A Guide to Choosing Kitchen Surfaces and Decoration
Despite living in places that have a limited space face with modern appliances, tables, and decorative options
available it's not that difficult coming up with a plan for limited space. For a few more tips on planning see
small kitchen table ideas.
No matter what size kitchen you have, the surfaces you choose are a key to having a safe well functioning
kitchen. Beginning at the bottom , floor surfaces should be hard wearing, relatively impervious to water and grease
spillages, and attractive in appearance. They should also be slip resistant. Busy cooks constantly on their feet
will also appreciate a degree of resilience.
Sheet and tile vinyl makes an excellent, reasonably priced floor covering both warm and quiet to walk on, as do
cork tiles, which are particularly satisfactory in a kitchen if bought with a thin plastic film already applied.
Despite the claims of manufacturers, it seems doubtful whether soft floor coverings, like the special kitchen
carpetings or tiles, are a practical proposition in a kitchen. Their designs aren't inspired. The very hard
floorings, such as quarry and ceramic tiles, are exceptionally durable but can be hard on the feet.
Wall surfaces can be painted in an easy-to-wash gloss or eggshell oil-based paint or more conveniently with
water-based paint. Add tiling around the sink and stove areas for extra protection against food splashes. Vinyl (or
a washable) wallpaper, again perhaps with tiles as a splash back, is inexpensive and can be extremely attractive.
If plaster is old and damaged, tongued-and-grooved paneling, sealed with polyurethane varnish, makes an attractive
cover-up, but do not use more than two wall coverings in anyone room.
Try wood around the eating area, with gloss paint elsewhere; or plastic-coated wallpaper throughout with a tile
splashback; or have vinyl in the cooking area and tiles in the laundry area.
Work surfaces can be covered in easily cleaned, laminated plastic which come in some good plain colors though
the patterns tend to be dull and only copies of natural materials. Post formed laminates make curved edges to work
surfaces and these can be ordered from many manufacturers along with their ranges of kitchen units, though it is
also possible to have them made to order to suit special requirements. Surfaces can also be made of hardwood, which
is expensive, or of ceramic or quarry tiles which as well as being expensive tend to crack and must be carefully
laid so that no dirtcollecting gaps appear. It is also useful to have small insets of different materials for
particular uses: a square of wood inset as a chopping board, marble for cool pastry making, and stainless steel