Nov
23

How to Choose the Best Cooktop for Your New Kitchen

How to Choose the Best Cooktop for Your New KitchenOne of the most important aspects of any kitchen is the cooking surface or range – that is, after all, the essential function of a kitchen.  In most kitchen remodels, however, it seems to be relatively low on the priority list, behind countertops, cabinets and islands.  While all of those aspects can add great aesthetic beauty to a kitchen, form without function isn’t particularly useful.

Benefits of a Cooktop

Most people simply use a range for cooking – a combination stovetop and oven – but a kitchen remodel is the perfect opportunity to consider splitting these two items up, which has several benefits over a traditional combination unit.

  • Freed of the need for burners, a wall oven can be placed at a more convenient height, eliminating the need to bend over to load and unload it.
  • Your cooktop can be placed anywhere in the kitchen, rather than needing all the room for a bulky oven underneath.
  • A smooth-surface cooktop can blend seamlessly into your countertop, creating a sleek, elegant look.
  • A separate cooktop can allow for more room for wheelchair access for handicapped cooks, or for extra cabinet space.
  • Having separate cooktops and ovens means you can pick the features of the two independently, allowing more customization to fit your needs.

These benefits can easily outweigh the costs of purchasing and installing two separate appliances.

Picking a Cooktop

There are three primary different types of cooktop available: gas burners, radiant electric tops and induction cookers.  All three have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages, and the one you choose will depend on your specific situation.

  • Gas burners provide instant heat and are quick to respond to changes in temperature, but require a supply of gas and are harder to clean.
  • Radiant electric cooktops look sleek and smooth, and their flat surface is the easiest to clean by far. They’re more expensive, however, and can be more complicated to repair.
  • Induction cookers are safe to the touch, which is important if you have small children, and are highly energy efficient. They can be expensive, however, and require ferromagnetic (i.e., stainless steel or iron) cookware to work.

Pick Your Features

There are dozens of different models of cooktop to choose from, and each have their own special features and layouts.  For instance, there are the controls: some cooktops have controls vertically on the front, which frees space on your cooktop surface but also places knobs where they can be easily bumped while you work.  Others have controls horizontally along the side of the burners, taking up space but much harder to accidently hit.

Some cooktops use classic twist knobs, but more expensive electric models have electronic touch controls – perfect if you’re looking for that smooth, flat look across your entire countertop.  Electric models can include timers, emergency shutoff safety features – even pre-programmed heat profiles, like hitting the popcorn button on your microwave.

There are dozens of options to choose from, at all different price points.  Your final decision will be based on what you specifically do in your kitchen, but regardless, choosing to have a separate cooktop installed gives you much more flexibility and freedom in your decision making process.

Jul
28

Tired Looking Bathroom Vanities: 6 Great Reasons to Replace

bathroom vanities torontoThe bathroom is, in many ways, the most dependable, ironclad sanctuary we have; the place where we can let go of the cares of the world and indulge ourselves. As such it’s vital the bathroom presents a welcoming, relaxing, engaging face and that all amenities are up to date and properly maintained. Like everything else though, even the most comfortable bathroom will begin to show its age with the wear and tear typically manifesting itself first in the vanity, simply because it’s such a central component of the bathroom milieu.

Bathroom Vanities Toronto and the Central Role They Play

People get attached to their bathroom vanities in Toronto the same way they get attached to a particular dresser, the kitchen cabinets or other household furnishings. Because of this they’re often reluctant to replace it. But while familiarity is a powerful force there are a slew of good reasons to thank your old bathroom vanity for its years of service and just move on. Here are 6.

  • Selling the house: This one tops the list for 2 reasons. First, home sales succeed or fail based on the kitchen and bathroom(s). And second, if you’re planning to move any attachment you may have had to the old bathroom is about to be broken anyway so you have nothing to lose.
  • Excessive wear: Bathrooms make rainforests seem like the desert. All the moisture in a busy bathroom takes its toll on the vanity, its frame (which is typically wood) and its surfaces. Wood begins to rot and dangerous molds settle in that can be devilishly difficult to remove.
  • Yesterday’s model: If your guests emerge from the bathroom saying “I used to have a vanity like that in my house when I was a kid!” it may be time to call Parada bathroom vanities Toronto to discuss options.
  • Space: One sure fire way to create space in the bathroom is to reduce the size of the vanity. And, just as installing a smaller vanity is the easiest way to open things up, installing a larger vanity is the best way to accommodate the needs of your growing family.
  • Cost: Replacing bathroom vanities in Toronto is an affordable way to give the impression you’ve done a bathroom makeover. You won’t have to install new tiles or a new shower. Just replace the vanity, hang some wallpaper, change the fixtures and voila! A new bathroom!
  • Acknowledge growth: Often, bathrooms designated for the kids will be built out in a cutesy fashion. If the kids are now teens however, it’s time to think about changing the look of the kid’s bathroom to acknowledge their budding maturity.

If you’ve decided it’s time to rethink your bathroom vanity call Parada Kitchens and Bathrooms today. We’re the premier choice for new bathroom vanities in Toronto and have installed scores in homes large and small, new and old right across the GTA. We’ll create a custom vanity for you that will enhance your home’s livability without costing you a fortune.

Jul
28

The Trick to Getting More for Your Money with a Bathroom Renovation

bathroom renovation in TorontoEveryone wants to get more bang for their buck during a bathroom renovation in Toronto but that can be an elusive goal. You may find a great deal on tiles only to wind up overpaying for their installation, or you may decide to handle some of the work yourself to save money only to find it fails the inspector’s scrutiny and needs to be redone by a pro. You can’t let the spectre of financial setbacks dissuade you from doing what you need to do however, you just need to find more and better ways to keep costs under control.

Ways to Control the Cost of Bathroom Renovation in Toronto

When it comes to bathroom renovation in Toronto keeping costs under control is a matter of being both diligent and innovative. Here are some methods and tips that should help.

  • An affordable way to improve the look of your bathroom is to replace the hardware. That’s faucets, handles, toilet paper holder, cabinet door knobs, towel racks and anything else.
  • If you really want to change the experience of your bathroom for next to nothing simply install a rain shower head. It can be the cheapest bathroom renovation Toronto has to offer.
  • You can change both the floor and wall tiles in an effort to create a new look for your bathroom or you can just install a frameless glass shower enclosure instead.
  • Speaking of tiles; you can spruce up the look of the entire bathroom by thoroughly cleaning, re-caulking and re-grouting all the tiles rather than replacing them.
  • Another inexpensive way to change the ambiance in your bathroom is to install vanity lights or just a few recessed lights on separate dimmers. It will really feel like a whole new space.
  • Instead of selecting the most expensive piece of granite in the countertop showroom for your vanity ask them if they have a remnant lying about from a previous job that they’ll give you a deal on. Because the vanity is typically a small area they may have a piece that will fit.
  • Most bathrooms lean heavily toward the white. If yours is one of those an easy way to change the atmosphere is to simply introduce a darker tone or tones that can break up the visual experience. The paint won’t cost much and will make a fundamental difference.
  • A new custom vanity can be pretty expensive. Many times it’s worth the stretch but sometimes you really need to rein in costs. In that event find someone with experience resurfacing cabinets. They won’t be cheap, but they’ll be less than a new vanity.

Bathroom renovation in Toronto can be a pretty expensive proposition but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re just looking to give your WC a facelift or want to create a fundamentally different experience you can hold onto more of your hard-earned money by following some of the above tips. For more ideas or to discuss a kitchen or bath renovation call Parada Kitchens and Bathrooms today.

Jul
28

Kitchen Renovations: 6 “Best Practices” in 2016

Kitchen Renovations in TorontoBest practices in the construction industry can often seem like little more than an impediment to progress but they’re much more than that. They’re the way by which, over time, we’ve come to eliminate unnecessary risks and insure the creation of beautiful, functional spaces. Nowhere perhaps are best practices more important than when it comes to kitchen renovations. That’s because poor construction practices can turn a kitchen into a significant safety hazard for yourself and your loved ones and wind up damaging the market value of your home in the process.

The Right Way to Approach Kitchen Renovations in Toronto

Building codes will ensure the work done during your kitchen renovation does not present a danger to the home’s occupants. While best practices will be more concerned with the ergonomics of the space, traffic patterns and the like. Below are 6 common best practices when it comes to kitchen renovations in Toronto.

  1. The kitchen triangle: The kitchen triangle is a concept adhered to by most professionals that do kitchen renovations in Toronto. The idea is that the stove, sink and refrigerator should form a triangle and that no leg of this triangle should be shorter than 4 feet or longer than 9.
  1. Easy of movement: No traffic lanes should ever pass through the kitchen triangle and no through-traffic routes should be less than 36 inches wide. There should also be an area in front of the stove that is at least 42 inches deep and is completely clear of all obstructions.
  1. Countertops: Best practices today advise installing at least 13 feet of usable countertop frontage. Obviously not all kitchen renovations in Toronto will allow for that much but that should be the goal for any average sized kitchen.
  1. The sink: The sink should always be installed adjacent to a cooking surface and within 4-9 feet of the refrigerator. A sink should also have between 18-24 inches of open space or “landing area” on each side to allow for the placement of food, dishes and the like.
  1. The stove: Hot pans off the stove top or just out of the oven need a safe, convenient place where they can be set down. Accordingly best practices call for 1 to 1½ feet of landing area on each side of the stovetop which doubles as the oven landing area as well.
  1. Vertical spaces: Best practices call for a minimum of 15 inches of vertical space between the countertop and the bottom of any cabinets and 2½ feet between a stovetop and cabinets. Also allow at least 2 feet of vertical space between a stove top and a vent hood.

At Parada Kitchens and Bathrooms we observe best practices in every one of our kitchen renovations in Toronto. We understand the need for safety and for the finished product to stand the test of time. If you’d like us to design and build a beautiful new kitchen or bath for your home give us a call and talk to one of our knowledgeable designers.

Nov
5

Kitchen Design: Why the Devil’s in the Details

Kitchen DesignIf you want to make sure that your new kitchen design is everything you hoped it would be, the key to success lies in paying attention to the details. Get these right, and you should be rewarded with a new kitchen that meets all of your needs and that truly lives up to your dreams. The big decisions, such as what colour to paint the walls, what type of flooring and countertops to have and what style of kitchen cabinets, are all fairly obvious and you will not need reminding about these. What you will find in the list below are all the details that are often overlooked until the very last minute.

 
The Details of Your New Kitchen Design

You’ve picked the paint for the walls, the natural stone countertops and custom kitchen cabinets are on order, and you are having the flooring replaced as we speak. Is there anything you have forgotten in your rush to make a start on your new kitchen? Take a look at the list below and see.

  1. Lights – They may seem like a fairly obvious feature but you would be surprised at the number of people who get so involved in picking colours, cabinets and major appliances that they forget the lighting in their kitchen completely. Good lighting is an integral part of any successful kitchen design so make sure that you devote some time to checking out what type of lights are available in your part of Toronto or wherever you happen to live. You should choose the lighting units at the same time as everything else, to ensure a uniform design that works well.
  2. Plumbing Fixtures – The type of faucets that you choose for your kitchen sink could help to tie the whole theme of the room together, or they could, if chosen carelessly, tear it apart. Whilst it is not necessary to consult a kitchen design expert when choosing new faucets, it is a decision over which you should take your time. Just make sure that whatever you buy will not stick out like a sore thumb in your new kitchen but rather will complement the rest of the fixtures and fittings perfectly.
  3. Cabinet Handles – Many homeowners spend hours poring over glossy brochures featuring a vast array of kitchen cabinets but in their eagerness to choose the right colour and style of doors, they forget about the handles altogether. The right type of handles could add the perfect finishing touch to your new kitchen so make sure that you look at all the available options at the same time as you are choosing the doors themselves.

Other details that you should not forget include small appliances, such as the kettle, microwave, coffee machine and toaster. If you are aiming for a design that looks really polished and stylish, it is the little details that will determine how successful you are in achieving your goal. For help and advice on all your kitchen design choices, call Parada Kitchens today.