Choosing Metro tiles for the kitchen

Once we had chosen our IKEA Laxarby kitchen in black we started to think about tiles and a colour scheme to offset the dark cupboards and bring some light into the room.

I fell in love with a few different tiles before we settled on the white Metro design:

These ‘Dotty mixture’ tiles are available in a range of colours and would look beautiful in a country style kitchen. You can buy them online from Decorum Tiles but we first saw them in Leeks. Unfortunately, when I was told the price  I nearly fainted and had to admit defeat.

Next on my wishlist were these slightly more affordable Artisan tiles from Laura Ashley:

Tiles

Although I really love these tiles I couldn’t decide between duck egg blue and  Eau De Nil (pictured above).

In the end we decided to go for white metro tiles as they offer the most versatility when it comes to decorating. If we decide to change our kitchen colour scheme in the future we can repaint without the colour of our tiles factoring in our decision.

So we made a decision, hoorah! I then spent days agonising over which metro tiles to choose. I found loads of great blog post about them but no one seemed to be saying where they got them from or which size they went for!

Standard metro tiles are 20 X 10cm,  Crown Tiles seemed to be the cheapest place to buy them at £9.38 p/sqm. This image shows some standard metro tiles I found in B&Q to give an idea of scale.metro-tiles

As the name suggests, mini metro tiles are smaller than the standard range and measure 15 X 7.5cm. It was mini metro tiles that IKEA used with our kitchen in their showroom. We only want a 30cm splashback above the worktop, except behind the cooker, so the painted wall will be visible under the wall cabinates. Mini metro tiles allow us to have 4 rows of tiles in the same space that 3 rows of standard tiles would take up.

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I suffered some extreme kitchen envy when I saw this post on Kate Davies website.Metro-tiles She has used standard metro tiles, but the tiles go much further up the wall than ours will and she doesn’t have any wall cabinets – a look I would have loved if our kitchen was bigger.

One thing I did take away from reading about Kate’s kitchen was the importance of a good grout colour. I knew grout came in white and black but that was about it. Kate has gone for a ‘mid grey’ which looks lovely. We plan to use ‘smoke’ by Micromax, which is available from lots of high-street and online suppliers.

After lots of visits to various highstreet DIY shops and pinterest searching, we decided to go with mini metro tiles from Walls and floors. They were more than double the price of standard metro tiles at £19.95 p/sqm but I think they will be worth it. I have to say I would buy from Walls and floors again. The delivery was quick and so far they all seem to have arrived in one piece.

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It’s all coming together

The new kitchen area is really coming together now. The walls and ceiling have been plastered and our new patio doors have gone in.

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Our old door was made with a patterned glass that looked very dated and didn’t let much light in with two matching windows on each side. These new doors are a massive improvement. It’s a shame about the lean-to behind them but we will hopefully knock that down at some point and create a nice patio area.

new-kitchen-space  decorative-fireI have a new found appreciation for the art of plastering since having the entire ground floor and bathroom done. We went cheap when we first moved in as that was they only way we could afford to do it all, but we’ve always wished it had been done better. The new kitchen plastering has been done by Lee at Eaves Building Solutions and I can already tell it’s going to be so much better!

It’s a dog’s life

Our Cocker Spaniel, Ralph, has become a big part of our lives since we picked him up as a puppy 9 months ago (a statement I’m sure our friends and family would agree with). Having a dog is a big responsibility but we have really enjoyed training him and taking him out on lovely long walks.

While work on the kitchen is being carried out Ralph has had to go on holiday. We found a wonderful couple in Cwmbran with 6 Spainels of their own who look after people’s dogs while they are on holiday etc. It is a bit more expensive than kennels but we wanted to make sure Ralph would receive the attention he is used to as he’s away for such a long time.

We’ve been receiving regular updates and the other day we even got these wonderful pics!

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He certainly looks like he’s enjoying himself!

Kitchen design issues

The new space is really starting to take shape now. Yesterday the plasterboard went up so the plastering can begin today.

I am really pleased with the way the space has turned out. There are one or two things we may have changed about the layout with hindsight but I think that what we have will work really well for us.

We did have a slight set back due to some last minute changes we made to our IKEA kitchen when we went to buy it.

IKEA’s 3D kitchen planner is a brilliant tool and the kitchen planning staff at IKEA stores are wonderful. They know exactly what works and were really honest about the plans we had.

The only setback with the design software is that it limits you to a few basic room shapes . As we were designing an L shape kitchen the kitchen planner created a rectangular room. This was fine and allowed us to get a good sense of how the kitchen would look. When we went back to order the kitchen, however, we forgot to mention that we had some pretty precise measurements to stick to on the shorter wall as it opens into a doorway (circled on the plan below). He suggested that if we removed the 20cm condiment cupboard we could swap the corner unit to a rotating one which would be much better use of the space. Unfortunately he didn’t mention that this would add 5cm to the length of the kitchen.

kitchen doorway

He suggested that we removed the 20cm condiment cupboard to make room for their rotating corner unit which would be much better use of the space. Unfortunately he didn’t mention that this would add 5cm to the length of the kitchen.  As a result, our builder had to move the doorway 5cm out to lengthen the wall space.

They are planning to start assembling the kitchen tomorrow and I can’t wait to see how it looks!

Here are some photos of the progress yesterday:

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The stud wall between our new kitchen and utility has been built, the new smaller window has been boxed in and plasterboard is up.

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The picture above shows the biggest compromise we have had to make with the builders so far. We really wanted to knock out the old chimney breast to square off the kitchen and have somewhere to put our much loved welsh dresser. When they took a closer look it became apparent that the job would delay the project and cost an extra chunk that we just don’t have. Rather than blocking the chimney back up they agreed to square it off so we will have a nice feature to store our wine in. I am certainly going to make use of it!