Archweb .com 5 oct 2019 Tips in a nutshell 0 comments

Kitchen floor: which material is best suited? 

The choice of finishes for the interior of the house must be carried out with great care and adjusted according to the characteristics of each room and above all according to the function. In the case of the kitchen, some additional elements must be considered compared to other environments such as the presence of the water system and the wear and tear caused by frequent use and the risk of accidental falls of food and dishes. For this reason, it is good to opt for less porous, waterproof and long-lasting materials, able to withstand the rubbing of tables and chairs, the corrosion of liquids and the possible and unexpected infiltration of water. Tradition has always wanted the use of classic ceramic tiles which, however, have now suffered a decline due to the introduction of numerous innovative materials. On the market there are different types of products but the most popular is represented by stoneware, waterproof and resistant, it has the best on terracotta which is much more porous. The advantage of this solution is also given by the versatility thanks to the countless finishes with stone, wood and marble effect that allow it to be used in environments with a very different style. Even from the point of view of maintenance it is easy to wash and sanitize. For lovers of continuous surfaces, the resin will be perfect, able to restore a clean and minimal look. Its elastic properties ensure long life and resistance to water and stress. However, the installation, even on pre-existing floors, requires longer times and higher costs. A valid alternative that gives character to the environment and is suitable for modern-style houses is represented by concrete surfaces, which are cheaper and quicker to install. Resistant to foot traffic and weights, they are fireproof and waterproof; moreover, the numerous treatments to which the concrete can be subjected make it an excellent ally for those who love customized finishes. The only flaw is the coldness to the touch that can be solved with the use of underfloor heating. If, on the other hand, you prefer materials that are warmer to the eye, since wood is too delicate for this type of environment, there are some valid alternatives that can reproduce it more or less faithfully. The first is represented by PVC in the form of slats or rolls. This synthetic material can reproduce the effect of parquet, with the difference that it does not suffer damage compared to accidental contact with water because it is waterproof and free of joints that are dangerous for infiltrations. Furthermore, if properly installed, it has a long durability and a low cost compared to other materials. Similar but different due to the natural origin of its components, linoleum is another widely used solution. Composed of cork, wood dust, jute and resin, it is considered an ecological and resistant material as well as insulating from a thermal and acoustic point of view.
Cleaning is facilitated by the absence of joints and the aesthetic result is better than that of PVC as it ensures the warmth and uniqueness of natural materials. An intermediate option is that of the laminate, consisting of an internal wooden panel and some layers of synthetic material that make the material more resistant and waterproof and reproduce the desired textures and grain of the wood. The threefold advantage of laminated parquet is represented by the aesthetic result very similar to that of real wood, by the much less demanding maintenance and by the reduced cost. The negative aspect is given by the lower quality compared to natural fibers and by the lower insulating capacity. If the kitchen does not occupy an area of ​​its own but is part of an open space, it is also necessary to ensure resistance to humidity and stress with an eye to the functions of the entire environment. The advice is to adopt two different finishes that combine well or that slope depending on the use of the specific area. What matters is to maintain the harmony of the entire environment, without sacrificing the technical performance essential to the most functional areas.

Kitchen wall: what is the best solution?

As for the floor finishes, those of the kitchen walls must be chosen with care, paying attention to the performance characteristics and the aesthetic result. Specifically, the section that is placed between the base and the kitchen wall units or shelves, must be water-repellent and must withstand frequent use since it is a work area where we dedicate ourselves to preparing meals and sanitizing. of pots and pans. To this end, classic ceramic tiles with diversified shapes and colors were widely used in the past. However, today new needs and ever-changing tastes have led to the use of innovative and sometimes unexpected solutions for such use. Often, the desire to insert LED strips, jar holders, spice racks and dispensers for glasses, push users not to opt for tiles which, once laid, would be drilled with the risk of causing damage to the material. Whatever type of finish you choose, what you must always keep in mind is that the coating must be fireproof due to the presence of the stove, must resist the stresses caused during food preparation and surface sanitation, must ensure waterproofing since water is used to a large extent. Let's see now what are the most common solutions. Thanks to their low cost, their resistance and the large typological offer, the tiles continue to be used in today's kitchens. The most common materials are porcelain stoneware and ceramic; the first, very durable and more robust, is made up of clays and minerals and can take on various aspects thanks to the countless processes and new technologies that favor its graphic customization. Very similar to stoneware, ceramics are a little more delicate but ensure resistance to vapors and high temperatures and are washable very easily. The advice for both is to choose medium-large tiles with very thin joints, in order to maintain a good level of hygiene with less effort. Another possibility is given by the use of natural stone such as quartz, marble and granite, capable of giving a satisfactory aesthetic result but entailing higher costs and more demanding maintenance. Especially the treated surfaces are more delicate and therefore it is necessary to pay close attention to accidental contact with corrosive substances (food and cleaning products). In order to ensure continuity between the top and the splash guard, with the consequent simpler sanitation, Corian is used for the coverings, a precious resin, without joints thanks to the continuous laying, able to restore an elegant and minimal appearance. Furthermore, if you want to change only the material of the splash guard, the resin can be laid on top of pre-existing layers, ensuring reduced times and costs compared to complete restructuring of the finishes. Similar from an aesthetic point of view due to the fluidity of the solution, it is the spatulated concrete, treated on the surface to be waterproof and particularly suitable for lovers of modern kitchens. Completely innovative and with a scenographic appearance, it is the choice not to place tiles, slabs or lamellar elements between the top and wall units, but to apply the wallpaper that best meets personal taste. This is a very original option, able to give a strong personality to the environment but you need to choose the right materials, processed to be completely water-repellent, fireproof and resistant. The most used products are composed of fiberglass and resin and ensure high performance. Finally, if you love the minimal style, it is also possible to cover the affected surface, only with paints or enamels that are strictly washable and interchangeable with the passage of time. Today's market is able to satisfy every need by ensuring functionality and aesthetics within all domestic environments.

Where to put the television in the kitchen?

Today, unfortunately or fortunately, domestic environments accommodate various TV devices, on average almost one for each room. The biggest doubt concerns the kitchen: where to place the TV? The television in this environment represents for many a habit that is impossible to give up: watching one's favorite program while preparing a meal or eating it has now become widespread practice. First of all, it is good to study the daily gestures and understand where you spend more time, whether around the table or on the sofa if present in the case of larger rooms. Once the position has been fixed and the measurements taken, you need to understand if you want to leave the TV in sight or if you want to hide it inside wall units and built-in furniture. There are various solutions to satisfy the first need according to which the appliance becomes an integral part of the furniture and sometimes an object to be proudly displayed. The classic example, recurrent especially where space is small, is characterized by the TV hanging on the wall: positioned so that it can be seen both standing and seated, if accompanied by shelves and paintings, it becomes a piece of furniture that enhances the whole room. The same goes for the walls equipped with compartments that function as pantries with the square intended for TV in the center, even if this solution is not widespread today and is mostly found in the living room. Sometimes, it is preferred to integrate it with the appliances of the kitchen composition, in a column specially designed to house it, or in niches designed ad hoc and obtained directly from the masonry. In very large spaces, such as open spaces, the TV can surprise in an innovative way by providing for rotation on itself which ensures its viewing from different points of the environment depending on the need. On the other hand, for those who do not like to show it inside the furniture, there are retractable solutions thanks to which the television remains hidden when it is not used. Inside a cabinet with doors, hung in the kitchen wall units and again, part of a custom-designed structure, visible during use, is no longer so if switched off. The retractable TV can work in different ways: mechanical or electrical lifting, sliding inside furniture designed for this purpose or with mechanical systems. Whether it is visible or hidden, the choice to insert the television in the kitchen environment is subjective, in fact for some it can be an important aid to entertain children during the preparation of meals, for others it is considered an obstacle to dialogue in the family. In any case, it is essential to ensure the comfortable use of the appliance by placing it away from direct light sources, in order to avoid reflections that are unpleasant to the eye and providing it with adequate artificial lighting essential for use during the evening hours.

Dining chairs: how to choose them

What apparently seems like a trivial choice, in reality it is not at all. The kitchen environment represents one of the spaces most experienced by those who live in the house and for this reason the choices that concern it must guarantee practicality and satisfy aesthetic needs. As regards the area intended for the consumption of meals, on the market there are numerous types of tables and chairs able to satisfy specific needs from a functional point of view. In the case of chairs, care must be taken to ensure that they are comfortable and complementary to the support surface. The ideal height, including the backrest, is not greater than 90 cm and the overall dimensions must not be too large in order to ensure freedom of movement and use. Furthermore, it is preferable to opt for products with a low weight. The personal taste and style of the house is the basis of every type of choice of material and stylistic character. Despite this, there is an increasingly frequent tendency to combine different seats from the table, sometimes also different from each other, especially in the case of the vintage ones, perfect for lovers of the eclectic style. If from a stylistic point of view you have a lot of freedom of choice, the measurements of the chair must respect the correct proportions between the heights of the seat and the table. The average distance between the support surface and the seat must never be greater than 30 cm but at the same time must ensure the smooth movement of the legs of those who sit. In addition, the chair must have a comfortable but not excessive width, in order to avoid that these furnishings are too close and collide. 50 cm are calculated with at least 5 cm between one chair and another. In the specific case of chairs for the kitchen, the armrests are not necessary but if they are appreciated, it is good to check that they do not touch the support surface and therefore allow you to comfortably approach it. Since the kitchen is the place where you spend most of the time of the day, light, comfortable, easy to move and foldable chairs are preferable, in case of limited space. From the point of view of materials, there are countless of them on the market but they must be chosen with care in order to ensure optimal use and simple maintenance, while remaining consistent with the style of the kitchen. They range from the natural fibers of wood and leather, to the synthetic fibers of plastic and polycarbonate, to steel and textiles. The latter are a little more complicated to sanitize as they tend to absorb liquid substances and get dirty faster. However, today you can also opt for stain-resistant fabrics, designed to be waterproof and easily washable, often applied to covers that can be easily removed from the chair and reinserted once cleaned. Furthermore, it is easy to find solutions that combine different types of materials with each other: for example, metal structures go well with seats in wood, fabric or eco-leather. Whether it is classic or modern chairs, with homogeneous or differentiated material, the important thing is that they are studied on personal ergonomics and on daily needs.
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