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What kind of sink & faucet match your cooking style?

October 17, 2016

Plumbing

Kitchen sinks are one of the most functional elements in any kitchen. They’re pivotal in clean up, cooking, food prep, and through all of that, kitchen sinks need to support the design of your kitchen remodeling job.

You should consider not only the material, but the shape, depth and positioning in your kitchen. Many homeowners now prefer very deep sinks that are flush with the countertops. These are often referred to as inset sinks. The benefit with these are mostly in clean up-you can wipe kitchen messes right into the sink without worrying about cleaning around the lip of the sink, since it’s flush with the kitchen countertop.

Other options to consider are: will your kitchen sink be framed by the kitchen countertop or will it extend slightly outward? This treatment is called “apron front”.

In considering material, there are a number of quality kitchen sink manufacturers that provide limitless options. Moen kitchen sinks are gaining in popularity and naturally blend well with their faucet line. From the old option of porcelain-steel and budget stainless-steel sinks, both in the $40 to $60 category, to synthetic composition sinks, kitchen sinks need to be both useful and appealing to the eye.

Cast-iron sinks with an enamel finish are an affordable option. These sinks are durable, however they can be chipped. Many are easily scratched by dark-surface pots and pans, but they are very common and a sink based in white colors accents most kitchens extremely well. For function and design on a budget-this is a great option.

Synthetic-composition sinks, made of solid-surface acrylic or quartz acrylic, are always a safe option. Quartz-acrylic is a new option that offers good durability and heat tolerance up to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. These types of sinks are the most sleek and stylish and are made in a variety of shapes and sizes. They sell for around $300.

Deep bowls for a professional look, and shapes to help with kitchen functionality are all options that are up for customization. A professional is almost always necessary to install a kitchen sink, especially because plumbing is involved.

As far as kitchen faucets, options are innumerable. At one point, a kitchen faucet just was a channel for water to get to the sink. Not anymore! There are a number of styles based on functionality, color and material. From brass, to stainless steel, to plastic molds, there are as many faucet choices as there are types of sink to match them. Some prefer faucets with high sink clearance to help fill pots or for ease of access to the sink. Others may want a standard faucet to complete the look of a traditional kitchen.

Many prefer to choose by brand. Delta faucets and Moen faucets are extremely popular and offer a variety of styles for almost any need. Many name brands like Delta Faucets and Moen faucets offer great warranties too. Some are easy to install but we recommend leaving the work up to the pros.

Contact us today to learn more.

Jim Lavallee Plumbing
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122

 

Thanks to Improve.net for this article!

12 Terrific Sinks Ideal For Small Bathrooms

March 28, 2016

12 Terrific Sinks Ideal For Small Bathrooms
Like many other features in the home, bathroom sinks have transformed over the years and smart designers are coming up with creative ways to showcase and feature beautiful sinks for both large and small bathrooms.Smaller bathrooms require prominent features that make the room stand out. With such a small footprint, gorgeous bathroom sinks give one of the most trafficked rooms in the home the spark it needs. As such, we found 12 bathroom sink designs that are gaining prominence every day.

Note: Some of the sinks below appear in larger bathrooms, but they provide the same spark in small bathrooms as well.

Bathroom Sink

You will see a fair share of vessel sinks in this post. Unlike the old days, design has become just as vital as utility for both guest and master bathrooms. Pictured above, the homeowners went with a vessel sink made of glass, along with a brushed nickel faucet. The dark basin plays well off the light tile countertop.

Kohler vessel sinks have hit mainstream the last few years and according to their website, “Vessel sinks are no longer a trend–they’re part of a design ethic.”

Bathroom Sinks

There’s more than enough space in this large master bathroom for double vessel sinks above a floating vanity. They chose to go with the rectangular design given the abundance of space above the granite counters. While this bathroom is large, wall-mounted vanities are great for smaller bathrooms because they give the illusion of more space.

If you’re thinking of adding a little flare to your master bathroom, check out Home Depot’s extensive bathroom vanity selection.

Conical Sink

Many of us have Asian-inspired bathrooms and if so, a conical sink like you see above is a perfect design compliment. Depending on the color, a conical sink can add elegance and spark to any bathroom. Conical sinks come in a wide array of colors, ensuring there is one out there for any homeowner.

Curved Sink

Stainless steel has been making its way into every room of the house. It already dominates the kitchen with stainless fridges and other appliances, but now, stainless steel sinks are making their way into bathrooms across America.

This steel, vessel sink is rectangular in shape and features a curved back to ensure minimal spillage. Washing your hands can get messy, but the curved design ensures no water makes its way behind the sink.

Terrific additions were also made with the tile-framed mirror and black granite counters.

Wall-mounted faucets have certainly climbed the ladder lately, especially with smaller bathrooms, as they ensure more space for a cozy bathroom counter.

This small bathroom went big with a large, white vessel sink. It gives new meaning to the term basin sink as this beauty certainly highlights this homeowner’s guest bathroom.

It’s true that rustic styles blend quite well with contemporary, as you can see here with the carved wood sink and black faucet. While this bathroom is not small by any means, they too went with a floating vanity and light counters to provide a little contrast from the drawers and sink.

Steel Sink

This sink design combines some of the earlier elements I mentioned such as a stainless steel sink, a wall-mounted faucet and black counters. However, I chose this sink to show eager homeowners that undermount sinks still have their place in fantastic bathroom remodels.

The undermount steel sink blends nicely in this modern design and compliments the black wall and white floor tiles. Despite its small stature, the sink still stands out in this renovation winner.

The minimum cost of an undermount sink is $167.

Trough Sink

This trough sink is certainly a modern bathroom sink feature that lends itself to design more than utility. While it certainly gives off a peaceful and clean modern aroma, it’s not as functional as some of the other sink designs mentioned in this article.

Gold Sink

Some form of color should be displayed in every room around the house, including your guest bathroom. These homeowners did not shy away from color with their gold vessel sink and orange vase beside. Additionally, they added an oil-rubbed bronze faucet giving this bathroom remodel the upscale look they desired.

Farmhouse Sink

Farmhouse sinks have been popping up all over the country, but their design and function lend perfectly to bathrooms as well. Given their large footprint, they may take up more space then you want, but rest assured that no water will be leaving this enormous sink.

Pictured above, they chose a dark brown sink to blend in with the light brown cabinets and tile backsplash. The oil-rubbed hardware keeps popping up as well.

You don’t tend to see copper in bathroom sinks (or sinks in general), but the stamped diamond pattern provides a new design feature we have not seen. Not willing to stick to one material, they went with brown and white marble counters and a ceramic tile backsplash.

Wall-Mounted Sink

For those of you with little space and extra storage elsewhere, this is the sink design for you. On top of their transitional design, with intriguing wall art, they added a wall-mounted white sink with curved edges and a chrome faucet. It’s not your typical bathroom design, but it certainly leaves little room for imagination.

Conclusion

There are plenty of sinks out there that can provide that spark or conversation starter we all seek in our small bathrooms. Going with one of the 12 sinks mentioned above will certainly make them forget how small your bathroom really is.

Ready to revamp your bathroom? Have the professionals at Jim Lavallee Plumbing & Heating do the job!
Serving Eastern Massachusetts and the Boston area
Phone: Toll-free (888) 884-4122

The Art of Refinishing Bathroom Fixtures

June 2, 2014

tubEven as bathrooms become ever more luxurious and high-tech, old-school bathroom fixtures harkening back to an earlier age are gaining popularity. Many homeowners like the idea of restoring the look and feel of their home’s original bathrooms, while others hope to re-create the style of another era. However, reproductions of old-fashioned bathtubs, sinks and toilets can be expensive, with claw-foot tubs often running into the thousands of dollars, not to mention the expense of removing the old tub. In fact, the National Kitchen & Bath Association says an average bathtub removal and replacement costs $3,000. Reproduction pedestal sinks are more affordable, but may not exactly match the bathroom’s original tub and tile.

“Replacing a vintage fixture often takes a lot of time and a significant amount of money for an authentic piece to be located and purchased,” says New York-based carpenter and interior designer Ali Barone.

That’s why many homeowners decide to bring back the beauty of the original fixtures already in their bathrooms by refinishing them at a much lower cost. Here’s how to decide whether refinishing is right for you.

Is your fixture refinishable
“If the fixture you already have is working well, there’s no need to just toss it,” Ali says. “Try to honor its history in your home by restoring it.”

In the past, the process of restoring the like-new look of vintage bathroom fixtures was referred to as reglazing, but experts say that term isn’t really accurate.

” ‘Glazing’ refers to the original, fired process, which can only take place under factory conditions,” explains Don Dominick of Miracle Method Surface Restoration, a national chain of bathroom refinishing franchises. ” ‘Resurfacing’ or ‘surface restoration’ is much more accurate.”

Porcelain, fiberglass and cast-iron fixtures are all candidates for restoration, but Chuck Gabbert of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen in Peoria, Ill., cautions that some fixtures are clearly beyond saving and should be replaced.

“Pitting and really rough surfaces are generally a bad idea for refinishing, because they’ll yield a bumpy-looking surface,” warns Chuck.

For fixtures that can be restored, however, homeowners can either do the refinishing themselves or hire a pro. In either case, the basic steps involve a process of cleaning, sanding, priming, painting and sealing the fixture.

Hiring a pro
Hiring a professional to restore the fixture for you will run between $300 and $1,000, depending on what area of the country you live in and whether the fixture can be restored in place or has to be taken to a refinishing workshop for the makeover. Color options can also affect the price of a professional job.

“Price can depend on whether you want the tub to be all one color or a separate color on the outside,” says Dominick, explaining that most of his customers now request two-color restorations for their vintage bathtubs, with red exteriors increasingly popular. If you decide to forgo the DIY route and hire your project out, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding someone to do the job. With the growing popularity of bathroom fixture restoration, the number of professionals trained to do the work has grown, as well. Most cities and towns now have at least one professional bathroom restoration specialist working in the area. Some are independent contractors, while others are part of a national franchise.

When choosing a pro, be sure to ask how long they have been in business, check references and ask what kind of written guarantee the company offers. As an example, Miracle Method Surface Restoration offers a five-year guarantee against peeling and the introduction of toxic acids into the home. Make sure the price you are quoted reflects either pickup and delivery of the fixture from your home (if the job has to be done off-site), or ventilation and cleanup of your home if the work is to be done on-site.

Supplies
Do-it-yourself (DIY) bathroom-fixture refinishing kits are available starting at about $150, but you’ll also need supplies, including:

 

    • respirator (to be worn while working with chemicals and paint);

 

    • gloves and eye protection;

 

    • high-volume/low-pressure spray gun;

 

    • high-quality sander;

 

    • paintbrushes;

 

    • plastic tarps and masking tape;

 

    • fan to blow fumes away from work area.

The different DIY refinishing kits on the market use slightly different methods, so it’s important to carefully read and follow the instructions that come with your kit. Homeowners who have done it themselves say that restoring bath fixtures isn’t an easy job; it requires patience and careful attention to safety due to the harsh chemicals used in the process.

“I’m very happy with the results, but I’m not sure I would do it myself again,” says homeowner Mark Lampley of Atlanta, who personally restored several fixtures in his 1950s-era bathroom to their original bright, glossy colors. “The hardest part was keeping the room ventilated properly so the fumes (from the stripping chemicals) didn’t make me sick, and getting a smooth-enough finish.”

Ali says she encourages motivated do-it-yourselfers to give restoration a try, but warns against hurrying this complicated project.

“If you do it yourself,” she explains, “it’s very important that all of the steps are followed and you clean all surfaces with an industrial-strength cleaner and sand them well to remove any calcium deposits, rust or peeling paint.”

Instructions

1. Mask all surfaces that aren’t being refinished.

2. Clean to remove all oils, soap scum and dirt from the surface and to achieve a neutral pH balance.

3. Repair any chips, scratches or broken pieces.

4. Bond the tub using a nonacidic bonding agent that will make the new coatings stick.

5. Apply three to four layers of acrylic topcoat. These coatings are specifically designed for bathtubs and are extremely durable. A properly bonded and refinished tub will last for many years.

6. Wait 24 hours to buff and polish the tub. The professional restoration technician uses special compounds and a buffing pad to deepen the gloss and provide a like-new feel to the surface. The buffing also removes microscopic ridges that would hold dirt and soap and eventually make the tub difficult to clean.

Resources

Ali Barone, www.alibarone.com
Don Dominick, www.miraclemethod.com
Chuck Gabbert, www.dreammaker-remodel.com

Do-it-yourself tub refinishing kits:
www.tubbyusa.com
www.integritycoatings.com/test2.htm

National restoration franchises:
www.surfacespecialists.com
www.permaglaze.com

 

(original article)

New Construction

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Remodeling

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  • Bathrooms
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Heating

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