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FAQs on remodeling and more...

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Kitchens                                                                         Back to Main FAQs

What is the kitchen “triangle”?

The kitchen triangle is the “space” or arrangement of your main kitchen appliances/work zones:  the sink, the refrigerator, and the cooktop or range.  You should have easy maneuvering between these three work spaces, ideally between 12 and 26 total feet. This “triangle” is easier to achieve in some floor plans more than others.  A design pro will know how to make the best of a difficult existing floor plan and/or a tight budget.  If compromises must be made, a pro will be a valuable advisor.   For more kitchen design guidelines, check out the National Kitchen & Bath Association web site,

Are quartz countertops more expensive than granite?

That depends on the granite….and the quartz product.  Quartz materials typically come in one or two pricing levels, usually in the $60 - $80 per square foot range.  Granite however, can range between $40 - $200 per square foot.  Special edges can also increase the overall cost of the countertop.  Something else to consider, most often you pay for the square footage you use, but depending on the stone or quartz product, sometimes you may end up paying for an entire slab of material or you could be charged for a minimum square footage (even if you don’t use it all).

What is the correct thickness for countertops?

Most solid surface countertops are 3 centimeters thick , or about 1 ½ inches.  A few marble and granites come in 2cm thicknesses.  Some companies offer a real stone veneer that just covers your existing countertop and can be installed in a day. 

Can I install new countertops on existing cabinets?

Yes, a new countertop is usually an easy swap out with a few considerations.  First, you will probably have to consider a new sink.  Most folks are looking to go to an undermount sink and that needs to be installed with your new countertop.  That may also mean a new disposal.  Backsplashes are the other consideration.  If you have an existing backsplash it can be hard to remove an existing countertop and install a new one and not disturb the backsplash.  You may want to consider a new backsplash in your budgeting.

What are the more popular backsplash options?

The most popular backsplash option today is a tile backsplash that sits right on the countertop.  Another option is to install a solid surface countertop with a 4” backsplash of the same material.  The wall space above the backsplash can be left as painted wall or tiled.  Another option that is a little more expensive is to install that same solid surface, i.e. granite, as a backsplash.  Two things to consider with that, 1) the cost and 2) you will lose 3CM of space on your counter as the backsplash will be the same thickness as your countertop. Your design professional can assist you in talking through the various options and styles.

How many countertop outlets do I need to install?

There are a minimum of outlets needed on countertops to meet code, but you can always add more.  Every 48” of countertop must have an outlet and you must have one no more than 24” from the side of any countertop.  Another code issue to consider, any island or peninsula needs at least one outlet as well.

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