Posts Tagged ‘Tile Installation’

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

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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.

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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)

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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!

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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

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9 Remodeling Tips to Make your Home Feel Bigger!

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I came across this interesting article on www.cnnmoney.com and thought I would share it with our followers. The article provides useful information about using existing spaces in your home and re vamping them to make give them a different purpose at a low cost. Enjoy!

9 Remodeling Tips to Make Your Home Feel Bigger

By Josh Garskof, CNNMoney.com
January 23, 2012

Photo: Thinkstock

You don’t have to be underwater on your mortgage to feel trapped in your home.

Now may be a less than ideal time to put a house on the market or to take on big debt — icing your plans to trade up or build an addition anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean you’re stuck living in an uncomfortable home.

For a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, you can make your place “live” bigger without actually making it bigger, says architect Sarah Susanka, a small-space specialist and author of “Not So Big Remodeling.”

Call it thinking inside the box; here are nine creative solutions for cramped homes.

1. Multitask the dining room …

Cost: $500 to $2,000

If you have an eat-in kitchen, your dining room is probably used for special occasions only.

“Why have a prime spot sit vacant except for two or three holidays a year?” says Susanka.

Use it every day as an office or homework room without giving up dinner-party capabilities. Install doors ($300 to $500 each, with labor); add shelves or a cabinet for supplies; and invest in fitted pads to protect the tabletop.

For more flexibility, try a table like homedecorator.com’s $629 Mission Table Cabinet, a sideboard that — amazingly — telescopes into a full-size dining table.

2. … and the guest room

Cost: $100 to $3,000

Stop dedicating a whole room to infrequent out-of-town visitors.

With a decent air mattress, futon, or pull-out couch, you can lose the spare bed and use the room for day-to-day needs. (If you go with an air mattress, make sure to choose one with a built-in reversible motor to simplify the inflating and deflating.)

Add furniture, and what was only a guest room can double as a media or game room or home office.

3. Add a powder room

Cost: $3,000 to $6,000

Adding a first-floor powder room is simple if you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace for running the new pipes. Look for an existing room — a coat closet, say — and you won’t have to build walls.

To save more, forgo the tile. The minimum space required by code is typically 2½ by 4½ feet, but you can often get an exemption to go even smaller.

4. Build a home office closet

Cost: $100 to $3,000

If your family is already bursting the seams of your abode, a home office might seem out of the question. But every household needs at least a small desk for paying bills and to anchor a wireless Internet system — and you can often fit it all in a closet or armoire.

At its simplest, all you need are five or six deep, sturdy shelves made from wood or a composite product, which can total less than $40 at a home center. In a closet, set the lowest shelf at 30 inches high so you can wheel up a chair.

5. Bring the laundry upstairs

Cost: $5,000 to $7,000

Hiking up and down the stairs with laundry is enough to make anyone wish she could trade up. Instead, just move the machines.

Today’s full-size high-efficiency washers and dryers are all designed to stack. You can steal the space — a little more than four square feet — from a closet, hallway, or nook.

You’ll need to run new pipes and wiring, so being near an existing bathroom helps keep costs down, says Raleigh, N.C., architect Tina Govan. Make sure to include a drain pan to collect overflows or spills.

6. Open the floor plan

Cost: $2,000 to $4,000

A choppy layout of undersize rooms can make any house feel claustrophobic.

“People like the look of older homes, but not the way they function,” says Seattle architect Thomas Lawrence.

To open your floor plan without major expense, remove doors from rooms that don’t need them. Interior walls can come out for $2,000 to $4,000, unless they support the building or contain pipes — in which case a window or pass-through may be a more feasible solution.

7. Use built-ins to replace a closet

Cost: $4,500 to $6,000

If you choose to eliminate a closet to expand or enhance your living space, create some built-ins to get back the lost storage. A run of four- to 10-inch-deep shelving along a wall has almost no effect on the size of a room, says Corvallis, Ore., architect Lori Stephens.

And it can handle many times the capacity of a closet. You might spend $4,000 removing the closet and another $2,000 on new built-in cabinetry, or just $500 if you use assemble-it-yourself home-center cabinetry, such as the Billy collection from Ikea.

8. Build a bump-out

Cost: $6,000 to $12,000

Another trick to expand a home without a full-blown addition is called a bump-out. You hang extra space off the side of the house, sort of like an oversize bay window.

Structurally, it can’t extend more than about three feet from the existing exterior wall, but it can run nearly the whole length of the building — enough space to add an eating area to your kitchen or a closet to your master bedroom suite.

Because there’s no foundation work, a bump-out costs about $150 a square foot — or just $100 if you can tuck it under an existing roof overhang.

9. Finish non-living spaces

Cost: $15,000 to $30,000

Converting a full-height basement or garage into living space gets you an addition at half price. You’ll need a floor, ceiling, walls and more, but no structural work, no foundation, and no roof, so it’ll cost $50 to $100 a square foot — vs. about $200 for a true addition.

Attics are fair game, too, but more complicated because you may need to add a stairway and probably extend the plumbing, heating, and cooling systems a flight up. Doing all that brings the cost to around $150 a square foot.

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DIY Kitchen Backsplash Install!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

I have been getting a lot of requests for DIY kitchen backsplash guidelines. I found this easy to follow guideline that anyone can use!

Materials and Tools:

bucket
bleach
sponges
laundry detergent
rubber gloves
level
tape measure
grout floats
putty knife
wide trowel
toothed trowel
wet saw or tile cutter
safety glasses
grout
tiles
pre-mixed tile adhesive
caulk and caulking gun
grout sealer
paintbrush

Steps:

1. Clean the surface thoroughly first to remove all grease and residue. Mix together 1/4-cup laundry powder, 1/2-cup bleach and one gallon of water and scrub the wall with a sponge. Wear rubber gloves when scrubbing.

2. Use a putty knife to scrape off stubborn, built-up grease stains

3. Measure the length of the wall and mark the midpoint.

4. Dry-fit the tiles, starting in the middle to get an idea of how things will fit. If you’re fitting tiles in below a window, bring tiles up to the bottom of the window. Use a level to extend the window line along the wall.

5. Since the row just below the window will be made up of full tiles, measure the remaining space to the counter to determine how wide to cut the tiles.

6. Put on safety glasses and cut smaller tiles using a wet saw.

7. Spread grout along a section of the wall using a wide trowel. Go back over the grout with a toothed trowel to smooth everything out.

8. Start sticking tiles to the wall. Press and twist just a bit to set each tile in the adhesive. Stagger the tiles to make the pattern more interesting.

9. Once the last piece is in place let the adhesive cure overnight. Come back the next day for a grout party.

10. Apply the grout with a rubber grout float. Hold the float at an angle and force grout into the joints.

11. Don’t worry about smearing grout all over the tiles. Come back with a clean grout float and sponge and remove as much as you can.

12. Once all the joints are nice and full of grout, use a damp sponge to remove any remaining grout from the surface of the tiles.

13. Let the grout dry and polish tiles with clean, soft cloth to buff away any remaining haze.

14. Rub a damp sponge along the grout lines for the next few days so the grout cures properly. Also run a bead of caulk along the bottom and top of the tile backsplash.

15. After another week or so, paint the joints with grout sealer.

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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

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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

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Malkus Residence, Encinitas CA

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

This contemporary and harmonious home is located in Encinitas CA. This house incorporates the best of contemporary design to create a informal, casual, comfortable and welcoming space. It’s the perfect place for relaxing and enjoying life. The house is designed in modern style and is both a quaint coastal property and a chic contemporary dwelling. I had the opportunity to work with the owner of this beautiful property one on one, together we meticulously hand selected every single surface in the home, from the porcelain used on the floors and walls, glass mosaic backsplahes, Compac Quartz Countertops, stainless steel & glass mosiacs, and the various light fixtures. We wanted to create a simple, streamline design in every space. The interior design is white and clean with subtle blue hues, which is pleasing to the eyes. There is a lot of natural light inside that in combination with a selective amount of furniture makes rooms very airy. We used modern materials, furniture and personal art to make this home a real urban oasis. I have to say it is great working with clients like these, who know exactly what they want but give you creative freedom as a designer. With a contemporary atmosphere that is refined yet down to earth, this property is one of the best projects I have been involved in. The result? A beautiful, modern, calm, contemporary space that is truly breathtaking! Enjoy!

*A second home of similar design is currently under construction on the same property in Encinitas on Neptune Avenue. The house is for sale with an estimated completion date of Spring 2012. For more details, please visit www.1501neptune.com

Mlakus Residence, Dining Room

Malkus Residence, Guest Bathroom (Sage Green 1x2 Glass / Broadway White Porcelain)

Malkus Residence, Jack & Jill Bathroom (Stainless Steel 1x2)

Malkus Residence, Jack & Jill Bathroom (Stainless Steel 1x2)

Malkus Residence, Master Bathroom (Otago Black Marble)

Malkus Residence, Kitchen (Ocean Grey 3x6 Subway)

Malkus Residence, Living Room

Malkus Residence, Fireplace (Linear Broadway White Porcelain)

Malkus Residence, Hall Bathroom (Otago Black Marble)

Malkus Residence, Hallway ( Linear Broadway White Porcelain)


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