Our years of experience as residential interior designers have allowed us to experiment in all kinds of imaginable scenarios. After all, we are designers and when designing, you are innovating and when innovating, there is always a chance that something goes wrong. With these design challenges, come opportunities to grow and great lessons to learn. Of course we’re always happy to share them with you so that you can learn from our mistakes and become even better DKORistas!
One of the most important decisions an interior designer makes is the selection of materials and finishes to create the interior and exterior of a home. When selecting outdoor materials for residential design projects, it’s crucial to make sure that the outdoor materials proposed meet not only look good but can hold up the test of time. We’re a South Florida based interior design firm and a lot of our local work does not fall under the typical “outdoor material warranty”. We have actually a subtropical climate, which means its HOT, HUMID and if you’re close enough to the beach, SALTY. This means our options are limited… really limited.
Recently, our interior design team faced a complex situation while working on the outdoor barbecue area of one of our residential projects in Florida. We were looking for a white counter top material and Porcelanosa offered us their new KRION® Porcelanosa Solid Surface countertop. It comes in beautiful colors and is meant for use outdoor in direct sun exposed areas. We should mention that Quartz is not for outdoor use, especially in their white options.
The problem began when the countertop began to crack after only a few months of being installed. Our first reaction was to search for an effective solutions for our clients. After speaking with the installer, collectively we decided to replace the countertop and install it once again.
Right when we thought everything was fine, only a few weeks later the counter top began to crack again! NOW WHAT?
At this point we felt we had no other choice than to go directly to Porcelanosa. Porcelanosa’s customer service team was really helpful. They came out to the site to help us evaluate what was happening and it was actually very simple.
The Porcelanosa team agreed it was an installation problem. The BBQ grill was sitting directly on top of the KRION® without the proper structural support and the weight of the barbecue grill was causing the cracking. The installer should have created the template and cut the material around the grill from the beginning.
As a solution for this problem, the installer cut the existing KRION® countertop material to make room for a new raised concrete block that will support the barbecue grill in order to not have the barbeque grill sitting directly to the countertop.
It was a tough lesson to learn. As interior designers we might not be specifically responsible for the installation of products, but when we know better, we do better.
Ask a lot of questions! Be sure your installer is a qualified specialist who has the experience and necessary know-how. They know the product, its performance and limitations. They will always guide you and help you to ensure you are using the product in a correct way.
Not only outdoor materials but outdoor appliances should be carefully selected in order to avoid big expensive problems in the future. We recommend you to review the area to have a clear idea of the space conditions and limitations before doing any selection. Be aware of the different weather conditions the space is exposed to and be sure to have a qualified installer by your side. It’s definitely worth it.
Come back soon to our DKOR Living Blog for helpful tips and crucial considerations when selecting outdoor appliances.
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