December 28, 2007 |
When you remodel a kitchen, there are literally dozens of decisions to make. But none seems as intimidating or fraught with peril as choosing countertops. At first, this doesn't seem to make much sense. There are at least as many options for appliances and cabinets, their costs are often higher, and their features are just as varied and complex. But appliances can be swapped out easily, and once you get a handle on the material choices and finish options for cabinets, that decision proves to be a straightforward one. In some kitchen renovations, the existing cabinets can be renewed with paint, new doors and drawer fronts, or new hardware.
June 20, 2008 |
Laminate and granite are still the king and queen of the countertop world, but there are more variations and more alternatives than ever. Last year, 32 percent of all kitchen countertops were laminate, up from 27 percent the year before. Granite remained in second place with 29 percent. But even the reigning royalty need to stay competitive. "People are getting tired of granite. They're starting to look for something new," says Nancy Braamse of Olde World Cabinetry in Largo, Fla. Maybe that "something new" is a honed finish on granite instead of the highly polished surface everyone's accustomed to. Maybe it's more exotic granite patterns, "wild and crazy stuff from Africa, things you didn't see three or four years ago, things you don't see in every other house you go into," says remodeling contractor Daniel E. Ashline.
January 26, 2013 |
Our Jan. 11 entry about a hairline crack in a countertop brought some expert advice and more questions, proving once more that one should never take anything for granite. The hairline crack under discussion was about 22 inches long, and was in front of the sink. The countertops are five years old, and the installer is out of business. Marty Jensen of Blue Bell spent 44 years in the granite business, and, though retired, troubleshoots for trade organizations. He said the crack may be the result of a natural fissure or could be a pressure crack caused by the method of installation.
February 23, 2013 |
Five years ago, you couldn't tour a house with granite countertops in the kitchen and not hear about it. The real estate agent would proclaim its attributes, and you, as a prospective homeowner, would feel confident that those speckled surfaces were the best. Granite has been the showstopper for years, dazzling with its glossy appearance and high performance. But as more surface materials take center stage, the rock star of countertops is sharing the spotlight with materials that flaunt a hipper vibe: concrete, zinc, bamboo, even glass.
June 10, 2011 |
HARRISBURG - A former state parole officer from Philadelphia was charged Thursday with taking cash from parolees in exchange for overlooking positive drug tests or allowing people who should be jailed to remain on the streets. The state Attorney General's Office filed public-corruption charges against Kenneth Dupree, 46, of Wissinoming, who worked as a parole agent for the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole until April 2010. He was charged with bribery, official oppression, and obstruction.
September 23, 1992 |
Dear Polly: Want to add pizazz to your beef stew? Stir in an 8-ounce bottle of French dressing for each pound of beef cubes used. Thin with water if desired. Also, I use turnips a lot and have found that a chopped turnip adds a delicious, slightly sweet taste to a beef stew. - F.H. Dear Polly: If you like "crisp-looking" jeans, put some spray starch on them and hang them up outside for an hour. Then iron them. They'll iron easily and look better. - Roland Dear Polly: Plop one or two chocolate mints on top of each cupcake just as the batch comes out of the oven.
December 15, 2013 |
Face it: You must do something with the kitchen. Some cabinets have lost hinges, at least one appliance has acquired its own thought process, the vinyl floor is curling, the Formica countertop is chipping and dipping, and the lighting . . . well, lightning bugs have more wattage. The family budget cannot allow a major overhaul. So what to replace, and at what cost? The questions end there if the homeowner doesn't care about the return on investment. Otherwise, owners ought to seek out the annual Cost vs. Value Report.
November 15, 2002 |
The brown-brick, art deco building at 19th and Lombard Streets, constructed in 1929 as the Philadelphia School of Occupational Therapy, was a modest two stories, but perhaps it suggested higher aspirations. Above a bluestone water table, two-story brick pilasters capped with decorative sandstone chevrons reached skyward. In 1939, an unadorned third story was added, to provide the successful school with additional space. More recently, the building served as physicians' offices and laboratories for Graduate Hospital.
February 15, 2015 |
What goes around, comes around, and the fact that white kitchens are back in style vindicates a 16-year-old decision to add one to our last house. The cabinets were white, but the countertops were black, as was the floor. We couldn't do an island and settled for a peninsula. I did it myself, with some help from our electrician and venerable plumber, and I vowed, when it was done after two years, to never do another one. These days, or at least the trend for 2015, is all-white kitchens: white cabinets, topped with white countertops, finished off with white backsplashes and white trim.