Is Your Cabinet Hardware Earthquake Proof?

Whether you want to upgrade your cabinet hardware for safety or style reasons we can help.

Is Your Cabinet Hardware Earthquake Proof?The fact that California is prone to earthquakes isn’t exactly breaking news. But what may surprise you is that the US Geological Survey is now virtually certain that we will be hit with a strong earthquake sometime in the next 30 years.

In a report released earlier this year, the USGS said that based on new data and analytical techniques, their models now predict that our risk of a strong earthquake of around magnitude 6.7 (similar to the 1994 Northridge quake) in the next 30 years is 99 percent. They predict a 93 percent chance of a magnitude 7 quake, a 48 percent chance of a magnitude 7.5, and just a 7 percent chance of a mega-quake of magnitude 8 or greater.

One Simple Upgrade to Prevent Damage and Injuries

Of course, an earthquake does not need to be nearly this powerful in order to damage your home or cause injury.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, most damages and injuries that occur during earthquakes are caused by falling objects. And what better place for items to fall from than your kitchen cabinets? Just imagine the damage that could be caused by falling glassware and china—not only will your dishes be ruined, someone could be seriously injured by the sharp shards left behind when these items shatter.

Fortunately, there is one very simple way to prevent this: upgrade your cabinet hardware to keep doors and drawers secure in the event of an earthquake. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety has identified this as one of the best easy upgrades a homeowner can make to help earthquake-proof their property.

Here’s some more good news: you don’t necessarily have to change your hardware completely in order to make it safer. You can easily purchase and install additional hardware that will hide inside the cabinet or drawer, providing peace of mind without any visible impact on your kitchen design.

Other Reasons to Update Your Cabinet Hardware

Of course, now that you’re thinking about your cabinet hardware, you may very well realize it’s time for a change for purely aesthetic reasons. Maybe your current hardware is a bit worse for the wear with scratches or chips in it. Maybe it is dated, or maybe you simply don’t like the style anymore.

In any case, you can find the exciting new kitchen cabinet hardware you crave by visiting Mission West Kitchen and Bath. We have an excellent selection of designer cabinet hardware in a wide array of materials, colors, finishes, and styles. Come browse our showroom soon.

New Takes on the Classic Kitchen Sink

Stainless steel is no longer your only option for a designer kitchen sink.

New Takes on the Classic Kitchen SinkWhen it comes to the all-time classic kitchen sink, a drop-in, stainless steel double sink has got to be the winner. But of course this is not your only option for a designer kitchen sink. Here are a few of the hottest contenders for the coveted spot of centerpiece of your kitchen design.

Undermount Sink

Undermount sinks have become increasingly popular in recent years. They really allow your countertops to shine because there is no sink lip covering up the edge of the counter. Instead the counter extends right to the edge of the sink for a seamless look. The only drawback is that you must choose a solid-surface countertop like granite, marble, or composite—but is that really such a bad thing? Another benefit of an undermount sink is that they pair perfectly with cutting board inserts that can double as a handy way to hide dirty dishes from guests.

Apron Sink

Once reserved for vintage or rustic kitchens, apron sinks have recently become possible for all kinds of kitchens thanks to new, sleek, modern options. The most popular material for a high-end apron sink is fireclay, which provides a rich gloss as well as a very functional surface ideal for kitchens that are home to real cooks.

Prep Sink

If you want to create a “chef’s kitchen,” naturally you need to pay special attention to the functionality of your kitchen design. You won’t want to stop at ample counter space and commercial-grade appliances—you also need to find the perfect chef’s sink. For many designers, this means including one sink for washing hands and dishes and one sink specifically dedicated to preparing food. Prep sinks tend to be smaller than a regular kitchen sink and this has left room for many playful designs to be born.

Bamboo Sink

If you really want your kitchen sink to pop, you probably already know you want something other than your traditional stainless steel model. However, for a truly unique sink, why not skip the fireclay and copper options as well? A bamboo sink adds a surprising note to your design and is eco-friendly too.

Does Your Kitchen Need a New Look?

If you’re interested in replacing your kitchen sink—and perhaps your kitchen countertops as well—come to Mission West Kitchen and Bath. We’ll be happy to introduce you to intriguing options from respected designers and help you complete the look right down to your new kitchen faucet.

5 Tips for Loving Your New Kitchen Cabinets

Expert advice to follow for beautiful kitchen cabinetry that you’ll love for years to come.

5 Tips for Loving Your New Kitchen Cabinets Whether you are designing a kitchen from scratch or planning a remodel, your choice of cabinetry is obviously very important. Here are 5 tips that will help guide your choice so that you can find kitchen cabinets you will truly love.

Set a Realistic Budget

First of all, it is extremely important to bear in mind that people who buy budget cabinets hardly ever really love them. Quality kitchen cabinets typically account for 40 to 50 percent of your kitchen design budget, and since they also occupy a large portion of your kitchen walls this is definitely not an area of your design you want to skimp on. Before you buy, be sure to research and price your options. If you really want to love your cabinets, it would be wise not to start the project until you have budgeted for the cabinets you really want.

Demand Quality Construction

Another tip for kitchen cabinets that you will love—both right after installation and for years to come—is to make sure you invest in quality cabinet construction. At Mission West Kitchen and Bath, we can direct you to a variety of top brands that offer exceptional, furniture-quality construction. Some of the designers we carry offer totally custom cabinetry as well as semi-stock cabinets.

When in Doubt, Go Light

If you are unsure what color of cabinets you want, your best bet is to opt for a lighter shade, whether this means light colored paint or light colored wood stains. After all, it is much easier to repaint or restain cabinets to a darker shade than it is to lighten a dark color.

Let Your Hardware Shine

Quality kitchen cabinets can last for decades. In fact, in most cases the concern will be that the style of cabinet could go out of fashion before the cabinets themselves actually wear out. One way to minimize the chances of your cabinets going out of style—and maximize how much you love your cabinets throughout their service life—is to choose a classic, low-key cabinet design and let the hardware provide most of the pizazz. You can easily trade out your door handles and drawer pulls as your tastes change over the years and enjoy a fresh look for your kitchen without actually having to replace the cabinets.

Get Expert Help

One final tip to follow for kitchen cabinetry you’ll absolutely love is to get professional help with your selection. This includes not only consulting the design experts at Mission West Kitchen and Bath about the benefits of different cabinetry brands and features, but also getting a professional to measure your kitchen before you send your order to the cabinet maker.

Benefits of a Curbless Shower

Want to incorporate a curbless shower into your bathroom? We have the right drains for the job.

Benefits of a Curbless ShowerWhen designing a luxury bathroom, a separate tub and shower is a must. In addition to providing a more upscale look to the bathroom, divorcing your tub and shower delivers another excellent perk: it allows you to incorporate a curbless shower into your bathroom design.

Sometimes also called barrier-free showers, curbless showers deliver three big benefits:

Bigger-Looking Bathroom: Curbless showers allow the flooring in the bathroom to continue right into the shower stall with no step or lip needed. When used with a glass shower stall, this can really help cut down on the visual impediments that a shower stall normally presents to the flow of the bathroom. It can make a small space seem larger and a big space seem even more luxurious.

Accessibility: By eliminating even the slightest step between the bathroom floor and the shower stall, curbless showers make it easy for individuals with mobility issues to navigate the bathroom. Curbless showers can easily satisfy ADA requirements, and they also appeal to aging individuals who wish to reduce the risk of a fall in the bathroom.

Easy Cleaning: With a totally flat floor surface in the shower, cleaning a curbless shower couldn’t be easier. There’s no need to scrub all those extra angles and surfaces that a shower stall base would ordinarily introduce. Instead the bathroom floor and shower floor can be cleaned in one pass with a mop.

Choosing Your Curbless Shower Drain

Most curbless showers incorporate a sleek linear drain rather than a traditional round or square drain grate. Depending on your bathroom design, there are three main ways to place your linear drain:

  • Front: When a little bit of visual distinction between the bathroom and the shower area is desired, the linear drain can be placed at the threshold of the shower stall.
  • Back: Linear drains can also be placed at the back of the shower area. This is ideal for bathroom designs in which the shower space flows directly into the rest of the bathroom with no shower stall walls of any kind. Naturally the bathroom flooring must be sloped towards the back of the shower for this drain placement to work.
  • Perimeter: Custom linear drains may be created to run around the perimeter of the shower stall. This option works well as an echo of tile motifs that also run around the shower stall.

In addition to choosing your drain placement, you will also be able to choose from different styles and finishes of linear drains to suit your bathroom design. At Mission West Kitchen and Bath, we are proud to carry an excellent selection of designer drains for curbless showers from top brands like Infinity Drain. Please visit our showroom soon to take a look.

How to Choose a Clawfoot Bathtub

4 important considerations for choosing a new clawfoot bathtub

How to Choose a Clawfoot BathtubMillions of clawfoot bathtubs were made between 1890 and 1940, when this style of tub was the de facto choice for every American home. Clawfoot tubs are enjoying a renaissance these days, with modern manufacturers offering new design twists on this classic fixture. Here are the 4 most important factors you’ll need to consider when picking out a clawfoot tub for your bathroom.

Tub Size

The very first factor you are going to want to consider when choosing a clawfoot bathtub is the size. While the original style of clawfoot tub typically measured 5 feet long, today you have many more options to choose from. If you are a tall person or have a lot of space to work with you may want a 6-foot-long tub, and if you are trying to fit a clawfoot tub into a smaller bathroom you might want to size down to 4 or 4.5 feet.

Tub Shape

There are actually several different shapes of clawfoot bathtubs to choose from. The most traditional shape is often known as a “roll rim” tub and has one flat end (typically placed into a corner) and one rounded end for the bather to lean back against.

Slipper clawfoot tubs are also a very traditional shape. This tub has a high back at one end to make it more comfortable to sit up in the tub while bathing.

If you like more symmetry in your clawfoot tub shape, consider either a double-ended clawfoot tub or a double-ended slipper tub. With both of these tubs, the bather can face either way comfortably—or even share the tub with another bather without anyone getting stabbed in the back by a faucet.

Plumbing Placement

You will also need to think about where you want the faucets and drain to be placed when picking out your clawfoot bathtub. With a double-ended tub, the holes for the plumbing (aka “drillings”) will always be on the side of the tub, and with a traditional roll rim tub they will always be on the flat end.

However, you can still choose whether you want the faucets to be mounted on the tub itself or on the wall or floor beside the tub. If the faucets are to mount on the tub, you may be able to choose between having them run through holes drilled in the side of the tub or through holes in the rim of the tub.

Material

One final consideration for picking out your clawfoot bathtub will be whether you prefer a cast iron tub or an acrylic one. Cast iron with a porcelain finish is of course the traditional choice, and while it does tend to look and feel more historically authentic, if you chip or scratch the porcelain it will be difficult to fix. Acrylic tubs are actually a bit easier to scratch, but any scratches need not turn into permanent blemishes because it is relatively easy to sand and polish them away.

To see our selection of clawfoot tubs in person, come visit our showroom.

Kitchen Ventilation: To See or Not to See?

Concealing vent hoods with custom cabinetry can help you achieve the look you want in your kitchen.

Kitchen Ventilation: To See or Not to See?Every kitchen needs ventilation, including a dedicated plenum, vent, or hood over the range or cooktop. This vent provides several very important functions:

  • Removing cooking odors from the room
  • Preventing grease and smoke residue from accumulating on counters, cabinets, and walls
  • Reducing humidity to help deter mold growth

Depending on the type of vent you choose, your kitchen ventilation can also have a big impact on the visual appeal of your kitchen.

The first choice you will need to make is whether or not you want to see the actual metal vent in your kitchen. For contemporary or modern kitchens, a sleek metal range hood can actually work quite well. A variety of colors and styles are available

If you have your cooktop in a kitchen island, you will actually be forced to go with a metal range hood since there is no way to conceal the vent in a cabinet or wall. Considering that the vent will be front and center in your kitchen you will obviously need to choose your vent carefully, to ensure that it is attractive enough to serve as a focal point in the kitchen. If you really want to go high end, you might consider a range hood that normally rests against the ceiling but can be lowered into place when you need to use it.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons why you may not want to see your metal range hood. Perhaps you don’t think the look complements the style of your kitchen, or maybe you don’t want to give up precious cabinet space to a bulky vent hood and chimney.

Fortunately, you can easily conceal your vent with the right custom kitchen cabinetry.

If you have a small range and do not plan to do all that much cooking, you might even be able to get away with installing a smaller vent that can mount on the bottom of the cabinet above the range. You will lose some of the interior cabinet space to the vent, but you will retain the sleek look of an uninterrupted row of cabinets.

Another option would be to have a special “cabinet” created to house a larger vent hood and chimney. In this case, the cabinet would not conceal the presence of the vent, but it would conceal the metal, replacing it with a wood surface that matches the rest of your kitchen cabinetry. This option is actually ideal for large kitchens, because the unique shape of the vent cabinet helps to add interest to the wall of cabinets.

If you are interested in custom kitchen cabinetry for your home, please contact us today to see samples from some of the brands we carry.

Countertop Trends

Discover the latest trends in countertop materials and design.

Are you shopping for new kitchen countertops? Before you make your decision, you might want to read up on the latest countertop trends.

Trending Materials

Countertop TrendsAccording to Consumer Reports’ coverage of the 2015 Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas, the following materials are starting to gain traction against traditional kitchen countertop materials like granite and marble:

Quartz: This is actually an engineered stone, made from a blend of stone chips, resins, and pigments. It is very versatile, with the ability to mimic granite or marble as well as create the shimmery look of real quartz. It comes in a variety of hues from neutrals to bold colors.

Laminate: Of course, laminate is not a new material in the world of kitchen countertops. It has been an affordable staple for many years, but the latest crop of offerings is much more stylish with top designers like Jonathan Adler helping to create new textures and patterns for the modern kitchen.

Concrete: The look of concrete is coming back. For consumers who are unwilling to deal with such an easily damaged material, the respected brand Caesarstone has the answer. They have created a line of countertops that look like concrete but can resist heat, stains, and abrasion like quartz. At Mission West Kitchen & Bath we have a broad range of Caesarstone countertops in our showroom.

Trending Designs

We’re also seeing some significant trends developing in how designers and homeowners are using countertops:

Waterfall Countertop: In a waterfall countertop, the same material used for the horizontal work surface is extended down to the floor, covering the side of the cabinetry. Waterfall countertops are most often seen on kitchen islands, but may be used on peninsulas as well.

Matching Countertop & Backsplash: Using the same material for the countertop and for a tall backsplash is also a growing trend. We are increasingly seeing large pieces of marble or granite applied where traditionally we would have seen tile.

Mix and Match Island Countertops: There is a growing trend of using butcher block material on kitchen islands and stone or laminate on the rest of the countertops. We have also seen stone in a contrasting color palette used on islands.

Laundry Room Countertops: More and more designers are recognizing that the laundry deserves to be more than an afterthought in a closet or basement. Instead of shelving and tables for storage and folding, they are adding high-quality countertops and cabinetry like you would see in a bathroom or kitchen.

For a Sink that Really Makes a Statement, Consider Sculptural Faucet

Faucets don’t have to be boring. Our selection of designer faucets proves it!

For a Sink that Really Makes a Statement, Consider Sculptural FaucetFaucets are obviously an important part of any kitchen or bathroom. They do have to be functional so that you can easily access the water you need for cooking, washing, drinking, etc. But functional does not have to equal boring!

Here is just a sampling of the sorts of eye-catching faucets you might consider for your kitchen or bathroom. Find the right one, pair it with the right sink and you’ll see it is possible to elevate something as seemingly mundane as a faucet to the status of a piece of art in the kitchen or bath.

3-D Printed Faucets

One of the most exciting developments in the area of sculpture-like faucets comes from American Standard. This company is offering a line of designer faucets that are 3-D printed to order. This one-off production allows them to create beautifully intricate faucets that could not otherwise be mass-produced.

Waterfall Faucets

Sometimes called open faucets, waterfall faucets may be mounted on the wall or even the ceiling. They allow the water to flow over the lip of the faucet like a waterfall rather than out of a traditional faucet spigot. With this kind of faucet, the movement of the water itself can become part of the sculpture.

Vintage Faucets

Some types of vintage or vintage-inspired faucets can also take on the appearance of a sculpture or a work of art. This is especially true if they have a quirky profile, lots of joints, an appealing weathered finish, and/or an appearance of being crafted by hand.

Ultra Modern Faucets

Faucets with an aggressively modern, minimalist look can also make a big artistic statement in a room. Depending on your tastes, you might get one with such sleek lines it’s hard to tell how to work the faucet, or one with some industrial edge to its levers or knobs.

At Mission West Kitchen & Bath, we have tons of designer faucets to choose from that go far beyond the traditional knob and spigot look. And don’t worry if your fancy new faucet needs a dramatic new sink to match–we can help you with that too. We even have stunning countertop options if you need to redo the entire space. Please stop by our showroom and we’ll help you find just what you’re looking for.

Best Bathroom Lighting Tips

Simple but effective advice to help you choose the right light fixtures for your bathroom

Best Bathroom Lighting TipsLighting a bathroom can be a challenge. Light fixtures must be chosen carefully to give the right amount and quality of light, and placed appropriately to support the overall aesthetic of the room. This is especially important in small bathrooms or bathrooms that have no natural light at all.

Depending on your bathroom layout and design, you may need to incorporate some or all of these 3 key types of bathroom lighting:

  • Task lighting
  • Ambient lighting
  • Decorative lighting

Fortunately, Mission West Kitchen & Bath can help you select the right fixtures for each of these functions. We have a wide selection of high-quality designer light fixtures to suit just about any style.

Read up on these bathroom lighting tips to get ideas for your project, and then stop by our showroom to browse quality fixtures in person.

Task Lighting Tips:

  • Wall sconces mounted at eye level provide excellent illumination for tasks like shaving and makeup, without creating shadows that could make you look old
  • Bathroom task lighting should provide 75 to 100 watts of illumination, which translates to 24 to 26 watt CFLs or 20 to 25 watt LEDs
  • Use softer task lighting in a powder room. 45 watts of illumination should be sufficient
  • Consider putting your master bath task lighting on a dimmer. That way, you can turn it up bright when you need to, but leave the light low for an easier transition early in the morning or late at night

Ambient Lighting Tips:

  • Ambient light should be placed so that all spaces in the room are lit evenly
  • Tucking sources of ambient light into and around architectural elements like cove or cantilever details can hide the fixtures and create flattering indirect lighting
  • Don’t forget to consider how your mirrors are going to reflect and direct ambient light

Decorative Lighting Tips:

  • Make the most of any accent niches or art pieces in your bathroom by illuminating them with appropriate accent lighting such as a recessed directional light
  • Designer pendant lights can add pop to your bathroom design and also help fill up otherwise blank space above a tub

Candles are another excellent option for decorative lighting in a bathroom. Whether you use a wall sconce or leave the candles on the vanity or tub rim, be sure they are well away from any flammable items

Top 9 High-Tech Toilet Features

Shopping for a new toilet? Today’s crop of high-tech toilets have some impressive features to offer.

Top 9 High-Tech Toilet Features These days, when you shop for a new toilet to update your bathroom, there’s more than just looks to consider. Today’s high-tech toilets also offer a dazzling array of features. Here are some of the most common ones you might want for your new toilet.

Automatic Seat Control: With some models, the high-tech toilet experience starts as soon as you enter the room, with sensors detecting your arrival and automatically lifting the lid of the toilet. Almost all models allow you to raise and lower the lid and the seat at the touch of a button, so you don’t actually have to lay hands on the toilet itself.

Cleansing: A bidet-like cleansing function is an absolute must for a high-tech toilet. With many models such as the Duravit SensoWash Stack offering the ability to personalize the position, pressure, and temperature of the water streams, there’s never been a better way to clean up after taking care of business.

Drying: Naturally any toilet with a cleansing feature has to have a drying feature as well. Many models offer a choice of air temperatures and fan speeds.

Heated Seat: The days when people used to keep the seat for their outdoor WC indoors during winter to avoid freezing their fanny are long gone. But even so, no one enjoys a chilly commode. Today’s high-tech toilets almost all offer heated seats, and the Kohler Numi even has a foot heater.

Air Purification: There’s no need to have an ugly can of air freshener cluttering up your space when you have a high-tech toilet. Many models include air purification features to eliminate embarrassing odors.

Self-Cleaning Features: A few high-tech toilets are designed to cut down the time you have to spend scrubbing the bathroom each week. Some have anti-microbial finishes and the Toto Neorest actually spritzes the bowl with electrolyzed water before use to give each flush 80 percent more bowl-cleansing power.

Touchless Flush: It practically goes without saying that a high-tech toilet should offer touchless flush capability. Even a standard toilet can benefit from a touchless flush kit, which helps reduce the spread of germs by keeping everyone’s fingers off the flush handle or button. Some high-tech toilets incorporate motion sensor technology to trigger the flush, others flush automatically when the lid is closed, and one model can even be controlled by your smartphone (though it’s hard to imagine you would want to do this).

Nightlight: Having a subtle nightlight built into the toilet can be a real convenience when visiting the facilities in the dark of night. However, some high-tech toilets go out on a limb with up to 7 different colors of lights, which can seem gimmicky.

Music: A little music can be nice when you have concerns about using a powder room near where friends, family, or guests are congregating. Some high-tech toilets actually have FM radio built in, which may be a bit excessive for a trip to the john but could make a nice replacement for the old fashioned shower radio when talking a bath or shower.