Manufacturing ceramic tile requires large amounts of energy because the tiles are fired twice. Installing ceramic tile can affect indoor air quality (IAQ). To protect air quality, install tiles with solvent-free mastic on a durable, rot-proof surface such as cement backer board. Also choose grout sealers free of formaldehyde and low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Ceramic tile is easy to clean, heatproof and available in a wide range of colors, textures and designs. It`s also durable and can contain recycled content such as glass, porcelain, salvaged ceramic scrap or feldspar tailings. Using ceramic tile does create an uneven counter surface, however. Individual tiles can easily chip or crack, and grout can stain. Costs vary widely based on the tile choice and difficulty of installation.
Recessed lights, on the other hand, should be evenly spaced but still cover the entire island. The good news is that figuring out ideal placement for lighting is a fairly simple process, as chandeliers, recessed lights and even pendants are easy to install and most lighting solutions come with good instructions. Some of the new design ideas include the use of pendants in lieu of a single fixture or even recessed lighting for kitchen islands as well as the dining table. Mini pendants are also popular and some of them have very retro accents that make them look as if they were pulled from a home that used gas lighting at the turn of the 20th century. Rustic styles are also popular, being purposely distressed or using leather accents. These can add real warmth to the kitchen and add the little details that really make the space look complete.
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