Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kitchen dilemma

I'm approaching the end of my renovations - the bathroom is in, my kitchen cabinetry has been installed and the flooring is in. I'm lucky that I've had some great tradesmen working on my place.

One issue which has been causing me a lot of grief is my kitchen splash back. I decided to stick with a very neutral kitchen - white cupboards, light grey/white speckled bench top and silver handles. Here are some pictures of the cabinetry:

Please ingore the ugly curtains! I can't wait for them to be replaced.

In an ideal world I would have a glass splashback. They are gorgeous, sleek and easy to clean.

Image from MichelDignand .

Unfortunately for the whole 2 square meters of my property I have been quoted about $1,200. Yikes! The proposition of this sent me straight back to the drawing board (and the hunt for suitable tiles).

My next port of call, if I coulnd't have a glass splash back - the next logical choice would be glass tiles? Right?

Image of Matrix tiles in "lagoon. See Southern Cross Ceramics for more information.

But no, once again I hit a block in the road. As much as I would adore tiles such as the ones featured above, the cost of similar tiles is approximately $400 per square meter. (Please note I did not obtain a quote for the exact tiles above). With my splash back measuring at 2sq/m this puts me at $800 without installation costs!

Talk about being at a crossroads... I visited countless tile shops and was faced with the same issue. There are some ok mosaic tiles for in the $40-$80 per sq/m price range (generally with a flat finish or maybe a metallic shine) and then the glass tiles jumped to $400 per sq/m! Call me fussy, but I want a bit of a wow factor. I think I'm typical generation y, I want it all, I want it now and I have champagne tastes on a beer budget!

Just when I was about to cave in, after explaining what I was after to yet another sales assistant there was a lightbulb moment. The wonderful lady said "oh, why don't you come with me and see what stock we have in our discounted area". Discounted tiles? Discontinued stock? Why has no-one told me about this earlier?!?

I was promptly escorted out of the flashy showroom and into the warehouse, where I was able to view a range of tiles that were heavily discounted. All of the tiles were perfectly good but had been discontinued and were only available in small quantities.

I wish I had known of this before I renovated my bathroom, but alas- you live, you learn.

So what did I end up picking for my kitchen? These gorgeous glass mosaics:

The pictures just don't do them justice - they are glass with a white backing and have a very slight soft green tinge to them. I'll be sure to post photos when they have been installed.

They were discounted from $40 per sheet (30cm x 30cm) to $10, a saving of 75%. The tiles set me back a total of $230 (I bought a few extra sheets, just in case).

So for anyone else out there renovating, don't be afraid to ask - you might just find a bargain.

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