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How to Add Personality to Your Kitchen

While I realise there are plenty of people out there who adore the look of a cool modern kitchen with everything hidden away behind a sleek exterior, I admit, I am not one of them. I find these kinds of kitchens a bit too cold and uninviting when there’s nothing in them to give a peek at the personality of the home owner. I believe that every room in your home should tell the story of you and so when there is a lack of personal items even in a space that can be as utilitarian as the kitchen, it leaves me feeling a bit cold.

If you love the look of a personality-packed kitchen, you’ll love my post today. I’m going to be sharing some of the little details you can incorporate into your own kitchen to ensure it’s one that’s not soon forgotten.

Mix Old and New

I think what makes the above kitchen so appealing is it’s contemporary good looks combined with traditional touches. Mixing a rustic farmhouse table with modern cupboards  creates an eclectic look that’s beautifully warm and yet thoroughly up to date. Consider hanging some vintage artwork and adding textural accents like woven baskets to tie everything together.

Display Your Favourite Wares

While Scandinavian design may be all about beautiful function and simplicity in design, the above kitchen has loads of personality thanks to a carefully curated display of beautiful kitchenalia. From herbs and flowers to cups, plates and glasses, there’s little doubt someone who has great style enjoys this space. Consider displaying your own collections in open shelving or utilising rustic wine crates hung on the wall for a personality-packed space.

Add a Touch of Pattern to Your Flooring

This black and white kitchen gets a jolt of personal style from the inclusion of patterned tiles on the floor. By keeping the rest of the space light and bright, the addition of a bold floor can be just what’s needed to add some real personal flair to your kitchen. Check out our selection of feature floor tiles to get this look.

Go Dark

While a light and airy space may be something many of us wish for in a kitchen, why not buck the trend and go for a dark colour palette? Here, black and grey combine to create a luxurious look with splashes of colour in artwork, books and accessories. There’s no doubt this kitchen would be a unique space to entertain! A pale marble worktop and backsplash make a fabulous contrast to the darker cabinets and walls so be sure to add brighter touches to your space for the same unique look.

Bring in Art and Books

This thoroughly contemporary kitchen could lack warmth simply for the lack of colour or textiles in the space. However, the gallery wall of oil paintings combined with shelves stacked with books provides an eclectic balance for the serene space. Why not show off your personality with the artwork you love and the books you read within your kitchen? It’s clear you can still be a minimalist and yet create big style with careful details.

Kitchen tile ideas

1. Wrap the walls in chic white tiles

Kitchen tile ideas 1

Add interest to a shaker kitchen by wrapping tiles around the room. Give the white tiles a colourful lift by painting the remaining wall a punchy pink. Tiling half the wall this way is practical and will protect your walls from any kitchen splashes.

2. Add an extra dimension with hexagon tiles

kitchen tile ideas 2

You don’t need colour to make a statement,  filling a white kitchen with different textures, materials and shapes will add interest. Kitchen wall tiles are perfect for doing this. This honeycomb tile blends seamlessly into the white washed walls to create a sleek contemporary look.

3. Mismatch shapes and patterns

kitchen tile ideas 4

If you decide to tile your floor and walls, don’t be afraid to mismatch the shape, colour and even finish. On the floor it can be tempting to opt for a simple design, however in this room it is the floor that makes a statement with a decorative blue pattern. Instead the walls have been tiled in a popular herringbone pattern using plain white tiles.

4. Create interest around an island unit

Be adventurous with a statement floor. These patterned floor tiles have been used to border the island unit in this open-plan kitchen. When it comes to design, the sky’s the limit with mosaic tiles, as they can be used to create a variety of patterns and eye-catching details. This patterned tile injects an exotic flavour into a contemporary kitchen by combining pale stone with a Middle Eastern motif.

5. Choose a modern bistro-style vibe with metro tiles

If you have a large wall to fill in the kitchen, consider creating an entire feature wall of metro tiles. Brick-shaped or Metro-style tiles with a distinctive bevel are a popular choice and provide a retro twist. Choose matt flat or glass brick tiles to create a more contemporary feel. Be sure to choose the right grout. Not only is it practical bonding for durability but it’s key to determine whether your pattern stands out or blends in to the overall scheme. It comes in various colours and compounds so do your research.

Work in vinyl

Vinyl flooring is hard-wearing, durable and easy to lay. It is also much softer and warmer underfoot compared to stone and ceramic tiles, more forgiving with dropped crockery and a breeze to keep clean. A recent surge in popularity means there is now a wide range of modern, trend-led designs available. Thickness is a good indication of quality, for both sheet and tiled vinyl. Cheap sheet vinyl starts at 1mm thick, which will make it easy to fit but not very long-lasting. Aim for 3.5mm upwards.

Think about pattern

Make a feature of your flooring with beautifully patterned floor tiles – they’re definitely the standout piece in this stylish kitchen. Consider your colour scheme carefully when playing with pattern – here, the pale blues and greys are the perfect complement to the painted kitchen units.

Stick to stone

Natural materials such as stone are always a popular choice and lend authenticity to a scheme. A current trend is ‘mimica’ porcelains, which recreate the look of natural materials, while offering an easy-to-care for finish. Here, limestone flags have been laid in a mix of sizes for a relaxed look that matches the style of the units and farmhouse table.

Picking the Perfect Floor

When choosing a new floor for your home, asking yourself a few key questions at the beginning can dramatically increase your satisfaction in the end.

Questions on the Floor

What’s the size of the family that will regularly use the room, and how much traffic will the floor receive? Children definitely make a difference. Any pets? Will the floor be exposed to moisture regularly? How often is the floor likely to need cleaning? How long do you hope and expect your new floor to last?

Kitchens

For kitchen flooring, durability and ease of cleaning are top criteria. Good choices are linoleum, ceramic tile–both very common–and wood. Linoleum is inexpensive and provides an easy-to-clean surface and comes in countless designs. Ceramic tiles are even better. Also easy to maintain and available in a huge range, they offer superior durability, resisting most dents, dings and scratches. There are a couple of things to bear in mind about tiles, however. One is that if installed over a floor that has structural movement, ceramic tiles are prone to crack. So if your house is very old, it’s probably a good idea to replace your subfloor while you’re at it. A second point that’s worth thinking about, particularly if your family includes children or anyone with special safety needs, is that smooth tiles can be very slippery when they get wet, so you may want to consider ones with a textured surface.

Bathrooms

Even more so than kitchens, bathrooms obviously see a lot of moisture. Linoleum, ceramic tile, limestone, marble and granite are all popular and functional flooring choices, coming with a range of different price tags and requiring various levels of expertise to install. Working with ceramic or even vinyl tiles is relatively easy, and many homeowners should be able to successfully do it themselves. Ceramic tiles look great and provide superb durability, but they aren’t cheap. And if you should elect to go with an even more challenging and higher-end material such as marble

Choose the Best Flooring for Your Kitchen

Your kitchen floor, besides being practical and durable, is a major design statement as well. The floor you choose affects every other element of your design and with the variety of materials, colors and textures available today, your choices are nearly endless.

  • Stone or tile is an excellent choice for heavy traffic areas. Ceramic tile is durable and available in assorted colors and styles with the option for decorative borders and designs.
  • Limestone is a natural stone that offers an Old World look. It’s a porous material that must be sealed upon installation and then twice a year.
  • Cork is a durable, versatile material available in a variety of colors. It is water-resistant and reduces impact noise.
  • Wood is a popular choice for today’s kitchens. It feels good underfoot and creates a warm look. Today’s prefinished wood floors withstand heavy traffic and water stains. High-pressured plastic laminates are an alternative that provide the same look for less money.
  • Vinyl or resilient flooring offers a variety of styles and colors in either tiles or sheets for those on a budget.

Marble Tile Flooring For Small Homes

What do I need to install floor tile?

Selected Tile Material

You have seemingly endless choices when it comes to tile, including different materials, colors, patterns, shapes and sizes. The style of your room and the look you’re going for with the renovation helps you decide which tile to choose.

Not only do tiles come in various colors and designs, they also have different hardness ratings. Ceramic tiles receive a rating based on a hardness scale and divides them into groups. Group 0 tiles are not suitable for floor use, while Group 1 tiles will withstand light foot traffic. Group 5 tiles hold up even in areas of heavy foot traffic. Choose a tile that can handle the amount of foot traffic the area receives.

Adhesive Material

Adhesive is required to keep the tiles secured to the floor. Thin-set adhesive, also called Portland cement mortar, is a combination of cement, sand and methylcellulose. Thin-set adhesive is available as dry-set or latex-modified. Because of its water-repellent properties, latex-modified adhesive is ideal in areas with water exposure, such as bathroom floors. Although there are a few thin-set adhesive products at the ready, most require the addition of water prior to use. Mastic, or organic adhesive, is a pre-mixed tile adhesive. Type 1 mastic is suitable for floor tile installations, whereas Type 2 is not.

Sanded or Unsanded Grout

Your tile work isn’t done after sticking the pieces to the floor. You’ll also need grout to fill in the gaps between the tiles. Cement grout comes in sanded and unsanded varieties. Sanded grout is used in gaps larger than 1/16-inch wide. Because it’s hard to work sand into small tile joints, unsanded grout is used for tiles set close together. Both sanded and unsanded grouts are available dry or pre-mixed, and they come in a wide array of colors. Latex-modified sanded grout is more water-repellent than regular sanded grout and is a common choice for bathroom floor tile. Epoxy grout is more durable and water-resistant than cement grout, but it is more difficult to work with.

Miscellaneous Materials

Although these miscellaneous tile materials are optional, they certainly make the job easier or help the finished product last longer. Spacers are small pieces of plastic that go between the tiles during installation to keep the tile spacing symmetrical. Cement board is useful for slightly uneven or unstable floors. It provides a thin, hard surface ideal for tile. You can install cement board over vinyl flooring, allowing for installation of ceramic floor tile without removing the old flooring. Grout sealer is a clear, protective finish that helps prevent water absorption and staining of the grout. Tile sealer works to coat and protect tile which is useful for sealing porous tile, such as terracotta, prior to grouting. Tile sealer is not needed for glazed ceramic tiles.

Tiling Tools

Floor tile installations require both common and tile-specific tools. You need a few easily accessible tools such as a tape measure, a chalk line and a level. Tile-specific tools include a notched trowel, a rubber grout float and grout nippers. Wear safety glasses when using a tile nipper. You may find a grout bag is helpful for getting the grout into awkward places. You will need some sort of tile cutter. A portable tile cutter works with most ceramic tile, but you may need to use a wet saw if working with marble or granite tile.

Tile Installation

Ready To Use Tile Adhesive

Tile adhesive is ready-mixed and specially formulated from OPC, selected fine sand, and additives to improve its essential properties for laying tiles. High performance tile adhesive can be used to lay tiles on existing tiles, on polished cement, on wooden substrates (with the use of primer), or on other special substrates.

Easy to use

It’s very easy to use tile adhesive, it will be already ready to use after just mixing with water. Bagging product makes it convenient for transportation process, providing low dust and clean working space. Tiles are not needed to be soaked, just un-box them and lay.

Fast

Notched trowel is normally and efficiently used to apply the mixture of tile adhesive on the area of about 1 m2. Tiles are then continuously laid onto notched adhesive and quickly adjusted into the lines.

Working quality

0ptimum setting time of tile adhesive allows tiles to be easily adjusted within a certain period of time. It makes tiles being laid in line and gives the aesthetic final look. Applying tile adhesive with notched trowel provides full spread on back of tiles and will reduce many problems like broken tiles esp. on the corner, water seeping, and stain or efflorescent. Full contact of the adhesive on tiles’ back and substrate provides strong bonding strength and long lasting tiling work.

Variety of work

Tile adhesives are formulated according to specific applications such as to lay tiles, glass mosaics, large-size granito (up from 60 x 60 cm), to lay tiles on polished substrates, on dry wall system, on existing tiles without removing them, on external areas, parking areas, industrial areas, in swimming pools, and many more.

Economical reasons

Laying tiles by using tile adhesive with notched trowel requires less amount of material. Adhesive layer is a lot thinner than the mixture of sand-cement, and this leads to lighter load to building structure. A bag of 20 kg tile adhesive can be used to lay tiles on the average area of 4 – 5 m2. A bag of 25 kg tile adhesive can be used to lay tiles on the average of 6 – 7 m2.

Area coverage depends on substrate smoothness, working tools, and skill of tilers.

How Do I Choose Good Quality Of Tiles?

Following are the points need to be checked for tile works,

1. Living, Dining, Kitchen & Bedrooms – Flooring:

  • Tiles should be laid with zero slope. So overall area should be in level without any slope or undulations
  • Levels between tile joints should be equal; Tile joints spacing should be equal.
  • Tile joints has to be filled with suitable grouts. Check the grout for proper filling, i.e., without gaps, undulations & colour variation
  • Tile damages & chip offs has to be checked; Colour variation has to be checked.
  • Skirting tiles – offset from wall should be equal; edges & corners should not be sharp; floor tile’s joints line should match with skirting tile; Also check for damages & colour variations
  • Hollowness – randomly tap on the tiles and observe for hollow sound.

2. Toilets, Utilities & Balconies (TUB) – Flooring:

  • Slope: Check floor slope by poring a bucket of water. Water has to drain fully with in two minutes.
  • Check for the position of floor trap; it should be placed such a way that it facilitates water draining properly
  • Levels between the tiles should be equal; Tile joint spacing should be equal.
  • Tile joints has to be filled with suitable grouts. Check the grout for proper filling, i.e., without gaps, undulations & colour variation.
  • Tile damages & chip offs has to be checked; Colour variation has to be checked.
  • Skirting tiles – offset from wall should be equal; edges & corners should not be sharp; floor tile’s joints line should match with skirting tile; Also check for damages & colour variations
  • Hollowness – randomly tap on the tiles and observe for hollow sound

3. Toilets, Utilities, Balconies (TUB) & Kitchen – Walls:

  • All walls should be in plumb and right angle
  • All the corners has to be filled with Silicone sealant (Sanitary Sealant)
  • Levels between the tiles should be equal; Tile joint spacing should be equal.
  • Cut tiles around the plumbing fixtures & Electrical boxes should be cut in proper shape and the cut edge should not be visible after fixing Plumbing & Electrical fixtures
  • Tile joints has to be filled with suitable grouts. Check the grout for proper filling, i.e., without gaps, undulations & colour variation.
  • Tile damages & chip offs has to be checked; Colour variation has to be checked.
  • Hollowness – randomly tap on the tiles and observe for hollow sound.

Pros of SnapStone Porcelain Flooring

  • Installation is easy. This is the main advantage to SnapStone, and it is a big one. This is a very easy floor for DIYers to install.
  • Better sound-deadening. The bottom tray layer on SnapStone is made from a rubberized material that deadens sound transmission. This is a quieter floor than traditional ceramic tile.
  • Can be installed over existing flooring. While tear-out of old flooring is often necessary with traditional ceramic tile installation, SnapStone can be installed over wood, vinyl, or concrete floors.

Cons of SnapStone

  • Limited selection: Although selections have increased in recent years, there is still a relatively small selection of SnapStone when compared to thousands of colors and styles available in standard ceramic tiles. Currently, SnapStone offers 14 types of 6 x 6-inch tiles; 3 types of 18 x 18-inch tiles; 27 types of 12 x 24-inch tiles; and 7 types of 6 x 24-inch tiles.
  • More expensive. SnapStone costs $5 to $7 per square foot when purchased from a home center. Even when you consider that you won’t have to buy cement board underlayment, SnapStone is more expensive than most stock ceramic tile. But costs are still more reasonable than for many high-end designer porcelain tiles.
  • The floor flexes. Unlike a mortar or thin-set installation, a SnapStone floor will flex somewhat underfoot. This is one reason why this system uses a flexible urethane grout rather than traditional mortar grout, since grout lines would crack without a flexible filler. This tendency can be countered somewhat if the subfloor is very solid and well constructed.
  • Structural reinforcement may be necessary. SnapStone installation guidelines carefully delineate how much floor deflection is allowable in the floor framing. This may require additional carpentry work if the floor is too bouncy.

Unsuitable or Poor Materials

Some materials should be avoided as underlayments for ceramic tile:

  • Interior-grade plywood: This kind of plywood will swell upon contact with water, so it is best to avoid it as an underlayment.
  • OSB sheets: Like interior plywood, OSB does not perform well with water.
  • Multiple layers of vinyl: One layer of the vinyl floor is fine. More than one layer isn’t.
  • Perimeter-bond vinyl: Sheet vinyl must have a full bond over its entirety in order to serve as an underlayment for ceramic tile.
  • Hardboard: Hardboard sheets such as Masonite do not bear up to any moisture, so avoid them as an underlayment for ceramic tile.
  • Drywall or greenboard: Although ceramic tile is sometimes installed directly against drywall or greenboard in the wall applications. It should never be used as an underlayment for floors.