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Kitchens

Designing Your Own Kitchen

OverviewDesigning your own kitchen helps you to create a welcoming and functional space within your property.  Rendering the kitchen an attractive space will help increase the value of your property as well as make you feel more at home.Kitchen design is a rich area of interior DIY, with many different materials and styles to choose from. You may find it useful to do prior research into your preferred type of kitchen by going through special websites, books, catalogues or visiting your friends.The cost of DIY kitchen design depends on what you seek to achieve.  You can start small and work progressively over a longer period or save towards a large scale makeover to be done all at once.Defining the Kitchen LayoutDesigning your kitchen layout depends on what you envisage using the space for.  It may be useful to also use your kitchen as a dining area, in which case you need to leave enough space for a dining table and chairs.Many modern types of kitchen storage units are multi-functional.  For example, a multi-functional work top can typically combine sink areas, food preparation slabs, bins and cupboards or drawers. Choosing such a versatile item of kitchen furniture will save space for other kitchen units or relaxing chairs.Kitchen EssentialsRegardless of the style of kitchen you choose to develop, be sure to include the essentials.  These are a sink, cooker, fridge and/or freezer, bins and ventilation shafts or a window.

How to Determine the Number of Ceramic Tiles You’ll Need

Ceramic tiles are a wonderful choice for improving a space. They are easy to clean, they look nice, and they come in a variety of sizes, colours, and patterns.While there are odd-shaped ceramic tiles available, most come in a standard square or rectangle shape. Sizes generally range from 100 mm x 100 mm to 330 mm x 445 mm. As for colour and texture, well what’s your desire? The plethora of colours and shades is as endless as your imagination.Ceramic tiles also come in varying qualities and thickness. Your intended use will partially determine which you go for, but budget generally plays the biggest role in the decision. To determine how many tiles you will need, measure the height and width of an area you’re planning to tile and multiply the two measurements. Repeat this process for each tiling area, subtracting any door or window space from your calculations. (But, remember to include window recesses, etc. if you’re planning to tile them.)Once you’ve got all of your tiling area calculated, divide the total tiling space by the area of one of the tiles you’ve selected for your project and then add 10% to allow room for mistakes (broken tiles, wrong cuts, etc.) This number will be how many tiles you will need to buy.Tiles come in boxes, designated by design, colour, etc. and batch number. Because dye batches vary, try to pick your tile sets from the same batch number to ensure a consistent look.

How to Plan a Kitchen

For the more ambitious amongst us, this could be a project requiring architects and expert building skills, including plastering to get new wall surfaces perfect. But there are kitchen designs which a keen DIY aficionado could carry out (although plumbing, gas appliance installation and wiring will generally always require qualified, expert intervention).Begin with a list of all the things your lifestyle requires. Is the kitchen a dining area, too? Or is it just a place to do the cooking? Do you need space for washing machines, tumble driers, and dishwashers, or do you have a utility room for these? Start with a blank canvass; keep in mind all the present inconveniences and plan where appliances could be relocated to make life easier. For example, making a triangle between the cooker, the fridge and the sink immediately creates a more efficient working environment. Shifting doors and windows or adding extensions will require more expense and expert input. An upgrade of this magnitude is getting into the realm of property development – you’ll need more than a few painting and decorating skills for this.But replacing old floor coverings with water-resistant laminate or ceramic tiles is no big deal, and water pipes, gas pipes and electrical cables can be relatively easily repositioned with a little professional help. Plan for plenty of sockets and upgrade the lighting. Directing light over work surfaces is especially important, and mood lighting can easily be installed under wall cupboards. With a little planning and grafting, you’ll have a dream kitchen in no time.

Fitting a New Kitchen

The first step to fitting a kitchen is planning the layout. Make sure you accurately measure the area, as you do not want to find out too late that the units are too big. Sinks are normally placed near a window; extraction units need an outside wall.Once the new work area is planned you will need to carefully remove all the old units. Care should be taken when removing any gas or electrical appliances and the water should be switched off when you remove the sink.Now you can prepare the walls, filling old holes and drilling new ones for pipes and extractors. Clear a space to assemble the flat packs and start with corner units if your kitchen has an L or U shaped design and work outwards. Fix base units first before mounting wall units. If you are fixing onto plasterboard make sure you use cavity fixings and it is always worth fitting a couple of extra angle brackets for peace of mind. Most modern units have adjustable legs to make sure you get a level surface and also check where you need to drill exit holes in sink units and oven housings before fitting them.With the units all securely fitted and level you can then attach the work surfaces, which normally takes two people, as they are quite heavy. Before cutting out holes for hobs and sinks double check; you cannot change your mind afterwards.Having fitted the work surface you are then ready to plumb in the sink and electrical appliances and any additional lighting, coving and trimmings to make your new kitchen complete.

Under tile heating in the kitchen

Installing electric underfloor heating is one of the easiest ways to add an extra level of comfort to your home. In the case of kitchens in particular, everyone can relate to those moments on cold winter mornings when you walk into the kitchen and your feet immediately freeze because the tiled floor is nearly as cold as it is outside, despite the fact that the radiators are pumping hot air into the room. With under tile heating your kitchen floor can be transformed by an underfloor heating kit in conjunction with underfloor heating insulation, to create a kitchen floor that is as warm as toast. No more standing on a freezing floor while you prepare breakfast on those winter mornings, and no more surprises as you step out of bed and make your way into the kitchen only to find yourself shocked when your bare feet hit the cold tiled floor. Underfloor heating is a common method of heating being added to many homes in the modern era. DIY underfloor heating systems are now available at almost every local home improvement store and are designed for easy installation with full instructions being supplied.Customers have the choice between water underfloor heating kits or electric underfloor heating kits; it is a matter of personal preference.  Wet underfloor heating works great for homes that have solar panels or solar water heaters in place, while traditional homes can use electric underfloor heating to create the perfect floor heating system that is also quite economical to run.

Granite worktops – creating style for any home!

Granite is classy and appealing and it is ideal for use for a worktop for a kitchen, it has strength and beauty and if correctly looked after it will last a life time which is why it is the preferred stone for kitchens, giving warmth and character in the different colours available. This is the principal reason why it is the preferred choice of designers and architects, as well as kitchen specialists, being the natural choice for those who want the very best for their kitchen.Although granite worktops are a hard-wearing material, the polished finished does need to be looked after properly. This can be done by giving attention daily to what is being placed on the surface. For example, never use granite worktops as a surface for cutting or slicing, always use a cutting board.  Don’t place acidic items such as lemon slices or juice, vinegar and similar products directly to the surface as they will cause damage to the polish, not to the granite material itself of course. If your granite worktop should become discoloured through being exposed to one of the products that could damage it, there are many products are available that will keep granite worktops in tip top condition, looking just the way it did when it was fitted into a kitchen. One of the reasons why granite worktops have such appeal is because no two quarries produce the same stone, granite comes in a wide spectrum of colours and it is this natural variation of colour, and its ability to gain a beautiful patina, which gives granite worktops appeal and splendour.

Installing underfloor heating in the kitchen

Having warm kitchen tiles underneath your feet while cooking breakfast on a cold winter morning is the perfect way to add that little extra something to the house which helps you enjoy it that much more. Every individual’s house is their place of enjoyment, their place of relaxation, and the place where ultimate comfort should be available. When looking at floor heating systems, there is only one way to create the perfect kitchen floor, and that is by using an underfloor heating kit. Tile is one of the most common types of material used on kitchen floors, and in the case of underfloor heating systems there are several layers to the actual installation process that need to be researched prior to any DIY underfloor heating project being started. Regardless of whether the kitchen floor is concrete based or wood based, there needs to be a layer of underfloor heating insulation between the substrate and the tile itself, with the under tile heating mat in place on top of the insulation underneath the tile. The underfloor heating insulation is fastened in place using a flexible tile adhesive and the electric underfloor heating kit is placed over the insulation. Then additional flexible tile adhesive is spread over the top and the tile itself is installed directly on top of the heat mat. Underfloor heating has never been easier to install than it is now with the modern DIY underfloor heating kits. All of the relevant tools and materials can be purchased at a local improvement store, allowing you to add an underfloor heating kit to your home quickly and easily.

Quartz worktops – adding luxury to your home!

As material quartz offers a less expensive alternative to traditional granite, which is the reason why it is chosen by professionals and designers for use as worktops of many types and styles. This beautiful natural material is professionally processed into many products which can include quartz worktops, vanity tops, or other work surfaces. When this is tailored into quartz worktops for the kitchens the result is stunning and offers the user a surface which is highly resistant to high heat, scratches, stains, and resistant to acid and chemicals amongst many.  Quartz is a composite of one of the most varied minerals occurring in different types, colours and forms this is why it can be made into a variety of colours to suit the needs of the design team or the taste of the buyer. Quartz is a crystal with many facets in its original form; this gives it radiance similar to that of diamonds the result being a beautiful worktop.Natural quartz surfaces deliver exceptional depth and clarity as well as the cool, solid feel which is normally associated with, and unique to natural stone. Whereas Granite is a 100% natural product, Quartz worktops are man-made and can be made into a wider variety of colours. This man made product is easy to look after and to keep its just new appearance, which is due to its exceptional physical and mechanical properties. Keeping a quartz worktop looking like new requires only cleaning with a product such as detergent which is pH neutral and you will retain is timeless beauty.

Travertine tiles are great for any home

If you are looking to update your home then using travertine tiles is a great idea. Travertine has been used as a building material for many years and is so versatile that it can be used for a range of different applications like flooring, wall claddings and even worktops, but can also be used in outside areas such as patios or swimming pool surrounds.This natural stone is available in many different colours and styles including square mosaic and mixed mosaic as well as standard tile sizes. Travertine tiles can be supplied with a natural finish (pitted and weathered) which is ideal for outdoor use or it can be filled and polished to give it a shiny look, perfect for bathroom floors and walls.Travertine was widely used by the Romans as a building material and has seen a rise in popularity once mare as more and more people update their properties. Travertine tiles are a lot lighter than other materials such as marble and granite and cost less, which has made it a great choice for updating your home.

Why choose a quartz worktop?

There are many reasons why people choose quartz worktops in preference to more traditional granite. These worktops can offer a less expensive alternative, but they also give a wide choice of colours as well. Natural quartz surfaces deliver exceptional depth and clarity as well as the cool, solid feel which is normally associated with, and unique to natural stone. Whereas Granite is a 100% natural product, Quartz worktops are man-made and can be made into a wider variety of colours.Quartz is a composite of one of the most varied minerals occurring in different types, colours and forms. This versatility gives this product an individual and unique appearance, Quartz is found in the ground, in sand or rocks and in almost every geological location around the world. Quartz is a crystal with many facets in its original form, this gives it a radiance similar to that of diamonds. This beautiful natural material is professionally processed into many products which can include quartz worktops, vanity tops, or other work surfaces. When this is tailored into a kitchen worktop the result is stunning and offers the user a surface which is highly resistant to high heat, scratches, stains, and resistant to acid and chemicals amongst many.  Looking after quartz worktops is not difficult and due to their exceptional physical and mechanical properties, the regular maintenance of Quartz worktops only requires cleaning with a product such as detergent which is pH neutral to retain is timeless beauty.

What is Travertine and what is it used for?

They say that Rome was built on Travertine, which to some extent it was, certainly many parts of it was, including large quantities of Travertine used for the Colosseum which dates back to the year 80AD! Belonging to the limestone family of stone Travertine is a beautiful natural stone which in its purest form is white, but impurities can cause the colour of travertine to vary and to be yellow and brown.There are many forms of finish to be seen in Travertine which is a stone that is soft and delicate to look at. The classic aged look of Travertine tumbled stone will warm your home. A polished or honed travertine becomes a bit more formal, yet it’s still inviting. The soft earthy hues of this natural stone keep it in tune with nature. The stone surface can be left in its natural state with the small holes and pits unfilled. This is a warmer aged look which will acquire a beautiful patina over time. Leaving the stone unfilled will affect the durability and it can attract dirt much easier than a filled travertine making it harder to keep clean.Travertine is a long lasting stone and its durability lends itself to all kinds of application, from private homes to commercial developments.  It provides a truly classical look and has a timeless beauty. Travertine tiles are used in flooring and wall cladding and it is a popular choice for bathrooms, kitchens and hallways, as well as being used for external paving and masonry.

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