The adage ‘the kitchen is the heart of a home’ still rings true today. Even with today’s fast paced lifestyle, the kitchen still serves as a common meeting place for families and often sets the tone for the rest of the house. The kitchen can also make or break a sale.
So says Kate van Niekerk, marketing manager of Tile Africa who explains that given the stature of a kitchen within the home, it’s important to invest in them accordingly, particularly if your kitchen is outdated and you intend to put your house on the market.
Black and White
But where to start? Before renovating your kitchen, Van Niekerk says it’s important to decide whether or not you need to revamp the entire house as the same ‘feel’ should be carried throughout. Important as it is to present your kitchen in the best possible light, it will seem out of place if the rest of the house doesn’t quite match up, particularly if, for example, you go for an ultra-modern kitchen and the rest of the house still sports a 60’s look.
If you do decide it’s necessary to update your entire home, Van Niekerk advises selecting a base tone for your floor and wall tiles which will be easy to match throughout the house. “The base tone can then be used to select your floor and wall tiles. Colour can then be introduced via mosaics, glass splash backs and decorative layouts on the floor.”
Van Niekerk says decorative mosaic tiles are suitable for kitchen walls as well as stove and sink splash backs and allow home owners to be creative and give kitchens their own unique flair. She concedes that these tiles may be slightly more expensive than regular tiles but that there are ways to utilise them without blowing the budget.
“Use these delicate tiles as a feature, perhaps on one wall,” she suggests. “Another idea is to use them as a narrow border laid either horizontally or vertically between wall tiles or to introduce warm or cool colours in small doses.”
Van Niekerk explains that good quality tiles are also essential when outfitting kitchens as these rooms are considered high traffic areas and require durable tiles which will look beautiful for years to come.
With this in mind, Van Niekerk recommends selecting tiles which feature a Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) rating of four which will ensure that a floor can withstand the normal wear and tear associated with a busy family kitchen. “Choose a slightly darker coloured tile or a patterned tile for the floor area as these tiles will be more forgiving in terms of showing up dirt and spills,” she adds.
Considering your family’s requirements also plays an important role when giving your kitchen a facelift says Van Niekerk. For instance, the introduction of under floor heating can make for a welcome, luxurious addition in winter and will keep your family at the kitchen table long after meals are finished.
Van Niekerk also advises incorporating mobile, raised cupboards and tiling underneath these so as to create the illusion of space and promote hygiene. Tiles are perfect for promoting hygienic conditions as they are easy to clean.
Lastly, she says it’s important to keep in mind that you may encounter some problems when revamping your kitchen particularly if the layout isn’t conducive to modern trends. If the style of the house does restrict your ideas or your old floor surfaces prove difficult to remove or tile onto, simply discuss your options with your contractors who should be able to advise you accordingly.
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