Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly tile’

11 Ways to Go Green in your Kitchen and Bathroom

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Follow these simple steps to an environmentally-conscious home:

BATHS


1. Fix a drip.
Drip, drop, drip, drop. That leak in the bathroom sink is not just annoying. It’s costing you loads of cash in water and energy bills and wasted gallons. Get it fixed ASAP, and if you can’t get the plumber scheduled right away, use this old trick: Tie a string on the faucet and allow the drops to dribble silently down into a cup or small bowl. Use the collected H2O to water your houseplants.

2. Get clean.
Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners in favor of natural cleansers (soap, water, vinegar, baking soda). You’ll do a favor for the environment and yourself.

3. Be water wise.
Low-flow toilets have come a long way. New models max out at 1.6 gallons of water per flush, but the very latest models can use even less.

4. Be water wise some more.
Tankless water heaters are a great energy saver. There’s no reason to keep a giant tank of heated water at your beck and call all day and night. Bonus tip: Go the extra mile when you turn on the shower by placing a bucket or other container under the showerhead. In the few moments it takes for the water to heat up, you can gather enough for the dog’s bowl and the houseplants. Don’t waste a drop!

5. Smell Sweet.
Cut down on harmful chemicals and gasses released into your home by using low- or no-VOC paints when giving the bath, or any other room, a fresh color.

KITCHENS


6. Be water smart.
A simple hardware store doo-dad called an aerator on your kitchen (or bath) faucet cuts down on water consumption, sacrificing very little if any water pressure. For less than $15, you can install one of these yourself and save up to 500 gallons per year.

7. Vent a little.
Proper ventilation in the cooktop hood of your kitchen keeps bills down and air quality up.

8. Think small.
The kitchen is the energy gobbler of the home. If you’re planning a remodel, building new, or just replacing an old appliance, remember that bigger isn’t always better. In addition to looking for energy-efficiency ratings on your new purchase, consider going for a smaller model that uses less energy to begin with. Bonus tip: New drawer-style dishwashers help cut back on water use for smaller loads.

9. Lighten Up.
Opening up a kitchen with skylights and windows that allow natural sunlight to stream in not only helps your mood stay perky, it is a natural, free way to light your space. No budget to add windows? At least let the light in by removing heavy, lightblocking window treatments.

10. Divide and Conquer.
Dedicate a little space for recycling bins or bags to make living green convenient for the whole family. You can purchase color-coded units with separate compartments and lids, or create your own recycling center with inexpensive bins from the home center or discount store.

11. Go, greens!

Try your hand at going green by growing herbs or salad greens in the kitchen. Bringing in a natural element adds some coziness to your home’s busiest room, and naturally cleans the air you breathe. (And of course, nothing beats adding your own fresh basil to that pasta at the dinner table.

Source: www.hgtv.com http://www.diynetwork.com/remodeling/11-ways-to-go-green-in-your-kitchen-and-bathroom/index.html

Written by: Suzanne Morrissey

By PointClickHome.com

  • Share/Bookmark

Coconut Tile

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Coconut tile is modern interiors gone tropical, made from reclaimed coconut shells, low-VOC resins and sustainably harvested wood backer, coconut shell is a naturally anti- decomposition material containing natural resin. Coconut mosaic tile are handmade to high standard by skillful craftsmanship. It has excellent performance, durability and versatility. our newest family of eco-friendly design materials can be used as decorative tiles or panels both horizontally and vertically. Featuring multiple patterns and color combinations and available in light, dark and mixed textures.

Coco mosaic tiles are hand made using coconut shell which is an unutilized industry by product and requires no trees to be cut down, ensuring you are not contributing to the destruction of forests around the world.

This is a new generation of Architectural surface material. The innovation of this beautiful material combines the best of modern technology and nature, giving an opportunity to make a quality sustainable choice that has an E ZERO formaldehyde emissions rating.

Coco mosaic panels are beautiful, extremely durable and strong. So the applications are numerous, even in the most demanding of environments.

  • Share/Bookmark

Dark Grout in the bathroom….Pros & Cons!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

When choosing tiles for the bathroom, shape, color and texture decisions factor in immediately, but one aspect that can strongly impact the final look is often a mere afterthought. Choosing the right grout color can make all the difference, so it’s worth thinking about when planning the overall look of your bathroom.

Using a light colored grout, particularly in conjunction with white tiles, can produce a bright, clean look, but it is a very high maintenance choice. Even with consistent cleaning it is nearly impossible to protect it from staining and discoloration over time. Because of this, dark grout has gained in popularity.

Choosing a grout that is darker in color helps conceal dirt and is less likely to change in color as quickly as a light colored grout. It can also enhance the look of the bathroom, helping light tiles to look even lighter. Dark grout against a light tile can help the look from being too washed out and can help anchor the white and provide some substance to the look.

Dark grout is not without its own set of issues though. While it is not necessary to clean it with the same attention to detail as you would with white grout, it is necessary to wipe it off very regularly. Dark grout can lose its color when cleaned with products that are too harsh or with tools that are too abrasive. Once the color is impacted, it is difficult to bring it back to its original luster.

Using gentle cleaning products and adding a color seal to dark grout can help maintain the color longer.

Source: Apartment Therapyhttp://www.apartmenttherapy.com/in-the-bathroom-light-vs-dark-grout-171147

(Images: 1. Kim & George’s Brooklyn Heights Home Apartment Therapy House Tour 2. Carly & Chip’s Resourceful & Refined Home Apartment Therapy House Tour)

  • Share/Bookmark

Floor Tiles 101

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Not all floor tiles are created equal. Each type has pros and cons that need to be considered when planning a tiling project. Here are seven popular popular varieties, find the right fit for your flooring needs:

Marble Tile

Marble

Real marble tiles have a beautiful, unique look like no other surface, with all their whirling patterns and shade variations. But the same patterns that make marble beautiful can be a real headache to match from tile to tile. To ensure that patterns match, the Marble Institute of America recommends having your contractor lay out the tiles over the entire surface before installing so you can approve the result. All your tiles should come from the same original batch. Marble, like most stone tiles, has high maintenance requirements. It must be sealed and cleaned regularly; for cleaning, use only a mild detergent solution or a product specially designed for marble. Never set your drink down on a marble surface (it will leave a ring), and wipe up any spills immediately, as they can stain or etch marble’s porous surface.

Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo is traditionally a flooring material made by exposing marble chips in a bed of concrete and then polishing until smooth. Now, however, you can buy terrazzo in tile form. It’s often used in public buildings because it’s long-lasting and can be refinished repeatedly. Terrazzo is quite slippery and can cause falls, so it may not be a good flooring choice for families with young children or elderly members. Ask your contractor about applying non-slip additives to the surface.

Concrete Tile

Concrete

Concrete is a tough man-made mix of stone, sand, water and cement. It’s long-lasting, water-shedding, hail-resistant and can be made to mimic the look of other building materials. It can be a good roofing choice for harsh climates. Because it requires specialized tools and knowledge, and because you must ensure that the structure being covered can withstand the weight, concrete tile should be installed by trained professionals only.

Terracotta Tile

Terra Cotta Tile

Terra cotta is one of the oldest tile materials around, dating back before the birth of Christ, when it was sun-dried rather than oven-fired. It’s often used, glazed or unglazed, to create a rustic, weathered look. While high-quality terra cotta will last forever, it’s difficult to assess the quality, even for pros. Buy only from a seller whose reputation you trust, though even then you may encounter problems. For practical uses, it should be sealed, particularly in kitchens.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain

Actually a subtype of ceramic tile, porcelain bears a perception of high quality, but for residential applications its particular toughness is unnecessary. It’s nonetheless popular in the residential market because the manufacturing process makes for unlimited design potential. The problem is that do-it-yourselfers typically install it with setting material designed for ordinary ceramic tiles, but porcelain’s low porosity means it requires a special compound for setting. Ask the manufacturer—not a salesperson—how to install it.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are thin slabs of clay or other inorganic materials, hardened by oven firing and usually coated with some kind of glaze. Ceramic is best known for its durability, with some installations in the ruins of ancient Rome and Egypt still intact. Ceramic tile is a great choice for kitchens and bathrooms because it’s easy to clean and doesn’t harbor germs. It’s manufactured in production runs; because of variation among lots, make sure the caliber number (indicating size) and lot number (indicating color) are the same throughout your order. Ceramic tile is rated from zero to 5 based on hardness. Zero through 2 is suitable for wall tile, 3 is good for most residential uses, and 4 and 5 are hard enough for commercial applications.

Slate Tile

Slate

Slate tile is a popular roofing material with an air of prestige and a reputation for longevity. Although individual tiles sometimes crack, an entire roof made of slate probably won’t have to be replaced for 50 years or more. Properly installed, slate also makes dependable flooring. Slate is a metamorphic rock with relatively weak bonds between layers, so tile made from it tends to split along those planes. For an installation to resist damage, it must be set on a solid surface with mortar.

Special thanks to our friends at HGTV for this informative article!

  • Share/Bookmark

Beach Weave Bathroom Installation!

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

I came across this beautiful bathroom installation using the Beach Weave Glass & Stone Mosaic! So beautiful and serene! I love the texture the mosaic gives to the backsplash without being overwhelming. So cool!

Beach Weave Installation

  • Share/Bookmark

Tigerwood Porcelain!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Tigerwood Porcelain is the newest addition to our already distinctive Porcelain Collection. If you have not seen these tiles, be prepared to fall in love! The first thing you need to know about this tile is that it is through-body, making them perfect not only for residential projects but also for commercial projects! The Tigerwood Porcelain comes in a 12″ x 24″ rectangular configuration, with a really cool striped pattern throughout. The best part? Prices start at $8.00 per sq ft delivered! I have attached the 4 colors it is available in and a couple of installation images below!

Birch Tigerwood

Ash Tigerwood

Almond Tigerwood

Black Tigerwood

Birch Tigerwood Installation

  • Share/Bookmark

Bond Street Social!

Friday, November 18th, 2011

A couple of months ago I was contacted by a well know restauranteur from Baltimore, MD. He was working on a new restaurant / bar called Bond Street Social and was interested in some of our materials. The overall feeling they wanted to achieve in the space was a warm, contemporary industrial vibe. By combining natural elements such as wood, rich leathers, natural stones, stainless, ceramic and glass mosaics, they achieved a perfect balance of earthy & sleek. Bond Street Social specializes in “high end comfort food” and specialty 80 ounce infusion jars. Served in a glass jar on a wooden stand, the cocktails are a unique blend of infused fruits and liquors. Bond Street Social combines an original, upscale dining experience with a hip, lively social scene. With cozy fireplaces throughout the lounge and such a cool atmosphere, who wouldn’t want to “socialize” here? Thank you Bond Street Social for letting us be part of this cool project! Here are some images of the space:

PS: How cool are the Natural Stone walls with the wire retainers? LOVE!

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

Bond Street Social

  • Share/Bookmark

Frosted Blanco Kitchen Installation!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Thank you to my good client Chappy from Corte Madera, CA for sending me these beautiful shots of his kitchen remodel.  Chappy used the Frosted Blanco 3″ x 6″ Subway Tile as a backsplash and it looks so chic! This project is one of our finalists for the quarterly installation contest, have you submitted your pictures yet? Time is running out!

Frosted Blanco 3" x 6" Subway Tile Backsplash

Frosted Blanco 3" x 6" Subway Backsplash

Frosted Blanco 3" x 6" Subway Backsplash

  • Share/Bookmark

Unique Bathroom Installation!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Check out this unique bathroom installation by our client David B! Such a creative combination of the Ocean Pebble Tile (shower pan), Standing Spring Rain (wall border) and the IPE Wood Deck Tile as the edging! By combining all of these natural elements David not only created a serene atmosphere but really proved that eco friendly does not = boring design. Using the larger rectangular ceramic in white on the walls gave the space a contemporary twist. The wood vanity with the copper sink is to die for! Great job David, we love your bathroom!

Unique Bathroom Installation

Unique Bathroom Installation

Unique Bathroom Installation!

  • Share/Bookmark

Cork Mosaic Tile….So cool!

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Cork Tile from Portugal is sustainable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is rapidly renewable, being that the bark of the tree is peeled from the trunk, and then tree is left to regenerate. This provides an almost limitless supply of cork bark, assuming that once the tree is beyond its’ useful life, replacements are planted (which they are). This heavily protected species also carries with it tremendous mechanical and functional properties, most of which are related to the fact that the cork bark is made almost entirely of cellular pockets of air (200 million cells per cubic inch). These cells of trapped air inhibit the passage of sound (making it one of the best acoustic insulators known), and are known as a thermal insulator, separately an often cold floor from the warmth of your foot. In addition, cork is anti-microbial, has tremendous “bounce-back” properties and forgiveness, and offers one of the greatest slip resistances of any natural material. Despite common wine industry myths, cork availability increases every year (despite minor ups and downs related to weather), and is one of the true really sustainable raw materials in its unaltered state. Post-industrial wine corks are cut into 1/4″ pieces. The resulting discs are affixed to a durable and flexible paper backing, and are then ready for installation. As with tile and stone mosaics, Cork Tile is affixed to the substructure (subfloor or wall), with either a thin set or glue, and is then grouted.

Cork Tile is very versatile. Cork Tile comes either prefinished with 2 coats of a water-based urethane, or unfinished, which can then be stained any color. Not only can the color of the cork be customized to suit any aesthetic, but there are dozens of grout choices to create your unique look. Any standard “sanded” grout can be used with Cork Tile.

Cork Tile can be used in any traditional flooring application, as well as in “wet” applications such as in showers, saunas, and pool surrounds. Due to the stability of cork, its inherent impermeability, and the fact you are taking a resilient product and adding to its stability and durability with grout, the result is a product which is durable and versatile. It can be used in almost any interior finish application, however demanding the environment.

Technical Data:

Manufactured with rapidly renewable raw material

Minimum 30% rapidly renewable material in Coconut Tiles

Coconut Tiles are manufactured using wood from sustainably managed forests.

  • Dimensions: 12” x 24”
  • Sq. Ft. per tile: 1.82
  • LEED Pts:
    • MR 4 (Recycled Content- 30% to 40% recycled, post-industrial)
    • MR 6 (Rapidly Renewable Material)
    • IEQ 4.4 (Low Emitting Material)
  • Also achievable with installation:
    • IEQ 4.1 (Low Emitting Materials: Adhesives and Sealants)
    • IEQ 4.2 (Low Emitting Materials: Paints and Coatings)

Cork Mosaic Tile

Cork Mosiac Tile

Cork Mosaic Tile Installation

  • Share/Bookmark