While it is the fundamental design principles that create a comfortable and functional home, it’s also important to keep up to date with the latest looks and materials to ensure your designs stay fresh and inspired.
We have outlined a few of the latest styles that are appealing to homeowners in 2016, as well as the vital considerations to keep in mind to avoid projects running over time or budget.
Go Bold with Large Format Tiles
A big, beautiful tile can be all that is needed to create an impact in an entryway or entertaining space. Large format tiles help to create a sense of space and length within a room, with fewer grout lines to interrupt the eye. Incorporate square or rectangular tiles into your designs in natural stone for a sumptuous yet sophisticated effect. Keep in mind that larger tiles typically require a little more care and time to install for a perfect finish.
Factors to Consider
- Weight is an important consideration when designing with large format tiles, and even a small amount of movement can be noticeable. An expert installer, level surfaces and the use of the correct adhesive will go a long way to ensuring success when installing larger tiles, whether on floors or walls.
- As with floors, secure bonding and level bedding over slabs is key to the success of a large-format tile wall installation. The heavy tile will sink if the installer does not have the correct tools and experience.
- Large format tiles are not recommended for spaces that are not completely square, and installation will be more complex. It is important to keep this in mind when designing for renovations.
Add Opulence with a Freestanding Bath
There is nothing quite like a freestanding bath to create a focal point and a feeling of luxury in a new or renovated bathroom. From a builder’s perspective, freestanding baths are relatively fast to install, however, there are other considerations that can impact on the project.
- Freestanding baths are heavier than built-in models, and the building’s floor will need to be capable of structurally supporting this extra weight. Additional structural work may be required in an older building or if not adequately planned for.
- The waste pipe connection must be in exactly correct position.
- Plumbing is more conspicuous and must be more accurate with a freestanding option, and it is important to consider the position and selection of tapware and fixtures early on to avoid costly changes later.
Make an Impact with Lightweight Cladding
Lightweight cladding has come a very long way in recent years, with a range of modern new materials and composites that offer excellent protection and aesthetics. Whether building on tradition or making a statement with bold panels, architects and homeowners alike are excited about the potential of this ever-evolving construction method.
Factors to consider
- Lightweight cladding typically provides inferior thermal insulation compared to masonry or concrete construction. This has a particular impact in areas that fluctuate in temperature throughout the day, and heating and cooling requirements will need to be considered during the design process.
- Noise control is also traditionally an issue with lightweight cladding, as sound tends to travel through walls and ceilings more easily. This can be addressed with the appropriate framing and by selecting components that are well rated for sound insulation.
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