Browsing articles in "Lake Norman Cabinets"
Jul 15, 2019
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Lake Norman Cabinets

Whenever you need to make a major purchase if you are budget-conscious — by choice or by necessity, the best (I would say, only) place to start is by accumulating as much information as you can about the available possibilities. When buying cabinets, an extremely important consideration is to be sure that the measurements you are working with of the involved area(s) are accurate. You certainly do not want to learn too late that your cabinet choices and/or the resulting layout of them might have better met your needs.

In straight-run base-cabinets, one consideration that should be a priority is, if at all possible, to include “roll-outs” (variably called roll-out shelves, trays, etc.) factory-installed inside them; this is because “roll-outs” provide much better accessibility to items stored there (but, if your budget will only allow one roll-out per cabinet, be sure to place it on the cabinet’s bottom level). But, in case you happen to not be replacing perfectly fine base cabinets which do not have “roll-outs”, all is not lost; that advantage can be added later via “inserts”. And, if you are then unable to find “inserts” from a manufacturer, they can be self-built and installed.

If you are remodeling your kitchen (or building anew), you may need to choose a corner cabinet although not all kitchens need them.For example, a “galley” kitchen is called that because the walls (holding cabinets and appliances) that make up the kitchen face each other and, therefore, preclude the need for corner cabinets. Another possible arrangement in this vein would be an “L-shaped” kitchen with a straight-run of cabinets along one wall and another straight-run of cabinets on a wall that is perpendicular to it but separated from it by a doorway or floor-to-ceiling window. Cabinets installed in a straight run do not pose the variety of choices that corner cabinets do; therefore, if your new kitchen, bathroom, or office needs a corner cabinet, having a list of the types of corner cabinets currently available should help you make an educated choice in their shape and size.

Beginning with base corner cabinets, we have: (1) the symmetrical easy reach – this cabinet is the same length on each side of the corner and contains either shelves along its rear walls or a carousel with shelves “pie-cut” to accommodate the doors (a center hinge allows opening either the first door or both); (2) the asymmetircal easy reach — this cabinet is a little shorter on one leg (if it includes a carousel, that diameter will be the length of the cabinet’s shorter leg); (3) the revolving — this cabinet is like cabinet #1 but its doors revolve with the carousel shelves; (4) the diagonal-front — this cabinet allows a full-circle carousel; and (5) the blind — this cabinet looks like a straight-run cabinet but it extends into the corner along the side of an adjoining cabinet, structure, or appliance thus making its “buried” shelves accessible only from the front door (to allow better use of the “blind” corner cabinet, some manufacturers have cleverly created a cabinet with a first section which, on opening the door, pulls out and pivots to the side to expose roll-out trays which can then move forward to present their contents). Finally, there is a sink base corner cabinet that can be either an “L-shaped” cabinet to hold a butterfly sink or a diagonal-front cabinet with a regular straight-line sink — a caveat whenever a corner sink cabinet is used: be sure that adequate standing area (for loading and unloading the dishwasher) is created by placing a 12-inch wide regular cabinet between the dishwasher and the corner cabinet’s side.

Wall corner cabinets include: (1) the diagonal-front — this cabinet has a modified pentagon shape (this is the one most frequently chosen for this position); (2) the easy reach — this cabinet appears to be two adjoining wall cabinets (it has a center hinge to allow opening the first door or both and allows direct access to the contents on the shelves); and the blind — half of this cabinet is buried in the corner itself and can be accessed only by the front door of the cabinet — this cabinet is the unfortunate choice in instances where structure or an appliance allows no other option.

In conclusion then, when choosing cabinets in general and wall or base corner cabinets in particular, your best choices will depend on the size and shape of available space, your budget and the items that you plan to store there. Additionally, you really should make every effort to: (a) be as fully informed as possible about your cabinet options and (b) carefully review all of your decisions before ordering any cabinets — whether or not you have bottomless pockets.


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Jul 13, 2019
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Quartz #1 choice for countertops

According to surveys taken by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), quartz countertops have surpassed granite as the most popular countertop material. Predictions also point toward quartz continuing to grow in popularity over the next several years.

This is good news for homeowners who want a low maintenance and consistent countertop material. Unfortunately, it also means that as demand begins to outpace supply, more dealers may feel compelled to consider importing their countertops from China, where lower cost products have emerged.

While the countertops may look similar on the surface, there can be many problems with Chinese quartz countertops, concerning for both dealers and homeowners.

Resin Pooling

resin pooling

Quartz countertops by name might imply that they’re made of 100% natural stone, but the beauty in this product actually lies in the fact that it’s an engineered stone. Quartz countertops are actually made up of about 93% quartz, mixed together with resin and dyes. This renders the countertop non-porous, durable, and consistent in color in a way that natural stone cannot be.

One problem that has been emerging from overseas quartz countertops – and Chinese quartz countertops in particular – is resin pooling. This is an inconsistency in the countertop that leads to large pools of colored resin marring the surface of the counter.

Inconsistent Material Quantities

chinese quartz

While every quartz manufacturer in the North America follows strict ratios for the amount of quartz and resin they use, many Chinese products are less consistent. Some may use higher percentages of resin with less quartz stone.

This can contribute to resin pooling, and it can also make a more flexible countertop that can bend during transport. The ratio inconsistencies mean that the quality of the countertop is inconsistent, as well. You won’t know the quality of the material you’re buying as you may not be able to detect the problem visually.

Dye Lot Inconsistency

One of the reasons that homeowners like quartz is the consistency it offers in color and pattern. While natural stones like granite can vary tremendously from slab to slab, quartz is usually much more reliable.

There is always some degree of dye lot variation to be expected in any man-made product. However, this variation is controllable to some degree, and while one slab may vary slightly from another, you won’t find a lot of color changes within one slab.

Chinese quartz countertops are more likely to have dye lot variation, because the amount of resin – and therefore the amount of pigment – can vary. In investigations conducted by the US Government as to whether Chinese quartz was harming the domestic market, some slabs were found to have some inconsistencies in the product.

Combined with resin pooling, meaning a countertop can suddenly change color and pattern in some areas, this offers less confidence for homeowners.

Potential VOCs

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a problem with many manufactured products. Some chemicals used in the formulation may give off gas over the first five years of the product’s lifespan.

Therefore, many US states have laws that regulate what chemicals can be used in products that will be used in kitchens and near food. For example, formaldehyde is currently being phased out of cabinetry.

The way that the US defines VOCs and the way that China defines them are two vastly different things. While the US specifies the use of certain chemicals for indoor and outdoor use, China does not. This means that it may be possible that the countertops you receive from China could give off VOCs that would not be present in those made in the US.

Inconsistent Thickness

An additional problem that some dealers are experiencing in Chinese quartz countertops is an inconsistency in thickness. While a slab may be sold as 3cm, it may be slightly thicker or thinner, beyong a reasonable few millimeters tolerance.

In addition, there can be dramatic price inconsistencies between thicknesses, which can mean shortages in some thicknesses of specific colors. For a homeowner that wants one color in two thicknesses in a kitchen, this can be problematic.


As Chinese quartz continues to take up a larger share of the quartz market in the US, tariffs are being considered on their import. Both the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission are looking into duties on future imports of Chinese quartz countertops and are likely to announce duty amounts in September 2018.

This could cause a significant spike in prices, resulting in a drop in Chinese quartz supply. This sudden drop in the market could cause a temporary shortage of product, which means that any dealers and prospective buyers will need to watch the market closely and ensure that they have a consistent supply to meet their customer’s demand.

Chinese Quartz vs North American Quartz Countertops

North American quartz countertops are durable, consistent, and reliable. Unlike Chinese materials, you can trust the quality, color, and material you purchase when you source North American made quartz.

While some Chinese quartz products have seemingly lower prices, this is offset by the lower quality of the product; the countertop may not last as long, perform as well, or give you the desired results. Purchase North American made quartz countertops over Chinese and avoid these issues in the future.

Jul 5, 2019
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Bathroom Linen Cabinets

Why Bathroom Linen Cabinets?

Huge homes and apartments have inbuilt storage space for the household items in every room. The bathrooms are well planned and designed to accommodate the toiletries such as soap, towels, comb, linen, and other accessories. If not in the bathroom, a storage rack or shelf is built somewhere in the passage adjoining the toilets or passages leading to the bathroom. But what about smaller apartments and houses where the number of people are more and the space is quite less?

Why do you need a bathroom linen cabinet?

It is not possible for all of us to construct huge bathrooms in our houses. It is in fact the smallest room of the house. Most of the space is consumed by a wash basin, bath tub, toilet commode, pipes and taps. In such situations bathroom linen cabinets help in holding bulky stuff such as bath towels, linens and wash clothes. Many people also use these cabinets to keep hair dryers, bathroom reading books, newspapers, lotions and creams. They are not just a decorative piece of every bathroom but also help in keeping the things set and managed well.

Varieties of Bathroom Linen Cabinets

These cabinets are available in various designs and sizes to fit your bathrooms. For those who wish to give their bathrooms a modern look, smaller cabinets with more space is available and for those who prefer traditional lifestyle and choose not to make the place look stuffy antique style cabinets are available. You can store more than just linens with proper cabinets that are functional. There are a few linen cabinets that could fit in narrow places such as hallway and passages leading to the bathrooms with no extra space.

For smaller rooms with just a couple of square feet empty space, tall cabinets with drawers will look good. They do not take more than 2′ X 2′ of the floor space. They are long enough to touch the ceiling. As an alternative you can fix the cabinets above the toilet so that the whole of the length above the flush tank is used sensibly and the floor is spared.

Types of Bathroom linen cabinets

Based on the design and the size of your bathroom there are many styles and types of cabinets available. A corner cabinet with a mirror and shelves, a conventional looking cabinet with glass fronts and drawers, wall mounted mini cabinets, built- in cabinets, free standing cabinets and more are the options you get to choose from. While built in cabinets can be set into the wall niche, free standing and corner cabinet occupy floor space. With wall mounted cabinets you can use the space below to keep the laundry basket.

What is your choice?

For those who like to add a touch of tradition to their bathrooms cabinet towers made of wood with carvings and designs are available. The accurate carvings used in such cabinets offer a royal look. Short cabinets that can be accommodated either below the sinks or the wash basins consume the least space. Though the ideal cabinet for any bathroom would be the narrow, long ones which can be placed either in the corners or mounted, the smaller ones fit to the size of the room and the budget too. The wooden cabinets are usually coated with special varnish that can withstand the wet and humid conditions of the bathroom and infestation of insects and bugs.

Secondly selection of the cabinets depends upon what you wish to store. If you do not intend to store too much of linen, opt for the towel racks style which can be rotated. Whatever the style be the materials used to make these cabinets are durable and can withstand the rough conditions of any bathroom. You get to choose from a wide option of metal, steel, glass and wood for a touch of modernism, but just be assured that they are rust free.

The doors of the cabinet are one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a cabinet for your bathroom. Free standing ones have an option of opaque wood and glass doors. While the glass doors suit accessories like perfumes, lotions, creams and other antique items used in the bath, things like bath towels, linens, kid’s toys and wash clothes look better stored in cabinets with wooden doors.

Where do I find good bathroom linen cabinets?

With the internet in rage, there is no other better place to search for the best bathroom linen cabinets. Online shopping sites, cabinet manufacturers and various other sites offer a range of the products which you can choose from. Apart from the product you can also avail customer support services and home décor advices free of cost on those sites. They also do not charge for installation.

Buying tips

When you are buying a cabinet for your bathroom, plan well as you do for any other purchase. It is true that well- designed bathrooms not just makes your bath a rejuvenating affair, but add to the resale value of the houses. Bathroom cabinets are sold by kitchen cabinet retailers, building supply stores, home improvement centres and a couple more. While ready to assemble ones are the cheapest ones, decide on the quality, size, design and decorative elements of the cabinet before purchasing it. Check the drawers of the cabinets. They must move in and out smoothly without any crackling noise. Also they must not sag or come out fully when pulled out completely.

Not but the least check the material used to build the cabinet. Also see if the piece has a good finish and outlook, after all it is going to add good looks to your bathroom and you are paying for it. Check the doors, accessories used, the hinges and other hardware used to make it. Bathroom linen cabinets are one of the best options that offer your bathrooms and clean and tidy look.

Uma V Kulkarni is a freelance writer and teacher who is also a mother of two. Though writing is a pleasure for her, every word, she believes speaks more than they look.

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