Don’t skirt the details
There are so many things to consider when doing up your home it’s not surprising that some of the less prominent details can fall through the cracks. But with a little forward planning you can ensure the little details are exactly as you want them to be.
1. Skirting boards
These are not something most people tend to focus on when planning a renovation. Unless they have been specifically detailed early on in the design process, they tend to be left to the contractor to supply.
Believe it or not, there is a lot of choice when it comes to skirtings, from the very traditional to much more contemporary – all of which come in a wide range of heights. This seemingly small detail frames every room so it’s worth making sure it enhances the overall scheme. Ask your contractor to bring you samples to approve before he buys anything or visit a local builders’ supplier to look at the options available.
The same goes for architraves, the timber moulding that frames your doors and, of course, the doors themselves. Prices and styles vary massively so unless you’ve agreed from the outset what you want it’s worth being specific here.
This is another area which can go unnoticed until it’s too late. Think of the handles as the finishing touches to your doors – so again spend a bit of time making sure the style is both in keeping with your design and comfortable to use. Lever han- dles are a better choice than door knobs for anyone with concerns about mobility in their wrists or hands. Front doors often come with standard ironmongery so it’s important to know what you’re getting and make any changes in the early stages of placing the order. One practical consideration is whether to go for a key-operated or thumb-turn locking system on the inside of your door.
Safety with children can be an issue here – if they can reach the thumb turn it’s very easy for them to open the door, so a key would be a better option.
Before your tiler starts, ask them to lay out the tiles as they plan to fit them. Think about how the tiles will flow from front to back and from side to side. In a bathroom, it’s good to centre the floor tiles on the WC and get the floor joints to align with the wall joints.
Keep grout lines as small as possible and depending on the kind of tiles you are using, think about how to finish any exposed edges. Stone, for example, can be polished or bevelled avoiding the need for any kind of trims. Ceramic and porcelain tiles, however, will need a tile trim. I would recommend a square-edge chrome trim over the plastic version; they are more expensive but absolutely worth it.
‘‘ Believe it or not, there is a lot of choice when it comes to skirtings
Finally, when it comes to combining different floor finishes, try to keep junctions as clean as possible. A little forward planning will mean you can have a seamless joint between timber and tiles, avoiding the need for any kind of metal or timber trim. This is particularly important in an open-plan space with different floor finishes where you want to maintain a seamless flow between the different areas. Denise O’Connor is an architect and design consultant
In a bathroom, it’s good to centre the floor tiles on the WC and get the floor joints to align with the wall joints.