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Hi Renotalkers,

I'm about to embark on a reno for my 4-rm resale flat kitchen and 2 toilets hack-away and re-do. Got some queries that I need experienced hands to give me ur 2 cents' worth. Haven't chosen ID yet though have spoken with a few firms already.

1. For the kitchen wall at the cabinet area, is it possible for me to do the tiling on only the exposed wall area between the upper and lower cabinets? Or is it a standard procedure to have to tile up the entire wall including the wall behind the upper and lower cabinets? As my kitchen is very big and I plan to run my upper and lower cabinet up to a total length of 40ft, if I only need to tile up the area between the upper and lower cabinets, this would be a significant cost saving.

2. I intend to get the contractor/ID to construct a standard 50mm cement base for the cabinet. Should I do the same for the washing machine and fridge, or is it better to leave them on the tiled kitchen floor and not the base? What are your experiences of the pros and cons of each? Cost savings won't be much as I only allocate 3ft each for fridge and washing machine.

3. My kitchen layout means that my cabinet has an L-shaped corner, which I intend to include a carousel at the corner to "revive" the dead space. If you look at the Ikea kitchen, they have the carousel. Does anyone know if Ikea can come over after the cabinet installation is done and install the carousel? Cos the ID firms so far don't have the type of carousel I want. It seems only Ikea has it.

4. I was thinking of installing a door at the entrance between the kitchen and the living room as I intend to aircon the living room and don't want to over-burden my aircon by making it cool down the kitchen as well. Are there any restrictions (fire-safety or the like?) on putting up doors where there never was a door previously?

5. Lastly, the previous owners are leaving behind a built-in wardrobe in the master bedroom, which I intend to "refresh" by changing hinges, shelves and doors maybe. On top of that I intend to fabricate a small cabinet-cum-bench(10ft) to put below my living room windows to serve as extra storage and seating space. Should I engage a carpenter to do that separately or should I include under my reno package (which I think the ID always takes a cut right?)? Which is cheaper usually?

Thanks in advance for all ur patience and help. May you be rewarded in some way or another for your good deed.


Edited by icedcreams

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1. U already have yr preference. I did all tile with smooth surface (for easy cleaning) tot cabinet covered up part.

2. No specific 'answers'. Water is the key. Wood stuff best seats on some base, frig got 'legs' - no need 'raise up'. My kitchen floor been accidentally flooded b4.

3. Can ask ID for the service - measure ikea's, buy then install for you. U pay of course. I did similar for wardrobe. One thing be mindful about L-shape. Once a person 'stands' there and does things - says washing, other ppls can't access stuff store at that surrounding area. Wife washing, I can't get cups/plates/.....

4. Mine is a 2-piece top hang sliding door with rubber gasket, for oily stuff not get into living while cooking. Intended to be 48 inch width but wall too 'tiny' can't hold the weight - so I cut down to 44 inch glass door.

5. That is no such thing as 'cheaper' other than 'convenience'. I have the same 12 ft long, 16 inch depth, right under the window. Mindful, top finishing be able to last water drops....

I always get rewarded in many ways which I did not expect - because i believe 'help others is to help myself' :notti:

Edited by bepgof

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For your Q1 - For the kitchen wall at the cabinet area, is it possible for me to do the tiling on only the exposed wall area between the upper and lower cabinets? >> If you want tiles for exposed wall, might be difficult to achieve cos the tiles might not fit exactly to measurement bet the top and bottom. It may look ugly. Usually the ID will say do tiles for whole wall first then do cabinet cos it's easier for them since the workers for tiles and cabinet are different.

Or is it a standard procedure to have to tile up the entire wall including the wall behind the upper and lower cabinets? >> Yes. The first ID i spoke to said so. But today i spoke to another ID, he said can do away if u want to save cost but savings may not be much. And he called it '偷工减料‘


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Thanks guys for the response. Looks like I have to tile all the way or risk having poor workmanship.

And looks like the cement base will be for the fridge and washing machine too (cost savings minimal if I leave out for them)

For the carousel, thanks for the suggestion. FYI, the carousel is here : http://www.ikea.com/sg/en/catalog/categories/departments/kitchen/20628/

Got another question..

6. For painting, what is the purpose of the sealant application and is it necessary to have it in the entire of just areas like the kitchen and toilet ceilings?


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Hi Icedcreams,

Just to share some info,

Q1. If you are re-tiling your kitchen, the difference in the exposed portion and doing the whole wall is not really a big difference, if cost is and outlook is really a major concern, would think it better to just cover up the portion between your top and bottom hung cabinets with glass or stainless steel. cost wise definitely cheaper den overlaying with tiles.

Q2. Fridge base is not really impt now as fridges comes in variety of sizes and most homeowners do not pour water over their entire kitchen floor for a wash. However, washing machine / dryer base will be important as they might be chances of overflow from the drainage pipe, and will allow easily cleaning, not to mention protecting your washer and dryer.

Q3. Most IDs do not really consider this point during the design phase, but some hardware shops do carry the corner unit, ranging from the mainstream brands like Excel to higher end brands like Blum or Hettich. You may consider buying and asking ur carpenter for installation.

Q4. No restrictions on door. For most applications, fire rated door is not required, with the exception of main doors and locations near fire escapes. For ease of mind, most laminates sold in Singapore in Class 1 fire retard grade, hence there is a limit to surface spread of flame (Class 0 being the fire rated grade). as for veneer and spray painted doors, best to double check with supplier again.

Q5. IMO, from ID point of view, it will be more time efficient to let the ID handle everything, as outsourcing may result in miscommunication between your contractor and ID, resulting in blaming game if deadline is overun. Cost wise, its more cost effective to replace the entire wardrobe den to refresh it, considering the fact that you intend to change doors, hinges, shelf. A good estimate is "refreshing" would probably cost 60% to 70% of doing a completely new wardrobe. Since you are doing a shelf extension, may want to consider asking for a bundle price. a casement wardrobe shld cost ard $180 to $200 pfr depending on compartments and materials.


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Thanks, CrimsonX. U sound like u really know ur stuff!

Anw did the final inspection and found that the owner did not tell us about a leak of the aircon fluid (or some kind of other fluid) in the master bedroom, which has caused the laminated flooring to be damaged.

And can see the laminate was re-"pasted" back but the work quality not very good and so some parts are coming out again. Now I have to contend with the cost of ripping out the laminate to revert to the original tiles. Extra unexpected cost. :deal:

SIanz. Feel like asking back for my COV man.


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No worries icedcreams,

I was in the ID industry for about 5 years before joining a supplier, and now back to ID again. Good to share some knowledge since this is a discussion forum.

Anyways, with regards to your air con problem, laminate flooring will have this issue of water damage, esp around bathroom entrances. No choice about the COV part ba, at least you noticed the issue now and it can be rectified during your reno phase. It will be alot more troublesome once you moved in.

A tip though, no harm trying to ask your ID or contractor if they are able to rectify the damaged area for you, if you have the spare planks, you will have a 50/50 chance. Talk to him nicely, chances are higher.


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