South Africans love renovating their kitchens to suit their family’s needs

TILE AFRICA INFOGRAPHIC HOME RENOVATIONS v1c-01A recent online survey commissioned by Tile Africa revealed that South Africans consider the kitchen to be the most important room in the home to renovate. The study also revealed that tiles are still regarded as the most affordable floor material and the easiest to clean.

The importance of the kitchen as a key room in the home is confirmed by the fact that 62% stated that the kitchen is the most important room in the home that they’ll consider renovating when they’re house hunting and when it doesn’t match their needs. 40% of respondents also said that they’ll renovate their kitchens first before any other room in the house while 26% will renovate their bathroom first to ensure that it meets their personal preferences.

According to the survey results kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms are rooms’ home owners don’t mind renovating when moving into a new house.

“We may fall in love with the house, but not necessarily the look or functionality of the kitchen and it seems as if South African’s don’t mind redoing this room to their liking,” says Debra Retief, Marketing Manager at Tile Africa.

Kitchens are really the heart of the home as this is where families and guests congregate and as such this room needs to be warm and welcoming. The modern kitchen is functional yet attractive and offers multiple work surfaces, plenty of storage space, seating around a breakfast nook or centre island and contemporary finishes.

“Families’ needs vary, some may prefer ample cupboards while others favour clean lines and some are after a separate scullery. Careful planning needs to go into renovating this room as you want your investment to last and simultaneously increase the value of your property,” she says.

69% of participants own a property and 8% own more than one property. Interestingly, 35% spent less than R5 000 to recently renovate their homes while 25% spent between R5000 and R10 000 and only 5% spent more than R70 000 on their most recent home renovation.

Linking to this trend of cost-effective renovations is the fact that thirty-five percent said they did not use a contractor, which may indicate that home owners are doing the renovation themselves.

“Do-it-yourself renovations are common as home owners are still feeling the economic pinch and prefer tackling the job themselves. For bigger renovations involving plumbing and electrical work we recommend using reputable contractors who are able to offer expert guidance to ensure that the project is a success,” says Retief.

In terms of floor finishes, tiles were perceived to be the most affordable floor material (61%) followed by laminate flooring (20%). Tiles and solid wood flooring were considered the most beautiful (38% each) trailed by laminates (20%). In terms of maintenance, tiles are still tops with 76% of those surveyed agreeing that they’re the easiest floor material to clean.

“Thanks to inkjet technology tiles home owners can now have the beautiful finish of wood and the cost-effectiveness and low-maintenance of tiles all wrapped into one product,” she says.

South African home owners firmly believe that a renovation increases the value of their property with an overwhelming 86% of those surveyed confirming this statement. Eighty percent of respondents haven’t renovated their homes to increase their value before selling them, confirming that this isn’t an accepted choice.

It seems that good recommendations by friends and family are the preferred way to find contractors and is equally popular when conducting research into the project and when searching for stockists. 52% said they went with recommendations from friends and family to source a contractor,  36% to research the renovation and 23% to search for products.

The majority of respondents prefer using the internet to research the project (40%) and to search for retailers and stockists (59%). Interestingly, social media and magazines were not popular resources to research the project, although apps and social media platforms are well-liked to search for home decoration ideas (74%). According to the survey results visiting stores in person to compare products beats browsing the internet, but with more retailers switching to e-commerce sites this may change in future. Researching a renovation project can take approximately one month (31%).

“Substantial renovations are fine if you intend living in the home for a fair amount of time, but if you’re not, rather consider smaller economical updates here and there,” she says.

A good guideline amount to collectively invest in the kitchen and bathroom is approximately 5 to 10% of the value of the property. For example, if your property is worth R1-million, you should invest up to R100 000 on these rooms to keep them as up to date and attractive as possible.

“Remember to create a contingency budget for unexpected problems that can crop up,” she says.

For more information contact Tile Africa on 0800 002 783 or visit

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