Learn About Toe Kicks, Goosenecks, and Other Cool Kitchen Terms Are you a home owner?
Confused by all the fancy terms floating around for home features and architectural styles? In our series Learning the Lingo, we explain all the terms you need to know whether you’re buying, selling, or sprucing up your home. And no area of a house seems to hold a homeowner’s fascination like the kitchen: Hands and potholders down, it remains one of the top areas to renovate. But while home listings are filled with mentions of consumer faves such as granite countertops and Sub-Zero fridges to entice buyers, not all of the nifty features or workhorses of the kitchen are household names. Like, what the heck isa toe kick, anyway? We’re here to help you figure it out!Loader
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Whether you’re looking to buy a home or renovate the one you already own, here are the essential kitchen features you’ll be glad to know by name.
An aerator is a simple mesh screen made of metal or plastic that is attached to the end of a faucet. Betcha didn’t know how important a little mesh can be. Without it, water sprays out of the faucet with unpleasant force and causes splashing. Mixing air into the flow of water produces a steadier, more stable stream. There’s some serious tech built into these little doohickeys, helping with water and energy conservation.
The classic design (comprising a large, deep basin and a wide “apron”-like panel that juts out slightly from the surrounding cabinetry) has crossed over from the farmhouse to modern homes, mainly because the style is offered in the classic fireclay version as well as stainless steel and even granite.
If you’re looking for a the toughest, most durable sink, fireclay is your best bet. Typically in the apron-front style, these sinks are created when clay is heated and cured at upward of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The result is a sink so dense and heavy, oftentimes a professional installer is required to modify the surrounding counter and cabinets to support its gargantuan weight. It also comes with a hefty price tag of $450 to $1,000.
You’ve probably seen them in a design magazine: The curved, U-shaped spout and high arc of a gooseneck faucet allow for more room in the sink basin—and adding one to your existing sink is one of the quickest and least expensive ways to update your home.
Open kitchens in particular benefit from bridge cabinets, since they often lose storage space in favor of flow. A bridge cabinet is placed somewhere that does not allow for everyday use (e.g., over the refrigerator or a stove) and preferably stores the things you won’t need very often, such as those reindeer-shaped cookie cutters.
Toe kick/toe space
If you’ve ever been through a kitchen remodel, you now know that everything (everything!) has a custom option. And that even includes the toe kick—the three inches between the bottom of your cabinets and the floor. This recessed area can match your cabinet fronts or complement them. We’ve even seen them in chic brass.
Pot filler faucet
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Tired of lugging big, heavy filled pots back and forth between sink and stove? We feel your pain. That’s why the appropriately named pot filler faucet exists. Since it’s on a swinging arm, the faucet retires flush to the wall and can stay out of the way. This trend a growing bevy of apostles, but some experts think it’s not really worth it.
Love clean lines? Then you’ll love an undermount sink. The edge lip of the sink is mounted below a solid surface countertop, so the sink effectively hangs underneath the counter, as opposed to sitting on top of it. The result: a continuous flow from the countertop. It can be made of stainless steel, cast iron, granite, and even copper and other metals.
Steam ovens heat water that then, well, steam your food. They came on the scene a few years ago and have healthy eaters singing their praises. They’re particularly great for vegetables. Unfortunately, they don’t brown foods like a traditional convection oven. Good news: You can have both in one.
What kind of stove to get? It’s no longer just a gas versus electric conversation. Induction cooktops use electromagnets that transfer energy to the cookware. That energy, in turn, causes the cookware—and the food within it—to heat.
Think of it as a towel rack for the kitchen. Sizes can vary from a few feet to the length of the wall, and it can hold pots and other kitchen items via hooks. Talk about a total cabinet space saver.
A plate rack keeps dishes orderly and easy to put away and grab, as it’s usually directly over the sink. Plate racks were originally more of a country kitchen add-on, but sleek, contemporary versions have been popping up. Are you handy? You can build one yourself.
We’ve all had that moment, the one of trying to scrounge around the very back of the cabinet to track down some random item. But said missing item can come to you: Vertical drawers swing or roll out (just like a standard drawer), keeping everything easily within reach.kitchenkitchen renovationlearning the lingo
Maureen Dempsey is a writer who covers fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and home decor. She's recently learned that decorating her new home is just as satisfying as filling her closet.Related articles
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