Weizter Magazine

These articles are written without prejudice by Weizter staff members and other independent writers, the views and opinions expressed here are the views of these writers which do not necessarily reflect or express the views and policies of Weizter.
FEB
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The 5 Best Kitchen Flooring Options for Your Renovation

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

  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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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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Vanity Units

White vanities will be on trend whether its 2019 or 2039. White is so flexible, and it goes with pretty much every bathroom style and color you can imagine. Redecorating isn’t a problem if you go for white, and you don’t have to worry about it going out of style.White vanities will be on trend whether its 2019 or 2039. White is so flexible, and it goes with pretty much every bathroom style and color you can imagine. Redecorating isn’t a problem if you go for white, and you don’t have to worry about it going out of style. Whether you’re looking at modern bathroom vanities or more rustic bathroom vanities, if you want something that is going to stand the test of time, then white is the right choice for you.{Weizter} {Kitchens}

We all know how on-trend grey is right now and that is no exception when it comes to bathroom vanities 2019. Traditional and rustic bathroom vanities look great in grey; giving something more old-school, with a bit of a modern twist. Grey has longevity as a color, meaning it looks great for a long time and will go with plenty of bathroom colors – whether you prefer a light bathroom or something with a darker tone.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

If you want to add some drama to your bathroom design, then a dark vanity is the way to go. Contrast the dark color against white tiles or go for something moodier and pair it with a grey tone.
A dark vanity is super stylish and forever on trend, but be aware that this trend might be tiring quick, so this might not be the best option if you are planning to invest in custom bathroom vanities, as you don’t want to be replacing it in the near future.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

A floating vanity is forever chic and is one of our favorite modern bathroom vanities, and for good reason. It is perfect for small bathrooms where you need to open up the space and make it feel bigger than it is – as they don’t go all the way to the floor, they give the appearance of taking up much less space and create the illusion of additional floor space. If you love a clean line or you are motivated by cheap bathroom vanities for 2019, then a minimalist vanity is the way to go. Not only are they way less expensive than your rustic bathroom vanities, but they come at a much lower cost to install. They are perfect if you are on a budget or you have a small bathroom, as they look way less cluttered and have the appearance of taking up much less space than those with intricate designs on the doors and handles.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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!

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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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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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}
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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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.

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

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FEB
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Open Plan VS Closed Kitchens

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

There will always be people that choose one side or another, open plan or closed.  Let's look at the benefits of each.

Open plan kitchens are typically better geared for entertaining or for families where you can have constant interaction with your guests or children, perhaps while you supervise their homework or with friends over a glass of wine.

Open plan kitchens generally allow for better lighting as they are usually situated in close proximity or adjacent to the lounge or dining room, areas which typically have larger windows for more light.  So once existing walls have been removed, this would allow for better illuminosity (natural light).

However, the cost of the removal of walls, tiles, relocating of plumbing and electrical points could prove costly and perhaps not even worth the exercise.  Funds could then perhaps be better utilized on upgrading your new kitchen with soft close doors and drawers or better appliances.

Another downside of open plan kitchens is that regardless of how good your extraction appliance is, there will always be lingering cooking smells in the kitchen which would now permiate the rest of the house as well.  not good if you dont really enjoy the smell of your cooking.

Noise is another factor to consider.  As there are no walls to absorb sound, it does tend to travel more easily.

Something to consider is that your new open plan kitchen would generally need to be kept pretty neat and tidy as it will now be on "display"for guests to see.

Closed kitchens are considered more private and intimate which is great if youve been cooking up a storm and the kitchen is in a bit of a state...simply close the door and worry about the cleaning later.

However;  closed kitchens do tend to isolate the cook from interacting wirh guests, so if entertaining is a high priority, open plan is probably better suited to your lifestyle.

Besides being able to close the door and forget about the mess in the kitchen, the number one complaint regardign closed kitchens is that they tend to "trap"smells and are typically noisey areas.

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NOV
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Back splashes for a Unique Kitchen

Believe it or not, a kitchen is more than appliances, cabinets and countertops. While those are the elements that serve the greatest function, there are a host of details that bring everything in the room together, like sinks, lighting, and of course, the back needs to stand out with the help of a unique back splash.

Galvanized Metal

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Galvanized MetalMetal backsplashes are typically of the stamped variety, but a flat sheet of galvanized metal makes a clean and modern statement in a country kitchen or mudroom potting area.

Marble Slab

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

The gray veins in this white marble provide visual interest in an all-white kitchen, while bringing some warmth and fun to the design. Patterned tile backsplash is a commitment, but one that makes a bold statement in a kitchen.

Wood Backsplash

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Salvaged wood creates rustic texture on the kitchen backsplash and offers eco-conscious renovators a way to reuse an existing material.

Black and White

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Like black tie for the kitchen, white subway tile with black grout never goes out of style. And although it looks sophisticated, the material costs are low, making this stylish look quite affordable. 

Antique Mirror Backsplash

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

A little bit of Parisian glamour in the kitchen comes via antique mirror installed as the backsplash. Its patina makes the material more forgiving and permit less meticulous maintenance.

Concrete

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Some perfectionists shy away from concrete on account of maintenance, but if you reseal and wax concrete occasionally, it makes a great backsplash material for an industrial look. 

Exposed Brick

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

If you’re lucky enough to have an exposed brick wall in the kitchen, why not keep it visible as a gorgeous backsplash? One word of caution: Brick should be sealed, since it is a porous material.

Kitchen Mosaic

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

If you really want to make your kitchen one-of-a-kind, consider a mosaic . The small tiles will add texture and flair, while the pattern... is more or less up to you!

Modern Glass

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This isn't your mother's glass tile. While normal glass backsplashes feature either a whole sheet of glass or glass subway tiles, Everstone is putting out uniquely shaped designs, from pointy shards to circular bubbles. 

Coin Backsplash

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If your change jar is threatening to take over your kitchen, why not let it? This backsplash, made of over 6,000 extraneous coins, knows the true meaning of "remarkable". 

Wood Paneling

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

When used as a backsplash, white tongue-and-groove board is the perfect accompaniment in a country kitchen.

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New & Notable: Ideas for the Luxury Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, where friends and family gather and so many memories are created. When it's time to remodel this vital space, be sure to consider current trends and new innovations; products that will bring efficiency and beauty…The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, where friends and family gather and so many memories are created. When it's time to remodel this vital space, be sure to consider current trends and new innovations; products that will bring efficiency and beauty…

Wall Ovens

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Wall OvensThe latest line of wall ovens looks beautiful and serves up features that make it easier to whip up a gourmet meal. Are you always on the go? You can wirelessly control the oven's mode, temperature, and timer from your smartphone. They even made cleanup a snap with self-cleaning oven racks and a quick-cleaning Steam Option. Welcome to the future of cooking.

Exotic Wood Countertops

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Sources in the know tell us that kitchen trends this year are all about exotic wood countertops and cabinet veneers. New trends offers a variety of exotic and domestic woods, including zebrawood, African mahogany, lyptus, and teak.

Dishwasher

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Don't be fooled by Bosch's newest 800 series dishwashers—at 38 to 42 dBA, they're simply so quiet that you won't even realize they're on. With Energy Star compliance, a half-load option for small loads, built-in water softener, and a full-color clear text display, these dishwashers are so convenient, you just might look forward to cleaning up after dinner.

Induction Cooktops

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Induction cooktops, offer precise temperature control and heat up more quickly than traditional gas or electric cooktops. A bridge function provides the flexibility of turning two separate cooking zones into one larger zone to accommodate wider cookware such as griddles or poaching pans. This cooktop is so smart, you barely have to lift a finger.

Built-in Refrigerators

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Consider built-in refrigerators designed for those who want serious storage with a customized look. Humidity-controlled vegetable compartments and sealed snack pans maintain freshness, while upfront electronic controls with a digital readout facilitate precise temperature settings for maximum efficiency.

Tiled Backsplash

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

A new backsplash is a great example of a stand-alone cosmetic project that can dramatically transform a space. There are materials and innovative manufacturing techniques to produce a range of ceramic, glass, and brick tiles that can breathe new life into your kitchen.

Walk In Pantry

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Although walk-in pantries conjure up idyllic notions of home canning and preserves, today's pantry is more likely to have such modern conveniences as a microwave or wine refrigerator nestled among the canned goods. In planning a pantry, focus on simplicity, organization, and location to ensure that items are efficiently stowed away and accessible.

Eco-Friendly Flooring

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Bamboo flooring's popularity as an eco-friendly alternative to hardwood has grown almost as quickly as bamboo itself. Flooring companies, offers a multitude of prefinished options in traditional and contemporary styles. Available colors range from Super White to Charcoal, in a nod to one of this year's biggest kitchen design trends: mixing light and dark elements.

Pot Fillers

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Anyone who has worked in a restaurant is already familiar with the advantages of a pot filler, but these convenient devices are quickly becoming a mainstay of home kitchens across the nation. The Traditional Pot Filler reduces back strain caused by carrying heavy pots of water, saves time, and adds a professional touch to the kitchen.

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10 Ingredients for a Cutting-Edge Kitchen

For the latest in smart tech and push-button convenience, look no further than today's kitchens. Truly modern kitchen amenities are not only technologically savvy, but also offer exceptional energy efficiency, durability, and ease of use. Here are 10 innovative ideas.

Smart Cooktops

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Forget cleaning around plate tops. The Thermador Masterpiece Series Freedom Induction Cooktop breaks free of traditional limitations to offer the largest fully usable cooking space on the market. This sleek cooktop is equipped with a full-color touchscreen interface and state-of-the-art technology that enables it to recognize the shape of your pots and pans, heating only the surfaces you need. 

Steam Ovens

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Steam ovens cook food with heat generated by boiling water in a built-in reservoir. These appliances are available from many manufacturers, and most today also function as convection ovens. But the steam oven's real claims to fame are its easy to clean interior, faster cook times, and the moist, flavorful foods it produces.

Custom Refrigeration

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How would you like a combination fridge, freezer, and wine cooler that fits seamlessly into your kitchen? Miele's just that. It's not just their customizable widths and cabinet-depth installations that make them special. With separate compressors for each fridge and freezer section, their design eliminates flavor transfer, so your ice cubes will never taste like your leftovers.

High-Efficiency Dishwashers

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The Bosch Benchmark dishwashers go beyond the water-saving, energy-efficient models that have been ob the market. They're virtually silent and feature touchpad controls and flexible loading—and they even project the remaining cycle time onto the floor in large, easy-to-read numbers.

One-Touch Faucets

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Messy hands in the kitchen usually make for drippy, germy faucet handles—but not with a one-touch or touchless faucet, available these days from many manufacturers, including Kohler and Moen. Cutting raw chicken or rolling out dough? No problem. The high-tech sensors in these fixtures allow you to wash up without gunking up your faucet.

Cabinet Built-Ins

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

In today's cutting-edge kitchen, cumbersome cabinets need not apply. The future of cabinetry is replete with rollout shelves, built-in compost collectors, and blind corner accessories that leave no space wasted. And now that more new cabinets are made from recycled materials, you can feel doubly good about your next renovation. The cabinets shown here, made from reclaimed vintage oak veneer panels, make an environmentally friendly statement in the kitchen.

LED Lighting

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Because LEDs take up so little space, they can be stylishly incorporated into undercabinet lighting, drawers, and cabinet interiors. Energy-efficient LED lighting is available in a wide array of colors and lumens—and, perhaps most important, they generate less heat than incandescent or halogen globes, so they help keep the cook cool.

Engineered Work Surfaces

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Cambria's engineered stone countertops combine the vibrant colors and patterns of natural quartz with tough, nonporous resins, resulting in countertops that are unmatched in their durability and resistance to scratches, stains, and germs.

Coffee from the Tap

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

There are no shortage of innovative appliances to make your next cup of coffee. But if money is no object, consider the smartphone-controlled TopBrewer. It may look like a simple, graceful faucet, but it’s actually the world's smallest milk foamer and the fastest countertop barista. With one of these on deck, you're never more than 30 seconds away from a perfect espresso—or cappuccino, or macchiato, or even hot water for tea.

Tea Time

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Wake up to boiling water with this WI-Fi enabled teakettle. Controlled by your smartphone and synchronized with your alarm clock, the iKettle will heat water and keep it warm for up to 30 minutes.

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Questions and answers on Bamboo Counter tops in your Kitchen

Bamboo Countertops 

The Sustainable OptionBamboo countertops can be a great choice for anyone who is interested in replacing their current counters with a new, eco friendly option.  There are lots of great reasons to consider bamboo, just see these questions and answers.

How Are Bamboo Countertops Made?

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There are actually a few ways to make bamboo countertops. Which you ultimately decide on will depend mostly on your personal preference.The first type of bamboo countertops are actually a form of laminate. One of the most popular makers of this type of countertop is All Totally Bamboo. To create their eco friendly product, they start by making cross-brand laminates that they call multilam.Small strips of bamboo were glued together to create the planks. Once the planks are complete, they are put together with an adhesive that is non-toxic and formaldehyde-free.These countertops are typically delivered with no finish – which means that they’ll need to have a sealer applied once they have been installed. To keep a project green, it’s important to apply an eco-friendly, low-VOC sealer.


What is End Grain Bamboo Countertops?

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Another type of bamboo countertops are typically called end-grain bamboo. Just like the planks, they are glued together. However, instead of creating long planks, the companies that make counters out of end-grain do so by taking rectangular pieces of the end-grain. They’re glued together and a sealer is added.

Are bamboo countertops durable?

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Bamboo surfaces have anti-bacterial properties that make this material an apt choice for kitchen counters. ... Bamboo countertops are unique and classy.Bamboo surfaces are strong and durable. They can provide long-lasting services by bearing daily wear and tear of busy kitchens


Can you stain a bamboo countertop?

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

One can get “light” & “dark” oils that'll “stain your bamboo top in the process. Polyurethane & varnishes require a base coat primer – you can use an oil such as tung oil or linseed oil. ... You can also mix the stain into your sealer (remember to mix thoroughly). This will ensure a uniform finish.


What color is natural bamboo?

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Bamboo has 2 colors, Natural and Carbonized. Natural color: The natural color of bamboo is light yellow. It is the original color of bamboo strips. When bamboo is heated, different colors are produced.


How do I care for my Bamboo Countertops?

{Weizter} {Kitchens}

Cleaning these green counters is quite simple. You can keep them clean with warm water and a mild soap. Because they have a finish applied, it’s important not to place hot items directly on your bamboo counte tops.Even though bamboo is a strong material, it’s also important not to cut directly on the counter. Both the counter and the finish can be damaged with a knife.


What sizes can you get them in?

Dimensions available

:• Strand Woven Board 2440mm x 600mm x 30mm

• Strand Woven Board 2440mm x 1220mm x 20mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 600mm x 30mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 1220mm x 20mm

• Horizontal Carbonated 2440mm x 1220mm x 15mm

• Bamboo Woven Veneer 2440mm x 1220mm x 5mm

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Get fresh with your own kitchen herb garden

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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 kitchen 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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New Things Always to Keep Near Your Kitchen Sink

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the sink is the heart of the kitchen. From meal prep to clean up, you spend a good amount of time near your kitchen sink. Maximize the most high-traffic spot in your kitchen by adding a few extras that will amp up the sink usage.

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Dishwasher On the Counter

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The concept behind countertop dishwashers was always a good one. But for years, even the top-dollar models failed to deliver anything close to the spic-and-span results of a traditional unit. But that was then. Now, options are available and finally equal their full-size peers in performance—even while providing the extra flexibility and convenience of a portable design. Setup is simply a matter of plugging in the dishwasher and hooking its hose up to the kitchen faucet. Perhaps the most amazing part: Despite being compact enough to rest comfortably on a counter, the Danby appliance boasts enough capacity and cleaning power to handle up to six place settings in each cycle.

Mighty Magnet

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Adjacent to your sink, above the counter where you typically do prep work at meal times, consider mounting a magnetic utensil holder. At a generous length of 30cm offers enough real estate and, thanks to a powerful neodymium magnet, more than enough grip to organize and store a variety of kitchen tools, everything from dish scrubbers to spatulas to serrated knives. Style-neutral and at home in any kitchen, the Stainless steel magnetic knife bar even comes packaged with its own mounting hardware, making it an all-in-one, easy-install method of making sure your most frequently used utensils remain within easy arm's reach at all times.

Sudsy Sponge

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Constantly squirting extra dish soap into the sink during dish duty? While you might feel like you're always short on soap, the truth is that you're probably using too much. A generous squeeze of soap often gets washed away before you get full use out of it—a problem that the uniquely designed Soapy spnge sets out to solve. Just fill the capsule with your favorite dish soap, and start scrubbing. The three-layer scouring sponge slowly releases the right amount of soap exactly as you need it, so each dish gets the same amount of suds. No more reaching for the bottle mid-wash—and, ultimately, less soap wasted overall.

Hang It Up

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Avoid dripping across the kitchen floor every time you wash up by keeping your towels right where you need them. While storing them in drawers or over handles works well enough to get by, cloths still inevitably slip from their ad hoc perch. Not so with the cheery over the door hooks: They keep towels draped conveniently in place and are sure to brighten any builder-grade cabinet, to boot!

 Surface Swipe

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Accidents happen—especially in the kitchen. Most homeowners reach for the nearest roll of paper towels, but they aren't environmentally friendly nor are they the most effective option for picking up small crumbs. Instead, consider keeping the Surface swipe next to your sink. The swipe is a two-sided cleaning tool with a squeegee for wet spills and nylon bristles for dry spills. Homeowners can hang the stain-resistant and functional tool on the countertop, where it’s easily accessible for sweeping any mess into the sink. 

Extra Sink Storage

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Oftentimes the counter surrounding your sink gets cluttered with kitchen necessities, like sponges, dish soap, and hand towels. Keep everything in one place with the over the sink shelve . Made with a steel frame and wood top, the shelf increases your counter space without getting in the way. The attractive piece also serves as kitchen decor, especially when topped with potted herbs and other details.

Odor Eliminator

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Regular soap doesn't cut it when you're trying to get the stinky smells from garlic and onions off your hands. And while stainless steel is known as an effective odor remover, you probably aren't looking to wipe your hands all over your fridge. In comes this stainless steel soap Rub your hands between the soap-shaped bar under cold water, and the foul smells will be gone. Because it's not actually soap, the bar will never run out, and it requires zero cleaning. Now you can cook, chop and peel anything without worrying about the smells lingering.

Super Soft Dish Towels

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Every kitchen needs dish towels. For one, they’re more economically and environmentally friendly than paper towels. They also serve multiple purposes: cleaning up spills, protecting the counter from hot surfaces, and of course drying dishes. Shaggies go beyond what’s expected from a towel. Made out of cotton chenille, these dish towels absorb almost 10 times their weight in water. The soft material is also great for dusting and cleaning in other rooms of the house. 

Sink Caddy

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Everything finds its proper place in this easy sink organiser. The convenient catchall sticks to the edge of your sink with a plastic suction cup placed strategically on the bottom of the unit. Stick it to the sink with a drop of water, then line it with damp sponges, wet brushes, and more—the organizer's two large drainage holes will allow your supplies to dry out in between uses. 

Unroll and Rinse

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If you've ever used a counter top dish rack to air dry your dishes, you know the setup isn't ideal. No matter how carefully you rinse and place your dishes into the rack, there's always a puddle of water that collects on the counter. Never again, when you use an over-the-sink dish drainer like this one. The roll-up contraption opens flat and can be laid over half of a double sink. Set dripping dishes atop the rack and let the water drop into the sink rather than on your clean countertop.

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Engineered Quartz and NEOLITH

The Rise of Porcelain and Engineered Quartz New countertops are the top feature most homeowners want in their kitchen. While granite remains popular for its look — despite its maintenance — other materials are catching the attention of homeowners. George Lisac, owner of Kerrock Countertops in Union City, California, is seeing a big rise in requests for engineered quartz. “Even more than granite,” he says. Engineered quartz is 97 percent crushed quartz mixed with 3 percent resin to create a nonporous material that doesn’t need to be sealed like granite. It was the most popular countertop material in the U.S. after granite, and the No. 1 choice in Canada, Ireland, Spain and Australia. But not everyone embraces the material. Burghardt, owner of Domicile San Francisco, says he’s been ripping out and replacing the engineered quartz countertops he installed years ago. “People are not happy with them,” he says. “People also universally seem disappointed with the matte finishes which are prevalent in the market. They show a lot of fingerprints and look dirty as opposed to the polished surfaces.” Instead, Neolith, a porcelain material from Spain, shown here mimicking Calacatta marble, has been taking over his clients’ kitchens lately. “You can’t scratch it, burn it or stain it,” he says. To demonstrate in his showroom, Burghardt says he scrapes the surface of Neolith with a screwdriver until it throws sparks. “No scratching,” he says. Then he takes a flamethrower to it. “We will brown the top of a crème brûlée, then aim the flame at the countertop and hold it there. No cracking or discoloration. Pour zinfandel, hot chili oil, blueberry and nothing happens. And no, I do not have stock in the company.” In Japan, artificial stone seems to be moving out of the way for materials like quartz and ceramics. “Our hottest one for next year is durable ceramic panel , originally developed as an exterior material,” says Imai of Kitchen House. Stainless steel also is a popular countertop material for the Japanese. In an informal Houzz Japan poll, stainless steel was the No. 1 chosen material for kitchen countertops. “People tend to choose it in order to give a cool and sharp image to the space, not only because of its durability and heat resistance,” Imai says.
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A REVOLUTIONARY MATERIAL The NEOLITH Sintered Stone slab is a trendsetting  material that is redefining the future of interior design. With an extensive range of colours and finishes, NEOLITH is a designer product that has created exciting possibilities for interior decorating applications and exterior cladding projects. Innovative and endless design options Comprehensive range of colour options and combinations Attractive Matte, Polished, Silk, Honed and Riverwashed finishes. Countertop and panel cladding material available in the same colour for perfect continuity and a holistic look Resistant to very high temperatures Stain resistant Hardwearing and durable Easy to clean and maintain Minimal seam joins due to large slab format
FEATURES & PRODUCT ADVANTAGES NEOLITH is an admirable competitor when compared to common surface materials such as marble, granite, engineered stone and other cladding materials. The versatile colours, consistency, durability and remarkable size of these sintered stone slabs make NEOLITH the preferred product, particularly for large construction and development projects. NEOLITH can withstand much higher temperatures than most competing surfaces and the larger slab size means increased cost effectiveness and project efficiency.
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As an environmentally friendly product, NEOLITH ranks amongst the best, surpassing every required standard (ISO) in every one of its characteristics with the use of technologically advanced operating systems. NEOLITH is currently the most versatile cladding product on the market.  RESISTANT TO HIGH TEMPERATURES Does not burn in contact with fire or let off smoke or toxic substances  RESISTANT TO UV RAYS Since the color is 100% natural, it does not deteriorate due to exposure to the sun or extreme temperatures.  LIGHT The 6 mm board is only 14 kg/m² and the 12 mm board, 30 kg/m².  RESISTANT TO ICE AND FREEZING Neolith is not damaged by low temperatures.  SCRATCH RESISTANT Resistant to scratching and abrasion due to the hardness of the surface.  EASY TO CLEAN Resistant to chemical cleaning agents.  RESISTANT TO BENDING A high modulus of rupture. Resistant to high pressure and weight loads.  HYGIENIC Does not release harmful substances. Completely suitable for contact with food.  SUITABLE FOR HEAVY TRAFFIC Due to the hardness of the surface.  100% NATURAL Resin-free. Does not release any harmful substance into the environment.  WATERPROOF Waterproof and liquid-resistant. With an absorption level near zero.  
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Is kitchens changing ?

 Just ask the people building and planning the kitchens of today. With that in mind, according to a survey was done  in 11 countries — the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, Sweden and Denmark — through a series of discussions, polls and interviews to describe the ins and outs of kitchen projects they had recently completed, have underway or are planning to start in the next three months. According to Houzz data shows that 41 percent of homeowners are remodeling kitchens that are 16 to 30 years old. Out off nearly 9,000 people 85 percent had completed or worked on their kitchen project  that means their choices in layout, materials, storage and special features offer insight into trends you’ll no doubt see in kitchens for years to come.
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But don’t expect Jetsons-style whiz-bang gadgetry anytime soon. Other than a few high-tech appliances, homeowners aren’t looking to impress NASA with their kitchens. Apart from TVs and iPads, the majority of homeowners in almost every country that was part of the  survey aren’t interested in many high-tech features. “Programming ovens from an iPhone is not something people are doing, and people don’t care about a refrigerator that will send a message to your phone that it needs to be defrosted,” says Ken Burghardt, owner of Domicile San Francisco. Instead, they’re focusing on materials and features that provide basic function and classic style. The local climate and size of the space dictate a lot about how a kitchen will look. But so do cultural influences. For example, step into a kitchen in Spain and you’re more likely to see a built-in coffee station and walk-in wine cellar than in other countries. Nearly a quarter of Spanish homeowners plan to add a built-in coffee or tea station, while almost 10 percent plan to add a wine cellar. But for the most part, kitchens from all the countries  surveyed are a lot alike. Homeowners almost everywhere seem to want white cabinets, pullout garbage and recycling bins, more pantry storage and new countertops, appliances, cabinets — new everything, really.
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Give Me a ‘U’ The basic layout of the cabinets and appliances dictates what kind of experience you’ll have working in a kitchen. It’s a matter of preference, and often depends on the layout you start with and how much time and money you’re willing to spend to change it. In the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Germany, U-shaped kitchens are the most popular, according to the survey. In the U.K., designer Conrad Hendrick of LWK Kitchens says history plays a role in kitchen layouts. “Unless you are willing to remodel, then your home’s existing architecture will often dictate what your layout will be,” he says. “And with Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian architecture still imprinted on many modern homes, it follows that these styles naturally influence kitchen design, and in many modern cases lean toward a U-shaped kitchen layout.” Aside from the historical influence, Hendrick says people desire the U-shaped layout because it provides a generous work surface and storage capacity. “They are also highly efficient and simple to use because of the limited number of steps required when moving between different areas of the kitchen,” he says. L-shaped layouts reign supreme in every other country except Denmark, where nearly a third of homeowners want a galley kitchen. In Russia, where the majority of homeowners choose an L-shaped layout, interior designer Andrey Maksimov-Pavlychev says a legacy of small-space mentality and nostalgia has a lot to do with the preference, and is likely to continue into the future. “Our people have always lived in tiny apartments, so they obviously did their best to make the kitchen occupy less space,” he says. “These layouts allow us to fit all the appliances you need in a very small space. Even when people move to bigger apartments, memories make them choose the angular configurations while they could afford an island kitchen or any other kind.”
New interpretations. Though Japan was not part of the survey, which was conducted online , reaching out to Toshiyuki Imai, manager of Japanese kitchen design firm Kitchen House’s Tokyo showroom. Imai says one of the most popular layouts in Japan is somewhat like an open galley style, in which the kitchen counter and dining table are linked seamlessly together. “This is efficient because it makes it easy to deliver meals from the kitchen to the dining, while it’s still possible to change the layout of the dining table according to the number of guests you are entertaining,” Imai says. And designers are responding to this with new interpretations of the traditional Japanese kitchen. Kitchen House recently launched the combination kitchen island and dining element seen here in collaboration with architect Kengo Kuma. It combines modern design and technology with “primitive materials like glued laminated bamboo board, black iron frame and cast aluminum,” Imai says.
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Points To Consider Before Deciding on Bamboo

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•    Bamboo Expands & Contracts
Bamboo, like wood, moves in response to changes in temperature and humidity and can't be restrained too tightly once installed. Some bamboo countertop and plywood manufacturers give detailed instructions for installing bamboo countertops. If you (or your installer) don't pay close attention to them, you might have problems with your countertops down the road.
This characteristic also plays a role when sealing the bamboo. Your bamboo countertop should be sealed in a "balanced" manner meaning that the top AND bottom of the material should be sealed with the same number of sealer/finish coats. Again, pay close attention (or make sure your installer does) to the installation instructions provided by the source of your bamboo countertop.
•    Do Your Homework
Good bamboo (durable and high quality) comes from reputable sources that harvest bamboo at the right time and use quality adhesives and finishes. When you investigate various makers of bamboo material check to see what information they provide about these aspects of bamboo sourcing. Is the bamboo harvested around 5 years of age (give or take a bit)? How much information do they offer about the types of glues and/or sealants they use? Are they safe for food-prep and do they contain any formaldehyde?
The bottom line here is that you don't want to get just any old bamboo from Joe's bamboo shop. Find out how long the maker has been working with bamboo and how well they stand behind their product.

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•    Warranties
Find out what kind of warranty (if any) comes with your bamboo worktop or the plywood you buy to have made into a countertop. What you want to look for here is some form of coverage against delamination and separation since bamboo worktops are a glued-together structure. As with all product warranties, make sure you read the fine print and understand both what is and isn't covered.

•    Sealing & Finishing
Think about how you plan on using a bamboo countertop, whether as a 'standard' countertop or like a cutting board. These decisions will affect the type of bamboo construction (grain orientation) as well as the kind of sealer you choose. Good sources of bamboo countertops and plywood typically provide information on the types of sealers they provide and/or recommend.
Also remember that some sealers, like mineral oil, require more maintenance in terms of repeat applications to maintain and protect the bamboo surface. And don't forget that Tung oil, although a good sealer, is derived from nuts and may cause allergic reactions as mentioned above.

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•    Larger Countertops May Have Seams
Because bamboo material used for countertops comes in finite sheet sizes like plywood there are limitations to how much area can be covered without seams. Seams might not be a big deal to you but just keep in mind that if you have a large kitchen island you want to cover that exceeds standard stock sizes, you may end up having one or more seams in your countertop.

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Bamboo Counter Tops Pros & Cons


Bamboo countertops might not be considered the most common form of kitchen work top material but that's not the result of any gross deficiencies with bamboo. Bamboo countertops have a lot of great features but like any material there are highs and not-so-highs that you should think about. Here's a list of pros and cons to consider:

The Pros . . .

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•    A Green, Eco-Friendly Material
Bamboo is a renewable, sustainable natural resource that regenerates quickly. If you're looking for some green options for your kitchen upgrade, bamboo ranks up there as one of the top choices.
•    Hard & Durable
The right type of bamboo (typically "Moso") that's harvested at the right time is a very hard material. In some cases, it's harder than oak and maple. That makes for a good countertop choice because with countertops, the more durable the better.
•    Moderate Price Point
Bamboo won't be the cheapest countertop you can buy but certain styles and brands can be very competitive or flat-out beat the cost of stone, quartz or solid surface tops.
•    It's A Renewable Surface
Bamboo, like wood, is renewable. That means if it gets scratched it can be sanded and re-sealed. Try that with quartz or laminate countertops.
•    Unique & Attractive Appearance
Obviously everyone's tastes are different but it's hard to deny the fact that bamboo has a unique and attractive appearance and one that's not really replicated in any other type of countertop material. It's available in several different styles (grain orientations) to suit your style and usability needs.

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. . . and the Cons
•    Yes It's Hard But Not Indestructible
OK, so bamboo is hard -- that doesn't mean your bamboo countertops will never dent, scratch or chip. Think about what the edge of a heavy can of soup would do if accidentally dropped on the countertop. You also can't put hot pans on the surface because the heat can damage the finish, the bamboo surface, the glues holding it together or all three.
•    Takes More Care Particularly In Wet Areas
Bamboo is a lot like wood in that it needs sufficient protection from water. If you install bamboo around wet areas like a sink you'll need to ensure it's well protected/sealed.
•    It's A Glued Structure
The fact that a bamboo countertop is a glued structure isn't bad in and of itself. However we are talking about a countertop surface (as opposed to a floor) so you'll want to make sure that the glues that are used are both food-safe and formaldehyde-free. Manufacturers of bamboo countertops and plywood should have this information readily available.
•    Limited Number Of Styles & Shades
Compared to other countertop surfaces bamboo has a limited range of "looks". The grain orientations provide a few style options and you can get a carbonized bamboo that's darker than the typical blond color of bamboo. You run out of options beyond that however. Staining bamboo might be a
•    possibility but be aware that results may be variable as explained in the 'color choices' section above.

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Planning Guide: Kitchen Remodeling

Take the stress out of kitchen remodeling by becoming more familiar with your design, material, and budget options.

Kitchen makeovers remain popular as homeowners continue to invest to create a warm, stylish, comfortable, and efficient heart of the home. In addition to improved aesthetics and organization, kitchen remodels also hold reasonable resale value.

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According to Remodeling magazine’s 2016-2017 Cost vs. Value Report, midrange minor kitchen remodels—new countertops, appliances, cabinet fronts, and hardware—have an average national cost just shy of R80 000 and get 22% return on investment.

Midrange major remodels, which include new appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, and lighting, have a mid-range average of R110 00 and a nearly 36% return.

High-end renovations can easily cost R180 000 and up.

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Though aesthetics are important, the driving remodeling force is functionality. Start by doing some research and tour show houses and kitchen show rooms to see product up close and personal. Next, set a budget that reflects your main priorities for the new space and familiarize yourself with basic elements of design.Planning Your Best KitchenToday’s kitchens average 30 to 40 square meter and are increasingly part of an open-floor plan. Other trends include a move towards simplicity, uncluttered looks, energy efficiency, and natural materials. Look to design books, magazines, and websites for ideas.

Here are some key points to get you started:

How will you use the kitchen? Before you do anything, determine how you like to cook and entertain in your kitchen. Do you cook alone or with someone?

Is your kitchen a multi-purpose room where kids do homework and friends love to gather? Keep track of what currently works well and what doesn’t. For instance, if you’re forever crawling into the back of lower cabinets to retrieve something, jot that issue down.Stop the clutter. Now is your chance to take inventory of everything you need to store, then plan accordingly. Fortunately, cabinet makers realize storage and organization features drive sales, and they’ve responded accordingly.Think about efficiency.

If your kitchen feels more like an obstacle course than an organized work place, consider two tried-and-true kitchen layout basics:

• The Work Triangle. This imaginary triangle features the stove, refrigerator, and sink at the points. The old “5 steps rule” dictates that the perimeter of this triangle should not exceed 9 meters and that each side should be between 3 and 5 meters long. Make sure that the triangle doesn’t intersect an island or peninsula for more than a meter.

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 • The Work Station. Create separate stations for food prep, cooking, baking, and cleaning. Each area is centered around a major appliance and needs at least 30cm of counter space.

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Stick with a Budget. In all likelihood, you’ll need to make some choices on where to save and where to splurge. “Keep your priorities front and center,”  “A R50k range or a R250k one? A R100 sink or one that’s R3,500? A R4 polished brass knob or a R100 crystal model? What’s important to you?”As for budget breakdown, most realtor notes that you can expect cabinetry and hardware to run about 29% of your investment, appliances and ventilation can be 14%, countertops typically run 10%, and installation is about 13% of the total project cost. Set aside 10% or 20% of your budget for contingencies.For more on kitchen planning, consider:

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The Do’s and Don’ts of a Kitchen Remodel


You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t have a dream-worthy kitchen remodel in mind. Most of us long for the day when we’ll finally be able to customize our cooking spaces. However, when that day finally arrives, doing so can feel like a Herculean task. There are so many unknowns: How do you even start something like this? Which improvements will appeal to buyers down the road?
If you’ve been asking yourself similar questions, this post is for you. Consider this your outline while planning your project and keep it on hand once the renovations are underway.Thees tips will help you design a space that will be both functional and aesthetically pleasing for years to come.

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DO: Consider how you’ll use the space
When most people think about a kitchen remodel, they have a similar finished product in mind: professional-grade stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and a huge island. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with this vision, it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t your only option. Rather than just meeting the status quo, consider how your family will actually use the kitchen.
Maybe your kids do their homework there and you’d like a desk to be included in the design? Maybe you entertain often and need a long dining table to accommodate guests? Whatever your personal needs, make sure they’re a part of your design plan.

DON’T: Neglect your budget
This is true for all remodeling projects, but it’s especially important where kitchens are concerned. The average remodel costs thousands, so you need to make sure you’re spending your money wisely. As you design your ideal space, make two lists — a must-have list and a wish list. Then, price out each of your desired projects and compare them to your budget. The lists will give you a clearer idea of where to invest the bulk of your money and where to try and save.
There are many things you can do to make your remodel more affordable. Consider refacing cabinets rather than having them fully replaced or purchasing your appliance package from a wholesale supplier. If you’re working with a truly limited budget, simply replacing drawer pulls and fixtures is often enough to give the room a fresh look.

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DO: Pay special attention to the layout
The layout is a crucial element of a kitchen remodel, yet it is one of the most overlooked. It won’t matter how nice your new refrigerator is if you’re unable to open it fully because your countertop gets in the way. To ensure your new space functions the way it’s supposed to,you can always get in touch with us and we will help with the lay out, giving you a 3D design,this will give you a very good idea if you like or love the dream you have in mind.

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DON’T: Forget about storage
Kitchens are often one of the most overstuffed spaces in a home. Between cooking equipment and food storage, homeowners often find that they don’t have enough space to store what they need. If you’re going to spend the money on a remodel, be certain you include storage options that are both functional and stylish. The storage space will depend on how often do you buy groceries once a month, weekly or daily. If you buy monthly you will need big tall cupboards, weekly only one and daily, normal floor units will work. If you have a lot of appliances like blenders, soda streams, frying pots ect , deep drawer units work like a machine.
When undertaking this task, the first thing you’ll need to do is take stock of your current inventory. Be honest with yourself about which items you want on hand and which only get used on special occasions. Then, brainstorm options for how to store these items as effectively as possible. For example, you may want to include a cabinet for pots and pans next to the stove or include a pantry that will allow easy access to after-school snacks.

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DO: Make sure there’s enough lighting
There are so many visual components to cooking a meal — chopping up ingredients, measuring them out, reading the stove temperature. The last thing you want is to attempt any of these while squinting for more light. For this reason, kitchen lighting is one occasion where more really is more.
Try to envision yourself working in the space while considering where to add lighting. Of course, you’ll want to include some light by the stove, near the sink and over a kitchen island. Also take into account personal preferences, like where you’ll do the bulk of your ingredient prep or if you have room for an eat-in dining area. If you can, consider adding extras like under-cabinet lighting to make the room a little brighter.

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DON’T: Play it too safe
Return on investment, or how much equity you’ll get out of an improvement when you go to sell your house, is a common topic among those considering a kitchen remodel. It’s not hard to see why when you think about how often buyers name an updated kitchen as a top priority. Unfortunately, though, this intense focus often leads homeowners to settle for cookie-cutter designs. We’d argue that choosing a happy medium and adding a little personality will help your finished product stand out from the crowd.
For those who think they may be staying in their home for a while, the sky is the limit. Choose a colorful statement island or patterned tile floor to infuse the space with a little of your personality. Those who intend to hit the real estate market in a few years can still add visual interest through their accessories. Think about adding bold lighting fixtures, patterned rugs or using statement furniture to make your kitchen feel like home.

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Remodeling a kitchen can feel like an overwhelming task. Since it’s often one of the most used rooms in a home and one of the most sought-after features for resale potential, it can feel as though every detail needs to be perfect. With a little planning, you can ensure your vision for the space falls into place.


 

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Extending the Life of Your Kitchen Counter tops

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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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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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Picture-Perfect Small Bathrooms

When your bathroom is short on space, the right vanity can help you live larger than your square footage. These small-bathroom vanities offer big style without overtaking the room.

Placing a vanity in a corner takes advantage of every inch of floor space and also allows for storage options on two walls. Corner vanities offer extra space that might otherwise go unused. Opt for a light colour to keep the area from feeling dark. An open unit with a shelf for a storage basket will also make the area appear less cramped.

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The best small bathroom vanities are those that are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. A light colour freestanding cabinet with mirrored doors is a great example. The mirrors visually expand the space.

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A wall-mount basin appears to float and lends an airy look to a small room by freeing up the floor space below.

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A lack of space doesn't mean a lack of style. To give your tiny bathroom a sophisticated look, use a dresser-style vanity. In addition to looking great, a dresser-style vanity offers plenty of storage space in its drawers to keep toiletries and towels tidy.

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A floating vanity is a great way to give the illusion of more space in a small bathroom. Installing a large mirror above the unit will further trick the eye into thinking the room is larger than it actually is.

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A rounded vanity seems more delicate and petite than its square or rectangular counterparts, making it a great choice for a small bathroom. Mimic the base's shape by choosing a round basin.

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A pedestal sink is a classic choice for saving space. Even if the top is quite large, the unit will appear smaller thanks to the slender base. To make up for lost storage, install a shelf above the basin.

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Many vanities have an open area below that’s hidden by two doors. A more space-savvy choice is one that offers wide and deep drawers to keep supplies out of sight and well organized. 

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