AUG
11
0

Extending the Life of Your Kitchen Counter tops

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Preserve one of your biggest kitchen investments—those luxurious countertops—by following the advice from the pros who put them in.Preserve one of your biggest kitchen investments—those luxurious countertops—by following the advice from the pros who put them in.Today’s trendiest choices—granite, quartz, and solid-surface, can do a lot to breathe new life into a dated design and, at the same time, increase your home’s value.

 

{Weizter} {Kitchens}• Granite is 100 percent natural stone, cut in slabs and surface-sealed for a one-of-a-kind countertop.

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• Quartz, also called “engineered stone,” contains finely ground minerals combined with resins to create a lustrous, rock-hard surface.

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• Solid-surface is a synthetic option manufactured of acrylic and polyester resins to create a soft, smooth, matte-like surface.

These sleek options can easily be the most expensive item in a kitchen remodeling project, so you’ll want to do everything you can to keep them looking as good as new, even after years of use. While each type of countertop has its own inherent properties, all three will benefit from some standard good-care practices. Whether you’re safeguarding your new investment or trying to treat your existing ones better.

Cleaning Routine

Adopt a Cleaning RoutineCountertops are constantly subjected to splashes and spills, from hastily poured milk to a tipped can of soda. If you spill something, you need to wipe it up promptly. Both granite and solid-surface countertops can stain from certain liquids, such as coffee and wine. Quartz, on the other hand, is less likely to stain, thanks to its very low permeability. No matter what kind of countertop you have, it’s still a good idea to wipe up spills as soon as they occur—ignoring them is simply not sanitary on a surface where food is prepared.Your countertops will also benefit from a daily cleaning using a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. Just spray the countertop, run a clean, damp cloth over it, then dry with a soft dish towel. Don’t skip that last part: Drying a damp countertop will help prevent the hard water stains that can form if water droplets are left to dry on their own.

Only the Recommended Cleaners

You can’t always believe everything you read on the internet. This is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make. The best cleaner for a countertop is one that’s recommended by the manufacturers. The chemical makeup of a cleaner can’t be left to chance. Skip the countertop hacks you find online and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.  Suggested cleaning products come listed in the informational materials that accompany your new countertop. But if you’ve misplaced them, call the fabricator who installed the countertop, contact the manufacturer, or check the manufacturer’s website—after all, they’ll know best.

No Chemicals on the Countertop

The quartz, granite, and solid-surface countertops are so tough and durable that it’s easy to mistake them for a work surface fit for crafts, science projects, and other household activities. It’s time to break this bad habit, though, because chemicals and solvents—including paint thinner, varnish, and caustic products like oven cleaner—can damage the surface of both quartz and solid-surface countertops. Get into the practice of using a dedicated workbench or other surface for projects, and keep the chemicals off your countertop.

Cutting Boards

 

You can scratch any countertop, especially solid-surface countertops, so use a cutting board when you’re chopping onions and other foods. If you’re course-correcting a bit late, know that solid-surface countertops have renewable surfaces, which means that minor scratches can often be repaired by either sanding the surface down or using a soft-type scrubbing product to smooth down the edges of the scratches. Check the instructions that came with the countertop to ensure that you use the correct method. Granite and quartz are less likely to scratch, but it can happen—and if they do get scratched, there’s no way to repair them.

Towels and Trivets Are Handy

While all three countertops are heat resistant, none of them are completely heatproof. If you take a hot pan off the stove, don’t set it on the countertop. That can lead to thermal shock and even cracks in the countertop. Indeed, a solid-surface material can scorch and crack, while a quartz surface can become permanently discolored. Being natural stone, granite can withstand a hot pot for a short while—a few seconds—but one that’s set out directly on a granite countertop as part of a buffet, for instance, can lead to cracking.The easy solution? Always use trivets, or a mitt or towel to prevent direct contact between a hot plate and the countertop.

Stop Sitting or Standing on It

We’ve all been guilty of using the countertop as a stepping stool to reach the highest cabinet shelves or hoisting ourselves up to sit on the counter while chatting with family—but the stress takes a toll on your ’tops. Quartz and solid-surface countertops are the least likely to crack, but granite, due to the natural fissures that run through the stone, may be weak enough in certain spots to crack under the excess weight. Even when granite is professionally re-seamed, you’ll often be left with a visible repair mark to remind you of your goof. And besides, using a sturdy ladder is an all-around safer practice anyway.

Seal Granite Periodically

Of the three types of countertops, only granite requires a periodic application of sealant to help it resist stains and maintain a uniform sheen. Granite countertops come professionally sealed, but after a year or so, the surface may start to show signs of dulling. Manufacturers will use different types of sealant, and most sealants have a one- to three-year life expectancy. To keep the countertop looking its best, homeowners will need to reapply a granite sealant. Which one and how often depends on the manufacturer. It’s best to apply only the type of sealant suggested by the manufacturer and at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer

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35 Hits
AUG
04
0

Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

Those who say "good things come in small packages" probably don't have to contend with small-kitchen challenges like crammed cupboards and limited counter space. If your kitchen seems more cramped than convenient these days, it may be time for a shake-up.

Create Space with Light Colors

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Create Space with Light ColorsThe three main design components that determine how spacious a room feels are color, lighting, and the contents of the room. The easiest quick fix, particularly if you're not ready to cut back on your cookware collection or install additional lighting, is repainting. Walls that are dark and bold can make a kitchen feel crowded (or cozy), while, conversely, lighter hues offer an airy feel. Create a sense of openness with antique whites, off-whites, creams, light yellows, or pale shades of gray.

Avoid Strong Visual Contrast

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Once you pick a light color, commit to it. To liven things up, some homeowners make the mistake of incorporating an accent floor—one strong, bold-hued wall in an otherwise light-toned kitchen. In a large kitchen, that can work but in a small kitchen, strong visual contrast creates a feeling of segmentation and restriction. A better way to add a little optical oomph into an otherwise monotone kitchen is to play with the extras. Keep all the walls light and bright.

Accent Lighting

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The human eye is naturally drawn to the highest contrasting point in a room and in a kitchen, that’s usually the top of the cabinets. When shadows create a strong visual line between the cabinets and the ceiling, the kitchen can feel as cramped as it would with a high-contrast accent wall. You can erase or soften those shadows by installing up lighting above the cabinets. It casts a gentle illumination that eases the visual contrast created by shadows and as a result makes the whole room feel more open. Lighting installed beneath upper cabinets and directed onto the countertop works in a similar way.

Find a Place for Everything

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When they're left out on the countertop, cookbooks, spices, and small appliances eat up valuable work space and draw attention to a kitchen's insufficient size. Aside from taller upper cabinets, options like concealed storage racks and pull-out or swing-out shelves maximize storage space behind tidily closed doors. Remember: The less cluttered the kitchen, the larger it will feel.

Reflective Materials

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Shiny surfaces can bounce light and ultimately make any kitchen feel larger. It has a lot to do with the way shiny surfaces pick up and reflect the hues of the walls and cabinets. For example, if you have antique white cabinets, the sheen of stainless steel appliances will reflect some of this off-white hue and amplify the space-enhancing effects of your choice in cabinet color.

Natural Light

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The view from a kitchen window should make the outdoors—be it a deck where you entertain or a large, lush backyard—seem like an extension of the kitchen. Swap out heavy draperies and blinds for sheer curtains or simply a valance, and leave the rest of the window uncovered. The additional natural light will not only visually expand the space, but will also help instill that coveted airiness.

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121 Hits
JUL
25
0

Kitchen Trends To Stay With In 2018

Cooking space remodeling and upgrades are the projects homeowners most hope to take on in the coming year. With this they have to stay with the trend.

Get Smart

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A kitchen can’t be too techy these days! Hands-free faucets, fridges that remind you when to make a grocery run, and appliances you operate with a handheld device will become commonplace in ’18. Next up? Taps that deliver boiling water or even coffee!

Clever Storage

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With upper cabinets disappearing and nobody is really ready to give up tools and space, designers are devising hidden solutions to simplify and make cagey use of available space. These include deeper drawers, corner drawers, pull-out pantries, fridge enclosures, and roll-out trays and caddies, often with a particular item in mind (linens, cutlery, pots and pans—there’s a new slot for whatever you’ve got!)

Islands in change

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The island that changed from prep area to bining will continue to grow—literally—into the multi-purpose focal point of the kitchen and even the hub of the home, which is compatible with the increase in open-plan living. Islands in ’18 will be longer and larger, accommodate more storage and seating, and house more appliances.

Sinks with difference

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The porcelain and stainless steel sinks that ruled for years will make way for alternative materials like stone, copper, and concrete. Perhaps the newsiest idea is the composite sink, made of the same compound as counter tops (such as composite quartz or granite), which creates a seamless look and simplifies cleaning and maintenance.

Color Code

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While rainbow colors are still around, painted cabinets are moving toward subtler, darker hues like navy and plum. For appliances, dark gray tones with a brushed metal finish are supplanting stainless steel. One benefit to going to the dark side: These shades don’t show dirt or wear-and-tear as easily as bright, white, and shiny surfaces.

Flat Out

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One of the easiest ways to attain 2018’s new minimalism is with flat-paneled cabinet doors, as opposed to the raised panels of country kitchens. Flat panels can be super simple, with no visible knobs, or gain impact from a high gloss finish or clean-lined hardware. Sleek!

Rustic Recipe

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On the opposite end of the spectrum from glossy and glitz comes a rugged natural or industrial vibe. Think open shelving made from rough cut wood or pipes, bleached wood cabinet doors, exposed beams and finishes for flooring.

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41 Hits
JUL
25
0

Ways to Get More Kitchen Counter Space

Counter space. No matter how big the kitchen, you hardly ever hear anyone complaining that there's too much of it. Especially in a compact kitchen, clear counters are a precious commodity. Luckily, there are lots of smart storage ideas that can clear up that problem.

Roll Me Away

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Roll Me AwayIf you're striving to save space, a rolling cart with a butcher block does a double duty. Use the top for prep when you need it, and give dishes or other supplies a good home on the shelves underneath.

Hang Time

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kitchen utensils have a notch on the handle, perfect for perching up high. This way, you can save your drawer space for something else.

Sink It

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When you're chopping, you can't be washing, so why not wash up sink as a prep area? Any cutting board slightly wider than your sink will do the trick.

Beyond the Block

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Let's face it, traditional knife blocks are counter hogs. A simple solution is to store knives on the wall with a magnetic holder, but make sure you dry your knives thoroughly before storing and place them carefully on the strip.

Top-Shelf Idea

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Open shelving—where ever you can, mounted on a painted wall, or even free-hanging from the ceiling—can greatly increase your kitchen storage capabilities. Although you'll want to choose eye-pleasing items to house there, the net result will be an increase in space down below.

Another Way to Look At It

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Having a limited amount of kitchen real estate can inspire creative, and at times beautiful, solutions. Installing a few shelves inside a window not only gains surface area for storage, but also captures a stunning backdrop for anything placed there.

Island Idea

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Use your kitchen island to work a bit harder for you by adding shelves for books, or bars for hanging towels or utensils.

Hole in the Wall

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Even if your kitchen's footprint is small, you may uncover a treasure trove of storage possibilities. In many cases, reclaiming this hidden wall space requires remodeling only this one area instead of the whole kitchen.

Corner Pocket

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Freestanding shelves like these from house hold suppliers can give you a clever, efficient way to use that often-neglected corner space.

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

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Use a cake stand to hold high-use items like salt, pepper, and olive oil. If you need more room, you can easily transfer the stand to another spot in the kitchen.

Jar Ingenuity

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Ah, the storage jar. What a great idea: Affix the metal lids to the underside of a cabinet, and screw the jars on and off as you need them.

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32 Hits
JUL
18
0

Old Kitchen Trends You Might Regret

A big kitchen renovation is one of the Most expensive improvements you can make to your home. Perhaps you've heard the expression "kitchens sell houses." If it's true that a beautiful and functional kitchen will help you sell your home. A big kitchen renovation is one of the most expensive improvements you can make to your home. Perhaps you've heard the expression "kitchens sell houses." If it's true that a beautiful and functional kitchen will help you sell your home.

Over-the-Range Microwave

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Saving space by installing the microwave over the range has been standard kitchen protocol for years. But that practice is on its way out. As home buyers begin to favor universal design principles, keeping necessities accessible for the entire family becomes ever more important. Consider moving the micro to under-the-counter nooks and drawers instead.

Pot Racks

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Pot racks certainly had their moment in kitchen design. Placing a large pot rack over a central kitchen island, however, is no longer your best bet. Pots are now stashed neatly in drawers as opposed to living out in the open. Opting for a redesign that's sleek and minimalist will remain a safe choice for years to come.

Farmstyle Sinks

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It once seemed that homeowners would never tire of the throwback charm of the farm style sink, yet you'll rarely see one installed in a kitchen renovation today. Stick with stainless steel, which will always be practical and in style.

Appliance Garage

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It is nice to keep your appliances off the countertop. But at the expense of the space an appliance garage requires? The trend of large cabinet drawers is here to stay, and there is plenty of room in there for your small appliances.

Tiny Backsplash

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Minimal backsplashes are out, and for good practical reasons. Spills and splatters don’t necessarily have good aim. A tile or glass backsplash that goes all the way from counter to cabinets is much easier to keep clean and looking nice.

Skipping Window Treatments

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Keeping windows open and unfettered by shades or curtains has been a trend for several years - mimicking the urban style of loft living. But the trade off for this chic style is a complete no privacy and contending daily with the constant glare of unfiltered sun. Luckily, this is a trend that’s easy to reverse. There are lots of simple, minimalist window treatments that will keep your windows uncluttered while serving their important practical purpose.

Tiled Countertops

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Tiled countertops were big in the 70’s and 80’s and made a comeback recently in more minimalist designs. It is cheaper thn granite other solid natural countertop surfaces. But regardless of tile size and design, it is a maintenance headache. It’s hard enough to clean grout on a vertical surface in a shower. Bright AppliancesThere’s been a recent bright pop up in colour appliances to break up the sea of stainless that’s reigned supreme for years. Just beware that a trend is a trend, and will eventually (sometimes sooner than later) fade.

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104 Hits
JUL
15
0

The 5 Best Kitchen Flooring Options for Your Renovation

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The kitchen has become the hub of the modern home, not just a cook space but a gathering place for family and friends and a focal point for activity. With all that goes on in today’s kitchen, it’s crucial that the floor can withstand high foot traffic as well as the all the inevitable spills and spatters. It also has to suit your personal style and fit your budget.

FOUR KITCHEN FLOOR MUSTS

Keep the following in mind when floor shopping:

Durability: To withstand frequent spills without staining, and to survive dropped skillets without damage, choose flooring that’s tough enough to survive your lifestyle.

Water-resistance: Your kitchen is a “semi-wet” room, so the flooring you choose should not be damaged by the occasional spilled glass of juice.

Scrub able: Messes always seem to end up underfoot, so the best kitchen flooring is one that’s easy to keep clean.

Design-friendly: When all is said and done, you want your kitchen to look just as good as the rest of your home. With today’s flooring options, you can have an attractive kitchen floor that’s resilient to boot.

Flooring manufacturers offer a wide assortment of materials that are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. The following five flooring choices top the most-desirable list for contemporary kitchens. Start here when planning your kitchen redo, and you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

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  • 1.SHEET VINYL

Pros: Water-resistant, scrub able, comfortable underfoot, and budget friendly
Cons: Heavy appliances can leave depressions (avoidable with coasters under appliance legs)

Sheet vinyl has been around for decades and has only gotten better. The fact that it comes in a large sheet, as opposed to small, stick-down tiles, means there are no seams where water can seep down to the subflooring. Sheet vinyl offers wall-to-wall waterproof floor protection, which is always welcome in busy kitchens that see a lot of spills.

Vinyl flooring doesn’t get cold in the winter (as, say, ceramic tile can), so it’s comfortable underfoot all year round. It is easy to clean too; regular sweeping and occasional mopping with an all-purpose vinyl floor cleaner is sufficient.

Sheet vinyl is available in a wide variety of patterns and colours. The thicker the vinyl, the more durable and the more expensive. Expect to pay R300 to R1000 per square meter depending on quality. Professional installation will add another R100 to R300 per square meter. Pro installation is recommended because the vinyl sheet must be perfectly cut to fit the exact dimensions of the room and then carefully glued and rolled with a heavy press to prevent air bubbles.

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  1. PORCELAIN TILE

Pros: Extremely durable, waterproof, stain resistant, and good for high-traffic areas
Cons: Grout requires periodic sealing to prevent stains

For the ultimate in durability, it’s hard to beat porcelain tile. Though similar to ceramic, porcelain is fired at higher temperatures, which makes it stronger and more resistant to damage. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes, from 300mm squares to 1800mm planks that mimic hardwood. Like other hard flooring surfaces, porcelain can be slippery when wet, and it’s extremely hard—glasses and plates that fall on the floor will likely shatter.

Porcelain tile is heavy and will add substantial weight, so it’s not usually recommended for a second-story floor. If you have questions about whether your floor system is adequate for installing the tile, contact an engineer or a reputable tile setter. Depending on brand and quality, you’ll pay R250 to R800 per square meter for porcelain tile and an additional R350 to R1000 for professional installation. Unless you’re familiar with laying tile, it’s best to leave this to a professional. Installing porcelain requires the use of a special type of underlayment and thin set mortar.

Though porcelain tile is easy to clean with an all-purpose floor cleaner and a wet mop, the grout between the tiles should be sealed every three to four years with a grout sealer to reduce the risk of stains.

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  1. ENGINEERED VINYL PLANK (EVP)

Pros: Waterproof, DIY-friendly, closely resembles real hardwood flooring
Cons: Heavy appliances may leave depressions

One of the newer flooring products on the market, engineered vinyl planks (EVP) are getting a lot of attention. The planks, which resemble hardwood, are completely waterproof. On the surface of the plank is a layer of luxury vinyl, bonded to a waterproof core that’s slightly cushioned to give the floor a soft feel underfoot.

Like other engineered flooring (laminate flooring or floating flooring), EVP planks do not attach directly to the subfloor. Instead, the planks snap together, which makes installation DIY-friendly. The flooring runs R500 to R700 per square meter and includes installation instructions. If you choose to have it professionally installed, expect to pay another R300 to R600 per square meter. Unlike a lot of flooring choices, such as sheet vinyl or tile, EVP can be installed directly over existing tile, concrete, or linoleum.

In terms of downsides, EVP is not as resilient as porcelain—and moving a heavy fridge could leave a scratch, so care should be taken when moving heavy appliances. It’s a breeze to clean, however, with just a mop dampened with soapy water.

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  1. STONE TILE

Pros: Adds a natural, one-of-a-kind ambiance (no two tiles are identical), non-slip surface
Cons: Expensive and can stain without regular sealing

If you want natural flooring at any price, check out stone tile. You’ll pay R240 to R600 per square meter, depending on the type of stone, and factor in an additional R250 to R550 per square meter for professional installation. Hiring a professional tile setter is highly recommended because of the special underlayment and thin set mortar required. Even slight discrepancies in the thickness of the mortar or failure to use the correct product could result in stone tiles popping off.

Natural stone tile adds beauty to any kitchen and, unlike manufactured tiles, it’s by and large non-slip due to its semi-porous surface. Choose from a handful of natural tan, gray, red, and brown earth tones, depending on the type of stone you choose. The following types of stone are commonly available in flooring tiles:

  • Travertineis smooth underfoot, non-slip, and available in light-to-medium soft earth tones.
  • Marbleis very hard and can be polished to a high sheen. Unfortunately, it can also be slippery when wet. Marble is available in a wide variety of colours, including green, brown, gray, and near-black with pink, red, gold, and burgundy veining.
  • Slateis one of the best kitchen flooring choices for many reasons, but namely, because it’s slip-resistant and very durable. It comes available in blue, gray, red, and orange tones, with attractive veining in the same colours.
  • Granitetile is very hard, making it a good choice for high traffic areas. It comes in deep gray’s, blacks, tans, and mottled white tones. Granite resists scratching and can be polished to high shine, although the higher the sheen, the greater the slip factor.

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5. Cork

Pros: Budget-friendly, DIY-friendly, warm and cushioned feel underfoot
Cons: Can be scratched by heavy objects

A relatively new addition to the flooring market, cork is quickly becoming a preferred choice for those who want a warm soft floor at an affordable price. Expect to pay R300 to R800 per square meter for cork tiles in square or plank shapes. Cork tiles can be installed by an enthusiastic homeowner—they’re available in peel-and-stick, glue down, or snap together assembly. Professional installation, if desired, can run an additional R250 to R400 per square meter.

Composed of ground-up cork combined with resins and then compressed into firm tiles, this flooring is available in a variety of gray, tan, and brown shades. While cork flooring can depress under the legs of heavy appliances, given time, the depressions will return to their original state. Cork flooring is soft underfoot and slightly springy. It reduces sound transfer, so it’s a good choice for homes that have a living area beneath the kitchen. Cork flooring resists stains but it is not stain-proof. Spilled wine that’s not promptly wiped up may leave a stain, but one of the cool things about cork is that it can be refinished by sanding down the surface and then applying stain and a sealer.

Cork can fade if exposed to direct sunlight, so protect your floor by using curtains or blinds. Clean-up is simple; wipe up spills promptly and mop with soapy water when necessary. Follow up by wiping the floor with a clean, dry microfiber mop to remove excess water.

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188 Hits
JUL
04
0

Ways you are accidentally damaging your kitchen counter tops

The most important work surface in the home, the kitchen countertop is built to accommodate food preparation, regular cleaning, pesky stains, and more. But despite their durability, countertops can suffer from costly damage whether they're made of laminate, marble, granite, or any other material. Here are ways people unintentionally damage their countertops, with tips on how to keep yours in tip-top shape for years to come.

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1. Many hard surfaces crack under pressure. Placing heavy objects near unsupported edges or joints can cause cracks, ruptures, and fractures. You had better think twice before purchasing that extra-heavy microwave or standing on the countertop to reach a high shelf!

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2. Heavy duty cleaning products containing bleach or ammonia can cause stone and granite countertops to lose their luster. To prevent them from fading, stick with soap and hot water for daily cleanups.

3. Check the manufacturer's recommendations before you put toaster ovens, slow cookers, and other heat-generating appliances on your countertop, because temperature changes can cause some materials to crack. Rather place a trivet or cutting board between the appliance and the counter.

4. Because marble countertops are made of calcium carbonate, which is chemically a base, they're especially sensitive to anything acidic. One simple splash of vinegar, wine, lemon juice, or tomato sauce will cause dull spots, known as etches, on the surface. If you spill anything acidic on your marble countertop, clean it up right away with water, then neutralize the stain by sprinkling baking soda onto it.

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5. Pools of water, especially hard tap water, can cause stains and white crusty buildup if left on the kitchen counter. After wiping up the spilled water, be sure to completely dry the countertop with a towel to prevent future problems.

6. Chopping, slicing, and dicing directly on the kitchen countertop is not good. Fine scratches can disrupt the waterproof sealant on most countertops, making them more susceptible to damage down the road.

7. Splitting or peeling edges are common problems on laminate countertops. Reduce the stress on your counters by never leaning on the edges.

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8. Placing a hot pot directly on a countertop can cause discoloration or cracking. Use trivets or pot holders as a barrier, or risk creating a burn mark you’ll forever regret.

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9. Everyone wants a sunny kitchen, but direct sunlight can cause laminate countertops to fade. Sunlight can also fade some sealants used on granite and wood countertops. Pull down a shade during peak daylight hours to minimize long-term damage.

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10. Do not always prepare food in the same spot. Over time, that section of the counter will suffer from scratches, etches, and other signs of wear and tear. Try migrating to different parts of the counter regularly.

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142 Hits
JUN
23
0

Taking care of your kitchen herb garden during the winter

1. Herbs need humidity

Kitchen herbs prefer a humidity level of 30 to 45 percent. Unfortunately, during the winter months, the humidity level in heated homes tends to only be 10 to 20 percent. To combat low humidity, frequently mist the herbs. Or turn on a humidifier to increase cut through dry air.

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2. Move them into sunny spots

From summer to winter, the angle of the sun changes, so you need to move your herbs near a different window for the season. You can also wash the window glass, inside and out, to help let in more light. Don’t forget to rotate the herbs every so often to make sure they receive light evenly on all sides.

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3. Do not give too much water

Considering their growth rate is significantly slower during the winter, herbs do not require as much water. Check the soil by putting your finger about one inch into the soil. If it feels dry, the plant needs a good soaking. Be sure to use lukewarm water!

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4. No food needed

Due to very little growth, giving or changing fertilizer is not needed during the winter months. It’s best to withhold food until next spring, when the days are much longer and the sun is stronger. Resume weekly feedings closer to spring to give your plants a boost.

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5.  Check the temperature

During the daytime, most herb gardens prefer a temperature between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, and at night time about 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Dramatic fluctuations in temperature can be damaging, so it’s best to keep your herbs away from cold windows, or sources of heat, such as stoves, fireplaces, and radiators.

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There are a lot of aspects around your kitchens herb garden, new trends are popping up every day, one of them is by usining your freshly grown herbs as decor points in your kitchen to give it a bit of that natural flair that has gone missing over the years.

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508 Hits
JUN
17
0

Taking care of your kitchen herb garden

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1. Using the right growing soil.

Indoor herbs have a better shot at healthy growth if you plant them in a sterile growing soil. Choose a “potting mix” or “growing mix” that has the word “sterile” on the label. This type of growing medium contains a germ-free mixture of lightweight ingredients, such as peat moss, vermiculite, and shredded pine bark, which resist compaction so roots can develop easily. Avoid using soil from your garden that can become dense and compact, and also contains bacteria and/or tiny insects that could kill your kitchen herbs.

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2. Startig seeds can go further.

If you purchase young plants from a garden center, you’ll be harvesting in no time—but once those plants “go to seed” they’ll quit producing herbs. So for kitchen herb gardens that last, buy seed packets, from which you can grow multiple plants. A single young plant runs R40 to R60 while a packet of seeds can provide you with 20 plants, or more, for about R20. Most herbs will be ready to harvest in two to three months from the time the seeds sprout.

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3. Keep soil moist until sprouts appear.

Kitchen herb seeds are quick to develop but they require a consistent level of moisture until they sprout. Fill your pot with damp growing medium. Place two to five seeds on top of the medium, and then lightly sprinkle dry soil on top—just a dusting will do. Cover the entire pot with plastic wrap and put it in a dark location until the seeds sprout. Then, remove the plastic and set the pot on the windowsill.

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4. Start new seeds often.

The average herb plant will reach maturity and go to seed in about four months, after which it will no longer produce fresh herbs. By about every two months, the new plants will be producing vigorous growth by the time the existing ones are declining, and you’ll always have a fresh supply of herbs.

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5. Don't use too much fertilizer.

You can feed your kitchen herbs with a vegetable fertilizer every two or three months, but dilute the solution to one-third the recommended strength. Indoor herbs do well with a small amount of fertilizer, while too much can cause rapid growth that reduces the flavor of the herbs.

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 6. Harvest often.

Harvesting leaves from the tops of herb stems will encourage the plant to grow more. Just be sure to snip carefully. Remove no more than 1/3 of a stem when you’re ready to add the herb to your food. Cutting too much can damage the plant and cause it to stop growing.

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7. Water spray your herbs.

Spraying your herbs once a week is usually sufficient. Most herbs prefer slightly damp, but not soggy, conditions. Give plants enough water so that a little excess runs into the drainage saucer below. An hour after watering, dump out the saucer to ensure that the roots aren’t sitting in water. If the soil dries out very quickly, which can happen if the herb is growing rapidly and its roots are absorbing more moisture than normal, water every three to five days. 

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Please visit again next week for some more pointers on your kitchen herb garden.

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727 Hits
JUN
09
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How to start your kitchen herb garden

If you appreciate having an abundance of flavor and tastes on hand at all times—and saving more money in the long run—keep reading. This guide will help you grow successful well established kitchen herb gardens that brim with strong, healthy plants. Take your culinary accomplishments to the next level, and your family and friends will thank you!

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How to start your garden:

1. A sunny spot to help them grow.

Herbs love the sun; they tend to grow tall and straggly without it, producing limp stems instead of healthy compact buds. To successfully grow herbs indoors, choose spaces that receives a minimum of four to six hours of direct sunlight per day. For even growth, turn your herb pots around every day or two to ensure that all sides receive an equal amount of direct sunlight.

Additionaly you can buy or build grow kits were there are no sunlight available.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}2. Provide good drainage.

While some containers add a touch of style to a kitchen’s décor, herbs—like all pot plants—need good drainage. The pots you choose should have drain holes in the bottoms. You may see photos of herbs tucked into pretty little cups and glasses, but without drain holes, the plants are at risk of developing fungal diseases would most likely kill them.

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3. Grow herbs you need!

The best herbs for you are the ones you actually love to use—especially considering how you’ll need to harvest the herbs frequently anyway for the health of the plants. If you enjoy Italian or Mediterranean fare, start with basil, oregano, parsley, and mint in your kitchen herb garden. Other famous herbs that home chefs frequently reach for include chives, thyme, cilantro, and rosemary.

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4. Save space with dwarf varieties.

Think small when choosing herbs for kitchen gardens, where space is often limited. Dwarf varieties allow you to have all the herbs you want without taking up much room.

These petite plants also make it easier to invoke another space-saving principle: the use of vertical space. Consider stacking your short potted plants vertically—on shelves, tiers, or wall hooks—up along a well-lit backsplash or wall in the kitchen.

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1071 Hits
JUN
09
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Kitchen herb gardens

If you enjoy cooking, you know how a garden of fresh herbs is a wonderful way to add a bright zest to your creations. A handful of Italian basil, some tomatoes, olive oil and mozzarella can make a delicious and fast summertime meal, so why not create your own kitchen herb garden so that fresh ideas and herbs are at the ready all year-round? Harvesting herbs from your own garden will enhance your home and all your meals.

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The use of fresh herbs can mean the difference between decent food and truly vibrant, delicious cuisine. But purchasing such herbs at the shop can get pricey, especially if you only need a sprig or two. Plus, it’s a lot more convenient to have the likes of fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, and so much more right at your disposal, whenever you get the urge to whip something up.

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A good kitchen garden starts with a sunny – and convenient – spot in the kitchen; say, near a window and acess to water points. If cutting herbs means a long traipse to the backyard garden, you’ll not be as likely to use herbs from there as opposed to from one that is located inside.

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Supplemental lighting can let you nurture a kitchen herb garden even if you don’t have an adequately sunny spot. Grow  kits are available from garden centers or online retailers for between R800 to R1500, depending on size. And if you’re DIY-handy, you can build lighting using dimensional lumber to construct a frame and standard fluorescent bulbs and fixtures. Whatever you rig up, remember: You’ll need to position your plants within a few inches of the fluorescent bulbs for the best results.

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  1268 Hits
1268 Hits