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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thinking About New Hardwood Floors?

Wood flooring enhances the décor of any room, and provides timeless beauty that will increase in value throughout the years. In fact, in a national survey of real estate agents, 90 percent said that houses with wood flooring sell faster and for higher prices than houses without wood floors.

If you want new hardwood floors for your home, you probably don’t know where to start. Let’s begin with a few questions:

Q. Are there existing hardwood floors in your home that you want to match?

Q. If so, what do you know about these floors? Is the wood something your builder installed or were the floors added later? Do you have any information on your current floors?

Q. What is the subfloor in the rooms you want the hardwoods for? Wooden subfloor (plywood) or cement slab? Is there a basement or crawl space underneath the rooms?

With this information your Design Consultant can begin making product recommendations. First we will determine if you need site finished or prefinished hardwoods. If your subfloor is wooden, and your existing hardwoods were installed by your builder, you probably have site finished floors. If you are not matching existing hardwoods, you may want to consider a prefinished floor.

What does this mean? Site-finished hardwoods are installed raw (unfinished) and then sanded, stained, and coated with polyurethane in your home. You are able to select the stain color and the gloss level of the floor. Prefinished hardwood floors are fully manufactured and finished in the factory. A prefinished floor offers a quicker and more convenient installation. Manufacturers of prefinished floors include companies like Bruce, Armstrong, Mohawk, and Somerset. Both types of wood flooring (site-finished and prefinished) are available in solid and engineered wood.

Next determine if you need solid or engineered wood. Solid wood is exactly as it sounds: a solid piece of wood. Solid wood is usually ¾” thick. Engineered wood is thinner and is made in plies (layers) with the actual species of wood on the top layer. The bottom layers utilize other species of wood for stability. Engineered wood was developed for glue down installation, but some can be nailed and floated. Engineered floors can be ¼”, 3/8” (most common), ½”, or even 3/4” thick. If the area being installed has a plywood subfloor, either type may be used. Solid wood floors can only be installed on a cement slab if special and expensive installation techniques are followed.

If you are adding to existing hardwoods, prefinished or site finished, you will also need to determine what you have: thickness (normally 3/8” or ¾”), width (2 ¼” and 3” are the most common widths), and species. Most wood floors are oak, but there are numerous choices, including maple, Brazilian Cherry, bamboo, and hickory.

If you do not have an existing hardwood floor to match, you get to select exactly what you want! And the possibilities are endless. Wood floors come in a variety of colors that will fit any décor. Today's wood floors come in more than 50 species, both domestic and exotic, spanning the spectrum of color options, finishes, and price ranges. No matter what the look you want to achieve, there are a variety of species to meet your needs. Visit flooring showrooms to look at large product samples and spend some time on the internet looking at pictures of flooring (Pinterest and Houzz are great sites for this) to help you find the wood floor of your dreams.

You may be wondering if prefinished floors are real hardwood floors and if engineered floors are real hardwood floors. Yes, both are composed of 100% hardwood. All ¾” solid prefinished wood floors can be sanded numerous times. Most engineered wood floors can be sanded at least once, except veneers.

Some other things to consider:

• Some floors show wear and damage more readily. Generally, the lower gloss, the less wear and scratches will show. Medium stain colors and wood with a lot of grain will also show less damage. Very light and very dark floors show scratches and wear quickly, and floors such as maple that have very little grain again show imperfections more readily. Distressed hardwoods may be the most practical option for active families and homes with pets.

• If you are having site finished floors installed, there will be certain days and times that you cannot walk on the floors at all. For this reason, many families choose to have the work done while they are on vacation.

• Cost. Hardwood floors cost at least twice as much as carpet, on average around $7.00 per square foot fully installed. Of course, the average homeowner replaces their carpet every nine years, while hardwoods last decades and decades.

• The quality of your installation is crucial because of the permanency of hardwood flooring. Be aware that there is no easy way to fix a bad installation.
Hardwood floors offer warmth, beauty, and value and are one of the most important design elements in your home. You are now prepared with all of the basic information you need to begin shopping for a beautiful new wood floor for your home.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Stainless Steel Appliances --- In or Out?

Recently friends of mine had to purchase a new oven, and they asked me should they get stainless steel or something different? It seems like almost everybody has stainless steel appliances, but the stainless trend may be on its way out. After 15 years of stainless everything, manufacturers are now moving on to new finishes.

It is a pivotal moment in kitchen design: while stainless steel is still the dominant look, there are clear signals it has outworn its welcome, even with no clear successor in place. The appliance industry has tried to promote new looks before. In recent years, manufacturers have pitched "oiled bronze," "antique copper" and a gray hue called "meteorite," as well as aluminum and other look-alikes, but none has been able to unseat stainless steel.

Stainless looks professional, elegant, is versatile, and shows you've "arrived." However, as every homeowner with young children knows, true stainless steel shows fingerprints like no other finish.

The newest appliance colors reflect, in part, the kitchen's changing role in the home. In an open floor plan, the kitchen functions as the hub of relaxing and entertaining-a return to its historic role as the center of family life. As kitchens become "warmer" and more of an extension of the family room, many designers are finding that stainless steel feels too "cold" and modern. The new colors and materials, though not as vibrant as the avocado-green and harvest-gold of previous eras, try to blend in with their surroundings, rather than stand out like a trophy of technology the way shiny stainless steel tends to do.

As evidence of the new trend, Whirlpool stainless., the world's largest home-appliance maker, recently introduced its "Ice Collection" of appliances, including glossy white. "White is the new stainless," a Whirlpool news release says.GE is pushing a new line of metallic appliances in a muted gray called "slate."To further confuse you, Wolf Appliance says in a news release for black glass ovens introduced this spring "Black is the new stainless steel."

At the high end, Viking Range Corp., whose iconic open-burner stainless steel range was one of the first to bring pro-kitchen styling into homes, offers 23 color alternatives to stainless steel, including Cinnamon, Wasabi, Kettle Black and Dijon. However, stainless steel dominates. "I'd say 80% of our sales are still stainless steel," says Brent Bailey, design director at Viking Range.

Kitchen looks have just a 10 to 15 year lifespan, on average, according to remodeling experts. The 60s were the brown decade. The 70s, the gold and green decade. The 80s brought us black appliances, the 90s white, and the 2000s stainless steel.

However, a recent Wall Street Journal article says that despite the push to new colors, consumers continue to buy stainless steel. So if you recently switched to stainless, you don't have to worry. It's still the most popular finish. No manufacturer is writing stainless steel off completely. Yet there is a growing sense that stainless steel's popularity is on the way out. But for now it refuses to go away.

I Was Floored By Enhance

This may be our favorite quote ever from a client:

Cindy in Marietta told us "I wish everything in my life was as perfect as my beautiful new hardwood floor!"

Monday, October 29, 2012

3 Years Is A Long Time

Twice a year Enhance Floors & More is able to offer 36 Month Interest Free financing on the Mohawk family of products. Many of us do not just want new floors, we need new floors. But to save up the money can be tough. That is what is so great about long-term financing. Instead of the total cost, your can focus on the monthly payment. If the payment fits into you budget, you should definitely take advantage of NO INTEREST financing!

Some of our very best selling Mohawk floors are on sale. The monthly payments on a few great floors:

$59 per month
Real solid oak Mohawk hardwood floors for the
Family Room fully installed
(based on 300 square feet)

$119 per month
Four bedrooms, hall, and stairs
in Mohawk plush nylon carpet fully installed
(based on 1100 square feet)

$49 per month
Mohawk porcelain tile for two bathrooms fully installed
(based on 200 square feet,
cement slab installation)

Tuesday, November 6, is the final day that you can get pre-approved and eligible for the 36 Month financing. If these low monthly payments will help you make your dream home a reality NOW, then CLICK HERE to get approved! Don't miss out, this opportunity only comes around twice a year.

Remember The Troops This Holiday Season
Sending holiday packages to our military personnel serving around the world is a great family project. The deadline for parcel post delivery is November 13. Some things to include in your package:
~~baby wipes
~~hand sanitizer
~~toilet paper (really)
~~beef jerky
~~ITunes gift cards
~~Xbox etc. games
~~store-bought cookies, snacks, candy
~~cards, letters, note of thanks

Ask The Expert
This week our expert is Lindsay Bierman, the editor of Southern Living Magazine.
I will be doing some interior painting this fall. Tips?
"Invest in large paint samples. Fifty bucks spent on quart-size pots can save hundreds in gallons and days of labor repainting. I'm talking 3-foot-square patches, not just a few wimpy brush strokes."

I Was Floored By Enhance
Larry in Marietta is very happy with the new Mohawk prefinished hardwood floors that we installed in his bedrooms. Bill in Marietta says his new carpet look great. Sue in Kennesaw called and told us she was very happy with her new hardwood floors. And Carlos and Wendy told us their new wrought iron balusters (they chose the popular Oil Rubbed Bronze finish) look great.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Mohawk Anniversary Sale...AND...National Karastan Month...AND...Rake in the Savings Sale

You don't need to wait til Black Friday for big savings. Three of the biggest sales of the year are happening right now, just in time to get your home ready for the holidays. National Karastan Month features the lowest prices of the year on many beautiful Karastan carpets PLUS 36 Month Interest Free financing or 10% off sale prices, your choice. Hardwood floors from Bruce and Somerset, Armstrong laminates, Bliss and DreamWeaver carpets, and Artisan porcelain tiles are on sale during the Rake In The Savings event. And Mohawk Anniversary Sale does not end until November 6, so there is still plenty of time for you to get in on the big savings! Almost everything Mohawk is on sale---carpet, including Silk, the super-softest carpet available, gorgeous hardwoods, easy-to-care-for laminates and timeless tile. There are also great prices on Daltile and QuickStep floors during Mohawk Anniversary Sale. So whatever new floor you have been waiting for, it is almost certainly on sale right now! Come by today and your Enhance Design Consultant will help make all of your home improvement dreams come true.

Did You Know?
~~Our co-owner Elisabeth was interviewed for the "Wild About Tile" feature article in the October edition of Atlanta Home Improvement Magazine.
~~The Motel 6 chain has specified laminate flooring in all renovations and new constructions. The Sourcing Director states that while the laminate flooring is more expensive initially than carpeting, due to the longer wear, durability, and low maintenance the long term cost of ownership is less. The green attributes of laminate are also a consideration, including the energy conservation in that the housekeeper does not have to vacuum and steam clean and only has to damp mop. If laminates perform great for Motel 6 (they tested for over 4 years) you know they will hold up at your house.
~~We recently had a client who accumulated almost $900 in Decorating Dollars by referring friends and family to Enhance Floors & More. She purchased $3100 of carpet, but was only "out of pocket" $2200. She was thrilled, and we are grateful for her referrals. When you tell your friends about Enhance Floors, make sure they know to tell us your name when we ask how they found about us, then once the job is completed check your mailbox for your Decorating Dollars. It's like money for nothing!

Ask The Expert
I am confused about polyester carpet. Is it good or bad?
When many people think of polyester carpet, they are remembering the polyester carpets from the 70s, which did not perform well. As with everything, technology marches on, and what is available today is vastly improved from 30 years ago. (Think of a beeper compared to the cell phone you have today. There's no comparison!) Polyester offers exceptional softness, making it ideal for thick cut piles and is also naturally stain and fade resistant. It has excellent color clarity, color retention, strength, and abrasion resistance. Polyester is also less costly than nylon and Triexta (SmartStrand.)

If you have kids and pets, consider solution dyed polyester. These fibers can be cleaned very aggressively without damage to the carpet and offer stain warranties on mustard, bleach, red wine, Kool-Aid, and pet accidents, items that are excluded from most warranty coverage.

Nylon is traditionally cited as the most durable fiber, but new technology fibers have been found to perform just as well as nylon, particularly Triexta and the newest generation of polyester fibers. More important than the specific fiber is the construction of the carpet. Look for cut pile carpets that are tightly twisted and dense (fibers very close together.) Be aware that no entry-level ("builders grade") carpet will perform well long term, regardless of fiber content.

Our Customers Are Telling Us
Ralph in Marietta is very happy with the new tile floors and shower installation that we completed in August. Joel and Pat in Atlanta say that their new Mohawk Silk carpet is beautiful. Victoria in Marietta is very happy with the new laminate floors that we installed in her family room.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Colors For Fall Decorating

Traditional fall colors are those found in nature---burgundy, brown, gold, orange, yellow. Contemporary choices include gray, apricot, tan, rusty red, green, and bursts of color like eggplant, teal and turquoise.

Need help with how to use these autumnal colors? Apricot works well with teal or aqua. A green/orange/brown combination is both feminine and masculine. For the nontraditional, consider aqua, cream and tan.

How about purple-to-reddish/maroony plums and yellowy bright golds on a sage-to-olive background with very small amounts of creamy apricot. Warm gray looks great with burnt orange or turquoise.

Decorate with gnarly wood and twigs, beautiful leaves, acorns, berries, apples, and mums. Use rugs, tablecloths, placemats and cloth napkins, pillows and throws for your accent colors. Candles, pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn---pick a few of these elements and bring the outside in!

What's New At Enhance?

Wow, we have gotten in quite a few new products recently. If you have not stopped by lately, you need to see (and touch!) the new Silk carpet styles from Karastan and Mohawk: so soft! so beautiful! We recently received a brand new ceramic and porcelain tile line by Artisan, featuring some gorgeous and unique stone looks.
Ask about the newest colors of quartz countertops from Daltile and our newest laminate and wood collections from Palmetto Road. If you have been looking for just-the-right handscraped and distressed hardwood, be sure to
see the new styles from Armstrong, Mohawk, and Bruce. The Enhance Design Consultants are excited to show you both the tried and true styles and the latest and newest colors and textures---we are here to help you select the perfect look for your home and lifestyle.

Ask The Experts

Each week we will answer a question from one of our readers. Please email us your questions; we are here to help!

What is Pinterest and how do I use it?

Elisabeth answers:
Pinterest is a web-based "virtual pinboard"; a high tech version of tearing pictures you like out of magazines to file away for future reference. You can browse pinboards created by other people for inspiration, "re-pin" images to your own collections or 'like' photos to refer back to later. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interest. You can follow people, celebrities, and companies. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

You can link to Pinterest here to see what it is all about. It's quick and easy to set up your account and you no longer need an invitation to join.

One of the things that we like the best about Pinterest is that you have access to thousands and thousands of pictures. For example, if you are thinking about new hardwood floors, simply type in Hardwood Floors and you'll see boards and pins from around the world. Plus, all of your Enhance Design Consultants have Pinterest boards. Search for Enhance Floors & More, Wanda Hembree, and Robin Vance to see our boards.

You will need to create your own boards as part of your shopping process. You'll want separate boards for each of your projects, for example, Baby's Room or Master Bathroom. As you see pictures that you like, pin to your board. If you have a smart phone, download the Pinterest app and you now have your favorites with you everywhere you go.

You may be wondering how this is helpful. So often a client has a hard time describing what she is interested in, but a picture is worth a thousand words! Show us your board with the picture of the backsplash design that you like, and we will be able to take you to a similar product in our store. Every day we are discovering new and helpful ways to use Pinterest (another similar site is Houzz) to make your dream home a reality!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Pets? Kids? Finally --- The Perfect Floor!
We all want beautiful floors that are easy to take care of and that will look good for many years. Hardwood floors are very popular, but for some of us they are just not a practical choice. Wood scratches, indents, changes color over time, and requires a little more maintenance than some of us are able to give, especially those of us with kids and animals.

If it is time (or past time!) for new floors for your home, consider laminate floors. Laminate flooring has become a popular choice for many homeowners due to its ability to closely emulate today's most popular hard surfaces, especially hardwood planks and ceramic or stone tiles. Besides the great textures and designs, laminate flooring offers improved durability, easier maintenance and affordability compared to other types of hard surface floors. These floors are extremely resistant to wear, stains and sunlight fading. The beautifully rich textured finishes make these floors a great alternative for most areas in your home.

Call or come by and discuss your flooring makeover with your Enhance Design Consultant. We'd love to show you these floors that are made to handle your lifestyle!

Can You Tell Which One Is A Laminate
and Which One Is A Hardwood Floor?
(see answers below)




Ask The Experts

Each week we will answer a flooring question from one of our readers. Please email us your questions; we are here to help!

I have been told that laminate floors are not good for resale. Why?
Elisabeth answers: I think that most people saying this base their opinion on first generation laminates and on bad do-it-yourself installations that they have seen. I will agree that when laminates first came on the market, in the 1990's, they did not look as good as they do today. You could see the seams, there was no texture, and the visuals weren't great. As with everything, technology has greatly improved the appearance and realism of laminate flooring. There are many higher quality laminates that I would challenge an expert to say with a quick glance if it was real wood or laminate.

Also, to be honest, most DIY installations are not good. Just because it looks so easy to do on the home improvement shows does not mean it is. If the installation is not properly done, the floor will be much noisier, move when you walk on it, etc. Floating installations have very stringent installation requirements, and the floor needs to be installed correctly in order to look good and to perform well.

That being said, if your prospective home purchaser is the perfect candidate for real hardwoods, meaning no animals, empty nester, Mrs. Clean, etc., they will probably want the hardwoods. If your subdivision trends towards families, laminates will be a good selling feature for your home. Just buy a good quality laminate and have it professionally installed.

Did You Know?

Cherokee County School Fall Break is fast approaching---it is the week of September 17. This is a week that many clients use to undertake big projects in their home (bathroom remodels, staircase makeovers, refinishing hardwood floors) while they are away enjoying vacation time with their family. If you are planning on having work done that week, please get on our installation calendar. We are already filling up for that week, so don't miss out on the dates you need.

A. Laminate    B. Wood     C. Wood    D. Laminate
E. Laminate   F. Wood

Friday, August 17, 2012

Are You Ready For Some Football

I hope you have been enjoying our recent newsletters about pretty stuff like kitchens and decorating. I think it is now time to talk about something really important---getting ready for football season! I gave Elisabeth the week off from writing the newsletter, so here goes my first attempt, hope you enjoy it!

One of the first considerations is if you are able to have a dedicated man cave or will you be using your existing family room. This determines the seating. If you are going to do a dedicated room it would probably work best with theater chairs. These come in a wide range of styles from love seats to individual recliners. If you are going with your existing family room then you will want seating that is multipurpose, like couches and loveseats with a couple of chairs. Choose super comfortable pieces, and be sure your have plenty of places to set drinks (cup holders are awesome!) and snacks. Consider adding remote control dimmable lighting for convenience. Your furniture arrangement influences the type and size of the television you need. Measure the distance between the seating and the TV before you go shopping.

   Do you want LCD, LED, or plasma? What are the differences? Very simply, LCD stands for liquid crystal diodes, a technology that is commonly used in everyday items like digital clocks, car dashboards, calculators, and stereos. LED is a type of LCD television. LED (light emitting diode) TVs use a different type of backlighting, which makes the picture brighter and more luminous than a traditional LCD. Plasma TVs are a technology that utilizes small cells containing electricallychargedionizedgases. LCDs tend to be the least expensive and plasmas the most costly, with LEDs in between. Plasmas use more electricity than LCDs and LEDs, up to 50% more energy,
   What size? You need the biggest, best TV you can afford. Many of the best buys seem to be 42". If you are going above 50", experts tend to recommend the plasma, though in a bright room the LCD will have less glare. A 46- or 50-inch set is often preferable in rooms where you'll be sitting 8 to 10 feet or so from the screen. Just don't buy a jumbo set and sit right on top of it; you will notice the picture elements (pixels) which can be distracting. Front projectors are a great choice for home theaters-the best choice for a truly big-screen experience-but they're less practical for everyday use.
    Many new LCD and plasma TVs are Internet-enabled (Wi-Fi) sets that can stream online video and access popular websites. Your screen resolution choices are 720p and1080p, the higher the number the finer the detail. Consensus is that unless you are a serious gamer or Blu-ray DVD watcher, you will not see the difference between 1080p and 720p, plus most satellite and cable TV is still being sent in 720p. If you want3D (for movies and games) look for Full HD 3D or stereoscopic 3D, which is the best form of 3D TV currently available, though you will still need the special 3D glasses.

   Many man caves are in the basement, but any unused room in the house will work. Some guys convert their garage into their man cave. In addition to the TV, important "toys" to have include a dart board, pool or foosball table, and video games. Consider a game table for poker and playing cards. A bar can be very easy to add---you can check Craigslist for something that might work as a bar, like a cool old piece of furniture. A mini-fridge is great, too.
   Man caves are usually dark. Bright and airy just does not say "cave"---think darker paints (deep blue, brown, green) and darker woods. Use wooden blinds instead of white for a rugged look. Hang long, thick curtains on the windows, with "blackout" backing, to block out all light, for complete darkness in the room during daytime TV watching.
   Be sure to have access to additional seating for all your buds, like folding chairs or large bean bags. A large, sturdy coffee table in front of the couch is great for a place to put your feet up.
   Oh, I almost forgot. What is the best floor covering for your TV watching room? The consensus is carpet, for sound deadening and reflection reasons. If your man cave has hard surface floors, then adding a thick rug near the TV is a must.
   Hope this helps you get ready for football season!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Carpet. . . .It Just Feels Better!

There are certain rooms of your home that you know you want carpeted.

Bedrooms, cold damp basements, the kid's playroom: you want something comfortable and soft!

If you have not shopped for carpet in a few years, you will be surprised at how SOFT new carpet is. But that's not all that has changed and improved. Today's carpet is more stain and soil resistant than ever, and more durable, too.

SmartStrand Silk and SmartStrand Ultra

And let's talk about stain resistance. SmartStrand carpets are perfect for today's active lifestyles. SmartStrand Ultra is easy to clean with just water, no chemicals necessary. What could be easier? Our very best selling carpet is part of the Ultra series of 9 styles and 60 colors. Prices start at $3.90 per square foot installed with brand new 8 lb padding and installation including furniture moving and removal of your existing carpet and pad. (Yes! We move the furniture!)

SmartStrand Silk by Mohawk is the most advanced soft carpet in the flooring industry. Available in 4 textures and 40 colors, one will be perfect for your home and décor. You will not find a carpet that is more luxurious, softer, or more durable. Come in and feel Silk---you'll love it!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Kitchens are the most popular room in the house to renovate.

Kitchen Do's:
~DO make use of the classic work triangle. Arrange the sink, refrigerator, and stove (the three features used the most) in a triangular pattern. It's generally agreed upon to be the most convenient setup because it saves unnecessary steps.
~DO consider how many people work in the kitchen at once. If it's more than one you might want to incorporate more than one workstation. If there's enough room consider adding an island or purchase a wheeled cart that can be moved around the room and put away when not in use.
~DO plan to have at least 36" of counter space for food preparation, with 24" on one side of the sink and 18" on the other. If you can fit more, do so.
~DO leave adequate floor space in front of appliances so the doors can be opened and you can still walk in front of them. 30" to 48" should be sufficient.
~DO leave enough room for traffic flow. There should be 42" between the counters and the island (if there is one) so that people can easily walk through.

~DO use a professional kitchen designer as you plan your dream kitchen. Kitchen designers can recommend changes to floor plans than can up the functionality of your kitchen without expanding the floor plan. (Be sure to as your Enhance Floors & More Consultant about our great kitchen designer!)

Kitchen Don'ts
~DON'T choose a paint color without first buying a 2-ounce sample jar to try. Paint on practice boards and hang on different walls within the room, under changing light conditions throughout the day.
~DON'T fail to consider a cooktop-wall oven combination instead of a range. You can put a cooktop wherever counter space allows, including on an island or peninsula. You can also opt to mount an oven at waist or eye level for added convenience with less-awkward bending.
~DON'T neglect venting your range hood to the outside. Today's options in range hoods include variable fan speeds, exhaust timers, and thermostat controls. The hood should be at least as wide as the cooking surface it will be installed above.

Spend Smart
The July 2012 Consumer Reports is a special issue all about KITCHENS. If a kitchen update, large or small, is in your future, it is a great guide to have. Some of our favorite pointers include:
~~Important options to consider in a new oven include a covered element, electronic touchpad controls, oven window, self-cleaning cycle, temperature probe, and variable broil.
~~Even low priced dishwashers offer these options: stainless steel tubs, adjustable racks, half-load options, dirt sensors, filters, rinse/hold cycles, and special wash cycles.
 ~~Consumer Reports found few performance differences between the cheapest and priciest faucet models tested. They did find that adding a PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish made the faucet more scratch and stain resistant. PVD finishes are available in nickel, copper, pewter, bronze, gold, and polished brass.
~~You can spend a lot or a little on a kitchen sink, but price has little to do with how well it will perform. Stainless steel rated highest for stains, abrasion, sharp impact, and heat resistance.

What Is An Induction Range?
This hot technology uses electromagnetic coils under the cooktop's glass-covered surface that heat more quickly and efficiently by generating heat in the pot or pan directly. Consumer Reports testing found that induction was usually 25 percent faster than a regular smoothtop. But even today's lower-priced models still cost $1,800 or more. And induction ranges and cooktops also require you to use magnetic cookware. Some stainless-steel cookware will work, aluminum or copper will not.

By Thanksgiving?
If you have decided that you are ready for a new kitchen, and want it done by Thanksgiving, you only have a few months to begin the project! An average kitchen remodel takes three months from the time the initial paperwork is signed to final completion. You need to be doing all of the homework (pun intended!) that you need to do, planning, getting estimates, etc. now so that you are ready to finalize and commit by the end of August.