Cleaning is a necessary evil, but with the right design decisions and materials, you could renovate your home to make it an easy, pain-free place to live in that buyers will love.
Here are five renovation tips to help you make the switch to a low maintenance home:
1. Choose your wall colours wisely
Avoid painting your walls white or black—one will show the dirt and the other any imperfections on your wall or ceiling. Instead, consider using patterned walls. Wallpaper is currently making a comeback in a big way, along with vinyl wall coverings.
If you have pets or children, also consider using washable paint that you can scrub and put cleaning product on to remove dirt and various wall drawings.
2. Choose durable flooring
If your current floor is covered in furniture scuff marks, stains and claw indents from a beloved fur friend, it could be time to consider a more durable option. Here are a few Kiwi favourites:
It’s tough to get rid of in the garden and it’s tough to scuff, scratch and dent on your floor. Generally, the later the bamboo is harvested, the tougher it is. The higher it ranks on the Janka hardness scale the more durable it is. The most durable is the Strand-Woven Bamboo, and at 3014 on the Janka scale, it’s harder than Brazilian Cherry, Tiete Rosewood and Chestnut.
It’s a great addition to your kitchen and bathrooms, but be aware that some types of stone, such as marble, will wear quicker than you might expect (note: it’s also prone to stains!). However, choose the right natural stone and your floor will have a durability that’s not far off concrete—the penultimate of durable flooring (if not the most aesthetically pleasing).
This man-made flooring is moisture resistant, designed to last years and can mimic the look of hardwood and carpet floors. There is a huge range of styles, colours and textures to match kitchens, bathrooms, living areas and bedrooms.
Laminate is tougher and more versatile than hardwood, but it has one weakness: water. The issue comes about when the core of the laminate board gets wet, so go for high-quality products with a hard core, which gives better moisture resistance. To minimise the risk further, avoid installing laminate in wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries. However, for living and dining areas, it’s a great option.
Porcelain and ceramic tiles
Porcelain and ceramic tiles are a bathroom and kitchen favourite. While they’re not as tough as natural stone, they’re less porous, which makes them quick and easy to clean. They also come in a virtually unlimited range of colours and styles. But choose the colour wisely! Stark white might create that crisp, clean look you crave, but it’s also quick to show dirt and dust.
This applies to both kitchen renovations and bathroom renovations. Keep in mind that choosing a single colour will highlight imperfections, dirt and dust. To avoid this, go for a patterned surface. Natural stone countertops such as granite or quartz are good for this, but they are also heavy, so make sure your cabinetry can support its weight!
If you’re after an industrial look, consider stainless steel—it’s practically indestructible. The only downsides are that some chemicals can stain it, and it can dent if something heavy is dropped on it.
Plastic laminate is another long-lasting homeowner favourite, especially for those on a budget. It’s lightweight too so it doesn’t need sturdy support under it like granite or quartz do. However, it can be scratched and sometimes burned if you’re not careful.
Tip: Marble countertops look great, but are extremely easy to stain. If marble is a must-have, consider using it as a small feature, rather than across your full kitchen or bathroom.
4. Use wall mounted features for easy cleaning
If you hate vacuuming and moping around odd corners and under low vanities, consider swapping your bathroom essentials for wall-mounted alternatives. A wall-hung toilet and elevated sink will not only make cleaning easier but can create a more spacious bathroom. For the ultimate easy-clean, install a drain in your bathroom floor so you can hose the floor down.
Tip: Avoid installing clear glass shower doors that require frequent cleaning, go for frosted glass instead.
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