Tile in style and within budget

Private Property South Africa

The trick to renovating your bathroom is to carefully consider your budget before you start the project.

According to statistics, South African homeowners are less inclined to ‘house hop’ as they did prior to the recession, a trend which no doubt can be attributed to the costs involved with moving. In line with this long term outlook, renovations are on the rise as people refurbish and decorate their homes.

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Says Debra Retief, marketing manager at Tile Africa: “One of the first areas of the home which inevitably gets a makeover is the bathroom. The trick to successfully revamping this room is to carefully consider your budget from the outset as this will guide you in terms of possible bathroom design ideas and materials you can afford.”

The small budget bathroom:

Although you won’t be able to make any major structural changes, there are a number of things you can do to create a really impressive and appealing bathroom and improve the overall aesthetic says Retief.

· Decorate the majority of your bathroom with affordable tiles and round them off with premium accents such as an attractive bullnose trim, cap tiles or pencil liner borders

· If your shower has a cloudy door or a shower curtain, don’t waste your money on decorating the shower walls to the hilt because nobody will really be able to appreciate them unless they use the shower. Rather concentrate on the areas where your money will make a difference such as a nice backsplash

· If your tiles are outdated and extend halfway up the wall, add a border in glass mosaics or similar to uplift the look and add a modern touch

· Bathroom ware such as a new toilet, basin or vanity will immediately update the look of your bathroom into a modern and fresh space

Adds Retief: “The price tag for a tiling project entails the materials plus labour. If you’re confident about your tiling abilities or know a friend who can tile, consider asking them to assist you to save on costs.

“Also keep an eye out for clearance sales. Tile companies regularly clear out perfectly good end-of-line stock with a view to introducing new products. Some great tile and bathroom ware bargains can be picked up in this fashion.”

The medium budget bathroom:

With a medium size budget, you can do more and start looking at better quality products.

· In this category, you should be able to splurge on beautiful accent walls. This can take the form of a stone listelli shower wall or beautiful glass mosaic backsplashes behind the basin or bath

· With a bigger budget, you should be able to afford good quality porcelain tiles which are typically more durable and less porous than ceramic tiles

· Inkjet tiles can also be considered in this category. These tiles realistically mimic wood, slate, marble and travertine and are more affordable than the real thing

· If you love mosaics but can’t afford to use them throughout your bathroom, consider adding a simple mosaic row or border. Most mosaic tiles come netted in packs of 30x30cm’s which can be cut in half to create a slim, yet striking row or border

Big budget bathrooms:

The sky is the limit if you’re lucky enough to have a large bathroom budget to play around with. In this category you can make structural changes and create a statement room which reflects your personality says Retief.

· If money isn’t an issue, you can ‘go big’ in terms of the tiles you use. Natural stone tiles such as marble, granite, travertine and sandstone are amongst the most expensive and can be used to create an ultra-luxurious bathroom

· With a big budget, you can tile the entire bathroom right up to the ceiling with premium tiles. Not only does this create a striking effect but it’s easy to maintain too

· Indulge in mosaics. Mosaics are now available in a dazzling variety including marble, sandstone and travertine, glass and even steel. Although typically best used as accents, you can use mosaic throughout a bathroom to great effect

· Go for a touch of glam and integrate tiles studded with crystal or glass beads. For a more distinctive look, consider metallic and three dimensional tiles

· In this category, you can invest in some beautiful feature pieces such as a freestanding bath or spa bath. Consider pairing an impressive double vanity with a matching mirror for extra flair and tie it all together with the best quality fixtures and fittings you can buy

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