Reader Question: Laundry

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Reader Question

18892590_SMy laundry smells less than fresh. Why?

Smells in your washer and dryer can be transferred onto the clothes that you are washing. You can get rid of those odors and keep your laundry smelling clean and fresh by following these tips:

Use hot water – hot water kills those odor causing bacteria. While you may be washing most of your clothes in cold water to save money, you should wash at least 2 loads a month in a hot cycle.

Don’t use fabric softener in the washing machine – although fabric softener will make your clothes smell good in the short run, over time it can build up in your machine. The residue from fabric softener is a breeding ground for mildew.

Let your washing machine air dry – if you are not going to use your washing machine for a day or two, keep the door open. Even though your machine might be empty of wet clothes, there is still a significant chance that there is water under the basin. By keeping the door open you let the basin air dry and stay free of musty and mildew odors.

Clean your washer – that’s right, you have to clean it. Once a month run an empty machine on a hot cycle using two cups of vinegar. This will kill any bacteria that have been developing.

Clean the lint trap on your dryer – after every load remove lint from the lint trap. Once a month clean the lint trap in hot, soapy water. Use the hose on your vacuum to clean any lint that may remain in the dryer. Excess lint can become damp and cause yucky smells.

Wipe down the inside of your dryer – mix one cup of bleach with a gallon of hot water. Using a clean cloth, gently wipe down the inside of your dryer.

Use vinegar – dampen a few towels with vinegar and run them in the dryer. This will eliminate any nasty odors that are starting to develop.

Reader Question: Vinyl Maintenance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Reader Question, Uncategorized, Vinyl

Reader Question: “I just hosted my family’s Thanksgiving dinner and my vinyl floor is a mess from all of the spills and traffic.  What cleaning answers do you have?”

Answer: First off, make sure you take a look at the manufacturer’s cleaning suggestions in your manual.

You can sweep or use a vacuum to get all of the excess dirt up from the floor, but be sure to use one without a beater bar; the beater bar may scratch the floor.  To deep clean the floor, mop it with clean warm water, rinse it thoroughly with fresh water.  Again, if you need to use a cleaning solution, please refer to the products recommended by the manufacturer.

If you cannot seem to locate the manufacturer’s recommendations, use one tablespoon of liquid dish washing detergent to one quart of water.  Be sure to rinse with clean water to avoid a film buildup.

Using walk-off mats or rugs at every entry will help prevent dirt from being tracked into the home for your future entertaining events.  Remember to shake them out every once in a while!

If you would like more, in depth information on maintaining your vinyl floors, please visit our website here.

Reader Question of the Week

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Kitchen and Bath, Reader Question

My husband and I are thinking of redesigning our master bathroom. We would like to add a walk in shower.

Q. What is the recommended size of the shower?

A. The recommended size for a shower is 36”x36”. Showers are only required to be 30”x30”. Of course there is no rule that says you can’t go bigger.

Q. What glass is the easiest to keep clean?

A. Obscure glass hides the most day to day use. Clear glass is easier to wipe down. The answer depends on how often you like to clean! If you are really worried about keeping a glass shower door clean, just etch the glass. Not only can you feel the texture of this lace-like design on both the inside and outside of the shower panels, you can also get a sense of movement under light. The best part: It’s naturally resistant to fingerprints and stains, which makes this product a top choice for this high-traffic space.

Q. If we decide to install a bench in the shower, what height should it be?

A. Shower benches and seats should be 17”-19” above the shower floor and 15” deep.

Good luck with your home improvement project. Here are a few other trendy design ideas you may want to consider:

To make your shower stand out you can always elevate it.

Add water proof speakers so you can get your groove on while you get ready to start your day.

Add fully programmable steam shower controls and a niche for candles and accessories to create a spa-like experience.

Be creative with your materials. Use river rock, slate or tumbled marble and make your bathroom as unique as possible!

Reader Question: Kitchen Backsplash

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Kitchen and Bath, Reader Question

We recently received this question from one of our readers:
I have golden oak cabinets and almond counter tops, what type and color of back splash would you recommend to give my kitchen a more updated look?
There are a few things to consider when planning a backsplash so start with asking yourself these questions:
1. Do you want the tile to blend or contrast with the other items in the kitchen?
2. How much room do you have? If you plan to keep an existing backsplash that’s part of the countertop, this limits the amount of space you have to work with.
3. Do you want the backsplash to be practical or a design element in your kitchen?
4. What colors do you want to add or pull out from your existing decor? Do you want to add a warm or cool color palette?
After you’ve answered these questions, consider glass tiles or large format tiles to give you an updated look.
If you still aren’t sure and need a visual, check out our virtual room designer. You can try on different looks here, to get an idea if you like large or small tiles, contrasting colors or tiles that blend.
Another option that might help is checking out our backsplash board on our Pinterest page. Please let us know if you have any other questions!


Sink and Faucet Color Combos: Reader Question

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Hints and Advice, Reader Question

Reader Question:

Can I put a black granite sink w/ a oil rubbed bronze faucet?
Thank You,



Dear Carla,

Great question! You most certainly can put an oil rubbed bronze faucet with a black granite sink. These two will compliment each other very well. Things to keep in mind are colors of other metal elements in the room such as appliances, cabinet hardware and decorative accessories. You want to make sure that there is at least one other oil rubbed bronze element in the room.

For example, you might want to reconsider if all of your appliances, backsplash accents and cabinet hardware are stainless and the oil rubbed bronze faucet is the only item that doesn’t coordinate. Everything doesn’t have to “match”, but it does have to look planned.

We hope this helps!

Getting Your Home Back After the Kids Have Been Home ALL Summer!

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Care and Maintenance, Carpet, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Hardwood and Laminate, Reader Question, Uncategorized

We recently had a question that we thought we would share in hopes of helping more moms in the same situation!

Reader Question:

Hi! As the kids are starting to trickle back to school in the Chicago area and by Labor Day school will be in full swing , many moms like me are breathing a sigh of relief as we look forward to a new found peace and quiet. However, in the mean time I would like to ask for help due to a small amount of frustration from my children having redesigned our home over the summer holiday.

The wood floor in the den now has a few new distress marks, the bathroom ceramic grout lines are turning black from all the hundreds of showers and the area rug in the front foyer has a new polka-a-dot pattern, courtesy of my daughter.

Can you give me any advice for any of these problems? Thank you!

Dear Reader:

We’ve got you covered! First, wood floor manufacturers understand and expect these accidents to occur. Fill kits are available for scratches or if the damage is significant, single board replacements are possible with a qualified installer.

The grout issue is simple and easily corrected with Century Tile #51 Mildew Remover or the Heavy Duty Tile and Grout Cleaner by Aqua Mix. Be careful with those home bleach remedies. The bleach will kill the mold growth however; the color pigment might be affected, especially if it is not an epoxy based grout.

The carpet (or area rugs) has a couple of solutions. If you are aware of the stain you should immediately, blot the stain with clean white cloths and use a factory recommended stain removal process. Companies like Shaw Carpets have help lines to work you through these issues ( or 1-800-441-7429.

If the carpet stains are set, there’s still good news! We offer an area rug cleaning service. All you have to do is roll up the rug and drop it at any Century location. We can send it out and the professional’s got to work on it.

Accidents happen, they are not necessarily intentional, but they occur.

Century Tile is always happy to help you solve your “redesign” issues!

Feel free to call upon us and we will be happy to get the answer that solves the problem,

Your friends at Century Tile

Advice on Granite Tile Counter Tops – Reader Question

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Installation, Reader Question

Reader Question:

I am thinking of replacing my old counter tops with a granite tile, which I know would be cheaper than solid granite. What installation advice do you have?


Thank you for your question! You are right that granite tiles can save you money versus a solid slab of granite. Things to keep in mind are making sure that your cabinet base is strong enough to hold the weight of the stone, be sure to have a plan for the front edge whether it be cut pieces of granite, wood or other decorative trim and use a thin grout line in order to make the finished product look as much like a slab as you can. Natural stone is still an investment, so if you plan to install yourself, the best advice we can give is to measure twice before cutting!

You may enjoy coming to one of our Pete the Pro seminars for additional installation tips. Please let us know if you would like more details on a seminar in your area.

Carpet for Kitchens – Reader Question

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet, Reader Question

Reader Question:

I’m so confused about carpet for my kitchen. I’ve had a nylon in for 13 years and from my wood chairs with plastic gliders over the years now it has rippled. I had planned on getting another nylon kitchen carpet. All carpet is commercial and very dark colors. I don’t want a solid color. Some dealers recommend going to olefin but several have said stay away from it as it shows burn marks from chairs moving or hot things splattering. Will the dark close in my kitchen? My dining room/kitchen is 12X22feet. The dining of it is 12X12 the rest is kitchen with a counter dividing it in the U shaped kitchen. I have a kitchen window and a patio door with gold drape and window in the dining area and creamy light gold walls. I thought I wanted a lighter color as my living room is a light cream with a very few gold flecks and has a 6ft. opening into the dining room. The living room has a big 5 section bow window that lets in lots of light too. I have oak cupboards with black/stainless appliances. I am so frustrated I just want to bury my head. Some of my family say try to find light as it will blend (impossible to find) or go totally dark (browns) to divide it. What brands would you carry in carpet suitable for kitchens. We live in the country. Thank you so much.

Dear reader,

Choosing new flooring can be confusing and overwhelming, but we are here to help! First, you will want to keep your search in the commercial carpet department if you plan to have chairs with rollers. Carpet has a better chance of holding up when chair pads are used under rolling chairs, but you probably don’t want that look in your kitchen! It’s great to hear that you don’t want a solid color because carpets with multiple colors and pattern can help hide dirt and traffic found in a kitchen and dining area. A dark colored floor will only close your kitchen in if you have dark cabinets, dark walls, and very little light in the room. It sounds like you have natural light coming in from the window and the sliding door and light walls. Light colored floors will blend with light walls and other light products in your home, but along those same lines, a darker floor will provide a nice contrast. This comes down to personal preference. Another tip, remember that this is YOUR home and the more opinions you get from friends and family…the more opinions you will have….not answers that are right for you!

We carry Mohawk commercial products that will hold up well in your kitchen. You can view some of our products in our online product catalog here.

Feel free to bring us a photo of your kitchen and dining area and we will be happy to review light and dark options with you. Another consideration you might want to think about would be hard surface floors (such as tile or laminate) with a nice area rug or bound piece of carpet on top to give you the warmth and feel of carpet while getting the benefits and durability of a hard surface.

You also might enjoy browsing our gallery of room scenes or using our virtual room designer tool to help you see the effects of different floors and wall combinations. You can find those here. If you see some things you like, you can save them into your very own workbook.

We hope this information helps and look forward to helping you choose a new floor for your home!

Cottage Style Tile – Reader Question

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Reader Question, Uncategorized

Reader Question:

Hi! I am trying to establish “Wright” style cottage, in new house. I plan to do the bathroom in white subway, beadboard , octagon white on floor. Do you have suggestion for shower “steam” tile??


In the Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House Restoration, the bathroom walls were white 3×6 subway tiles laid straight with the white octagon tiles on the floor. If you wanted to be safe and accurate, that would be the best route. If you just want the bathroom to have a cottage feel that is simple and clean, here are a couple of design considerations you may not have thought of with subway tiles.

  • Install 3×6 tiles in a vertical application. This can help create the illusion of height on the wall. This can be viewed as more modern, but if you keep the other items in the bath with a cottage feel, this will be fine.
  • Consider using larger subway shaped tiles such as 4×8 or 8×10 tiles.
  • On one of the walls in the shower, create a picture frame effect and install the tiles on the inside of the frame in a herringbone pattern.
  • To incorporate color, take a sheet of mosaics and have them cut into linear strips and installed along side the subway tiles. (randomly and sparingly)
  • For more depth and interest, incorporate pencil liners, chair rail and other moldings into your design scheme.

Products to check out:

  • Dal Tile’s Rittenhouse Square offers:
    • 3×6 subway tile in matte and semi gloss
    • 2×4 brick joint mini subway tiles
    • Shelf rail
    • Modern Dimensions also has some alternate rectangular shapes

We hope this information helps. Come in to see us and we can give you more specific advice based on the size of your shower and other design considerations in your bathroom.