Whether you’re ready to start swinging a sledgehammer or just thinking about remodeling your kitchen, it’s important to do a little research before making those important design decisions.  Take your kitchen counters, for example.  Not only do you a material that can stand up to knives, hot pots and pans, spills, and everything else your family can dish out, you also want them to look beautiful doing it.

So to help you along, here are the pros and cons of 5 popular countertop materials.

Quartz – Touted as one of the most durable countertop options around, quartz is available in a variety of colors and can even mimic the look of granite. ProsQuartz is stain and bacteria resistant, doesn’t require sealing, and laughs at knife cuts and cracks. Cons - It’s a more costly option and is not as heat resistant as crushed glass and granite. It can also discolor over time in direct sunlight. The lighter the color, the more noticeable the seams.

Granite – Eye-popping, tough, and a favorite among prospective home buyers, granite can easily fit into a world of design styles. ProsIf sealed annually, granite can resist stains and look as beautiful as the day it was installed. It’s also chip and crack resistant and can withstand heat from pots and pans. ConsAlthough it is tough, it’s not indestructible. A hard enough clunk can chip the edge of a granite counter, requiring it to be polished down. If not sealed regularly, it can stain. And because it’s a natural stone with unpredictable variations, an installed slab may look quite different than the sample you picked out.

Recycled Glass – Recycled or crushed glass is an eco-friendly option made from recycled beer bottles, windshields, and traffic lights. It can be set in cement or acrylic. ProsRecycled glass counters are heat, chip, scratch, and stain proof. They don’t need resealing and won’t discolor over time. ConsThey’re pricier than other options like granite and can crack under too much weight. Citrus and other acidic juices can eat away at the acrylic if not wiped up right away.

Laminate – Available in nearly infinite patterns and colors, and more durable than ever before, this is not your grandma’s laminate. Pros It doesn’t require sealing, is stain resistant, and can mimic everything from granite to wood. ConsLaminate counters can scorch, crack, and scratch much more easily than the countertop materials it mimics.

Solid Surface – Solid surface countertops are made from acrylic, polyester resins, and even marble dust. ProsAvailable in many colors and patterns, they’re non-porous and don’t require sealing or special cleansers. If scratched, they can easily be sanded out. ConsIt’s a pricey option and doesn’t have the warmth and charm of quartz or granite. It can scratch and burn easily and is energy intensive to manufacture and difficult to recycle.

You know what all of the above suggests?  That your ultimate choice is probably going to come down what looks and feels the best within your price range.  Isn’t that always the way?  Oh, and if your kitchen project is underway or nearly at that point, why not give us a call.  Here at Connor Plumbing, we can handle any of the plumbing your project requires.  And, if you’re thinking about switching from an electric to a gas range, we also can install a gas connection in your kitchen or anywhere else in your home you might need one.  Contact Connor Plumbing today for a free quote or to request service.

People update or remodel their kitchens for all sorts of reasons, but one that isn’t mentioned or discussed as much as others is improving meal time productivity.

Sure, why not liken your kitchen-activities to what goes on in a business and, in the process, think about what you could do to make meal preparation and clean-up more productive and, in the process, more fun.

And while there are all kinds of things you could do to enhance productivity in the kitchen, for purposes of this blog, let’s focus on just one of them:  adding a second sink.

Which immediately begs the question:  if you could add a second sink to your kitchen tomorrow, and in a different location than your current sink vs. replacing that one for a double sink, where would you put it and how do you think you might primarily use it?

Here are a few interesting and very do-able possibilities:

  • A Baking Station.  If you have a little bit of Betty Crocker in you, then you realize baking can be both messy and time consuming.  Having a second sink in your kitchen, regardless of where you might put it, could free up the other one for dinner prep and/or cleaning while allowing you and your helpers to do some multi-tasking.
  • Dish washing.  Preparing dinner for company or any special occasion can be a whole-day’s endeavor.  And along the way, you have dishes plus pots and pans to wash as you finish on task and prepare for another.  In other words, there’s a whole of starting and stopping and starting again going on.  Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a second sink that you could designate just for washing to help expedite meal preparation?
  • Beverage Prep and Serving.  Don’t you find it at least a little annoying when someone is trying to fix themselves a drink, using your sink, while you’re in the middle of chopping veggies?  Now you can get guests not only out of your hair, but out of the kitchen by installing a wet bar with sink in an adjacent room.
  • Coffee Station.  Coffee isn’t just coffee anymore.  It’s espresso, cappuccino, and various other concoctions that, for the budding or fully emerged connoisseur, requires a heap of more than just coffee beans and grinds – it requires all sorts of equipment, to say nothing of sugar bowls, cups, saucers, spoons, and more.  So how about your very own coffee station, sink and all?  

So many possibilities and we’ve barely scratched the surface.  Tell you what:  if you like the idea of adding a second sink in or nearby your kitchen, contact Connor Plumbing today.  We’ll answer all your plumbing-related questions and can even help you pick the idea location for sink number two – installed with extra care and professionalism, just for you, by our own experienced plumbers.


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