is a little higher than that of a laminate benchtop for instance. However in the long run, the lifespan you will get from stainless steel means it is still a cheaper option to choose. If you do choose to use stainless steel for your kitchen, you will thoroughly enjoy making delicious meal creations on a modern and hygienic benchtop.

Choosing The Right Flooring For Your Kitchen Benchtops

When you think about a new kitchen, you tend to think about the appliances, cupboards and benchtops. It is important for functional and aesthetic reasons that these are well chosen and placed. Something else that is just as important but that may be easily overlooked is the type of flooring you have in your kitchen. It is important to consider a few things when choosing your kitchen flooring and this article will help to shed some light on some of the choices available.

Your kitchen flooring is not like the other floors in your home. It will be subjected to all kinds of mishaps. Food will fall onto it, liquid will no doubt be spilt on it and there will be quite heavy traffic on it if you are the kind to cook or spend a lot of time in the kitchen. This means the flooring you choose needs to be durable, hygienic and easy to clean. When you are discussing your proposed kitchen designs in Brisbane with a qualified kitchen designer, you should discuss the kind of flooring they think suits a kitchen best. While you are discussing the types of flooring you may choose, consider colours carefully also. Lighter coloured flooring may give a wonderful open and light effect however will tend to show up dirt quite easily. But then again, dark colours may make the area seem to small and stuffy. It is here you might like to take into account the floor plan of the kitchen as this can also affect whether or not the area looks large or small.

Tiles are quite common in kitchen floors. There is a fantastic amount to choose from and can be selected to compliment your kitchen benchtops in Brisbane. Tiles are easy to clean spills up from and are quite sturdy. They don’t tend to wear from feet walking backward and forwards and generally hold their look for quite a long time so long as they are cared for properly. Polished floors look beautiful anywhere in the home and if you have polished floors in the lounge then it may make sense for this to extend to the kitchen. Again these are quite easy to clean spills from but they do need to be polished and cared for to keep their lustre and appeal. Polished concrete is becoming more popular for use in kitchens for its easy to clean and hygienic qualities. It is very durable and can have non slip additives put in if you tend to make a big mess in the kitchen and want it to be a safer place.

There is lots to consider for your kitchen flooring. Once you have pin pointed your needs and the type of cook you are you will be ready to discuss your options with a kitchen designer.

Take Your Time When Choosing A Benchtop

Are you planning a complete kitchen renovation or just a kitchen benchtop to refurbish an existing layout? Take the time to get it right, because a poor choice of material or colour will detract from the overall finish of the entire kitchen. The benchtop draws all the design elements together so that the final “look” is important.

It is a mistake to fall in love with a colour or finish without considering how it will look against your cabinetry and appliances. It is also a mistake to insist on a material that does not suit your lifestyle. Some surfaces need care and maintenance, and if your time is limited, it is best to choose something that is low maintenance.

Craftbuilt Kitchens have been designing and supplying kitchen benchtops in Brisbane for over 40 years. This experience and knowledge is at your disposal when you visit our showrooms and talk to us about your kitchen project. We have some suggestions that may help you make an informed choice about your new benchtop.

Low Cost – Some Care Needed

Where cost is a major factor, laminate is still the most affordable option. It has kept pace with contemporary tastes and is available in a range of up-to-the-minute colours, patterns and textures, including the natural stone look. Stains wipe clean easily, but scratches, knife marks and heat may damage the surface.

Engineered Stone – The Look of Marble Without the Cost

Engineered stone is made largely of quartz aggregates mixed with organic pigments and resins. It is one of the most popular choices for benchtops and comes in a multitude of colours and patterns. The non-porous surface does not need sealing, is low maintenance, and both heat and scratch resistant.

Stainless Steel – The Material of the Moment

Stainless steel has a polished glow that fits in well with the current minimalist look, and as a replacement for an old benchtop, would immediately give a modern lift to a tired kitchen. When coupled with stainless steel appliances in a new kitchen, it looks sensational.

Hygienic and durable, there is not much that can damage stainless steel. It will show deep scratches and dents, so a little care is needed, and wiping off finger marks can become a chore. We suggest using stainless steel cleaners for ease of maintenance.

Solid Surfacing – Ideal for Large Coverage

This acrylic resin with a filling of alumina can be moulded into any shape, so it is perfect for a large benchtop or island. With no joins to harbour food particles and dirt, it is super hygienic and the continuous, seamless look is elegant and practical. It is also waterproof and fire resistant and while it will show careless cuts or scratches, these can be easily repaired.

Call into our showroom and look at all these wonderful products in person. It is so much easier to choose when you have seen and touched the samples for yourself.

Get Your Bench Top Height Right

While getting the colour scheme, cabinetry and appliances in your new kitchen is a priority, one of the most important facets in the kitchen to get right is the bench top. Because the bench top is where all the work happens it is vital that the material chosen is correct for you as well as the design and of course, height.

Of course there is a standard bench top height that we design at Craftbuilt Kitchens but sometimes it is necessary to step outside the standard and have your own height and style created when it comes to your kitchen bench top.

Deciding On Your Bench Top Size

Firstly, the size of the bench top needs to be decided upon. This largely depends on the size of the kitchen space you have to work with as well as the kind of cooking style you use. One bedroom inner city units for example don’t always have the most space for kitchens.

It is not uncommon for a small kitchenette to be installed against one wall adjoining the lounge space in one room. In this case, the bench top will be smaller.

The way you cook will affect the size of bench you need, too. If you prepare big home cooked meals from scratch then more bench space will be required. However, if you are a busy executive who carries out basic meal prep or only buys pre-made meals then your bench space requirements will be less.

Deciding On Your Height

Ergonomic comfort is a must in the kitchen if you create culinary storms or even if you spend a short while making meals. Not one person is the same height; and so in some cases neither should be the kitchen bench top.

If you are a particularly tall person or even quite short, a standard bench top height will not serve you well. Leaning down for a long period of time while preparing food or reaching up higher will inevitably cause you some discomfort.

Different bench heights can also serve different purposes. Lower bench spaces can make great spaces for kids to sit at and do homework while their parent is on the opposite side preparing meals, for example. Breakfast bars can be used for meal preparation as well as eating at for busy executive couples.

When you talk to our professional designer at Craftbuilt Kitchens be sure to discuss your meal prep needs to get the bench top style, space and height just right for you.

 

Benchtops That Won’t Strain Your Back

When it comes to getting your kitchen refurbished or replaced you can get caught up in many of the decisions that will affect the outcome of how your kitchen looks. The kind of cabinetry, the handles, splashbacks and the colours are all very exciting facets to ponder over from an aesthetic point of view, but what of the functional side of things?

The way your kitchen is convenient when you are in it is an incredibly important factor to consider. Where the appliances are placed in relation to benchtops and the fridge is a common theme to consider but the height and overall size of your benchtops is incredibly important to get right too.

Why Benchtop Size Matters

For many, it is not something that they have considered, but for those who are a little on the short or tall side of things, it seems an obvious point to think about.

Many hours are spent in the kitchen over the course of a week, even a day for some, and the height of the benchtop in relation to the height of the user can make a big difference. For instance, tall people bending over a lower benchtop can experience an aching lower back. Whereas for shorter people or people in wheelchairs, reaching up more than is comfortable for a long period of time can give them sore arms and shoulders.

Yet, it’s not just the height that matters but also the width and length. Wiping down benchtops a few times a day or even once can result in a sore back and limbs at times and where the benchtop is situated in the kitchen can affect the width and length requirements.

Width

An island benchtop, for example, can be accessed from all sides for cleaning. Because of this, the width is not such a big factor. However, if the benchtop is against a wall you will generally only be able to access it from one side; therefore, keeping a reasonable width in mind is advised.

Length

Length is governed greatly by the amount of space in your kitchen and also how many people will be using the bench space at once. For those who are confined to wheelchairs or the elderly, a smaller length benchtop can mean easier cleaning and reaching capabilities.

Height

The standard height for benchtops that is considered ergonomic is 900mm. This is suitable for many, but not for some. You can always discuss with your designer if you would like your benchtop to be lower or higher, depending on your personal needs and, in doing so, you will do your back and body a favour.

Click here to find out more about getting your benchtops and kitchenstailor-made to suit your needs.

Setting The Benchmark

Having a new kitchen designed is, without a doubt, one of the most exciting rooms to have redone. As the space that many hours are spent in, getting rid of a tired outdated kitchen that is no longer functioning at its best is a wonderful prospect.

The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home and it is usually one of the first things that stands out to visitors and something prospective home buyers will inspect the closest. Kitchens allow the opportunity for someone to display their own sense of style and add a whole new visual perspective to the home.

New kitchens add a great amount of value to the home, so it is important to think carefully about the selections that go into it. The benchtop in particular is extremely important. As the ‘face’ of the kitchen you want it to look good but as the most used part, you want it to be long lasting too. So let’s take a look at what’s available.

Choosing Your Perfect Benchtop

There are a few standard favourites for use in kitchen benchtops. You need to consider your budget, style of cooking and, of course, personal preferences and tastes.

Laminate benchtops have been around for many years and whilst some may conjure up ideas of the bold oranges and greens from the 1970s, the laminate benchtops you see today are very different.

Of course, you can still opt for that retro feel if you wish but there is a massive range of colours, finishes and patterns available now. This means if you prefer more modern than mod, you can still choose laminate. Laminate is affordable and durable, perfect for those on a tighter budget.

If your budget allows for more and you want a benchtop that is prestigious, long lasting and easy to clean, then granite is for you. Granite is perfect for those who love a natural look. It is stylish and classic and will add class to any kitchen.

Caesar Stone is a man-made composite that is cheaper than granite but it offers the same look. Comprised of glass, adhesive and stone, it is durable and looks good. There is a broad range of finishes to choose from and is fantastic for a contemporary look.

Stainless steel benchtops have been making their way from professional kitchens to kitchens in everyday homes for some time. They offer a sleek and modern look and great hygiene. Stainless steel benchtops give a clean feel to a kitchen and are great for those who fancy themselves as culinary experts.

If you would like more information on selecting the best benchtop for your kitchen, click here.

 

Caesarstone Bench Tops: The Durable Alternative

A beautiful kitchen is one of the most important factors in a home. Often termed ‘the heart of the home’, It’s where meals are made, from quick breakfasts on the run to tasty dinner creations that fill your home with tempting smells to lure its occupants with willing appetites. Whether you’re renovating your kitchen completely or just looking to give your kitchen bench tops a makeover, the perfect material for you no doubt needs to be functional, durable, look good and be within your budget. Everyone knows about granite and marble, but have you considered Caesarstone? Let’s take a look at what Caesarstone has to offer.

Durable and Good Looking – What More Could You Want?

Caesarstone is 93% natural quartz aggregate with the remaining 7% comprising of pigments and polymer resins and does not require sealing, it is polished and processed to attain a glossy shine. In the past marble and granite have been the most popular choices for kitchens in Brisbane however Caesarstone is more consistent than either of these natural stones and is safe and more durable as well ss opposed to granite, Caesarstone is approximately 17 times less porous allowing it to be virtually stain resistant and is easier to clean using any cleaning product suitable for kitchen bench tops. Kitchen sinks often attract mildew and mould due to being a damp area, as a result Caesarstone is an ideal solution for splashbacks, as it is resistant to both and resistant to heat and scratches.

Getting Caesarstone Into Your Kitchen

Caesarstone is versatile and it is available in quite a few different colours as well as designs, this means whatever look you are after, whether it is modern or traditional, you should find it easy to incorporate Caesarstone into your kitchen with the desired outcome.
Your first step to a beautiful Caesarstone benchtop in your kitchen will be to discuss your needs with experienced consultants and take a look at the colours and design you prefer, following this a qualified designer who is adept at listening to what you wish to achieve will work together with you to create a look that is ideal for you by bringing together practicality, functionality and your vision.

When you’re thinking of using kitchen design in Brisbane to give your bench tops and splashbacks the lift they need, you should definitely consider making Caesarstone your choice of material, for a tougher more durable and cleaner bench top and splashback solution, it’s hard to go wrong with Caesarstone.

 

Take Care of Your Bench Tops

At Craftbuilt Kitchens we provide the highest quality products to each and every one of our clients. From the moment of production right down to the end of installation, the utmost care is taken to ensure the end result is something beautiful and unique.

This is why we have been in the business of making kitchens for so many years and why we will be here for many years to come. Our reputation for the best precedes us and customers who have been to us before will come again.

Our kitchens come with a 10-year guarantee because we undertake that our product will last. Once the kitchen is installed, however, it is up to you to take good care of your new pride and joy. Bench tops in particular are items that need to be treated with care.

With all the work and activities that are carried out on kitchen bench tops it is easy for them to become the most worn items in the kitchen. But with the right treatment and care, you can ensure that your bench top will last as long as it should.

Heat

Many bench top materials are sensitive to heat and can be damaged if hot items such as pots are placed directly on to them. Laminate bench tops for example are one such material. To avoid mishaps, place a stand or mat underneath hot pots that will protect the bench top.

Stains

Stains don’t ruin the effectiveness of your bench top but they are unsightly and could take away from the overall appeal of your beautiful new kitchen. Mop up spills straight away, especially items such as red wine or fruits like blueberries that can stain.

Scratches

It is easy enough to get scratches on your bench top. When using knives, scissors, moving cups or plates around, over time more and more scratches will appear. This kind of damage can happen easily but you can avoid most of it. Always make sure you use cutting boards, don’t prepare food directly on the bench and lift items instead of dragging them.

There are also specific care instructions for different bench top materials too, such as the type of cleaners and procedures to use. Our professional designers can discuss the materials available with you and explain in more detail about caring for each.

Contact us at Craftbuilt Kitchens today to arrange organising your amazing new kitchen with bench tops worth looking after.

Top Trends In Laminate Benchtops

Do you want to have your dream kitchen? A laminate benchtop may be what you are looking for. Design possibilities for laminate benchtops are endless. At Craftbuilt, we can provide you with expert advice to help you get what you want for your kitchen and your benchtop. With the help of 3D graphic tools, we will help you create stunning kitchen benchtops and realise your dream kitchen right before your eyes.

If you are considering a laminate benchtop for your kitchen, here are just some of the more prevalent trends to help you get a good idea of what you can do with the kitchen design.

Curved Benchtop

A growing trend in kitchen and benchtop design is the use of more natural curves instead of the modular benchtop design. A curved benchtop can give the kitchen a more fluid and freer feel. With the use of curves in a benchtop, it will be good for you to also consider the items that will go with it. Turn to more natural textures and tones to complement the shapes and curves of the benchtop. You can also make use of materials with natural designs or patterns.

Colour Trends

When it comes to laminate benchtops, white is still the most preferred, although there is a growing trend toward grey for a cooler effect. The trend will be toward the tones ranging from clear white to black and the grey tones in between. Green tones should also bring a new life to laminate benchtops. If neutral white, grey or black is not your thing and you want to make some unique expression in your kitchen benchtop, you can turn to grey blues, grey green or cool green to spark interest and exude elegance.

Texture in Benchtops

To create interest, you can use textured material that entices visual appeal. Aside from the visual appeal, texture can also be delightful to the touch.

Texture is a great way of breaking the monotony if you are implementing a monochromatic theme, which can be drab at times. Mixed textures can create the needed contrast without going overboard such as in the case of contrasting colours.

At Craftbuilt, we can help you create a unique yet trendy benchtop for your kitchen. You can also rest assured that all elements that go with your benchtop are made to the highest standard of quality. Our expert designers can help you create a contemporary and trendy benchtop by improving and realising your kitchen ideas.

 

The Value of Installing Laminate Benchtops

Kitchens these days are very modern and upmarket, with some even having an elegant appearance, due to the wonderful advances made by kitchen manufacturers. They are spacious, practical, accessible, with adequate storage as well. Storage capacities have increased as well and pullout storage has been introduced saving the trouble of trying to find items on deep shelves. Modern cooktops enhance the total look and make cooking pleasurable as does having plenty of working space on benchtops. Neutral backgrounds allow the choice of favourite colour schemes in the kitchen cabinets and benchtops for the family chef.

Benchtops are available in a wide range of colours and materials used in their manufacture. Many upmarket homes have granite benchtops, also available in a variety of colour choices, and they are a durable product that really enhances the kitchen area. They are also quite expensive to buy and install, therefore they are out of the reach of many of us. Timber has been a popular choice for benchtops in kitchens in Brisbane over the years as well. Stained and lacquered they look amazing and add warmth as timber always does, and are also easy to care for. Care must be taken to put mats under hot utensils under wooden benchtops to prevent marking them, and cutting boards when chopping food to prevent damaging them as well.

Laminate is a great all rounder that has been a great favourite with families for years, due not only to it’s good looks and durability, but the fact that it is an affordable budget friendly product to buy and install. Hot objects can be placed on laminate benchtops without worry as heat won’t damage it like other materials. It is easy to keep clean, but to avoid damage it is still recommended to use cutting boards when using knives to prepare food. Laminate benchtops can be requested in the colour of your choice when you order your kitchen design in Brisbane. With laminate having all the above qualities it is an excellent choice for most homes.

Once you have finished using the benchtop, all you need to do is to wet a dishcloth in warm soapy water and simply wipe over the bench to keep it clean. There is no need for special cleaners so no extra costs involved. If you buy a new home that has laminate benches in a colour you don’t like, you will be pleased to know they are easily replaced with your own chosen colour.

 

Laminate Benchtops: Keep Them Looking Good

After going through the easy process of choosing your ideal kitchen and having it installed by Craftbuilt Kitchens, you will no doubt want to keep your kitchen looking beautiful for as long as possible.

Keeping your cupboards, benchtops and appliances clean will not only ensure that your kitchen looks good, it will increase the longevity of the product too.

Cleaning kitchen benchtops Brisbane properly is particularly important. This is because these get regular use from meal preparation and more.

The benchtop in the kitchen is the most likely to look ‘worn out’ due to all the use and it’s also important to keep these clean for hygienic reasons. With this in mind, here are some tips to cleaning your laminate benchtop.

Some Do’s and Don’ts

Do your best to avoid damaging your laminate benchtop. This means not using scourers, abrasive or acidic cleaners. Do not cut directly on the surface, always use a cutting board. Hot objects placed directly on the surface of a laminate benchtop can be disastrous. Always place something to protect the bench from the heat underneath.

Spills, Grease and Streaks

All of the above can happen when you are cooking or cleaning the benchtop. If you find after wiping your benchtop there are streak marks these are easily removed with a spray such as Spray and Wipe or another all purpose cleaner.

It’s near impossible to avoid getting grease on a benchtop when cooking with oil and butter. If this occurs, all you need to do is to get some soapy water onto the spot, wait a moment and then wipe with a cloth.

Spills are another unavoidable reality of cooking. As laminate is quite stain resistant to most things, spills don’t often pose an issue. There are, however, some items that can stain and need to be removed as quickly as possible.

Items that bleach or contain strong pigments can easily stain your laminate. Food items such as beetroot and berries can stain. Cleaning products including bleach, oven cleaner, hair dye and some first aid items can cause staining.

Scratches and Stains

If you find that you were not able to move a staining item quick enough, you can try methylated spirits or a diluted bleach mixture. Once you have left this for approximately three minutes, wash it off. You can also try extra strength Windex. Always take great care when using bleach.

Avoid scratches by not dragging utensils and sharp objects across the benchtop; always lift.

For more information on how to care for your laminate benchtop give us a call at Craftbuilt Kitchens or visit us online at http://www.craftbuilt.com.au/.