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Understanding Pebble Tiles

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Product Education

The ultimate in Zen bathroom designs often make use of pebble tiles on the floors or walls. These tiles have a smooth surface that provide a massage to the feet as you walk on them. They also present a soothing and tranquil appearance that complements spa bathroom styles. Get to know these tiles as potential flooring for your bath.

Origins and Appearance

Pebble tiles can come from anywhere, but most come from Indonesia, where they are gathered from beaches. The stones may vary in size, and most people find that the larger stones make better floor installations due to the way they feel underfoot.

The pebbles are usually sorted by color, with colors ranging from bright white to black, with many shades of gray, green, and tan available as well. Most pebbles come on mesh sheets of 12 or 16 inches with borders in 3, 4, and 6 inch widths as well.

Installation

The sheets of pebbles are usually meant to interlock with one another like puzzle pieces. This creates the most seamless installation; when installed properly, you should not be able to see the outline of the various sheets.

The pebbles are installed like any stone mosaic in a bed of white latex-additive thinset mortar that has had the ridges smoothed out. The sheets are beaten into the bed for a uniform installation.

The difference in the installation of the pebbles versus other mosaics is in the grouting. The pebbles require usually twice as much grout as other mosaics because the grout needs to settle slightly below the pebbles, as well as around them. The finished installation should have the grout extending to just below the curve of the pebbles to allow them to be felt underfoot.

Care

Like most natural stone, the pebbles to need to be sealed to protect them from staining. If desired, a color enhancing sealer can also be used to deepen their color. Otherwise, the colors will deepen in color when wet, and lighten again when dry.

Consider using pebble tiles on your bathroom floor or walls. Whether you use them everywhere or sparingly, the effect is always striking.

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Types of Floor Transitions

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

When two rooms abut one another, it’s common to use different flooring materials in each one, such as a hallway or bedroom or a living room and bathroom. When this occurs, there needs to be a transition between the two different floors. This can help even out differences in height between the two, or merely make a nice looking shift from one type of flooring to the next. There are several different types of thresholds you can use for transitions depending on the area, doorway size, and flooring choices. One of these may suit your purposes.

Marble Thresholds

Marble thresholds make great transitions from bathrooms and other small rooms with tile floors out into the main area of your home. They come in many colors, and are usually between 4 and 6 inches wide. They have a very soft edge that creates a subtle transition between the two floors.

Wood Thresholds

If one of the two floors is made of wood, you can use a matching threshold made of the same wood for a smooth transition between the two rooms. Wood thresholds come in a variety of different widths and lengths, so you can use this in nearly any size doorway.

Tile Transition

If one or both of the rooms has a tiled floor, consider developing a tile transition. This is done by the installer who cuts down one of the floor tiles to fit the space. The edges may need to be bullnosed on site if one of the floors is higher than the other for a nicer shift.

Metal Transition Strip

Metal transition strips are an excellent choice for carpets, tile, wood floors, and for very modern homes. These thin transition strips are designed to protect the edges of the two floors from rubbing against one another, so the effect is subtle. The metal strips come in several different widths as well as different metal finishes and powder coats so you can make them as decorative or unobtrusive as you like.

Thresholds are important to make the transition from one floor to the next as simple and clean as possible. To get the best results, it pays to give the same level of attention to your thresholds as you do to your other flooring choices. 

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Should I Choose a Vessel Sink for my Bathroom?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

With all of the different types of bathroom sinks available in today’s market, how do you choose the right ones for your home? Choices range from different materials to shapes, sizes and even installation style. Vessel sinks provide a dramatic and attractive choice for a bathroom, particularly when the homeowner wants to make a statement. Before you make that choice, however, consider some of the factors you will be dealing with; they aren’t for everyone.

What Is a Vessel Sink?

Vessel sinks are defined as any sink that sits above counter level. The vessel may be partially recessed, or partly below the counter, or the sink bowl may sit directly on top of the counter. These sinks come in an amazing selection of materials including glass, stone, porcelain, and metal as well as in a variety of different shapes and sizes to complement almost any bathroom style.

Height

The uncommon height of a vessel sink usually means that you need to reach higher to use it. So you either purchase a lower, shorter vanity, or deal with a potentially difficult-to-use sink. Your faucet will also need to clear the rim of the sink, so be sure to take the height of the vessel into consideration with the rest of the installation to be sure you’ll be comfortable with it. Frequently faucets used with vessel sinks need to be wall-mounted.

Overflow

Depending on the state you live in, sinks are generslly required to have an overflow valve to pass the building code. Some vessels have overflows, but often metal, stone, and glass vessels do not. If your state has an overflow law, you will be required to install a grid drain with the sink to prevent it from flooding in the case of a faucet leak. This means it can be difficult to stop up the sink if desired. If your state does not have an overflow law, you may be able to install a lift and turn drain that will allow you to fill the sink as desired.

Splash

Depending on the shape of the bottom of the sink and the height of the faucet, some vessels have quite a splash when the water hits the bottom. You may want to play around with pouring water from different heights into your sink before you settle on a faucet and sink shape to avoid a drenching each time you use it.

Cleaning

Vessel sinks have two sides to clean because both the top and bottom are visible. Make sure your sink is installed to make it easy to capture dirt and dust where the sink bottom meets the vanity.

Vessel sinks have a beauty and drama that add style and a unique appeal to a bathroom, but be sure to factor in these practical considerations when making your final decision, so you will be as happy with your sink’s function as you are with its look.

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Color Guide: How to decorate with purple – Berry Ice Cream Inspiration

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Purple is a fantastic color for decorating the home. It offers a vast range of color saturation – from mild and mellow to bold and bodacious. It can be used to lull a guest into serenity, or to start the weekend party. With so many options, how do you choose the purple that’s best for you?

One excellent method is to create an analogous color scheme. Analogous color schemes rely on colors that are directly next to each other on the color wheel. They work exceptionally well with purple! To learn how to coordinate three colors that are analogous, we will take inspiration from a daintily arranged berry-based dessert that includes raspberry, violet and blueberry.

It is easy to create harmony with these colors by placing the primary emphasis on the violet (in the photo this is the ice cream.) Violet is positioned between the other two hues on the color wheel. Although it’s fun to call those two colors “raspberry” and “blueberry,” they are in fact consider a red-violet and blue-violet. Thus, these colors easily transition from one to the other in a room.The violet is the pop color that catches attention, the red-violet adds drama and richness, and the blue-violet grounds the other two, and deepens the palette with a bit of sophistication.

Analogous color schemes work wonders in rooms where you want the vibe to feel continual and uninterrupted. With all three colors blending together so nicely, there is a sense of wholeness and oneness that makes the room comfortable.  Don’t be afraid to richen it even more by adding accessories that fall within the three main colors.

If you find a throw pillow that you love, and the color is somewhere between the red-violet and violet, go for it! As long as you stay within each side of the color scheme, you can feel confident in your decorating choices.  So, where will you start? By telling us your favorite hue of purple of course!

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Where Do I Find Inspiration for My Home Color Palette?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating

Every home has a color palette or a color story. This is the mix of colors that flows through the home, leading you from room to room. Ideally, a good palette should be cohesive and blend well so that each room, while different, feels like it is part of the same homet. If you’re starting from scratch and wondering how to come up with a color palette for your home, you have several different ways to go about finding one.

Historical Palettes

Depending on what type of home you have, it may have a built in color palette that you just aren’t aware of yet. Victorian, Craftsman, or Colonial, every home style comes with a set of colors that the original architects and designers envisioned would work in these spaces. For example Victorian homes have what is known as a “somber” palette; all the colors were mixed with a little black to tone them down. Craftsman homes, on the other hand, took their inspiration from nature, using colors found just outside the home such as pine green or sky blue.

If you research your home’s style, you may find some palettes that can provide you with inspiration for what will work on your walls.

Interior Design Palette

If you have a specific interior design style that you are working toward, you may find that you have a built in palette for that as well. For example, if you enjoy Country style you’ll find plenty of reds, white, blue, and yellow to work with, while Tuscan style pulls colors from the hills of Tuscany – lots of terracotta, pumpkin, sage green, and sky blue. Choosing a style to decorate your home with provides you with a rich choice of color inspiration, and helps pull everything together so it flows.

Use a Piece of Art or Home Décor

If you’re truly stuck for inspiration, try taking a look at some artwork, fabric or a colorful rug you already have in your home. Look at the colors incorporated in the piece, and use them as a jumping off point for the décor around you. As long as the colors flow together well, the design will follow.

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What Kind of Tile Can I Use on My Shower Floor?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

Shower floors have some special needs. They get wet on a regular basis, which can make them slippery and which may potentially affect some types of soft stone. They also have a special shape which affects the type of flooring you use. When you choose the material for your bathroom floor, be sure to give equal consideration to what goes into the shower.

The biggest consideration you need to make when it comes to your shower floor tile is the size. Your shower floor slopes toward the drain, which means that the tile needs to slope with it. Larger tiles, like those that you may use on the rest of the bathroom floor can crack over time since they can’t conform to the slope.

Therefore, mosaic tiles of 2-inches or smaller are generally necessary for shower floor use. Some installers can make 4-inch tiles slope well, but unless you have seen examples of this, and heard from the homeowners about how it’s holding up a few years later, it’s best to play it safe and use a smaller tile.

Mosaics have another benefit on your shower floor as well. The many grout lines that accompany the tiles help to give the floor some grip, which renders it non-slip, no matter what type of material you choose to use.

Therefore, the only materials you truly need to avoid are things like hand-cut glass, which can cut bare feet, or some very soft limestones that can disintegrate in water. In fact, many people simply choose to use a floor tile that comes in multiple sizes, using the larger size on the bathroom floor itself and the smaller tile in the shower for a sense of continuity in the room. And if you use mosaics on the bathroom floor, consider running them straight into the shower without a curb and make an open shower plan instead. Both of these methods work well in smaller bathrooms because they help to make the floor plan seem larger than it actually is.

When it comes to your shower floor, put the size of the tile first in your considerations, and then look at material and style to get the best fit for the room.

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What’s the Difference between a Marble and a Quartzite?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Natural Stone

If you’ve gone shopping for marble either for your floor or for your countertop, you may have come across some marbles that are secondarily labeled as “quartzites”. This can be a little confusing – after all, marble is a calcium-based stone. If the stone you’ve been considering for your home has the word “quartzite” in its description, you’re in luck; quartzites are much harder, more durable, and far less likely to stain than true marble.

Pick up a piece of Blue Celeste or Thasos White. You’ll immediately notice that these two stones seem to sparkle with a grain, rather than having a smooth, veined surface like most marbles. That’s because these two stones are quartzites, which gives them slightly different properties than other stones.

Like marble, quartzite is a metamorphic stone. While marble is made up of calcite, however, quartzites are made of quartz that has undergone a metamorphic transformation. This leaves the stones smooth and glossy like marble, but with the hardness and durability of quartz.

Both marble and quartzite can occur in a variety of different colors, although both are considered purest when white. You can generally tell the difference when examining the stones by looking at the stone under light; quartzites tend to sparkle and appear to be made of compressed sugar, while marbles are visually smoother and contain more veins.

The biggest difference between the two stones comes in terms of durability. Quartzites are less likely to stain and etch or to have surface damage upon contact with acidic materials such as lemon juice. If you were to place a piece of pure white Thasos next to a piece of Calacatta and place a drop of water and a drop of lemon juice on each one, the Thasos would be less likely to darken from the water or dull from the lemon than the Calacatta. This makes quartzites an ideal choice for countertops and high traffic/high use areas such as foyers and bathrooms.

Every stone is slightly different depending on the different minerals that it possesses and the variations in its composition. If you come across some quartzite in your hunt for marble, don’t feel that you’re getting a lesser product; most quartzites are just as beautiful and much more durable than marble, making them a coveted choice for many installations.

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Can I Use Glass Tiles On The Floor?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

Glass tiles have a brilliant shine and depth that is lacking in other types of tile. Whether they are mosaics or oversized large-format tiles, they make a statement wherever they are placed. This often leads some homeowners to wonder if they can use these statement tiles on the floor. After all, what better way to make a statement than with a pop of color and shine beneath your feet?

Not all glass tiles are created equally, which is the first thing to consider when determining their use. Some will scratch very easily, so while they may hold up to the pressure of being underfoot, they will quickly lose their shine. Others are not meant to withstand pressure; a high heel put down firmly may crack the tile and ruin the floor.

That said, there are several types of glass tiles that can be used safely in a floor setting. Iridescent mosaics make an excellent floor tile in bathrooms and other low-traffic areas, for example. Some types of hand poured glass can also be used on floors, provided that care is taken with tiles that have sharp, cut edges.

Color-backed tiles, meaning that the color is painted onto the back of the tile, tend to do the worst in a floor setting. These tiles are usually rated for wall use only, and if you do place them on the floor it should be as an accent or border only.

Some newer glass tiles are being combined with resins into large format tiles perfect for use on the floor. These tiles do not look like traditional glass tiles, however, and more resemble quartz or glass countertops. These are usually a green building material, however, and therefore are a good choice for homeowners wanting an eco-friendly floor tile that has some sparkle and interest to it.

If you’re wondering if the glass tile you’ve picked out could be used on the floor, be sure to ask us at Century Tile. We are happy to help with questions about tile, if it is floor rated, and if so where the most appropriate placement for the tile. Feel free to ask!

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At What Point In The Kitchen Design Do I Pick Out The Backsplash?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath

Many homeowners in the process of designing a new kitchen wonder when they should tackle the backsplash. After all, the backsplash is one of the most purely decorative elements in the kitchen, and often the most personal as well. If you find yourself half way done with your new kitchen design and find that you still haven’t picked out the backsplash, don’t worry; this is one area of the kitchen that can wait.

Backsplashes were once considered a functional part of your kitchen designed to keep the walls in good condition by protecting them from splashes and splatters. With the advances in washable paints, however, as well as newer cleaning supplies and wall building technologies, backsplashes no longer need to be functional. Instead, they have become purely decorative.

Think about it for a minute: You couldn’t use your new kitchen without cabinets, counters, flooring, or appliances, right? But you can use it without the backsplash, so if you want to take your time in this one area, it will not affect the kitchen’s use.

In fact, in many cases, the best thing to do is wait. Unless you know exactly what backsplash you plan to install and it’s merely a question of finding the right tile, sometimes waiting lets you live with the kitchen and your choices for a little while. You get to see what it is the kitchen is lacking, such as color, whimsy, light, or movement. For example, a kitchen that turns out too dark would benefit from a glass backsplash that could reflect light, while a kitchen that is a little too neutral would benefit from a pop of color.

Therefore, wait until you have all the other components of the kitchen picked out first before choosing the backsplash. This way you can ensure that the colors and style of the backsplash matches your other choices. You can also wait until the kitchen is installed to pick it out so you can see if there is an element lacking that the backsplash could provide. It isn’t uncommon for new kitchens to go without a backsplash for as long as a year as the homeowners make up their minds. Take your time and don’t rush; the backsplash could end up being the keystone that pulls the whole design together.

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Backsplashes in Contemporary Kitchens

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile

The backsplash has evolved over time to become one of the most decorative elements in a kitchen design. Nearly any style of kitchen can make use of the different colors and patterns that can be displayed here, but one of the kitchen styles that can benefit most is the contemporary kitchen. With their stark lines and clean contours, contemporary kitchens often run the risk of feeling impersonal. Used correctly the backsplash area can help overcome this fault, injecting the kitchen with personality.

Keeping a Cohesive Design

Use tiles in a contemporary kitchen in a way that will both liven up the space and stay in keeping with the rest of the décor. The key is in the choosing of the materials and the way that they are laid out.

Bold Statement

One way is to use tiles to create a bold statement on the backsplash. If your kitchen is a little too stark or plain in color and design, a really bold backsplash can make the entire room pop; try one of these designs to enhance the space:

  • Use a bold color like red combined with a unique pattern such as falling water which is made up of several small pieces of tile designed to look like rain
  • Use a tile that has a unique feature such as glass rods installed to look like bamboo or tiles with an iridescent finish to them

Focal Point

If your kitchen doesn’t have a focal point or a resting place for the eye, it can make you feel as if you aren’t anchored in the room. Try using the backsplash to give the space a focal point using one of these ideas:

  • Use glass mosaics to create a modern mural behind your cooktop pulling from colors within the room as your palette and using a well known work of art as your inspiration
  • Use plain, oversized tiles on the majority of the backsplash, then use something very different behind the cooktop such as river rocks or handmade glass tiles in a bold color

Inject Some Fun

The backsplash is one way to inject your personality or interests into your design. Have some fun with it in your contemporary kitchen to make the entire room come alive.