If you’ve come across remarkable examples of natural clay or stone tile and ever considered it for your home, you’re probably also wondering if it would work with the current style of your home, and which type of tile is right. In this article we’ll discuss three basic types of tile, but there are limitless choices when it comes to designing the perfect floor, patio, backsplash, or countertop.If you’ve come across remarkable examples of natural clay or stone tile and ever considered it for your home, you’re probably also wondering if it would work with the current style of your home, and which type of tile is right. In this article we’ll discuss three basic types of tile, but there are limitless choices when it comes to designing the perfect floor, patio, backsplash, or countertop.Read More
Apr 11, 2012 11:28:21 AM
Mar 19, 2012 12:39:10 PM
Saltillo tile is a handmade terra-cotta tile named for Saltillo, its place of origin in Coahuila, Mexico. It ranges in color from red to yellow and comes in many shapes. Saltillo can make a stunning addition to several styles of home décor. Saltillo tiles are relatively inexpensive, and their popularity north of the border has led to new manufacturing centers elsewhere in Mexico and even as far as Italy.Read More
Feb 9, 2012 9:54:42 AM
Tile is a beautiful, timeless material that is durable and easy to care for. It can enliven a kitchen, turn a bathroom into an oasis, or cool down a sun room. A tiled entry is both inviting and practical. The most common type of tile is ceramic, or fired clay, which can include talavera, decorative Majolica pottery from Mexico, and Saltillo, a terra cotta pottery that also originates in Mexico. Another popular tile material is travertine, which is a type of limestone. The array of colors and designs available is virtually endless, and it is fairly inexpensive compared to other flooring or countertop options. Wherever you use it, tile is a fantastic investment for your home.
So what's the best way to maintain that investment? Tile is much more forgiving than other surfaces, but it does require some basic upkeep.
Keep It Clean
You can keep your tile floor clean and shiny using a simple broom and wet mop once or twice a week. Wipe up any spills with an absorbent cloth. Counters need a wipe down with a damp sponge. Never use abrasive powders or scrubbers on your tile, and avoid any chlorine or ammonia cleaning solutions, as they will destroy that gleaming tiled surface. Consider using natural, environmentally friendly cleaners on your tile and elsewhere in your home—they are gentler on surfaces and better for the health of everyone living there and the world at large.
A tile floor, with proper care, can last more than 15 years. It is a very practical flooring choice, resistant to staining and water damage, but there are things you can do to keep it looking pristine. Area rugs and runners in high-traffic zones will help protect your floor from wear and tear. Furniture resting on a tile floor should have rubber tips on the feet to prevent scratching, and it's a good idea to elevate any heavy planters or vases.
All About Grout
Your floor or countertop has a layer of grout beneath it and all around each tile to form a waterproof layer. This is one of the great advantages of the material. Water cannot damage it, and it prevents moisture from getting under the tile and into your walls or subfloor where it can cause rot, mildew, or mold. To maintain this benefit, check the grout regularly for any cracks or shrinkage that might allow moisture in. If you do notice a few cracks, don't wait to fix them! Re-grouting is inexpensive and only takes a few hours of your time. And it can also save you thousands of dollars in repair work later on.
To Seal or Not To Seal
Stone tile such as travertine is naturally porous and needs to be sealed periodically to avoid staining and erosion. Check with your manufacturer or installer for details on whether and how often you need to do this. This is absolutely a do-it-yourself job; it only requires a bottle of sealant and a sponge. Ceramic tiles generally do not require sealing because the firing process seals the tile, but the cement grout around it needs to be sealed. (Have epoxy grout? No sealing is necessary.) Generally, new grout needs a few days to cure before sealing, and in most cases it will require resealing about once a year. It's a painstaking job to paint in all the lines, but the benefits of protecting your surfaces and what's underneath are well worth it. Backsplash tile or decorative borders on walls outside of bathrooms do not require annual sealing, but do remember to check that grout occasionally for damage.
Tile can create any mood in your home and can harmonize effortlessly with your current decor. If you have pets or small children or just a muddy lifestyle, a tile floor can give you peace of mind. A tile countertop or backsplash can easily change the look of your kitchen without a major remodel. From simple stone to pueblo-inspired folk art, basic geometry to elaborate mosaic, there is a tile design to fit every budget and imagination. Once your tile is installed, just follow these maintenance tips and you’ll enjoy it for years to come.
Jan 10, 2012 4:03:51 PM
The simple addition of a backsplash can completely transform and define a room. In the kitchen, the backsplash is often the focal point, and you, your friends, and your family will likely spend a lot of time in its presence. Some of today’s most eye-catching kitchens come complemented with a unique and stunning backsplash.Read More
Dec 16, 2011 2:15:48 PM
Over the past decade, homeowners have been incorporating more hard surface floors into their remodels and home improvement projects, opting for more natural, easy-to-maintain surfaces over previously popular carpet. Tile is the most commonly used material when it comes to hard-surface floors, often found in kitchens, bathrooms, mudrooms, and foyers. In higher-end homes, tile is used to surface walls, ceilings, showers, and countertops; it can also be incorporated decoratively into a home in a number of ways, such as in moldings, murals, accents, kitchen backsplashes, house numbers, and tub, shower and swimming pool mosaics.
There are a number of reasons to use tile in your next home improvement project:
1. Porcelain and ceramic tiles are the most durable choice for almost any surface. They are made from dense clays and fired at extremely high temperatures, making them heavy, long-lasting, and water resistant.
2. Tile is easy to clean and maintain. Regular, light cleanings are quick and easy and prevent heavier dirt from building up over time. They can be vacuumed or swept, and mopped with water without risk of damage, unlike many wood floors.
3. Tile is natural and toxin-free. Tile can be made from ceramic, porcelain, glass, or stone, and doesn’t need to be treated or cleaned with any harsh chemicals. Using tile to surface your floors and walls prevents you from using drywall, carpets, chemical paints, lacquers, glues, and sealers that are required to treat and install other wall and floor surface choices.
4. Tile is more economical. Because of its durability and ability to adapt to changing interior styles over time, tile will last far longer than any other floor or surface choice. Tile can be more expensive than other surface choices, but it lasts longer and adds more value to your home, making it the more economical choice in the long run. Also, if one tile happens to break, it can be seamlessly replaced, rather than having to replace an entire floor, for example.
5. Tile is aesthetically pleasing. Tile is beautiful and it transcends decades while other flooring choices such as carpet and vinyl do not. When it comes to tile there are so many choices and styles that you’ll find a way to incorporate it into every room in your home. Plus, tile is customizable, and can be used as an artistic expression of those that live in the home.
Using Tile in Kitchens and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are the most common rooms for tile. They are also the most frequently used rooms in the home, and the rooms most often remodeled or improved, because of their high use and the value they add to your house. Homes for sale with updated kitchens and bathrooms sell for a higher price and are on the market for less time than homes in which these rooms are outdated by ten years or more.
Tile in Kitchens: After the kitchen floor, tile is most often found on kitchen counter tops. It makes a beautiful and easy-to-clean counter surface and backsplash that doesn’t stain or receive wear and tear from standing water. Tiled backsplashes, walls, and floors often incorporate decorative Mexican tiles, hand-painted tiles, tile murals, and even children’s artwork.
Tile in the Bathroom: Like the kitchen, the floor is a great place to start if there’s no tile in your bathroom at all, but it can also be incorporated into sinks, vanities, mirrors, bathtubs, showers, walls, and ceilings. If you’re going to redo one room in your home entirely in tile, the bathroom is the place to do it. It’s easy to keep clean, always looks new and fresh, and can withstand the damage that steam and water cause to other floor, wall, and counter surfaces used in bathrooms.
Using Tile around the Home
Tile Floors: The possibilities for tile floors are endless, from classic checkerboard patterns and simple single-colored floors to elaborate designs, mosaics, and murals. You can get extremely artistic and creative or choose a more conservative or vintage design that will stand the test of time.
Tiled Foyer and Mudroom Floors: Tile is the top choice of floor surface for rooms in the home that receive the most traffic and dirt: the rooms adjacent to your home’s entrances. Tiling the floors in these rooms makes them more durable and much easier to clean, in addition to looking sharp. Foyer floors are an excellent choice to incorporate a tile mosaic or mural.
Tile in Sunrooms: Ceramic tile is a wonderful choice for your sunroom floor because it soaks up solar energy and warms your home though the night in winter and stays cool in summer. Its natural look is easy to match with indoor/outdoor furniture and looks beautiful with hand-painted tiles mixed in.
Tile Mosaics: Tile mosaics can be created in any room, but are ideal for kitchen backsplashes, bath tubs, shower walls and floors, and swimming pool walls, floors, and surrounding surfaces. They can also dress up specialty amenities in the home such as wet bars and saunas.
Tile Murals: Entire sections of walls and floors surfaced in tile can be hand-painted with murals in lieu of hanging artwork on a traditional wall or covering a hard surfaced floor with an area rug.
With tile, the possibilities are truly endless.