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Custom Color Paints!

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Blog, Feature | Comments Off on Custom Color Paints!

Custom Color Paints!

Ever wanted to be different?  This customer (name kept private, let’s call her Stacey) certainly did.  This project was done in Fremont, CA, and Stacey here told me she wanted a set of green cabinets.  While all three of my product lines had a couple options of green, none of them had the exact shade of green Stacey wanted. Hmm, dilemma you say?  Well not exactly.  Both Sollera Cabinets and Plato Woodwork offer a custom color program.  While Plato’s offering is more extensive and customers are able to send in samples to the factory for a match, Sollera offers the ability for owners to pick certain lines of paint from Benjamin Moore. For this project, Stacey selected the Raindance color (BM#1572) from Benjamin Moore, and Sollera built it.  (Make sure you see album 36 on our flickr page to see the full before/after transformation!) Customers who are interested should know that custom colors require additional lead time. Typically, we would ask the vendor to create a custom sample (for a fee). This generally takes 2-3 weeks depending on schedules. Upon your approval of the color, the order can then go through the regular production queue. The rest of the order is the same as a regular...

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Custom vs Semi-Custom Cabinets

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Custom vs Semi-Custom Cabinets

One of the questions we get asked the most is, “What is the difference between custom and semi-custom cabinets?” Let’s take a look at the benefits of the two offerings. The versatility of custom  “Custom made” means something was purposely made to certain specifications for a particular person or situation. While both custom and semi-custom cabinets are built to order, the number one benefit lies in the fact that custom cabinets mean choices; they have the flexibility to adapt to unique situations. For example, most custom cabinet brands can manufacture many more sizes than semi-custom lines can; so custom cabinets are better able to accommodate different design layouts and different appliance sizes. As to the degree of customization—each brand varies from another because of the nature of their machinery and craftsmanship. Other than sizes, custom cabinetry is likely to outperform semi-custom cabinetry in areas such as finishes and door styles. Brands like Plato Woodwork will do custom color matching to a piece of your furniture, or even to the color of your favorite scarf. But the more important aspect of custom cabinets is their ease of installation. Custom cabinet brands sometimes allow for joining cabinets into one larger piece before finishing and shipping. For instance, instead of installing two 30-inch-wide cabinets, the customer can choose to have a single 60-inch-wide cabinet. Not only is one larger cabinet easier to install than two small ones, pre-joining also eliminates the seam that would have otherwise existed in between the two cabinets due to the joining on site. Furthermore, the ability to do all the gluing and nailing to combine different pieces at the factory before finish allows for fewer touchups on site, and fewer seams in the end product all together. This is especially true of moldings and trim pieces attached to the cabinetry before finishing. It is unlikely that a typical cabinet installer can install the cabinets and hide the touch-up. And if the installer can hide it well, what price are you paying for his time? When applicable, it’s simply more effective and economical to have it done at the factory. The value of semi-custom  One common misconception is that all custom cabinets are of higher quality than semi-custom cabinets. Quality comes from dedication to craftsmanship and details, and from the finest material and consistency of state-of-the-art manufacturing plants. In other words, quality lies in the cabinet brand. Don’t be fooled by cheap custom cabinets! If you do not have a space that requires custom sizes, and can find the right offerings within the semi-custom products, you can find many high quality semi-custom products that suit your needs at a more affordable price. KraftMaid, for instance, is known for its Harmony storage solutions as well as the value and savings of its products. So don’t dismiss a brand at first glance just because it is not custom. Semi-custom brands offer wonderful looking kitchens, too. The above content was published in Home Digest Magazine in March 2007. For reference to the actual copy, please download this pdf file. For other related content on how to get started on your remodel, please see How to Measure and Sketch a Floor Plan video, Typical Work Flow Procedure, and Typical Construction...

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Invest in Durability

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Invest in Durability

Durability in cabinetry With an abundance of similar products in today’s market, choosing the right cabinetry for your home can be difficult. When you compare manufacturers, you may find different price tags and think the more affordable product is the better value. After more research, however, you may find more flaws and limitations in the lower-end cabinetry: fewer sizes, door styles, and finishes from which to choose. While those factors may influence your decision-making, the most important aspect of your investment should be the durability of the product. You need to invest in a product that will last. Cabinet construction  The two most common construction materials for cabinets are particle board and plywood. In the higher-end market, you will also find medium density fiberboard (MDF). When compared to particle board, plywood is lighter, stronger, and tends to hold up better during installation and transportation. Plywood is also more resilient against small amounts of water damage. MDF is much denser than particle board and plywood, and therefore better withstands the stress of everyday use in the kitchen and bath. Furthermore, MDF performs much better when it comes to drilling and screw holding. Most importantly, MDF has minimal expansion and contraction, which allows for higher precision in craftsmanship. Finish  The finish protects your investment. A good finish will protect the wood from grease, sticky fingers, and muddy hands. Most of the better cabinetmakers use fine wood furniture finishes that feature catalyzed conversion varnish. This finish is part of what enables some cabinetmakers to offer a lifetime warranty. Wood products with a catalyzed conversion varnish are much harder and stronger. With this finish, stains and glazes will not rub off or fade, as happens with lower-end products. Door construction  Doors are often made of solid wood, wood veneers, or a combination of the two. Because wood veneers have their limitations in terms of bending and sanding, solid wood doors are often preferred if the door style has many details or a distressed finish. In the lower-end markets, you will find some use of lower grade laminates and melamine. While more affordable, these are more susceptible to damage. Hardware  Hardware makes the cabinet functional. Many installers choose six-way adjustable hinges because they’re easy to use and quick tuning. Nicer hinges also have a “press and release” feature, which eliminates screwing and unscrewing the hinge to remove the door. Ball bearing glides run smoother and more quietly, and with a maximum load capacity of about 75 pounds per drawer box, they are also much sturdier than most glides. The better drawer glides also come with an automatic soft close to prevent slamming. Drawer box  Melamine drawer boxes are common. The upgrade is the sturdier dovetailed drawer box. You can choose between a dovetailed plywood drawer and a dovetailed solid wood drawer; either of these performs better than a melamine drawer, and the best is the solid dovetailed style. The above content was published in Home Digest Magazine in January 2007. For reference to the actual copy, please download this pdf file. For other related content on how to get started on your remodel, please see How to Measure and Sketch a Floor Plan video, Typical Work Flow Procedure, and Typical Construction...

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Details Matter!

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Details Matter!

With literally thousands of options in today’s remodeling market, choosing the right materials for your home can be rather confusing. Worse yet, picking products that suit your needs and finding the right designs and styles that fit your home are even harder. The key to remodeling your home is investing wisely and not overlooking the little details that build tremendous value in the long run. In a kitchen remodel, the bulk of the expense is cabinetry, countertops, and appliances. Since these items provide the three most important functions of a kitchen (storage, preparation and dining surfaces, and cooking and refrigeration), you should purchase the highest quality material you can afford. On that note, your budget should cover more than just those three items; budgeting in other extra details during your planning may well take your remodel from good to great. Paint matters. Repainting a room yourself is one of the most cost-effective ways to change the appearance of a room. A few gallons of paint will run you about $100, but the results can be dramatic. Large areas of colors are always one of the first things people notice, and color greatly affects the ambiance of a room. For instance, painting a room tan or green will make the room warmer. Alternatively, painting the room grey creates a cooler, more contemporary effect. And the greatest thing about paint is, unlike buying new appliances or changing a room’s layout, you can repaint again and again until you find the right shade without incurring huge costs. Lighting matters . Lighting is a key element in a successful remodel; yet many people miss it in their planning. The three main types of lighting include ambient, task, and accent lighting. Ambient lighting, or general illumination, includes sunlight, under-cabinet lights, ceiling lights, and pendants. Ambient light provides an overall lighting to the room. Task lighting is meant for specific task areas, such as over the sink or stove. And accent lighting is focused and can draw attention to display items or illuminate glass cabinets at a wet bar. Strategically utilizing all three types of lighting can significantly improve the appearance of your new kitchen. Molding and trim matter. Depending on the style of the room, molding and trim are often what “finishes off” the cabinetry, as well as the room itself. Instead of a plain toe kick for the cabinetry, try adding a baseboard. And in appropriate areas, use a furniture base for added effects. You can also add extra molding or onlay to areas such as a wooden hood or a stand-alone glass display cabinet. Trim around the room adds elegance and color. Paint, lighting, and molding & trim are only a few of the often forgotten aspects of a remodel. Other elements such as handles, window treatments, plumbing fixtures, and other personal decorative accents will all contribute to the remodel itself. Be sure to plan accordingly, budgeting these items into your remodel. The above content was published in Home Digest Magazine in November 2006. For reference to the actual copy, please download this pdf file. For other related content on how to get started on your remodel, please see How to Measure and Sketch a Floor Plan video, Typical Work Flow Procedure, and Typical Construction...

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Framed vs Frameless Cabinetry

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Framed vs Frameless Cabinetry

While all cabinets serve the same purpose of storage, different cabinet constructions provide an overall different look and feel. With the increasingly heightened awareness in fashion designs in the furniture market, many homeowners are looking for more refined, quality products to fit their detailed specifications, and make a fashion statement with their furniture-like kitchens and bathrooms. Since each cabinet construction has its own advantage(s), understanding the different constructions can often help in deciding the more appropriate cabinet for your home. The more commonly known types of construction would be: framed, frameless, and inset. Due to space limitations, this article will be exploring the difference between framed vs. frameless cabinetry. Framed Cabinetry : Framed cabinetry refers to cabinetry built with a face frame. The cabinet’s carcass (the side panels of the cabinet) is attached to a solid wood frame in the front, and then the frame attaches to the door. Traditionally speaking, the American market has always preferred framed cabinetry because of its more rigid construction. Furthermore, in the event that less than ideal situations were to arise during an installation, framed cabinetry would allow more room for correction. It also tends to be more installation-friendly for amateurs and homeowners who are do-it-yourselfers. Additionally, framed cabinetry offers a more traditional, old world, elegant look that many home owners appreciate. Particularly, the solid wood face frame receives the same high-quality finish on the door, as opposed to the edge tape on top of the front of the side panels for frameless cabinetry. Frameless Cabinetry : As the name implies, frameless cabinetry differs from framed in that the cabinet has no face frame. It allows for full access to the interior storage space, making cleaning a much easier task to do. Frameless cabinetry, however, also comes with a certain association. In the traditional sense, the frameless cabinetry tends to be more affordable since less material is used. Today, however, frameless is usually associated with pricier European cabinetry, which typically ranges from $50,000 to $100,000 per kitchen, with three to six months lead time. The reason for the higher cost is largely due to the technologies involved in the more difficult manufacturing process for doors, as well as the almost endless amount of accessories and hardware. The amount of precision involved is very different from framed cabinetry, where doors tend to have larger gaps (smaller overlays) in between them. Frameless cabinetry has doors that almost fully cover the cabinet itself, leaving a very flushed look overall. So the elimination of the face frame works better for the contemporary styling that many younger families are looking for. It should also be pointed out that for similar quality, domestically manufactured frameless cabinetry would generally be more affordable compared to that of the European-imported lines, and the look of the European styling is not exclusive to European cabinets. Whether you are into the antique looks with elegant moldings and trim pieces, or the simple straight lines of a high-gloss slab door, MTKC is able to serve your needs. MTKC offers framed, frameless, and inset cabinetry in different styling, so please visit our showroom and meet with our designers. The above content was published in Home Digest Magazine in September 2006. For reference to the actual copy, please download this pdf file. For other related content on how to get started on your remodel, please see How to Measure and Sketch a Floor Plan video, Typical Work Flow Procedure, and Typical Construction...

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Getting Started On Your Remodel

Posted by on Sep 22, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Getting Started On Your Remodel

Remodeling! What an exciting thought! “I’m going to have a new kitchen, a new bathroom, new cabinets in the dining room, new everything!” Then somewhere along the line, you become too distracted by everything else that goes on in life: work, kids, vacations, and visiting family. And next thing you know, it has been a year since you started planning your project. You haven’t gotten anywhere, you realize, because you don’t have enough time to do everything. Then the project suddenly seems a lot more time-consuming and stressful. Remodeling is definitely an exciting idea. However, the remodeling process itself can be a bit stressful and troublesome due to the many variables in budgeting, planning, design, and construction. To get started, many folks like to hire a cabinetry designer or a general contractor. Choosing an experienced and knowledgeable designer will definitely lighten your load, but there are also some simple steps that you and your family can take to make the remodeling transition a smoother and more enjoyable process. Budgeting : Today’s market offers a wide variety of products with basic functions and features. But prices can differ significantly, depending on types of material, levels of quality and craftsmanship, sizes, additional features, and brand. It is not uncommon to see people choosing among options where the price of one is two to three times that of another. Essentially, it boils down to what you want. Having an honest and realistic budget will allow for more accurate planning and help guide your decisions. Also, discuss with your family what scale of remodeling is best suited to your home. Planning : Prior to working with your designer, determine which styles and colors you like. It helps to flip through magazines and visit a showroom to learn more about available products. You may want to visit model homes, or even the homes of your friends and family, just to see what others have done. Once you have an idea of how you want your room to look, the design process is much easier. Measuring : Every inch matters; therefore, it is important to have a professional double check your measurements before ordering cabinets or appliances. To get started, take some measurements, just so you have something to accompany the sketches or photos you’ll give to your designer. Providing accurate room measurements will work to your advantage, making your plans more precise. Remember to note the locations of windows and doors, as well as ceiling heights and any other obstacles in the plan. Choosing Appliances : Including the size of your sink and appliances is also very important. If you plan to install new sinks or appliances along with your new cabinets, you may either provide the new sizes or have your cabinetry designer choose for you. With accurate appliance measurements, you can make the most of available space. Lastly, try not to feel stressed. Enjoy the process. With the above four pieces of the puzzle in place, the rest will easily follow, and you will soon be looking at your newly remodeled home.   The above content was published in Home Digest Magazine in July 2006. For reference to the actual copy, please download this pdf file. For other related content on how to get started on your remodel, please see How to Measure and Sketch a Floor Plan video, Typical Work Flow Procedure, and Typical Construction...

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