Picking the Right Finish, Part I – White


Ad from the early 20th century showing up-to-date white cabinets

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

There’s a wide range of stained and painted finishes to choose from when selecting a finish color for your new kitchen, which means this can be a very tough choice.  Neutral pastels in light gray and creamy tones are coming to the fore but white-painted cabinets are classic, reaching back more than 100 years.  Between 1900 and 1920, when cities began focusing on improving the health of their residents, many inaugurated water systems.   This began a wave of modernization, with an emphasis on cleanliness and good hygiene as the ideal.  As the concept of the hygienic kitchen took hold, many manufacturers started producing white cabinets to appeal to the modern expectations of their customers.

Merillat Classic Ralston Turns a Small Kitchen Into a Smart Kitchen

ferguson-2A recent Carolina Kitchen & Bath project in Kernersville, NC proves that small doesn’t have to be skimpy.   Our client chose Merillat Classic Ralston with a painted Cotton finish to lend a clean, uncomplicated look at an affordable price.  Staying within the budget was important, but that didn’t mean they had to sacrifice smart storage options.  The base cabinets have added functionalities that maximize the usefulness of the space.

This is the Only Big Box You’ll Need to Remodel Your Kitchen

cardboard-boxThe large home improvement centers have everything.  Lumber, cleaning supplies, carpeting, light bulbs, grass seed, ladders, toilets and kitchen cabinets. You can find just about everything you need for household DIY projects at a Big Box store, but if you need help, you take your chances.  For a complex job like remodeling a kitchen, that’s a big problem.  If you need a kitchen for that new home you’re building or you want to remodel your existing kitchen, come to us.  At Carolina Kitchen & Bath, we do one thing and we do it well – design, sell and install kitchen cabinets and countertops.  Our designers have the training and experience to lead you through the process as well as the time to focus on your job.

Each of our designers has an interior design degree and has been with us for more than 20 years.  They understand color, proportions and the fundamentals of good design.  Once you make your selections, they’ll come to your home for an in-home measurement and consultation at no charge to you. They give you their undivided attention, going right to work so they can provide you with a comprehensive quote right away; explaining features, benefits, warranty information and all of the other details you’ll need to order your cabinets with confidence.

Merillat’s Warranty: Reading Between the Lines.

warrantyA cabinet warranty isn’t just a guess; it’s a statement of quality that’s based on development and testing, and it is an indication of how long a manufacturer thinks a product will last.  Sure, the warranty that Merillat offers protects you against the failure of a part, but it also gives you an idea of what Merillat thinks of their products. They offer a Limited Lifetime Warranty on their Masterpiece line and a 25 Year Warranty on theIR Classic line of cabinets.  Both guarantees are a result of painstaking research that has to be completed before they introduce a new product or innovation.

Merillat tests everything including finishes, hinges and drawer slides as well as construction materials and techniques. Shelves and drawers are tested to find out how much weight they’ll hold); drawers and doors are opened and closed tens of thousands of times to discover how long they last under normal use.  If the performance doesn’t meet the requirements, the product goes back into development until it does.  This says that Merillat is proud of the cabinets they sell and wants them to look great and perform well for decades.

Comparing warranties is one of the most important things you need to do when shopping for cabinets because it will tell you how long the manufacturer expects the cabinet to perform well; is it 5 years or 25 years?   Then ask yourself:  How long do you want your cabinets to last?

Here’s How to Manage the Mess

dustCabinet, countertop and tile installation can generate a lot of dust, but with any kitchen remodel job, it’s easy to lose sight of this detail among everything else that’s going on.  It’s important not to overlook it though, and it’s a fairly quick and simple task that really pays off.  Be thorough because there is no such thing as overkill when it comes to managing this kind of mess.  Here are a few simple tips:

1) Cover the doorways. Buy .5 mil or thicker plastic and tack it up above the doorways to the kitchen. It’s also helpful to cover any other openings to nearby rooms and closets and keep them closed. It doesn’t stop all the dust but it makes a big difference.

2) Protect the furniture. It’s up to you to take care of that heirloom china cabinet or your walnut dining room set. Be proactive and drape the furniture with thin .2-.3 mil plastic. Take down anything hanging on the wall or drape it with thin plastic, too.

3) Put away decorative items. It’s a big hassle to have to dust all the knick-knacks just because you forgot to cover them. And the installers won’t know if that mid-19th century Bavarian shaving mug is a treasured possession or an unwelcome gift from your Aunt Cecile, so unless you actually want something to be broken or chipped, get it out of harms’ way.

4) Think about the floors. Put down canvas drop cloths, heavy plastic or old shower curtains to cover the carpets and hard-surface flooring. Construction dust is pretty fine and not something you want to vacuum up with a household vacuum cleaner because it can damage the motor. When it’s time to vacuum up, use a shop vac for the dust, it’s designed for the job.

5) Leave it at the kitchen door. Put old throw rugs at the doorways and wipe your feet each time you leave the kitchen so you don’t track dust into the rest of the house.

6) Avoid the work zone, avoid the dust. Limit trips to and from the kitchen and find a room at the other end of the house where you can read, surf the net or do something else entertaining or productive.  Staying out of the work zone while the installers are at work will cut down on the chance that the dust migrate throughout your house.

7) Afterward, clean any nearby carpets. Get up the dust by using a good carpet cleaner with plenty of suction. This is a tougher job than your average household carpet cleaner can usually handle.

8) Enjoy your new kitchen!

Merillat Adds SoftAction+ Technology to Its Classic Line of Cabinetry



Everybody likes getting more for their money and Merillat knows that.  To celebrate their 70th birthday, Merillat is adding their  SoftAction+ Technology to its Classic line as a permanent addition to its long list of standard features.  No need to pay extra for soft-close doors; starting today, it’s on every door on every order at no extra charge.

Packed with value, Merillat Classic cabinets have the quality, features and good looks you’ll enjoy for a lifetime, so come by Carolina Kitchen & Bath and let us help you realize your own kitchen dreams.

Light the Candles, We’re Having a Celebration!

Merillat truckMerillat Cabinets, maker of quality cabinets for your home, is celebrating its 70th anniversary! Merillat Woodworking was founded in 1946 by Orville and Ruth Merillat in a 2,400 square foot shop in Adrian Michigan; a facility that was about the size of an today’s average home. After 70 years and countless happy customers, Merillat Cabinetry is still going strong, offering a range of cabinets for kitchen, bathroom, entertainment and office uses to fit a variety of budgets.

Carolina Kitchen & Bath is proud to sell Merillat cabinets because Merillat stands behind each cabinet they make. Their products are built and finished following exacting standards so they look great and perform well for years. We’re delighted to wish them a happy 70th birthday!

Stop by our showroom at 2324 Battleground Avenue and let us show you the craftsmanship and style of Merillat Cabinetry. Our talented staff can assist you as you make selections and decide on options. Come discover the quality that has inspired 70 years’ worth of innovative products!

Reconcile your kitchen wish list with your allowance reality


house planBuilding a new home is a pretty big undertaking and not just in terms of money.  You’ll also invest a lot of your time, energy and thought before you turn the key in your new front door.  Part of this ambitious adventure will be figuring out allowances.  Lighting, flooring and appliance allowances are pretty straightforward; the allowance for cabinets and countertops may not be, so you’ve got to do your homework.

A good rule of thumb is that the kitchen and bath cabinets and countertops should cost from 4-6% of the purchase price of a new home.   This means that if you’re building a $250,000 home, the cabinet and countertop allowance should be between $10,000 and $15,000.  If your builder tells you the allowance is $7,500 on a $250,000 home, you need to ask some questions before you sign the contract.  Allowances give you some freedom of choice, however it’s also a limit.  Choose your options judiciously,  do as much research as possible and plan ahead.

With most new construction, a contractor often deals with one dealer or outlet for cabinets.  Find out where it is, then stop by to see if the styles, finishes and quality you prefer are available.  Look at your home’s floor plan and see what details are indicated.  Are there decorative panels on the ends of the island? Are crown molding and light rail specified as part of the plan?  What storage options are included?  Are there added conveniences like a pull-out trash can?  What would it take to get glass doors on a few of the wall cabinets?

As a buyer, you need to get as much detailed information as you can get; any reputable builder or contractor won’t hesitate to answer your questions.  Keep in mind that once construction is underway, changes can mean delays as well as extra expense, so doing plenty of research can not only save you from some serious headaches, it can save you some serious cash as well.

Realize your dream without breaking the bank

merillat kitchen pic

“How much will it cost to remodel my kitchen?”

The short answer is:  It depends.  It’s kind of like asking how much will you spend at the grocery store.    Are you buying hamburger and lemonade or filet mignon and champagne?  Remodeling an existing kitchen is job that’s full of variables, so sit down and start listing what you need and what you want.  Now sort choices into three categories:  must-have, would-love-to-have and would-like-to-have.  This will give you a little clarity, and if you need to, it will help you pare down the budget by prioritizing the features and options in your new kitchen.  Thinking things out ahead of time will save you money – last minute add-ons generally cost more than if they were incorporated in the original plan.

Stay realistic; keep your budget in mind.  When it comes to setting a budget, a good rule of thumb for kitchen remodels is about 10% of the current value of your home.  HomeAdviser.com reports that an average kitchen remodel costs around $20,000, with a median range of $11,500 to $29,000.  Try to balance your budget between what you’re comfortable spending with what you’re dreaming about.  And while you may not be able to afford that filet mignon and champagne, you probably can swing a T-bone and a nice cabernet.  The estimates of what you’ll recoup on a kitchen remodel go from about 70%  up to 100% and beyond but you can probably count on getting back between 85-90% of the cost at resale.  Most experts say that it’s the most desirable remodel project and has the greatest return-on-investment.  A new kitchen will also affect the speed at which your home sells; it will often be the number one reason why a home sells quickly.

Cabinets and countertops should top the list but don’t forget appliances, flooring, lighting, electrical and plumbing.  Are there any specialized cooking, cleaning or refrigeration options you want?  At Carolina Kitchen & Bath, we offer Merillat Cabinetry, with popular features like glass cabinet doors, pull-out trays in the base cabinets, storage space for small appliances and decorative elements like plate racks, light rail and crown molding.

Searching the web for information is a good start, but because a kitchen remodel is such a complex process, you need experienced professionals to guide you from design to completion.  Email us, call our showroom at 336-545-9995 or stop by and talk to one of our staff members today.  At Carolina Kitchen & Bath, we’ll show your products and designs that will offer you a great value and inspire your imagination!

Leaks don’t have to be a disaster

You’ll love the way Merillat innovates!

coreguard base

Drip, drip, drip.  Whether or not you hear that sound, you may not discover a leak under your sink for a few days, or a few weeks.  By the time you do, there’s a big water stain on the bottom of your sink cabinet – or worse.  Merillat Cabinets has come out with a solution to that with their CoreGuard sink base.

The body of the cabinet is made from an engineered polymer that isn’t damaged by leaks or spills.  It has a sloped bottom so any liquid will flow to the front of the cabinet where you’re more likely to see it, and caught by a plastic lip so the leak is contained and your cabinet stays beautiful, inside and out.  The bottom of the cabinet is corrugated, to raise up any stored items and keep them dry.

Come in today and see what kind of cabinet options are available for your kitchen.  Merillat has so many beautiful products and smart conveniences; let us introduce you.