As green is the new black, having a kitchen that is healthy in every way is very important. Many homeowners are searching for ways to “go green” these days and the environment seriously needs our help. Hence, this is a calling for people to not only change their lifestyles, but also live in a more eco-friendly way. For starters, your desires of going green can start in your home, especially the kitchen where most individuals spend a lot of their time in – to dine, gather or unwind. In this article, you will receive advice on how you can build your kitchen cabinets, which can benefit both the environment and your family.
A number of finishes and materials in a kitchen remodel project can arrive with that distinct new “kitchen smell”. Most of us may think that it sounds harmless but in fact, it could mean that they are off-gassing potentially harmful vapors into the air, which your family and you breathe. One of the common harmful materials and finishes you should avoid using are adhesives that contain urea-formaldehyde. Urea formaldehyde, also known as urea-methanal, is an opaque thermosetting plastic or resin. These resins are made from formaldehyde and urea, and are heated with mild bases such as pyridine or ammonia.
Choosing the right kitchen components
While you are busy hatching plans to transform your old kitchen space into a functional, beautiful eco-friendly kitchen, you may have forgotten about one key element of a green kitchen design, which are your kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are the starting for every modern kitchen. Today, many kitchen cabinet designs can be easily customized to meet any homeowners’ needs. Whether you are a pastry chef, wine collector or a family of seven, there is always the availability of specialty cabinets to match one’s domestic needs and style. There three levels of cabinet designs to keep in mind, which include:
• Semi-custom: These cabinets are usually built after you order them, allowing you to be able to choose from a variety of styles and sizes. This flexibility makes it easier to design your dream kitchen. However, cabinets like these require a longer delivery time and can costly.
• Stock: These cabinets come in standard shapes and sizes and are usually ready-to-take-home from the store the same day. Choices are limited with this version of cabinetry but their prices are ideal for a budget remodeling project.
• Custom: They are made-to-order to fit almost any requirements you set. An odd-sized space in your kitchen might not accommodate a set of cabinets, but a custom cabinet-maker can build one from scratch to fit into a particular space. This type of cabinet is the most expensive compared to other above two but is definitely worth your money if you want something done your way.
Be cautious with these materials
You will soon discover that the most affordable and attractive kitchen cabinets are built either from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or particleboard. The only catch is that these materials use adhesives that contain urea formaldehyde. To make them more eco-friendly, you can start by sealing any exposed edges. You may also minimize your exposure to the aforementioned by requesting the factory to seal the exposed particleboard on your cabinets with multiple coats of water-based low-VOC sealant. This way you increase the amount of formaldehyde-free products and improve the quality of your indoor air.
Calculating the value of “going-green”
Cost may be the first thing that comes to mind, and it is especially difficult to put a specific cost on remodeling a green kitchen. The level of “green” each homeowner commits to varies as well as the scope of the remodel project. You don’t necessarily need to spend on more expensive materials as they tend to be cost-competitive in today’s market. They are low in maintenance and you may pay less for replacements or repairs over the life of any additions. Reduced energy costs in your kitchen can also help offset initial costs over time. Hence, the value of a green kitchen is not always best measured in dollars.
When you spend less, it does not mean quality is affected, or you need to sacrifice comfort and looks for eco-friendly kitchen products. Eco-friendly kitchens require contractors to be careful in their building practices and utilize the best technology and design features. As a result, building from a green standpoint allows contractors to use materials that are durable and long-lasting.
Styles to go for
Now that you know what materials you should use or avoid building your kitchen cabinets, we will go through some traditional and classic kitchen cabinet door styles to suit your personal tastes.
• Distressed styles: This the number one option for many homeowners who prefer an antique outlook. Basically, you have the freedom to pick any door style you want; you can rub off the corners or stain the door’s surface to achieve that particular vintage feel and look.
• Louvered styles: Though it is used for closet windows, doors and other furniture pieces, you can opt for this style to ensure proper air ventilation of your kitchen cabinetry. This type of cabinetry design is bound to add a one-of-a-kind architectural style to your kitchen.
If you prefer simple styles, you can opt for traditional kitchen cabinets as they offer timeless beauty and can fit well into most kitchens.