New Home Tips, Trends, and Ideas - Raleigh Custom Home Builders

Getting the Most out of Kitchen Countertops | NC New Home Design

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 05, 2015 @ 09:01 AM

What Kind of Kitchen Countertops Work Best?

Kitchen Design Trends for NC New Homes 

Granite, marble, concrete, tile or solid surface – compare and contrast the most popular kitchen countertop selections for North Carolina new homes.

And get an idea of how to calculate the cost of your kitchen countertops, in a North Carolina new home.

Granite Countertops – Which Kitchen Countertops Work Best?

Granite is a natural product harvested from quarries. Colors and patterns vary depending on the geological processes in the region where they are quarried.

Different Types of Countertops | Granite CountersGranite is a higher-end home counter top option, with prices starting at about 3-4 times the cost of laminate.

Because this is a natural material, selections are not made from a color chart.

Buyers can select from samples representative of a type of granite, or choose a unique individual slab from which their countertop will be carefully cut.

There are a variety of edges – including bullnose, radius, straight, bevel, and ogee.  See a chart of counter top edge styles here.

Granite is fairly resistant to heat and scratches. If damaged, it may be possible to polish the countertop, since it is made of the same material throughout. The material must be resealed about every five years to protect it from stains, and careful attention must be paid to the natural stone seams. 

If you use granite in the kitchen, you'll want to consider tile back splash options. One of the best ways to add designer appeal to your kitchen without spending a lot of money is adding a tile backsplash above your granite tops - see 5 popular tile designs here

Should I install granite in the master bathroom? Since the cost of granite has gone down over the past few years, upgrading to granite in the master bath may be more reasonable than you might think.

Marble Countertops – What is the best type of Kitchen Countertops?

Like granite, marble comes in slabs that are always different because they come from a natural source. 

In this NC new home kitchen, White Carrara Marble countertops are paired with a light blue island.

Marble Kitchen Countertops | White Marble Countertops

It is not as popular as other kitchen countertop materials, because it’s lime-stone base makes it less resistant to stains from oils and acids.

The cost of marble is a little higher than granite, and the seam and sealing processes are identical. 

Quartz, or Engineered Stone - Kitchen Countertop Trends

This is one of the newest countertop products, and is becoming increasingly popular. Quartz is actually a quartz composite, made of quartz, colored pebbles, polymers, and epoxy. About 97% of the composite is quartz. The other 7% is pigments and resins. Natural granite is only about 50% quartz, which is very high on the hardness scale – only diamonds, topaz and sapphires are harder!  

Quartz comes in many more colors than natural stone and has a more even pattern.  

The cost is higher than granite.  It doesn’t need to be sealed, and is more resistant to stains, scratches, and other damage. Seams are less noticeable due to the consistency of the pattern.  

Stainless Steel Countertops

Stainless steel is also becoming a popular option in higher-end homes. It is one of only a few countertop materials that can be safely bleached, and heat will not hurt it.  

Brushed and/or textured finishes are available to help hide scratches. In some cases, the sink can be created with the countertop for a totally seamless one-piece installation. All this comes with a price tag – steel countertops cost about twice as much as granite.  

Tile Countertops

Tile was a big design feature in 1980's and 90's kitchens (along with wood counter tops).

While we don't expect to see a wave of tile kitchen counter tops again soon, homebuyers have begun to request tile counter tops in the bathroom. Click here for photos and design ideas for tile bathroom counters.

What’s the bottom line on countertop costs?

Different Types of Countertops | Granite Counters

All countertop pricing is determined by square footage.

Most standard countertops are 2 ¼ feet wide.

To find out how much countertop you need, take the length of the countertop and multiply by the width.

Then multiply the total square footage by the cost per square foot for the desired material. This will give you the starting point. 

But there are additional considerations as well.  

The cost of backsplashes depends on material and style, as does the edge of the countertop – which can all be customized in different materials.

Even the type of sink makes a difference in countertop cost. An under-counter mount requires a more finished edge around the sink, which raises the cost for some materials. Additional sinks or other cut outs can add to labor and installation expenses, as well.

Custom home builders like Stanton Homes can walk you through the costs when you plan your home, so you can decide what kind of countertop you want to live with.

More Kitchen Trends and Ideas - Building Your New Custom Home:

6 Hidden storage ideas for your kitchen

Photos of wine racks, wine glass holders, and wine refrigerators

Universal Design Kitchen Features

Top 10 Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Wall Oven Cabinets - Custom Home Kitchen Trends

 


Tags: NC new home design, kitchen countertops, kitchen design trends, NC New Homes

How to Get the Most out of Your Kitchen Design - Kitchen Island Video

Posted by Penny Hull on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 @ 11:07 AM

Kitchen Island Options - Video Tour

Use Your Square Footage Wisely

A careful use of space can open up any home to make it seem larger and more inviting. The addition of an Island in your Kitchen can be key to using square footage efficiently.

See photos of recently completed custom homes in the Raleigh area, with Island Kitchens that utilize space carefully. These Island Kitches open up to great rooms and breakfast nooks, add storage space, and include bar seating areas.

 90 Photos of Custom Home Kitchen

Kitchen Islands can be designed with:

  • Bar seating
  • Built-in Storage Areas and Cabinetry
  • Buil-in Microwave or Dishwasher Alcove
  • Main Sink or Additional Prep Sink

Learn about Kitchen Cabinet Options and Kitchen Tile Backsplashes.

Stanton Homes Signature Kitchens

Stanton Homes Signature Gourmet Kitchens are designed to be the heart of your home.

Far more special features come standard in a custom Stanton Home kitchen (varying by model and design) – like granite countertops, hardwood flooring, custom tile work, built-in storage, majestic archways – than you’ll find with any other builder in the region in our price range.

If you’re thinking of building anywhere across the 13 counties in the greater Triangle area, let us know what "upgrades" you’d like most. You’ll be surprised at how many are already included.

Contact Stanton Homes for floor plan ideas, to get a new home cost estimate, or find out more about building a custom home in North Carolina.

Kitchen Island Styles

Read about other Kitchen Design Ideas:

90 Photos of Custom Home Kitchens

Granite Countertop and Tile Backsplash Ideas

Open Concept Kitchens

10 Biggest Kitchen Design Mistakes


 

Tags: Kitchen Islands, kitchen countertops, kitchen design trends

Best Kitchen Countertop Ideas For New Homes | Kitchen Design Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 @ 07:01 AM

Kitchen Countertops - What Kind of Countertops Work Best?

Kitchen Design Trends for New Custom Homes 

Stone, stone-look laminate, marble, concrete, tile or solid surface – compare and contrast today's most popular kitchen countertop selections.

Granite Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

What kind of kitchen countertop is best | NC Custom Home BuildersGranite is a natural product harvested from quarries. Colors and patterns vary depending on the geological processes in the region where they are quarried.

Granite is a more expensive countertop option, with prices starting at about 3-4 times the cost of laminate. Because this is a natural material, selections are not made from a color chart. Buyers can select from samples representative of a type of granite, or choose a unique individual slab from which their countertop will be carefully cut. There are a variety of edges – including bullnose, radius, straight, and bevel – are available at no additional charge, while upgraded edges can include a full bullnose and ogee (graceful serpentine curve).  

Granite is fairly resistant to heat and scratches. If damaged, it may be possible to polish the countertop, since it is made of the same material throughout. The material must be resealed about every five years to protect it from stains, and careful attention must be paid to the natural stone seams. 

Marble Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Marble is another 100% natural product. It is not as popular as other kitchen countertop materials, because it’s lime-stone base makes it less resistant to stains from oils and acids.

Like granite, marble comes in slabs that are always different because they come from a natural source.  

The cost of marble is a little higher than granite, and the seam and sealing processes are identical. 

Quartz, or Engineered Stone – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

What kind of kitchen countertop is best | NC Custom Home BuildersThis is one of the newest countertop products, and is becoming increasingly popular. Quartz is actually a quartz composite, made of quartz, colored pebbles, polymers, and epoxy. About 97% of the composite is quartz. The other 7% is pigments and resins. Natural granite is only about 50% quartz, which is very high on the hardness scale – only diamonds, topaz and sapphires are harder!  

Quartz comes in many more colors than natural stone and has a more even pattern.  

The cost is very similar to granite. It doesn’t need to be sealed, and is more resistant to stains, scratches, and other damage. Seams are less noticeable due to the consistency of the pattern.  

Stainless Steel – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Stainless steel is also becoming a popular option in higher-end homes. It is one of only a few countertop materials that can be safely bleached, and heat will not hurt it.  

Brushed and/or textured finishes are available to help hide scratches. In some cases, the sink can be created with the countertop for a totally seamless one-piece installation. All this comes with a price tag – steel countertops cost about twice as much as granite.  

What’s the bottom line on countertop costs?

What kind of kitchen countertop is best | NC Custom Home BuildersAll countertop pricing is determined by square footage. Most standard countertops are 2 ¼ feet wide. To find out how much countertop you need, take the length of the countertop and multiply by the width. Then multiply the total square footage by the cost per square foot for the desired material. This will give you the starting point. 

But there are additional considerations as well.  

The cost of backsplashes depends on material and style, as does the edge of the countertop – which can all be customized in different materials.

Even the type of sink makes a difference in countertop cost. An under-counter mount requires a more finished edge around the sink, which raises the cost for some materials. Additional sinks or other cut outs can add to labor and installation expenses, as well.

Custom home builders like Stanton Homes can walk you through the costs when you plan your home, so you can decide what kind of countertop you want to live with.

Read Best Kitchen Countertops Part I Here

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder Trends

More Kitchen Trends and Ideas - Building Your New Custom Home:

Kitchen Color Schemes for 2011 - This Year's Color Trends

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas - Behind the Cooktop

Storage Solutions: Top 5 Options for Kitchen Base Cabinets

 

 

 

 

Get ideas from these kitchen floor plan transformations, designed by Stanton Homes to fit the lifestyles of our homebuyers. 

   


We can redesign your kitchen floor plan to put everything just where you need it – BEFORE you build.

Choosing to build your new home with exceptional NC custom home builders like Stanton Homes allows more creativity, within your budget, than you ever thought possible! Find out more today – here’s how to get started:

Custom Home Floor Plans | NC Custom Home Builders | Floor Plan Options Floor Plan Price | Raleigh New Home Cost | Custom Home Cost Estimate Floor Plan Ideas | Floor Plan Styles | Custom Home Floor Plans Raleigh New Home Lots | Custom Home Lots for Sale | New Home Lots Raleigh NC

 

Tags: kitchen design, nc custom home builders, kitchen countertops, nc custom homes, new home trends, kitchen trends, kitchen tile ideas

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best? | Kitchen Design Trends

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 @ 07:01 AM

How to choose the best Kitchen Countertops for your lifestyle

Kitchen Design Trends for New Custom Homes 

Stone, stone-look laminate, marble, concrete, tile or solid surface – here’s what you need to know before you tell your NC custom home builder what kind of kitchen countertops to install: 

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder TrendsLaminate Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Modern laminate is durable and stain resistant. It comes in a variety of colors and textures, including a look that imitates more expensive materials like granite and marble. 

Laminate is one of the least expensive countertops because it can be shaped and molded fairly easily to match the dimensions of your kitchen cupboards. Laminate can also be customized, with hardwood for the backsplash and front edge, without a lot of additional cost.

One downside to laminate is that it can be scratched or burned, and the colors may fade with time. However, mold or bacteria growth isn’t a problem with laminate, so bleach and harsh cleansers aren’t needed for cleanup. 

Ceramic Tile Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

Ceramic tile costs more than laminate, but just how much you pay depends on type of tile, pattern, and decorative accents.

The versatility of tile can add personality to countertops, but the way the tiles are laid out can also make a difference in terms of how much labor is involved. A horizontal pattern is standard, but other patterns require extra cutting and skill. 

Another aspect of tile that makes it stand out is the grout that is used to hold the tile in place. Grout is available in a wide variety of colors that can accent the tiles, and is more stable and longer lasting than in the past. 

Tile is scratch and heat resistant, but grout must be sealed regularly to protect it from stains. Grout seal comes in aerosol cans and dries quickly, so it’s easy to apply. When properly sealed, the grout is almost as easy to clean as the tiles, which require only soap and water.

Solid Surface Countertops – Compare and Contrast Kitchen Countertops

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder TrendsSolid surface countertops are made of materials like resin, an acrylic or modified polyester, color pigments, a fire rating filler, and added particles to give the appearance of veins or textures. Corian is a good example of a solid surface countertop.  One nice feature of Corian is an option for an integrated, seamless sink.

These kinds of countertops are a mid-priced option, lately higher than granite but lower than quartz, and come in hundreds of colors and finishes that have varying rates of glossiness. Although they are generally resistant to scratching and are typically heat and stain resistant, solid surface countertops such as Corian can be scorched. 

Solid surface countertops can be wiped down with a soft cloth. Special cleaners are available that can restore glossiness, and many of these materials can be lightly sanded when scratches appear.

Read Best Kitchen Countertops Part II Here

 

What Kind of Kitchen Countertop is Best | NC Custom Home Builder Trends

More Kitchen Trends and Ideas - Building Your New Custom Home:

Kitchen Color Schemes for 2011 - This Year's Color Trends

Kitchen Backsplash Ideas - Behind the Cooktop

Storage Solutions: Top 5 Options for Kitchen Base Cabinets

Tags: kitchen design, nc custom home builders, kitchen countertops, nc custom homes, new home trends, kitchen trends, kitchen tile ideas

How to Keep Countertops Looking Great | Custom Home Builder Tips

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Dec 06, 2010 @ 06:12 AM

How To Keep Kitchen Countertops Looking Their Best

Custom Home Builder Tips for the Kitchen

No matter what kitchen countertop style and material you find most appealing, you'll want to consider durability and maintanence before making a decision.  Here's how to take care of some of today's most popular countertops, with top tips from your NC custom home builder.

Kitchen Countertop Tips | Custom Home BuilderFormica® Laminate Countertop Cleaning Tips

In most cases, all that is needed is a clean, damp, nonabrasive cotton cloth and a mild liquid detergent or household cleaner. Do not flood the countertop.  A nylon bristled hand or vegetable brush can be used, especially on sculpture and dimensional finish laminates.  Abrasive cleaners and scouring pads should not be used.  As for nearly all countertop surfaces, use a trivet or pot holder, and don't place hot containers directly on the surface.

Granite Countertop Cleaning Tips

According to custom home builders, one of the most popular countertop selections is natural granite, which is a tough and durable stone.  Granite countertops should last a lifetime if cared for properly.  Granite countertops should be sealed at installation, and resealed by the homeowner once or twice a year to stay looking their best.

Use warm, soapy water for everyday cleaning, and do not use abrasive cleaners or scouring pads.

Kitchen Countertop Tips | Custom Home BuilderStainless Steel Countertop Cleaning Tips

Stainless steel countertops can scratch easily, so consider purchasing special maintenance powders, which are rubbed in the direction of the grain.  As for most countertops, use warm, soapy water and avoid harsh cleaners. 

Especially for stainless steel, remember not to leave food directly on the surface, because acidic foods can stain a stainless steel countertop.

Quartz Countertop Cleaning Tips

The extra expense of a quartz countertop can be somewhat justified by the ease of care.  No polishing, buffing, sealing, or reconditioning should be needed - just wipe clean with warm, soapy water.  Be careful, though, about allowing high levels of heat to come in contact with your quartz countertop.

Wood Countertop Cleaning Tips

Wood countertops should ideally have a monthly layer of oil rubbed into the wood to keep looking it's best.  Be wary of flooding the surface to help avoid cracking and warping.  To clean, use a steel scraper to remove hardened food or other substances, then use warm, soapy water.

 

New Home Trends - Custom Home Builder Tips and Trends

Kitchen Tile Ideas | Top 5 Kitchen Tile Backsplash Design Trends

Top 10 Most Wanted New Home Design Features

Kitchen Tile IdeasTop 10 Dos and Donts for Kitchen Cabinets

Tub Surround Tile Ideas - Photos and Tips

Top 5 Ways to Save Money - Family Room

Built in Bookcases - Ideas and Trends

Formal Dining Rooms - Disappearing, or Here to Stay?

Virtual Tours - See This Week's Most Exceptional Homes

*Photos represent current new home trends. Not all photos represent Stanton Homes. Stanton Homes discusses current new home trends across a wide variety of topics.

 

Tags: kitchen design, kitchen countertops, nc custom home builder, new home trends, custom home builder

Designing Your Kitchen Island for the Cook | NC Custom Homes

Posted by Penny Hull on Mon, Nov 22, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

Kitchen Island Layout and Design Tips

Kitchen Design Tips for NC Custom Homes

Chances are good you'll spend more time in the kitchen than anywhere else in your NC custom home. 

Kitchen Island Design | NC Custom HomesBut have you really thought about the layout and design of your island countertop space?

Here's the top things to consider:

What Kind of Island should your kitchen have:

  • Will the island have a cooktop, wall oven, or microwave?
  • Will the island have a sink and dishwasher?
  • Should there be seating?
  • Will the seating area be lower or higher than standard countertop height?
  • Should there be a prep sink?

What Kind of Peninsula should your kitchen have:

  • Will the peninsula have a cooktop, wall oven, or microwave?
  • Will the peninsula have a sink and dishwasher?
  • Should there be seating or a serving bar?

Planning Sufficient Countertop Space:

Once you have an idea of what you'd like to see where in your new custom home kitchen, you'll want to ensure that the islands and peninsulas are functional. 

Islands and peninsulas should provide additional prep space, and should move traffic away from the traditional work triangle.

Minimum Work Aisles Around Islands:

Does your island or peninsula have enough "floor space" around it for cooks and guests to move comfortably?

  • Minimum 42" recommended around an island for one cook.
  • Minimum 48" recommended around an island for two cooks.
  • Measure between countertop fronts, as this is true space available.
  • Minimum 36" between wall and island/peninsula
  • Minimum 44" recommended if this area is a passageway.
  • Minimum 60" recommended for wheelchair access.

Kitchen Island Design Ideas | NC Custom HomesNC custom homes can be designed to your specifications, but make sure to ask your custom home builder for recommendations before finalizing the design.  They've seen thousands of homes built, and might just have some terrific ideas for your new kitchen too!

Top NC Custom Homes Questions:

What Ceiling Height Should I Choose?

What are the Top 5 Most Popular Trey Ceiling Styles?

Top 5 Closet Ideas | Walk In Closet Space Designed Just for You

What to Ask Before Buying a Mother in Law Suite Home

How to Get a Bigger Pantry for Less | Custom Home Builder

Formal Dining Room - yes or no?

Woodburning or Gas Fireplace? | Custom Homebuilder Questions

Construction Loans: What Kind of Down Payment is Needed?

Tags: kitchen design, nc custom home builders, Kitchen Islands, kitchen countertops, nc custom homes