Grout lines and tile layouts

Grout lines and tile layouts

While grouting is not always discussed in great depth at the design consultancy stage, it is frequently a point of contention when the tiling work is finished. Most tile retailers will confirm that ‘misaligned grout lines’ is their number one consumer complaint.

We’ve create a Technical Bulletin to help you keep on top of your tiling layouts and avoid disputes down the track. The Bulletin answers questions like:

  • What is grout and why is necessary?
  • Why do joint widths (grout lines) matter?
  • What are the ‘rules’ around joint widths (Australian Standards)?

This Bulletin will be a great resource to add to your library. Complete the form below and we’ll verify your Membership and get a copy to you ASAP. Alternatively, use the link we sent you a little while back (emailed to Members last month) and you’ll get access to all of our 2019 Bulletins in your own time.

Request for Technical Bulletin

Documenting the details: ‘three C tips’ for exceptional documentation

Documenting the details: ‘three C tips’ for exceptional documentation

Design Rule #1: a well-thought-out design won’t become a reality if it’s not documented clearly.

Clear, concise and consistent technical drawings allow you to communicate your design intent, and ensure your ideas aren’t left open to vague interpretation by others. Here are our ‘three C tips’ for exceptional documentation.

C#1 Clarity

Technical drawing is first and foremost a communication tool – think of it as a language that everyone should be able to understand. By delivering clear and consistent plans, your designs will be better understood, and you won’t need to explain your intentions repeatedly. To keep your drawing set crystal clear:

  • ‘Plan your plans’ in advance: map out your floor plan, elevations, mechanical/structural plans, sections and 3D renderings, and use clearly set out call-outs (symbols) and references to lead the reader fluently from one drawing to another.
  • Plan each individual drawing before getting into the detail; ensure the layout is logical and clear – don’t be afraid of white space.
  • Consider how your plans will be read: will the reader be printing them out (A4? A3? A0?) or view them on an on-site iPad or in-house big screen monitor? Can your drawings be easily deciphered when reduced or enlarged?

C#2 Conciseness

Many designers think their intentions will be made more apparent with copious notes, but this is not always the case. Consider the following when aiming for concise documentation:

  • Be consistent with layouts, linework, dimensioning, abbreviations and symbols (using Australian Standards – see below – and your own quality control checklist). Avoid long blocks of text, and embrace white space!
  • Include a legend to decipher the meaning of abbreviations and symbols.
  • Back up your plan set with a comprehensive specification (in table format) and a visual finishes locater (rendered 3D plan or marked up elevations, for example) and you’ll ensure everyone is on the same page.

C#3 Consistency

If you’re looking for consistency and clarity in your technical drawings, Australian Standards are a useful reference. Using AS 1100.101-1992 (R2014) Technical Drawing General Principles as a starting point for your own in-house quality control checklist will make sure you’re on the right track.

  • AS 1100 sets out the basic principles of technical drawing, including:
  • common abbreviations
  • sizes and layout of drawing sheets
  • types and thicknesses of lines to be used (with examples of application)
  • recommendations for uniform letters, numerals and symbols
  • recommended scales and their applications
  • methods of projection and indication of various views (elevations etc.)
  • means of indicating sections, and conventions used in sectioning details
  • recommendations for dimensioning including size and geometry tolerances
  • protocols used for the representation of components

AS 1100.301-2008 Technical Drawing Architectural Drawing is another useful Standard. It covers methods of presenting architectural drawings before, during and after the construction period. The Standard includes information on additional abbreviations, drawing sheet layouts, line conventions and protocols for cross-referencing drawings, coordinates and grids.

You’ll find copies of the above Standards in your local library. If you feel the full volume would be a good addition to your library, visit for information on purchasing your own. And of course, as a KBDi Member, you can always reach out to us for specific areas of advice.

By following our three Cs, your design details will be a dream for the people turning your big ideas into reality.

Lincoln Sentry brings Italian style and ergonomics to the laundry

Lincoln Sentry brings Italian style and ergonomics to the laundry

A message from our Diamond Sponsor, Lincoln Sentry

Forget the laundry as being a place of mundane cleaning duties; with Gollinucci’s Italian-made hampers you will be finding excuses to spend time in the Laundry.

Exclusive to Lincoln Sentry, Gollinucci’s latest laundry solutions take all the effort out of the laundry by being ergonomically designed and easy to use.

Extending Gollinucci’s 560 Waste Management System, the 560 Laundry System functions using Blum TANDEMBOX antaro and TANDEMBOX intivo drawer systems delivering the ultimate European experience.

Find out more about the Gollinucci, telephone 1300 551 919 (6:30am – 6:30pm AEST) or e-mail

Share your #LincolnSentry, #ExcitingSpaces with @LincolnSentry and follow us to see what’s new.

Designing for the elderly and people with disabilities

Designing for the elderly and people with disabilities

The needs of Australians are diverse and will continue to change in the future as our demographics evolve; one of the most significant changes we’re anticipating in the first half of this century is the increase in older people and people with one or multiple disabilities living in private homes.  To cope with this demographic change, and respond to the needs of those with a physical limitation, restriction or impairment, housing design needs to adapt.

The Australian Government has been building ‘accessible’ homes to facilitate the needs of those with a disability in the social housing sector for some time.  At a federal level, they’ve also recognised the need to accommodate existing private home modifications with their National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This funded safety net has been established to provide a nationally consistent commitment to supporting people with disabilities in their everyday life, allowing greater independence and improved participation in learning and employment.  

Designers who recognise and understand the needs of people with a disability, multiple disabilities or chronic illness, people recovering from illness or injury, and an ageing demographic generally, will be in demand. In this month’s Technical Bulletin, we’ll introduce the concept of universal design, and set out the fundamentals of accessible and adaptable design, specifically in the areas of kitchens, bathrooms and laundries.

Complete the form below to request your copy:

Request for Technical Bulletin

Request for Technical Bulletin

Euro laundries in Australian kitchens

Euro laundries in Australian kitchens

With the tiny home movement slowly growing in Australia, designers are being challenged to make the most of small spaces. An obvious place to start is with the functionality of the kitchen, and the potential for this home hub to be much more than the ‘cooking quarters’.

Our European cousins have been combining their kitchen and laundry spaces for decades, and the concept of a ‘Euro laundry’ is growing in popularity in the USA, too. In Australia, however, installing a washing machine in a new kitchen renovation can prove a little more complicated.

To meet the requirements of the National Construction Code (NCC), you’ll need to consider a number of items before suggesting this option to your space-saving clients. You’ll need to consider where you’ll allocate a stand-alone washtub in your combined-kitchen space, and how you’ll handle water-proofing in this classified ‘wet area’.

KBDi’s Education Partner, Designer Training Australia, has condensed these requirements into a two-page technical bulletin. This is an excellent resource available exclusively for KBDi Members. If you haven’t accessed your copy yet, email us today and we’ll shoot it through.

Washing machines – build ’em up, build ’em up (or not?)

Washing machines – build ’em up, build ’em up (or not?)

While it makes ergonomic sense to elevate a front loading washing machine, you could create all kinds of alternative pain down the track if you don’t follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Fisher & Paykel ‘Installation Instructions User Guide’ for their WH series range of Front Loading Clothes Washers states ‘this machine must not be installed and operated on a plinth’.

Miele’s installation instructions are clear, too: ‘Plinth installations should only proceed on concrete or cemented bricked plinths. The unit/s must be secured against slippage via retaining clips. Freestanding Besser blocks or bricks are not an acceptable form of plinth, and Miele will not install upon them. Further installations of washer/dryer stacked on a plinth a prohibited.’

A fully loaded washing machine can be a hefty weight, and a full spin cycle will typically create a significant amount of vibration and movement. The structural integrity of the surface a machine is mounted on can make a big difference between a safe performance and an epic fail. If the latter occurs and your client’s machine comes off second best, you can bet your bottom dollar the manufacturer won’t come to the party.

How often do you check and double check the installation specifications of the appliances you specify? Did you know that your non-compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions could lead to a void in product warranty for your client?

We’ve fielded a number of complaints from consumers and queries from Members about this particular topic this year. In the spirit of ‘following rules’ (and learning from mistakes), we’d welcome your feedback on any similar issues that have risen for you or your clients in the past.