Can I Use Marble in a Steam Shower?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath

Steam showers are a popular way to relax at the end of the day. And with those dramatic glass doors framing the shower area, it’s common to want to install something dramatic and beautiful on the walls of the shower as well. And while there are a number of different materials that work well in steam showers from porcelain to glass, marble and other natural stones should be avoided in this area whenever possible.

Porous Stone

Marble is a natural, metamorphic stone made up primarily of calcite. The stone is porous, and can therefore absorb moisture if it comes in contact with it. Because steam is just hot water vapor, it can easily penetrate the many pores on your marble.

At best, this can cause a temporary darkening of the stone as it absorbs the water, then dries out again returning to normal. Unfortunately, however, your water may contain other minerals and substances that over time could build up in and stain your stone, discoloring it.

Some stones also contain minerals and elements that react poorly with moisture over time. Bianco Carrara, for example, a popular white and gray stone, contains iron. In a steam shower, your white marble may begin to rust over time. Green marble, another popular type of stone, contains the mineral serpentine, which causes the marble to spall or to flake when it gets wet, ruining the surface texture of the stone.

Sealing the Stone

Most natural stone used in a shower area should be sealed with a silicone-based impregnating sealer against the moisture. And while this would certainly help in a steam shower, there are still some issues:

  • The sealer does break down over time, sometimes unevenly so you could never be sure your stone was 100% protected
  • The sealer can be unevenly applied, leaving to small gaps in the stone
  • Moisture can penetrate the stone through the grout joints, which can lead to similar problems as if the stone were not sealed at all

So while marble is a beautiful addition to many bathrooms, avoid using it in a steam shower and use a non-porous material instead.

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Holidays

Today and every day we want to thank all the brave men and women who sacrifice so much; and risk their lives fighting for our safety and freedom! We will always remember and honor our veterans! 

Transitional Style Interior Design

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Many people are familiar with traditional and contemporary types of interior design. You may also be familiar with some of the sub-sets of both of these groups such as Country or Post Modern. One of the most frequently used – and yet seldom mentioned – types of design, however, isn’t any one of these. It’s transitional design, and as people learn more about various other design styles, transitional is the design theme that seems to take place the most often.

What Is Transitional Style Interior Design?

Transitional style is a blend of traditional and modern design styles. It combines several elements of both designs fluidly into one, cohesive design that doesn’t fit entirely into one or the other group.
A home with a transitional design style may mix things like contemporary furniture with lots of more traditional prints on draperies or throw pillows. Or you may have very formal or traditional furnishings, but your prints, artwork, flooring, wall colors, and textiles are all more contemporary in design.

Transitional design often sounds like it’s going to be a disaster, combining elements from extremely different eras and styles into one room, but this is one of the most frequently used designs for a reason; it works effortlessly in nearly every home.

Achieving Transitional Design

Transitional design is very easy to pull together. This is because you can be more relaxed with what you use. As long as you have some central element that pulls everything together, such as a color palette, you can use nearly anything you want within the room.

This is in direct contrast to purely contemporary or traditional design, which insists that you use only pieces, colors, and designs from within the movement you are working from. This can actually be fairly limiting, and can also be time consuming and expensive to achieve.

Unlike Country design, however, which is more of a mixture of different patterns and designs, transitional design can include a lot of modern elements without having them look out of place in the room, such as electronics and their display and storage.

So when you’re trying to put a name to the effortless design you’ve achieved in your own home, consider using transitional design to describe it.

Domestic vs Exotic Hardwood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood and Laminate

There are a lot of decisions to be made when selecting hardwood for your floor. Do you want a natural finish or a stain? What about solid or engineered construction? Are you going to purchase pre-finished floor boards or have your installer finish them after installation? Included in all of these choices and decisions is whether to use a domestic hardwood, or an exotic one. While the name “exotic” implies something very different, unusual, or foreign, in this case it merely refers to any hardwood not harvested in the US. You have a lot of different wood species to choose from regardless of which category you pick, but having some information about the two basic groupings can help you make your decision.

Domestic Hardwood

You’re probably the most familiar with domestic hardwoods. Red and white oak, maple, hickory, birch, beech, elm, pine, and cherry are all domestic hardwoods. They vary tremendously in color, grain pattern, and in hardness, but because they have been in use in the US for so many years, they often give an appearance of tradition to a home. For example, wide pine planks are often used in farmhouses, while maple is most often seen on basketball courts and dance studios.

Far and away the most popular domestic hardwood is red oak. It has a warm, creamy tone that ranges from pink to red with lots of gold mixed in. The grain is even and consistent, like most domestic hardwoods, excepting hickory, and it’s a fairly hard and durable wood.

Hickory is the hardest and most dramatic domestic wood, but even this is still fairly consistent in grain and color – in other words, you know what to expect from lot to lot.

Exotic Hardwood

Exotic hardwoods are often much harder and more durable than domestic. Brazilian cherry, for example, is much harder and richer in color than American cherry. Brazilian walnut is also much harder than American walnut.

Exotic hardwoods are also often very dramatic in their coloring and grain pattern. These hardwoods are meant to be noticed. They are often more costly than domestic woods, because of the cost of shipping, but this cost is often offset by the dramatic color and rich veining they posses.

If you want a traditional looking wood floor that will be the backdrop to the rest of your décor – opt for domestic. For those that want the floor to become the centerpiece of the room – exotic may be the way to go.

Is It Possible to Repair Laminate Flooring?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hardwood and Laminate

Is It Possible to Repair Laminate Flooring?

Laminate flooring can be an inexpensive and attractive alternative to real wood floors. If you like the look of real wood, but want something a little less expensive or easier to install, you may opt for laminate in your home. Unfortunately, laminate does have its drawbacks. If it isn’t installed properly with an expansion gap around the perimeter of the room, it could swell into humps and buckling on your floor. It also scratches fairly easily, and in some cases may gouge or the top layer may get removed. When these issues occur, it can ruin the look of the entire room, even if only a few boards are affected. Fortunately, there is a way to fix your floor. Unfortunately, because laminate cannot be sanded and refinished like wood can, the individual ruined boards cannot be fixed and will need to be replaced, regardless of where they are in the room.

Click Lock Installation

The vast majority of laminate floors sold and installed today have a click lock installation where the boards snap together on the sides in a tongue in groove method. So while your floor may look seamless when it’s down, it’s actually fairly easily to pull it back up again one board at a time.

To repair some broken or ruined boards, find the wall closest to them and remove the baseboard. Now just unlock the boards until you reach the damaged ones and remove them. Replace them with new boards and then replace the others you took up to get to them.

While this is time consuming, it does give you a way to fix your damaged floor.

Nailed or Glued Boards

If your boards are not click lock, you can still replace them. They just need to be cut out of the floor, usually with a circular saw. Once the damaged boards have been removed, just glue new boards into the floor to take their place. This method takes a little more precision than the click lock method, but in the end it can be a lot faster to fix your floor.

Customer Appreciation BBQ!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Events

Our New Distribution Center!

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate how much we appreciate all of our wonderful customers! We had a wonderful day with all of you! 

Customer Appreciation BBQ!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Events

Laticrete and Century Tile invites you to join us on Thursday, October 13th from 2:00 to 6:00 pm!

You will have a chance to win 2 FREE tickets to see the Bears play the Jaguars, October 16th at 12:00 noon.  You will also be able to take advantage of special pricing on select products; as well as material seminars and yummy free food!

While enjoying all of these things, you will be able to check out our new distribution center that is an amazing facility that we could not be more proud to share with you!

Please confirm your attendance by emailing us at RSVP@century-tile.com! We cannot wait to see all of you there!