Our Top Five Kitchen Tips

By: Mark Noonan                                          Plumbing Mart President

  Planning a kitchen renovation? Take a look at our top five tips to help you plan the perfect kitchen.

  1. Ofeeling to your kitchen – a great solution if you are renovating in a smaller space
  2. Consider a kitchen island. An extra surface in your kitchen can sometimes be a real life saver. Install an island with granite or marble countertop and an undermount sink for extra prep space – or an extra sink to have some hands help you with the dishes. Get a rolling island that can be used as extra seating for guests, or be rolled to the side as a buffet. Don’t think you have enough space? Think again. From rolling to stationary islands, from big to small, there are plenty of options customizable to fit your space.
  3. Create customized storage. Whether you will be installing it in your cabinetry or the kitchen island, consider what you use most in your kitchen, what needs a special space, and determine how you can customize shelving to create a functional space. Upright steel slats create a great place for heavy baking sheets, deeps shelves apen up and use every inch. Instead of upper cabinets, install open shelving in your kitchen so your most-used items are at an easy reach. Not only is open shelving functional, but it also adds a more open and airy re perfect for large bowls, pots and serving dishes, and small cubbies are great for hand towels and small utensils.
  4. Go with glass kitchen cabinets. If you have some beautiful dishware you want to display, glass cabinets installed in the kitchen are the way to do it. With glass cabinets, you create the feel of a piece of furniture in your kitchen, and it can change the dynamic of the typically monotonous wall-to-wall enclosed wooden cabinetry. Also, if you are renovating in a small space, glass cabinetry can help to open up and brighten up your kitchen.
  5. Don’t forget the kitchen sink. When it comes to kitchen sinks, the bigger, the better. If you are going to be cleaning out large pots and cookwear, or have a large load of hand-wash-only dishes to do after a holiday party, you are going to need a big sink to get the job done efficiently. Undermount sinks are also a great option, it makes cleaning a breeze as you can wipe the debris off of the counter right into your sink. When orienting the placement of your workspace in your renovation, place the kitchen sink underneath the window. As much as you may want to forget it, you will be spending at least some time there washing dishes, so why not enjoy some scenery while you’re at it?

5         ½             … And the sink faucet too. High gooseneck faucets make it easy to fill large pots and vases, and to maneuver things in and out of the sink.


How to Narrow Down Renovation Choices

By: Mark Noonan                                                      Plumbing Mart President

Modern? Contemporary? Or traditional?

Granite? Tile? Or marble?

Brushed nickel? Pewter? Or copper?

Bathroom remodeling includes a dizzying array of decisions. There are so many options out there when it comes to styles, shapes, materials, and the newest innovative technologies. Because of this, designing your bathroom for your upcoming renovation is both an exhilarating and exhausting experience. To make life a little easier, here are five steps to help you narrow the field and make the best decisions for your bathroom renovation:

1. Evaluate the needs of the bathroom. Do you prefer soaking in the tub or are you more showering type? Do you often need to share the bathroom in the mornings as your family gets ready to go off to work and school? Consider possible users of the bathroom: guests, family members and future owners. Will your new space work for all ages and abilities?

2. Find your style. It’s in the pictures you’ve saved as you’ve been planning your dream bathroom. Bathroom suites of fixtures, faucets and accessories designed together with just the right touches make it easy to feel confident about your product choices. Need help? Bathroom renovation consultants specialize in helping you find your style. They know the products available, and can help execute your vision through design.

3. Open up some space. If you rarely use your bathtub, consider pulling it out and replacing it with a shower to gain more space. A fixed showerhead paired with a handheld showerhead that has multiple spray functions at the touch of a button is a nice little luxury. If you are remodeling to accommodate an elderly or disabled family member, replace your old tub with a comfortable and accessible seated shower, designed to be easily installed within an existing tub recess.

4. Take comfort. Look for vanities at 36 inches high. Most adults find this height more comfortable and convenient to use. Consider toilets that are “right height” designed to be typical chair height at 16 to 17 inches from the floor to the bowl rim rather than the conventional 14 inches. Single-handle faucets with advanced drip-free performance have smooth and easy operation for temperature control. Or, consider newer touch-free faucets. Look for sink and shower faucets with an adjustable hot limit safety stop to reduce the risk of scalding, especially if children will be using the bathroom.

5. Should you go green? First check to see if you get green for going green. Pluming Mart offers a $60 rebate on energy-efficient toilets for the Mississauga area. A good siphonic dual-flush toilet can cleanly and completely flush as much as 2.2 pounds of solids on the high setting, while using as little as 1 gallon of water for liquids. Look for the WaterSense label to assure you’re getting a top performer. Visit www.responsiblebathroom.com to view all the product options.

Planning a bathroom remodel can take time and research, but having a comfortable, stylish and functional bath to come home to can make your efforts all worthwhile. Whether you are seeking a luxurious sanctuary, a space for the kids to get cleaned up in the mornings, or a place to safely and gracefully grow older, it can all be within your reach.


How a Kitchen or Bathroom Renovation Can Add Value to Your Home

 By:Mark Noonan                                                                               

The kitchen and bathroom are not only the two most important rooms to you while you are living in your home, but they are also the two most important rooms when renovations creates the greatest return on your investment upon resale. But just how much should you expect to invest in a renovation project?

For a kitchen renovation, consider investing between 7.5-10% of the property’s value into the renovation. So if you are living in a $500,000 home, consider spending anywhere from $37,500-$50,000 on your kitchen.

For a bathroom renovation, consider investing between 2.5-5% of the property’s value into the renovation. So, again, for a $500,000 home, consider spending anywhere from $12,500-$25,000 on your bathroom.

The amount of money you choose to spend depends on the use of the space (a powder room renovation would be less than a main bathroom renovation, for example), as well as the quality of goods you wish to put into the space.

In terms of the design features you include in the renovation, consider how long you will be in the home. Strong personal tastes may not be attractive to buyers, but if you are planning on staying in the home for 10+ more years, these options may be more feasible. If you are looking at a shorter time of being in the home, it is best to stay with more neutral feel, something that would be attractive to the widest demographic of buyers.

To maximize resale value, make sure that the renovation is done right. These rooms are where it is most important to hire a professional installer versus the other rooms in your home. Because of the large amount specialty work required (plumbing, electrical, tiling, cabinetry etc), it is best to leave it to the professionals. Professional installers are not only skilled in the trade, but are thoroughly familiar with building codes in order to meet the standards for a home inspection.

All of this being said don’t live and die by the resale value of your home. If there is a design you love, go for it. You are the one living through the renovation and the final product so make sure you love what you have created. Future worth is never a guarantee, so find a harmonious balance between the both personal taste and resale attractiveness.