Design an Easy-Clean Kitchen

“You cook and I’ll clean” might no longer be a fair trade with these ideas for low-maintenance kitchen countertops, cabinets and floors.

Is there a new kitchen in your future? When you come up with the design, there are so many choices to make. Many of those are about style, and you also need to think a lot about the functionality of preparing food. This ideabook is about the design choices you can make to reduce the amount of time it takes to clean your kitchen. I enjoy cooking. Cleaning up — not so much. Something tells me I’m not alone.

Below are tips for selecting low-maintenance materials, placing things close to where they are used and choosing storage solutions — all with an eye toward quick and easy cleanup. Some are very big time savers, and a few may just shave a little bit of time off your cleaning regimen. Add them all up, though, and you’ll have a kitchen that is a joy to use and that cleans up fast so you can get on with the more fun things in your day … like checking out some more great ideas on Houzz.

Countertops. Stay away from traditional 4-inch by 4-inch tile on your countertops. Stainless steel, quartz, Corian and laminates are four good choices that don’t have grout to scrub and never require sealing.

Granite is an all-time favorite for its ease of care even if it does need occasional sealing. If you don’t want laminate but you need a lower-cost, easy-to-clean option, consider large-format through-body porcelain tiles. The large size will keep grout lines to a minimum. For any grout you do need, use epoxy grout. The formulation is extremely resistant to stains, making cleanup that much easier.

Backsplash. Your backsplash material should also be low maintenance and easy to clean. Full-sheet materials like this back-painted glass eliminate grout lines. You can use quartz or any stone slab as a backsplash. Laminate is another large-sheet material you can use that is very low cost. All are easier to clean than mosaics of any kind.
Flooring. Opt for flooring that requires just damp mopping and that has no grout lines, such as Marmoleum, linoleum or sheet vinyl. Although hardwood is easy to clean with a dust mop or a damp mop, you must immediately wipe up any spills or splatters, so you’ll find yourself wiping up more often.
Large-format tiles are another great flooring option. There are tiles as large as 24 inches by 48 inches. Glazed tiles are impervious to kitchen spills, and the minimal amount of grout lines keeps scrubbing to a minimum. Just as on your countertops, epoxy grout is a better choice here than traditional grout.

Cabinet style and a little more on flooring. Avoid ornate moldings on your cabinetry. They are pretty, but it takes extra time to wipe around all the nooks and crannies. Slab-front cabinets are the easiest to wipe off. Shaker style is another good choice, and it blends with any kitchen style, from traditional to contemporary.

This floor looks like wood but is actually porcelain tile planks. You can also use luxury vinyl tile planks in a wood look. They are very convincing, are resistant to water and require nothing but damp mopping.

Customized pot and pan storage. I hate crouching down to put away pots, pans and their lids in a regular cupboard. It takes time to pull out the smaller ones so you can reach back in to put away larger pots — then you have to put all of the smaller ones back in. Having an organized rollout drawer makes it easy to put pots and lids away. Even the ones that go in the back.

Savvy receptacle placement. Using a receptacle strip like this mounted under your cabinets keeps the outlets as far as possible from splashes and splatters. It means less time cleaning the receptacles and also makes it easier to wipe down your backsplash.

Perhaps we’re just shaving seconds off your cleaning time here, but I like this idea. Another great spot out of the splash zone for electrical receptacles is on the end of your base cabinets.

How to Hide Those Plugs and Switches

Appliance storage. This is an appliance garage on a grand scale. Anything that keeps you from having to haul appliances out and then wind up their cords and put them away again makes it easier to keep the kitchen clean. And why stop at using doors for appliance garages …
… when you can use them to hide all kinds of things. These doors open and slide back into the sides so that this kitchen office can quickly be hidden. That’s a lot faster than putting papers and equipment away, and it looks tidier anyway than having the typical office items sitting on a counter.
Undersink cleaning supplies. When it’s time to clean, who wants to get down on hands and knees and feel around in the dark spot behind the garbage disposal looking for cleaning products? A drawer under the kitchen sink lets you pull everything into easy view and within reach.
Preventing pet messes. Do you have pet food bowls out in your kitchen? Do you wish you had a nickel for every time you accidentally kicked one, sending kibbles or water all over your floor? Part of designing a kitchen that’s easier to clean is designing one that doesn’t get as dirty in the first place. This built-in spot for pet food bowls keeps them securely out of the way.
Sinks. When you choose your sink, think integrated or undermount so you can wipe countertop messes straight into the sink.

Two kitchen sinks can make it easier to keep your kitchen clean when one is used for prep and the other for cleanup. When the meal is over and prep is done, if you have a helper, then cleanup goes twice as fast if there are two sinks.

See design ideas from two-cook kitchens

Drainboard. An integrated drainboard directs water down into your sink, helping to contain water. And it keeps you from having to haul out a drainboard and put it away when the hand-washed items are dry. A nice, high faucet that can move every which way is a real plus when it comes to cleaning those big pots, too.

Short path from sink to dishwasher and storage. The sink and the dishwasher are normally side by side. But having your dish storage right by the dishwasher means you can unload and put away in one easy movement.

At first, you might think that open shelves would make a kitchen harder to clean. But if you have them for the dishes you use daily and they are within easy reach of your dishwasher, then it is very simple to quickly empty the dishwasher.

This also makes it easy to hand wash an item, dry it and put it right back on the shelf. Put only dishes up here that you use often enough that they won’t have the chance to get dusty.

Dishwasher. Do you always unload your entire dishwasher in one fell swoop? Or, when the dishes are clean, do you just pull them out as you need them?

Many people swear by the convenience of having two dishwashers. You can be using the dishes out of one while loading the other one. Anything that keeps dishes from piling up in the sink is a good thing in my book.

Also, if you entertain frequently or have a large family so that you regularly have more dishes than can fit into a single dishwasher, having two makes sense.

modern kitchen by IKEA

by IKEA
Recycling and trash. Having your recycling bins and trash can on rollout shelves in one spot makes it a snap to sort items. This is a big time saver if you can avoid multiple trips to the garage or even outside, where recycle bins often reside.
Cooktop. Although I love gas cooktops and think they are the best for cooking, when it comes to the easiest cooktop to clean nothing beats glass. You use a special cleaner to avoid scratching it, but there just isn’t anything easier than this to wipe down.

Looking clean. This idea isn’t so much about making the kitchen easy to clean as it is about making it easy to temporarily hide the mess so at least it looks clean.

Sliding doors cover one entire wall of this kitchen, so if the cook isn’t able to keep up with the cleaning, he or she can quickly cover the mess up when guests arrive, then deal with it later. Some people can’t stand the thought of going to bed until every last dish is clean and put away. Then there are others who find the whole thing easier to face after a good night’s rest and a big cup of coffee.

Rollout pantry. It is easier to put the groceries away quickly if you don’t have to fumble around in deep cabinets trying to see what you have and where everything should go, or pulling out a lot of smaller items so you can put bigger items in behind them. And when it comes time to wipe down the shelves in your cabinets, these are easier to reach.

If you’re getting ready to remodel your kitchen or designing a new one, I hope some of these tips help you create a kitchen that will be a joy to use and a cinch to clean.

Contact Custom Contracting for your Kitchen Remodel today! 781-648-2835

Original Article from Houzz:http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/2416488/list?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u240&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery6

 

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Custom Contracting, Inc. 1267A Massachusetts Ave. Arlington, MA 02476 Phone: 781-648-2835 Fax: 781-648-0907 Email: cci@custom-contracting.com

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