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Kitchen Renovation 101

Kitchen Renovation 101

 

Planning your renovation can be lots of fun, whether you have a creative side or not. There are simple renovation planning tools you can use to guide yourself through the decision making process. When you plan your renovation, it's a good idea to think long term. Consider changes that will make your home safe, comfortable, healthful, functional, and pleasurable to live in year after year.

 

To get your ideas flowing it is often fun to write a script that describes a happy day in a perfect house.  It's the experiences that make you happy in your home that often drive your renovation requirements.

 

Keeping a renovation notebook is a perfect preliminary tool for you to consider as you start to plan your renovation.Renovation Notebook   As much as you would create a shopping list, jot down house related thoughts as they occur to you and keep them in this notebook. This is also a convenient place to stash your ideas clipped from newspapers or magazines along with photos you might have. If you have kids, encourage their contribution.  At some point you will have a starting point inside this notebook and you can move forward into creating a wish list of features that you would like to see in your home.

 

We work with thousands of customers who are contemplating renovating their kitchen.  Many experiences that make us happy often happen in the kitchen. A great resource for finding inspiration is Houzz.com, here you can find our showcase of work and thousands of ideabooks by like-minded designers.

A few questions to ask yourself as part of a getting started exercise might be:

  • Does cooking help you unwind? 
  • Do you entertain often?  
  • Do you have enough counter space?
  • Are your sink and appliances close enough to prep areas?
  • Are the counters the right height? 
  • Can you reach all the shelving?  
  • Do you have enough storage space? 
  • Can people hang out while you cook?  
  • Do you talk on the phone or watch TV while you cook?
  • Do you have a recycling designated place? 

Once you have these thoughts on paper you can consider this a wish list for program requirements, an essential first step for planning proposed improvements. After you've spent the time working up a renovation wish list and documenting what's there, it's time to talk to professionals: interior designers, architects, building contractors , to get yourself a reality check.

 

Whenever possible, use your professional networks to find building professionals to work with.  Perhaps a friend renovated recently and had a great experience.  This is often how and when our business gets involved in your renovation.  Word of mouth.  Our goal at Susan Jablon Mosaics is 100% happy, satisfied customers – those who are thrilled to pass along our business name as part of their professional networking community. We delivered to your network , and we will deliver to you as well, with pleasure.

 

How can Susan Jablon Mosaics help you with your renovation? Typically, we would work with you and your kitchen, master bathroom and walk in shower, family bathroom, powder room, laundry room, fireplace and hearth, and even outdoor kitchen, swimming pool and spa.  These are areas that really maximize the incredible beauty of glass tile. Glass tile can be used on walls, floors, in showers, on shower floors, outdoors ( called exterior rating) basically wherever you would install porcelain tile, you can install glass tile.

 

To break this process down for you, let's imagine you have decided to renovate your kitchen. Let's discuss your counter top and backsplash decision making portion of this renovation, because this is our specialty. Where do you start? You start by choosing your counter top wisely. The wide array of counter top colors, materials and details give you thousands of combinations to choose from.  Plastic laminate is tough, stain resistant and economical. Solid surface countertops are stain resistant, easy to clean and if you make a scratch or burn you can sand out these blemishes.  These are also generally expensive. Quartz composites have many of the virtues of stone countertops and few of the failings.  They are scratch, heat and stain resistant and non porous so very easy to clean.  Again, expensive. Natural Stone slabs include granite, marble, soapstone, limestone and slate. Stone is a beautiful material with inherent flaws and irregularities, and easily stains.  It is heavy, hard to work with and expensive.  But did we say beautiful?  Concrete is a very chic countertop material that can be rough and rugged or polished and pristine. Concrete can be stained, cast and multi colored recycled glass shards can be floating magnificently in them. It is expensive.  Wood is a sentimental favorite because it is warm and beautiful.If not protected it can scorch, stain, scratch and swell.  It must be correctly finished and can be pricey.

Kitchen Countertops and Tiles

 

It is important to research your countertop selection for not just look and feel, but use.  How do you behave in the kitchen?  Do you have tomato sauce on the ceiling every time you cook pasta? Do you pick up hot pans without pot holders? Are you tidy and careful as you cook? What is your countertop personality?

 

Selecting your countertop is a very personal decision, and once you have made it our fun together begins. Susan Jablon Mosaics specializes in matching your countertop selection with a beautifully coordinated, custom designed, affordable glass tile mosaic backsplash.  We think there is nothing more beautiful than a glass tile backsplash that is custom designed for your amazing new kitchen space.

We work with all the countertops mentioned above, and there is nothing we cannot design for.

 

How do you go about starting to think about your backsplash? First you would need to measure your backsplash area. The easiest way to do this is to look at your entire backsplash area and section it off into obvious rectangular shapes.  Start at the left side of the space; find your first obvious rectangular shape and measure it in inches. Measure the height in inches and the width of this shape in inches.  Multiply the two numbers together and get the sum. Do this until you have reached the right side end of your backsplash area. Take each sum ( in inches) and add them together to achieve a total of the sums.  Divide this total by 144. This division translates square inches into square feet. Your answer is how many square feet of backsplash you require.  Once you have this total add 10% to it for salvage and you now know what your kitchen requires. You can now move on to think about budget and design possibilities.

 

Under our shop section, we have many designs for you to look at.  Please take the time to look at our many blend selections and see if something resonates with the look you want for your kitchen.  Custom Mosaic DesignerWe hand make all our custom work and can adapt the glass tile design to accommodate the colors and shapes you might prefer.  We also have an amazing design tool: Our Custom Mosaic Designer which you can use to start the process of designing your very own backsplash.  Never fear, we are just a phone call away to help and guide you. 

 

When you have your design idea fully or partially in place, it will be important to start with samples.  How your computer sees color is specific to the calibration of your personal computer.  A tile that is a plum color could read as brown, as an example.  We name our glass tiles to approximate the color that they are, so this is a good guide for you to start with.  We offer samples in 4 different sample sizes:  small swatch cards, quarter sheets, half sheets and full sheets.  They will be proportionate in all colors regardless of the size of the sample you start with.  You can order your sample online, we will make it within 48 hours and ship it right out to you.

 

Once you are happy with your sample, it is time to place your order online.  You can always call us and place the order over the phone if this is what you prefer.  We will require 2 weeks to hand make this for you by the square foot for easy installation.  Once your order ships to you by UPS, you will receive tracking for all your packages. We package your order professionally so it is pristine and perfect upon arrival.

 

Grout Tile BlendThe last part of your installation will be grout.  What color will work best with my kitchen backsplash and counter top combination?  Grout is a critical decision.  Often people think that grout only comes in white. Not True! White is often the worst color to grout your glass tile mosaics.  The best grout is generally a color that exists within the glass tile blend so that your grout marries the tile and does not become more important than the tile. This truth can be reversed if you are using rectangular tiles where the grout joint is an interesting dynamic to the installation. Normally coming in earth tones from white to black, selecting grout can be complex.  So there is lots to think about.  We want you to give us a call to discuss your grout selection as we are truly experts in this field.

 

We recommend you have your glass tile backsplash installed by a professional experienced in the art of cutting and installing glass tile.  Many people want to do this themselves, but it is not a job for anyone inexperienced.  If you will be doing this yourself, please research this process and have someone with you who has some construction experience.  Again, it is worth the cost to have this professionally installed.

 

The day finally arrives when your kitchen renovation is complete.  Congratulations!  Make yourself a cup of tea and relax in your happy new space.  Take it all in.  You have created your very own masterpiece.  And please don't forget to send us a picture!  We are just as happy for you as you are for yourself.

 

When it's time to move onto the hearth, master bathroom or pool the process starts in much the same way.  Never hesitate to contact us to talk over any questions or concerns you might have.  We are here just waiting to hear from you!