The Importance of Great Cabinetry


When you imagine the designer kitchen of your dreams, what do you see? Likely, some shiny new appliances and a dazzling new countertop feature heavily – but what about the cabinetry? Kitchen cabinets form the basis for the structural foundation of any kitchen, and their look and functionality can make or break a kitchen design. In fact, Bob Vila states that he prefers clients to choose kitchen cabinets first because they are the biggest and most important investment in the kitchen. In short, cabinetry is the star of any good kitchen design.

Chances are you’re reading this blog because you’re either considering an update of your existing kitchen or planning a new kitchen for a new home. Take a moment to think about the factors that led you to that decision, and compare your own intentions with the following top reasons for kitchen remodels:

  • Existing kitchen is outdated
  • Deterioration of the existing kitchen
  • Existing kitchen does not fit your lifestyle
  • Special needs family members
  • Desire for change

If you nodded in agreement with any of the above, it may because they remind you of your current cabinets. Like it or not, cabinetry is the main design feature in any kitchen. Their placement determines the layout of the kitchen as a whole, ultimately setting the tone for the design, style, and functionality of your kitchen. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to store all your kitchen gadgets and necessities, and you certainly wouldn’t have a need for the array of countertop appliances available in today’s market.

This article will outline the role kitchen cabinets play in all of the above reasons homeowners typically undertake kitchen remodels. It will also cover all the considerations for improvement and lasting satisfaction when it comes to planning your new kitchen cabinetry purchase.

Your Existing Kitchen Is Outdated

An outdated kitchen is one of the number one reasons homeowners decide to remodel, as well as one of the number one reasons they decide against renting or purchasing a home. Aside from outdated appliances, which come with their own hazards, the most frequently outdated kitchen features are cabinets and countertops. How can you tell your kitchen cabinetry is outdated?

  • Looks. Yes, it’s obvious, but if your kitchen cabinets look like they’re from the 1970s, they probably are – and it’s likely not the aesthetic you prefer. Many trends in cabinetry eventually come back around and retro styles can be chic. However, poorly maintained yellow brass hardware mixed with honey oak – actually old instead of just stylistically so – is not. Basically, if you walk into your kitchen and the sensation that you’re in another decade is an unpleasant one, your kitchen is likely outdated.For your future kitchen, consider the fact that your cabinetry will likely be in place for at least a decade. Use modern, classically appealing woods with standard-sized hardware that you can easily accessorize to fit in any era. Avoid hot trends that may quickly become outdated again.
  • Lack of safety features. Cabinet makers sometimes build outlets and switches right into existing cabinets. If a quick look at your kitchen outlets reveals more telephone line connections than GFCI outlets, your kitchen may be outdated. GFCI outlets shut down electric flow in the case of abnormal flow and are a required safety standard for any kitchen.For your new kitchen, ensure all your electrical installations are up to code. Installing outlets and switches into cabinets may not be preferable with new features like outlet-equipped drawers, but sticking with a standard size ensures cover plates and other elements can easily be swapped out.
  • You can’t find appliances that fit. In decades past, kitchen designers and builders planned cabinet layouts designed for the appliance sizes most common at the time. This is still the case. However, you may notice that your dream refrigerator or that gas range you’ve always wanted won’t fit without seriously reshuffling existing kitchen cabinetry – all the more reason to consider a modern cabinet update for your new kitchen.Standard-sized appliances offer the most flexibility moving forward, but consider your desired layout when planning appliance placement. The workflow of your kitchen should suit you, and quality custom cabinetry can accommodate a wide range of appliance sizes and configurations.
  • Existing storage is odd or doesn’t fit your needs. Consider the things that might have been commonly stored in your kitchen cabinetry at the time they were built. It isn’t likely your grandmother’s kitchen needed storage space for a stand mixer, an electric griddle, an electric pressure cooker, three crock pots and a toaster oven. It’s equally possible you don’t have the desire for cabinets with built-in dedicated recipe card, knife, or plastic wrap storage.Cabinets with highly specialized storage can be a great option for your new kitchen. However, determine the likelihood of continuing to use that specialized storage in the future. A solution like a built-in pot and pan rack will likely always prove useful, while a plastic grocery bag dispenser may quickly become outdated.

Deterioration of Your Existing Kitchen

Though today’s designers build quality cabinetry to last, you may have existing cabinetry that has seen better days. Evidence of superficial damage to cabinet doors may make a reface job tempting, but there are other signs to look for to determine whether you should replace your cabinets instead of only refacing them.

  • External damage. As mentioned, peeling paint or scratched varnish are telltale signs you have damaged cabinetry. Signs of superficial damage not easily covered by a layer of paint or varnish, including deep gouges, cracked doors or frames, and stripped screws. If your cabinet doors are uneven or too badly damaged to reface, new cabinetry is likely a better investment.
  • Poor quality. If your existing cabinets are not of good quality, replacing them with long-lasting, high-quality cabinets often makes more financial sense than spending time and money refacing. Telltale signs your cabinets may have been of low quality to begin with include flimsy interior paneling, the use of poor-quality grades of MDF or particle board instead of more quality versions, joints that are stapled or glued, and flimsy plastic or thin metal drawer slides and shelf brackets.For future cabinets, look for quality. Cabinets should use thick, high-quality plywood for the cabinet box and shelving, and high-quality wood for the doors and framing. All joints should be properly joined and secure, drawer slides should be substantial, quality steel, and shelves should have adequate supports.
  • Internal damage. You are better off replacing cabinets with internal damage than reworking them, especially in the case of water damage. Check underneath the sink and on toe kicks for signs of water damage like swelling, warping, cracking, or peeling and bubbled veneer. You’ll likely need to address the source of the water issue as well, but replacing the interior of several cabinets is an investment that would make more sense going toward new, quality kitchen cabinets.

The Existing Kitchen Does Not Fit Your Lifestyle

Planning a new kitchen layout is often a task best handled by an experienced kitchen designer, but since your family’s kitchen is a central hub in your everyday life, even a designer needs your input regarding the features most important to you. Are you most concerned about functionality while cooking? Is a breakfast bar or large prep space a priority? Consider the following questions when determining which parts of your old kitchen didn’t work and which elements you want to see in your new kitchen:

  • How could this layout be more conducive to cooking? The fact that you’ll be cooking in your new kitchen may seem obvious. However, too many people fail to consider this when determining a new layout for their kitchen. It may seem like a good idea to include a large island for prep space, but if placed wrong, islands can impede the natural workflow between what designers like to call the “work triangle.”The design sense behind the kitchen work triangle aims to minimize steps and improve access to the three major working elements of your kitchen – range, refrigerator, and workspace. Ideally, the elements are close enough to easily accommodate movement between them while cooking, but far enough apart to avoid a cramped space – usually the legs should add up to anywhere from 12 to 24 feet.If your current kitchen includes an island space or countertop between the refrigerator and range, you may have noticed a poor workflow. If kitchen traffic routes through the triangle instead of along its edges, you’ve likely gotten frustrated. Work with your kitchen designer to arrange new cabinetry to route traffic away from the primary workspace, and optimize your workflow.
  • How could this layout better meet my family’s needs? Modern kitchens are often gathering places for families. Is your kitchen conducive to your family’s needs? Do you often find yourself working around children while you cook, or unable to supervise while you clean up?


Modern kitchen spaces often call for a space children can gather to do homework, socialize or watch as their parents cook. If your current kitchen is short on extra space, or locates features such as a breakfast bar right next to a stovetop, your family’s needs are likely not met. Similarly, if your kitchen cabinets block your view of your family so they are out of your line of sight, you need to address your cabinetry layout.

Consult with your kitchen designer and look for elements like raised cabinets and taller countertops to keep children’s work areas away from kitchen appliances. Or, consider an extra workspace alongside the kitchen area for homework and other activities. Finally, planning a kitchen cabinet arrangement with an open view into the family’s gathering area can help you make sure your kitchen meets your family’s needs.

  • Is this kitchen too big? Too small? Most kitchen renovations’ goals aim toward increasing the overall size of the kitchen space. However, consider your current kitchen. Do you find yourself wishing you had more storage space? Perhaps a set of built-in pantry cabinets or a walk-in pantry or butler’s kitchen may be a better fit than a kitchen that’s more spread out. Do you often wish you didn’t have to move quite so far between the refrigerator, stove, and workspace? It’s possible your kitchen is either not arranged well or is just too big.Many kitchens are cramped, and making good use of a larger space is something a kitchen designer should be ready to help with. Ask how to arrange your cabinetry to find the best kitchen footprint for your home. Bigger may be better, but that isn’t always the case.

You Have Special Needs Family Members

If you or someone in your family has special needs, you have likely already lamented the shortcomings of your current kitchen. How could you change your cabinetry to allow better access for those individuals? The following considerations may help:

  • Accessible entrances. With today’s open floor plans, kitchen entrances are not always framed doors. Designers need to consider any pantry entrances, islands, peninsulas, and other openings between cabinets as well. Leave a few extra inches on each side for access by individuals using wheelchairs or walkers.
  • Accessible appliances. Popular kitchen appliance placement may not work for a family member with special needs. For example, cabinet configurations with built-in range microwaves will not likely work for an individual in a wheelchair. Similarly, a wall oven unit and a countertop range with a cabinet layout allowing knee space under the range top may be preferable to a standard range; forgoing cabinet boxes for knee space underneath kitchen sinks is an option as well.
  • Cabinet height. Lower kitchen cabinets come in a variety of heights – consider your family’s special needs when choosing a height. Individuals who have trouble stooping may prefer higher countertops, while those in wheelchairs or those who must sit to avoid fatigue may prefer cabinets lower than typical “counter-height.” You can vary the height of the workspaces in your new kitchen to accommodate both preferences. Built-in workspaces that pull out, such as cutting boards, may be an option to consider as well.
  • Pull-out drawers and storage. Cabinets with features such as sliding organizers you can pull out for easier access likely appeal even to those without special needs. Accessing heavy items like pots, pans, and stand mixers is much easier when you don’t need to lift the items out of a tight space first. Ask your kitchen designer about these features and others such as pull out spice racks, cookbook holders, trash bins, and more.
  • Upper cabinet access. Upper cabinets can be fitted with pull-down shelving to provide easier access to dishes and items typically stored above the counter. These options are more specialized and not commonly found in typical kitchen design. A cabinet maker can retrofit your new, high-quality cabinets to meet your needs. Ask your kitchen designer for more details about their availability.

You Simply Desire Change

After all this detailed consideration of your current kitchen, you may find your desire for a new kitchen has little to do with any one specific issue with your current kitchen’s cabinet quality, age, or layout. Perhaps you simply desire change. What are some practical and aesthetic considerations when choosing your new cabinets?

Budget and Quality

There are three basic tiers of cabinets, based on quality, materials, and budget.

  • Big box retailers and home improvement centers often sell stock or budget cabinets. The seller usually delivers the cabinets assembled, and possibly frameless. Typically, stock cabinets use MDF or pressboard instead of high-quality wood, and may limit your selection of style, color, size, and accessories. Stock cabinets begin at around $70 per foot.
  • Mid-range cabinets often appear higher-end than stock cabinets. They may have a framed face, with wood around the cabinet door, and may offer more customization options. Quality may be higher than that of stock cabinets, but mid-range cabinets typically use pressboard boxes as well. Mid-range cabinets begin at around $150 per foot.
  • Premium cabinets are not plywood boxes, meaning their construction is sturdier than other types of cabinets. Since premium cabinets can either come fully custom or semi-custom, they offer a far wider range of sizes, colors, styles, and accessories. Premium, semi-custom cabinets begin at around $500 per foot, though fully custom cabinets can be much more expensive.

Basic Style Choices

Basic cabinet style selection is important – in today’s open floor plans, your cabinets will likely be visible throughout a large portion of your home. As such, making a choice should weigh three different design elements – box and frame style, door style, and wood type or color choice. Consider the overall look you want to attain and determine which are right for your new kitchen.

Box and Frame Styles


Box and frame styles appear in two major types – framed and frameless cabinets.

  • Framed cabinets have the box fronted with a wooden face frame that surrounds the cabinet door when it’s closed. Frames stop drawers when they close and provide a surface for door hardware to attach to. Frames can also come in various widths, colors, and styles based on your personal preferences.
  • Frameless cabinet boxes have no wooden face frame on the front. As a result, drawer and door hardware must attach directly to the box itself, leaving a uniform exterior. Frameless cabinets often require reinforcements or must use higher-quality box materials to ensure stability, particularly to support countertops.

Door Style Selection

Door style is what people often think of when they think cabinet styles, and for good reason; doors are perhaps the biggest influence on a cabinet’s overall style. Doors are highly visible and make up most of the viewable square footage of your cabinets. Careful choices regarding door selection are crucial if you are aiming for a modern style that will not feel dated too soon.

Some popular door styles include:

  • Flat panel. These doors have no frame and are comprised of one solid piece of wood. Often found on frameless cabinets or used to make framed cabinets appear frameless, these doors are modern in style and easily hide any hardware.
  • Mission. Mission doors involve a simple raised frame with a recessed, flat panel. Mission doors appeal to many design styles due to their clean lines and classic look.
  • Shaker. Shaker doors appear similar to Mission, though they may have a little extra detail or routing in the typically wider frame.
  • Raised-panel. In raised-panel doors, the center panel is beveled and protrudes until it is even with the frame. Most stock paneled entry doors in your home are probably raised-panel.
  • Beaded. Beaded panel doors have beadboard paneling inside the frame. These doors often appeal to a traditional or country aesthetic.
  • Cathedral. Similar to mission doors, cathedral doors have an arch feature at the top of the frame, overlaying a recessed panel.

Color and Finish

You’ve determined the layout, frame style, and door type that best fits your kitchen footprint and design style – now comes the fun part. Wood types aren’t nearly as varied as the colors you can paint or stain them with, but some tried and true varieties are popular in cabinet making.

  • Birch has a distinctive grain and is often used for a more custom, modern or contemporary look.
  • Maple is often chosen for its light color and grain, which make it readily able to accept a variety of different stains and finishes
  • Red Oak has a large grain but takes stain well and is conducive to country finishes.
  • White Oak has a finer grain but is still decidedly rustic. Both oaks are sturdy, popular choices for traditional or country styles.
  • Cherry is popular for its red-brown color and its durability. It pairs handsomely with a dark brown or deep red stain.
  • Ash has a fine grain and is appropriate for modern or contemporary designs.

After you’ve chosen an ideal wood for your cabinet construction, your selection of paint color or stain is purely up to your individual design aesthetic. If you have an open layout, consider how the color you choose will juxtapose with any existing flooring or other wood built-in elements in the rest of your space. Cabinet and floor colors should be complementary, not matching, and the stain or paint you choose should be in keeping with the style of the rest of your home.

Whether you’re remodeling your existing kitchen or building a new home, your kitchen footprint depends largely on your cabinets. No matter the reason for your new kitchen, keep these considerations and tips in mind when you’re choosing the ultimate star of your new space – your kitchen cabinets. Your cabinets are an investment in your home’s future, and we at Bradco Kitchens & Baths are happy to answer any questions you may have. Feel free to reach out at any time.

What Type of Cabinetry Is Right for You?

In today’s hectic lives, the kitchen can be a place to reflect and spend time as a family. On the other hand, it could also be a place full of activity – you could be cooking, supervising homework, putting away groceries, and playing referee, all at the same time. You need a kitchen space that works well for your family’s needs and has plenty of storage to hold pots, pans, food, even homework materials.

Your kitchen cabinets are an important consideration when working on building a new kitchen model or remodeling an old one. If you’ve even done a casual perusal of cabinet models, you know there are more differences than just color. Cabinets vary in frame, size, depth, aesthetic, and much more. The right kind of cabinets will help you maximize your available space and make your kitchen an enjoyable family area for years to come.

One of the first considerations to make, based on your budget and family’s needs, is choosing between a framed, inset, or frameless cabinet style. What’s the difference, and which is right for you? Here’s what you need to know.

Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets, also known as European cabinet style, as the name implies, are modern styles of cabinet fabrication that utilize newer hinge designs that make installing a frame unnecessary. There is no frame to the face of the cabinet, as the hinges install directly into the cabinet box wall sides. As such, frameless cabinets tend to lay flush against the body of the cabinet box and there is no space between the box and the door.

Benefits of Frameless Cabinets

Frameless cabinets started in Europe, where they are in wide use. However, the style is becoming rapidly more popular stateside as homeowners in America begin to discover its benefits. The main benefit is that it’s easier to access the items inside the cabinet space due to the frameless nature of the cabinet and the drawer boxes are wider – for this reason, frameless cabinets are a full-access design.

Once you install your frameless cabinet, there will be no center stile and the drawers and cabinet spaces are often bigger because the face frame is no longer present. For these reasons, frameless cabinetry may be a good fit for larger families or those who love to cook and have a lot of kitchen equipment. Aesthetically, frameless kitchen cabinets lend a sleek, modern feel, so they’re a good option for newer construction or people who want to remodel using a midcentury modern design. More so than any other style of cabinet, frameless designs will maximize your storage space.

Framed Cabinets

A framed cabinet is the most traditional, common type of cabinetry available on the market. As the name implies, this cabinet gets its name from the face frame on the front of the cabinets. The face frame is the front of the cabinet box. In a framed style, the front of the box is not cut out completely, but there’s a big enough hole to access the contents inside the box.

The Benefits of Framed Cabinets

Framed cabinets have been a mainstay in American households for decades. They’re the so-called workhorse of cabinet fabrications, because they’re stronger and can withstand the abuse of slamming and exploration of young children. This makes them a popular option for younger families. Since they’re ubiquitous, they tend to come at a lower price point than other models, though variation exists.

Providing a frame around a kitchen cabinet helps it hold up better over time, so a framed option will be around for many years. The installed hardwood helps prevent cabinet sagging, which can occur in other fabrications.

Framed cabinets are also popular in America because of the virtually limitless stylization options available. Overlaid frames, for example, make the boxes virtually invisible and an attractive alternative to frameless cabinets. Visible frames also allow for custom painting and contrast that lends a rustic or unique air to your kitchen.

Framed cabinets, since they’re the most popular, are likely the style of kitchen cabinet you’ve seen in kitchens your entire lifetime. They’re prized for their durability, contemporary and American aesthetic, and level of customization available.

Inset Cabinetry

Finally, inset cabinetry offers a historic, vintage, furniture look, where the door fits flush into the face frame. As movements like the modern farmhouse become more popular, inset cabinets are making a comeback. This style of cabinetry, technically a version of framed cabinets, offers a look that is both traditional and individual. They’re sure to be a conversation piece for guests in your kitchen. They requires considerable more detailed construction.

Benefits of Inset Cabinets

Since inset cabinets lay flush with the face frame, they are appealing for their smooth and clean furniture appearance. They also require a knob or pull as hardware, which allows you to play with the aesthetic you want for your kitchen. Overall, inset doors are a higher-end version of cabinetry that lends an air of Old-World historic charm. Overall, inset cabinets cost a little more than traditional framed cabinets.

Inset cabinets can also have minor downsides, such as less storage space compared to the other two models. As such, they might be best for families where storage space is already ample, or storage needs are less intensive.

Which Cabinet Style Should You Choose?

Ultimately, a cabinet style does not automatically dictate the style or taste of the kitchen. All cabinet styles have their benefits and downsides, so your main concern should be the functionality as it related to your family’s needs. If you’re a seasoned cook, host lots of holidays and family gatherings, and need ample kitchen space, a frameless option might be best for you. If you tend to have more takeout menus than pots and pans, you could choose an inset cabinet if you enjoy the aesthetic.

At the same time, the level of customization for each style of cabinet is remarkable. For example, you could choose a traditional aesthetic while using a frameless cabinet or you could have a modern kitchen with sleek lines and inset cabinets would still work well. In other words, the style of cabinet you use will not limit your design potential for other aspects of your kitchen design.

Once you decide on a cabinet style for your kitchen, you have one more important consideration: what will you top them with?

Types of Countertops and Their Benefits

Like cabinet fabrications, many types of countertops exist. However, these tend to vary in terms of material as well as aesthetic, which can affect their functionality based on your family’s needs. Some of the more common countertop materials include:

Granite

Granite countertops are among the most beautiful. They lend a classic elegance and air of sophistication to any kitchen space. Prized for their durability, your granite countertops might be the last installation you ever need.

On the other hand, granite countertops do require some maintenance, and they’re durability and beauty come with a higher price point compared to some other materials. But if you’re committed to caring for them, you could enjoy them for decades to come.

Granite countertops are natural stone and usually come from quarries around the world. An igneous stone, it starts rough and textured, but grinding and polishing give it its unique appearance. Each piece of granite is completely unique, which is part of its appeal.

Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops

Choosing a granite countertop for your kitchen has distinct advantages and disadvantages. These include:

  • They’re beautiful and durable.
  • They can seamlessly accentuate the look of your new kitchen cabinets.
  • They’re ecofriendly because of their natural sourcing.
  • With proper care, they’re durable and strong.
  • They are resistant to scratching and damage from heat.
  • When sealed and cared for appropriately, they are stain-resistant and simple to clean.

The key to having granite countertops is proper sealing and maintenance. Failing to reseal your granite countertops often enough can lead to staining, since granite is a porous material. Additionally, poorly sealed countertops can breed and harbor bacteria that could make your family sick. Choose this stone if you’re committed to its maintenance.

Marble

Marble is another high-end kitchen countertop design that, with its rich veining, offers an air of class to your kitchen. When combined with high-quality hardwood cabinetry, classic elegance results. Marble is a timeless choice for homeowners who desire premium materials.

If you need further convincing, consider that some of the world’s most famous works of sculpture are marble – Michelangelo’s David is a good example. This should tell you a couple things – first, that it’s beautiful. In fact, the world marble is derived from the Greek word for sparkling or gleaming. It’s also pliable and softer than other forms of countertop material, such as granite.

Several different kinds of marble exist, and the color will tell you where in the world it’s from. Green marble, for example, hails from Ireland, where pink variations most often come from Georgia. White marble can come from the U.S., Russia, Germany, or Italy. Each type of marble comes in different graining and veining, giving it a distinct appearance.

Last, marble also comes in different variations such as matte, polished, or leather finishes. Matte finishes are soft, but the colors are muted. Polished marble sparkles but is most susceptible to scratches. Finally, leather finishes tend to be the most popular because they’re the most durable and hide fingerprints.

Marble develops a “patina” that makes it age over time, which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferences. It tends to scratch easier than other forms of countertop materials, but it has a high resistance to heat. With so many levels of customization available, it plays well with a variety of kitchen aesthetics, from contemporary or rustic to sleek and modern.

Quartz

Countertops made of quartz are one of the most attractive options for busy families, because they’re workhorses capable of withstanding a lot of damage. If your kitchen counters serve as food prep spaces, homework tables, makeshift workspaces, and more, a quartz countertop might be right for you. It’s one of the toughest materials out there and is beautiful, to boot. It will provide your busy family with durability for years to come while maintaining its aesthetic.

Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors, from bright colors to black. A range of beautiful neutrals also exists, from browns and creams to grays and taupes. Because it’s a synthetic material, the maker can color quartz countertops to make them any hue you can think of, while providing a feel like natural stone.

Unlike granite and marble, high quality quartz is an engineered product that should have around 90% quartz, which is a material abundant in the earth’s crust. The remaining 10% is binder and coloring. Quartz gets ground down and mixed with a polyester resin to create an extremely strong material that can withstand heat, heavy materials, and scratching. In aesthetic, it’s similar to marble or granite.

The customization level for quartz is nearly limitless, since it’s an engineered material. Unlike natural stone, it does not require regular sealing or maintenance. Since the resin makes it non-porous, it does not harbor bacteria and is easy to clean. The more quartz the better the product.

Always go for the material that has at least 90% quartz, the less resin the better.

Paperstone

Paperstone is a unique countertop material that is becoming more popular, particularly in modern homes. It’s a composite engineered product made from 100% recycled paper, resin, and natural colorants. Don’t let the name fool you – since Paperstone is compressed so tightly and densely, it is completely impervious to moisture and is nonporous. As such, it is easy to care for and does not harbor dangerous bacteria.

Many American households are turning to Paperstone, because it’s practical, beautiful, and easy to clean. It’s chemical- and stain-resistant, as well as relatively resistant to heat. It’s prized for its durability; its original use was for skateboard half pipes.

Aesthetically, Paperstone looks and feels warm and looks like it has a patina. This means it could play just as well in rustic or historic kitchens as it does in more modern designs.

Last, since Paperstone is designed with 100% post-consumer recycled paper, it’s both eco-friendly and sustainable. This makes it an attractive option for environmentally conscious households. It’s nontoxic and food safe.

Vetrazzo

Vetrazzo, or recycled glass countertops, have a completely unique look and feel that work in homes in a variety of designs. Depending on the type of glass used and the coloring, Vetrazzo countertops can appear modern or work well in a rustic or historic home. They can be manufactured to look antique or minimalistic. Vetrazzo countertops are durable but are not always the right choice for families with young children.

Glass countertops are made from up to 90% post-consumer recycled glass and are a relatively new innovation – they’ve only been in American homes for about 20 years. These glass pieces are held together with cement and are a popular choice for the eco-friendly homeowner. They are also customizable based on the color and aesthetic you want for your home.

Like most manufactured materials, Vetrazzo countertops are nonporous and easy to clean. They create a hard surface that is resistant to chipping and cracking when installed properly. They are not a good option for DIY installations, as improper technique can create stress points that can lead to cracking.

No two Vetrazzo countertops are alike, which makes them an attractive option for creative homeowners. As an owner of a Vetrazzo countertop, you have the benefit of knowing you own something completely unique.

Wood Countertops

Finally, wooden countertops are a popular option in kitchens across the country. They lend a warm and inviting feel that plays well with a variety of textures such as exposed brick and other traditional or rustic finishes. Wood surfaces are excellent for food preparation and play well in conjunction with other countertop materials such as quartz or granite. For example, a kitchen island might look good in an exotic wood like Parota paired with natural stone. Reclaimed wood countertops are also becoming more popular because of their eco-friendliness and rustic charm.

Wooden countertops lend a naturally beautiful, earthy air to a kitchen. They are an ideal match if you enjoy baking or cooking regularly, since they hide cuts and scratches well. If anything, it naturally lends character to the home. Even after years of use, wooden kitchen countertops can be sanded down and resealed, providing decades of use. It also pairs well with a variety of kitchen cabinetry and home décor. However, since wood is a porous material, it requires regular maintenance and sealing to prevent the growth of bacteria, especially on meal preparation surfaces.

Remodeling or designing a kitchen comes with many important considerations. Arguably, two of the most important are the two that represent the most significant investment – your countertops and cabinetry. Each type comes with its advantages and you must consider your family’s intended use and time for maintenance as you make your decision. Use this as a guide to create your dream kitchen based on your needs. Should you have any questions about the materials listed here or anything we offer, feel free to contact us.

Do I Really Need A Kitchen Designer?

There’s no doubt about it, kitchen and bath remodeling can be a seriously dusty, dirty and gritty endeavor. Like any journey, much hassle and lost time can be avoided by choosing the right guide to reach your destination. In the case of a kitchen remodel and bathroom remodel, proper knowledge and planning can mean a substantial reduction in overall cost. Going with experience allows for the proper space planning in the kitchen and space planning in the bathroom to create kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets that are both useful and beautiful. A professional can foresee and avoid common problems, and can also help clients to prepare a sensible kitchen budget and sensible bathroom budget.

Rachel Pasterino, lead designer at Bradco Kitchens on Venice Blvd., a company that specializes in kitchen cabinets in Los Angeles and bathroom cabinet in Los Angeles stipulates that, “The knowledge a professional contributes can make an astounding difference in kitchen design and bathroom design. I find that my clients are pleasantly surprised by the wealth of ideas a seasoned kitchen designer and bathroom designer brings to the table when planning a kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel.”
Kitchen design and bathroom design require a very specific knowledge of all the components such as the plumbing fixtures, kitchen cabinets or bathroom cabinets, kitchen countertops or bathroom countertops and kitchen appliances. When a kitchen designer or bathroom designer is seasoned and experienced this can have a serious impact on the budget of a kitchen remodeling project or bathroom remodeling project, savings the client thousands of dollars. Your kitchen and bathroom should be designed as a unique place that perfectly suits your needs and lifestyle. Going with a professional kitchen designer or bathroom designer guarantees that your Los Angeles home renovation is done properly the first time around, greatly eliminating costly changes and mistakes that can plague large home remodeling projects.magnifying-glass-clipart-transparent-background-9i4lra6ie

Why Choose Green Cabinetry?

Green Cabinetry in the kitchen

Green cabinetry is on the rise and as the world strives to reduce it’s carbon footprint, it’s only going to get bigger. People are becoming more conscious of the environment every day. The great thing about green cabinetry is that it’s good for your health!

So what is it all about? When someone says they want green cabinetry, they are looking for cabinetry with the least toxic materials possible. The cabinetry should also be built from sustainable materials. It’s important to go through the process of FSC certification for your cabinetry especially if you’re trying to build a project that gets lead points (think points from government and tax incentives).

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council, and their mission is to promote the environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable management of the world’s forests through standards development and certification. This organization has been around since 1993 as a market-based conservation tool to promote responsible forestry. As a business, it’s especially important to have your products FSC certified because they fulfill corporate social and environmental responsibility goals when it comes to green cabinetry. It shows your support for responsible forest management in the eyes of customers, businesses and the public.

Purebond Plywood

Most non-green cabinets contain a very dangerous chemical: urea-formaldehyde, generally found in the glue or preservation of cabinets. The presence of urea-formaldehyde will seep harmful fumes into your household for years. Not only can it can cause runny eyes and nose, but it’s also been proven to cause cancer. This is why you want to buy cabinets compounded from urea formaldehyde-free plywood called PureBond from Colombia Plywood. This product also has low to no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC),  which otherwise could cause asthma or other severe health complications. These VOC chemicals are especially dangerous for children and animals because they sink to the ground and are very difficult to get rid of.

Another option of green cabinetry would be to make your cabinet doors from recycled wood. A factory can have other green components such as recycling sawdust created in-house.  You want to be conscious of all these options to make your green cabinet search as non complicated as possible. The closer the cabinet maker is to the job site, the less carbon footprint there will be on your cabinetry work.

Lyptus Cabinets

So what type of wood products are best to use for green kitchen cabinets? You generally want to use fast growing lumber or grass. The most popular materials would be bamboo, Lyptus (fam of eucalyptus), Alder, European beachwood, etc. All lumber should be readily available and NOT from something like a majestic hundred year old oak tree, which serves better as a tree than your kitchen drawers. For “finishing” your cabinets, you want to use VOC-free stains or water-based stains and paint. Today’s water based stains are more durable than oil based and they don’t turn yellow!

There is virtually no difference in appearance or design between green and regular cabinetry. Be wary of some companies that will try to overcharge you; they’re only slightly more expensive than regular cabinets. They also take the same amount of time to install. You’re getting the same look and process without harming the planet or your body. All of this makes green cabinetry a no-brainer. Start making positive changes in your house by going green and choosing green cabinetry.

For more information on the benefits of green cabinetry or to find out about purchasing this type of material contact us at Bradco Kitchens & Baths
6011 West Pico Blvd.,
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (424) 209-2309
Fax: 323.939.9354

Yelp Review By Rina P.

If I could give Michael and his associates at Bradco 6 stars instead of 5, I would. We gutted our kitchen completely and now have an AMAZING, custom built kitchen, all thanks to Michael. We actually did the remodel almost a year ago exactly, but I have been too busy cooking to post on Yelp!

The designer at Bradco that we worked with was beyond patient- supplying my husband and I with every price option for every cabinet option known to man. I am 100% a bargain shopper, but I also wanted the best quality for my money. Here, let me just number all the wonderfulness for you:

1. Instead of choosing a stock cabinet from another company, Michael worked with us and crunched the numbers to be able to offer us CUSTOM made (I’m talking color, design, wood type, everything!) cabinets that he has made in his very own factory. We got solid wood (no mdf), formaldehyde-free, eco-friendly cabinets for only $2k more than omega brand stock stuff. I’m pretty sure that’s unheard of in the world of custom cabinetry.

2. We keep fully kosher and were trying to fit 2 huge sinks, 2 dishwashers, and 2 ovens all into a kitchen that previously had 1 of everything, without knocking down any walls. The design team at bradco were able to fit everything in while maintaining a beautiful, modern, and symmetric look to the kitchen.

3. When we had our final quote from Bradco for both the materials and the construction, I showed that quote to several contractors, ALL of whom said they couldn’t beat Bradco’s price.

4.When construction began, Eli (the foreman) and Jose (the head guy) were excellent in every regard. They essentially created a plastic-covered walkway in and out of the house to minimize dust and mess. Jose and his team showed up when they said they would (they always asked me when they could come- would 8 am be ok? 7:30?) and left at appropriate times in the afternoon. None of this banging on my door at 6 am or meandering around past dinnertime making noise. I trust Jose completely and would leave him a key when I was out. I even asked him to babysit my kids, but no such luck (yet!)

5. When things didn’t fit or there were questions, Michael would appear out of thin air to help me. Yes, the OWNER would show up at my house and crawl under the sink and tinker and mumble until everything was fixed and I was happy. How’s that for personalized service?!

6. It’s been a year and I still walk into my kitchen and smile- not only because it’s beautiful and functional beyond belief, but because the experience of gutting a kitchen and living amid construction for 6 weeks (yes, they actually finished on schedule!) was in every way easier than anybody had ever described to me. Thank you so much, Bradco!

Read review here

Yelp Review By FreshEvents L.

This is by far the best Kitchen and Bath showroom in Los Angeles.

They have a great blog that caught my eye, the featured article was on Custom Green Cabinetry in Los Angeles. A topic that I am not that familiar with in general, but I do like to support sustainable design, so I read on and eventually went into their showroom to have a look around.

Great selection and nice designers on site, available to help me through finding some cabinets for my mothers kitchen renovation project.

This is a great Kitchen and Bath showroom in Los Angeles and I would be happy to recommend their services and products, especially their custom cabinets to my friends and family.

Read review here

What is Sustainable Wood?

There is no clear cut definition of what sustainability is. The World Commission (Bruntland 1987) has broadly defined sustainability as “development that meets needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Luckily, when it comes to wood and forestry, there is a clear definition:

“the capacity of forests, ranging from stands to ecoregions, to maintain their health, productivity, diversity, and overall integrity, in the long run, in the context of human activity and use.”

What does that mean? It means trees should not be cut down faster than what is necessary to keep the earth safe and habitable for humans.

Why use sustainable wood?

In general, wood is a more eco-friendly choice. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the leading gas contributing to the greenhouse effect. Trees “breathe” CO2. They store the carbon-C and release the oxygen-O2. Most cubic meters of wood have about 0.8 to 0.9 tonnes of CO2.

1 tonne CO2 = 556,000 litres or 556 cubic meters (about the volume of a 3 bedroom house)

On average, 1.1 tonnes CO2 emissions would be produced for each cubic meter of a manufactured material such as plastics or other materials that aren’t eco-friendly. So by selecting wood over a less eco-friendly product you are essentially saving 2 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

In addition, if you select wood from a sustainable source that wood is being replaced by new growth.

What kinds of woods are sustainable?

Bamboo – Grown on immense plantations in China, Vietnam, other Asian countries and is over 1/8 of the forests in India. Bamboo is fast-growing and is ready to harvest in 4-6 years! Due to its fast rate of growth, it utilizes much less fertilizers and pesticides. Technically it’s grass and not wood, but is more durable than many hardwoods due to its pore structure – it’s the same as wood. Its light in color like ash or maple.

Cane – Like bamboo, it is a grass, but is stronger and more flexible. It is indigenous to the Phillipines and like bamboo it is also 100% sustainable.

Mango – Chances are you’ve eaten a mango, afterall it is the world’s #1 fruit! Mango trees provide fruit for 15 years, after that, they stop. So the wood is harvested and new trees are planted.

Maple – It is a relatively fast growing tree; growing 18” or more per year.

Lyptus – Lyptus hardwood products are an excellent option when selecting an exotic species grown to sustainable forest certification standards. Offering all of the benefits expected of a tropical hardwood, Lyptus hardwood is ideal for cabinetry, millwork, furniture and flooring applications.

What are the worst woods to buy?

Obviously, buying wood from endangered species is not a good idea. Luckily, in the US it is prohibited so your chances are very slim.
Stay away from slow growing trees such as Oak, Redwood, Beech and Colorado Spruce. However, these are great trees to select when landscaping your home! Medium growth rate trees such as red oak, birch and red-bud have medium growth rates and should be okay when purchased from sustainable resources.

The Forest Stewardship Council is an international not-for-profit organization that has created a set of standards that finds solutions for existing bad forestry practices and promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. By purchasing products with their label, you are supporting environmentally responsible management of the world’s forests.Forest certification systems are being implemented around the world. The five largest systems operating in North America are the FSC, SFI, ATFS, CSA, and PEFC.

For more information, about formaldehyde-free cabinets made from sustainable wood, contact Bradco Kitchens & Baths at (323) 936-3457 or visit their showroom at 6011 West Pico Blvd, LA 90036 (at the corner of Pico and Crescent Heights.

Citysearch Review by JoHo

Green Custom Cabinetry

Our kitchen was a mess and we had a baby on the way, my wife was on my case to get us a new kitchen before the baby was born. I kept dragging my feet and did not want to spend the money. In this economy I thought there is no way I can afford that kind of remodel. We finally went to the usual suspects, Home Depot Lowes and some other cabinet stores The prices for the cabinets were within my price range but we did not feel that we were in good hands in any of these places. We felt pressured at all times and we also felt that there where still so many unknown. These guys are just not that professional. Then we found out about the possible toxins that are in new cabinetry and with the baby on the way we needed to find someone that could provide us with non toxic cabinetry. Everyone we spoke to told us that GREEN CABINETRY would certainly not be within our budget. After extensive research on the net we fell upon the Pure Bond website and they revered us to Bradco Kitchens and Bath on Pico Blvd. We made an appointment and the rest is a Love story. Ryan was our designer and together with the owner they tailored a kitchen for us that fit our needs and most importantly our budget. Just be careful because all the accessories that you think you want can get you fast above the budget. When we told Michael, the owner, that we where above what we could afford he sat down with us and Ryan and tailored us the kitchen that we could pay for. We got high end custom cabinetry with NO TOXIC materials. They even loan you a FORMALDEHYDE METER to check you cabinets. So you can be sure that what they say is true. Bradco does not install but they revered us to their in-house installer, B & R Construction. They did what they promised on budget and on time. We can highly recommend them. Thank you Mr. Michael, Ryan and Eli from B&R Construction. You were great.

Pros: Non toxic cabinetry even i could afford

Cons: Best kept secret in LA

To read review on Citysearch click here