Jun
12

Granite Countertops: The Pros and Cons

Granite Countertops The Pros and ConsThe choice of material for your countertop is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when renovating your kitchen.  From solid surface to marble, the choices out there are nearly endless, each bringing with it its own particular pros and cons.

Granite is one of the most popular surfaces available at the moment, delivering gorgeous aesthetics.  Like any other surface, however, it has its positive sides and its negative sides.  Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of granite countertops.

Pros

Granite is simply one of the most beautiful countertop materials available.  It’s a natural look that many synthetic countertops can’t really match, and they’re unique to your kitchen – they’re cut from solid rock formations, so no two granite countertops are exactly alike.  They’ve also been popular for decades now, so there’s little chance they’ll end up looking dated or otherwise out of touch.

Granite doesn’t scratch – or, at least, you have to put real effort in to scratch it.  It will dull your knives before you harm your surface.  It also resists heat, making it a great choice near your cooktop.  When properly sealed, it’s also highly stain resistant – it won’t absorb liquids, preventing stains and bacteria from seeping into your countertop.

Cons

“When sealed” is a key phrase in that last paragraph.  Granite countertops need to be sealed because the rock is naturally porous.  If not sealed – or improperly sealed – it will absorb stains, making them nearly impossible to remove.  It’s also a health hazard, with bacteria seeping into your countertop and potentially contaminating anything else you place on it.  Yearly sealing is recommended.

Granite doesn’t scratch, but it can chip with enough force.  Drop a heavy object onto the corner, and you may well find a piece chipping off.  If it does chip or stain, it’s going to be expensive – as a natural stone, granite is a much more expensive option than manmade materials.

Final Verdict

Are you good at keeping up with home maintenance?  If so, granite might well be the choice for you – its timeless beauty and strength make it a wonderful choice when taken care of.  If, however, you have a busier lifestyle and don’t want to worry about maintaining your countertops, a solid surface, laminate or quartz countertop may be more to your liking.  It all depends on exactly what you use your countertop for and how much work you want to put in.  The experts at Parada Kitchens can help you make your final decision.

May
19

4 Kitchen Countertop Ideas

4 Kitchen Countertop IdeasKitchen countertops come in all different sorts of materials – and making sure you pick the right material for your kitchen is very important.  It’s one part of your kitchen you are almost guaranteed to use on a daily basis, so if you pick one that isn’t durable enough for your needs, you’ll end up regretting it.

The experts at Parada Kitchens can help you pick the perfect countertop to meet your specific needs, taking into account how you use your kitchen, the style and design you’re aiming for, and your budget restrictions.  Here are four of the best surfaces for your new kitchen countertops.

Quartz

Quartz countertops are made of engineered stone.  That makes them a low-maintenance, highly durable surface with a large variety of color choices to match your kitchen design.  It mimics the look of true stone, like granite or marble, but doesn’t require the same sealing or aftercare.  It also stands up well to heat, cuts and abrasions.  It can chip, however, and edges and corners are particularly vulnerable to damage.

Granite

Granite still reigns supreme as one of the most popular and elegant choices for your kitchen countertop.  It’s a beautiful, strong, natural surface.  The unique grain in each block of granite ensures that your countertop will be unique, as opposed to man-made surfaces which will look identical from home to home.  However, it’s important to remember that granite is a porous surface.  That means you’ll have to seal it regularly to avoid bacteria and mildew from permeating its surface – you have to factor in regular upkeep for a granite counter.

Laminate

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s tough to beat laminate.  It’s inexpensive, easy to install and looks a lot better nowadays than it did in your grandmother’s kitchen!  Old laminate looks dated and out of fashion, but modern construction and printing technology help make it look fresh and modern, while still preserving the advantages that made laminate the go-to option for years.  It still doesn’t stand up well to cuts and isn’t repairable, though, so cutting boards are a must to protect your laminate countertops from damage.

Solid Surface

Solid surface countertops, including Corian and Wilsonart, are an acrylic and polyester blend that makes a great countertop.  It’s a non-porous surface, meaning there’s almost no regular maintenance required.  Any scratches and burns can easily be sanded out, keeping your surface looking good even under heavy use.  There’s a wide variety of color and pattern options, including options you simply won’t find in nature.  Unlike engineered stone, solid surface countertops look artificial and man-made; they’re not a good replacement for granite or marble if you’re looking for a natural look.  It also is more vulnerable to heat damage than other surfaces.

May
19

3 Unique Kitchen Design Ideas

3 Unique Kitchen Design IdeasThe most important aspect of a kitchen is function, of course – you wouldn’t want a kitchen you couldn’t cook in!  Once that’s achieved, however, you have a wide range of options and styles to choose from.  You want a kitchen that looks fabulous – and one that stands out from your neighbors, in a positive, modern and exciting way.

A unique kitchen design can help your room really stand out.  The experts at Parada Kitchens can help create a custom-built kitchen that will fulfil your needs, wants and stylistic choices and work best in your space.  Here are some more unique kitchen design ideas to consider when trying to think outside the box.

Add Industrial Lighting

Industrial-style lighting has become a very “in” kitchen addition in recent years.  Black or stainless steel construction, wire cages instead of sconces, clear or antique light-bulbs – industrial-style accoutrements add a chic vibe and are an interesting shift from traditional chandeliers.  With rich tones and alternative metals, industrial lighting helps give your kitchen a unique feel without sacrificing a well-lit room.

Smart Tech

Smart technology has come to the kitchen, and while you’re replacing appliances and upgrading your room anyway, why not go all-in on the smart trend?  Countertops can be equipped with charging points for your device with modern charging surfaces.  Ovens, stovetops and cooking appliances can connect with your smartphone, allowing you to adjust cooking temperatures and durations at the push of a button.  Smart tech is here to make your life easier, and it could make your kitchen a modern marvel.

Upgraded Islands

Kitchen islands are a classic piece of kitchen design, but with a few tweaks and customizations, you can create a unique addition to your room.  Glass or mirror doors on kitchen island storage units provide a nice alternative to the solid, wood-paneled look, as well as providing more shelving space and storage room.  It can convert a functional piece of furniture into a display case, allowing you to showcase your own unique style.

Apr
17

Stylish Bathroom Design Ideas

Stylish Bathroom Design IdeasRenovating your bathroom doesn’t have to be a nightmare.  There’s a misconception that only a complete upheaval can make any real difference in how your room looks and feels, but that’s just not true.

You can achieve a stylish bathroom design with some practical, simple changes.  The experts here at Parada Kitchens have some suggestions on how to give a stylish flair to any bathroom.

Shelving

Shelving is a great, quick addition to any room, and the bathroom is no exception.  It’s the most simple, straightforward way to add style to your bathroom, but a surprisingly large number of people overlook it.  You can opt for the crisp-and-clean look of floating shelves, or more ornate ones for a fancier touch.

More Storage

Let’s be blunt – bathroom necessities aren’t always the most aesthetically pleasing objects in the universe.  Storage options can improve the look of a room immensely – think a wicker basket for holding toilet paper rolls, or glass jars for toothbrushes or cotton swabs.

Replace Your Cabinets

Cabinets are a relatively quick way to rejuvenate your space – and easy to do as a one-off, apart from redesigning your whole bathroom.  It’s often the central piece of furniture in the room, and thus, dominates the aesthetic feel of the room.  Upgrading your cabinet to a more stylish, modern look will give your bathroom a quick facelift, as well as helping to improve your storage and organizational capacities.

Mirrors

Mirrors are a great addition, especially in a small bathroom.  Mirrors make confined spaces appear much larger, giving the illusion of extra space that’s key to making a room feel more open and welcoming.  Mirrors are also highly functional in the bathroom.  A fancy, ornate mirror increases your bathroom’s aesthetic appeal and functionality simultaneously, making it a great value.

Whatever you decide, the experts at Parada Kitchens can help you.  We’re the GTA’s bathroom renovation experts!  Call us today.

Apr
17

Remodeling Tips to Increase Your Property’s Value

Remodeling Tips to Increase Your Property’s ValueRemodeling doesn’t just make your home more livable – it’s a sound investment, as well.  A well-done remodel can transform your property into a destination in the neighborhood; a valuable centerpiece that will see its value skyrocket through the roof.  At Parada Kitchens, we’re all about renovating your space to make it both more livable and more valuable.  Here are some of our tips.

Kitchen First

Obviously, we recommend the kitchen as the focus of your remodel; if you can afford to do just one room, the kitchen should be it.  The key to a successful kitchen remodel is to improve its utility and functionality first.   The kitchen is a working room; you want to ensure that it’s easy and comfortable to work in before adding bells and whistles.  Once that has been obtained, however, the sky’s the limit!

Wood Floors

Carpeting is fine for what it is, but be aware it’s going to wear out, no matter how well it’s made or how well it’s installed.  Foot traffic will help saturate it with dirt and dust, and wear and tear will eventually make it look threadbare and uninviting.  Shampooing and otherwise maintaining it can help, but carpet will eventually need to be replaced.  A wood floor, however, has a lot more versatility.  It’s a very “in” surface at the moment, too, meaning that it’s going to be very attractive to potential home buyers.  You can also go with tile or stone, but those are generally colder and less inviting.  Wood is really the way to go.

A Deck

Don’t limit your ideas to just the indoors!  A deck essentially adds an outdoor room to your home, adding to your livable space.  Decks make great family-oriented outdoor space, which is something that potential home buyers love.  It adds aesthetic appeal to your home, and is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to add extra space and value.

Whatever you decide, the experts at Parada Kitchens can help you.  We’re the GTA’s kitchen renovation experts!  Call us today.