13 Sep 2013
Most traffic in the home occurs in the kitchen - a space not only reserved for the women of the house, but also for family and spending quality time together.
In a high-use area such as this, hardwearing interiors, which are both cosy and on trend, are a must, and these need not cost you a fortune.
If you’re considering giving your kitchen a facelift, there are a number of options you can look into but first, here are a few questions you need to ask yourself. What does the renovation entail? Does my kitchen need tiling or retiling? What are the needs of my family? What is my budget?
The answers to these questions will give you a good idea of what type of renovation you’re after, says Liza Watermeyer, Retail and Display Coordinator at Tile Africa.
The benefits of fitting tiles
She says if tiling forms part of the renovation then consider whether it’s best to tile a complete area or perhaps go for a feature wall to give the kitchen a colour lift.
Tiles are easy to clean, which is an important factor when taking into consideration that spills and fat spatters are a frequent occurrence in the kitchen. Tiles have a long lifespan and also provide the benefit of withstanding heavy traffic.
Watermeyer says it’s always a good idea to choose a darker colour tile for your kitchen floors as this makes spills and dirt less visible.
Trends to look out for
Some of the latest kitchen trends include subway type tiles and custom designed tiles, which make use of water jet cutting technology.
Watermeyer recommends that homeowners spend a little bit more for durable tiles, which will offer greater longevity for their kitchens.
These tiles have a glazed finish and are available in a range of colours. Black and white are a popular choice, however, homeowners can choose from other available colours such as blanco, vanilla and tobacco, and they can also opt for plain or bevelled tiles.
Subway tiles have increased in popularity and combine a traditional look with a modern edge. They can be used as a design feature on several walls in the kitchen and are suitable for use behind the stove, kitchen sink or to tile your entire kitchen with.
Subway tiles are ceramic and as such they’re easy to clean, they’re scratch resistant, nonporous and fire-resistant.
When it comes to installing these in the kitchen, it is important to seal the grout to prevent it from staining, especially if the tiles are being used behind a work surface where food and oil spatters occur.
Subway tiles are suited only for walls and considering the costs involved, it is more viable to use them on smaller areas to create feature walls.
Watermeyer says their brick like pattern offers timeless appeal; however, they can be pricy. As an economical alternative you can always cut ceramic wall tiles to a similar size as the subway tiles and have them laid in a similar manner.
Custom designed tiles
These tiles are created using water jet cutting technology and turn ordinary tiles into décor pieces. This technology can be used on ceramic, porcelain and even granite tiles.
The pricing for these tiles is dependent on the price of the base tile being used and the intricacy of the design.
This bespoke option gives the homeowner total control of the creative process when turning an ordinary tile into something beautiful.
Wood look porcelain & ceramic planks
Wood look porcelain tiles combine the natural beauty of wood with the durability and ease of maintenance.
These tiles provide the versatility of combining various tones and accessories in the kitchen because of their natural base colour.
Homeowners can complement the wood look with kitchen towels and placemats which feature a wood grain pattern.
Both glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles can be used successfully on walls and floors, and work beautifully in natural, rustic or country-style kitchens.
Many kitchens are shaped based on the architecture of the home and the personalities of the homeowners.
A new trend called ‘indi-vidual’combines individual and eclectic styles to create something unique.
Highlight architectural features and the personality of your family through the use of colour and colour combinations. Homeowners can achieve this by using painted or mosaic tiles.
Popular seasonal colours for spring include light green, yellow and even orange hues. These colours were recently seen in various pallets at Decorex Joburg and homeowners can incorporate them in their kitchens through colourful feature walls, fun mosaic borders and funky accessories.
Watermeyer says whatever your personal taste and your family’s needs, there is a special design and unique look out there that will make your kitchen the heart of your home.
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