Dishwasher reviews get complex….

A stainless steel dishwasher updates the look of this kitchen.

It’s a jungle out there in “appliance land.” When you’re shopping for dishwashers, reviews and opinions can get complicated. Quiet seems to be what every homeowner wants these days. But as manufacturers scramble to produce more efficient, water-saving machines, the cycles are getting longer.

Hmmm… according to Consumer Reports: “A Bosch Ascenta dishwasher has ascended to the top of our new dishwasher ratings and, at $700, has been named a ‘CR best buy.’ Dishes were squeaky clean after we ran 10 place settings that had been scraped but not rinsed through its 95-minute cycle. It was also an energy miser and pretty quiet, a feature on which Bosch prides itself. But several other Bosch models in our tests were even quieter—as was a Kenmore Pro HE.”

Noise and cycle time are important for even a basic dishwasher. Although I have a Bosch in my own kitchen, the main reason I still like it is because (drum roll) it gets my dishes clean. Number one priority for me. Now, I admit, since I pay a city water bill each month, the water-saver feature on my dishwasher is another plus. But for those of you who have your own well, that won’t be an issue.

Happy hunting…..and let me know what your favorite dishwasher is. And don’t say your spouse. Not fair!


Got Pets? Kids? Traffic in your kitchen demands tile floors!

I know ….. you “love your neighbors wood floors”….. but your family is busy and yours pets are roaming the house and the “traffic” in your kitchen demands a durable floor. There’s no doubt that choosing a kitchen floor is really an important kitchen remodeling decision. Here are 3 of my own reasons why I like to recommend tile floors in the kitchen:

1) Tile will last through years and years of heavy traffic in the kitchen. Period.

There’s no question about the hardness and durability of ceramic, porcelain, and even the new grouts on the market now. Larger tiles, random patterns, and the right color grout is always the right choice for homeowners who simply should NOT be purchasing wood flooring. Although the substrate needs to be even, smooth and stable before installing tile, the labor to install is always worthwhile.There are also creative solutions to flooring height differences for transitions to other rooms.

2) Tile is never trendy…. but colors and shapes are.

There are homes that I have been at throughout the years where I’ve actually recommended that they somehow keep their existing tile. This was because the color wasn’t trendy and didn’t outdate the look of the kitchen. So there ya go! Buy an extra box if you get new tile …. and take your time on selecting that classic look for your kitchen remodel. Choose your tile WITH your new cabinets, counters , and wall colors.

3) Tile is budget-friendly. So is the labor.

This is one job where a homeowner needs some kind of experience with cutting tools AND a healthy back if he or she wants to do the labor themselves. Otherwise, most tile setters have a reasonable rate to install your tile floors. (It’s a big project …. don’t kid yourself) Find someone who can access your subfloor and repair if possible. I also highly recommend working with a designer for the tile selection in a $3.00 to$ 6.00 per square ft. range of price. Check out dealers that carry Daltile. (