Tuesday, January 25, 2011

5 Reasons to Splurge on Nice Kitchen Cabinets

Sure, the economy is still in the dumps. Yes, we are still in a major recession. No, now may not be the best time to spend tons and tons of money on home improvement projects. However, there are certain instances when spending more money on high-quality products is the smart thing to do. Installing new kitchen cabinets is one of these instances. Cutting costs by buying cheaply made cabinets may save you money initially, but in the long run it can be a real pain. Here are the top five reasons why you shouldn't feel bad about splurging on nice kitchen cabinets in Portland.

1. Bragging RightsThis reason is less about long-term financial planning and more about boosting your own ego. It always feels good to show off your new home furnishing or installation to friends and family, and kitchen cabinets are no exception. New higher-end cabinets can make you excited to entertain guests and proud to have an attractive, functional kitchen. Aren't these positive feelings worth the higher price tag?

2. SpaceOne of the biggest reasons to invest in nice kitchen cabinets is space. Most cheap stock cabinets come in only a handful of sizes and may not fit well in your kitchen. High-quality custom cabinets, however, can be designed so that every inch of usable space in your kitchen is included in the design.

3. PersonalizationNothing ruins a great kitchen like a fixture that obviously doesn't match the design scheme. With custom kitchen cabinets, you can fit the look of the cabinet to the kitchen's current design scheme, or incorporate them into a design you are working on.

4. DurabilityLike most things in life, when it comes to cabinet quality you really do get what you pay for. Higher-quality cabinets are less likely to break, rot or warp than the cheaply made kind, which saves you repair or replacement money down the road. Think of kitchen cabinets as shoes: Would you rather spend $20 on a pair of shoes that you will have to replace every month, or $100 on a pair that last you a whole year? The answer is pretty simple.

5. You Deserve ItIf you've dealt with this recession like most people, you probably haven't treated yourself to something nice in a long while. Buying brand new custom kitchen cabinets is a great way to spoil yourself. They make you feel good about getting something nice for yourself, and they are functional and durable.

Unless budget restrictions are really keeping you from making the investment, there is no reason not to choose high-quality custom kitchen cabinets when planning a cabinet installation project. Not sure where to start? Don't worry. The experts at Stone+Wood Outlet can help you with any Portland cabinet design or installation project.

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Week's Blowout Specials: Bacana Chestnut

Don't miss out on this week's blowout special on Engineered Bacana Chestnut!

For a limited time only, Stone+Wood Outlet is featuring Engineered Bacana Chestnut flooring for $1.49/SF.

Bacana Chestnut is an attractive and sturdy flooring material, featuring deep reddish-brown tones and dark striping. The eye-catching, versatile look of Bacana Chestnut makes it perfect for both complementary design purposes or as an attention-grabbing room centerpiece. With a high Janka hardness rating and density, this wood species is as durable as it is attractive.

This blowout special on Bacana Chestnut won't last long, so stop by any one of Stone+Wood Outlet's four locations for more information.

3424 NW Yeon Ave., Portland
6777 SW Bonita Rd, Ste 120, Tigard
9907 SE 82nd Ave, Clackamas
5600 NE 122nd Ave, Portland.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tips for Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

You may not like to hear it, but your kitchen cabinets are probably a lot dirtier than you realize. By their very nature, cabinets collect more dirt, germs, food and grease than most parts of your home. Every time you or your family goes to open a kitchen cabinet and grab a snack, you are exposed to the dirt and grime inside. The solution? Clean! The following are a few tips for getting your nasty kitchen cabinets looking new again.

1. Get the right cleaning supplies.Not all cabinets are created equal, and the same goes for cleaning supplies. While metal, vinyl or laminate cabinets can be easily cleaned with soap and water, wood cabinets need special treatment. Invest in a high-quality wood cleaning product and follow the directions. Never use abrasive cleaners, as they can easily scratch and ruin a cabinet finish.

2. Always test first.Some cleaning supplies can damage the finish of kitchen cabinets. Make sure to test an inconspicuous area, like the inside of the door, first.

3. Be careful.Surprisingly enough, there are many ways to hurt yourself while cleaning kitchen cabinets. One way is to fall. Because cabinets are usually higher up, most people need to stand on a chair or step stool to clean hard-to-reach places. A tumble can cause serious injury, even from such a small distance.
Another way to injure yourself during cabinet cleaning is to improperly use cleaning solutions. When getting rid of heavy buildup of grime, grease or mold, it may be necessary to use a powerful solvent such as paint thinner. These solutions are often toxic to breathe and highly flammable. Make sure to open windows and doors, wear a mask, and turn off any pilot lights. Removing doors and cleaning them outside is another solution to reduce risk.

Feel free to call the professionals at Stone+Wood Outlet with any questions regarding cabinet maintenance, repair, or installation.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Excerpts from "The World's Most Stable Decking Materials"

Spring is only a few months away, and if you are considering building a new deck this year you will definitely want to choose the right decking material. But with so many options available, how do you know you're choosing the right one? The following are excerpts from the informative and helpful article, "The World's Most Stable Decking Materials", which should help you make a more informed decision.

Western Red Cedar
Although cedar is a softwood, it is still very structurally stable. Both the tangential and radial shrinkage are quite low, and the differential between the two is very small as well:
Tangential Shrinkage: 5.0%
Radial Shrinkage: 2.4%
Cedar's other mechanical properties - strength, stiffness and density - are also relatively high, making this a durable species good for most decking projects.

California Redwood
California Redwood is another very stable decking material. The tangential and radial shrinkage values are even lower than those of Cedar:
Tangential Shrinkage: 4.9%
Radial Shrinkage: 2.2%
Even though these percentages are lower than those of Cedar, the differential is 0.1% larger, meaning it is slightly less stable than the other species - but not by much.

The tangential and radial shrinkage percentages of Ipe decking are much higher than both Cedar and Redwood; however, the differential is much smaller, making it the more stable wood.
Tangential Shrinkage: 8.0
Radial Shrinkage: 6.6%
A 1.4% differential is great, and combined with Ipe decking's naturally high density, strength and stiffness, makes it naturally suited for decking purposes.

Merbau is another hardwood with excellent structural stability. The tangential and radial shrinkage percentages are:
Tangential Shrinkage: 4.6%
Radial Shrinkage: 2.7%
These percentages are quite a bit lower than those of Ipe, and even though Ipe's differential is only 1.4%, a 1.9% differential is still very good. The low percentages combined with the relatively low differential makes this the most stable exotic decking choice. However, Merbau comes with an unrelated and unfortunate downside - read on to find out what it is.

For more information, read the entire article here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Replacing or Refacing - Which Is Right for My Cabinets?

So you want to give your kitchen a facelift, and like any good Portlander you don’t want to spend too much money. Sounds like you’re in quite the pickle. Well, one good option for homeowners in Portland is to replace or reface your kitchen’s cabinets. Redesigning your cabinets can give your kitchen a whole new look without breaking the bank. But what’s the best route to take – refacing or replacing? Let’s look at the pros and cons of both techniques.


Simplicity – It’s easier to just replace doors and drawer fronts than to install brand new cabinets.
Cost – It’s much cheaper to reface cabinets than it is to replace them, even when you have a professional do it.

Lack of Options – Because the bulk of the cabinets are already in place, your design options are limited.
Structural Issues – If you have very old cabinets, refacing them won’t help solve structural problems.


Versatility – When starting from scratch, you have all the options in the world. Want a food cabinet right above the stove? Go for it! How about one long cabinet next to a dozen tiny ones? Not a problem!
Space Saver – Because you’re designing the cabinets for your own use, there is zero chance of there being any inaccessible or non-functional cabinets. This means more space for lighting, vents, and other essential kitchen fixtures.

Cost – Even in the DIY wonderland that is Portland, cabinet replacement can cost a pretty penny. If you have non-functional or structurally unsafe cabinets, you should consider replacement. If you’re simply looking for a kitchen make-over, then refacing them is probably a better way to go.
Time – Replacing cabinets can cost more than just your money. It is also a big time commitment. Make sure you understand the timeline before embarking on such a venture.

As you can see, there are pros and cons to both replacing and refacing cabinets. Portland home-owners would do well to consider all the options before making a decision.