Out with the Old Sink, In with a New BLANCO SILGRANIT II Sink

eewKitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that more easily become outdated during a home’s lifetime.  Designer Gloria Graham of Kitchens for Living (www.kitchensforliving.net) took on a tough project of transforming an older style kitchen for a homeowner Florida.

The need for change was obvious from the peeling cabinet paint to the lack of counter space and storage.  Though in need some upgrades, the kitchen still had good bones and is located at the center of the house, making it the heart of the home.  The most important factor was to keep the homeowner’s footprint, while incorporating strategic improvements that would go a long way.  The homeowner also had some products on her wish list there were able to be incorporated.

Gloria’s design inspiration stemmed from the desire to creatively utilize existing kitchen space.  She chose to bring in a British Colonial feel by incorporating the “X” motif and rattan inserts in certain pieces the cabinetry.  Due to limited natural light in the kitchen, it was best to steer clear of the more traditional deeper colors as the room would have become much too dark.  In order to meet the homeowner’s need for more counter space and storage, the center island size had to be expanded.  There is now counter space available in almost a full 360 degree area throughout the kitchen.  Completing the package are a few small sneaky details that make this kitchen unique and fresh.  These details include discreet cabinets that house the coffee maker and toaster oven as well as microwave drawer, keeping these appliances hidden when not in use.

Blanco - Precis Super Single Bowl - TruffleThe updated cabinets have a maple stain and darker glaze on them and rattan panels were included in order to create a balanced flow with the other dining room furniture.  The cabinets were designed by Gloria, herself, and custom built by Brendan Donovan Furniture & Cabinet Co. (www.Brendandonovancabinets.com). Appliances in this kitchen include Thermador (gas range top), Subzero, Wolf and Bosch.

The homeowner’s favorite new feature was a durable white BLANCO SILGRANIT II Precis Super Single Sink.  This classic style sink works nicely with the surrounding upgrades and its convenient size allowed for the surrounding space to be fully utilized.

With Gloria’s help the homeowner was very pleased with the end result.  Her love of her new BLANCO Sink and the kitchen as a whole is extremely evident.  This is the perfect example of how to increase storage space and functionality of a kitchen, while also brightening up the space and giving it a traditional airy feel.

Have a Happy Holidays from Plumbtile.com!


Congratulations Blanco!

Blanco has been synonymous to high-quality bathroom and kitchen fixtures and accessories since 1925. The company is known for exquisite caliber sinks, faucets and accessories for residential and commercial uses. Boasting of over a hundred undermount and drop-in stainless steel kitchen, prep and bar sink models, as well as granite sinks, Blanco is one of the top manufacturers that have always been trusted by PlumbTile.

We take pride in saying that we provide the most comprehensive collection of Blanco products on the web. Not only is PlumbTile honored to distribute products from a quality manufacturer such as Blanco, we also want to let our readers know that they were recently given the Red Dot design award for 5 of their latest sinks and faucets. The products, judged on innovation, functionality, ergonomics, and ecological compatibility, that emerged winners are the Blancomodex, Blancoandano, Blancoyovis-S, Blancovondo and Blancoculina-S.

Red Dot is a very prestigious award for excellent design. Out of 4,515 submissions, Blanco, along with other winning designs, was chosen by an international jury of 30 independent specialists..

Congratulations Blanco!

If you want to find out more about Blanco or check if any of their Red Dot awarded designs are available, just click here and the staff will help you locate them.

Time for some Stainless Steel Sink Shopping

Let’s go shopping! Here are a few tips we want to share with you to shop for that perfect stainless steel sink.

Tip #1 – Consider the Drain

Blanco - Spex Undermount Single BowlStainless steel sinks may come with or without drain assemblies or baskets. Always give plus points to sinks with accompanying drain assemblies. Also consider the location and design of the drain. Do you know that a drain towards the back means more usable space for dishes in the sink and most importantly, better drainage? That’s right. A rear drain is always better, as shown here. This is a Spex Undermount Single Bowl. Blanco is a manufacturer of high-quality sinks, faucets and accessories for residential and commercial purposes.

Tip #2 – What makes a sink?

Bates & Bates - Sat Rim / Sat BowlLet’s get technical. You should know what your stainless steel is made of. Always know its ingredients. Your sink must be 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This is the best “formula” for optimal corrosion and stain resistance. A lustrous satin finish will develop a better patina over time than matte-finish stainless steel.  To find out if your sink is the best, stick a magnet. If it holds-unfortunately it’s not the best sink.

Here’s an example of a sink with the best components:  Sat Rim / Sat Bowl from Bates & Bates (which incidentally also comes in bronze).

Tip #3 – Knock, knock

Magnum Specialty Undermount Double Bowl Sink With ApronYes, give the sink some thorough knocking. Also look for rubbery undercoatings that deaden the sound of water and silverware hitting the sides. You can be sure a sink is lightweight or without an undercoating if it sounds like a steel drum. If you want to be sure about quality and toughness, you can never go wrong with a Magnum Specialty Undermount Double Bowl Sink With Apron. That’s one tough sink right there.

Tip #4 – Rolling with the Depth

Depth is key. A 10-inch dep sink will hold lots of piled dishes freeing your countertop space. You also get more volume with square corners, straight sides, and a flat bottom. Soft angles allow for easy cleaning and good drainage. The sink shown here is 12” deep (imagine that?), it might hurt your back when you lean down to pick up stuff in it. Consider that.

Tip #5 – Call Plumbtile!

Plumbtile has various stainless steel sinks to choose from. If you are not sure or do not have the luxury of time to inspect each and every stainless steel sink in the market, call Plumbtile. The team will answer all your questions and give you sound recommendations.

Beautiful Backsplash

Whether you are looking to do a complete kitchen remodel, or looking to make a fast and inexpensive update to your space, installing a beautiful backsplash should be on your renovation “to-do” list.  A backsplash can be neutral and used to enhance an exhisting design or it can be used to stand out and be the focus of the room.  Unsure where to begin when planning your backsplash update?  Talk to a design specialist at Plumbtile for some design tips and advice for your space.

Backsplash Ideas

Here are some great tile ideas by Busby-Gilbert tile to get you started:

Begin with a unique design on your backsplash, and finish off the beautiful design with a neutral ceiling tile.

Design can be found in neutral colors too.  Plumbtile offers a wide selection of tiles that come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Check out how this distinctive neutral tile brings character to this kitchen’s backsplash.

Make your kitchen really stand out with this matchless design.  An arched stoned tile is used to enhance this vibrant blue backsplash to give the area behind the range the look and feel of an Italian pizza kitchen.

The same tile from your backsplash can be used to cover your countertop as well.  Just be sure to break up the design with decorative tiles in the backsplash pattern.  Check out this beautiful tile  backsplash and counter top in green tones.

To begin piecing together your new beautiful backsplash, talk to a design specialist and Plumbtile.

How to Set a Kitchen Remodel Budget and Get Design Ideas

In the last post of  this series, 4 Signs that You Need a Kitchen Remodel, we talked about some sure-fire signs that it’s time to upgrade the kitchen in a home. Now, the second most important step in the process is deciding exactly how to spend on that remodel. How much will it cost to create that dream kitchen? How much is actually available to you?

Gather Kitchen Remodel Ideas

Tip: clip and save pictures of the products you love!

When deciding on a kitchen remodel budget, it is often helpful to know where you are going with the project itself. What things need to be replaced, and how much will those replacements cost? Is there major construction involved (such as tearing down walls or building in all-new pipes), or it is simply a matter of hauling that old dishware out and hauling in the new one?

If you are completely at a loss, start by making a list of everything that is broken, stained, or otherwise undesirable right now. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • The fridge that gobbles electricity and/or no longer works properly.
  • The sink that is scratched, cracked, broken, growing mold, or otherwise unsightly.
  • That laminate flooring that is yellowing.
  • Those broken tiles…or all of the tile.
  • That old stove that is a huge pain to clean (trade up with a sleek glass-topped one).

If you aren’t remodeling out of necessity, you are free to make changes based on “because I want to.” Either way, getting ideas for sexy new layouts, color, textures, and more is a great way to start building a kitchen remodel budget. Try magazines, TV shows, or even the Internet to get more ideas than you can handle.

As you go, make note of items you want and their “average” prices. This will help you build a “want” budget. I.e., the budget required to have everything you want.

Determine How to Pay For the Kitchen Remodel

Finally, it is time to go through what is available to you. Contractors and designers have it easy because they will simply get the budget from their clients, but the client may have some difficulty deciding what they can actually afford. The two most common options to look into are:

  • Current savings (if they are not deemed as emergency savings).
  • Equity. You might be surprised to find out just how much is waiting for you in an equity line or loan.

Discovering what is available to you will give you a “have” budget. Quite often, you will find yourself with a gap between the “want” and “have” budgets. If this is the case, it is time to close that gap by shopping for better deals on quality kitchen remodel supplies. If you still see a gap after hunting down the best deals on what you need, you may need to put off some of those things on the “want” budget. Add them to your holiday or birthday wish list instead!

Following these steps will help you better understand and envision what is truly possible for that kitchen. Once you’re there, it is easy to start Planning a Kitchen Remodel, which just happens to be what the next blog in this series is about!