Is it better to have lacquered or oiled floor? How to choose between pre-finished and unfinished wooden floor? These are main questions to ask before you select the floor for you house. One of the things that people often leave unconsidered until just before ordering is the finish they’ll choose for their new floor. How to choose the best option?


The difference between pre-finished and unfinished floor

No matter what flooring species you choose – you will certainly have to consider whether the floor should be finished or unfinished. Finishing the floor provides that protective layer, sort of the top coat that seals your floor against stains, wear and tear and moisture. It also highlights natural beauty and characteristics of the floor.

Pre-finished floor
That protective cover is applied at the manufacturer factory under controlled environment that allow proper curing and drying. Those conditions also preventing the finish from getting dust, hair and other foreign particles. It is very hard to control this during on-site application of the finish. When the floor is pre-finished you get additional option of choosing plank with slight bevelling or square edge, which makes individual flooring boards more noticeable.

Unfinished floor
The name suggests unfinished floor leaves factory untreated. When you purchase unfinished wood flooring you can expect planks that are made of bare timber. It allows home owner to have the floor finished on site, after installation. That process gives maximum flexibility when it comes to selecting grades and species available. Unfinished wood flooring allows the home owner to select custom stains that can match or compliment the colour of existing floor. They are also available in different sizes and wide range of thickness which is perfect if you want to match up against levels of the floor that is already installed in your home.



The difference between oil and lacquer

Lacquer is a varnish like liquid that sits on the surface of the natural wooden floorboard. Thicker than oil, the lacquer liquid remains on the surface. End result is strong, smooth and slightly shiny look.

Lacquer is recommended in areas that have higher foot traffic, areas that might  experience wet conditions and if you want to give the floor a slight glossy look. Lacquered floors (including matt lacquered) need very little maintenance; you simply sweep or vacuum and then very slight damp mop with eco-friendly floor cleaner.

Unlike lacquer finishes which only provide protection from above, oil finishes provide protection from both the inside and outside. The oil penetrates deeply into the wood providing long-term protection while also leaving a protective layer on the surface to protect the floor. Scratches on your floor tend to be less visible on oiled floors. The cleaning and maintenance is easy but natural oiled floors do require more maintenance; once installed it is recommended that another coat of oil is immediately applied. Heavy scratches and scuffs can be lightly sanded and a natural oil can be applied over the affected area. When it comes to maintenance, natural oiled wood floors do require oiling from time to time. Typically once a year will do.

If you are looking to retain the natural look of the floor than oil, particularly brushed effect oil finish is recommended.






Summer is the time to start looking after your garden and invite friends for the BBQ. Three main things to decide on when designing a garden or a terrace: "floor" finish, plants and flowers type and garden furniture, of course. 







Enjoy the weekend!


Summer time is a holiday time and time to dream big. We will be dreaming of designing a beautiful beach house :)






Ceramic or Porcelain? A common dilemma when it comes to choosing tiles is whether to pick ceramic or porcelain. What is the difference? Which do I need? Is one better than the other? Let's just take any doubt away and compare these two materials.

Porcelain and ceramic tile are essentially the same, with one slight difference.

Ceramic tiles are made from natural clay with a durable glaze; the biscuit of the tile is baked to reduce water content. Next the design is added to the same biscuit before it’s baked again in a kiln at a high temperature.

Porcelain tiles are also made from natural clay but of a denser nature, finely ground sand is also added into the manufacturing mix. This mixture is then pressed and fired at a much higher temperature than ceramic tiles, and also for longer to remove almost all of the water content.
Porcelain tile has a water absorption rate of 0.5% as defined by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) C373. Fired tile is weighed. Then it is boiled for 5 hours and then let to sit in water for 24 hours afterward. Then it is weighed again. If the tile weighs less than half of one-percent more as a result of water absorbing into its surface, it is considered porcelain.
Porcelain tile is often extruded; has less impurities than ceramic; is often rectified; and often contains more kaolin than ceramic. It's formed of quartz, clay, and feldspar that is fired at temperatures ranging from 1200-1400 degrees C.
But since that also defines many ceramics, again the difference is that porcelain has that 0.5% or less water absorption rate.
The Porcelain Enamel Institute rating (PEI rating) is a great tool to help you determine the recommended application for a tile. All tiles are classified with a PEI rating and the scale is as follows:

PEI 0 – No foot traffic (wall tile only)
PEI 1 – Very light traffic (e.g. bathroom)
PEI 2 – Light traffic (e.g. bathroom and bedroom)
PEI 3 – Light to moderate traffic (e.g. most domestic floors)
PEI 4 – Moderate to heavy traffic (e.g. entrance, hallway, kitchen, balcony and some commercial applications)
PEI 5 – Heavy traffic (all domestic/commercial uses with heavy abrasion/footfall)
Most ceramic floor tiles will carry a PEI rating from 3 to 4 with porcelain tiles ranging from PEI 3 to 5. Still unsure which tile you should be using where? Make full use of our expertise and get in touch with a member of our customer service team who’ll be able to help you.

Laying porcelain or ceramic tile outside is typically not recommended. Ceramic is usually not durable enough for exterior use because it absorbs too much water. If you live in areas which freeze, your tile would likely crack on the first freezing night. Stone is a better option.



Advice? Choose a tile that fits well with your home, style and lifestyle. You want to choose a tile that’ll stand the test of time, not just in the fashion department but in terms of practicality too. If you’re tiling a conservatory or kitchen, have dogs and children then you’ll want to pick a porcelain tile for extra durability. Renovating a tired bathroom? Pick any tile you love the design of, whether it’s porcelain or ceramic.
IL FANALE is an Italian Lighting Manufacturer, specialising in iron, copper and brass lighting fittings both for indoor and outdoor. The metals they use to create their lamps are subjected to a special treatment of accelerated oxidation that gives a gloss of aging, which refers to as "antique" look. This special process allows each material to acquire well-defined characteristics. The brass takes on a forest green color, copper acquires a reddish while the iron rusts the tone of its original colour. The post-processing treatments and procedures that are used to reach the final product comply with traditional methods belonging to the family and passed on until now.







Cimento is a composite material; a concrete mixture which can be applied to panels or sheets of a range of materials, from MDF to steel. It provides a strong, sustainable material enjoying all the benefits of concrete but without the drawbacks; possessing its unique appearance but without the high costs of labor involved in a wet installation. It's quick to produce and install, in both domestic and commercial environments, inside and outside.
It's available in huge range of colours, as well as multiple choices of textures and finishes. Moreover, you can find flexible curved sheet that can be used in many ways depending on project.


Different treatments available for the concrete surface make it adaptable to all environmental conditions. Houses can be cladded externally in panels, saving time and money compared to conventional materials. And there's a range of colours to suit all designs.


Commercial uses are endless. Apart from wall coverings the possibilities include: concealing insulation, as soundproofing materials or ducts in walls, part of display stands or in combination with lighting systems.


Cimento furniture for the extra 'wow' factor in the home or office? Why not! Beautifully combined with solid timbers, the pieces shout quality and longevity.




Happy Friday!!! Stay inspired! 


Choosing the best options for sanitary ware may affect your everyday life standard and comfort of bathrooms use. Many brands, variety of materials, a lot of styles. The more wisely you choose the better effect you get.

Basins


Free- Standing Basins
Very classic and popular. The pedestal basin is a common sight in many traditional bathrooms and its elegant look is still a hit with many new bathrooms too. The pedestal is great for hiding unsightly pipes and plumbing, as well as making more of a feature of your basin. A downside of the traditional pedestal basin is that they don’t incorporate storage like other designs do. If you have small bathroom you should probably think about something else.
Advantage: Make a feature of your basin, also plumbing is hidden
Disadvantage: They’re more suited to larger bathrooms as they can take up valuable space without adding any storage.



Wall- Mounted Basins
Minimalistic and perfect for small bathrooms. The wall-mounted basin gives you the illusion of space. By allowing your eyes to see the floor you feel like you have more space in your bathroom. These are a popular option in modern and small bathrooms. Feel free to add a big mirror behind!
Wall-hung basin may require extra work on your plumbing. Those pipes won’t be hidden by a pedestal so you will need to factor in extra time on your install.
Advantage: Give your bathroom the illusion of space by allowing more of the floor to be seen.
Disadvantage: Slightly more costly due to extra plumbing work and re-working of existing pipes.



Counter Top Basins
This may be elegant and stylish option, as well minimalistic and modern. No matter what style you choose, you make your basin a focal point. No more shelves or items balanced on the small area next to your taps – surround your sink with all your must-have toiletries and luxuries.
With a counter top basin you can hide your plumbing under the counter too as you have the added bonus of storage below your sink. You will need a larger bathroom to accommodate a counter top basin in most cases but that’s not to say that you couldn’t have a small, space-saving version too.
Advantage: You’ll have more space around your basin to display and use your toiletries, making getting ready a much easier and more pleasurable task.
Disadvantage: They can take up more space and will be a more expensive option over the traditional pedestal.



Inset Basins
Very good solution for minimalistic bathrooms. Basin combined with beautiful top may be very gentle and elegant touch in interior.
Advantage: Good storage and surface space
Disadvantage: May be visually ineffective with a limited bathroom space


Taps



Pillar tap
The traditional pillar style tap is available in both classic and contemporary designs. Made for baths and basins with two tap holes, a pair of separate pillars comprises of one hot and one cold tap. Featuring a traditional cross head or a more modern lever handle, pillar taps tend to be affordable and easy to install.



Mixer tap
Mixer taps boasts two handles on either side of a single spout. Mixing hot and cold water in the body of the tap, water flow and temperature are controlled by the separate handles. When considering a mixer tap, it’s important to check your water pressure, as some mixers may require relatively high pressure to perform properly.



Mono tap
Controlled by a single lever, mono taps mix hot and cold water through a single spout. Offering ease of control and a minimalist, clean design, mono taps go really well with any modern bathroom design. If you do opt for a mono tap, it’s important to remember that they require almost equal pressure in your hot and cold water supplies to work effectively. If you do have unequal water pressure, then a dual flow mono mixer will provide a great alternative.



Bath filler options
Deck-mounted bath fillers or bath shower mixers (with a hose and handset) are the norm for most people choosing a new bathroom. However, for people aiming for a fuss-free look or a bathroom that is easy to keep clean, there is another way - the overflow bath filler.
One of the best ways to use an overflow bath filler is to combine it with a second outlet – either a shower kit on the wall, or a pull-out handset on the bath deck (or even both if you wish). You can then divert between the bath filling function, and the showering function from the very same valve.


If you wish to have a bath overflow filler and a shower kit over the bath you should select a thermostatic 2-outlet valve. This would give you a thermostatically-controlled shower, so if someone else turns a tap on or flushes a toilet the water won’t suddenly freeze or scald – much safer if you have young children.


Regarding to thermostatic valves it's good to think if we need twin or triple valve. It depends on whether we need to have head-shower, hand-shower and bath filler altogether or just a one or two elements.
Valves can be combined in various ways.




Bathtubs

First and the most important factor that decides what kind of bathrooms we choose is obviously the size of the bathroom. We will not be able to have big freestanding bathtub in small space. On the contrary small corner bathtub in a spacial bathroom may look ridiculous. While deciding what kind bathroom should we have its necessary to choose the perfect material that it is made of. Ceramic, acrylic, stone, corian?

Corner bathtub
Good solution for limited spaces, although bathtub would not be a feature.


Tiled bathtub
Popular solution, good for small or minimalistic bathrooms,


Freestanding bathtub
Depending how much space do you have, your bathtub may be a outstanding feature or nice eye- catcher.



WC

A wall hung toilet is one that is attached to the wall of your bathroom.
Wall mounted, or wall hung toilets, have the cistern hidden away inside a wall or furniture unit, with a chrome flush plate that provides access to the cistern.
The toilet is supported by a strong wall frame that houses the concealed cistern and supports the toilet. A wall-mounted toilet can usually be fitted to any wall, even a stud wall provided it is reinforced and supported correctly.



The mounting frames can typically support around 200kg in weight when properly installed, so you don’t need to worry about it falling off the wall when you sit down.Wall-hung units are known for their relatively attractive appearance compared to floor-mounted toilets. Because the tank is concealed in the wall, they also offer substantial space savings. Perhaps the most obvious advantage of the wall-hung pan is the down to the fact it hovers several inches off the floor. This allows you to easily clean around and underneath it. Unlike with a more conventional toilet style, there are no nooks and crannies for dust and dirt to get trapped in, no sealant holding it to the floor to discolour over time, and pretty much no hard-to-reach areas.




Choosing the right frame and cistern
WC Frames are available in different sizes or heights. Usually producers provide suitable solutions for nearly any situation - higher, shorter, as well as slimmer or corner.Access to the cistern - should you need to adjust or repair it - is either through an access panel if it is fitted within bathroom furniture, or via a flush plate if it is fitted in a wall. Either way, maintenance is usually no more difficult than with a standard toilet.