Surface Finishes, Furniture & Fittings, Art & Decoration, Designer Projects
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  • Introduction to decorative wall / ceiling paints
    Decorative paints for interior walls and ceilings include: Emulsions are a popular choice due to their rapid drying time, low odour and wipeable finish. They are water-based, but have a vinyl or acrylic resin additive to make the finish more durable and hardwearing. Limewashes are a cost-effective alternative to emulsions. Made from pure slacked...
    Guidance, 10 December 2012
  • Introduction to interior pendant lights and chandeliers
    Pendant lights and chandeliers are decorative lighting products that are chosen equally for their aesthetic qualities and the light they provide. Chandeliers are traditionally made with crystal, although glass is a cheaper alternative. Contemporary style chandeliers are also available, some of which feature decoration made from acrylic or other...
    Guidance, 10 December 2012
  • Introduction to worktops
    Worktops can be specified in a choice of materials to suit specific applications such as domestic kitchens, commercial serveries, bars and laboratories. Laminates are economical and resistant to heat and impact. They can be made to resemble real wood or natural stone. They are also offered in solid colours and flecked patterns. Solid wood is used...
    Guidance, 07 December 2012
  • Introduction to carpets
    Contract carpets and carpet tiles are particularly hardwearing, making them suitable for areas that are subject to heavy foot traffic, such as offices, schools and other public buildings. Carpets are manufactured using a range of techniques. Fibre-bonded carpet gives a flat velour or cord appearance and in most cases is anti-static, making it...
    Guidance, 07 December 2012
  • Resilient flooring - a guidance article
    Introduction Resilient flooring is a flexible floorcovering that is hard wearing and easy to maintain, making it suited to commercial and public applications such as schools, hospitals, airports, retail premises or hospitality environments. It is specified where durability and high visual impact is needed, but where slip resistance is not the most...
    Guidance, 05 March 2013
  • Introduction to shower drain outlets
    Shower drain outlets are made for bathrooms and wet rooms in homes, hotels, leisure centres, swimming pools and spas. They clear water from flooring surfaces and have the kind of high-quality grating materials and finishes that complement designed interiors and provide discreet gullies. Linear channel drains in particular capture surface water...
    Guidance, 10 December 2012
  • Introduction to picture lights
    Picture lights are used to provide illumination of an piece of wall-hung art. The light fitting should be unobtrusive, and is not decorative, or a strong design feature in itself. The material and finish should be sympathetic to the picture and framing as well as the interior. A brass or bronze light fitting with an antiqued or polished finish...
    Guidance, 10 December 2012
  • Introduction to meeting / conference seating
    Meeting and conference seating is often required to fulfil diverse and flexible requirements in modern offices and workplaces. Traditionally, the meeting room has been a permanent space, for executive or managerial use. A high quality specification, with fabric or leather upholstery may be required to make an impression on visitors, or offer the...
    Guidance, 07 December 2012
  • Introduction to digital signs
    Digital signs are electronic displays which can be updated using a computer interface. Digital signage is also referred to as Digital Out Of Home, or DOOH. Technologies such as LCD, LED and plasma screens, and digital projectors, are moving from the domestic enviroment and increasingly being used in the commercial and public environment. In...
    Guidance, 10 December 2012
  • Introduction to mosaic floor and wall tiles
    The history of mosaic tiles goes back 4000 years or more. From simple pebble pavements and geometric shapes, mosaic techniques were refined over the centuries, with small manufactured pieces (tesserae) being used to create intricate designs. The recently restored Cosmati pavement in Westminster Abbey, laid in 1268 by workmen from Rome, is a famous...
    Guidance, 10 December 2012
  • Introduction to letterboxes
    Letterboxes are designed for communal use in residential buildings or offices, and can be installed internally or externally. Individual boxes for houses are also available They are secured using single, double, or triple locking points, and are often supplied with a fire rating or integrated fire extinguisher to prevent contents being lost in the...
    Guidance, 07 December 2012
  • Introduction to toilets
    Traditionally, toilets take the form of WCs. As early as the 31st century BC, the Neolithic village of Scara Brae in Orkney used hydraulic technology (consisting of a river and a connecting drainage system) to wash away human waste. Close coupled toilets have cisterns directly connected to the pan. Cisterns can also be wall-mounted at a higher...
    Guidance, 07 December 2012
  • Introduction to fires and stoves
    Fires and stoves have increased in efficiency in recent years. Modern fires and stoves are now specified for domestic interiors where traditionally an open fireplace was used. Stoves can be fuelled by burning wood, solid fuel / coal, natural gas or special smokeless gel fuels. Alternatively, electric models are available, which provide a realistic...
    Guidance, 07 December 2012
  • Introduction to shower screens
    Shower screens are used in private houses, hotels and other accommodation such as student residences. In design terms, they create a more aesthetic look than a shower curtain. A fixed shower screen can be installed over a tiled bathroom floor, where a wet room former is installed, to give a walk-in shower. An over bath screen is used where there...
    Guidance, 10 December 2012
  • Introduction to kitchen / utility sinks
    Kitchen / utility sinks are suitable for either commercial or residential use. They are often produced in ceramic, stainless steel and composite materials, and are normally supplied without taps. Commercial sinks are durable, making them especially suitable for use in public places, including offices, restaurants and schools. Residential sinks...
    Guidance, 07 December 2012