Kitchen Countertops: What Material Works for Your Home and Budget?

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Kitchen Countertops: What Material Works for Your Home and Budget

If you are looking to spruce up your kitchen, whether it be a complete remodel or not, your countertops are the perfect place to start. The right countertops will set the tone for the entire room, however choosing countertops is easier said than done. With all the material types out there, how do you know which one to choose? Follow this handy guide below and you will know which material is right for you in no time.

Quartz Countertops

If budget isn’t a concern, you can’t beat quartz countertops. These powerful countertops are heat, impact, scratch, acid, and stain resistant, making them basically maintenance free. The nonporous surface doesn’t have to be sealed and these countertops come in so many colors, you will have no issue matching your chosen color scheme.

Granite Countertops

Polished and honed granite countertops are both popular options. While granite isn’t as heat or scratch resistant as quartz, it is still highly resistant, so you don’t have to worry too much. It’s also elegant and can increase the value of your home.

You are likely familiar with polished granite countertops. Honed countertops are a little less common but equally as elegant. Instead of a polished finish, these countertops have a soft matte finish.

While it technically costs less to manufacturer honed granite countertops, they are typically more expensive than polished granite countertops due to availability. That is the key when picking granite. You can save a lot of money by choosing something that is readily available. If the store has to send out for it, the price will go up drastically.

Other Natural Stone Countertops

While not as popular as granite countertops, soapstone, and limestone are also regarded options. These countertops don’t come in many colors, though, and they aren’t as easy to clean and maintain as some of your other options. You must be delicate and use great care when handling these countertops. If you love the rustic look of natural stone, they are a great option, but if not, you might want to go with an option that is more affordable and easier to maintain.

Engineered Stone Countertops

If you love the idea of natural stone, but want something that is available in a variety of colors and is easy to maintain, go with engineered stone. You will really have to try and harm these countertops to ruin them. They are around the same price as granite, however, so if you are budget conscious, engineered stone may not be the countertop for you.

Concrete Countertops

Do you love the idea of having a modern kitchen? If so, concrete countertops are a great place to start. You can customize them to your liking, all the way down to the texture and color. These countertops also capture and release heat, making them energy efficient. You can get concrete countertops for less than granite, but if you want to truly customize these countertop, it is going to cost around the same as granite.

Wood Countertops

Wood countertops, including the popular butcher-block type, are a great way to create a warm look in your kitchen. These are a cinch to clean, and if you scratch them, you are usually able to sand it out. Water can hurt the countertops, so you need to oil them on a regular basis to help keep them sealed. As far as price, you can find some wood countertops on a budget, or you can find yourself paying top dollar. This makes them a great choice for just about anyone.

Laminate Countertops

If you are on a tight budget, consider laminate countertops. Laminate has changed a lot over the years and now you can get it in patterns that look like wood, quartz, and natural stone. You can even find them in bright colors. This is a great way to make your home look expensive and luxurious without spending a ton of money. You do have to be careful avoiding scratches and burning with these countertops, but if you take care of them, they can hold up for years and years.

PRO TIP: An important thing to keep in mind when pricing your new countertops, is that although they may be priced per square foot as a guideline, many other factors can come into play. Common price influences include slab yield, grain direction, and waste factors. Then there are some cases where you are obligated to purchase the entire slab, regardless of your project size. At Trade Mark, we recommend receiving a quote that is specific to your project and material selection before purchasing. Give us a call at 973-636-0100 if you need assistance with pricing or any other project requirements!

As you can see, you have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting countertops. You can browse your options and learn more when you visit the Trade Mark Design & Build showroom in Hawthorne, NJ. Our skilled team is here to help you with your kitchen remodel, all while keeping your personal style and budget in mind. Let the design team be your partner as you give your kitchen the makeover it desperately needs.

Your Guide to Under Cabinet Lights and Pricing

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Your Guide to Under Cabinet Lights and Pricing

Whether you are remodeling your entire kitchen or just looking to enhance the look and feel, Trade Mark Design & Build would like to talk about the addition of under cabinet lighting to your home. Under cabinet lighting acts as a great complement to your main overhead lights with the ability to provide extra illumination on prep areas and task lighting. You can even add a dimmer setting to certain types of lighting to set the mood for get-togethers or date night.

Below we discuss a few different under cabinet lighting options to help you gage what works best for you taste and budget. A little bit of light can go a long way!

LED Lighting

As you may have guessed, LED lighting is the most popular type of under cabinet lighting. This is due to its long lasting capability, low heat output, and of course its high-energy savings. LED lights are 90% more efficient than the less superior incandescent bulbs, which produce a great deal of heat. Plus, although they are typically known to come in cool tones, they also offer warm tones for those who prefer it.

When looking to install under cabinet LED lighting, know there are direct wire self-contained units, tape, and individual or puck light units to choose from. Self-contained units contain multiple lights in a singular unit and offer a minimalist look. Tape style is the thinnest option and flexible when needed. Puck lighting allows you to focus each light in a specific area, but with that comes a bit of extra installation work. They can be mounted to the underside of the cabinet or recessed into it.

As far as pricing, LED lighting will cost you the most. This is not only due to the general novelty of LED lights in recent years, but the fact that they are the most complicated to install. They require elements such as transformers and switches, often times failing to meet building code standards. Their installation requires a decent amount of consideration as far and money and planning, and we typically recommend LED lighting to be installed in a new construction unit. This is especially true if you would like low voltage lighting, since it requires a transformer over the usual line voltage lighting. To help with high pricing, LED lights are dimmable, which can help you save energy daily. Also, remember that because LED lights are energy efficient, they will end up saving you money in the long run.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL)

Similar to LED lighting, the popular CFL’s are also highly energy efficient and produce little heat. This modernized version of the fluorescent bulb is no longer noisy or flickers on when you flip the switch.

When looking for an under cabinet style, CFL bulbs come in self-contained units or as individual lights as well. Self-contained units are perfect for keeping the actual lights out of sight while still producing sufficient illumination. Be aware that not all fluorescent lights are dimmable and that you will need to check the packaging or with the company installing them for you.

Pricing for CFL under cabinet lighting is going to cost you less than the LED lighting, but more than incandescent lights, which we will touch on next. Although they have many of the same appealing qualities of LED lighting, CFL’s are easier to install. This helps drop the cost. In the future you will see even more savings due to the long lifespan and energy efficiency.

Incandescent Lighting

A popular type of incandescent lighting for under your cabinets is known as xenon. It runs on the gas xenon that is encased in the bulb. Although they are better in the energy efficiency category and produce less heat than traditional incandescent lights, they do not compare to LED or CFL lighting. They are popular because of their ability to produce a warm, but vivid illumination. This allows for proper lighting when prepping for meals or parties.

They come in self-contained units, rope, or individual lights. You can have them hardwired into the cabinets or purchase a plug-in option. Plus, xenon lighting is dimmable for those who enjoy that feature.

Pricing for xenon lights are cheaper than LED or CFL’s due to their ease of install, but as those styles become more popular, the price gap may continue to close. Remember that the price will also be affected by the type of installation method you select (electrical outlet or hard wiring). Hiring a professional is usually necessary for certain methods, especially hard wiring.

PRO TIP: For those of you who already have CFL or xenon lighting installed under their cabinets, but are looking to upgrade to LED lighting, you are in luck. They now make LED retrofit bulbs which will fit existing features and are cheaper than installing a new LED unit. Contact Trade Mark Design & Build to learn more!

Here at Trade Mark Design & Build, we want to help make your kitchen dreams come true. If you need help deciding on a type of under cabinet lighting that suits your home, contact us today and let us do the work. You can also visit our showroom in Hawthorne, NJ for other inspirational ideas.

Trade Mark Design & Build of New Jersey Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

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Trade Mark Design & Build

Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

New Jersey, USA, January 31, 2017 – Trade Mark Design & Build of Hawthorne, NJ has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The New Jersey home remodeling company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We are dedicated to providing high-quality home remodeling services, including kitchen and bath designs, for New Jersey residents,” said Paul DeFeis, Senior Managing Partner of Trade Mark Design & Build. “Our main focus is on the customer and giving them the full security they need to put their trust in us.”

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Trade Mark Design & Build,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Follow Trade Mark Design & Build on Houzz.

About Trade Mark Design & Build

Trade Mark Design & Build is a New Jersey based home remodeling firm that puts the emphasis on creating beautiful and practical home environments. The firm takes the customers desires, budget and style into account when creating kitchens, rooms, floors, additions, etc. Trade Mark is also able to handle specialty projects, such as wine rooms, custom home bars and libraries. The simple and straight forward approach is why Trade Mark is known for making “Home Remodeling-Simplified”.

About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

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Planning Your Dream Kitchen Part 2: Creating a Feel for the Details

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trademark part2

Once you have an idea of the layout, budget, and timing of your kitchen remodeling project, you’ll be ready to dive into the details. From here, you’ll want to consider the type of style you’d like to use for your kitchen. Are you traditional, modern, or somewhere in the middle? Being able to answer this type of question will help you to make confident decisions as to what you’re looking for.

Color Scheme

The color scheme you choose in your kitchen is a mixture of personal preference and color psychology. Color has the power to change room elements to such a degree that the kitchen cabinets can appear different in size depending on the choice. Lighter colors will make a room seem more expansive while darker colors create more intimacy. Color personalities are split between active and passive. Active colors excite the body and mind while passive colors are more neutral and muted. Like you will do when imagining your layout, it’s important to imagine how you will use your kitchen. You’ll move faster in a yellow kitchen whereas a neutral kitchen is effective for slow, meditative cooking.

Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet choice will have a large impact on the feel of your kitchen. One of the first factors to consider is the type of door style you’ll want to use. At a very basic level, you can go with either an inset or overlay cabinet. Inset doors are set within the frame of the cabinet while overlay doors are set over the frame. While stunning, inset doors are usually more expensive and offer less space than overlay doors. Kitchen cabinets can become more interesting by adding elements like glass or a countertop hutch to showcase fine dinnerware. Adding a splash of color to cabinets bring personality to the entire kitchen. An explanation of cabinets wouldn’t be complete without pictures, which is why we have posted many of our completed New Jersey kitchen remodeling projects to our website.

Appliances

Appliances should match the color and style choices of the kitchen. A modern kitchen may feature an electric stove with stainless steel appliances while a traditional kitchen may masque appliances within the cabinetry. Choose colored appliances for a bold statement and a unique jolt of color to create a friendlier tone that will eliminate the mechanical feel. Aside from color, you’ll need to make decisions such as whether you want a gas, electric or induction cooktop. Do you want to use a range hood for silent ventilation? Is a drawer dishwasher more appealing than a traditional top down? What depth, shape, and size would you like your sink to be? These are all questions to keep top of mind when you come and visit us to start your kitchen remodeling project.

As you can see, there are many small details to consider when planning your kitchen. Keep in mind that once you select your colors and styling, all of the other details will flow right into one another. You will even have a better grasp on the types of appliances you would like to use. The one thing to remember throughout the whole process is what you are going to be doing in your kitchen when the project is finished. Arming yourself with all this information will bring you peace of mind throughout the process.

Planning Your Dream Kitchen Part 1: Envisioning Your Space & Layout

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Kitchen Renovation Company NJ

Kitchen renovation can be exciting and intimidating all at once. For the investment you are putting into the project, it’s important to know some basics before you begin. All of these questions and considerations can continue to pile up in an overwhelming way, which is why it’s so important to break each factor down into small bits.

Question 1: What am I looking to achieve with my new design?

Spend some time in your current kitchen and consider all of the things that lack function. Maybe the stove is too close to the sink. Write all of these factors down along with a solution for the problem. In the example provided, perhaps you could write exactly how much space you want between your sink and stove. Also keep in mind how you will be using this kitchen. How could your new kitchen allow you to prepare a meal faster than before? All of these factors will allow you determine what type of layout you want for your kitchen remodeling project.

Question 2: What is my budget?

Evaluate your current finances and factor in how much you can afford to spend on your project. With this number in mind, consider any other forms of payment that will go into the project. Will you be taking out a loan or refinancing? Once you take this into account, you can consider other factors like real estate value on your home. Depending on how much longer you plan to stay, remember that your renovation can potentially increase the value of your home. You’ll also want to budget for surprise costs like electrical issues or unexpected rotting. Keep in mind that your budget can change drastically depending on how many extras you choose to go for, so try and stick to the original plan. Keeping a spreadsheet of your costs can help to stay organized and avoid overspending.

Question 3: What’s the best time to start my project?

Before you start your renovation, it helps to be completely sure that you are doing it at a time that is most convenient for you. Summer and spring could be great options as they allow you to prepare meals from the barbecue in the backyard. Spring and summer remodeling also means that your kitchen will be ready for the holidays. If the holidays aren’t much of a factor, consider any other celebrations you’ll want to plan around.

While these are some of the more prominent questions you’ll be asking about your project, you will have more questions as you go along, which is why we recommend consulting us before you begin your project. With a quick stop by our showroom, we can walk you through every step of the process and show you some examples of what we have to offer. Our goal is to take out the overwhelm of kitchen remodeling so that you can enjoy the entire process.

The Perfect Palette: New Products from Schrock

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Today’s trends continue to emphasize transitional to modern lines, and this brings a demand for confidence in color not seen in more traditional styles. Schrock delivers in full on these needs with a carefully curated, invigorating palette of new cabinet door styles and complementary finish colors, as well as new cabinetry products and features designed to bring beauty, convenience, and improved functionality into your life.

New 2016 Cabinetry Products from Decora

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Color, Craftsmanship, and Customization
The Spring introduction for 2016 underscores that which sets Decora apart. Color — Four new takes on neutral paint options refresh their Color Collections. Craftsmanship — Three beautiful 9-piece styles showcase their meticulous attention to door building. Customization — Exciting storage innovations and wireless lighting solutions help cabinet designs function as well as they fit and flatter.

Decora Inset Cabinetry

Three beautiful new cabinet doors. 
Quality construction is their hallmark, and three new 9-piece cabinet doors illustrate their continuous commitment to product excellence. Based on beloved existing Decora doors, Altmann, Atwater and Haskins offer an extra dose of style met with precise construction, thanks to applied moulding details.

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Four new cabinet paint colors.
Today, versatile gray and tan-based neutrals are in demand for their ability to infuse a space with light and personality. Extra White, Agreeable Gray and Analytical Gray offer new cabinet color choices within this spectrum, balanced by the addition of Black Fox – a complex, deep color that is easy to love and even easier to incorporate into your home designs.

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Cabinet storage innovation.

Keeping function top of mind. From slim storage solutions to deep drawer designs, Decora has new cabinet storage options to consider.

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Wireless cabinet lighting solutions.
Their new wireless cabinet lighting solutions offer an easy way to take a design from ordinary to extraordinary. Warm or cool, well-placed lighting choices make food prep easier, highlight focal points in the room, and add an extra bit of drama.

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See what’s new at Decora.

 

 

Cabinetry by Decora Savings Event

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Upgrade your cabinetry style with our exclusive savings event.

10% OFF SELECT STYLES
(Girard, Braydon Manor, Plaza, Lexington, Artisan, Galleria, and Modesto)
(USE PROMO CODE: DECNO10)

5% OFF ALL OTHER STYLES
(USE PROMO CODE: DECNO05)
– Not stackable with other promotions
– Excludes Inset Cabinetry
– Excludes Applied Moulding Doors (Altmann, Atwater, Haskins, and Yardley)

Offer valid on orders placed from:
April 4, 2016 – May 6, 2016

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Make sure to check previous custom cabinetry work done by our team. If you’re in the market for kitchen cabinets in New Jersey, or any other room in your house, our team of dedicated and professional specialists can help! Get in contact with us today!