Below Your Feet

When you walk into a kitchen, what catches your eye?  Cabinets?  Counter tops?  What about the floor?

Bunte - General picture

If you’re considering updating your kitchen, the kitchen flooring you select is a major decision.  You want your kitchen floor to be low maintenance and one that can stand up to a wide range of spills like water, food and even dropped dishes.

 

 

 

 

Bamboo

If you like eco-friendly products, bamboo is a great kitchen flooring material.  Bamboo is one of the strongest of the natural materials on the market.

Ross-Cali bamboo

The Positive: Durable, beautifully grained, eco-friendly.
The Drawbacks: Some bamboo flooring can dent easily.

Laminate

Laminate flooring is an affordable and durable kitchen flooring idea. The top layer can withstand most abuse, and if you add padding beneath, you have a soft, ergonomic floor.

Dodszuweitz, Kitchen, Various small projects

The Positive: Durable, cost effective, wide variety of options.
The Drawbacks:  May be slippery, noisy, cannot refinish.

Stone

Because of the variations in pattern and color, stone gives your kitchen flooring a unique, earthy look.  Stone flooring is naturally cool, which is perfect in hotter zones.

The Positive: Hard, durable surface, easy to clean.
The Drawbacks: Certain stones may stain, requires routine sealing, some fragile stones like slate may chip easily.

Tile 
Tile is a great, low-maintenance solution for a kitchen. It’s easy to clean, durable and has a reflective quality that expands the appearance of space in a kitchen.

Hagar - ceramic tile

The Positive: Durable, moisture resistant, easy to maintain, available in a large assortment of styles, shapes and colors.
The Drawbacks: Grout lines may be difficult to keep clean, dropped items like glassware and dishes will likely shatter.

Vinyl

Vinyl is affordable, comes in a variety of textures and styles and is one of the most water-resistant kitchen flooring options.

Hoover - Vinyl

The Positive:  Water resistant, certain styles look just like wood.
The Drawbacks:  requires a flawless subfloor to install on, can gouge easily.

Wood
Wood has a high-end, warm look that’s unique according to grain and age. But wood in the kitchen requires special protection from excess moisture.

Buckwalter - oak

The Positive: Adds resale value, attractive, durable, can be refinished.
The Drawbacks: Can be noisy, needs periodic refinishing, may dent or scratch easily.

Whatever the material you decide to use, we can help.  Call us for a free consultation with one of our professionals.

From Storage Space to Living Space: Attic Conversions

If you’re looking to expand your living area, look up.  An attic conversion can give you a master bedroom, a private office, or TV room.  But before you determine if converting your attic is right for you, or even doable, there may be obstacles. _DSC0088

Building Codes

Because local codes vary, a building inspector can provide a list of codes and required inspections for your new attic conversion.  Inspectors will take into consideration ceiling codes, joist codes, if rafters can support drywall, lighting, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC system components.  They also examine egress codes.   Regular bedroom egress codes typically require at least two exits — a doorway and usually a window. An attic bedroom requires both a window and a staircase to the level beneath.

Support Systems

The structural framing under your roof will determine if you can add an attic room.  Rafters, internal beams extending from the peak of the roof to its eaves, provide a center open space that you can easily remodel.  Trusses, W-shaped framing that supports the roof, make it harder to achieve room you want.  You might have to cut through, shore up, and alter the very structures that are holding your roof up.  If you have trusses, you’ll be better off looking for other areas in your house to expand.

Extending Systems to Your Attic Conversion

Electrical: You will need to determine if your electric panel has room for additional breakers and can handle the increased load of an attic conversion.

Plumbing:   If you are planning a master suite with a bathroom, it’s a good idea to locate the new bathroom close to the main stack. This reduces the length of pipe you’ll run between sink-shower-toilet drains and the stack, which will cut costs.

HVAC:   Will your forced air blower move enough air to both heat and cool your attic conversion? If it doesn’t, electric baseboard heating and a window air conditioner may suffice. This is information that the electrician will need to know to determine the total electrical requirements.

Gaining Access

An attic conversion requires a standard staircase to meet code.  Adding a staircase will take up space in a room below the attic, so consider converting a closet. You may be able to regain that storage space by using space under the new staircase.

Insulation

How does a space that reaches sweltering heat in the summer and freezing temperatures in the winter transform to your new living space? Insulation!!!  The cost of insulating will also need to be figured into your attic conversion.

If you can overcome these obstacles, attic conversions hold tremendous appeal for homeowners seeking more living space under their own roof.