Learn What Materials To Use When Creating Your Own Kitchen Oasis

Jim Bizal, owner of Bizal Built, discusses what materials can make a big impact when revamping your kitchen.

A kitchen renovation takes a lot of time, effort and financial resources, so when it comes to choosing materials it is important to consider longevity in addition to what is currently on trend. When beginning a kitchen renovation it is valuable to identify priorities you have for your cooking space and create a plan; HGTV created a Day in the Life of Your Kitchen Questionnaire to help reno-ready homeowners assess their kitchen needs and provided a guide on how to create a roadmap for a successful kitchen remodel.

Jim Bizal, owner of Bizal Built Construction Company, has worked in the remodeling industry for over 26 years and has first-hand experience with what materials work best when renovating a kitchen. Bizal provided ESTATENVYwith an insider’s guide on what materials homeowners should consider when updating their kitchen.

Cabinets:

Cabinets form the backbone of any kitchen and when it comes to reliability there is no greater priority than a sturdy cabinet. “When it comes to cabinets, it is best to use real wood and stay away from particle board and melamine. My team generally uses cherry or birch wood when we building custom cabinets,” said Bizal.

Birchwood an incredibly versatile wood and is abundant in North America, making it one of the most reasonably priced of the high-end hardwood materials. Cherry wood has a distinctive, warm reddish color and a more noticeable grain than other premier hardwoods, this feature coupled with durability is what makes cherry wood a desirable material for kitchen cabinets.

Two current cabinet trends Bizal and his team are well acquainted with extended cabinets and the complete removal of upper cabinets. “Cabinets that extend to a kitchens ceiling great way to provide additional storage and they allow for sleek design. In contrast, we get a lot of requests to remove walls and upper cabinets altogether, giving the kitchen a more open concept design. We traditionally will add more lower cabinet storage, a kitchen island with storage, or add a pantry when we design an open concept kitchen.”

Countertops:

Countertops set the tone of the kitchen and can sometimes be chosen before cabinets. According to Bizal, homeowners should choose a material that reflects their personal style but also aligns with how they use their kitchen. “90 percent of countertops we install are granite or marble,” says Bizal, “the natural design coupled with durability makes granite a great option for any at home cook or family with kids.” Granite still remains the top choice for most home renovation projects; traditional granite countertops offer a high-end look that adds to a kitchens value while providing a durable prep surface for almost any occasion.

Backsplash:

The backsplash is an opportunity to provide some personality to your kitchen, the tiles are chosen to showcase the space between the countertop and cabinets is traditionally used to tie your kitchen's theme together. Countertops can often dictate your backsplashes color and style as well as a kitchens lighting and hardware. “The most common backsplashes we see are subway tiles or mosaic tiles,” said Bizal, “both come in countless styles and colors and can fit in any kitchen.”

Flooring:

The kitchen floor is the hardest-working floor in the house, it is meant to withstand cooking mishaps, spills, people and pets. “Hardwood floors are the most popular floors we work with today, they look good, are extremely durable, and can withstand massive amounts of traffic,” said Bizal. “Most of our jobs include taking out or refinishing old flooring, ripping out old vinyl and replacing it with luxury vinyl, or adding tile.”

A few suggestions that can help homeowners choose a floor that best suits their needs include:

  • Your homes location: Do you live in the midwest? Wood flooring is a cozy but dependable choice. Do you live in a warmer climate? If so, tile might be a better option to help cut down on your homes cooling costs.
  • Your lifestyle: Do you have a family? Pets? It is important to choose floors that stand up to the wear and tear of your family’s daily activities.
  • Ease of cleaning: Between food spills and mud-covered sneakers, kitchen floors tend to be the busiest and the dirtiest floors in the house. Choosing a material that is easy to clean, water resistant and not prone to scratching or staining is a great way to minimize time spent on maintenance.
  • Cost: When you are ready to revamp your kitchen make sure you have set aside the correct amount for your flooring budget by measuring your kitchens square footage, accounting for underlay materials, and any cost associated with remove and disposal of your previous flooring.

Plumbing and Hardware:

It is a little-known fact that homeowners can purchase plumbing and hardware materials direct from a plumbing supplier just as easily as a contractor; purchasing through a plumbing supplier gives the buyer access to higher quality furnishing and they could traditionally find at a large retail company. “When it comes to plumbing we generally recommend our clients go to plumbing supply houses instead of shopping large supply chain stores,” said Bizal, “plumbing supply houses like Ferguson generally make two separate lines, one for retail and one for commercial. This is a great way to find a look that is right for your kitchen but will also withstand the test of time.”