e often start and end our days in our kitchens and baths, so they are often the busiest rooms in our homes. Outfitting your log home correctly with the key features to make these rooms both elegant and functional can be challenging. Consider the following factors.
Kitchen and bath designers call the activity patterns in these rooms the ‘work zones’ and cabinetry is used to create the workspaces. Just as with any other kind of furniture, there is a relationship between cost and quality. Typically the more hardwood in your cabinets, the more expensive, better constructed and more durable they will be. Full hardwood cabinets are at the top of the cost, elegance and durability spectrum. In the middle are cabinets made with a blend of hardwoods and an engineered wood, such as particleboard. Cabinets made with engineered wood covered with a simulated wood veneer are the least expensive. When considering cabinets, pay close attention to drawers and pullout accessories. Are the sliders and fasteners made of plastic or metal? Metal will be more durable.
If you agonize over decisions, get ready to go into option overload. Countertops today come in wood, tile, stone, composite, solid-surface, laminate, concrete and steel, with many variations in color and texture in each category.
Price might seem the easiest basis for a decision, but the majority of the choices fall roughly within the range of $50 to $100 a linear foot installed. The least expensive countertop material is plastic laminate ($8 to $20 installed), but that won’t make the choices any easier. Manufacturers offer more than a hundred colors and scores of different patterns.
Practicality might be a reason to pick one material over another, but none of these products is problem-free. Nearly every one can be scratched. Stone requires periodic resealing, and all of them, particularly concrete, can be stained by food or drink. The only stain- and scratch-free countertop that is a cinch to maintain is steel. But few log home owners want their kitchens to look like a hospital lab.
Make your choice by weighing aesthetic appeal, durability and maintenance ease.
Bath Fittings, Faucets & Fixtures
If you have recently shopped for bath fittings, you know there is a huge variety of sink and shower faucets to choose from. When considering fittings, faucets and plumbing fixtures, look for quality craftsmanship. The best choices in faucets are those that are solid brass or brass-based metal and have corrosion-resistant internal parts. Also, look for ceramic-disk and plastic-disk valves because they are easier to maintain than valves that use washers.
Toilets range in cost from $75 to $1,000 depending on the type and material used. Standard colors available are beige, white and black. Other colors are available through special order.
The easiest and usually most attractive way to coordinate your fittings and accessories is to create a ‘suite’ look. The suite look is basically all fittings and accessories with the same finish. Or, for a more eclectic look, combine two finishes to fit your style.
When you add flooring, appliances and electrical fixtures, kitchens and baths will account for anywhere from 5 to 15 percent of your overall budget. So decide what you can afford now, as well as what might be replaced later when you have more money for custom work. As you contemplate choices, keep in mind that products you choose must be durable, stain-resistant, easy to clean, attractive and affordable.