Posts Tagged ‘Wood Deck Tiles’

11 Ways to Go Green in your Kitchen and Bathroom

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Follow these simple steps to an environmentally-conscious home:


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.


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.


Written by: Suzanne Morrissey


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Outdoor Showers! by Ana Morales

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

An outdoor shower is not only practical, its a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you want to rinse off after a day at the beach, be in touch with nature or just simply relax, there is an outdoor shower design just for your needs. Deciding what the best location for an outdoor shower depends on how you will use it. For beach goers it’s a convenient way to spray off the sand before going inside,  for pool owners it’s great for a post swim rinse and for nature lovers it is a great way to be at one with the outdoors. One thing is clear, outdoor showers must take advantage of the natural beauty of their surroundings. In regards to materials, you  want something that can withstand any weather conditions. You want something durable, that you typically find outdoors, like natural stone or wood.

For shower walls, floors and fixtures, choose weather-resistant materials. Enclosures made of pressure-treated wood, IPE wood, cedar or teak will hold up well outside. When buying imported wood, look for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification, which means the boards were sustainably harvested. Wood should be treated periodically to prevent mildew and fading.

IPE Hardwood Outdoor Shower

Natural Stone

A stone wall or floor requires less maintenance such as tumbled river rock or slate. It is a great natural look that helps you connect with nature at a deeper level. Natural stone is something durable that can be exposed to any type of weather and is simply beautiful in any outdoor setting. Stone should be sealed with a quality penetrating stone sealer every 2 to 3 years depending on use.

Standing Java Pebble Outdoor Shower


Bronze or copper fixtures are recommended because they develop a natural patina as they age. Brass also works well, but avoid anything too shiny, because the gloss will fade. In seaside locations, where salty air can damage most metals, corrosion-resistant stainless steel with a 304 rating is typically the best choice. To keep stainless looking new, wipe it down every couple of weeks with warm soapy water, rinse, and then wipe it dry with a soft cloth.

Bronze Shower Fixture

Stainless Steel Shower Fixture


Always remember outdoor showers have two purposes. To help you connect with nature and people and, of course, to get clean. Any design you pick should blend in with the landscape. The shower should be close enough to your home that you will use it often. Finally, there is a romantic element to outdoor showers. The enclosure should promote nature, romance, and fun.

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Outdoor Flooring Materials by Ana Morales

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

What’s the best material to build your deck or patio with? Here are 4 outdoor flooring choices and the cost, pros and cons, and ideal locations for each.


Pros and cons: Wood decking is one of the simplest DIY projects, which lowers the cost substantially, but wood requires sealing every one to two years depending on UV exposure.

Cost: Around $8.00 – $24.00 per square foot for higher-end wood such as IPE.

Ideal location: Ground level or raised decks, pool decks.

Design ideas: Using wood deck tiles is greener and can be less expensive, since the tiles can lay over any existing flat surface there is no labor costs involved.

IPE Wood Deck Tile Installation


Pros and cons: Porcelain tile installed outdoors must be highly slip-resistant and able to withstand freeze-thaw cycles. Look for tile specifically formulated for the outdoors, which is dense with low absorption ratings.

Cost: $8.00 – $20.00 per square foot

Ideal location: Pool Decks, Front Porches, Patios.

Design ideas: Pair large tiles such as 18″x18″ or 20″x20″ with a thin grout line to create a seamless look ; use accent tiles to create a border.

Outdoor Porcelain Tile Installation


Pros and cons: A basic slab of concrete is inexpensive, low-maintenance and a good long-term option, though cracking is difficult to repair.

Cost: $3.50 – $4.00 per square foot for basic concrete; $8.00 per square foot for pavers; $12.00 per square foot for stamped or acid-etched concrete.

Ideal location: Driveways, Patios, Pool Areas, Front Porches, Garden Paths.

Design ideas: Update a traditional concrete slab by choosing a unique finish such as stamped or acid-etched. Concrete pavers are durable, low-maintenance, and come in a wide variety of designs as well.

Acid Etched Concrete Finish With Diamond Pattern

Natural stone

Pros and cons: Natural Stone such as slate or pebble tile costs less and is more eco-friendly. Once installed, natural stone is extremely durable and almost maintenance-free.

Cost: $9-25 per square foot, varies by type of stone and region,

Ideal location: Patios, pool decks, front porches, walkways, driveway accents

Design ideas: Use pebble tile to create a mosaic pathway; for a more uniform appearance, select cut modular stones. Natural stones have beautiful color variations including gray, green, blue and red, which can form an important design element in your outdoor space.

Natural Mosaic Pebble Pathway

*All costs for all materials are estimates that include labor and installation. Prices may vary by region, and installing materials yourself will cost substantially less in most cases.

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Summer Lounging…

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Quite a few of the products we carry here at Design For Less have been used in big commercial installations.  One of them being the wood deck tiles at the stunning and classic L’Auberge Del Mar.

The biggest part of the renovation was the massive outdoor area home to lounge space, a restaurant and a bar.

*All pictures can be enlarge by clicking on them.
L'Auberge Del Mar Wood Deck Patio

L'Auberge Del Mar Wood Deck Patio

Building a wood deck on that scale is extremely expensive, especially with Ipe wood.  Ipe wood is the strongest and most durable wood decking you can use.  It is exceptionally durable, has the same fire rating as concrete and is obviously very dense.  So while it is the best material to use for a commercial deck plan like this it is also the hardest to install.

That’s where the wood deck tiles come in.  Ipe wood deck tiles eliminate basically all traditional deck construction cost.  To create the tiles the same durable Ipe wood is cut and mounted onto a plastic backing.  Each side of the plastic backing is equipped with an interlocking snap system which allows you to lock the wood deck tiles together with a step of your foot.

Ipe Wood Deck Tiles 12x12 & 12x24

Ipe Wood Deck Tiles 12x12 & 12x24

L'Auberge Wood Deck Fire Pit

L'Auberge Wood Deck Fire Pit

The use of the wood deck tiles at the L’Auberge cut the construction time by about 3 weeks.   By looking at the stunning view of the deck you would have no idea it was this easy and fast.

L'Auberge Del Mar Ipe Wood Deck

L'Auberge Del Mar Ipe Wood Deck

The Auberge used Ipe 12×24 (above) as well as Curupay 12×24 (below).  Even though we do not carry the Curupay you can still achieve the warmer red tones by using a wood sealer on the Ipe deck tiles.  Using a stain allows you to achieve your ideal tones without compromising on quality of wood.  Examples of wood sealers can be found in the installation tips below.

L'Auberge Del Mar Curupay Wood Deck Patio

L'Auberge Del Mar Curupay Wood Deck Patio

L'Auberge Wood Deck Tile Patio

L'Auberge Wood Deck Tile Patio

To keep with the relaxing and vacation in paradise feel of the hotel they also included a waterfall using the Standing River Rock pebble tiles. The Standing River Rock tiles are pebbles cut in half.  The cut edge is then mounted onto a mesh backing to create a stunning 3 dimensional look.  Perfect for water features like this or anywhere you are trying to create a visually stunning and relaxing space.

L'Auberge Del Mar Standing River Rock Pebble Tile Waterfall

L'Auberge Del Mar Standing River Rock Pebble Tile Waterfall

The restaurant overlooks this stunning water feature.

L'Auberge Del Mar Standing River Rock Waterfall

L'Auberge Del Mar Standing River Rock Waterfall

The Ipe or the Standing River Rock pebble tiles are not just for commercial applications though.  Here are some smaller residential installations done by Design For Less Clients.

Deck Tile Installation

Deck Tile Installation

You can see a video of more installations on our YouTube page.

It should be noted that you can take your deck with you anywhere.  These tiles can be uninstalled just as easy as you installed them.  If you are renting and and want to update your outdoor space the wood deck tiles are the perfect solution.  They can be installed on any level surface and instantly increase the beauty and value of your out door space.

Here are 5 easy steps for installation and a link to the Maintenance Guide.

1) Clean and sweep the level surface clean, if it is a waterproof surface you may want to re-seal the surface before installing the tiles.

2) Start laying the tile.  It is recommended to start laying the tile on one side and work your way out to the edges.  If dealing with an odd shape start with the leading edge that is most straight and work your way toward the terminating edge of your home.  You can use a rubber mallet to snap the tiles in place by hitting the tiles gently on all corners.  If the tiles do not snap in from the top easily, try snapping them in from the bottom of the adjacent tile instead of the top.

3) If you require custom fitting then you will need to modify some tiles on your final row.  First try to remove the wood and cut the backing frame to the desired size.  If your design needs a rounded shape you will need to cut across the wood slats.  When cutting the tiles remember to remove the screws on your line so as to avoid hitting them with your blade.

4) Fit your custom tiles into place for the final fitting. It is not uncommon to install rectangular and square decks in a few hours.

5) We recommend sealing the tiles with a good oil penetrating sealer such as Cabot Australian Timber Oil (we like the mahogany flame tint) or Messmers Exotic Hardwood Sealer.  The more tint or color in the oil the longer they last.  These oils simply wipe on and cleanup the excess oil.  Do not apply in direct sunlight.  Best results occur when 2-3 coats are applied during the first application.  Let dry between applications.


If you have any other questions about the wood deck tiles feel free to call us at 1-888-848-4537 or email us at

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