The Perfect Kitchen Island

Homeowners love kitchen islands for many reasons. They are functional, they can be a design focal point, and can provide extra seating. Finding the perfect kitchen island requires marrying functional and style to fit the kitchen.

For function, islands need to give the dishwasher enough clearance when opening the door, have 18 inches of space on either side of a cooktop, and have outlets for appliances to cover the basics. After that, many more features can be added to customize the island for each unique kitchen need.

If it’s going to be used for extra seating, make sure it’s the proper height for kitchen stools. The eating area should also be raised so it’s out of range of spatters from the cooktop or sink, if one is present.

A kitchen island is usually at least four feet long and two feet deep, taking up quite a bit of space. Because of this it is recommended that the kitchen should be at least eight feet deep and more than 12 feet long to accommodate an island.

One of the major advantages of having a kitchen island is more storage. Cabinets can be installed on each side to increase kitchen storage. Put more shallow cabinets on the front, dining side, and larger, deeper cabinets on the kitchen side.

Homeowners should design or find a kitchen island that works for their needs, whether that be an extra cooktop, more storage, or a breakfast bar.


Clean and Clutter Free

Kitchen counters get a lot of traffic. They get spilled on, dripped on, burned, scratched and more. If not cleaned properly, they can become a breeding ground for bacteria, something nobody wants near their food. Kitchen counters are also a place of clutter. Dirty dishes, appliances and other items get left there, making cooking an obstacle course. Having a regular cleaning routine can help cut down on kitchen messes and clutter.

Food prep areas should be cleaned each time they are used. Warm water and dish detergent work well for this every day type of cleaning. Make sure to dry the counter completely to discourage the growth of bacteria. For deeper cleaning, a nonabrasive cleaner and sponge or microfiber towel can be used. Some surfaces, like natural stone, concrete, wood and engineered quartz, require the use of a soap and warm water mixture to clean them. Vinegar shouldn’t be used on wood counters due to the possibility of it dissolving the glue holding it together and bleach or ammonia can ruin the sealant and dull concrete counters. Researching the best type of cleaners for different kitchen surfaces is always a good decision before cleaning them.

If kitchen counters have become damaged, old or worn out, Refinish First can refinish laminate, tile, solid surfaces and cultured marble. The surface will look like new for a fraction of the cost and time associated with a kitchen remodel.

For keeping the counters clutter free, it’s all about developing habits. Many times, things get tossed and left on the counter. Junk mail is a pretty common culprit. Instead of bringing mail into the kitchen area and leaving it, sort through it at the door. Get rid of junk mail right away to keep it from building up. Have a basket set somewhere for the important mail.

When cooking meals, pots, pans and all sorts of other cookware can pile up in no time. If possible, the best option is to wash them as soon as they’re done being used. Or wash them right after the meal is over. Also, if dishes are air-dried, try not to leave them on the counter overnight. Have a routine for putting them away once they’re dry.

Find more practical places for items. Kitchen towels can be hung up on the oven, the refrigerator, or a special hook. They’re also less likely to get lost that way. Appliances that don’t get used often can be put in cupboards, if there’s room. One idea to free up the counter space that the coffee maker occupies is to create a little coffee bar or station. Get a simple roll cart or shelf and place it against an empty space on the wall. The coffee maker can go on top while all the fixings can go down below on shelves. This can be a fun little craft project and ensures everything for coffee is in one spot.

Creating routines and habits can help keep kitchen countertops clean and clear. This can have a positive effect on other life aspects, such as stress levels.

What is the Refinish First Counter Finishing Process?

Before we go into the nitty gritty of how the magic happens, we want to mention that refinishing counters is much more affordable than starting over with new construction.

The Refinish First process is a non-acid and works on laminate, Formica, ceramic tile, Corian, Silestone and cultured marbled surfaces. Is your countertop a refinish candidate?

To resurface, the surrounding area is masked off to protect during the process. Then there is a two step process to completely clean all dirt and grease from the surface which is very important to ensure proper bonding. All chips and breaks are filled at this time so they can be sanded until smooth to blend seamlessly. This next step, which is what sets Refinish First apart from many, is the use of its own proprietary bonding agent that enables proper adhesion between the old and new surfaces. With this comes a great finish that is durable, long lasting and comes with an adhesion warranty.

Here is the part that most people care about and that is the new surface. It is possible to match most colors or to go with our most popular finish that look like stone available in several different colors. The technologically advanced coating is very attractive and durable. With proper care, the new finish can increase the longevity another 10 to 15 years, which is found with manufacturers like Kohler and American Standard.

If you are considering having a counter or tub refinished, contact Refinish First to set up an appointment for a free estimate.