Infographic: Luxury Bathroom Trends of 2015

Steam Showers Inc, the largest online distributor of steam showers, published a new infographic detailing some interesting luxury bathroom trends of 2015.

Steam Showers Inc found that home bathroom design is leaning towards the inclusion of spa features and glamorous designs. People want to feel relaxed and pampered in their bathrooms. In fact, luxury bathroom designs for homes may look like they were designed for movie stars. The more luxurious the bathroom, the better!

Contemporary bathroom trends include walk-in showers, steam showers, glamorous bathtubs, and modern toilets. In the new bathroom trends, bathtub shower combinations are being switched out for large walk-in showers. Walk-in showers are designed to be over-sized and include spa features, such as massage jets and chromatherapy lighting.

Homeowners are also asking contractors to include a steam feature in home bathrooms, which in the past was only available at the local gym or spa. Steam can be added to a walk-in customer shower, or is included in prefabricated steam shower units.

Bathrooms are also being outfitted with all of the latest technology and bells and whistles available. It’s become the place in your home to kick back and enjoy life, with amenities like televisions to be watched from the bathtub, refrigeration for cosmetics in the medicine cabinet, heated flooring throughout the bathroom, FM radio built into the shower, and aromatherapy systems that diffuse scents into the shower.

Read the full infographic to learn more about luxury bathroom trends, and visit Steam Showers Inc to learn about luxury bathroom products.


Steam Showers Inc is the largest online distributor of steam showers. The website carries a large inventory of different steam showers housed in a warehouse in Southern California. On Steam Showers Inc, customers can browse steam showers, shower panels, whirlpool bathtubs, walk in bathtubs and more. The products are ETL listed and the experienced staff is available to answer questions and help customers pick out steam showers for their bathrooms. Learn more at or connect with us on HouzzFacebook or Instagram.

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Team Spotlight: Architect Rachel Burton

Architect Rachel Burton

Architect Rachel Burton

Architect Rachel Burton has been working with Sea Island Builders for the past decade, first with Herlong and Associates and now with her own firm, Swallowtail, but she never thought she would be designing buildings when she was growing up.

Rachel’s first love was landscape architecture, but she didn’t exactly have what you would call a green thumb. After countless plant fatalities, she had a “eureka” moment at the age of 17 when she realized that she could simply “drop the ‘Landscape’ part, to just be an Architect.”

She’s moved around a lot in her life – Africa, Jamaica, England, and Canada – but finally settled in South Carolina when her husband got a job here in 2001, and doesn’t have any plans to go anywhere else. Surprisingly, she says that designing buildings is very similar no matter where you are in the world. Despite the fact that she had to protect against the extreme cold in Canada and now in South Carolina is forced to think about heat and hurricanes, the design principles are the same – “Keep out extreme temperatures and design for sideways wind!”

Still, she does think there is a unique solution for every single site and type of building. As someone who’s worked on a casino, a city hall, and all kinds of high-end residences in varied geographical settings, we’re inclined to believe her. She certainly finds unique design elements to put into every home she creates for us!

Rachel says she likes working with Sea Island Builders both because of our building skills and our commitment to ensuring our clients are happy, no matter what. With an answer like that, it probably comes as no surprise that her favorite part of the job is seeing the reactions clients have at the various phases of the design – from excitement during the initial stages when they can see their dreams taking shape to joy and satisfaction when everything is complete and they can finally move in.

As someone licensed in both Canada and the U.S., with an enormous amount of experience and a LEED Accreditation, Sea Island Builders would trust Rachel with any job that came our way. We like her uncanny ability to solve diverse design challenges and make them all visually stunning –while staying on budget – as much as we appreciate the way she is able to juggle the many and varied responsibilities of being lead architect and liaise with everyone who needs to be kept in the loop.

Having a small firm like Swallowtail means Rachel personally stays up-to-date with the latest architectural trends and technologies, and that she’s able to give clients the personal attention they deserve. At Sea Island Builders, we know a personal touch can make all the difference, and hope we can continue working with Rachel for years to come.

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The Best Materials to Use for Beachfront Homes

There are countless benefits that come with owning beachfront homes, from stunning vistas to liberal ocean access. Americans across the country dream of owning property on the beach—of spending their days splashing in the warm ocean and their evenings watching the sunset over the water.

But beachfront homes do come with their share of challenges. Coastal homes are frequently exposed to harsh elements like moisture-fraught air, bright sunlight, strong winds, and saltwater corrosion. To build a sturdy home that can withstand Mother Nature’s temper, you must use proper building materials and techniques.

Below, we’ve listed a piece-by-piece guide to building a beachfront home that will remain strong and attractive for decades to come.

Framing. When choosing a framing material for your home, you have to take the threat of salt water corrosion into account. Salt can cause serious damage to certain materials, so it’s essential to use corrosion-resistant materials when building your house, such as concrete and treated wood. You must know where to use treated and non-treated materials. For example, wolmanized PSL’s will far outlast pressure-treated girders on porches where exposed to the elements. Exposed rafter tails should be pressure treated and pre-primed on all faces. Sea Island Builders uses hot-dipped galvanized nails in our framing applications as well as stainless steel strapping and throughbolts where exposed to outside air.

Hardi siding on a beachfront home in Wild Dunes, SC.

Hardi siding on a beachfront home in Wild Dunes, SC.

Siding. We at Sea Island Builders recommend using brick, Hardie-plank siding, or a composite material similar to Azek, for most exterior applications. These are some of the most durable materials available for siding construction. However, brick will typically last longer than Hardiplank, surviving the salty wind, rain, and sun for over a century before it begins to show sign of serious wear. Brick also provides more efficient thermal and sound insulation. Though brick is the more expensive choice, it will cut down on maintenance costs for your beachfront home and increase its resale value. Sea Island Builders supplies its clients with alternatives depending on the look and feel you are looking for; we will not use any materials that will not hold up to the long-term effects of the salt air.

Roofing. When compared to asphalt shingles, metal roofing is much sturdier and better able to resist rot, mildew, wind, and termites. Because metal roofs reflect the sun, they may also be able to lower the cost of cooling your house by up to 30%. While you may pay more upfront for metal roofing, in the long term, this type of material will end up saving you money in maintenance and cooling costs. There are many types of metal roofs, and again, depending upon the look a client wants, Sea Island Builders will advise of all the pros and cons of different roofing options as well as their overall impact on budget.

Impact rated windows may cost more, but they combine style and safety.

Impact rated windows may cost more, but they combine style and safety.

Windows and glass doors. To protect beachfront homes from the threat of hurricanes and storms, it’s well worth it to invest in impact-rated glass for your windows and doors. In fact, the 2012 IFC Code, which took effect in January 2014, required that all openings either use impact-rated glass, have impact-rated shutters over them, or have impact-rated panels precut with hardware pre-installed prior to a certificate of occupancy being issued. Impact-rated windows are specially designed to hold up under pressure, providing security from flying debris as well as keeping your home watertight. This is particularly important if your windows and doors face the sea. Impact-rated windows are almost always the golden standard once clients are fully advised and made aware of which each option entails.

A great option for beachfront homes is Azek Decking on an entry porch.

A great option for beachfront homes is Azek Decking on an entry porch.

Decking. There are so many options when it comes to decking. We always push clients to take a green and renewable approach when possible. Clients do love and demand the use of Ipe in many applications, which is an exotic hardwood. Suitable alternatives to Ipe include Garapa, which is substantially less expensive but just as durable. Composite, PVC, Capstock, and ASA wood are also great options because they require little maintenance and stand up well to the elements. Azek is becoming more commonplace as exotic materials, such as Ipe, have become scarcer and more expensive. Azek comes in a variety of colors and board widths.

Insulation. Coastal areas typically have quite a bit of humidity and moisture in the air, which can cause the wood to warp. In order to protect hardwood floors and seal out the moisture, coastal homes should always have closed cell insulation underneath the first floor. Closed cell insulation is a spray foam alternative to fiberglass, with a dense constitution that acts as an ideal barrier against air and water vapor. For maximum insulation, Sea Island Builders recommends using closed cell for the attic, floors, and walls to create a protective envelope around the interior of your beach home. There are other options, such as spray in Spider Batt insulation, which is suitable for application in exterior walls.

Paint. There have been vast advances in paint technology in recent years. Depending on the material being painted, Sea Island Builders will discuss all the options available for a beachfront home. All of the wood Sea Island Builders installs on the exterior of houses gets primed on all sides, even the cut ends of boards. This ensures that as much water as possible is kept out of the wood. Interior and exterior paint products differ greatly. We encourage the use of low VOC products and have found some great ones to recommend.

Sea Island Builders’ Beachfront Homes

Sea Island Builders has been building beautiful and long-lasting beachfront homes around Charleston for over a decade. If you are thinking of building or renovating your coastal property, give us a call at 843-883-7430 to get started.


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Sea Island Builders Supports the MUSC Children’s Hospital

kidslogoSea Island Builders is proud to be teaming up with MUSC Children’s Hospital to raise funds to enhance the health of children throughout South Carolina.
WEZL_New-2012 Y1025-logo

We’re starting off our partnership by making an outright $1,200 donation as a sponsor of the 103.5 WEZL and Y102.5 Miracle Maker campaign.

And for the month of February, we’ll donate $1 to the MUSC Children’s Hospital for every new Facebook ‘like’ we receive for a total donation of up to $10,000.

Help Us Make a Difference Now

It just takes a minute of your time:

About the MUSC Children’s Hospital

An integral part of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Children’s Hospital is dedicated to enhancing the health of children throughout South Carolina, and to providing an environment that supports excellence in pediatric patient care, teaching and research. Their employees believe that children have special needs for everything – from their medicines and the size of their beds to unique care that only specially trained pediatric professionals can provide.

They take pride in their dedication to providing a broad educational experience in all aspects of pediatric medicine through the MUSC Department of Pediatrics. Their commitment to research leads to discoveries that will make a difference in the lives of children and generations to come. Children’s Hospital of South Carolina at MUSC hopes to help kids do what they do best – be kids without a care in the world.

You can learn more about the non-profit organization on

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Sea Island Builders Receives ‘Best of Houzz’ 2015 Award

houzz_logo_largeSea Island Builders is proud to have been awarded “Best of Houzz” for Design & Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. We were chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

SIB_BestofHouzzServiceandDesignThe Best of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014.

Winners receive a “Best of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

“Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz. “We’re delighted to recognizeSea Island Buildersamong our ‘Best of’ professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow us on Houzz now!

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Where to Install Tile in Your South Carolina Home

If you’re thinking about tile, there are places you may want to consider using it other than bathrooms as has traditionally been done. In fact, tile is one of the most versatile materials you can use in your South Carolina home. With choices ranging from ceramic to glass to stone, tile can be used in just about any area and can accommodate any design aesthetic.

Here are a few more items to consider when deciding the scope of where to install tile in your next home building or remodeling project.

Maintenance – We’re putting this benefit first because we know many South Carolina homeowners want materials that will look great but require very little upkeep. Most types of tile are stain-resistant and easy to clean with a damp cloth or broom and dustpan, making tile a great choice for kitchen backsplashes and flooring in high traffic areas, like the kitchen or entryway. Even stone tiles don’t require much maintenance, other than the occasional wash with soap and water.

Sea Island Builders kitchen tile

Unlike hardwood floors, the finish and surface of tile will not be damaged with repeated or prolonged exposure to moisture. This makes tile almost an absolute must in today’s modern home for use in bathrooms. Sea Island Builders recommends tile in your laundry room as well, just in case your washer overflows or a supply hose busts. A tile floor in your laundry room with a shower drain can save you tens of thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.

Installation – Installation is fairly straightforward as long as you take the time to make sure you get all the materials needed beforehand so all the pieces are available prior to starting. One of the most common areas where owners run short when ordering tile is on bullnose pieces. Bullnose tiles are used around the insides of shower and bath niches, and also where your tile shower walls transition to the drywall outside the shower. Bullnose tile is also used on the threshold; any exposed edge that is obvious to the eye should be finished with a bullnose.

When ordering manmade or glass tile, it is important to order bullnose pieces for all the finished edges in and around the shower. This edge is almost impossible to apply in the field to manmade materials such as glass and porcelain tiles. Natural stones are easier to bullnose in the field, although it does require more labor to do so. In wet areas (shower walls), we recommend using a HardieBacker board, taping the seams, and then waterproofing with a quality product such as RedGard. Tile can be easily applied over drywall in applications such as kitchen backsplashes and accent walls where they will not be subjected to excessive water and moisture.

Longevity – Tile should hold up well for years in any indoor space. If one or two tiles do become damaged, it’s easy to just remove them and replace them with new ones. Porcelain tile is a particularly durable option, and if you use a through-body porcelain (which has a consistent color and texture throughout the tile), you won’t have to worry about visible chips or cracks.

To ensure the longevity of your tile, make sure that the substrate to which it is mounted is secure. Sea Island Builders also uses ¾” T&G floor sheathing both screwed and glued for our floors. Hardi backer is then applied to this surface using special screws that are spaced so that there is absolutely no movement in the substrate surface. A bedding compound will then be applied to bed the tile and also to allow for leveling. If done correctly, your tile should last decades without cracking or signs of wear.

Green tile – And that doesn’t just refer to its color (although you’ll have no trouble finding green-colored tiles if that’s what you’re looking for). Tiles made from local recycled and reclaimed materials are relatively easy to find, so you can feel good about updating your home without having a negative environmental impact. If you’re having trouble determining what options for tile in your South Carolina home are eco-friendly, talk to your contractor.

Variety – Tile is available in many different colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes, so there are endless possibilities for decorating. You could create a patterned tile kitchen floor, use bold-colored tiles to define a border in your bathroom, or even use tiles to create an intricate frame for a mirror. You can also use ceramic or porcelain tiles to mimic other materials, like marble or wood. Just about any design or pattern you can imagine can be completed with tile.

Sea Island Builders bathroom tile

For more advice about selecting and installing tile in your home, don’t hesitate to contact Sea Island Builders. Our talented team of custom home builders would be happy to talk to you about our recommendations on where and how to install tile in your South Carolina custom home.

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Choosing Insulation for Sullivan’s Island Homes

Insulation for Sullivan's Island Homes

Proper insulation for Sullivan’s Island homes keeps wood floors safe from moisture.

When most people are looking into home insulation, they just have to think about heating and cooling. But this isn’t true for coastal areas like Sullivan’s Island where there’s a lot of humidity and moisture in the air. If too much moisture invades your house, it can cause wood to warp as well as a variety of other problems. That’s just one big reason why Sea Island Builders always uses closed cell insulation for Sullivan’s Island homes on the first floor. If you want to protect hardwood floors and seal out moisture, there’s no better way to do it.

What Is Closed Cell Insulation?

Traditional building insulation is composed of fiberglass, but this material only reduces heat flow by about 35 percent. Closed cell insulation is a type of spray foam insulation – an alternative to fiberglass. Not only is foam far better at reducing heat flow, it also has better sound attenuation. There are two types of spray foam – open cell and closed cell. Open cell foam works well as a barrier against air and sound, but it’s sponge-like in appearance and isn’t recommended for use outdoors. Closed cell insulation, in comparison, is far denser and as such acts as a fantastic barrier against both air and water vapor as well as sound. A professional home builder can install closed cell insulation under your house’s first floor system to significantly reduce heat flow.

Why Use Closed Cell Insulation for Sullivan’s Island Homes?

We use closed cell insulation for Sullivan’s Island homes for a number of reasons.

  • It is much better at sealing out moisture and reducing heat flow than fiberglass. Whereas fiberglass insulation causes a heat flow reduction of 35 percent (as we mentioned earlier), closed cell insulation starts at an 88.6 percent reduction for an inch of insulation and can reduce heat flow by as much as 97.9 percent when it gets up to 6 inches.
  • Closed cell foam adds to your home’s structural integrity by “tying” your roof and walls together and increasing the strength and rigidity of your walls and roof deck.
  • Some low VOX foam products now are actually more green than fiberglass, so this choice benefits the environment.

Why closed cell instead of open cell? Sea Island Builders doesn’t use open cell foam on our projects because research has shown that it’s less efficient than closed cell foam since its insulative values go down over time. Knowing that, there’s really no comparison between the two materials.

The Best Way to Insulate Your Sullivan’s Island House

Although Sea Island Builders always uses closed cell insulation for Sullivan’s Island homes in our first floor system, there’s even more you can do if you truly want to ensure your house is as protected as possible. For maximum insulation, we recommend doing a full envelope in foam. What does that mean? That closed cell insulation is used in the attic, floor, and all walls. This creates what we call an envelope of protection around the interior of your home. A full envelop is the best way to not only protect your home, but lower your energy bills by as much as 40 percent as well. Sea Island Builders now also uses Spider Foam, an alternative form of fiber glass insulation that is sprayed to fill in any gaps in exterior walls. Spider Foam is slightly cheaper than closed cell insulation and actually offers better insulation per square inch. This product is formaldehyde-free and mold-resistant, so it promotes better indoor air quality and energy efficiency. If you decide to have Sea Island Builders do a full envelope on your Sullivan’s Island home, make sure you also work with us to design and size your HVAC system so you get one that will work best with your insulation. If you do not size your system correctly, you will find excessive moisture levels in your home that can increase your chance of mildew, decrease your indoor air quality, and leave you and your family less comfortable. The Sea Island Builders process focuses on taking the planning one step at a time so that nothing is overlooked. Our detail-oriented method allows us to help clients realize their dreams without any misgivings and with minimal mistakes along the way. Sea Island Builders is happy to help clients analyze their insulation choices and go over the impact on the bottom line so that they can make the decision that is best for them.

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Sea Island Builders’ Bathroom Renovations in Charleston

At Sea Island Builders, we often have potential clients ask us what kind of process we go through for bathroom renovations in Charleston and the surrounding area. We understand that it’s important for these potential clients to have a sense of how long the project will take, what they can expect of their custom remodelers, and what the completed project will look like, which is why we’ve put together this guide to the Sea Island Builders bathroom renovation process and included examples of our previous work.

Every bathroom renovation project is different, but we strive to apply the same philosophy of collaborative work to all our projects. We start by placing special emphasis on building the team as early as possible so that we can be sure that each team member will be a good fit for the project and will play an integral role in helping the homeowner achieve their goals.

The next thing we do is to work with our clients to select all the materials—including countertops, hardwoods, tiles, and paint colors—to be used in the bathroom renovation. While some custom home builders take a “figure it out in the field” approach, we like deciding on these materials early so that we can fully develop plans and provide specs before we ever begin construction. This helps us eliminate as many errors in the field as possible, minimizing the amount of “rework” that needs to be done to achieve the end result and allowing us to complete the project in a reasonable amount of time.

Another step that is very important to us is figuring out how everything will fit together in the big picture, rather than just looking at individual elements of the bathroom. For example, if a client asks us to install wall-mounted faucets, we will need to determine the height of the cabinetry, the height of the sink bowl, and the thickness of the countertops prior to roughing in the water lines, or else risk having client displeasure with the height of the filler. If a client asks us to add new bathroom cabinets, we’ll also have to think about the electrical rough, in addition to the dimensions of the new cabinets, to ensure that all lighting needs are met (we may need to add sconces to illuminate a medicine cabinet, for instance). These are the kinds of things that can’t just be figured out in the field, but require careful planning and close collaboration with all team members.

Case Study: Wild Dunes Bathroom

Bathroom Renovations in Charleston: Wild Dunes Home Bathroom South Carolina Sea Island Builders

A Wild Dunes Home Master Bath after Renovation

Sea Island Builders worked with the owners of a Wild Dunes home to give their master bath a modern and elegant appearance. The floor is natural marble, and the walls are covered in porcelain tile, with a glass tile mosaic in the niche behind the Victoria Albert tub. The drywall ceilings above the tile were plastered entirely with American Clay.

Bathroom Renovations in Charleston: Wild Dunes Home Bathroom South Carolina Sea Island Builders_2

Curbless Shower in Master Bathroom Renovation

The shower is curbless, which allows for easy access and adds to the bathroom’s modern feel. We mounted the chandelier light fixture in a dome to draw the eye and give the bathroom a unique focal point. We also added pocket doors to create a division between the shower area, the vanity areas, and the his-and-her water closets. The clients couldn’t have been more pleased with the results.

Case Study: Waterway Bathroom

Bathroom Renovations in Charleston: Waterway South Carolina Bathroom Remodel Sea Island Builders

Waterway Residence Bathroom Renovation

For this smaller Waterway residence bathroom, we added walnut floors to give the space a rich color and a comfortable feel. We used American Clay troweled-on finish for the walls and three centimeter thick travertine for the countertops. The wash basin was carefully selected to match the countertops, and the faucet and light fixtures add to the bathroom’s vintage charm.

Bathroom Renovations in Charleston: Waterway South Carolina Bathroom Remodel Sea Island Builders_2

Larger Waterway Bathroom Renovation

This larger Waterway bathroom also contains travertine countertops, but with a bullnose edge and a much different overall outcome. The colors and lighting selected for this room give it a much warmer appearance.

Considering Bathroom Renovations in Charleston Area?

If you’d like to learn more about the Sea Island Builders bathroom renovation process and other projects that we’ve worked on, don’t hesitate to contact us. We always enjoy helping clients transform their homes.

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Kitchen Renovation: 5 Tips for Purchasing a Kitchen Range Hood

Purchasing a kitchen range hood for your kitchen renovation can be a difficult decision to make. However, like buying any other kitchen or home appliance, there is information out there to help you with your decision. This article will go over five different areas for you to consider while shopping for a range hood.

Decide Ducted or Ductless?

First, decide which option you need: a ducted or ductless range hood. A ducted range hood ventilates air outside of the home via ductwork. A ductless range hood re-circulates filtered air into the kitchen.

Sometimes, installation of ductwork doesn’t fit into the budget for a project. Other times, you may not be able to install ductwork, like in an apartment. If you do a lot of cooking, we recommend the ducted range hoods.

Kitchen Renovations - Selecting Your Kitchen Range Hood - Sea Island Builders

With the right selection, your range hood can fit seamlessly into your kitchen renovation.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Before picking out a range hood, you’ll need to know how much room you have for it. Measure the width of your cooking surface. This measurement (with an additional three inches on each side for optimal ventilation) will determine the width of the range hood you need to purchase.

Other things to consider are whether you have space for a wall mount range hood, island range hood, or under cabinet range hood. The wall mount range hood goes above a cooking surface against a wall, while the island mount range hood hangs from the ceiling over the kitchen island. The under cabinet option goes between the cooking surface and the kitchen cabinetry.

Lastly, remember that you may need a chimney extension if your kitchen has high ceilings and if you are installing a wall mount range hood or island range hood.

How much CFM?

CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, which is a measurement describing how much airflow the range hood can move. This is also known as the power of the range hood.

The amount of CFM you need will depend upon the BTUs in your range (or cooking surface). It is estimated that 1 CFM is needed per every 100 BTU. Another rule of thumb is to compare CFM to the width of the range hood. Approximately 100 CFM is needed for every 12 inches of a wall mount range hood, while 150 CFM is needed for every 12 inches of an island range hood. Range hoods may come with anywhere from 150 to 1000 CFM.

What about Noise Level?

The noise level of a range hood is described in sones. To give you an idea, one sone is equal to the sound of a refrigerator.

Think of it this way: if you’re range hood is very loud, will you be likely to turn it on when you need it? Choose a range hood with a comfortable noise level. You can also buy a range hood with more CFM than you need and run it at a lower speed level. This way, it will produce less noise during use.

Determine Style

Think about how your range hood will fit in with the rest of your kitchen design, including your backsplash, cabinets and the overall flow of the kitchen. Remember that range hoods often become the focal point of the kitchen design. This is especially true with island range hoods. There are many variations in range hood shape and design, including options like a tempered glass canopy.

Kitchen Renovation - Select Range Hood - Sea Island Builders

If you like to cook, then a range hood should be a serious consideration in your kitchen renovation.

Good luck in your kitchen renovation!


Range Hoods Inc is a kitchen home improvement website. They house a large inventory in a warehouse in Southern California. The goal of their dedicated and experienced team is to make shopping for a range hood convenient. Their knowledgeable staff is available to answer any questions. Visit Range Hoods Inc to learn more, or visit us on Facebook, Houzz, or Instagram.

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More Exotic Deck Materials to Consider

SeaIslandBuilders_More Exotic Deck Materials

If you’re looking for a deck material other than wood or Ipe, more exotic deck materials include composite, capstock, PVC, and ASA.

In an earlier post, we talked about the pros and cons of two very popular decking materials—pressure-treated wood and Ipe, an exotic hardwood. However, these are certainly not the only two decking materials on the market.

If you’re worried about using wood because of drawbacks like splinters, rot, and the somewhat high level of maintenance, there are plenty of alternatives to consider. Here are a few ideas.


If you’re looking for a reasonably priced synthetic material, Composite is the way to go. Made from a blend of wood fibers, wood flour, and plastic, Composite typically has the lowest cost per square foot of any synthetic decking material, and it has a longer life span and requires less maintenance than wood. Many homeowners also appreciate that the material is relatively resistant to fading and scratching, making their decks look new for longer.

On the other hand, things like food splatter and sunscreen can leave permanent stains on this material if not cleaned immediately, and mold and mildew can sometimes seep into the interior of the boards. If you choose this material, you will need to be prepared to clean it regularly.

Our top recommendation for a composite brand is Trex. This environmentally-friendly manufacturer creates their decking material from a blend of recycled materials, including reclaimed wood, sawdust, and plastic. Their newer generation composites have a protective shell, which helps to keep the material from staining or fading.

The board-for-board cost is more than for wood, but Trex decking material is incredibly durable and requires little more maintenance than an occasional pressure wash, so you’ll likely save money on upkeep in the long run.


Want to do away with the risks of rot, mold, and mildew completely? PVC doesn’t have any of these problems because it’s an entirely synthetic material made from plastic resin. Fortunately, this decking material can be designed to resemble wood without the maintenance, scratching, or splintering.

Unfortunately, this material can’t claim to be environmentally-friendly since it’s completely synthetic. For some people, though, it ends up being a good choice because it is long-lasting and doesn’t need to be replaced as often, somewhat minimizing the environmental impact as a result.

If you’re looking for a good PVC brand, we would recommend Azek. This decking has great longevity, is highly stain- and scratch-resistant, and is comparable in price to Ipe. Azek has several different collections that give you a wide range of colors to choose from, and those colors shouldn’t significantly fade over time. Even on hot days, Azek decks are cooler to the touch than wood, especially if you choose one of their lighter deck colors.


This material is actually a new hybrid of composite and PVC, consisting of plastic with a wood fiber core surrounded by PVC or vinyl. It combines some of the best qualities of both the primary materials it is made from—it doesn’t fade, stain, or scratch, it’s low maintenance, and it’s relatively inexpensive (it costs less than PVC). Since it’s made from 95% recyclable materials, it’s also relatively environmentally friendly.

The main thing to keep in mind with this material is that it still has a wood core, meaning it shouldn’t be placed too close to the ground since the moisture can cause mold and mildew to seep in. If you’re planning to build a raised deck, this shouldn’t be a problem.


Think of ASA as the premium version of capstock. It actually doesn’t contain any wood but can still have a natural wood look without the concern of fading, staining, or scratching. It has a long life span, but it’s also the most expensive material of the four described here, meaning it’s best for those who plan to stay in their homes for a long time.

If you’re still trying to decide what decking material is best for you, don’t hesitate to talk to Sea Island Builders.

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