Lighting Your Kitchen

There are many options when lighting a kitchen. Some designers say that the best way to light a kitchen involves multiple types of lighting blended together. These are task, ambient, accent and decorative lighting. Successfully incorporating all of these into the kitchen creates a unique area, great for both working and entertaining.

Using a single overhead ceiling light can end up overpowering the whole space and creating a massive glare. It is one-tone and not very effective. Task lighting is important when cooking and preparing food, but if placed wrong it can ruin the overall efficiency and create shadows. Placing task lighting underneath overhead cabinets, over an island and even in the pantry will create bright, focused lighting in the areas where it is most needed.

Putting lighting under overhead cabinets can also double as ambient lighting with the addition of a dimmer switch. Ambient lighting is frequently overlooked while designing kitchens. It is more useful during entertaining and creates a warm feeling. When the kitchen is used as more of an entertaining space, this type of lighting becomes even more important. Ambient lighting fixtures come in many forms such as ceiling fixtures, pendants hanging over an island and adjustable track lighting.

Like ambient lighting, the accent lighting layer is often overlooked and is becoming increasing important because of the changing functions of the kitchen. It is used to highlight and bring attention to artwork and details like backsplashes. Track lighting, up-lighters, directional eyeball lights and wall sconces can be used as accent fixtures.

Decorative lighting can be expensive, but brings its own element to the kitchen. The scale of the fixture compared to the size of the kitchen is important when picking out a decorative lighting piece. Chandeliers and hanging pendants are some of the decorative lighting options. When choosing, remember to check that the fixture has enough opacity to effectively hide the light bulb.

To make sure all of these layers work together, dimmers can help with coordination. By putting each layer on a dimmer, the entire mood of the room can quickly and easily be changed. There are also preset options for different times of the day.

Effectively placing these layers together creates a warm and stimulating environment for cooking or entertaining. These fixtures and layers will be sure to show off all the hard work put into the kitchen design.

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Create a Safe Space

Bathrooms can be a place of disasters, and not just the kind involving hair. More than 200,000 people are injured in the bathroom each year according to the National Safety Council. There are ways you can lower the risks associated with the bathroom.

In a room that is full of water and slippery surfaces, traction is a must. Refinish First offers slip resistant surfaces for both tubs and shower pans. It is chemically bonded to the floor to withstand cracking or peeling and will hold up much longer than traction mats or stick on daisies.

Grab bars installed in the shower, next to the bathtub or toilet can help everyone, but especially older adults. They’ve become more eye-pleasing over the years and come in many finishes.

Water temperature is a risk not thought of often. Most water heaters are set at 140 degrees and that temperature can burn sensitive skin in seconds. By turning the water heater down to 120 degrees this can be prevented. An option for monitoring temperature are anti-scald valves. They come in two types. The thermostatic type senses temperature and the pressure balanced senses pressure changes. There are also anti-scald devices that can be placed between the shower head and pipe neck.

When putting in a new shower, arrange the controls so they are easy to access from inside and outside the water stream. A shower bench is ideal for helping to maintain balance while shaving your legs. Having a shower pan that sits flush with the floor makes it easier to get in and out of and can minimize falls. Did you know Refinish first can convert bath tubs into a walk-in tub? This provides for easy access and minimizes falls as well.

Even small things such as wiping up puddles, putting electrical appliances away and putting in a nightlight can help make the bathroom a much safer place for people of all ages.

Replacing vs. Refinishing in the Bathroom

When remodeling the bathroom, replacing or refinishing your bathtub can make a world of difference. When deciding whether replacing or refinishing is right for your bathroom remodel there are factors to consider such as labor, time, cost, and quality.

Refinishing takes significantly less labor than replacing a bathtub. Hiring a professional takes even less labor and will ensure the project turns out looking great. When replacing a tub it must be demolished and taken out. Flooring and pipes might have to be replaced as well. When refinishing, the tub stays where it is and so does everything else.

Replacing a tub can make the entire bathroom unusable and there could be unforeseen problems causing it to take longer than expected. With refinishing, the bathtub will only be out of commission less than 2 days, much less time than demolishing and replacing.

Having someone come in and replace your bath tub can also be costly. Refinishing is a less expensive alternative because it involves applying a new surface to the existing fixture and at Refinish First, our work comes with a guarantee! If you choose to have your bath tub professionally refinished, it often ends up being a higher quality than newer fixtures purchased in a store. Newer bath tubs aren’t made with the same quality material or craftsmanship as older models.

Refinishing your bath tub involves little to no labor on your part, takes less time, typically costs less than replacing and has a better quality. If you are interested in a bathroom remodel remember to Refinish First!

Designing the Perfect Kitchen

As kitchens are morphing into a focal point of the home and an integral part of entertaining, they are beginning to reflect personal style instead of just functionality. Here are a few kitchen styles to consider.

Country kitchens bring the weekend getaway feeling straight into your home. Using primary red, yellows, blue and cream with a mix of finishes on cabinets creates a lived-in feeling. Farmhouse tables and furniture-like cabinets are common in these kitchens. A slight distressed look and natural light bring the country anywhere, even in the suburbs.

Modern kitchens are all about sleek lines and polished surfaces. They are designed to cut out clutter and bring an air of sophistication. High-tech materials often adorn the highly reflective surfaces. Exotic woods are also used to bring luxury into the kitchen.

If you’re going for a cozy feeling that draws you in, the cottage style is perfect. High-end appliances in retro colors add to the charm of this style. There are often imperfect finishes on surfaces in these kitchens. Putting in homey touches and collectibles finishes off the look.

Contemporary kitchens mix functionality and family friendliness along with new and old materials. With lots of open space it creates room for hosts and guests to work and interact at the same time. Creating the perfect environment for entertaining.

Travel across the ocean to the South of France with a Mediterranean or French Country design. With colors that reflect nature and worn surfaces, it creates a romantic feel associated with that area. Using rich tones like russet, cobalt and ochre along with warm wooden cabinets can create the perfect atmosphere. Top it off with handmade ceramic accessories and copper pots.

Beaches are a wonderful place of relaxation. Coastal designs use cool shades of blue, green, white and sand to create a beach vibe. Use wicker and seagrass for seating and make sure to let in plenty of sunlight.

Old World design brings back a time when craftsmanship was important. This design says luxury with its dark mahogany finishes complete with carving and detail. Stone or wooden floors help complete the look along with heavy fabrics and historical accessories.

Lastly, the traditional kitchen is a staple in design. It revolves around holidays, after-school snacks and family. The clean, comfortable look is created with paneled or glass doors on the cupboards and bright, white elements. This kitchen design radiates a welcoming vibe in any home.

There are countless kitchen designs to reflect a certain place, time period or feeling in a home. They can be a blueprint for how to style the rest of the home or continue a style from the rest of the house.

No matter which kitchen style fits your family and personality, Refinish First can refinish the existing countertops and tile to match. Contact us today for a free kitchen refinishing estimate!

Start Summer Off Right with Your Camper or Boat

The summer heat is upon us in full force and that means it’s camping and boating season. Is your camper or boat looking a little worn down? Let us help! One way to bring it back to life is to let Refinish First refinish the hard surfaces in your boat or camper.

Your boat’s hard surfaces can take a beating from harsh exposure to the sun. Refinishing the surfaces can make it look brand new. Campers, our home away from home in the mountains, aren’t nearly as durable as a real home. Counters and sinks can chip easily and become damaged. The resurfacing process by Refinish First can quickly repair those chips and scratches and get you back to the great outdoors.

Need a new look for your boat or camper? Refinish it instead of buying a brand new toy. Refinishing can save you money so that you can gas up and go places with your newly resurfaced boat or camper. Refinish First can transform multiple surfaces from porcelain and fiberglass to laminate, tile and more.

Refinishing can also come in handy if you are looking to trade in your older model for a new one. By fixing those cracks and scratches, you’re likely to get a better trade-in deal.

If you’re looking to spruce up your boat or camper before your next vacation, contact Refinish First.

The History of the Bathtub

Bathtubs are a staple in our bathrooms, but that wasn’t always the case. The history of bathtubs is a somewhat confusing one. H. L. Mencken wrote the story “A Neglected Anniversary,” in 1917 as a hoax during a time of war. It was a completely false history of bathing and the bathtub that many people believed and quoted for years.

The history of the bathtub actually started possibly as early as 6,000 years ago. Copper water pipes were discovered from ruins in the Indus River Valley in India. Also, in Crete, a five-foot long cousin to the claw-foot tub made of pottery was found.

During the Roman Empire public baths were more common than private baths, which usually took up an entire room. They had bronze and lead pipes and developed a sewage system. After entering into the dark ages, bathing was not as common.

In the early and mid-19th century, before indoor plumbing, private bathtubs had become common, but were portable and usually stored somewhere until they needed to be used. They were usually made out of copper or zinc. Some were anchored in a wooden box, if the house had a water-heating device. It was soon discovered that copper, and zinc discolored. Sheet metal wasn’t much better as the seams were near impossible to keep clean and both iron and steel rusted.

Eventually, ceramic tubs and glazed surfaces came to be. They were heavier and much more costly, but soon made themselves permanent fixtures in the bathroom. Many people found the cast iron feet on these tubs made them difficult to clean behind which then led to recessed tubs. Eventually, in 1911, the built-in tubs we use today were developed.

In the beginning, white was the only color manufactured because it was easy to spot filth. But in 1929, colors became more popular in the bathroom. Starting with pastels and then appearing in bolder colors, bathroom fixtures became bold and decorative like they are today.

If you’re wanting to give your bathtub a facelift, Refinish First can help.

Add Value to Your Home

When thinking about remodeling or fixing up your home to increase the value before selling, there are two rooms that need the most attention; the kitchen and the bathroom. Out of all the rooms in the house, these two are the only ones that are likely to have semi-permanent fixtures. Walls can be repainted, carpets can be replaced, but cabinets and bathtubs can be pricey and difficult to replace.

The kitchen is often the first and last room buyers look at while touring a house. As a whole, people are spending more time in the kitchen than we have in the past. We gather there, entertain there and obviously, cook our meals there. Real estate experts are in agreement that you can get the greatest return from a kitchen upgrade.

Even simple upgrades can transform the entire room. Refinishing worn out or dated kitchen counters and painting the cabinets can bring your kitchen from dull and boring to bright and lively. You don’t always have to go big to get a big return.

Bathrooms are a high traffic area and can accumulate wear and tear pretty easily. A dingy shower-bathtub combo isn’t likely to attract many buyers. Cracked and chipped counters will make them run the other way. Buyers are looking for a clean, attractive space especially in a guest bathroom. Tile can bring an element of sophistication to any bathroom, but if it becomes cracked and needs to re-grouted, it can look like a nightmare. Refinish First can repair tiles and replace grout. Refinishing also seals the grout.

Putting even a small amount of effort and money into these rooms can pay out big. Talk to Refinish First about upgrading your home and get a free estimate.