What are some of the most popular styles and trends at the moment?
There’s a very strong trend for modern classic looks with painted shaker style kitchens and this has made large scale granite work surfaces a very popular look where the luxuriousness of the colour and veining does all the talking. Calacatta Marble is exceptionally popular for its simple elegance but there’s also much more experimentation with richer, bolder granites too. For classic and contemporary kitchens alike, there’s also a style shift to thinner work surfaces of 20 or 22 millimetres thickness.
In bathrooms, the design trend is toward creating streamlined finishes with no tactile or visual breaks with grout lines or trims. That’s why tiles are getting larger in size. Large format laminate panels follow this trend perfectly. It’s not just a style thing, but also comes from a desire to have easier maintenance bathrooms. Bushboard’s Nuance range of wall panels can be near invisibly jointed, fitted floor to ceiling and are 100 percent waterproof. The range is proving very popular because it’s opened up a whole new design dimension for the bathroom.
On the fashion front, grey is very popular and also timber designs. Of course natural timber is not suitable for a humid bathroom environment, whereas laminate is and, thanks to its sophisticated print and texture development, combines superb design and practicality.
What is the best way to decide which material will work best for a kitchen or bathroom?
It really comes down to personal preference and how much you want to spend. Decorative laminate is a great option for both kitchens and bathrooms because it offers the widest choice of designs, colours and textures and currently reflects the most on-trend looks for weathered and salvaged timbers, concrete and granites. It’s also a high performance and easy maintenance material requiring only a simple wipe down and that’s a great benefit in a busy bathroom or kitchen. Nuance wall panels for the bathroom are very easy and fast to fit and are guaranteed 100 percent waterproof, so they can create a winning combination of design, performance and affordability.
See also: My Kitchen Rules
What are the main differences between laminate, acrylic and quartz surfaces?
They are very different materials but each has their merit. Laminate is the lowest cost material but punches above its weight with the widest range of designs and surface textures to offer, while at the same time being high performance and low maintenance. This is because it’s a printed product and so can follow fashion trends more easily. It’s also the easiest to install, so overall adding up to a very cost effective solution.
Acrylic work surfaces have the unique benefit of being able to be seamlessly jointed. This gives the design flexibility for streamlined and free-flowing design around the sink, hob, corner and integrating with the splashback or upstand. Quartz work surfaces are made from stone particles and resin fused together. The precision manufacture makes them very hardwearing and more colour consistent than natural stone. Price wise, you can expect to pay from £45 per linear metre for laminate, whereas quartz and acrylic solid surface can be four times that.
What is the simplest way to decide on which colour to use?
Ask for samples of what you are interested in and select different materials to consider. A kitchen work surface accounts for around 20 percent of the visual area so it can make or break a scheme. Same goes for the bathroom, so take your time looking at how your samples work in terms of colour, tone and texture with other elements you have chosen. Bushboard offers a free sample service with fast turnaround because we recognise the importance of you getting it right. There’s lots of information on our website where we also have an interactive Design Studio to help you create your look
With so many different textures available, how can you choose one that will suit your home?
Texture is very ‘in’ at the moment. Layering different textures and materials is a big style trend because it can create rooms that are more interesting and personalised. As with choosing the right colour, get some samples together and look at what texture you like and how it works with the rest of your scheme. Matt, smooth surfaces are a key style trend that looks bedded in to last a while, but high gloss and semi-textured can also create impact in the right context.
See also: Room by Room: The Bathroom
Where are some good places to get inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere from hotels you stay in or restaurants you eat in. There’s plenty of magazines and the internet with sites like Pinterest to be inspired by and start making up your own mood boards. We have introduced Galleries on the Bushboard website, where visitors can see images of real kitchens or bathrooms that customers have completed. This gives you a realistic way to assess the product and see how it works in real life. Extending this online experience, we also have interactive Design Studios that allows users to play with our products and design their own kitchen or bathroom scheme.
Is resurfacing a kitchen or bathroom something that I can do myself or is it better to get a professional in?
Any laminate work surfaces or bathroom panelling could be fitted by a competent DIYer, whereas quartz and acrylic work surfaces must be fitted by a trained professional. Generally, new kitchen or bathroom surfaces are installed as part of a more major refurb or new build and so are done by skilled tradesmen.
Are all your products made in the UK?
Yes, all our products are manufactured in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire where we have our headquarters and factory. We have over 80 years of manufacturing heritage and are a proud supporter of the Made in Britain campaign.
See also: House Style