What To Look For In Low Maintenance Cabinetry When Remodeling
Your kitchen is the heart of your home. Unfortunately, it's also one of the toughest rooms in your house to keep clean. Every surface in your kitchen is susceptible to stains, splatters, and crumbs, including your kitchen cabinets. Your kitchen should be a balance of form and function, and with the right choices you can create the kitchen of your dreams, that is not only beautiful and functional but easy to keep clean!
Your kitchen cabinets take up a lot of real estate in your kitchen. With a few smart choices, you can significantly reduce your cleaning time in the kitchen. Here are some tips to help you choose cabinets that are easy to maintain.
Choose the Right Door Style
Raised panel doors have a lot of nooks and crannies that can collect dust and dirt making them difficult to keep clean. Choosing a “flatter” door design like shaker style or slab front doors can mean significant time savings when cleaning up.
If your style leans towards a more traditional kitchen design and is looking for a more detailed door, opt for a stain or paint that has a glaze. It will fill in the cracks and corners and is better at hiding the dust and dirt your cabinet doors will collect.
For Low Maintenance Avoid Excess Trim and Add-on Features
Along with smooth doors, choose a cabinet construction that doesn't include features like light rail molding, crown molding, corbels, and legs or feet on the bottom cabinets. While these options are aesthetically beautiful, they'll require a lot more scrubbing and cleaning time to keep them looking good.
Go for the Flush End Finish
You basically have two options for finishing the ends of your cabinets. Flush ends or matching ends. Flush ends are plain plywood ends that match the color of your cabinets. They're smooth which makes cleanup as easy as a few wipes with a damp cloth.
Matching ends use a panel that matches your door fronts. While they offer elegance and can bring character to your kitchen design, they are as challenging to maintain as raised panel doors, meaning more time to keep them clean.
Choose Stain Over Paint
While both finishes have pros and cons, for example, they can both show fingerprints and crumbs. Paint can show food stains and spatters a bit more than a stained surface. While some homeowners prefer paint because it's easier to see stains and clean up dirt, constant cleaning can damage the finish.
A stained cabinet is an easier finish to touch up. A scratched cabinet can be brought back to like new condition with a permanent matching marker. Paint is harder to repair for two reasons. First, it's difficult to find a marker that matches a specific paint. You'll need to purchase a touch-up kit from the manufacturer. Second, touch-ups on painted surfaces are difficult to blend in, unlike a stained surface.
If It Fits Your Style, Go For A Grain and Dark Stain
If you like dark cabinets, select a “grainy” wood species like oak or hickory. Prominent grains are better at hiding scratches, stains, and crumbs, much more so than a “cleaner” wood like maple. It also hides repairs better.
Invest in Quality Hardware
If you want fewer fingerprints and less wear on your door fronts use pulls and knobs on all of your cabinetry. They can help to keep your cabinets cleaner. Steer clear of finishes that show fingerprints and water spots like stainless steel or chrome. They're also harder to clean. Oil-rubbed bronze, satin bronze, brushed or polished nickel and white hardware are all much easier to maintain. Choose the finish that matches your style and kitchen design.
Avoid Glass Cabinet Doors, Open Cabinets, and Open Shelving
While all of these choices are trending right now, if your goal is a low maintenance kitchen, stick to more traditional cabinetry. Nothing requires more maintenance than glass. It attracts dust and shows fingerprints, smudges, grease spots much more than wood. The problem is only made more complicated if you choose glass cabinet doors with multiple panes of glass. Many homeowners select glass because it can create an open, airy style. If you're looking for low maintenance, there are other excellent options available to achieve that look.
Open cabinets and shelving have the same issues. Cabinets have doors for a reason. Open cabinets can attract dust, splatter, grease, and dirt and all of it can end up on your dishes and glassware in an “open” kitchen. While some open shelving can be a great addition to your kitchen design, try to keep it to a minimum if low maintenance is your goal.
Protect Your Sink Cabinet From Moisture
This tip is actually more about prevention. Keeping the area around your sink cabinet free of moisture, grease, and dirt can help you to avoid issues down the road. A couple of options to consider to reduce problems:
• Choose a sink cabinet that is solid wood construction. Most semi-custom and prefab cabinets are constructed of pressed wood and plywood. Pressed wood can expand when there is a lot of moisture present. Solid plywood makes the cabinet less effected by moisture.
• Consider purchasing a cabinet mat, which looks like a tray and is placed in the cabinet underneath the sink. It functions as a moisture barrier and can catch and leaks or spills protecting the cabinet.
Choosing the right cabinets can create an aesthetically beautiful focal point in your kitchen. They can also add functionality to your kitchen and with a few smart choices make your kitchen low maintenance, easy to clean space. The kitchen is the heart of your home. Making it an easy to maintain space will give you more time to spend making memories with your family instead of cleaning!
If you're planning a kitchen remodel and live in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama area give the expert designers at Forward Design Build a call at (734) 228-4322! Let us help you to design a dream kitchen that will meet all of your aesthetic and functional needs.