One of the most important parts of any house is the kitchen. If the whole house can be likened to a machine, then the kitchen is the engine that keeps it going. Usually, the kitchen can be considered the messiest part of a house, but that is only because the down and dirty stuff happens there. The kitchen is where you prepare and cook the food and that alone makes it an integral part of your home living.
The kitchen itself has many components, all of which are essential in order for it to function efficiently and properly. You have places for your food ingredients, the utensils and kitchenware, the pantry, and the cooking area. Among these components, the countertop and the cabinets are right up there with being the most essential.
Countertops: The Work Area
Most people are familiar with the kitchen countertops. They’re the horizontal work surfaces in kitchen, food preparation areas, or workrooms in general. Countertops are usually installed above and are supported by cabinets. When they’re installed in kitchen, they are most commonly about 25½ inches from the front to the back, and most are designed to overhang most standard kitchen cabinets, allowing for a convenient reach to objects placed at the back of the countertop. Most countertops also have some sort of an integrated backsplash in order to prevent spilled liquids from falling behind the cabinets and onto the floor. Some countertops can also be cut away to accommodate installation of extra sinks, stoves and ovens, and other accessories such as cutting boards and integrated drain boards.
There are many materials a countertop can be made of, and the cost of a countertop is usually dependent on what kind of material is chosen. Naturally, the cost of the material will depend on its durability and ease of use but this sometimes, this isn’t necessarily so; there are some materials that are far more expensive because they’re stylish. Some common materials used for countertops include:
- Natural stones such as granite, marble, and limestone;
- Wood and butcher block;
- Crafted glass;
- Stainless steel;
- Synthetic materials such as concrete, tiles, and terrazzo.
Cabinets: What Lies Beneath
Under the countertops, the cabinets have long been a fixture of kitchens since the early 20th century, as a precursor to the Hoosier cabinet. They are usually used to store food, cooking equipment, and silverware and dishes. In recent times, kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and stoves have often been integrated into kitchen cabinetry.
Cabinets are constructed in two different ways: either face-frame or frameless. Both have their own options as well as drawbacks:
- Face-frame cabinets are mostly utilized by the traditional cabinets, typically consisting of narrow strips of hardwood framing the cabinet opening. Until the introduction of modern engineered wood and the glues, fasteners, and hinges, cabinet carcases were traditionally constructed with separate face frames. The advantage of face frames is that they ensure squareness of a cabinet front, as well as increasing rigidity and providing a mounting point for the hinges. Also, the face frame gives off an impression of strength and durability, probably one of the reasons why such cabinets still retain their popularity in the United States.
- Frameless cabinets are also known as full-access cabinets and they utilize the cascade side, top, and bottom panels in place of a face-frame. The main advantage frameless cabinets have over their face-frame counterparts is that the former provides a significantly better utilization of space. Frameless cabinets fully exploits the advantage of modern manufacturing techniques to utilize sophisticated metal-based assemblies used for hinges and slides as well as engineered wood products for strength, dimensional space, and stability. The result is a more streamlined appearance and a more efficient use of space.
Disposing of Unwanted Cabinets and Countertops
The usefulness and cabinets and countertops have already been established above, but there are times when you want to get rid of them. For example, you want to move things around in your kitchen in order for expansion or you just plain want a new countertop or cabinet. It can also be that your current ones are damaged and you need to get rid of them. In any case, here are some things you can do:
- Hire a professional company. There are companies that deal with kitchen cabinets and countertops. Their main job usually involves the manufacture of custom cabinets as well as provide upgrades and refurbishments. If you need to get rid of your cabinet fast and in an efficient manner, then the best course is to leave it to them, the professionals. They can also offer you remodeling services if you feel that your kitchen needs a complete makeover.
- Upgrade your cabinets and countertops. Sometimes, you really don’t need to remove the whole thing together. If your cabinets and countertop are still in good working condition (meaning they’re not riddled with holes and termites), then you can opt to have it upgraded instead.There are two advantages to this. One is that you don’t have to spend more money to have a whole new countertop/cabinet combination made, and second is that if you do the upgrades right, you’ll be able to extend the life of your furniture. It is better that you employ the help of a professional company for this, as mentioned in the first tip.
- Sell them. If your countertop or cabinet is the type that can be disassembled, then you can place an ad via the Internet or the newspaper selling it. A more simpler way would also be to have a garage sale and see if your neighbors would like to buy them from you.
- Break them down yourself. As a last resort, you can get rid of the cabinets and countertops yourself using some good old-fashioned ax and power tools. Be advised, though, that most cabinets and countertops are already fitted carefully in the kitchen so you may need some careful planning before you even attempt this.
All in all, unless you really need to remodel your whole kitchen from the ground up, it’s recommended that you just leave your cabinet and countertop where they are. They are essential parts of the kitchen and it only takes a few tweaks to bring them to the modern standards.
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