Posts Tagged 'kitchen views newton'

Best Ways to Clean Kitchen Cabinets – Jim Marrazzo

Jim Marrazzo, Designer at Kitchen Views in Newton, MA
Clients often ask how to take care of their new cabinetry. It’s a good question, and there are several things to consider. Wood reacts to environmental changes, such as moisture, temperature and light. The tips below should help you to preserve your wooden cabinetry as well as any other wood products you may have in your home.Humidity Control is Important with Wood Products The wood products in cabinets, based on fine furniture industry standards, are conditioned to 5%-8% moisture content at the factory. The woodworking industry recommends that room environments in the comfort zone of 70 degrees F be maintained at a relative humidity range of 25%-55% for wood products.

As the relative humidity in a room increases, wood will gain moisture and expand. Wood loses moisture and contracts as relative humidity goes down in a home environment. This natural expansion and contraction of hardwoods can at times become visible at the joints of doors and frame components. Finish stress lines at joints are more visible on painted finishes. This natural characteristic of wood can be expected in a normal home conditioned throughout the year between the 25-55% relative humidity range and is not considered a defect.

The more a home’s relative humidity is allowed to exceed 55% the more its wood products will expand to the point of wood failure at extreme moisture levels. Wood failure possibilities include splits, cracks and wood joint expansion and separation. Inset door expansion becomes noticeable with high humidity conditions. If significant expansion occurs, the doors will rub against the cabinet frame as they are opened and closed. Low relative humidity environments can cause wood to shrink and create cracks and related noticeable characteristics. Moisture content expansion and contraction of wood is a natural occurrence and is not a defect and therefore is not warranted. Moisture related problems can be minimized by maintaining relative humidity in the 25%-55% range for the home’s comfort zone of 70 degrees F.

NOTE: Sunlight’s Effect on Wood & Wood Finishes. Wood and wood finishes tend to gradually mellow when exposed to light. Excessive direct sunlight can have a more dramatic effect.

Best Ways to Clean Wood Kitchen Cabinets

DO NOT use abrasive cleansers or pads on cabinet surfaces! They can cause scratches. On laminate cabinetry, scratches may be irreparable! Keep cabinet surfaces dry and free from standing liquids.

For cabinets with stained finishes: Use a soft cloth and a mild soapy water solution to remove the dirt & grease. Rinse immediately with a clean cloth and dry with a clean soft cloth, using light pressure. Avoid vigorous rubbing, as this tends to raise glossy spots, marring the original effect. Never use strong soaps, detergents or liquid wax cleaners with dirt cutting agents on wood finishes. I suggest a mild mixture two cups of water and two teaspoons of liquid dish detergent in a spray bottle.

With opaque painted and matte finishes: NEVER use waxes on opaque or matte finishes! Simply wipe them clean using a soft cloth with a mild soapy water solution. Rinse immediately after with a clean damp cloth and dry with a soft cloth. CAUTION: Avoid vigorous rubbing as this tends to raise glossy spots, marring the original effect.

Best Ways to Clean Other Types of Kitchen Cabinets

To clean stainless steel cabinets, use a stainless steel cleaner. Be sure to follow the directions that accompany the cleaner. Never use acids, solvents or abrasive cleaners that would damage the surface and overall appearance.

For plastic laminate cabinets, clean with a mild soapy water solution, rinse and wipe dry using a soft cloth. If necessary, you can remove stubborn stains with a grease-cutting agent. Clean afterward with a mild soapy water solution, rinse and wipe dry.

For cabinets with metallic laminates or insert panels: Do not use abrasive cleaners, scouring pads, powders, sandpaper or steel wool, as these products will permanently damage the surface and appearance! Acids, solvents, alkaline or ammonia-based cleaners or other liquids (other than mild soap and water) may etch, oxidize or otherwise damage the surface and appearance.

To remove fingerprints, oil or sugar-based stains: Use a mild (diluted) liquid dish detergent and a soft damp cotton cloth. Clean in the direction of the metal grain, pattern or texture; avoid harsh rubbing. Rinse and remove any residual moisture with a clean, dry cotton cloth.

This is only a basic guide. If you have any questions or problems, contact your kitchen specialist. One of our Kitchen Views team will be happy to speak with you about any cabinetry questions you may have.

Jim Marrazzo
Kitchen Views at National Lumber

15 Needham St, Newton, MA 02461
617-244-8020 x 118 phone
617-969-7426  fax
jmarrazzo@kitchenviews.com
www.kitchenviews.com

Cabinets and the Winter Time – Bob Russo

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP

Now that we are back into winter, you need be aware of how this time of year can affect your cabinets. When the heat is on, in a lot of cases, our homes get very dry. We apply lotion to our skin to stay moist, but we don’t think of the home needing moisture, as well. Your kitchen cabinets and furniture can be a sign or an overly dry (or moist) home.

If you see unfinished wood on the cabinet center panels next to the door styles and rails (door frame work), one or two edges, opposite each other, it may be a sign that the center panel has shifted (easily fixed by tapping it back into place). But, if you notice that the center panels on your cabinets are showing an unpainted or stained line (see picture below) on three or all four sides, this is a sign that the wood is drying out and shrinking. You need to get some moisture back in to the air in your home. Room or home humidifiers work well to do this.

wood shrinkage from lack of moisture

Once you get the humidity levels back to a neutral state, you should see the lines around the center panel go away. If the panels are allowed to shrink up too much or are not controlled, they may not go all the way back and you may need to do some touch-up work. You may even notice that doors that were lying flat on the cabinet face start to cup or warp away from the cabinet face. This type of movement is normal, not a defect in the wood and is a natural occurrence; wood will always breathe and look for water.

But be careful not to introduce too much moisture into the home; it can have the opposite effect: doors can swell. Butt doors (double door cabinets where the two doors close against each other) can rub or ever start to overlap. A meter to check the moisture level of your home can be purchased for very little money.

When your cabinets are being built, every aspect is controlled, even the environment. Once you get them, it’s up to you to do the same,  so you can enjoy them for many years, trouble free. So watch your cabinets; they can tell you a lot about what is going on in your home.

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St. Newton, MA 02461
Phone: 617-244-8020
Email: brusso@kitchenviews.com
Web: www.kitchenviews.com

Designing a Kitchen for a Left-Handed Cook: Lee Turner

Lee Turner, Designer, Kitchen Views, Newton, MA

Statistics show that 10-15% of people are left-handed. Men are twice as likely as women to be left-handed. If both parents are left-handed, on average only half of their children will also be left-handed. For these left-handed people in a mostly right-handed world, many daily tasks can be made more difficult than necessary.

It’s said that lefties are better at multi-tasking and adapting. Is this because of a difference in how their minds work, or a result of learning it was necessary to adapt? Many brilliant and creative people are left-handed. But having something designed especially for a lefty makes daily tasks so much easier.

For Laura Kay, designing a new kitchen from scratch gave her the perfect opportunity to have the room designed especially for her left-handed activities. From the work flow placement of the appliances to the faucet on the kitchen sink, this room layout was planned to make her everyday chores feel like less work.

Click here to hear Laura Kay explain this herself in a video.

The Kitchen Views design team is renowned for innovative, cost-saving solutions. Call 1.508.DESIGNS (337-4467) to make an appointment with a designer in your area.

Lee Turner
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St, Newton, MA 02461
617-244-8020
Email: lturner@kitchenviews.com
Web: www.kitchenviews.com

Bob Russo: Planning Time for Your Countertops

Allowing time to get your countertop order in line can be as important as your cabinets. Once you order your cabinetry, you have a good idea as to when they are to arrive. All too often, customers wait too long to start looking or thinking about counters, assuming that they are in a warehouse, basically ready to go, or can be gotten very quickly. In some cases, this may be true; but for the most part, tops need selection, templating and installation.

Laminate tops (Formica is one trade name) can be ordered ahead of time in some cases and trimmed on site. As for the bulk of items used on countertops (Corian, granite or other stones, quartz, or tile), these materials need selection and maybe ordering time. You may not always see what you like on the first go-around. Once selections are made, locking them in is important (or you may lose them), either with a deposit or payment in full.

Now that you have selected your countertop type, you need to plan the install. To fit countertops correctly, you should have a template done (other than laminate tops, most will insist on this being done). All of the cabinets do not need to be installed, just the base cabinets of any items the countertops will be sitting on.

From the time the tops get templated, you will need about 7 to 10 working days before they come back to install. This is why it is important to keep everyone in the loop. If you do not keep your countertop fabricator up to date on job progress, they may not have a day open for you when you need or want  them. This could cost you time and money.

So keep in mind, the more prep you do ahead of time, the smoother your job will go.

Bob Russo, ACSD/PKBP
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St. Newton, MA 02461
Phone: 617-244-8020
Email: brusso@kitchenviews.com
Web: www.kitchenviews.com

Make a Small Kitchen Remodeling Budget Go a Long Way – Lee Turner

Very few people can afford to say that money is no object when remodeling their kitchen. Most of my clients want to know how to stretch their kitchen remodeling budget to get the most things they want for the least amount of money. My bottom line answer: When budgets are tight, design experience is even more valuable.

A knowledgeable kitchen designer is your best budget stretcher. Experience is the best teacher, so a homeowner cannot hope to learn it all even through online research. You should find an experienced designer to guide you through the planning process and the selection of products. If you cut the wrong corners, the cheapest option won’t hold up in the long run.

First of all, keep an open mind to what the expert suggests. If you have your heart set on something that is particularly expensive, it could swallow your whole budget. A good designer will help you to include all the necessities while working within your budget, and sometimes even a wish item can be included. Finding the right products is essential, and you need to trust your designer’s knowledge and experience. Also, don’t feel that you have to follow a trend; your kitchen should meet your needs and reflect your style so that you will enjoy it for years.

You should spend your money on the bones of the room – the cabinets. But you need to select the right cabinetry for your specific situation and budget. For example, money can be saved by staying away from painted cabinets, appliances that take matching panels and very specialized cabinets. That said, there are still a lot of choices and an innovative designer can show you how stock cabinetry can be used creatively instead of purchasing a specialized cabinet for a particular task.

The Kitchen Views design team is renowned for innovative, cost-saving solutions. Call 1.508.DESIGNS (337-4467) to make an appointment with a designer in your area.

Lee Turner
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St, Newton, MA 02461
617-244-8020
Email: lturner@kitchenviews.com
Web: www.kitchenviews.com

Dream Kitchen Wish List: Choosing Kitchen Appliances

While Kitchen Views does not recommend any particular brands of appliances, our designers are very familiar with the latest appliance innovations. The examples below are only for illustration purposes, and are not meant to reflect any endorsement.

Samsung French Door Refrigerator

Samsung French Door Refrigerator

Before you meet with your kitchen designer, it would be a good idea to visit several appliance showrooms to view different types of kitchen equipment. In particular, try to focus on refrigerators, ranges or combination of cook tops and ovens, microwaves and dishwashers (single unit or draw style). The sales person will usually furnish you with spec sheets or model numbers.

Frigidaire Freestanding Gas Range

Frigidaire Freestanding Gas Range

Your designer will then try to incorporate your appliance wish list in your new kitchen plan. Sometimes, there are space limitations or code issues as to why some products may not work in your kitchen. If that is the case, your designer will suggest options and/or work with your appliance representative to come up with the best solution.

Lee Turner
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St, Newton, MA 02461
617-244-8020
Email: lturner@kitchenviews.com
Web: www.kitchenviews.com

John Allen: Coping With An Uneven Ceiling When Crown Moulding and Cabinets

Ultracraft Tuscany - crown moulding below ceiling

Ultracraft Tuscany cabinets with crown moulding below ceiling

Most people may not realize this, but often the ceilings in their homes are not flat. They could be slightly sloped, have high and low spots or a combination of all of these.

This condition can be created as a house settles as it ages or the ceiling may have been made uneven to start with. Rolling or uneven ceilings go mostly unnoticed because light usually shines down in a room and does not highlight the flaws in a ceiling.

Uneven ceilings can create issues in kitchens when it comes to crown or other mouldings that finish out the tops of cabinets. Properly installed cabinets are flat and level. If the ceiling above the cabinets is not flat and level, crown moulding will touch the ceiling at one point and have significant gaps at others. Caulking the seam between the moulding and the ceiling is not advisable since the gap between the ceiling and molding will swell and shrink with the seasons and the caulk line will open up over time.

The two best solutions for dealing with this are having the crown moulding not extend all the way to the ceiling or using flat stock above the cabinets.

Stopping the moulding below the ceiling may not be as attractive as crown moulding that fills all the space above the cabinets, but it is an improvement over unsightly gaps.

Using flat stock as a moulding gives the installer the ability to scribe (cut away) portions of the moulding and bring it all the way to the ceiling. The flat face of the moulding still looks clean and attractive even if some of in needs to be cut down. Typical crown moulding has too much detail to trim part of it away without affecting the appearance.

Finding out if a ceiling has issues early in the design process can help address and solve problems before they become a major problem.

Working with the Kitchen Views Design Team provides you with a well-trained person trouble-shooting your particular situation and making the process go smoothly.

John Allen, Showroom Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham Street, Newton, MA 02461
617-244-8020
Email: jallen@kitchenviews.com
Web: www.kitchenviews.com


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