I recently had the opportunity to view a presentation by Jonathan Hopp of Neil Kelly. He spoke to the new and exciting changes in the world of kitchens – remodeling and new construction. My favorite reference from the talk was about the fact that "backsplashes are the jewelry of the kitchen." It's true! You can have a totally neutral look and then jazz it up with a backsplash, which is often easily changable if you're ready for a new look. Read on and hear what else Jonathan has to say……
What we are seeing increasingly in kitchens is a move toward quartz materials for countertops. The advantage of quartz is that it comes in a variety of colors and patterns. Technology has advanced to create finishes that more closely resemble limestone and marble – which are two materials I would hesitate to use in a heavily used kitchen. Quartz has all the inherent advantages of granite, in that it doesn’t scratch easily, is heat resistant and comes in large slabs. The pricing is similar to granite depending on the manufacturer, but you can expect that this popular product will be on the higher end of materials and well worth the price in durability and longevity.
The back splash is the jewelry of the kitchen. Most commonly the counter material is more neutral in tone, and frequently is chosen to compliment the flooring material or blend with the cabinetry finishes. The back splash, however, is where designers are having fun. With literally hundreds of new products on the market, the selection is greater than ever. Manufacturing techniques have resulted in designs that weren’t available only a few short years ago. I think the backsplash is one of the most important elements in determining a kitchens overall look and appearance. In rooms where everything else is neutral, the backsplash is that final item that determines a kitchen’s look. I say, have fun with the backsplash. There generally isn’t a large quantity, so the cost is not extreme. When you look at kitchens you will notice how much it draws the eye. And, unlike cabinets, or counter tops, it is an easy way to add style without spending a fortune.
My favorite product recently is the advancement in porcelain tiles. Resembling everything from limestone to hardwood flooring, this material expands the options for durability to an entirely new level. As with other materials, the advancements in printing and fabrication have allowed porcelain tiles to achieve a new level of design. Sculptured surfaces and graining are just a start. The printing and transfer techniques now add a new realism to the material like never before. Porcelain tiles are inherently durable and can stand up to wear and tear like nothing else. The latest trend is newer sizes such as 12 x24, 24 x24 as well as smaller mosaic blends. No longer are we stuck with the ubiquitous 12” square tile.
If you'd like advice for your kitchen, please call Jonathan for a private consultation!
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