Is using glass on the wall above the kitchen counter a good option? Also, what is the ideal wall treatment/finish for the glass?
Using glass instead of tiles on the wall gives you immense design freedom. Once you have decided on the surface, you can use any sort of cladding for the wall behind: plain or texture paint; multimedia, hand-drawn sketches; wood panelling; wallpapers; even fabrics (old zari saris, for instance). In fact, the choices are immense. Just think of the things that excite you and it can be fixed on the wall before encasing it on a frameless glass sheet. It could be old, “worthless” postage stamps or a unique collection of matchboxes from across the world.
Although you can use any kind of glass, avoid the bright primary-coloured variety (for aesthetic reasons) and deep, recessed, textured glasses (owing to maintenance reasons). Thickness depends on the size of glass desired and the stress induced by movement. Using toughened glass is also advisable. Make sure that the glass is cut to site conditions (including cut-outs, notches, etc.), before you give it out for toughening.
The glass can be fixed with the help of:
• Wood or metal frame
• Special glass screws on top of a backing sheet comprising 10mm thick, pre-painted commercial ply
• Special purpose SS expansion bolts, directly on the existing wall
• Slightly oversized aluminium channels embedded on the countertop stone that will house the top and bottom edge of the glass
Also, all gaps can now be sealed safely with the help of clear coloured silicon sealants. The bottom edge of the glass should be embedded in a shallow groove made on the countertop stone near the sink and the finished with the help of silicon sealants.
You could also use scratch-resistant acrylic instead of glass for its shatter-proof property. It also has high visual transparency and resistance to certain chemicals (detergents). Use of a chequered or light, textured SS sheet in the hood area is a good idea.
What are the different options available for wooden flooring?
When you are exploring options for wooden flooring, you need to keep in mind certain factors such as the type of wood, its size, the area of use, climatic conditions and the kind of finish that would be applied to it.
Types of wood flooring
• Real wood
Teak, mahogany, etc.: A 20-25mm thick, 1,200mm long and 100-150mm wide wood slats, which uses pre-seasoned, pre-treated (for termites, rot, etc.) would cost Rs350-750 per sq. ft. These materials can be applied to any type of floor as long as it is not in direct contact with moisture.
Deck flooring: A 25mm thick, 300mm long and 75-100mm wide wood slat pre-fixed with a 15mm gap on a PVC base would cost between Rs250 and Rs450 per sq. ft. It is ready-made, and imported by various vendors in the country. These specially treated wood slats fixed on a PVC-perforated base allow the water to travel safely below the wood floor. They can be used anywhere, including in the shower.
Slatted wood: Thin small slats in parquet style, glued to the floor, cost Rs75-95 per sq. ft. These are often used as untreated, unseasoned wood strips that tend to come off in a short while. They also demand very high maintenance.
• Engineered wood
Laminated wood: This popular engineered wood is easily available, is quick to install and is very inexpensive (Rs85-275 per sq. ft). It comprises tough paper laminates fixed on a 6-12mm thick MDF (medium density fibre wood) or LDF (low density fibre wood) base. Its maintenance is low, but the edges, if protruding, deteriorate when subjected to high traffic or moisture.
• Artificial wood
Textured PVC carpets and slats look like laminated wooden floor. Available in 4-6mm thickness, they are moisture-resistant. They cost between Rs55 and Rs90 per sq. ft.