Below are images of common undermount stainless steel sinks available for purchase through the Kitchen Gallery. When you are selecting granite, quartz or an acrylic type countertop you will likely want an undermount sink because of the look and ease of cleaning.
When purchasing an undermount stainless steel sink one thing to note is the gauge steel being used. A 16 gauge stainless steel sink is heavier/thicker than an 18 gauge stainless sink. The benefits of a heavier 16 gauge over a 18 gauge is strength and likely better sound deadening characteristics.
A sink manufacturer will refer to a sink by name or model number and then describe the bowl configuration. For example, below the “Milan 30/70” sink bowl configuration indicates that the left side of the sink takes up 30% and the right side of the sink takes up 70% of the overall sink width. If you wanted the small bowl on the right side and the large bowl on the left, in other words a “Milan 70/30” sink, in most cases that reversed sink configuration is available.
Contrary to over the counter sinks, undermount sinks do not come with pre-drilled holes for the faucet. The faucet drilling for an undermount sink will be made on the countertop usually by the countertop fabricator.
Keep in mind that the size of your sink base cabinet will influence how wide your new sink can be. The most common width sink base cabinet is 36 inches. If your existing sink base cabinet is 36 inches wide, then you will need to select a sink that is less than 36 inches. If you are installing new cabinets and want a sink that is larger than 36 inches, then be sure to communicate this with your kitchen designer or the Kitchen Gallery.
The above undermount sinks are made from premium satin pearl 16 gauge stainless steel with a brushed deck flange and sound deadening insulation. The Bella sink offering comes with a limited lifetime warranty. Most sinks will include an accessory kit containing one deluxe strainer basket, Eco-friendly bamboo cutting board, protective bottom sink grid(s) and care kit.
Other sink options are shown below. If you don’t see what you like. The Kitchen Gallery can purchase any plumbing fixture at the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery in Portsmouth, NH. If you would like to set up an appointment to meet with a plumbing specialist let the Kitchen Gallery know.
The kitchen remodeling process starts with collecting the information you need to make a confident decision as to what materials you would like and who would help with installing those materials.
This article will guide you through why you would want a kitchen remodel in the first place (PART 1), learn what cabinet and countertop layouts may work in your space (PART 2), using social media like websites like Houzz, Pinterest and Instagram to aid with the kitchen design process (PART 3), material and services selection, understanding what you should or could spend on materials and services, selecting the best firm to work with and understanding the kitchen remodel order process (PART 4).
There are many kitchen remodel order steps. After reading this article, it will likely simplify the pre-project kitchen remodeling process (up to order placement) by working through a kitchen remodel project plan template so your renovation goes as smooth as possible. If you would like to learn how the kitchen remodeling process works after you place your order then — CLICK HERE.
What to Consider When Remodeling a Kitchen
It is often helpful to keep in mind why you want a new kitchen. Below is a list of the common reasons why people remodel their kitchen and a brief description. Your situation may cover more than one reason to renovate your kitchen.
Reason 1 — Deterioration
Your cabinets, countertop, flooring, plumbing, electrical, etc. may have reached it’s useful life and/or may be in need of an upgrade. Although new cabinet and countertop materials are now built to last longer with the more common plywood construction and dovetail drawer boxes (for example), if your kitchen is 20 plus years old the wear and tear might be to the point where a new kitchen makes a lot of sense.
People will renovate a kitchen when they see the finish of there existing cabinets failing, door hinges no longer working, drawer guides losing their slide-ability, storage shelving sagging.
Reason 2 — Value
You might want to renovate your kitchen to benefit from the increased value provided after the renovation. Done right, a kitchen that is less than 5 years old will always add more value to a home compared to a kitchen that is 10 years old. Increased value can help sell a house. A lot of home buyers don’t want to work through a kitchen renovation. It is hard enough for them to just move.
Reason 3 — Energy Savings
People will like the idea of saving energy by installing new and more efficient appliances. Or adding low voltage LED lighting. Kitchen renovations sometimes involve removing sheetrock from an exterior wall, which provides for the opportunity to improve the insulation in the walls. Changing out an old window over the sink can also add to significant energy savings.
Reason 4 — Modernity
Along with deterioration in reason 1, modernizing a kitchen is the motivation folks use to remodel. The kitchen magazines and kitchen tours keep kitchen dealers in business. When you flip through and/or look at all the nice kitchen photos and compare those photos to your existing kitchen, then that will often provide what a homeowner needs to make the decision to renovate their kitchen. If you like to entertain, then homeowners will want their guests to look at a nice kitchen because the kitchen is where everyone gathers.
There are many benefits to modernizing a kitchen other than making the kitchen look up to date. As in reason 3, homeowners can see improved energy savings. But also improved efficiency in the kitchen with the addition of pantry storage and/or specific organizational items.
Reason 5 — Lifestyle
A kitchen layout that works for two people may not work for a family of five. So lifestyle differences often result in a kitchen remodel. When working with your kitchen designer figuring the kitchen layout, let him or her know what you like and don’t like with regard to how your current kitchen functions. Is the storage in the right places? Do you need more lighting? Is there usually one cook or multiple cooks in the kitchen? Does everyone eat at one time? Do you recycle? How about bar seating or an island? Experienced kitchen designers will automatically consider these questions without you needing to tell them directly.
Often the idea of making one small change to your kitchen results in making many more after you take the time to look what is available. You might be interested in getting a new over the range microwave, for example. When shopping for the microwave you see other options, like a drawer microwave that you like best… At the same store, you might see a refrigerator you like better than the one you have. When you get home you find out your existing cabinetry won’t accommodate such appliance changes… So what do you do? You go from wanting to change one small item to doing a full blown kitchen remodel.
Reason 6 — Special Needs
Someone that requires a wheelchair to get around definitely will have some special requirements within a kitchen design layout. Most cabinet manufacturers will have “universal” options in their catalogs to accommodate folks that use a wheelchair. Whenever you are doing over a kitchen it is always a good idea to keep asking yourself how your life can be made easier and to communicate any special requirements to your chosen kitchen designer. It is the kitchen designer’s job to narrow down the choices that are available and that are best for you.
Reason 7 — Home Improvement TV
Cable television has many programs that inspire folks to do a kitchen renovation. Programs like “This Old House”, “Property Brothers”, “Holmes on Homes” and the “New Yankee Workshop” are popular shows that definitely can start the spark to a kitchen remodel. These shows are very educational and allow folks to better understand how the kitchen remodeling process works.
Reason 8 — Change
It can be as simple as wanting to change your kitchen environment. Often kitchens are renovated that still have many years of life left. The home owner just wants to see something different. The layout may stay the same or maybe just change a little. A homeowner might just want to see the cabinet and countertop colors changed. They might want more glass doors for displaying items. Sometimes homeowners have a vision to relocate a kitchen to another room in the house.
Reason 9 — Gourmet Kitchen
Speaking of television, cooking shows can influence and motivate folks to wanting a new kitchen. Wanting what the professional cooks use will always be desirable to homeowners. With a gourmet kitchen function is key and looking good is also important.
I suspect that one or many of the above reasons will give you the motivation to consider remodeling your kitchen. Part 2 of this article will work through what cabinet and countertop layouts may work in your space. We are still working on Part 2 — Cabinet/Countertop Layouts — if you would like to be notified when it is completed, fill out the form below.
October 11, 2018 — to add on to the October 9th video below… Have a look at the video below regarding the vent hood and refrigerator options…
October 9, 2018 — I wanted to produce a video covering all the detains of your kitchen prior to placing the order. Have a look at the video below… Let me know if you would like to see changes or if you have any questions. If all looks good… I can then order your cabinets.
Generally, the more expensive countertops you purchase, like granite and quartz countertops, require a template with a kitchen or bathroom remodel. Countertop fabricators want to accurately cut the material the first time and they would rather do most of the cutting at their fabrication shop. Because of the dust factor, you would want that too.
So there are two options countertop fabricators most often use to create a countertop template. Those are “digital” and “stick”. The digital method involves using a portable computer to record measurements collected from a laser. The stick method involves using either corrugated plastic material or 1/4 inch luan wood strips and hot glue to create the countertop template.
The stick method is the old school method and the digital template is the innovative method. Likely more countertop fabrication shops will rely on digital than the stick method because of the increasing accuracy, speed and efficiency digital brings to the countertop fabrication process.
Granite and Quartz Countertop Template Preparation
If you are saving your old cabinets, you will get the most accurate countertop template if your old countertops are removed prior to the countertop template. Another advantage to removing your old countertops is the templator can check your cabinets for flatness or level. Level and/or flat base cabinets will allow for the smoothest seam, if your countertop layout requires one. Countertop seams in granite or quartz are often necessary, particularly if your existing countertop or kitchen layout has a countertop run of more than 120 inches (10 feet).
In cases where the old countertop is removed and discarded, this does inconvenience the homeowner because there will be no working kitchen sink. If you are replacing a laminate countertop with a quartz or granite countertop, then plumbing up a temporary sink using the old laminate countertop may be practical.
Sometimes a countertop fabricator will template a kitchen countertop with the old countertop still in place. There are some obvious benefits to this for the home owner. Keeping the old countertop in place means the homeowner will still have use of their kitchen sink while they wait for the new countertop to be installed.
After the countertop template is completed, your new quartz or granite countertop is installed 7 to 10 days later.
Countertop Templating Options
So which is better, a digital template or a wood template?
Most homeower’s are going to agree that a digital template is better than a stick template.
Despite the strong benefits of a digital template… Some fabricators will insist on a stick template because they just don’t trust the digital template. The benefits of a digital template are:
— Speed, digital templates take about half the time to complete compared to stick templates.
— Convenience, digital template can be delivered to the fabrication shop electronically.
— Layouts, a digital layout like the one below can be shown and explained to the customer.
— Customer Digital Layout Options — CLICK HERE — too have a look
All appliances, particularly the dishwasher, range and cook tops should to be on-site. Plumbing fixtures such as sink and faucet need to be available to the templator. If you are keeping your old cabinets, then all items on old countertop need to be cleared and base cabinets emptied.
If you have any questions about the templating process, please give the Kitchen Gallery a call at 603-964-8939.
Below is a quick video on how to install a cabinet hinge restrictor… A hinge restrictor is a small piece of plastic that restricts the hinge to about 90 degrees…
Most folks like the idea of having more light over their countertop area. One way to do that is through the use of lighting that are installed at the underside of your wall cabinets. We call this under cabinet lighting. There are many, many options here at many, many price points. Some low voltage some at 110 volts. Lately what is most popular are LED under cabinet lights.
Below is a photo of under wall cabinet lights…
If you would like under cabinet lighting with your kitchen project, let the Kitchen Gallery know. We offer full electrical services with any kitchen remodeling project.
Below is a list of questions that may or may not apply to your project. Eventually each of these questions will be clickable and the link will direct you to the answer. For now, if the question is not clickable and it applies to your project, be sure to get an answer before ordering your cabinetry.
Do you want under cabinet lighting?
Do you want to keep your existing floor?
Do you want under cabinet molding?
Do you want crown molding?
What kind of sink do you want?
Do you want the bottoms of the wall cabinets finished?
Do you want glass doors in your cabinets?
Do you want plant on wood fillers?
Do you want granite countertops?
Do you want quartz countertops?
Do you want a 4 inch backsplash or side splash?
What are the list of appliances (make and model) you would like in your kitchen?
Do you understand the limitations of a painted cabinet?
Do you understand the limitations of an inset cabinet?
Do you want an inset, overlay or frame-less cabinet?
Do you understand the characteristics of a wood cabinetry?
Do you want a slab drawer front or a 5-piece drawer front?
What is fascia?
Do you want job site delivery?
Do you want the Kitchen Gallery to install the cabinets?
Are you using your existing floor in the kitchen or bathroom?
What interior cabinet accessories do you want?
Do you want painted cabinet?
Do you want the interior of your cabinets to match the exterior?
Do you have your own cabinet installer?
How would you like to take delivery of the cabinet or countertops?
When ever you make a purchasing decision, in almost every case the quality of the materials is directly related to the price you pay for those materials. Cabinets are no exception.
The Kitchen Gallery has several cabinet manufacturer options — CLICK HERE — they each satisfy a particular price point. A smart kitchen cabinet supplier will offer many different cabinet price points because customers come into the store with different goals in mind.
For example, one customer might come in and want a kitchen for a rental application. This customer would certainly make different choices than someone that came in that is building a $800,000 house.
With that said, the Kitchen Gallery will help narrow down your choices to keep the estimating process productive. Often we will ask what you think your house is worth. Or how soon do you need cabinets. With that information we will likely design your kitchen with a particular cabinet manufacturer.
The important thing to remember is when you can get an estimate for kitchen cabinets that cost $6000, then another estimate for the same kitchen design (different manufacturer) for $10,000 there is a difference, keeping the kitchen cabinet designer constant. Pricing from one kitchen designer to another can vary widely.
Ask your kitchen designer to price out one cabinet manufacturer over another. With the price being different, ask the kitchen designer what you are getting for the extra money. Knowing what you are getting for the extra money will help you figure out which cabinet option is better for you.
Lets compare two cabinet manufacturer options available at the Kitchen Gallery — Starmark vs. Norcraft
So what is the difference between the two?
Starmark cabinetry requires a longer lead time — 4 to 6 weeks
Norcraft cabinetry lead time is 3 to 4 weeks
With Starmark, more humans handle the cabinet construction.
With Norcraft, more computers and robots handle the cabinet construction.
With Starmark, there is a greater level of quality control than with Norcraft.
With Starmark, there are more steps involved with the finishing process than Norcraft.
Starmark often costs 20 to 40% more than Norcraft.
Starmark uses 3/4 thick cabinet box construction, where Norcraft uses 1/2 inch thick box construction.
Starmark cabinets can be fully customized in height, width and depth… Norcraft can be customized in depth only.
Starmark offers more finish color options including distressing… Norcraft has a more limited finish offering.
There may be other differences, but at the end of the day, it is important for consumers to know that a cabinet isn’t a cabinet.
Starmark is one of the better cabinet offerings the Kitchen Gallery has. It often is installed in a home worth more than $400,000 and up to $1.5 million for the seacoast of New Hampshire area. Does another manufacture make better cabinets than Starmark? Sure there is… It is the Kitchen Gallery’s opinion that something better than Starmark is a bit luxurious for our area.
Norcraft cabinetry is most often installed in homes that are worth between $300,000 and $700,000 for the seacoast of New Hampshire area.
Even for an experienced kitchen designer, it can be difficult to compare one cabinet manufacturers price to another from different kitchen design firms. If you are comparing one cabinet line to another ask the Kitchen Gallery for help with that comparison.