Introducing: Writable Surfaces

Writable Surfaces by Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry


This durable, high gloss, non-magnetic dry-erase surface cleans up instantly, making it ideal for homes, offices, classrooms, and other work environments.



Writable Surface: Chalkboard is the perfect solution for any space or application that demands a durable and affordable writing surface.

Available in a classic color, Graphite Nebula, our Chalkboard requires no regular maintenance or annual "seasoning"—making it not only a design-friendly solution, but also an easy-to-maintain enhancement for any space.

While our Chalkboard has endless application possibilities, it's ideally suited for education, office and retail areas such as schools, day care centers, conference rooms, training centers, break rooms and restaurants.



Our Writable Surface: Markerboard is a versatile surface that offers an interactive medium for sketching thoughts, sharing new ideas or taking notes in real time.

No matter where it's used, from conference rooms and classrooms to cafeterias and athletic facilities, Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry Markerboard offers a versatile and decorative surface. Unlike porcelain or epoxy-coated steel, Markerboard offers a dual-purpose board for projection and dry or wet erase areas that make it easier to maintain and clean.

The markerboard collection features over 90 color options including:

The Advantages of Writable Surfaces Over Paint

Our Writable Surfaces are a collection of durable easy to clean worry-free surfaces to personalize and stylize your home to fit you.

The Writeable Surfaces collection includes four markerboard and two chic chalkboard designs. 

This collection is ideal for personalizing your home or collaborating in your office, and offers an ever-changing surface for doodles, notes, and more, with the added benefit of being simple, sturdy, and easier to maintain than other writable surfaces. 

  1. Smooth Writable Surface: Paint, whether chalkboard or dry erase, is typically applied to a drywall or wood surface. Drywall, even at a premium finish, will have small pits which become places for marker and chalk to become embedded over time. Older homes will have added issues of patching and wear, creating a surface that will never be perfectly flat. At Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, our Writable Surfaces offer a consistently smooth finish not easily achieved through other writable products.

  2. Inherently Scratch & Impact Resistant: All Writable Surfaces from Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry are also inherently scratch resistant and impact resistant. This is a major plus when considering a writable surface for any high traffic areas of the home or office such as the kitchen or an entry. And let's be honest, when did kids start caring about how precious our walls can be?

  3. Easy to Clean: Our Writable Surfaces can be easily cleaned with a cloth or an eraser. (Your writable surface products come with an in-depth cleaning guide.) Writable paint alternatives should be washed weekly to avoid permanent ghosting. The continuous washing also wears down the paint overtime and it will need repainted with constant use and cleaning.

  4. Horizontal & Vertical Application: The versatility of our Writeable Surfaces collection is truly endless. Its unique ability to be installed on most vertical and horizontal surfaces cannot be achieved with paint. Adhere your writable surface across an entire wall, any piece of furniture, cabinet fronts, desks, counters and more. Personalize your home and allow your entire family to do the same with one piece of chalk or a marker.

Start the conversation space in your home. A special note or sketch is the personal touch we all crave. More creativity, more inspiration with Writable Surfaces anywhere in your home. Maybe you aren’t sure where to begin? Check out inspiration from our professional design team in the slideshow.

Why You Need to Hire A Professional To Install Stone Countertops

Why you need to hire a professional to install stone countertops

If you are looking at your countertops and you decide it is time for an upgrade, you might begin to wonder if you have what it takes to personally install your new kitchen countertops. Hiring a professional for the installation will cost money, but doing it yourself is not in the question. Here at Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, when it comes to granite countertops, we want you to have beautiful countertops and that requires you to hire a professional stone manufacturer to install the countertops.

DIY Can Be Done, Sometimes

First off, the only time you can install your own countertops is if it is a small job that does not have any seams and is a very small piece of stone. This is usually only for countertops on small bar tops or coffee tables. You can not cut the stone yourself, but you may be able to install the small piece of stone on your own with the help of a couple of friends. You will need to ask a few friends or family members for help. Remember that a slab of granite can easily weigh more than 200 pounds. Since granite slabs can be brittle, you want enough people to pick it up and place it gently into place.

Step 1: Choose you Granite

The very first thing to consider is the color. There are a lot of different types of granite. For more information on selecting your granite countertop, visit our design studio in Cranbrook.

Step 2: Measuring

The old adage to measure twice and cut once is extremely important when working with stone. You will need to take a lot of measurements. The last thing you want is to get your slab and have it be the wrong size. Your walls are not level. There will be a lot of variation in lengths. You might want to consider creating a template out of cardboard. DIY can be fun, but you might want to consider having us do the measuring.

Step 3: Preparation

You need to insure that your cabinets are strong enough to hold the weight of your stone countertops. Visiting with the design team at Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry is a great way to determine if yours will be adequate. You will also need to be sure that your cabinets are level across the entire surface. Unlevel countertops could cause your stone to crack and things to roll off the surface.

Step 4: Installation

If you are installing your own small piece of stone you will need to follow these suggestions. First off, you will want to set the countertop into place. Make certain everything fits. If the stone does not fit perfectly, you will need to bring it back so we can make the necessary cutting adjustments for you. You want the stone to fit nice and snug, but it should not overhang more than you had planned on it. Finally, you will need to glue your countertops down, install your sink and add a bead of silicone caulk. For more complex jobs, you will need to hire Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry to come and install the countertops so they look correct and can withstand the wear that a normal countertop does.

Gipman Design Studio

When you think granite countertop professionals, think of Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry. If you do not have the tools or the expertise, then you can count on us to install your granite countertops. We have all the tools and the techniques necessary to get your granite countertops installed properly. One of the best benefits of using our professional installation team is the quality assurance. If we make a mistake, we fix it.

Why White Kitchen Cabinets Are The Smartest Choice

Why White Kitchen Cabinets are the Smartest Choice

Choosing the right kitchen design can be a little overwhelming at times, especially when you consider the vast amount of colors and styles of kitchen cabinets that are available. It is important to choose a kitchen design that will not only suit your personal taste, but also one which is going to make the most of the space that you have available to you, but which is the smart choice?

You will certainly want to choose kitchen cabinets that are timeless so that you do not have to go to the expense of replacing them any more often than necessary just to stay on trend. If there is one kitchen design that is capable of checking all of these boxes, then it would have to be a timeless white kitchen!

So, when it comes to kitchen cabinets, why is white so popular? Let's look at some of the advantages that comes with choosing white kitchens cabinets for your home.

White Kitchens Offer A Neutral Canvas for Interesting Features

One of the main reasons why white kitchens are the number one choice is that a white kitchen design offers a fantastic, neutral base for you to include other interesting features. For example, if you want to incorporate some interesting hardware then for it to truly pop you will want a plain and neutral background for it. White kitchen cabinets can provide exactly that allowing you to show of your interesting features without overpowering them.

Photo by Haven Design and Construction

Similarly, white kitchens can allow you the opportunity to introduce a splash of color. Since white will go with any color you will not be restricted on which colors you introduce into your design. Many homeowners choose to introduce a bold color by painting a feature wall, choosing colored appliances and accessories, or even by installing a colored countertop. With white kitchens you need not worry about the cabinetry clashing with a colored counter so much. The great thing is that if you get bored with the color that you have chosen, you can simply repaint your feature wall or replace your accessories since white is such a versatile base color. White kitchens will easily abide or even reinforce any colors and trends existing on your living room.

White Kitchen Cabinets Will Brighten the Room

Another reason why white kitchens are proving to be one popular trend that looks set to endure the passing of time is that white kitchen cabinets are among the few colors and styles that can help to lift a dull room, making it fell light and airy. When you use dark wood cabinets in your kitchen design you do need to be very careful that you do not make the room feel dark and heavy. This is not an issue that comes up with white kitchens. Creating a light and open kitchen is very important, especially in modern homes and apartments which often feature small galley style kitchens. No-one wants to have a dark and dingy kitchen in their home. White kitchens are an increasingly popular way to avoid this.

White Cabinetry Gives Your Kitchen A Sanitary Feel

Photo by Designstorms LLC

One of the main activities performed in your kitchen is of course food preparation. That means that you need your kitchen to be clean and sanitary. White kitchens are not any more sanitary than those of other colors, but the color white does have certain psychological connections that makes us associate it with purity and cleanliness. That is why white kitchens can give a strong feeling of cleanliness. A fresh white kitchen design just looks bright and clean and so the mind assumes that it is sanitary.

This is proven to give homeowners a real sense of satisfaction!

Although having white kitchen cabinets does not necessarily mean that your kitchen is any cleaner than anybody else's, many people say that because the white is far more likely to show the dirt up, they are more inclined to clean the cabinets more often than they would with darker cabinets. This means that there is a possibility that white kitchens are kept a little cleaner and are therefore more hygienic.

The truth is, one of the best color choices is also one of the simplest!

These are just three of the reasons why white kitchens are still among the number one choice when it comes to picking out new kitchen cabinets to complete your new kitchen design. When you opt for white kitchen cabinets, they are going to stay in style for years to come without ever looking dated. White kitchens provide you with a neutral base allowing you the freedom to experiment with colors and styles as you see fit. Check out some of our recent white kitchen projects:

Get Inspired with these Creative Kitchen Backsplashes

Get inspired with these creative kitchen backsplash ideas

It can be hard to decide what to do for a kitchen backsplash. Here are the best of the best when it comes to ideas and presentation. Hopefully this collection will help you narrow down what you are looking for!

Simple Subway

A classic and timeless option, subway tile is a great choice for those looking for a simple design. Due to its incredible popularity, this is also one of the most cost effective options.


A designer twist on the classic subway tile layout. You can choose a herringbone 12x12 sheet or create your own using a subway tile that you love.


This trendy tile is definitely on the rise. The hexagon tile brings classic look in white, or opt for a dramatic and modern look with color and patterns.


The penny tile has a retro flair to it yet brings the perfect amount of texture to a space.

Classy Arabesque

Arabesque tiles are one of 2019s hottest trends.


Add some character and personality to your space by choosing a patterned tile. A great option for heritage homes.


Go modern with a geometric tile. Choose a solid color for a modern, subtle backsplash or get creative with colors and patterns! Geometric tiles offer so many options.


If you love your countertop selection, why not take it up the wall? Bonus, no grout means this will be the easiest to keep clean!

Undermount vs. Drop-In Kitchen Sink: Comparison Guide

Kitchen Sink: Comparison Guide.png

While the world of kitchen sinks is large and varied (there are at least 10 basic types), for most homeowners doing a kitchen remodel, the field narrows down to two: drop-in or undermount sinks.

At one time, drop-in sinks were the only game in town. Even after undermount sinks hit the residential consumer market, they remained exotic and premium for a number of years—more difficult to install and more costly to purchase. Now that professionals are just as comfortable installing undermounts as they are drop-ins, and prices of undermount sinks are more competitive, the choice is that much harder.


Drop-In: Drop-in sinks, the most familiar type and still the most popular, are also called self-rimming or top-mount sinks. All terms mean the same thing: sinks that have a visible lip around the perimeter that rests flat on the counter. The sink drops straight into the countertop cut-out and the lip holds it vertically in place. Controlling horizontal movement are hidden metal clips that clamp the sink to the counter.

Undermount: Undermount sinks install from below the counter. This sink does have a rim, but the rim is not visible as it attaches to the bottom of the counter.

Drop-in Kitchen Sink

Undermount Kitchen Sink

Undermount Kitchen Sink

For More Countertop Space

Best: Undermount

Which one is best at preserving countertop space? With undermount sinks, the countertop extends all the way to the sink—even a bit more. If you're tight on room and need every possible square inch of counter real estate, undermount is the way to go.

One type of drop-in sink that rarely gets mentioned is the drainboard sink, which is like a drop-in sink on steroids. Usually, one side of the rim extends 8 to 10 inches to form a drainboard (thus the name) or in fancier models, a cutting board and food prep area. If you're tight on counter space, this counter-intuitive move, adding more sink rim, might actually be more economical on space.

For the most amount of countertop space chose an undermount sink.

For Easy Cleaning

Best: Drop-In

One of the more frustrating things about undermount sinks is the gap at the top of the sink, where it joins up with the counter. While this gap is filled with a bead of silicone caulk, it's not 100% filled. A gap remains and this gap naturally becomes a magnet for food build-up. Greg Fox at Fox Granite Countertops recommends digging out the caulk on undermount sinks "every three to five years."

With drop-in sinks, all working areas of the sink are visible and accessible. However, it should be noted that the small, visible seam formed by the lip and the countertop can build up gunk, as well. The only difference is that you have better access and more visibility when cleaning the drop-in sink.

For the easiest sink cleaning, choose a top mounted sink.

For the easiest sink cleaning, choose a top mounted sink.

For Easy Countertop Cleaning

Best: Undermount

The clear winner in this category is the undermount sink. In fact, ease of cleaning is the number one selling point of any undermount sink. Because there is no lip to form an obstruction, you can swipe food particles directly off the counter and into the sink.

Drop-in sinks' rims are too high to allow this. Not only that, the angle formed between the rim and the countertop can build up with gunk.

For easy countertop clean up, choose an undermount sink.

For Easy Installation

Best: Drop-In

Homeowners can easily install their own drop-in kitchen sink. As long as a cut-out in the counter is already in place, these sinks can be installed in less than 1 hour.

Best sink for DIY installation, choose a drop-in

Best sink for DIY installation, choose a drop-in

The Least Expensive

Best: Drop-In

In terms of both materials and labor, drop-in sinks are cheaper.

For example, a drop-in Kohler Brookfield Drop-In Cast-Iron 33 in. 4-Hole Double Basin sink can be purchased at Home Depot for about $249. Its undermount counterpart runs around $418.

In terms of labor, Greg Fox estimates that the cost of installing an undermount sink is higher, but only marginally, about $50.

For the least expensive sink options, choose a top mounted sink

For the least expensive sink options, choose a top mounted sink

For Better Choice of Countertop Materials

Best: Drop-In

Undermount sinks can be attached to all types of countertop materials, except for laminate. The laminate isn't the issue; it's the underlying base of particleboard or MDF. MDF is too weak to hold fasteners that have no backer (i.e., a bolt, nut, and washer) arrangement. Drop-in sinks can be installed on all types of counter materials.

For the best options in countertop materials, choose a top mount

For the best options in countertop materials, choose a top mount

For Better Resale Value

Best: Undermount

Whether your kitchen has a drop-in sink or an undermount sink will not, by itself, change the resale value of your home. Resale value's "needle" is affected more by major changes in your home, such as additions, whole-house flooring, or finished rooms than by single elements such as a kitchen sink, bathroom vanity, or choice of paint color.

As one building block of a highly valued "designer" kitchen, the undermount sink can be said to impart higher value to potential buyers than a drop-in.

For a higher resale value, choose an undermounted sink

For a higher resale value, choose an undermounted sink

Four Inexpensive Kitchen Flooring Options

Four Inexpensive Kitchen Flooring Options

You can easily spend $20 to $30 per square foot on luxury flooring for your kitchen, but if you are willing to shop around, a new kitchen floor can cost well under $10 per square foot. However, it’s important to note that price is not the only consideration. The material also must be a good candidate for the kitchen environment. Any legitimate option must agree with two basic rules:

  1. It must be durable and easy to clean. If you have to replace the flooring in a few years, either because it’s too dirty to look at or it’s falling apart, it’s not a bargain.

  2. It must be DIY-friendly. If you are on a really tight budget, you can do it yourself.

Given these rules, the four most realistic options for cheap kitchen flooring are ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate, and cork. That's actually a fairly broad list, considering that all of these are available in a wide range of styles. They are all pretty good performers in the kitchen.

Note: The costs given below are recent prices from a national home improvement retailer. They are subject to change and do not include underlayment, adhesive, grout, or other installation supplies or labour. Consider those additional costs when evaluating any flooring.

Vinyl Flooring

Easy-to-Install in Tiles, Sheets, or Planks

Price: Starting at $1.00/Sq. Ft. for vinyl tiles; $2.00/Sq. Ft. for vinyl luxury planks

Vinyl is the easiest kitchen flooring material to install. If your subfloor is in good shape, vinyl is also the cheapest because you can usually install it right over the subfloor (or suitable existing flooring), avoiding the expense of new underlayment. Vinyl comes in several types, so you can shop based on price, look, and/or installation method. The most inexpensive type of vinyl tends to be peel-and-stick tile, followed by peel-and-stick planks and sheet vinyl.

The best all-around DIY option is the luxury plank, which is usually thicker than standard vinyl tile and can be installed as a click-together floating floor. Prices for luxury planks start at about $2.00/sq. ft.

·         Advantages:

o    One of the most inexpensive flooring materials

o    Resilient surface is easy on the feet 

o    Easy to clean

·         Disadvantages:

o    Vinyl can be gouged or scratched rather easily

Installation tips: For tiles: dry-lay a full row across the width and length of the floor to establish a layout, then draw perpendicular layout lines to guide the installation.

Laminate Flooring

Comes in Many Styles

Price: Starting at $1.00/Sq. Ft. for regular and $1.79/Sq. Ft. for water-resistant laminate

Laminate has a rightful place among cheap kitchen flooring options, but it must be said that it's not the most durable choice for this room. The hard resin surfaces of the planks are plenty scratch- and stain-resistant for kitchen traffic and abuse, but the seams between planks are vulnerable to water damage. A leaky dishwasher or forgotten spill can cause the planks to bulge along the edges, so you must be mindful of standing water, and avoid wet-mopping altogether (occasional damp-mopping is OK). 

Installing a laminate floating floor in the kitchen is a doable day-long project, and many people don't seem to notice that it's not really hardwood. If you’re willing to spend more, you might look into “water-resistant” laminate, which is guaranteed to resist standing water for a specified period (such as 24 hours). 

·         Advantages: 

o    Can convincingly mimic wood, ceramic tile, stone, and other premium floor coverings

o    Installation is surprisingly easy 

·         Disadvantages:

o    Not ideal for areas where moisture is an issue

o    Can be scratched

o    Underlayment and trim pieces can add substantially to installation costs

o    Cannot be cleaned by wet-mopping

Installation tips: Be very careful with the plank edges during installation; they break easily. Plan the plank layout so you don't end up with a really short piece at either end of a row or a really narrow strip at either side of the room.  

Ceramic Tile

Durable and Easy to Clean

Price: Starting at $0.75/Sq. Ft.

Shaw Ceramic Tile Floor in Pepper

Ceramic tile gives you the most bang for your buck because you get an essentially indestructible floor that’s easy to clean. Well, at least the tiles are easy to clean. The grout joints can be like grease traps, but they are much less trouble if you seal them carefully (as soon as recommended after laying the tile).

If properly installed, bargain tile lasts forever, just as long as expensive tile. Styles may be less trendy, but if you go for a clean, simple style no one will be the wiser.

·         Advantages:

o    A very elegant flooring surface

o    Extremely durable—can last for decades

o    Surfaces are easy to clean

·         Disadvantages:

o    A very hard surface that lead to fatigue; dropped dishes may shatter

o    Can be a cold surface on the feet

o    Grout joints are prone to trapping dirt and stains

o    A more complicated installation than most other types of flooring

o    Additional materials needed can significantly add to the overall cost

Installation tip: Install the tile over a layer of cement board, which helps stiffen the floor (to prevent cracking) and isn't affected by moisture that gets through the tile.


Comfortable, natural, and Easy to Install

Price: Starting at $1.99/Sq. Ft.

Cork is at the higher end of inexpensive flooring options, but it's a comfortable and visually pleasing material that's easy to install. Bonus, this flooring is all natural and renewable material. Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and termites. It offers more cushion underfoot than the others and is quite long-lasting. You might have to shop around to find cork, but it is available.

Cork is most commonly sold as  snap-together planks or tiles for a floating floor installation, similar to how laminate flooring is installed. This makes cork a good DIY option, and many types of cork do not require the foam underlayment that is necessary with laminates.

·         Advantages:

o    Very comfortable to the feet

o    Easy installation

·         Disadvantages:

o    A bit more expensive than other flooring options

o    Not as durable as ceramic tile

o    Can be damaged by high heels, sport cleats, and pet claws

Installation tip: Plan the layout of the planks so you don't end up with a really short piece at either end of a row or a really narrow strip at either side of the room.

Where to Buy

For a better idea of what kitchen flooring options we have available, visit our design studio in Cranbrook. Our Kitchen and Bath experts can help you find the best design, colour, and material for your home remodel. Together, we can find the right product to make your flooring eye-catching and functional!



Kitchen Trends to Watch for 2019

As you can imagine, a kitchen remodel can be perplexing as you may not know where to begin, or how to chart the best course of action. Before you set about planning the initial stages of a complete kitchen renovation, it’s essential to research kitchen styles and trends and create a collection of inspirational photos. This will help you stay on track when it comes time to choose finishes and products. It is easy to get overwhelmed.

To get you started on bringing your New Years kitchen remodel ideas to life, we’re looking at the top kitchen decor and renovation trends for 2019. Here’s everything you need to know to redesign the heart of your home with confidence and ease.

Images Courtesy of Google


Though we’ve seen our fair share of various countertop materials come and go, the popularity of brilliant quartz finishes continues to have no end in sight as it remains one of our client’s most frequently requested materials, and for good reason. The colors and patterns are very simple and soft.

Wilsonart Laminate Countertop

Wilsonart Laminate Countertop

Designer Tip: You can get this look on a budget by opting for a laminate like this one from Wilsonart.

The simple countertop colors and patters has a great timeless look, quartz and laminate is virtually indestructible – just be sure to avoid excessive heat as hot spots can damage the material easily.

The all white kitchen is out!

While there’s no denying the timeless appeal of an ultra-bright white kitchen, but there are plenty of fantastic alternatives to take in for a more rich and intoxicating look.

Say Bye Bye….

Design by Studio McGee

Design by Studio McGee

Now say hello too…

Design by Studio McGee

Design by Studio McGee

And it should go without saying that all white kitchens are much harder to keep clean on a daily basis, so why not consider bringing in some distinctive hues to create a more memorable kitchen?

If you really must have white, consider pairing it with a dramatic feature island or breaking up the cabinets with wood shelving accents.

Set a Dramatic Tone

Instead of bright optic white, consider setting a moodier tone in your kitchen with alluring and unexpected color to create a more rich and nuanced look.

From night watch, 2019’s dark and dramatic green tinged color of the year to earthier terracotta or even more vibrant tones, do consider adding a sense of elevated energy with colors that evoke emotion and a positive spirit.

Images Courtesy of Google

Images Courtesy of Google

Matte Everything

Who doesn’t love the slick touch of matte finishes? And lucky for you, we’ve noticed showrooms chock full of matte cabinetry and appliances that while attractive, are ultimately much easier to keep clean and are certain to not go out of style anytime soon thanks to their forever-cool allure.

Jewel Tone Cabinetry

The tendency to go for all-white kitchens is fading. People are looking for something catchy and moodier with their kitchen design ideas. Jewel toned cabinetry add an elegant sense of drama to any home, are easier to manage, and are an elegant alternative to standard ivories.

Dark jewel tone cabinetry has been gaining in popularity during 2018, we will likely be seeing lots more

Images Courtesy of Google

Use Bold Patterns & Textures

As the times call for clean, symmetrical straight lines, we’re seeing grid motifs used as a lite nod to industrial styling everywhere in contrasting black for windows, doors, and cabinet legs.  

Images courtesy of Google

Bold Tile backsplash 03.jpg

Bring Nature Indoors

In 2019 we will see more kitchens and home decor inspired by nature. People are trading in their dark stained cabinets of the early 2000 for more bright and contrasting cabinets. Wood and natural textures soften the space and make it feel comfortable and relaxing.

Quartz FAQ: Everything You Need to Know

Quartz FAQ: Everything you need to know

If you are considering new countertops, you have a lot of options and one of them is quartz. These frequently asked questions will give you all the information you need to make a decision about using quartz in your home. For your information, here are FAQ’s about quartz:

What is quartz?

Quartz is a crystalline form of silicone diode and second most common mineral found on this planet. It is found typically in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, colored by impurities found within it, such as in amethyst, citrine, and cairngorm. Quartz is both plentiful and durable, used in production in diverse ways from electronics to building materials.

Where is quartz found?

Quartz is found all over the world but, Arkansas and Brazil are two places with the largest natural quartz mines. The largest natural quartz crystal was found in Brazil and weighed 44 tons. Mountain tops, beaches, rivers and deserts contain high quantities of quartz on their surfaces. Even though quartz is a widely occurring mineral, pure, high quality quartz crystals are rarely found. The Spruce Pine Gem Mine in North Carolina is one of the few locations where you can find highly pure quartz mined. India also has huge quantities of clear quartz deposits.

What are the uses for quartz?

Quartz is extensively used in glassmaking and also an essential ingredient in fiberglass. Due to its hardness, quartz makes an excellent option as an abrasive and is used in sandblasting and sandpaper production. It is widely used as a filler in paint and rubber substances as well as for traction purposes in the railroad industry. Many electronics such as watches, televisions and cellphones contain quartz. This mineral is the most varied of any other mineral as it comes in a variety of colors and forms, making it one of the most useful natural substances.

Why are quartz countertops so popular?

Quartz, also called “engineered stone,” is one of the hardest minerals on earth, thus when used as a countertop option in homes, it is arguably the most durable choice. Unlike other mined natural stone slabs, quartz is produced in a factory. Here are some other reasons people love quartz countertops:

  • They can be made in a variety of colors from bright red to lime green, as well as a popular brown, black and cream neutral colors.

  • Quartz is less likely to crack or chip in compared to granite or marble since it is stronger.

  • It is a non-porous material so it will not harbor bacteria in tiny cracks like other countertop materials.

  • It is resistant to stains so oil, juice, wine, tomato, coffee and more have no effect on the color.

How are quartz countertops produced?

The primary ingredient in this type of countertops 93% ground quartz, which is combined with polyester resins to bind it together. Pigments are added to give it color. Quartz is an attractive look in kitchens and some designs even incorporate small amounts of recycled glass or metallic flecks into it.

Do quartz countertops stain easily?

Due to the durability and special type of resins mixed within the quartz during production, quartz countertops are resistant to stains. They are a nonporous surface, which means staining substances do not settle in small pores, causing discoloration.

Do quartz countertops scratch easily?

Quartz is among the most durable counter surfaces you can purchase, and they are scratch resistant under normal usage. It is not indestructible, as any surface can be damaged with extreme abuse, however quartz is durable and withstands well in normal usage. To keep its shine and luster, a cutting board is recommended when using knives.

Are quartz countertops easy to maintain?

Quartz is a low maintenance countertop, unlike granite which typically requires a new protective top coat at least once a year. These surfaces never need to be sealed, unlike some natural stone options.

Are quartz countertops porous?

No. Quartz countertops are nonporous, thus bacteria and other substances cannot get into the surface.

Is quartz resistant to heat?

Quartz is better at resisting heat in comparison to laminate surfaces like Formica, but when compared to granite or other stone countertops, quartz is not as heat resistant and care should be used. The resin component of the Quartz surfaces makes it vulnerable to direct heat like placing hot pans directly from the oven etc. Trivets and hot pads should be used for hot pans or hot hair tools in the bathroom to keep quartz looking its best.

Is quartz expensive?

In comparison to other high end countertop materials such as granite, slate and marble, quartz is very comparable.

Are there any chemicals or cleaners to avoid on quartz?

We recommend using cleaning products with a pH between 5-8, as products outside this range may damage the surface. Cleaning products such as oven grill cleaners, floor strippers, toilet bowl cleaners, oil soaps, tarnish removers, furniture cleaners, drain products, etc. could be damaging to your countertop. If your surface accidentally is exposed to any of these potentially damaging products, rinse with water immediately.

In what areas of the home should quartz be used?

Quartz is perfect for kitchen counters, bathroom vanity tops, fireplaces, shower edges, window sills and coffee tables. Using quartz in businesses for food service counters, conference tables and reception tops is also a popular choice. It is not recommended to use quartz for exterior purposes as too much exposure to ultraviolet light can discolor it.

Are quartz countertops seamless?

Similar to granite, quartz slabs also come in certain maximum sizes. The jumbo sized slabs are usually 125” x 65”. If countertops are longer than these sizes, they need to be seamed. It is similar to granite in this aspect. We try and make this seam as inconspicuous as possible.

Will any type of sink fit with a quartz countertop?

Yes, all types of sinks fit and will be measured and sized prior. Sink sizes are determined by the size of the sink cabinet. The sink needs to be on-site during installation to ensure proper fitting and sealing.

About Our Award Winning Hardware

About our award winning hardware

At Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry we are dedicated to providing our clients with the best quality cabinetry at competitive prices. Our mission has always been and will always be about quality. We are passionate about using the finest materials and manufacturing with great care.

That is why we choose Hettich for our cabinetry hardware. Based in Germany, Hettich Hardware is an award winning global hardware manufacturer. Their innovative solutions have positioned them as one of the top hardware manufacturers in the world.

We have been using Hettich Hardware for over ten years, we have tried and tested every hardware system out there and nothing compares to Hettich’s lifetime warranty and product quality. Hettich values the end user (that is you!) of their products and is consistently setting the precedent in the industry with hardware that is sleek, functional, practical and effortless.

Our Hinges

Hinges from Hettich are the heart of good cabinet doors: innovative, reliable and long lasting. They provide top quality as well as clever mounting and adjustment capabilities. The multiple award winning Sensys hinge has revolutionised the world of hinges with its invisibly integrated Silent System.

Sensys, the hinge technology with integrated Silent System for even more convenience when closing hinged doors. With its uniquely wide automatic closing angle, Sensys closes the door almost completely on its own. Innovative, smooth, gentle, quiet. Convenience boost in award winning design from Hettich.

What this means for our clients:

  • Close your cabinet doors with less effort. Simply close the door to 35 degrees and the hardware will do the rest.

  • Integrated soft-closing mechanism means no cheap clip on attachment that can fall off or wear out.

  • The stay open feature ensures that your cabinet door will stay put when opened wide. You never have to worry about bonking your head!

Images courtesy of Hettich Canada.

Our Drawer Systems

For the kitchen, bathroom bedroom, living-room, office. Ingenious concept for systems to suit any application. Convenient, sturdy, smooth running, attractive.

Quadro 4D drawer runner

All of our drawers utilize the Quadro 4D drawer runner whether it is with our melamine drawer box or our Innotech Atira system. Quadro 4D is the ideal runner for sophisticated cabinetry design with precision:

  • Steel ball bearings for lasting user convenience

  • Convenient tool-less adjustment in 4 directions

  • Stability, long life and operating convenience of the Quadro principle: high precision runners for harmonious, smooth running action.

  • Full extension runner for a perfect view of drawer contents and easy access

  • Elegantly concealed underneath the drawer bottom panel.

  • Optional push to open components.

Images courtesy of Hettich Canada.

InnoTech Atira drawer system

The drawer system InnoTech Atira makes a feature of its fullness of character and in doing so offers individual potential for creativity.

Sharp contours, a choice of colours and diverse side elements complemented by a wealth of interior organisation solutions. No other drawer system provides this level of individuality. One platform, endless options: Reliable quality and high practical convenience.

Images courtesy of Hettich Canada.

How to manage VOCs and Formaldehyde in your Cabinetry

Today I want to take the time to discuss an important issue that doesn't get talked enough about in the Kitchen and Bath design world. While I love sharing projects and trends with all of you, there are some trends that are less about looks and more about safety and health, and the composition of your kitchen cabinets is a perfect example.

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More and more homeowners are looking for formaldehyde-free kitchen cabinets. That’s because the cabinets made from pressed wood like particle board, hardwood, plywood paneling, and fiberboard typically contain formaldehyde. That’s a problem because formaldehyde is considered a VOC, or volatile organic compound. VOCs “off-gas,” which means they evaporate from their source and linger into the air we breathe. The federal government regulates formaldehyde as a carcinogen, and the Environmental Protection Agency considers it a significant source of indoor air pollution. Exposure to formaldehyde and other VOCs can cause watery eyes, a burning throat, headaches, other flu-like symptoms, difficulty breathing, and dizziness.

Where do V.O.C.s come from?

The National Kitchen & Bath Association explains very well how wood products, such as those used in cabinets, can emit low amounts of formaldehyde. Let's take a look at their 

"Formaldehyde, a naturally occuring chemical present in human breath, is widely used. It has been studied extensively and is typically encountered in the home in low levels. 

All wood species, and therefore all wood products, contain and emit small amounts of formaldehyde. An oak tree, for example, emits 9 parts per billion of formaldehyde. It follows that any wood cut from that oak tree also contains small amounts of formaldehyde, as do all wood products. Formaldehyde also is found naturally in a wide range of fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, seafoods, meats and coffee.

All cabinetmakers use composite wood in the construction of cabinets. It is an essential material for industry products extending the yield from the harvest of trees, making cabinetry more affordable. Composite wood generally is make with a small amount of urea formaldehyde adhesives in order to achieve durability and performance expected by consumers in the difficult kitchen environment that varies exposure to extreme heat, cold and diverse cooking products (mustard, ketchup, alcohol, and the like), detergents, water and heavy usage."




Cabinetry Products to Consider

Solid Wood vs. Composite Wood Products

Cabinets made from composite wood products, such as particle board or medium-density fiberboard, can be risky because they have most likely been produced using a urea-formaldehyde binder. In addition to off-gassing the chemicals they contain, if these types of cabinets are not manufactured and installed properly, they can susceptible to moisture and could swell or develop a mold problem. Solid wood cabinets are a safe choice ; however, they do carry a hefty price tag and do still contain organically occuring formaldehyde.

Wood products labeled CARB compliant are a safe bet, as they meet the standards for reducing indoor air pollution set by the California Air Resources Board. The CARB product emission standards are the lowest in the world.

There are wood composite products available that are low-VOC-emission certified, called NAF, no-added formaldehyde. It is important to recognize that products that carry the NAF guarantee do still contain formaldehyde. As explained by the NKBA, organic compounds contain small amounts of formaldehyde, and there is no way to completely remove them from the environments. These products must be specially requested before getting a proposal from your cabinet supplier as they do cost more than traditional cabinet materials. 




Compliant Cabinetry Finishes

Not only is it important to discuss the contents of the wood used in cabinetry, it is just as important to discuss the finishes that are applied to them. The Government of Canada regulates the volatile organic compound concentration limits for architectural coatings such as paints, stains, varnishes, lacquers and other types of coatings that are available and applied to surfaces, including cabinetry.

One of the biggest VOC emission sources in cabinetry does not come from the natural wood and the different ways it is manufactured into cabinets, but rather, the finishing products that are applied to them. Most stains, paints and lacquers used in the cabinet manufacturing industry are solvent based and contain large amounts of volatile

organic compounds. It is important to be aware of the products that are being used on your new cabinets.

The best thing you can do for the health of your family and your home, is to ensure that your cabinet manufacturer uses water-based or water-borne finishing products. "Water-based" or "water-borne" is a term given to products that use water as the primary thinning agent. Most water-based products have a low-to-no voc emission rating that can be compared to other products.


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Have Cabinets Custom Made

Custom cabinets are the healthiest option. You can work directly with your kitchen and bath designer to choose the wood and finishes that ensure the cabinets your purchase meet your priorities. Plus, you can create a manufacturing and installation schedule that makes certain that the cabinets are not installed until they are completely dry and odor-free.

What this means for our clients

At Gipman Millwork, we use only wood products that are part of the FSP (Forest Stewardship Council) which sets the standards for what is a responsibly managed forest, both environmentally and socially. They have mandatory criteria that must meet the CARB (California Air Resource Board) and these products must be third-party tested to meet low-formaldehyde-emission standards in North America to qualify. 

Our finishing products, including all lacquers, stains and paints are all water=based products that are certified to be low-to-no V.O.C. emissions and the company who manufactures these products is on the front line on environmentally friendly technology. Complying with the strictest of standards in environmental and workplace health.



The 5 Reasons You Should Be Designing with White

If you talk to any kitchen and bath designer, they usually have at least 2 favorite white paints tucked in their back pocket. These are their go-to's and with good reason. White is as timeless as can be and provides a stunning backdrop, no matter your style. It's like liquid gold in the color (or colorless) department. Here, our Kitchen and Bath Design, Nikki Gipman is sharing 5 reasons why you should most certainly be designing with white.

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1. White amplifies the natural light in your room.

White, specifically white paint, multiplies natural light exponentially. If your home is feeling a little dim or dreary, break out the white paint and get busy brightening up! White drapery can have a similar effect, by making your windows feel larger and more open.

Designer Tip:

I have two tried and true white paint colors that can do no wrong.

  1. My favorite soft, warm white is Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-17.

  2. My favorite crisp, cool white is Sherwin Williams SW 7004.


2. White creates the perfect backdrop to accentuate.

Hanging your art on a crisp white wall brings out the best in it, no matter what the medium. Whether it’s a black and white photograph or a vibrant painting, help it look it’s best by surrounding it with a simple clean neutral. After all, there’s a reason why art gallery walls are always painted white!

Designer Tip:

You can take this effect one step further by also framing and matting your artwork in white. This creates the interesting visual effect of blurring where the walls end and the art begins.

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3. White makes your ceilings look higher.

White walls, white ceiling and white molding blend together into an optical illusion that creates visual height and volume. This is an especially great trick in older homes with 8’ ceilings.


4. White makes your colors look brighter.

The attributes of colorful pieces of furniture or objects are amplified when set inside a white box. Because of this effect, you can make fewer grander statements with color and still get maximum impact.

Designer Tip:

In a mostly white room, consider concentrating a large amount of color on one item. For example, in this mostly white kitchen, I chose to make a grand gesture with the jojoba green color of the island. The bold color of the accent island turns into something more, by surrounding it with white.

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5. White makes you feel better.

While this may sound a little silly, there are psychological benefits to the color white. It helps your home feel refreshing, clean, and quiet. And who wouldn’t want that?

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Butcher Block Countertops

All about Butcher Block Countertops
The popularity of wood looks – especially as countertop surfaces – is on the rise
— Tiffany Warner

Are you looking for a unique countertop material to complete your kitchen? Butcher block is the answer. This beautiful wood product can be used in rustic-inspired kitchens to add that old-fashioned farm feel or can even be used in sleek, modern kitchens to offset metal surfaces and appliances. At Gipman Kitchens & Cabinetry, we can create and size custom butcher block countertops for your Kootenay home. All of our countertops are produced locally. 

What is Butcher Block?

Photo by Buckminster Green LLC

Butcher block countertops are made from straight cuts of wood that are then glued together into a thick slab. The material and construction of these countertops make them a very stable and sturdy working surface for your kitchen. Butcher block can be constructed from nearly any type of wood. While maple is the most popular due to its sturdiness and clear grain, cherry and black walnut are also used for their rich colour.

There are two main ways of finishing butcher block to choose from. These include:

Lacquered Finish

A lacquered butcher block finish is very popular due to its strength and lower maintenance. This finish is not food safe, which means that it is recommended you use a cutting board and do not directly cut on the surface. However, since the finish is quite durable, and you should not be cutting directly on it, it has a lower maintenance requirement than oiled.

Oiled Finish

Photo by Jenny Baines, Jennifer Baines Interiors

An oiled butcher block finish is very popular due to its beauty and function. This finish is food safe, which means that you can forgo a cutting board and directly cut on the surface. However, since the finish does not seal the wood in the traditional sense you must be careful of what you set on the surface and regularly oil it to keep it from drying out.

Caring for Your Butcher Block Countertop

Wood countertops do require a few maintenance tasks to keep their beauty over time. Unlike some other countertop materials, wood is a very porous material, so it has to be sealed properly. Without sealing, germs are able to easily get into the material through the surface. Once inside, germs will continue to grow, making your countertop unsafe and destroying its beauty. Once your countertop is installed, you will want to have it sealed and you should maintain the surface with mineral oil or another protectant. Countertops will also have to be refinished after about 10 of use depending on how heavily they are used by your family.

You must also not allow moisture to sit on the surface of your wood countertop for an extended period of time. Spills and other moisture should be cleaned up and dried from the surface quickly. Otherwise you could notice water damage, which will make the surface more susceptible to germs.

Because wood is a soft material, you may notice dents, dings or scratches developing over time. While some may not like this look, many choose wood countertops for this exact reason, as they like the appearance of the rustic patina wood acquires over years of use.

Benefits of Butcher Block

Wood countertops are an excellent option for kitchens as they make a strong and sturdy work surface. If you choose, you can cut food directly on the countertop as many of the styles will disguise small scratches and cuts. The soft material of wood is also much easier on the blades of your knives than granite or stone would be. 

Butcher block countertops can bring warmth to your kitchen, not just in the warm tones and appearance of the wood. The surface is much warmer to the touch than that of granite, tile or stone. If you are planning to use the countertop as an island that people can sit around or eat at, wood is a great option since placing your arm on a cold granite countertop can be quite a shock.


Alternatives to Butcher Block Countertops

Something many people do not consider when deciding on solid wood countertops is the amount of wear and damage that they can take on. A great alternative to constant worry and maintenance is going with a laminate countertop with a high definition printed wood pattern.  You maintain the cost effective nature and high durability of the laminate, but can achieve the high end look of wood!

Best of both worlds

All these images are of laminate countertops with the high definition wood grain patterns!

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New 2018 Countertop Collection

Brand New 2018 Countertop Collections

We have been busy over the last few weeks prepping our showroom for 2018 and we are so excited for you to come visit our showroom this year! During our preparations we are updating our countertop collections and today we are giving you a sneak peak of these beautiful designs!

Great Style doesn't have to be Expensive

At Gipman Kitchen's and Cabinetry, we manufacture our own line of laminate countertops. From a beautifully wrapped postform style that is easy on the bank account to a high end custom bevel, we have thousands of combinations that will make your countertops unique!

Laminate Countertops

What we love so much about laminate countertops is that they are NOTHING like the countertops from even a couple of years ago. The laminate industry is changing and evolving so much that the quality, durability and color/pattern options actually fool people into thinking you splurged hard on granite! Laminate tops provide the ultimate design and budget flexibility.

Why? Because companies like Wilsonart, Formica, and Pionite, actually take high definition photographs of stones like granite and marble, then compress them into a high pressure decorative laminate (HPDL). Laminate is 70% paper and is regarded as the most environmentally friendly countertop surface available.

These new colors are perfect for refreshing a dated kitchen. If you love the look of marble but are not interested in the high maintenance and potential to stain, opt for one of these new light laminates that will easily fool your guests to think you splurged big for marble!

Don't believe us? The photo to the side is a marble look-alike made by Formica.




1 | The Lights

Cote D'Azur

Polar Cap

Marmo Bianco

White Cascade

Pearl Sequoia

Sierra Cascade


Arabescato Marble

Arabescato Marble


2 | The Mid-Tone

Moon Dust

Moon Dust

Pebble Piazza

Oyster Sequoia

Benjamin Gray

Cipollino con Panna Laminate

Potters Clay

Galactic Dust

Santa Cecilia

Santa Cecilia


3 | The Dark


Dusk Cascade

Andorra Fog

Andorra Shadow

Toffee di Pesco

Cote D'Azure Noir

Man on the Moon

Saint Laurent Marble

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We strive to prove quality, relevant content for homeowners to make educated decisions during the renovation process. Drop us a line in the comments if you have any questions or share this link with your friends if you found this helpful.



Design Secrets: How to use (and not use) the color red in your home

December Design Inspiration: Red Cabinetry

December is already here! We can't believe how fast 2017 has flown by! With the holiday spirit in full swing, we thought it would be fun to talk about red kitchens and cabinets! Over the last 30 years we have done tons of red cabinetry and with the popularity of painted cabinets trending so highly over the last 5 years, we have seen the good, the bad and the ugly!


1 | Color Theory

Before splashing a bright and bold color like red around the house, it is important to understand a little bit about the hues color theory and implications. Red is a very hot color. It’s associated with fire, passion, anger and from seasons to specific holidays.

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In history, red been associated with both the Devil and Cupid. Red can actually have a physical effect on people, raising blood pressure and respiration rates. It’s been shown to enhance human metabolism, too. Interesting right? 

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That probably helps to explain why people have such a strong opinion of red. Red can be associated with anger, but is also associated with importance (think of the red carpet at awards shows and celebrity events). Red also indicates danger (the reason stop lights and signs are red, and that warning labels are often red).

Outside the western world, red has different associations. For example, in China, red is the color of prosperity and happiness. It can also be used to attract good luck. In other eastern cultures, red is worn by brides on their wedding days.

In design, red can be a powerful accent color. It can have an overwhelming effect if it’s used too much in designs, especially in its purest form. It’s a great color to use when power or passion want to be portrayed. Red can be very versatile, though, with brighter versions being more energetic and darker shades being more powerful and elegant.

2 | Incorporating Red

Here are some great uses of the color red that we have seen and done!

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Feature Island

One of the most common ways we see strong colors like red used is as a feature peice in the cabinetry, for instance like this island.

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Add some character to your room by distressing your feature island and bringing the intensity down.

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Multi-Colored Palette

Don't forget that red goes with so many colors! It can pair well with other vibrant colors for a fun, quirky space or pair with with neutrals for a warm and inviting.

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Fully Committed

If you are fully committed to loving red or want to create a unique, country home, go all out! Use texture and patterns to accent and create an inviting space.

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Red Stools

Have old stools that need a repaint? Try a bright bold hue! This can be an easy DIY project... and if you hate it, change it!

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Often an underrated way to incorporate a bold color is by getting your appliances in it. This adds a retro feel to the space.

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Use your backsplash as a feature space and bring in a bold brick style red.

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High Gloss

Thinking modern is more your style? Try a high gloss red with metal and glass accent cabinets and long pulls


Decor Accents

A great way to incorporate a bold color before going fully committed is with accent decor like large serving bowls, coffee containers, and hand towels!

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Wall Color

Who said the cabinetry had to be red? Try painting a single accent wall, or all the walls a bold red!

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Bathroom Vanity

Why not start small with one of the bathroom vanities? This look is pulled together with the antique mirror, chandelier sconce and vintage towels.

3 | What do you think?

What is your opinion on red cabinetry? We would love to hear from you!