The best way to keep your luxury bathroom looking beautiful and clutter-free is to provide plenty of storage for all of your towels, hair-care appliances, makeup, toiletries, soaps, and miscellaneous. The drawing on the left from finehomebuilding.com does a good job of demonstrating ways to take advantage of every area of your bathroom, including over the toilet, under the sink, niches or cabinets on the wall or around the bathtub, so that even a small bathroom can have ample storage.
Here are a few other types of countertops, one or two that you may not be familiar with. One is Pyrolave's Lava stone. This countertop is chip, scratch, stain and heat-resistant and is easy to clean. It comes in 32 different colors, either gloss or matte. The downside of this countertop is that it's pricey. It has to be imported from volcanos in Europe, cut into slabs, processed and glazed so that the final price is more that a standard granite.
If you're looking for the most inexpensive countertop, the one below is probably it. Several Internet sites advertise painting your old, worn-out countertop for under $50. Some offer instructions and others offer complete kits. As you can see, the finished product looks more like a granite countertop than just a painted Formica countertop.
When considering the pros and cons of wood, the first thing that comes to mind is its unique natural beauty, like this beautiful handmade wood table top. Wood has a rustic warmth that you won't get from granite or quartz. Another plus for wood is that it's much less expensive than the more popular countertop materials.
While natural oak or maple wood can be very homey and rustic, other woods can have a totally different look, especially if a stain is applied. Below are some wood countertops in a variety of colors and styles.
Whether a wood countertop is decorative or functional, whether it's on all the counters or just the island, it tends to be the focal point in a kitchen like in the rooms below.
Metal countertops are not new, but the warm, homey appeal of a copper or zinc is currently popular in homes with a rustic or antique décor, while stainless steel fits perfectly into a modern kitchen design. In general, metal comes in thin sheets and is installed onto a backing material like wood. Metal countertops are non-porous and heat-resistant. Beyond that, each type of metal has its own pros and cons.
Copper has been used for centuries and using it for a countertop is a matter of personal preference. We all know what a new and old penny look like, so you can regularly polish your copper or let it develop a natural patina. Copper has a relative softness that allows it to be molded, like this integral sink, for example. That softness also means it can scratch and dent easily. On the plus side, a polished copper has a dramatic appearance, while a natural copper has a historic look, so it can fit into different decors. On the negative side, it will be an expensive choice. Below are examples of copper countertops.
Zinc and pewter are two other metals that can be used for countertops. They have similar properties and are sometimes mistaken for each other. Zinc has the silver tones of steel but develops a darker patina as it ages. It's even softer than copper, so it can be molded into decorative edging, but it also scratches easily and is less heat-resistant. Pewter has the same properties as zinc, but one major difference is that it's an alloy of assorted metals, so it's essential to check that lead is not a component in your countertop. Below are some zinc and pewter countertops and decorative edges.
Stainless steel is different than copper or zinc. It's widely used in commercial settings because of its durability and low maintenance. For that reason, some feel it looks too industrial, while others like its sleek, modern appearance. As you can see in the pictures below, the stainless steel countertops have a completely different look than the other metals.
Concetto Countertops are a little like diamond rings. Nobody would say they don't think they're beautiful or that they wouldn't love to have one, but odds are they won't be buying one anytime soon. They come in a variety of different colors and styles including rose quartz, amethyst, tiger's eye, and brown agate, just to name a few. Concetto enthusiasts claim it has advantages over granite. Because it's made by combining crushed stone with resin, it doesn't need any kind of sealer to maintain its antimicrobial properties like granite does. The downside is that it costs about ten times as much as granite. Below are a few examples of Concetto countertops. Which do you like better -- Concetto or granite?
Cultivate recently had an article entitled "17 Unique Kitchen Backsplash Ideas". Here are some of the backsplashes they included plus a few others made from materials not normally used in the kitchen like leather, fabric, chalkboard, recycled material, stone, brick, beadboard, pegboard, bottle caps, photographs, and dominos. The only problem with using non-traditional materials is that you need to provide some kind of protection like glass or a coat of lacquer so that your backsplash can easily be wiped clean.
The popularity of transitional kitchens has soared in the past year, even though it may not be a style that everyone is familiar with. It's been called mixing old with new or combining traditional with modern. Transitional takes the elegance of traditional and the simplicity of contemporary for a sleek, uncluttered look. It can be an eclectic blend of your favorite parts of each style to produce a unique look for your kitchen, like combining rustic wood with stainless steel or Shaker cabinet doors against a glass tile backsplash.
Pull-out faucets are still the most specified, but they are losing ground to touch-activated faucets. Manufacturers are now offering the touch-activated faucets in a wider variety of styles and finishes, so people are choosing them more frequently. When you're cooking and have food on your hands, it saves a lot of clean-up to not have to grab the faucets. Likewise, satin and bronze faucets are now more popular than polished chrome because they don't show fingerprints or water spots. With manufacturers constantly offering more choices, it may soon be possible to get a bronze touch-activated pull-out faucet so that you don't have to decide which feature you want the most.
Granite is still the most popular kitchen countertop, but quartz comes in at number two and is gaining in popularity. Quartz is a very durable material that is easy to maintain. Quartz has a luxurious look and is available in a wide array of colors and styles. Undermount sinks pair well with quartz countertops. They provide a seamless look, add counter space, and are very easy to clean.
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