Remodeling Tips and Tricks


Kitchen Layout Efficiency

A kitchen layout will make the difference in how quickly and efficiently you use the kitchen. Our kitchen is the heart of the home. Even if you’re not an avid cook, the kitchen is the space that most people like to entertain in and enjoy spending time with family.  The aesthetics are important, but the function of how your kitchen works is even more important. A poor layout can result in retracing your steps and spending more time in the kitchen can be a turn off to enjoying cooking. Look at these tips on how to layout an efficient kitchen floor plan.

Layout the work triangle:

In every kitchen there are 3 main components that make up the ‘work triangle’. The refrigerator – where food is stored, the sink – where food is washed, and the stove/oven – where the food is cooked, makes up an efficient work triangle. Draw your kitchen as a floor plan and see how your three areas layout. Ideally you would like to go to the refrigerator, to the sink and to the stove in one easy path. If you have to retrace your steps, or walk around obstacles to get to any of the three, your layout is inefficient. But it is understandable that as kitchens grow in size, and feature more than three work spaces, the regular work triangle isn’t always practical. And in many households today, two or more people share cooking duties.

Because of these issues, designers do not always play by the triangle’s rules when it comes to drafting kitchen plans. With many of the kitchens we have helped design, we’ll have more than one work triangle in it if necessary. If you can’t configure the standard triangle, you have to make do by creating the most functional kitchen possible. Remember, your lifestyle should determine the functionality of your kitchen, not the other way around. The work triangle is not a law, merely a suggestion. Although it can be a helpful tool, don’t let it inhibit you from thinking outside the triangle when it comes to designing your kitchen.

kitchen triangle

Standard Layout of a Work Triangle

Layout Work Surfaces: A work surface, or countertop area should ideally be located between each of the work triangle areas. Therefore, between the refrigerator and sink, and between the sink and stove/oven, a countertop area is ideal. In smaller kitchens, a work area in each space may not be possible due to space. The more working areas you can provide yourself, the better. Consider using multi-functional work areas if space is an issue. For example a raised countertop adjacent to a dining area, can serve as a seated bar for eating as well as a preparation work surface for cooking.

Kitchen islands: In large kitchens a kitchen island can cut down on excessive travel to each part of the work triangle.  Consider placing one or more of the work triangle functions at the island. Having a sink in the island will prevent you from walking from the refrigerator to another remote area constantly. Kitchen islands for a small kitchen can be on casters or wheels for temporary use.  An island can be used for storage below, and also serve as an additional work surface.  Consider using a movable kitchen island for convenience and roll out of the way when more people need to fit in the kitchen.

Layout Shape of your kitchen: 
Here are the pros and cons of each type of kitchen:
Layout Example

Layout Example

U Shape:

PROS: This layout offers three sides or walls for the work triangle to be efficient. The cook can maximize their time in the kitchen and won’t get distracted by traffic walking through the kitchen. CONS: Multiple people working in the kitchen at one time may be difficult.

 

 

 

Layout Example

Layout Example

L Shape: 

PROS: This plan allows for more space saving because two of the work triangle functions are on the same wall. This plan is also easier to entertain from, since it is open up to the adjacent room on one side. CONS: Ample counter space room should be given in the crook of the L for maximum usage.  If not, the layout of the kitchen will work less efficiently due to less room to prepare and cook the food.

 

 

 

Layout Example

Layout Example

Galley Shape:

PROS: In this plan the walls are parallel with all of the work triangle functions. It is very efficient due to less area to travel and is ideal for space saving. CONS: This plan isn’t ideal for a lot of people in the kitchen because the traffic area is also the cook preparation area.  This plan can also be difficult to entertain from, unless one wall is open to an adjacent room with a seating bar for example.

 

 

 

Layout Example

Layout Example

G Shape:

PROS: It’s best suited to those who want to pack every square inch of kitchen possible into their space but don’t have room for the clearance required around an island. CONS: Essentially this area is a work aisle, not a walkway. So making the peninsula so short can’t offer enough room to seat a few guests or contain an appliance.

 

 

 

The way your kitchen is laid out will make a difference in how you enjoy and use the space.  If you find your current kitchen isn’t efficient, try to layout another option. It may not be difficult to alter your existing plan.  If you are in the process of remodeling, think of these tips when looking at kitchen designs. Your kitchen is the heart of your home and your family, make it work the best for you!

 

Deciding what layout kitchen works best for you? Is your kitchen large or small? Tell us what you love, or hate about your existing space and submit a project request here or  contact our office.

Small Bathroom Efficiency

If you have a super small bathroom, trying to make everything fit in the available space is like doing a giant crossword puzzle.

Small Bathroom: Among the challenges: configuring the toilet and sink to code, allowing enough clearance for a shower and, of course, where to put the towels and t.p. Despite the challenges, in most cases it’s still better to squeeze in an extra bathroom where one is desperately needed, even if it must be small. If you plan on going this route, here are 11 tips for designing that picture-perfect small bathroom.

Install a Corner Sink

Sometimes even a pedestal sink can disrupt the only available traffic lane in a bathroom. (In this case placing a corner sink across from the toilet works better than a sink across from the shower. The opening and closing of the shower door usually creates an awkward walk-around condition.)

Use a shower curtain

 A shower curtain that moves back and forth saves space over a glass door that moves in and out. Shower-tub combos actually can fit into small spaces, with some tubs coming in at 60 inches in length. or if the shower location is in a tight spot, use a rounded shower curtain rod!

Float the vanity

Besides just visually helping the small bathroom appear bigger, mounting a vanity above the floor frees up a little space for small items.

Round the vanity 

Tight spaces can make sharp corners hip hazards. If the corners of a vanity would get in the way, opt for a rounded style. A round vanity can definitely work in a square space. No more bruised hips!

Extend the counter over the toilet

This elegant arrangement can be done with stone or a wood slab. The extended counter creates just enough space for a few needed items. Toilet placement is not affected, and the look is minimalist and clean.

Skip the shower door

 If your bathroom is about 5 feet wide, that’s just enough space to squeeze in a toilet and a 30- by 60-inch tub. With tight conditions such as these, consider a glass panel instead of a glass shower door. It will keep most of the water in the shower and will free up needed elbow room.

Expand the mirror

In the tightest spaces, having a mirror stretch across the wall instead of just the vanity can enable two people to use it at once. In less-than-ideal space conditions, every inch helps.

Mount the towel bar on a door

 When space is at a minimum, mounting a towel bar on the shower door keeps towels handy. You might need to store bulk of your towels in a nearby linen closet, but having at least one towel nearby is essential.

Install a trough sink

The narrow, clean style of a trough sink is a good-looking space saving solution with a low profile. When  wall mounted,  they free up floor space as well as for storage and foot traffic.

Select a vanity with one shelf

 The small bathroom vanity design  has gotten smarter over the designing years. A box style with one  shelf can hold towels or a basket for toilet paper.

Use a Wall-mounted faucet

Mounting a faucet on a wall delivers a way for a narrower sink or vanity. This leads to more square footage in the small bathroom. It’s a bold but very traditional design move that’ll work anywhere.

 

Feeling the inspiration? Please feel free to contact our office at  (623) 255-4489 or submit a project request with your dream bathroom in mind….

Bathroom Tile Tips

Bathroom Tile Tips for that remodel you’ve been dreaming of in the dizzying world of Tile..

 

  1. Keep Size and Maintenance in Mind 

Lets start off with first step of selecting bathroom tile, the size of tile your bathroom will attain. If you use large tile in a small bathroom, they create fewer grout lines, which make the floor and your walls feel more like one continuous surface rather than broken up by multiple tiles therefor creating the illusion of a bigger bathroom. There is also less tile up-keep with the option of larger tile. Smaller tiles, such as mosaic tiles, are a great option for designs irregardless of the size of bathroom but require more grout maintenance when used in spaces that are constantly wet.  Select a size and maintenance route that works for your bathroom’s size and your lifestyle. 

 

  1. Balance the Tile Type and Dimension

Most bathrooms you see probably have a few different tiles that are used together to create a cohesive look that still has visual interest. When selecting your pieces, try and limit yourself to no more than three different tiles. In smaller spaces, too many types, colors, and sizes will seem overwhelming. If you’re selecting a few different tile sizes, try and make sure that they’re multiples of each other (perhaps a 12in X 12in. floor piece with a 4in X 4in. inch wall selection, and a 1in. X 1in. border accent.) This easy tip will put your mind at ease knowing all your tile is aligned.

 

  1. Opt For a Neutral Floor and Ceiling

In today’s modern style, most people have been using neutral tiles on the floors because an eye-catching color will draw the eye downwards rather than allowing it to see into the space. A neutral floor then works like a subtle base, allowing you to experiment more with accent colors on the walls or a simple accent design on the floor. Depending on your space allowed, opt for a complementary color for your accent. A white or neutral ceiling will have a similar effect when going this route. Such as below shows a neutral base color on the floor with a white ceiling and accents halfway on the wall and floor.

 

 

  1. Color & Texture

Developing a color palette is often the most challenging part of a bathroom remodel, so a good starting point is to begin with a neutral palette. From there find one piece you absolutely love and build around that. It might be a relatively simple piece that you can use nearly everywhere. Or it might be an expensive, striking option that you’ll end up using more sparingly as an accent tile. Either way, once you have that piece picked out, it will be easier to decide on complementary tiles as necessary. The bathroom requires frequent cleaning; smooth, glazed tiles are easy to wipe down, they can also be a slipping hazard. Especially in the shower. For that reason, it’s prudent to choose a slightly textured tile for the floor and a smoother design for the walls. You may also find that a textured piece under your feet feels nicer, or is a little warmer on a cold night, than a glossy finish.

 

 

5. Remember, Grout Is the Finishing Touch

As we mentioned, you’ll want to think about maintenance with grout. This is because it is more difficult to clean than most tiles, also consider color. If you are using a darker piece, white grout lines will contrast sharply, while a grout with a similar tone will be more subtle. If desired it can almost blend in with the rest of the design. One trend we’ve been seeing is people opting for very simple, neutral tiles, like a while subway tile. Then using a brightly colored, eye-catching grout in a fun color for an unexpected, playful touch. Shown on the left is dark piece with white grout for contrast. On the right is showing white subway tile with different colors of grout ranging from white, neutral and dark grout.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready to tackle bathroom with these pro tips? Please feel free to contact our office at  (623) 255-4489 or submit a project request with your dream in mind….

 

Tile Flooring Can Be Better Than Wood

 Wood or Tile Flooring- Can You Spot the Difference In These Photos?

Wood Tile Examples

Wood Tile Examples

There is no wood flooring in any of these photos! Let me tell you why you might consider “wood-look” tile, which has become one of the most popular flooring options in the last year. It just might be a better choice because of durability. Scratches, scrapes, gouges, nicks, dings-these are a less likely to occur with either ceramic or porcelain wood look tile instead of actual wood because it can be softer. Unlike wood, tile doesn’t take on moisture; there’s no warping, cracking, expanding or staining. You can even use it in places like the bath or kitchen, mudroom or even outside! Tile stands up very well outdoors, taking on the natural elements with ease.

The maintenance

On wood tile with there is minimal grout joint sizes or even no grout styles decreasing it even more. Mopping with plain water on a regular weekly occasion with a deeper clean monthly with soap is all that’s required. Easy cleaning to keep your tile floor clean and shining. There are lots of available sizes, widths and lengths of plank style tile with every possible color, texture and finish imaginable. Think Rustic, Distressed, Weathered, Cherry, Oak, Pine, etc. Because wood look ceramic or porcelain tile is made from fired clay, it beautifully mimics the grain and finish of wood.

The durability

Tile is also an excellent heat conductor, a perfect floor if you’re considering radiant floor based heating. Tile also cools off quickly, potentially utilizing your air conditioning and keeping your house cooler in the warmer weather. Unlike wood, ceramic and porcelain flooring really holds up to kids, pets and any kind of high traffic. Slip and abrasion resistance varies among manufacturers and will be another consideration in your flooring choice.  Consider the difference flooring can make to the overall “look” of a room-a new kitchen can have a lovely “aged” look.

The Beauty

Using weathered, hand scraped tiles- white cabinets can be beautifully offset by a warmer weathered floor. Painted cabinets look great with wood-look tiles because they add a contrasting and organic feel to the room. A bathroom with a white tub and/or walls can resonate warmth and an inviting feel with the use of these water resistant wood look tiles. We can design your perfect floor, utilizing the combination of colors, textures and finishes that will bring your living space to beautiful life! Tile floor installation is in of itself a skilled and very precise craft with wood look tile planking even more difficult.

Here at Resco Group Inc., we have a crew with years of experience to lay down your perfect floor.

 

 

 

Sustainability & Water Conservation

Sustainability

…and water conservation have been in the forefront of the news, educating us to these important concerns. The bath space consumes the most water in the home. Did you know the toilet alone accounts for nearly thirty percent of indoor water consumption? The toilet then is one of greatest opportunities to decrease water consumption in the home.  Low flow toilets and manufacturers focusing on greener ways to save water is seen in many toilet brands.  With the right high efficiency fixtures and fittings, saving water becomes second nature.

Form for function

Modern designs look sleek and fashionable while conserving water. Another water conservation area is the shower. The “rain” shower heads use only two gallons per minute and are forward thinking in both style and design. These shower heads mimic rainfall in every aspect. Imagine coming home to stand beneath gentle raindrops washing away the worries of the day!

The Water conservation design..

Designed with a water reservoir that relies on gravity to shape the individual raindrops, the nozzle geometrically produces drops that build in speed and strength. The shower not only looks and feels like a summer rainstorm, it sounds that way, too! The center zone of the shower head is rain-free while the remaining area provides full coverage-an idyllic setting. There you can breathe easy while being immersed in a calming summer rain. Ready to rinse off soap and shampoo? Touch a button for a drenching cloudburst of water that’s positively exhilarating-you can even pair these showers with steam and sound!  Bath manufacturers are clearly using innovation to save water and reuse water in other parts of your home when applicable.

Contact us at (623) 255-4489 for all your bath remodeling needs. We will sit down with you and assist in the design of your new bathroom and discuss the various options. You can be taking advantage of the high efficiency fittings that will look beautiful while remaining environmentally conscious.

Kitchen Island

Kitchen Island

Space

A kitchen Island is a huge trend in modern day kitchens and can have a resounding effect on the atmosphere of your kitchen. Now the most crucial step in designing the kitchen island is making sure there’s enough space. Things to keep in mind are: the walking clearance and the appliance clearance for refrigerator doors and things of that nature-a comfortable clearance for walking and functioning around the kitchen is recommended for 36” or 3 feet. Always make sure the designer keeps in mind to measure out the clearance of the refrigerator door, oven door, pantry door, wine coolers and other things that may need to be taken into consideration, but that should sum up most considerations.

 

Function

Now the big exciting part of a kitchen island is figuring out the style and function. The golden rule is “Form Follows Function”; meaning you want to know what you will be using it for. Islands can have multiple uses such as: a sink, a table, a counter, a seating area, a stove, food storage, etc. This will help determine the shape of your island and how you want it to accommodate you.

Social

The island can be the center of everything, meaning that’s where most social events can happen. Keeping that in mind, implementing seats and outlets in the island is a plus to cater to anyone. This can inspire a second-tier countertop. Even a rounded countertop to make everyone feel more socialized. There are even islands with a sofa designed into it!

Material

After deciding the layout of your Kitchen Island, the last step is the material being used to make it. If it is being used for any hot surfaces, make sure to use a durable surface that is going to be able to handle it. Integrating cutting boards is also a popular trend for people that love to cook. Easy to wipe down surfaces is also a great consideration for the area that is used more socially. Hopefully, with this, you are inspired to consider a kitchen island for yourself.   

If there are any questions or you would like to chat about the possible ideas, please reach out to us here at Resco Group. With 30 years of excellence, we are confident we can build you whatever kitchen island that your imagination can handle.

Resco Group Inc.