Pros and Cons of Cement Encaustic Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

Cement or concrete tile is nothing new to the industry. This style is made from marble, cement, and mineral pigments placed into a mold. A frame of the design is then inserted into the mold to allow the designs and patterns to be colored. The cement is then added. However, they are not baked like traditional clay-based tiles. They are hydraulically pressed with 2,000lbs of pressure to create a solid tile. These beautiful tiles are unique and exceptionally aesthetically pleasing. However, every tile comes with its pros and cons. Here are the main pros and cons to consider before purchasing cement encaustic tiles:

Pros

These beautiful tiles come in a large variety of colors, patterns, and designs. They work great with almost any themed home! It is a natural material which also allows each tile to age with the house. It can give the product a very lived-in feel over time with the investment. These pressed tiles are also very thick and durable. The color runs deep into each tile, so even if they chip, you will still be able to see your pattern.

Cons

These concrete tiles are usually thicker than most ceramic, porcelain, or glass tile options. This means that you may need a reducer transition leading out of where this is installed. Also, being thicker can mean more weight for backsplashes. Make sure your walls can handle the weight of the tile prior to your investment. Concrete is also very porous, which means liquids can penetrate it and stain the tiles. This can be prevented, however, by adding the proper sealant. Remember, you will have a little more maintenance now and will need to reapply sealant once or twice a year. These tiles can begin to age or wear, which looks great when achieved evenly. However, in high traffic areas, they can begin to show traffic marking over time.

All in all, these tiles look great! There is a reason they have become so popular in homes and business. The look these tiles have to offer is exceptionally aesthetically-pleasing and can enhance any environment. Ask your sales representative if these tiles are right for you by contacting us today!

What Is Encaustic Tile?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

Tile can add a stunning look to any room while giving it a more elegant, sophisticated, and luxurious feel. There are many beautiful tiles available on the market today, but the attractive look of encaustic tile has been sweeping the market. Encaustic tile is a concrete tile with designs or patterns painted into them with beeswax-based paint. The word encaustic translates “to burn” from Greek. With influxes throughout the history of their popularity, they have once again gained popularity on the market once again, today as a porcelain tile.

Encaustic Tile History

Encaustic tiles were very popular during Henry the Eighth’s reign and later during the Gothic Revival Era. Encaustic tiles were made of clay and typically referred to as inlaid tiles throughout history. However, during the Victorian Era, the name was mistakenly used to identify ceramic tiles that replicated the patterns used on authentic encaustic tiles. These tiles were not created using wax, yet today we have adopted the concept into cement and ceramic tiles as well.

Today

Even though encaustic means “to burn,” not all encaustic tiles are heated today. Cement tiles are compressed and not heated. The designs and colors are hand-poured into the molds. After they have been compressed, they are treated with coats of sealers to protect them. Ceramic encaustic tiles can come two ways: glazed or unglazed. Being made from clays, these typically are set to more earthy tones and less lavish colors.

Pattern Variety

Encaustic tiles have very tradition styles giving homage to their original look yet can also come in very modern looking styles as well. With cement tiles, you can also have different pigments added to give a large color variety. With such an extensive range, these tiles can work great in any commercial or resident space to enhance your design.

As this style remerges, homebuyers and business are craving to get their hands on these beautiful tiles. If you are looking to add a very creative backsplash or beautiful flooring, consider encaustic tiles. They add an artisan’s touch to any space and design.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning Grout like an Expert

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Flooring, Tile, Tips

Tile can give any home a very luxurious feel. Immaculate backsplashes, enhancing shower systems, or tantalizing foyers all are rooted with tasteful tile selections. However, nothing can hurt this pristine look quite like dirty grout lines. You invest time and money into finding the perfect tiles and complementary grout yet overtime your grout has browned and looks unkept. To help, here is everything you need to know on why your grout is getting dirty, how to clean it, and how to prevent it from happening down the line. Let’s take a look!

Why Grout Gets Dirty

Grout is a pourable mortar used to close the gaps between floor and wall tiles. It comes in two types: sanded and unsanded. The sealant is composed of water, cement, and sometimes sand; therefore, grout is very porous, allowing it to be very permeable to liquids. If moisture is in the air, it can embed dirt into your grout lines. Likewise, if you spill a colored beverage, your grout is susceptible to soaking it up and staining with the color.

How to Clean Grout

First, you will want to broom or dust the surface of any grime. Using hot water can help break down more difficult soot embedded into the surface of the grout. Create a homogenous mixture of vinegar and water and pour it onto your grout. It may need to soak for several minutes to work its way down into the grout. After it is absorbed, use a toothbrush or scrub brush to remove debris.

Maintenance

Typically, installers will not seal grout the same day of being applied to allow the grout to cure. If you have epoxy grout, it is not porous and will not need to be sealed. However, if not, it would be in your best interest to seal it. This sealant can prevent unwanted discoloring or staining from occurring in the future. Your sealant will help protect against stains and bacteria from forming on your grout lines.

If you have dirty grout, do not leave it unattended for too long. Cleaning your grout is easy and can make your tile look brand new. Remember to seal your grout after to help prevent discoloring down the road. For more tips and tricks on floor maintenance, make sure to subscribe to our blog!

Why Do I Need Backsplash?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Backsplash, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Remodeling, Tile, Tips

When you think of your dream kitchen, it probably has beautiful cabinetry, a gorgeous sink setup, plenty of counter space, and of course, a backsplash.  Backsplashes are the perfect remedy to take your kitchen’s aesthetics to the next level because tile is a timeless home improvement that can make any room feel more luxurious and personalized. Additionally, tile can help tailor the design to your liking. 

Think of a backsplash as a blank canvas to express your design theme.  From monochromatic tiles to intricate mosaic glass work, your backsplash can be designed in a variety of different ways to make a statement.  That being said, backsplash serves more than just this purpose.  Here is everything you should consider prior to adding your backsplash to your kitchen:

Functionality

Kitchens can get messy, and drywall does not respond well to sticky messes and water.  Backsplashes primarily protect your walls and can make messes easier to clean.  Think of your backsplash as an extension to your countertops that runs up the wall.  They can easily be wiped down and help prevent stains from getting on the walls.  Backsplashes work great for behind the sink, range, or countertop where food prep is done.  You can even include backsplashes in your bathrooms as well to protect your walls.

Aesthetics

Functionality aside, backsplashes are downright beautiful.  Adding a backsplash in your kitchen or bath can help enhance your home’s aesthetics.  There are some many wonderful selections to choose from when picking your tile.  Consider mosaic, painted designs on tiles, ceramic, subway tile, or even creating your own picture frame with pencil tile.  Your walls are blank canvases for you to create your very own masterpiece.  The next step is to find a complementary grout to help enhance the design.  You can go with a close neutral color or even a contrasting color to help make your tiles pop.  A general rule of thumb is to not have your wall tiles be a larger size than tiles on the flooring.

Other Materials

There are more than just ceramic or glass tiles you can use to create your look.  You can invest in granite, stainless steel, laminate, shiplap, or even sheet glass for a flawless look.  Decide what backsplash will enhance your design the most while considering how messy your walls may get and what application works best.  Find the best solution for functionality and then go about the design for your home.

Backsplashes are perfect upgrades to improve your home’s beauty and value.  They say “copying” is the highest form of flattery.  Look online or in person for a style you would like to replicate. If you need help or assistance, one of our knowledgable sales associates would love to assist you in finding the perfect look. 

How to Choose the Perfect Bathroom Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Flooring, Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Remodeling, Tile, Tips

When deciding to begin a bathroom remodel, we get excited to explore all the different ideas that can be incorporated. We look at countertops, sinks, cabinets, bathtubs, but most importantly, we look for the perfect tile. Tile is a timeless bathroom remedy that can functionally enhance the aesthetics of the atmosphere. We generate a theme from what we have seen before and have liked. Maybe you saw a rustic design at a restaurant, or perhaps your friends’ house has a simply beautiful, all-white design. While we search through a plethora of Pinterest pins and available options in a store, you begin to form an idea of the direction you want your bathroom design to go. To help you guide you during your decision process, here are our top three rules to follow in choosing the perfect bathroom tile.

Design

The first step is that you will need to select a design style that is meaningful to you. Decide if you want dark or light tiles, ceramic or glass, a lot of character or plain, texturized or smooth. Try not to select more than three tile types in your bathroom. Too many styles can feel busy and chaotic. To make your design feel more uniform, you will want to pick a primary tile and secondary tile. Your other tile choices can be used for trim, accent, and added character throughout the room.

Scale

If you are stuck on the size tile, consider the relative scale. If you select a 12×24, you can use it to accentuate the length of a room. You can use a smaller, more symmetrical option like 12×12 tiles too if your bathroom demands more cuts. A smaller tile will mean fewer cuts around plumbing and furniture. If you go with a larger tile, it can make a small room feel larger. Be careful not to go to big in very small spaces, or it can look strange. A general rule of thumb is to never put larger tiles on the walls than the tiles on the floor.

Maintenance

If you are okay with a little more maintenance, natural stone tiles are great for adding character to a room. However, if you do not want to be spending a ton of time cleaning, ceramic and porcelain are your safest options. Glass can make great for accents or walls but is not a good choice for the ground. Look into some mosaic glass designs to add even more character in your showers or bath.

Picking the perfect tile is fun. It is safest to go with your first instinct. All tiles have character, decide how much you are willing to put in a space. Too many high-designed tiles can clash and make the space look busy. Also, do not forget to consider the maintenance and size you want in your home. With these simple guidelines in mind, you are ready to create your dream oasis bathroom.

Factors to Consider when Purchasing Shower Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Kitchen and Bath, Tile, Tips

Finding the right tile for your shower stall may sound simple. In fact, most homeowners primary concern when shopping for shower tiles is selecting something that will merely get the job done. However, you should take time to consider color and patterns so that the shower tile you select complements your bathroom decor. Below, we listed factors you should consider when purchasing shower tiles. Let’s take a look!

Smaller Tiles for Curves

Depending on the design of your shower bench, you might have to opt for smaller tiles. If you would consider your shower bench as “curvy,” small tiles are ideal. Why? Installing tiles around the edges can be a challenge when working with larger sized tiles. Also, when working with smaller tiles around curved benches, you will have greater control during installation. It allows you to be precise so that you can create a seamless design, especially if you plan on installing the tiles yourself.

Add a Feature Wall

If you really want to add style and glam to your bathroom, you can create a feature wall by selecting a different tile choice than what was installed on the rest of the walls. In fact, you can create an accent are right in the shower by opting for tiles that feature a bold pattern or different hue.

Use Small, Colored Glass

We all love the look of glass tiles, especially in the shower stall. Working with glass can sometimes be difficult; therefore, you should try using small, colored glass. Since moisture can often get trap behind glass, design experts recommend using small, colored glass to create a flawless look that does not feature any fog from steam.

Play with Texture

Believe it or not, texture matters. While smooth tiles are great for the seats and walls, textured tiles can be applied to the floors for safety purposes. The texture can help the foot grip the surface more securely and offers homeowners will peace of mind.

Consider the Maintenance Process

Finally, you need to consider the maintenance process of the tile surface that you are thinking about installing on your shower stall. Experts recommend opting for larger slabs if you are looking for a quick and easy cleaning experience.

Pro’s & Con’s of Tile Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Flooring, Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile flooring are commonly used in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways, entryways, laundry rooms, mud rooms, and living rooms. Tile is placed in these high traffic areas because of the way it is made. With tile being non-porous, it is an ideal flooring choice for areas wherever water is present.

Ceramic and porcelain tile are loved for being easy to clean and have been used in homes for thousands of years. To this day, not many people dislike tile floors. The appearance of tile can take many forms in the way it looks. From mosaics to other decorative styles that look like real hardwood and natural stone, tile has become a very popular choice in all types of designs and homes.

Pro’s of Tile Floors:

  • Ultra-Durable: Tile is known for being one of the most durable flooring options on the market.
  • 100% Waterproof: Glazed tiles are naturally and fully waterproof with no extra work necessary.
  • Gorgeous Imagery: Have you seen contemporary floor tiles lately? Not only do they still beautifully mimic the look of natural stone, but they also come in trendy, show-stopping wood looks as well. In fact, wood-look tile is one of the most popular contemporary flooring options available on the market.
  • Zero Maintenance: All you need is the occasional vacuum/dusting and damp mop to keep your tile looking fabulous.
  • Any Room; Any Space: Tile is used in many homes across the country, including the entire home is in tile. It is durable enough for commercial spaces as well.

Con’s of Tile Floors:

  • Cold Underfoot: This can be great in warm environments, but it can be a total bummer to step onto ice-cold floors in the winter. Tile does not retain heat as well as other flooring options and typically requires heated floors in order to stay warm underfoot. Additionally, you will find that its ability to remain cool makes it a popular choice for southern homes.
  • Hard Surface: Tile is not resilient and offers zero give. Standing on tile for long periods of time may make your feet hurt and you may need to invest in some mats for areas where you do a lot of standing.
  • Professional Installation: If a tile breaks or becomes damaged, you will need the help of a professional to replace it.

While there may be some minor con’s associated with tile, we believe the advantages significantly outweigh the disadvantages. Plus, as you saw above, each “con” has a solution to help make the flooring more comfortable for you and your home (i.e. area rugs and heated floors).

If you would like to learn more about everything tile has to offer, please do not hesitate to call or visit one of our showrooms. One of our expert sales associates would love to assist you in all of your flooring needs.

How to Clean Your Tile Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Tile, Tips

After investing in gorgeous tile floors for your home, we are sure that you will want to keep them beautiful and pristine. To help keep your floors in tip-top shape, we have created a fast and easy guide for cleaning tile. Let us get started!

Cleaning Your Tile Floors 101:

Step No. One: Sweep or Vacuum.

You will want sweep or vacuum your tile floors regularly to remove any dirt or debris from the top layer. Dirt can eventually dull the look of your tile; therefore, regular upkeep will help it look better for longer.

Step No. Two: Mop.

In a large bucket, mix together mild detergent with hot water. After, you will want to mop all of your tiles with rag or chamois mop. Avoid using a sponge mop for this surface because it can get your dirty water into your grout line.

    • Pro-Tip: You will want to frequently change out the mop water whenever it begins to get cloudy or murky. 

Step No. Three: Focus on The Grout.

Grout is an essential part of the overall look of your tile. A lot of homeowners will not focus on cleaning the grout, and this will leave the tile looking grungy and un-kept. In fact, your grout can absorb a lot of unwanted stains, oils, and greases, but the solution is easy. You will want to create a natural paste by mixing together equal parts baking soda and water. Once you have mixed the ingredients into a paste, you will want to take a toothbrush and scrub it into the stained area. Let this mixture sit on the grout overnight. In the morning, you will want to take a “stiff nylon brush” and scrub the grouted area. If stains continue to persist, you can buy a silicone-based grout sealer to help avoid future staining.

Disclaimer: Before cleaning any of your floors, you will want to consult with your flooring manufacturer. Each flooring can be a little different, and you always want to make sure you are using the correct method.

For more great tips and tricks, be sure to check out our blog hub

Ceramic vs. Natural Stone (Benefits and Disadvantages)

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

So what will it be? Beautiful ceramic or rustic natural stone? When making the final decision on what type of flooring material you are going to install, it involves much more than merely how the tile will complement the interior’s design. In addition, style, functionality, durability, and safety should be taken into consideration.

Deciding whether to go with ceramic or natural stone can be a tough decision. That is why it is so important to understand the disadvantages and the benefits of each flooring material. To help you gain a little more understanding and make the ultimate decision, we create a guide filled with the must-knows. Let’s take a look!

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is often installed in common areas of the home such as the bathroom and kitchen. Ceramic flooring materials are evaluated and rated by the Porcelain Enamel Institute. Standard ceramic tiles have a PEI rating of Class 1 to Class 3. This means that the flooring can handle the moderate impact. The quality and durability of ceramic flooring are mostly dependant upon its classification. So the higher the rating, the more foot traffic the tile can stand.

Benefits
If you desire a flooring material with a distinguishable design or pattern and color, you are likely leaning towards ceramic tile. Ceramic flooring is available in a wide array of rich hues, textures, styles, and sizes. One of the best features of ceramic tiles is that it can capture the look of various flooring styles such as hardwood and stone, making the decision process easier. Plus, ceramic tile is easy to maintain. Its smooth texture allows for sealant and cleaning products to be evenly distributed over the surface. It is also more resistant to scratches and scuff marks. Plus, you will find ceramic floor materials are an affordable option for consumers.

Disadvantages
Ceramic tiles are often manufactured in production runs. As a result, there can be size variations between lots; therefore, you will want to make sure that the caliber and lot number are the same throughout your order. Resurfacing and repairing ceramic can be a bit difficult, so keep that in mind when considering installing ceramic in high-traffic areas.

Natural Stone

Natural stone flooring encompasses marble, slate, granite and travertine floor types. Marble, limestone, travertine, and limestone are derived from compressed fossil remains while granite is an igneous rock.

Benefits
Since natural stone floors are composed of natural materials, it is super durable. It is resistant to harsh weather and extreme wear. Unlike ceramic, natural stone is considered to be an upscale flooring material because the look cannot be simulated with synthetic materials like most flooring types. Plus, installing some sort of natural stone floors will increase the overall value of your home.

Disadvantages
The uniqueness of natural stone makes it expensive. Natural stone has an inconsistent texture and color; therefore, it may be a bit of a challeng

e to get a consistent or uniform look. Maintaining natural stone floors is not easy, the unevenness makes it difficult to clean and apply sealant.

With all flooring comes advantages and disadvantages, you will need to determine what features are most important to you and see if they outweigh the cons. If you have any further questions on the selection process, our staff is ready to answer all of your questions. Please do not hesitate to call or visit us for more information. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.

Choosing The Perfect Grout

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile

Remodeling can be exciting but, sometimes, all the little decisions can feel overwhelming. Adding paint and flooring is one of the quickest ways to transform a room during a remodel. Depending on your design theme, you may select a different flooring to accomplish a different look. For example, tile is a great way to add elegance and class to a space. Choosing the right grout can be challenging but a great way to make or break a room’s design; however, do not let this task intimidate you. We put together our top three ways to determine what is the best grout for any application. Let’s take a look! 
 
  • Solid
Solid colored tiles are usually the easiest style to pick the correct grout.  Matching the color as close as possible is typically the default technique but choosing a shade lighter or darker can help with the room’s color theme.  Lighter colors on smaller tiles can help open up the room and make the illusion that it is bigger, whereas going a shade darker may make a room feel smaller and more condensed.  On the other hand, dark colors can hide dirt easier so consider what values are more important to you and the overall space of your space. 
 
  • Mosaics Glass
With glass tile, it is best to go with a neutral color.  Neutral tones like beiges or tans can allow the glass to be a focal point of the room and not feel overpowered by the grout color. White and black are also excellent choices to use in your home with mosaic tiles.  These neutral do not affect the room’s color theme and can allow for a hard contrast to help your tiles to pop. 
 
  • Patterned Tile
Patterned tiles give you the freedom of matching any color found within the design.  A neutral-toned grout can be ideal for allowing all colors to shine in the design.  Plus, neutral grout colors are great for cool or warm toned tiles. Applying a neutral grout for patterns is always a safe route if you do not want to decide on just one color from the tile’s design. 
 
When selecting the perfect grout, do not feel overwhelmed. For solids, try to find the closest matching color possible.  Remember neutrals are always a safe option as well. For more tips and tricks, visit us at Century Tile.