Bath, Kitchen & Tile Center remodels its Lewes operation as the third-generation family-owned company approaches its 55th anniversary

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: LAURA NAVARRE

In the highly competitive world that is the home-improvement industry, lasting for nearly 55 years is a major milestone. Continuing to expand throughout that time, despite sometimes stagnant, even abysmal, economies is practically a miracle. But that’s exactly what Delaware’s Bath, Kitchen & Tile Center has done — even to today.

The three-generation family-owned company was launched back in 1963, with a single location on Lancaster Avenue in Wilmington. Three more locations have been added since then, culminating with the Bel Air facility, in 2015.

One reason for this success is that BKT is a full-service remodeler that also functions as a one-stop shop for its clients’ home-improvement needs, including turnkey remodeling for your kitchen, bathroom, home office, built-ins and more. You can get your cabinetry there, have your countertops fabricated there, find your tile and plumbing fixtures there, even your appliances. Their client base spans all segments of the community, from huge builders and general contractors to local subcontractors who operate out of a single pickup truck to the homeowners themselves — a market that BKT Retail Sales Manager Jodi McElwee says is on the rise.

Another reason for BKT’s enduring success is its people. By always remaining loyal to the vision, mission and business ethics of the family that created it more than a half-century earlier, BKT is today more than 100 employees strong. The team includes veteran estimators and installers, master craftsmen and certified designers, all unified in their single-minded determination to exceed even the most discriminating customer expectations. That’s why BKT has not only won several awards from the National Kitchen and Bath Association but has also made the prestigious Qualified Remodeler Top-500 list (#193) and been named a 2017 Best of Houzz winner for client satisfaction.

“For many people, home remodeling is an expensive, complicated and stressful experience,” said McElwee. “One of the foundations of our long-term success is that we have consistently earned the trust of our customers, who then share those experiences with their family, friends, acquaintances and coworkers, who in turn seek us out themselves, because they want the same experience for their own homes.”

Perhaps the most exciting news in the BKT world recently is the radical remodel of their Harbeson showroom, in the Lewes area. They opened the location some 15 years ago, to accommodate the onslaught of builders who had descended on the Eastern Shore to develop it into the national hotspot it is today. But, McElwee said, now is the time for the location to take the next step in the continuation of the impeccable reputation for service and products BKT established so long ago. This spring, BKT will splash six brand-new kitchen vignettes, a full-bathroom vignette, a home-office vignette and even a wet-bar vignette over 2,500 gleaming square feet, providing a more representative panorama of the options the company offers its clients. “We’re really looking to wow people with this new showroom,” McElwee said. “There’s going to be so much here for them to experience, which will not only display the options but will also kindle their imaginations, so they can more easily envision all the possibilities.”

One of the things BKT is especially eager to show off is its line of quartz surfaces from Cambria. Quartz is the hot thing in upscale countertops and other surfaces these days, and McElwee says BKT has the best selection in the region. 

“Make no mistake,” said McElwee, “quartz is not some bargain-basement alternative to marble, granite or Corian. This is, for many people, their replacement surface. We’re currently stocking some of the most beautiful quartz surfaces you can find in any home, and they’re all non-porous, non-staining and no maintenance. You simply install them, and you’re done forever. And they will always stay looking just as good as they did the very first day.”

BKT’s showroom features cabinetry by Yorktowne, Decora and Timberlake, as well as eight diverse styles of granite and quartz, a large selection of decorative hardware, several options for vanity tops and a tile-selection center. For those who don’t live here year-round but are sun and beach worshippers, BKT says it has your back, with beach-influenced concepts that epitomize why people flock to the Eastern Shore from all over the world.  

McElwee suggests staying tuned for the official announcement of the grand reopening of the showroom, which is scheduled to occur this spring.


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