New products are creating new-look kitchens throughout Brevard

It doesn’t take Beth Shaffer, sales manager of Buffkin Tile & Carpet in Merritt Island and Melbourne, long to consider what is hot among those who are remodeling, or adding decorative touches to, their homes this new year.

“The biggest thing right now is backsplashes. So many people come in wanting to re-do their backsplashes, and with good reason, because there are so many new and different products out there,” she says. “Glass (tile) is huge and so are natural stone and tumbled marble. Different shapes and sizes (of tiles) are available too, so that opens it up for so many different looks.”

Those looks aren’t likely to be too radical, new decade though it may be. more traditional styles continue to reign on the Space Coast, but Shaffer says mixing certain products, like glass and stone, can give a kitchen a completely unique look that retains that warm, traditional feel.

As for flooring, wood is the word.

“It used to be that you could not use as many woods in Florida because they would not withstand conditions here,” Shaffer says. “But with the new engineered woods and finishes, you can use them in Florida homes and they’re relatively affordable.”

Regardless of the job, the specialists at Buffkin Tile & Carpet in Merritt Island and Melbourne say, “Ask for help.”

“We’ll tell people with what they need to do, what materials they’ll need, if they’re going to have to do anything special. We’re very do-it-yourself friendly and we work with contractors too. Everybody can use a little advice when it comes to jobs like thus,” Shaffer says.

The latest and greatest:

— Dark, hand-scraped woods.

— Patterned carpets, because they add beauty and hide traffic marks;

— Borders on walls and floors, whether made of glass, stone, tile, ceramic or carved resin;

— Marble-like travertine floors;

— Bath and shower walls of natural stone with matte finishes because they don’t show soap scum.