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Kitchen Design and Remodeling

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“Familiarity with kitchen design and remodeling terms can help one navigate
the kitchen makeover and interior design process.”

Kitchen Remodeling Glossary

Kitchen Design Consultation

  Below are some common terms that one encounters when working through the kitchen design, kitchen remodeling, or interior design process. These terms are used by designers to discuss the various stages and elements of a kitchen remodeling project. Familiarity with these terms can help one navigate the kitchen design, kitchen remodeling, or interior design process.  
Accent Lighting:
Accent lighting is lighting that is installed to specifically emphasize the light on certain items within a space, such as a china cabinet or artwork.

Ambient Lighting:
Ambient lighting is when the general lighting in a room is diffused so as to create a particular mood or atmosphere within the space.

In kitchens, the term appliance refers to large items such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and stoves.
A backsplash is the panel, typically constructed with tiles, behind a stove or sink that protects the wall from splashes.

Base Cabinet:

Base cabinets are the cabinets that sit at floor level.

A blueprint is copy of a room rendering that is drawn to scale. It represents the dimensions of a floor space and the configuration of the floor space. The term blueprint comes from the fact that a machine copies the drawing onto special paper, which is blue.

Bridge Cabinet:
A bridge cabinet is a cabinet that is placed somewhere that does not allow for every day use, such as over the refrigerator or a stove. Typically, items that are needed less frequently are stored in a bridge cabinet.

In concrete kitchen countertops, bugholes are small cavities created by trapped air.
Bullnosing: In an unfinished natural or manmade tile for a countertop or floor, bullnosing protects the edge from wear and tear by adding a finished edge.

Butcher Block:
A wooden countertop used for cooking and cutting. Typically made of a hardwood such as oak or maple.

Cam and Bolt:
A cam and bolt is a structure that connects the sides and top of a cabinet to the bottom of the cabinet.

A cantilever is when a supported element in construction extends beyond the element that it is supporting it. For example, if a countertop extends beyond the cabinet that it is resting on, this is called a cantilever.

A centerline is a line drawn down the center of an appliance such as a sink or a stove.

Ceramic Flooring:
Flooring made of ceramic, which is a natural substance shaped into tiles and fired at high heats in kilns.

Ceramic Tile:
Used for countertops in kitchens, ceramic tile is considered versatile and inexpensive. Ceramic tiling is durable.

A stovetop range that is built into a countertop.

Concealed Cabinet Hinge:
A hinge that is not visible from the outside of the cabinet. When the cabinet door is closed, there is no visible hinge.

Construction Plan:
A rendering of the current conditions in a space as well as the changes that will be made to the space to achieve a particular design.

Crown Molding:
A decorative border on a cabinet.

Custom Cabinet:
Cabinets that are created to the specifications of a kitchen and deviate from stock cabinet measurements. Custom cabinets come in a wide range of sizes, colors, and materials.

Decorative Handle / Pull:
A handle – typically metal or plastic – that is affixed to a cabinet or drawer. A user pulls on this handle in order to open the cabinet or drawer.

Measurements of objects and walls.

A small tubular piece of wood that connects cabinets.

Drain Board:
F or a countertop next to a sink, a drain board is impressions in the design that allow water to trickle from the countertop to the sink.
Edge Banding:
A piece that is affixed to a door or sharp edge to soften it.

Edge Treatment:
When the edges of countertops are shaped in a particular way, such as rounding, it is referred to as ‘edge treatment’.

Electrical Fixture:

A hard-wired device that is permanently integrated into the home wiring system.

A decorative effect that makes certain lines on a design raised.

Energy Efficiency Rating (EER):
A standard by which an appliance’s energy efficiency is rated. Higher EER numbers mean greater efficiency.

Exposed Hinge:
A hinge that is attached to the front frame of a cabinet thus exposing its visibility from the exterior of the cabinet.
Field Tile:
In patterned flooring, the field tile is the tile with the most prominently featured pattern.

Filler Strip:
A piece of wood (or other corresponding material) that is placed between cabinets to fill empty space. This occurs when the cabinets in the space do not fill the entire space.

A fixture is a fixed plumbing feature in a structural design such as a sink.

Floor Plan:
A floor plan is a rendering of a room or space that is drawn from an overhead vantage point and shows an entire design project.

Fluted Rail:
Ornamental molding used to highlight the space between cabinets.

Free-Swinging Cabinet Hinge:
With a free-swinging cabinet hinge, the cabinet door does not close by instead because the hinge does not contain a closing mechanism. Free-swinging cabinet hinges can be concealed or not concealed.
The end or side of a cabinet when it is exposed. If a cabinet is situated between two other cabinets, this will not be present. The gable should match the color, tone, and material of the rest of the cabinets.

Zinc-coated metal that resists corrosion.

A secondary staining process used to highlight particular woods.

A type of kitchen countertop that is considered elegant and durable. Granite is indigenous rock characterized physically by small specks of color throughout it. Granite is extremely durable.

For tile countertops, grout – also sometimes referred to as slurry – is put in between grooves.
Inset Drawers / Doors:
The fronts of drawers and doors that are recessed so as to fit with the frame of a cabinet when closed.

A kitchen countertop, often with cabinets below it, which can be accessed from all sides. An island is considered a “free standing” element.
Knife Hinges:
Knife hinges are concealed hinges that are installed using a slot or saw cut into a cabinet. The knife hinges are installed on the side of the cabinet door and are also affixed to the cabinet frame.
A glossy synthetic coating that can be either clear or colored.

A synthetic material often made to give the appearance of wood.

Laminate Flooring:
Laminate is a man-made product that bears the appearance of stone or hardwood flooring. Laminate flooring is used creating a photographic process.

Lazy Susan:
A Lazy Susan is a corner cabinet that rotates. The cabinets within the Lazy Susan are circular and are situated on a vertical axel.

Lead Time:
The lead time is the time that elapses between a product being ordered and the product being delivered.

Lighting Fixture:
A lighting unit that is hardwired into the home wiring system.

Light Rail:
Molding used to decorate the bottom of a wall cabinet to give a finished appearance and conceal under-cabinet lighting.

Linoleum is an all-natural material used in flooring. It is made of cork dust, linseed oil, wood flour, tree resins, ground limestone, and pigments.
Chemically fused paper that has been pressed and sealed onto engineered wood.

A unit created with standardized measurements or dimensions.

Molding is a decorative embellishment made of wood or another structural material that is used to decorate or finish a surface. Molding comes in strips.

Mounting Plate:
The piece that mounts to the cabinet. This is typically a frame or, for frameless cabinets, the inside of the actual cabinet. Concealed hinges are often used.
In kitchen countertops, non-porous refers to a material that is stain-resistant and is not easily affected by temperature, acid, or chemicals.
The distance between the end of the cabinet door and the end of the actual cabinet opening on the hinge side.
A board that has been engineered from wood.

Polyethylene is type of plastic that is used for walls, roofs, ceilings, and underslabs.

A relative of the ceramic tile, porcelain contains 50% feldspar and is fired at a higher temperature than ceramic. Porcelain is considered much harder and more scratch-resistant than ceramic.
A small piece of decorative molding.
Self-Closing Hinges:
Self-closing hinges have a mechanism in them that close the cabinet door automatically. Self-closing hinges may be concealed or not concealed.

Semi-Custom Cabinet:
A cabinet that is manufactured in common sizes but can include adaptations.

The luster (or glossiness) of paints. The dullest sheen is referred to as “flat” and the shiniest sheen is referred to as “gloss”.

Soapstone is a material used in kitchen cabinets that is characterized by a dark gray, smooth appearance.

Written descriptions of materials and services to be used in a project.

A finish applied to wood to affect its color and protect it.

Stone Tile:
Tiles that are made by cutting pieces of natural stone into a specified size to create a pattern for flooring.
A template is a physical form that is placed where a countertop will later be placed during the design and installation process.

Tile Density:
Tile density refers to the weight of a tile. The higher the tile density, the less moisture that the tile may absorb.

Toe Kick:
Molding placed beneath a cabinet for decorative purposes.
A thin sheet of one material fused with at least one other material.

Vinyl is a shiny, tough plastic used for floor overings.

Vitreous Tiles:
A tile that absorbs less than 3% moisture is referred to as a vitreous tile.
Wood paneling that goes up to the lower half or middle of a wall.

Wall Cabinet:
Wall cabinets are mounted on the wall. Often, wall cabinets are situated above base cabinets.
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Modiani Kitchens and Interiors
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46 South Dean Street
EnglewoodNJ 07631
Phone: 201.568.7800