Ask the Luxurious Cabinetry Expert - Angela Cook

Updated: Apr 13

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April 2021

Are you thinking about new cabinets? Having a hard time deciding on what you want? Come in and see us. We have a large showroom to showcase the many different types of woods, colors, and styles to choose from. Select everything you need right here. From wood type and color, to hardware and accessories, we have it.

March 2021

The Do’s & Don’ts of Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets

While a bit tedious, cleaning kitchen cabinets isn’t difficult. With a few common household items and a bit of elbow grease, they’ll perk right up. Just take care not to damage their finish with an overzealous approach.

DO use a gentle cleaning solution. Prepare your own gentle cleaner by mixing mild dishwashing soap with hot water (the heated water helps to soften grunge and grease so you’ll be able to wipe it away more easily). Pour our solution into a spray bottle and you are ready to go.

DON’T soak your cabinets. Spray the cleaning mixture on a soft rag until it is damp, not drenched. Too much moisture can damage your cabinets’ finish. Wipe down the doors (outside and inside), the handles, and the knobs.

DO tackle tight spots with an old toothbrush. Some cabinets have ornate trim or deep grooves that a rag just can’t access. In these cases, dip an old toothbrush into your cleaning solution, and use it to gently scrub those hard-to-reach places.

DO remove the cleaner with a final rinse. Once you’ve cleaned your cabinets, go over them once more with a clean cloth lightly dampened with warm water. This removes any lingering cleaning solution or grime.

DO dry the cabinets after cleaning. Letting cabinets air dry after cleaning can damage the finish. Instead, use a soft cloth to dry all damp surfaces and encourage a shine.

February 2021

Kitchen cabinets have gone through many changes over the last 100 years. They used to be a standalone piece of furniture, and now, they are fully customizable and attached to the kitchen walls.

Pre-WWI: Cabinetry attached to the walls was not a normal feature before the turn of the 20th Century. Most types of cabinets were freestanding and could be moved as needed. It wasn’t until the industrial upturn after World Wars I and II that attached cabinetry became the trend.

Post-WWII: Improvements to industrial factories and equipment made it easier for cabinets to be made on a mass production. Materials also improved, so different cabinet styles became readily available. Frameless and minimalistic were among the most popular styles.

Post-Modern: Post-Modern design subscribed to the minimalist belief. Many kitchens were comprised of wood floors, blank walls, and earthy tones. These design qualities affected the types of cabinets being designed. Cabinet colours trended toward earthier tones and minimal design.

Modern: Materials and practices have progressed significantly. The modern kitchen is open to more personal touches, so owners can customize their cabinets with extra storage and refacing techniques. Other cabinet improvements include the ability to add glass doors, remove cabinet doors, and paint cabinets in different colours. Today, the sky is the limit when it comes to design.

January 2021

Humidity Effects on Cabinetry

Winter has arrived and your heating system is keeping your home warm and cozy, but it can also have an effect on your cabinetry.

The moisture content of the wood used to build cabinetry can fluctuate based on the surrounding air. Even after being finished, wood can change. It can dry out from lack of humidity or absorb humidity from the surrounding environment.

Because of this, the humidity in your home must be controlled. For proper care and maintenance, it is recommended to keep a consistent indoor relative humidity level within 35% to 45% to ensure adequate wood moisture content.

The effects of dry air (not enough humidity = wood will dry and shrink) to cabinetry are:

• Cracking or separation of cabinet doors

and/or face frame joints

• Warping or cracking of solid wood


• Unfinished lines exposed from door panel


The effects of humid air (too much humidity = wood will absorb and expand) to cabinetry are:

• Doors rubbing against each other or on

face frame

• Cracking or separation of cabinet doors

and/or face frame joints

• Doors breaking from door panel


November 2020

Painted Vs. Stained Cabinets

Trying to decide whether to go for natural wood or a painted finish for your cabinets? Kitchen cabinets are largely about the finish.

Painted cabinets offer a clean aesthetic look. All paint colours bring a sleek, clean finish to the table. Paint is perfect for the homeowners who aren’t a fan of the character marks common to stained wood cabinets and instead prefer a smooth, flawless finish. Paint also allows you to get more colourful. Paint sticks to the surface of wood, so it doesn’t get lost in the mix of grains and knots the way a stain does. As a result, paint showcases whichever hue you select and gives you more opportunity to customize the look of your kitchen.

However, paint hides character features. Paint is thicker than stain, so it doesn’t get absorbed by wood the way stain does. If you want to see grains and knots in plain sight, you probably shouldn’t go with painted cabinets. Though you’ll see the grain imprints in woods like oak and hickory, they’ll mostly be hidden behind whichever coat of paint you choose.

Stain, on the other hand, showcases more wood features. Stain strikes a good balance between color and texture. Unlike paint, stain doesn’t steal the spotlight from your wood’s natural character, showing nearly all of wood’s blemishes. Some say blemishes; others say character. Stains take a back seat to the wood they’re applied to, which allows every distinct feature to show – for better or worse.

Either way, Heartstone Cabinets is set up to provide any finish you choose with our huge on-site custom spray booth. Give us a call.

October 2020

Well, I think it is fair to say that, here at Heartstone Cabinets, we are more than just cabinetry. Our cabinet shop has been doing something a little out of the ordinary, as of late. We are doing a fun little job building wooden box liners for a fleet of trucks.

If you have an idea that you want to bring to life, and feel that we can help, please contact us. We are open to all sorts of jobs, big or small. If it involves wood, our quality craftsmen can build it. Give us a call.

September 2020

Guide to Cleaning Countertops

Here is a guide for cleaning all types of countertops. Always check with the manufacturer for the recommended cleaning procedure, as warranties on products may become void if cleaning recommendations are not followed.

Laminate Countertop: Clean with a mild detergent applied with a microfiber cloth. Cover stubborn stains with a paste of baking soda and water (three parts baking soda to one part water) and leave for 5 to 10 minutes. Clean off with a soft bristled brush. Caution: Avoid using scouring pads or cleaners that will permanently dull the surface. Never allow water to pool on the countertop as it can seep through the seams, causing damage below.

Quartz Countertop: Clean quartz countertops with soapy water. Use abrasive soap carefully for stubborn stains. Caution: Oven cleaner will damage this surface if left on the countertop.

Granite Countertop: Clean granite with a mild cleaner and damp microfiber cloth. Caution: Never use anything abrasive on a granite countertop, including a scrub pad. Avoid products such as bleach, oil, vinegar, and ammonia that leave a residue.

Concrete Countertop: Mix a neutral cleaner with warm water. Clean with a soft microfiber cloth. Caution: Don’t use abrasive cleaners or pads.

Marble Countertop: Use a neutral cleaner and a microfiber cloth that hasn’t been used to clean any other surface. Caution: Marble stains easily. Don’t use abrasive cleaners on marble. Avoid bleach, oil, vinegar, lemon, ammonia, or other products that leave a residue.

August 2020

Here at Heartstone Cabinets, we make all of our cabinets right here, in our local shop. Each piece we build is a custom piece.

While pre-fabricated cabinets may cost a little less due to assembly-line manufacturing, you are usually limited in your options. Some of these limitations, depending on where you go to look for cabinets, are the size, colour, and details of construction. There is also a bit of a learning curve in designing your own kitchen from a catalogue/website, and this can take a fair amount of time.

Ordering a custom kitchen is quite different. It is based on personal consultation. You can phone our designer and request they come to your house to measure your kitchen and discuss your ideas with you, or you can come to our showroom to look at samples of colours and styles you like. We will draw up a design for you based on the exact size of your kitchen. Any details you have requested are included in the design, and you will be given a price based on what you have requested. At this point you can go ahead and order your kitchen or continue working with our designer to fine tune the details of your kitchen. You can request modifications that will affect the look, the function, or the price of your kitchen. You will need to provide us with some information (appliance specifications, timelines with other trades, sign off on colour selections, etc.), but besides that, you only need to tell us what you like and we do all the work for you.

Here at Heartstone Cabinets, we strive to make your dream kitchen a reality!

July 2020

More Than Just Cabinets

Did you know that here at Heartstone Cabinets, we don’t just build cabinets? If it’s made out of wood, we can build it. We have done many different projects like Murphy beds, fireplace mantles, custom bookcases, desks, china cabinets, hutches, entertainment units, bars, and even coffee table cribbage boards. Bring in your idea. We will be more than happy to turn it into a reality.

June 2020

Is it time to freshen up your existing cabinets? Maybe a whole new look? We would love to make your cabinets look brand new again. Heartstone Cabinets is a custom cabinet shop that can build specifically to your taste and space available or refinish in our custom spray booth. Give us a call for an estimate.

April 2020 Upper Cabinets vs Open Shelves It’s a tough decision, to have upper kitchen cabinets or not. There are several advantages to going with uppers, but there is also a lot to say about open shelves. Standard upper cabinets with doors offer plenty of storage with a clean and composed look. The main con of using upper cabinets is that they simply take up space, which can make a kitchen feel smaller, darker, and more cramped. Replacing upper cabinets with open shelves has become a popular trend in recent years. This approach helps a room feel more open while still providing storage for everyday essentials. Placing frequently used items like plates, glasses, and basic cookware on shelves keeps them in easy reach and creates a shop-like display that tells a personal story. The issue with shelf uppers for some people is that the look is much busier. An even newer trend is to skip the upper cabinets and shelves altogether. This lets you reclaim visual space and create more elbow room. The result is a much larger – and airier – feeling kitchen. The obvious con of skipping the uppers is the lack of upper storage. If you are undecided, give us a call. We may have some tips and tricks to try out before making a final decision.

March 2020

Thermofoil Cabinets

What are thermofoil cabinets? Thermofoil is a type of vinyl, that, using heat, is fused to a wooden surface, usually medium-density fiberboard. The result is a kitchen cabinet with a smooth, seamless finish. There is a wide array of colours and faux wood finishes available.

Thermofoil Pros:

1. Affordable – Thermofoil cabinets are among the least expensive cabinet options on the market.

2. Low Maintenance – The smooth vinyl surfaces of thermofoil cabinets and drawer fronts are easy to wipe clean with only a damp cloth.

3. Resist Warping – Vinyl-wrapped thermofoil cabinets are less susceptible to humidity and warping than solid wood.

Thermofoil Cons:

1. Quality – The most affordable thermofoil cabinets are constructed of low-grade fiberboard beneath the vinyl coating.

2. Water Damage – If scratches, dents or dings mar the vinyl coating, water may invade the particleboard core, causing buckling, bubbling, and deterioration.

3. Heat Damage – Thermofoil coatings are sensitive to heat and may blister or peel when used near dishwashers, ovens, or stovetops.

4. Yellowing – As the vinyl coating ages, white thermofoil cabinets sometimes develop an unattractive yellowish hue.

Give us a call to see all of the different options we have available.

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