Remodeling Your Kitchen? You’ll want to check with CR first…

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If you are planning to update or remodel your kitchen soon you’ll want to check out the July 2011 of Consumer Reports. They have a 28 page kitchen section covering everything from coverings (floors that is) to the kitchen sink.  In addition to the usual great in-depth reviews of appliances, including refrigerators, cooking appliances and dishwashers, they review countertop materials, fixtures, flooring, kitchen cabinet, places to buy everything, and general tips to help with your kitchen project.

They noted the “hot” trends in kitchen layout:  pantries, island, and a connection to the outdoors, as well as  a kitchen that is integrated into an open family room space.  Under cabinet lighting was also found to be a must have feature.  We also like to have up-lighting on top of cabinet runs for a nice ambient or night light feature.

For countertops, they rated quartz and granite at the top, with marble and bamboo bringing up the bottom of the list.  The rated flooring in several categories, with plastic laminate, vinyl (which I don’t recommend for environmental reasons – real linoleum is a good alternative)  and pre finished solid wood getting the highest marks.   In the cooking appliance category, they looked at stand alone ranges (gas and electric, gas, induction) , cooktops, wall ovens, microwaves, and range hoods.   The over the stove microwaves were found to fall short in their ability to vent vs. the stand alone vent hoods.   Hotpoint, and GE were found to be reliable brands for electric and gas ranges.  For cooktops you might consider GE and Kenmore and avoid the repair prone Dacor.  They found Frigidaire and GE to be the best bet in the wall oven category, with Thermador the worst.   They reviewed four styles of refrigerators:  The budget friendly and energy efficient top freezer, the newer bottom freezer models (with the french door style dominating), the less energy efficient side by side type, and the pricey built-in styles.   Whirlpool and Kenmore made the top of the list in most of the categories.  Whirlpool also topped the dishwasher list for the most reliable, with LG and Fisher & Paykel (dish drawers) the most repair prone.

For in depth results and tips on how to make your kitchen remodel shine, check out the article on line or grab a copy of the print magazine.  And call us when you are ready to plan your new kitchen!

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