Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Vinyl, Lino, Carpet Squares ... a whole new frontier

I thought I knew a fair bit about building, building terms, finishes. materials. I know at a glance what a four by four looks like, I know what rio bar is, I know the different between cement and concrete, I even know the correct mix of sand, cement and aggregate to make a good mix.  I don't get caught out when a tradie asks me to go down the hardware store for a long weight, or even a 3 inch hole.

This is possibly the vinyl we will go for in the Kitchen & Bathrooms

But yesterday I went on a whole new builders journey - into the commercial world of fit-outs. I learnt what coving means, (and I like it), I got over my fear and loathing of carpet tiles (and I like them), I learnt about how soft close door hinges work (and I like them too) and I learnt that stone bench tops come in 3m lengths but laminex is 1200mm.  We also confirmed to ourselves what makes a good salesman, and what makes a bad one.

Mr K and I spent a very exhausting day going out to the industrial area of Perth and visiting Kitchen/Cabinet makers, tile showrooms, carpet showrooms, vinyl warehouses. I think we have come away with a better idea of what we want, at least I hope we have as time is running out.

So, what is coving? When you lay vinyl floors (and yes, I know you are asking vinyl floor?  Are you mad?) you can lay them loose or glued down. As we are using vinyl in the kitchen, the shower room and toilets, it has to be stuck down and completely water tight. To do this they cove the corners, and run the vinyl up the wall as a skirting. Think hospital floors.  Its a very effective way to make wet areas sealed, although not very cheap.  From a cleaning perspective, I love it.

Cross section of the coving process

What it looks like

Carpet Tiles were a new frontier too. We all have memories of those ill fitting, curling at the edges, scratchy, blue or pink carpet tiles. But they too have come a long way, and you can get all manner of designs, colours and qualities. I like the idea that we can replace any damaged or stained tiles, I like that we can put them down last after we have painted and made a huge mess, I like that they actually look pretty smart. They cost no more than a fitted carpet. Mr K is still not very convinced.

Wish our office view was this good!  But the floors could be

We are leaning towards a charcoal grey.
Finally, the Kitchen. We have one quote and waiting on another to get a kitchen company in to build and fit instead of us doing a flat-pack kitchen. We want it to look really nice, so worth spending a little more more on it, plus if we get it supplied and fitted then its one less job for us to do. Of course it costs a (lot) more, about double the price, but I think it will be well worth saving the money in other areas. We are getting towards the pointy end of this project!

Kitchen will be kinda like this, but with a yellow splash-back. 


  1. Shopping for materials is exhausting isnt it! At least youve done a heap of ground work and looking forward to seeing what designs they come up with :)

  2. Hello Clever Girl, I'm very impressed. When i come to do my kitchen (lottery winnings in hand) I will come and leach your knowledge!!
    Am in bagus Bali right now, perhaps I can bring you back some of their gorgeous tiles!!!
    Wish you were here, Cowboy too xxx

  3. Looking good, research is hard work but at least that way you can sum up all of your options and make the better choice. xxxx

  4. Looking fwd to seeing the end result.