Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Serious Cook: Part Two

Last week we posted the first part of a two-part blog with some kitchen remodeling tips for the serious cook. If you're looking for chef-worthy advice on kitchen layouts, kitchen appliances, and kitchen cabinets please read "Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Serious Cook: Part One."

Today we will speak about the best cook-savvy options for kitchen sinks, floors, and countertops.

If you have any questions about your next kitchen remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. MKBD is currently offering a FREE Kitchen remodeling estimate, FREE design, and FREE custom layout to all new customers.

Let's talk cooking and more!

Call now! 215-355-4747 or visit us online at

A Kitchen Sink for the Cook: Clean as You Go!

Efficiency is the cook's mantra, and no idea expresses this mantra as much as mise en place, a French term that means "to put in place." This term is used in professional kitchens to illustrate an simple, yet crucial practice: the organization of ingredients and utensils required for each given meal.

Some cooks might dispute the value of mise en place, but no serious cook disputes the value of organization. And to be organized, a cook needs to work in a clean kitchen. Some wayward family members might dispute this notion, but no cook will doubt the singular edict that goes hand-in-hand with mise en place: clean as you go!

More than the cooking range or oven, the sink is the real kitchen work center. The simple truth is that the more you cook the more dishes you create. For this reason, we suggest that serious cooks add a large sink to any kitchen remodeling project--the largest that fits; large enough even to hold a big baby. 

A large sink is the best option for cooks--and babies!

Instead of a double sink, we often suggest a single large bowl. In a double sink, the dividing line cuts down on much-needed space. A single bowl, on the other hand, will naturally hold more dishes at once, making before and after cleaning easier. A large sink bowl will also hide any last-minute dirty dishes while also leaving some room to strain the pasta.

Square shapes are best. Rounded designs, while attractive, might reduce the work area.

Finally, you might follow the knowledge of certain busy home cooks, who install two sinks in two different areas!

In this French Country-style remodeling project, MKBD installed two large square bowls, side-by-side, to maximize the crucial work area.

The Best Kitchen Floor for the Serious Cook

Quarry tile is the floor material of choice for professional kitchens. Made from red clay that is fired to make it durable and long-lasting, quarry tile is a practical choice for serious wear and tear. The problem with an extremely durable floor like quarry tile--or any other non-resistant surface, like stone or ceramic tile--is that the very durability of the material might mean discomfort for the home cook.

Tough materials also mean tough times for the feet, knees, and joints. If you've ever worked in a professional kitchen, you'll understand the feeling of standing for hours on a hard surface. It's not fun--and indeed, this is why most kitchen install mats to ease the burden of standing.

Obviously, a hard material like quarry tile is not good for a home kitchen. But take the hint from quarry tile and ditch the stone or ceramic tile. If you spend a lot of time in your home kitchen, you want comfort! After all, it's your home--not a restaurant.

A kitchen floor for the home cook, then, should be both durable and comfortable. Fortunately, the kitchen remodeling industry offers plenty of comfortable, yet resilient flooring options.

For the serious home cook, the best flooring options include wood, bamboo, cork, linoleum, or vinyl. Wood, especially, is our favored choice. A favorite among home cooks is wood strip flooring, which is attractive and easy on your knees and joints. With proper care, wood floor can offer the perfect blend of functionality and comfort. Just remember: water damage can warp wooden floors so cooks need to be diligent about wiping up spills.

Hard wood floor--like this tigerwood flooring--is both beautiful and practical.

A Kitchen Countertop for the Cook

Choosing a good countertop material for the cook is not as straightforward as you might assume. A good countertop material for a busy cook must be heat-resistant, yet it should also be impervious to stains and easy-to-clean. The problem is that certain countertop materials, like ceramic, excel at heat-resistance, while other materials are easier to clean.

Once only found in professional kitchens, stainless steel countertops are now finding their way into the kitchens of serious cooks. The great advantage of this professional kitchen workhorse is its perfect combination of durability and heat resistance. Stainless steel is nearly impervious to stains, too.

Just know: Stainless steel requires a bit more cleaning know-how than other materials. And you will need to clean your stainless often to achieve a natural luster. 

Rather than choosing simply stainless steel, however, you might opt for a mix of materials. We like the advice of This Old House for countertops for the cook:

"The best solution is to use a mix. For instance, ceramic tile is a great heatproof surface around the range, but you don't have to tile all your counters. You can even drop a square of tile into a laminate countertop. Your choices will depend on how and what you cook."

In this Hatboro area MKBD project, the savvy homeowner opted for solid granite countertops. Granite offers a certain level of heat and scratch-resistance and is easy to clean.

FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate!

If you have any questions about your next kitchen remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk budget and more! Call now! 215-355-4747.

Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

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