When most people consider tile, glass or stone in the remodel of their houses the main thing that comes to mind is bathroom flooring, shower or tub surrounds and kitchen backsplashes, but there are so many other options where the use of tile can add that little bit of extra ‘oomph’ to your home.
Glass Backsplashes are always stunning, whether it’s neutral or colorful, linear or square mosaics, the effect of a large area covered with glass is timeless and beautiful. But why stop there?
Use your backsplash tile on the kitchen island to coordinate the two focal points and add some extra drama to the space.
Or, make it just a little more unexpected and add a few rows of your mosaic below your counter tops.
But why stop there!
This house had an odd niche in their downstairs powder room. So they turned it into a piece of art with an amazing stone and glass design with a shimmery porcelain border! Space is 24”Wx48”H.
Accent walls are frequently done with a coordinating shade of paint, or maybe some dramatic wallpaper. Why not split face stone instead for a rustic but super chic effect?
Or make your foyer or entryway a feature.
If a whole wall seems overwhelming, decorative accents can be worked into your design in smaller ways, like a glass mosaic panel highlighting a decorative and unusual light fixture.
Or the vertical risers between steps on your front staircase.
Shoot, who are we kidding, just tile the whole house!
New to Traditions in Tile is Snappy Kitchens!
A Texas company that recently opened a new showroom in Atlanta, they have a new showroom full of beautiful tile and stone from Traditions in Tile. We are excited for this new partnership and hope anyone looking to remodel their kitchen will check out their showroom. 2612 Holcomb Bridge Rd in Alpharetta, GA.
Below are some photos from their grand opening celebration last week.
One of the most important things to consider when starting a project is what you’re able/willing to spend. Here’s a great article from Houzz.com about having budget conversations with your designer or builder up front and why it’s important to be honest and realistic about your expectations.
Our Jacksonville, FL showroom recently underwent a well-deserved remodel. The former showroom space lacked lighting and flow and wasn’t nearly large enough to showcase as many of our fabulous products as we needed it to.
This major remodel added approximately 1200 square feet of space to the showroom and has taken over two months to do. The client restroom was completely gutted and new tile and vanity installed. Over 40 new stone and porcelain floors were put down. Three additional work stations were added giving significantly more workspace than was had previously. The lighting throughout the showroom was rearranged and added to for a brighter space to work in. More boards, displays and vignettes have been added to increase the ability to show product appropriately. Even so, it is still a work in progress with many more updates and changes coming.
We are very excited for everyone to come and see the new space.
Grand Opening Event is scheduled for April 24th. Details to be announced soon!
Jenn Bliss – Traditions in Tile Greensboro
Jenn Bliss is our newest designer out of our Greensboro, NC showroom. She chose a very rustic look for her design idea. Jenn appreciates rich, warm tones and loves the contrast of the texture of the Andesite stone in comparison to the wooden mimicked porcelain. The crushed glass accent piece adds some femininity to an otherwise rather masculine pallet.
This type of look and color palette is perfect for a client who prefers a more natural look with warm wood characters and heavy textures. The glass accents are neutral while still adding depth and drama.
Jenn is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a degree in Interior Design. Her varied background includes Promotions and Marketing for a radio station, wedding photography and working for a furniture company. She is new to Traditions and the tile/stone world but excited for this new adventure!
What mistakes are regularly made when installing ceramic tile?
There are several common errors that can be avoided by proper planning. Here's how to avoid mistakes encountered on a regular basis during ceramic tile installations:
1. Prepare the surface—One of the most common reasons for an adhesion failure is lack of proper surface preparation. For example, taking precautions to avoid contamination, cleaning the area and preparing the surface will take extra time, but will significantly reduce the chances of failure.
2. Use the right adhesive—Too often, adhesive products are purchased based on cost factors alone. Various types of adhesives are made for different applications. For example, one adhesive may work well on smaller tile but will not effectively adhere well to large tiles.
3. Protect the surface—Floors are often completed before other construction around them is finished. It is important to remember that the floor can be damaged and grout can stain. Take precautions to ensure that the floor is protected and that the finished product stays intact and in pristine condition.
4. Pay attention to movement joints—Depending on the size of the tile job, an installer should consider movement joints. Just like bridges, concrete and tile surfaces will expand and contract. It is important to notice the size and plan accordingly to avoid cracking and grout failures.
5. Read instructions—Some product failures are a result of not knowing what the product requirements are. Products are specially formulated and something as simple as adding too much or too little water to the mix can result in a bad mix that will lead to further problems in time.
6. Grout carefully—Grout requires attention to detail and can be temperamental. It is often mixed to with too much water, and/or cleaned with too much water, resulting in a greater chance for the grout to not cure properly and instead cure splotchy and mottled. Additionally, the installer will often times get back on the grout too soon for cleaning, not allowing the grout to have its initial set. This can have a negative effect on both the final color of the grout and even the physical strength.
Natural stones and marbles have been used in construction for thousands of years, but somehow this issue of marble mosaic shower floors, most specifically the white marbles (Carrera, Venatino, Calacatta, Statuary, etc), still poses a consistent risk in wet area installations.
The most frequent job complaint we hear of is the darkening of the stone mosaics and tiles around the drain. It is as if the stone is wet and never dries out, which it very well could be. While we at Traditions in Tile do stand behind our products and suppliers at all times, it must be noted that for natural stone shower installations to not have this common issue, the stone must be installed 100% correctly, in accordance with both the MIA (Marble Institute of America) and the TCNA (Tile Council of North America) guidelines for tile and stone installations. And, sadly, even then, sometimes it is a natural response of the stone to still encounter this “ring” around the drain in a wet area application.
The majority of stone shower applications we specify do not have issues, but again, it is a persistent risk and must be weighed by the homeowner before selecting a natural white stone for the shower floor. Consideration should be given to any number of porcelain or ceramic mosaics that easily compliment the rest of the shower installation, and carry no risk of “the ring.”
This issue has become so common that it was addressed in detail in the May issue of The Tile Letter, an industry publication that we highly recommend everyone subscribe to! Please check out the linked article on how the NTCA representative (National Tile Contractors Association) responds to a customer complaint for this very problem.
Natural Stone equals Natural Variation:
When choosing products for your home it is very, very important that you understand the type of product you are ordering, as well as the range in color for that product. Natural stones are the main culprit in shading and color range, but some porcelain lines are designed with that intention in mind also. You should always ask your designer what a typical range is for the product you are selecting. It is frequently possible to get photos of current color lots from our suppliers and we will always be happy to obtain these for you. We would much rather wait the extra day to get the photos, than order blindly and not be happy with the material.
For instance, the Ferrara natural stone has a very wide range of shading and heavy veining and if you only look at one or two pieces, you may not realize that the actual stone product looks like this:
Yes, that is exactly what this stone is supposed to look like. It is not a mistake. However, if you only looked at a few of the clean white pieces, or just one of the yellow pieces, you may not be happy with the end result.
We have many of these types of products, again mostly natural stones, that are intended to have significant variation and this is where many people find the beauty in them. Below is another natural stone, Picasso, which we stock and is a very rangy stone with tones from browns and creams to blues and greys all mixed in together.
Part of the beauty of natural products is that every piece is completely unique and no two installations will ever look exactly the same. It is important to know what to expect when using natural stones in your design and we always make sure we give you as much information as possible during your selections so that you are happy with the final product.
It is also very, very important to inspect your stone prior to installation. We cannot stress this enough. It is a much easier fix if you find one green tile in the middle of a box of cream stone when it’s not already installed on the floor. Don’t assume your installer will know what you expect your stone to look like.
With a little knowledge and a little help from your friends at Traditions, natural stones can be a beautiful addition to your next project.
New Year’s does not always have to be about resolutions, starting something new, or heading in a different direction. It can also be about building on the existing opportunity or recent success. The first step we should take at the beginning of anything new is an assessment of where we’ve been and an honest evaluation of the need for change or an emphasis on staying the present course.
Did we reach our goal? Did we hit our number? Were we able to finish exactly where we projected we would? Did we accomplish everything we set out to when we last set goals? All these questions help us to assess a new starting point or the next turn in our present course. How we proceed establishes the degree of success we will achieve before we even get started.
First let’s consider those questions we just asked. If we did not reach our goal, or hit our number, or meet projections… can we determine why not? These answers will set the tone for future projections or goals. The answers must be accurate and honest or we are fooling ourselves! After we have done an honest assessment, we have to move on to correcting the issues that kept us from success. We cannot hesitate and hope for the best... hoping for it will not change it… ACT! If products, process, or people stood in the way before, then remove the obstacles! The most destructive action to avoid is inaction!
On the other hand, if we met with success in the recent past, then we need also to make sure we understand from where our success came! The old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is only partially correct. We have to be prepared to address the ever changing competitive climate we find ourselves in, even when we are moving along at a great pace. Success has to keep us alert not lull us into complacence. If we are doing it right… how can we improve on it? If we have reached the highest rung… should we then find a new ladder to climb?
The New Year doesn’t just mean starting over, it means a new start. Let’s take the opportunity to review our recent successes and setbacks, assess our strengths and weaknesses, and move forward into a new year with optimism and excitement about new goals and new opportunities! Good luck and good selling to all!