Common Misconceptions About Countertops

Common Misconceptions about Countertops


You might not think it, but there are a considerable number of common misconceptions about countertops floating around on the internet and in forums. Many people mistakenly believe that countertops require regular maintenance or that larger retailers offer better value for money than smaller players, but this is not true. The purpose of this article is to set the record straight and get to the truth about countertops.


Misconception #1: Countertops Require Regular Maintenance


One of the biggest myths out there is that countertops require regular maintenance. Yes, you’ll need to wipe them down after you’ve used them, but other than that, there’s not much else that you need to do to keep them in good condition. Countertops should not require regular grouting if you look after them properly.


When it comes to keeping countertops in the best condition possible, we would recommend the following:


  • Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals, like bleach
  • Don’t use abrasive pads to clean countertops, as these may damage the surface layer
  • Ensure that you use long-lasting sealants that are resistant to moisture


Check Out Heat-Resistant Countertops


Finally, if you’re worried about maintenance, then it’s worth investigating heat-resistant countertops that can withstand the temperatures of hot pans that have just come off the stove. Some countertops can withstand high temperatures while others require you to use a trivet.


Misconception #2: Big Brand Stores Don’t Necessarily Offer The Best Value


Another common misconception is that big brand stores offer the best value for money for countertops. However, a simple investigation of their practices seriously undermines this argument. Sure, they might offer the lowest prices, but what are you getting for your money?


It’s a common practice for big box stores to supply people with countertops that have pits and other imperfections. Imperfections matter because they can become contaminated with moisture and food particles, leading to a degradation of the surrounding material.


The other problem is that big box stores will often apply generic methods during countertop installation. To get the best countertop experience possible, you need to ensure that a specialist accurately cuts the material beforehand. A bad cut can lead to years of problems and disappointment. Remember, big box stores may not have a qualified installation crew.


Misconception #3: All Brands Are The Same


Countertop brands differ from each other in significant ways. Some brands pay extreme attention to detail, making sure that their products are of the highest quality possible while others aim to sell in bulk, and don’t pay close attention to each unit.


Mining is also an important consideration. If you’re considering whether to have a stone or marble countertop installed, how it is taken out of the ground can make a big difference to the final product. Many companies develop the techniques for extracting slabs of rock from mines over decades while others try to grow their businesses overnight.


How a company transports the countertop is also important. Countertops exposed to extremes of temperature during shipping can develop weaknesses. Good countertop companies ensure that their shipping partners keep their product in conditions that fall within acceptable tolerances.

The Best Reason To Renovate Your Kitchen

If you’re like most homeowners here in Rhode Island or Massachusetts, you spend a great deal of time in your kitchen, and in that time you’re not just cooking, eating and cleaning up. A compelling study by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence reports that nearly 20 percent of homeowners spend an average of three hours per day in the kitchen. The RICKI study confirms what we have known for a long time at Northeast Kitchen Center – homeowners in Rhode Island and Massachusetts use their kitchen for a vast array of activities that have nothing to do with a kitchen’s traditional role. Instead, our clients are asking us to design kitchens that serve as a multifunctional space to listen to music, share quality time with family and friends, watch television, stream videos, care for pets, pay bills, read, play games, study, work and more.

The amount of time that homeowners spend in the kitchen is expected to continue to increase. Technological advances are transforming the kitchen from an independent living space into a hyper-connected, multipurpose hub for cooking, eating, entertaining, relaxing and working from home.

As the kitchen’s role continues to evolve, there is a new emphasis on design, and it’s becoming increasingly valuable to work with professionals who understand how to transform a traditional kitchen space into an area that accommodates a diverse array of nontraditional kitchen functions. As Eliot Sefrin, publisher emeritus of Kitchen & Bath Design News, points out, “A growing number of kitchens are occupying larger, more open footprints. ‘Smart’ features are being built into cabinetry, appliances, countertops and other kitchen components.” Smart kitchen lighting, hardware, virtual assistants and other products are coming to market to address consumer demand for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth capabilities. Manufacturers are bringing to market creative solutions to incorporate docking stations for smart devices into cabinets, drawers, countertops and other spaces. Appliances also offer smart options and Bluetooth connectivity that enable remote operation and are synched with digital assistants.

Your kitchen is the hub of your home, you and your family spend a lot of time in that space, and as such it’s essential that it is arranged in a manner that best suits your lifestyle and needs. If you want to discuss your dream kitchen of tomorrow, please call our showroom at (401) 257-6610 , visit our showroom at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI or contact us here.

How To Organize Your Kitchen Like A Professional Chef

One secret to designing a great kitchen in Rhode Island is to account for your storage needs and desires in the initial planning phases. A storage plan will address how often you cook, entertain and hold gatherings. A great kitchen must not only look out of this world, but it also must incorporate the best functionality that meets your needs and lifestyle.

Everything in your new kitchen should have a designated place. Following examples of professional chefs will help you to develop a plan that meets your needs. Pros understand that every mixing bowl, spice container, pot and cooking utensil has to have a designated place that is easily accessible. “When you have a place for everything, you don’t have to think twice,” relates Ellen Bennet, founder and CEO of the lifestyle brand Hedley & Bennet, in a recent article in the New York Times.

Bennett adapts lessons from Samin Nosrat’s book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (which is also a Netflix series) to organize her cookware into the following four categories: prep, cook, serve and store. A prep drawer or cabinet would include mixing bowls, mortar and pestle, measuring glass and a scale. Items that would find their way into a cook drawer or cabinet include pots, pans and lids. Serving space plays home to plates, bowls, glasses while storage cabinets and drawers contain resealable containers. Each drawer or cabinet serves a defined purpose, and there should never be an instance where a pot lid would be found in a storage cabinet.

Bennet is a fan of using identical containers for storage that are well marked, so you don’t have to guess what’s inside. She noted that most professional kitchens label everything with painter’s tape. An alternative is to use chalkboard paint with a chalkboard pen because of its look and readability. Flour, salt, sugar, corn starch and other dry goods are stored in labeled clear plastic or glass containers. Not only does this storage technique allow you to find what you are looking for easily, but it also tells you how much of each dry good you have left, which is not easily determined when you store those items in their original packaging.

Grouping foods in the fridge by flavor profile and function makes them easy to find. One section can be designated for ethnic ingredients, and others can store fruits, vegetables, dairy items, proteins, etc. Bennett stores garlic, shallots and onions in a wooden “flavor” bowl on her countertop.

Professional chefs don’t often have the luxury of excess space. That’s why they understand the benefit of less is more. If you have utensils or small appliances such as a waffle iron, sandwich press or slow cooker that you rarely use, they most likely are taking up valuable space without delivering a return on investment. Donate them to a worthy cause, or store them in another part of your home. Most home chefs can get by with only three knives – chef’s, paring and bread – and a good pair of kitchen shears. Bennett is not a big fan of garlic presses, olive pitters, avocado slicers or other gadgets that accomplish the same result as can be achieved using a knife.

Awkward items such as bags of chips, pretzels and other snacks; oils and vinegar; vitamins and medicine can be easily organized on separate trays and baskets in the fridge and pantry.

A clean counter is an organized counter and among the most valuable real estate in a kitchen. To keep counters clean, Bennet recommends placing utensils used most often such as tongs, wooden spoons and spatulas in round containers. She keeps butter, salt, pepper and olive oil next to her cooktop.

If you would like to discuss how your new kitchen could function like those used by professional chefs, call our showroom at (401) 257-6610 , visit our showroom at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI or contact us here.

Granite Done Right: Learn How To Increase Your Home’s Value

Granite Done Right: Learn How To Increase Your Home’s Value


The kitchen is purportedly the most critical room in the home when it comes to selling. But what is it about the kitchen that adds so much value?


Part of the story has to do with people’s desire for high-quality furnishings, like granite countertops. With the right granite countertop, you can dramatically increase the value of your home and boost your chances of a quick sale.


But there’s a problem. For granite countertops to be a useful selling tool, you have to do them right. Poor granite countertop installation can put buyers off and leave you thousands of dollars out of pocket.


In this article, we’re going to take a look at how you can deploy granite countertops effectively to increase the value of your home.


Know The Price Of Granite Countertops


Knowing the price of granite countertops is the first step along the road to making sure that you increase the value of your home. The cost of granite countertops ranges from a low of $40 per square foot up to $100 for the most exclusive stone. Typically, the average person pays a little over $3,000 to install a countertop, making it a significant financial decision.


Before spending any money, it’s worth thinking about how much of a premium buyers are prepared to pay for a granite countertop. If you live in a wealthy neighborhood, then there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to ask for a bigger premium than if you live in a less affluent part of town.


Check Out Comparable Homes


Because granite countertops are so popular, they’re a common feature in many homes. This is good news for people considering installing granite countertops because they can see the type of countertops that others have installed in comparable houses.


If you’re considering granite countertops for your home, ask the following questions:


  • How much did the comparable home pay for granite countertops?
  • Where is the comparable home located? Is it in a similarly affluent area?
  • Did the comparable home upgrade the rest of the kitchen at the same time?
  • Did comparable homes with granite countertops sell for significantly more?
  • Do buyers in your area prefer homes that are ready to move into immediately?


Once you have the answers to those questions, you’ll be in a much better position to work out whether your home’s value will increase.


Check That Granite Suits Your Home


You might see granite in comparable homes, but does it suit yours? It is a beautiful material, but granite doesn’t complement every interior design.


Check out the following tips to make sure that you choose the right granite countertop to increase your home’s value.


Tip #1: Pick Neutral Colors


Neutral palettes tend to sell well and offer higher ROI than highly colored stone.


Tip #2: View Slabs In Person


Colors can vary when viewed on a computer monitor.


Tip #3: Go Dark


Darker granite slabs prevent stains and look better for longer. Once you’ve installed the granite, apply a durable sealant.

A Hot Trend In Bathroom Design: Industrial Chic

Industrial chic is one of the hottest trends in Rhode Island bathroom design. A good example of the industrial look in the bathroom is Zitta’s Materia Shower Enclosure. The enclosure was honored by the Decorative Plumbing and Hardware Association as its 2018 Fixture of the Year. Inspired by the industrial look of the Roaring Twenties, this shower enclosure features unique matte black framed shower doors with black aluminum strips finished on both sides and sealed on the outside of the glass. We would pair this framed shower enclosure with subway tile, hanging sconces and a wood-accented double vanity (space permitting) with pulls and knobs in a warm metal finish to create a stunning look and feel.

Exposed pipes and trough sinks are standard features of industrial-inspired baths. One key to making the industrial look work is to embrace the mantra that less is more. We advise our clients to be judicious in their use of decorative pieces in an industrial motif. Industrial style requires paying attention to the design’s raw, unfinished components such as combining a wood ceiling with exposed plumbing or drawing attention to framed shower doors. We recommend playing up the bathroom’s aesthetic by adding accents wherever possible without overdoing them.

Another opportunity to make a bold, attention-drawing statement is to use industrial-themed materials such as a concrete countertop and/or sink and/or galvanized metal bathroom fixtures and tubs. Wooden shelves can be used along with woven baskets, small galvanized buckets or other containers to finish an industrial bath look.

Industrial design typically lends itself to the use of dark tones including black, metal, brick and wood in combination with white and neutral tones. Adding pops of color and polished metal adds warmth to the bath and also dynamic energy. Again, less is more when using pops of color work in an industrial bathroom. You don’t want a bright color to become a focal point.

Please call our showroom at (401) 257-6610 if you want to discuss if an industrial-inspired bath right for your home and aesthetic. Visit us at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI or contact us here.

Get The ROI From Your Bathroom Remodel That You Expect And Deserve

Most of our customers in Rhode Island decide to renovate their bathroom because their current bath no longer meets their needs, and life is too short not to live in a space that makes you smile every time you use it. If you are considering a remodel for a bath that is either functionally or aesthetically underwhelming, there are compelling reasons to make a change.

Updated bathrooms increase the value of your home. The kitchen and master bath are the two most important rooms in your house, not only for enjoyment but also for creating value. A renovated bath not only improves your quality of life, but it also increases the resale value of your home and makes your home more attractive and easier to sell.

New technology, advances in product design and showroom expertise exist to help you create the in-home spa of your dreams. Your personal retreat may include a steam shower with music and light and aroma therapies. Perhaps you’d like heated floors and towel warmers that help you and your family stay warm and toasty following a bath or shower. A free-standing tub is a sculptural work of art and could serve as a beautiful focal point of your space.

If done right, bath renovation can provide a high return on investment. Our showroom professionals know the fixtures that withstand the test of time for their appearance, performance and functionality. It’s a win to you to redo a shower and install a high-efficiency showerhead with spray options ranging from a gentle mist to rain forest complemented by a thermostatic valve that allows you to specify the exact water temperature to wash away the stresses of the day, recharge your batteries and relax tired muscles. These improvements can hold their value for decades.

Increasingly, a large percentage of our (service territory names) area clients are opting to stay in their homes longer and upgrade to allow themselves and their family members to age in place gracefully and with dignity. Bathroom renovations provide the perfect opportunity to install curbless showers, decorative grab bars, lower countertops and an overall footprint that improves the functionality and flow of the bath now and for the future.

Recent surveys from plumbing manufacturers find that Americans are spending more time in the bath. When you think about it, the bath is the place where you and your family start and end the day. How much more enjoyable would your mornings and evenings become if you had a vanity mirror that adjusted light levels to help ensure that you look your best regardless of the time of day?

There are multiple reasons to remodel your bath. If your bathrooms no longer serve your functional, lifestyle or aesthetic needs, give us a call at (401) 257-6610, visit our showroom at 2949 Hartford Avenue Johnston RI or contact us here.

Getting Creative With Your Kitchen Ceiling

When you’re starting a kitchen remodel, there are those components that are more obvious than others. For example, walls, appliances, countertops, and even flooring tend to garner our attention and earn a percentage of our budgets.

But what about the “fifth wall” in your kitchen?

That’s right, we’re talking about your ceiling. Often overlooked, your ceiling is just as essential to the overall design of your kitchen as the aforementioned items.

While many people settle for a plain white or other neutral-painted, Northeast Kitchen & Flooring Center in Rhode island is here to help you get a little creative with your ceiling options.

First Up, Find the Right Style for your Rhode Island Home

Your ceiling is a part of the canvas upon which you’ll paint your kitchen masterpiece. But before proceeding, you’ll first need to land on the right style. Your overall style will need to compliment other components of your kitchen such as your appliances, paint and fixtures.

Whatever direction you take, finding a ceiling style to suit your personality, tastes and other elements can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor.

As it relates to creative and trendy styles for 2019, consider industrial, nautical, gingham and monochrome options.

Let’s explore these below and see if any seem like a good fit for your Rhode Island kitchen.


Kitchens following the Industrial style tend towards stainless steel appliances with the potential for galvanized metal, rustic/distressed wood, brick, and similar textures. An industrial ceiling is often designed around the hardware (light fixtures, stove hoods, etc.), but the design doesn’t have to end there.

Exposed rafters, distressed wood ceilings, and more can define your kitchen and blend the ceiling into the style.

Nautical and Rustic

Both of these styles have their own draws and perks, but they tend to share the cottage motif and distressed wood ceilings.

The Nautical style leans more towards reds, blues, whites, and distressed paints, while rustic is more about the yellows, reds, or greens with wooden accents.


A gingham ceiling can really help the color in your kitchen pop. Traditionally used in classic or retro quite kitchens, you can also make this pattern your own and incorporate it how you choose.

We do recommend an artistic mock-up to make sure you like the color. Most hardware stores offer paint samples, and you can use standard canvas to verify.


If solid color is your thing, don’t feel like you have to exclude your ceiling! Some kitchens take a glossy color paint and apply it to all surfaces— countertops, walls, appliances, you name it!

The main takeaway here is to ensure the paint of your choice can be used on all surfaces and research any special instructions.


From polished planks to the herringbone pattern, wood is a fairly common material for kitchens that can be customized to fit just about any style.

Whether you go for solid, polished, distressed, or another style all together, make sure the wood of your choice is properly treated for humid to hot kitchen environments. Remodels are pretty hefty investments, and you want to make sure everything is done properly the first time.


Yes, you read that right— wallpaper your ceiling! Wallpapers come in a variety of shades, patterns, and more. A patterned ceiling could be the perfect accent to your kitchen and another chance to show off your personality. (And no, the walls don’t have to be the same if you don’t want them to.)

Creativity is What we Do Best

The kitchen is often the heart of our home, where both food and memories are made.  Let your kitchen be a reflection of you, from the floors all the way up to the ceiling, and let Northeast Kitchen & Flooring Center in Rhode Island be your guide. Our team of friendly and creative professionals can help you plan out your kitchen remodel and help you create the kitchen of your dreams.