Saturday, July 28, 2012

Take a Peek at Some Teak

By Rick Breuer

Whether you are into the green, renewable movement or just appreciate antique materials, the reclaimed teak being used today may interest you.
Teak is a southeast Asian tropical tree. The components of the oils in the wood make it water, decay, insect and bacteria resistant.
Reclaimed teak is previously used wood that originates from old Dutch colonial buildings in Indonesia. The wood is reclaimed when the buildings are demolished and the wood is saved for reuse.
One of the ways this wood is being reused is to make hardwood flooring. Teak flooring is available in both solid and engineered styles by Indo Teak Design.
Since teak is water and decay resistant, it has long been used for outdoor use, such as outdoor furniture, even boats.
Now, this reclaimed teak is being also made into decorative wall tiles. These give a unique, but natural, warm feel to your room. A supplier of these teak tiles is Walker Zanger’s Anteak (nice play on words, since the reclaimed wood is antique). These teak tiles can be paired with ceramic tiles to create a beautiful and soothing look.
Stop in to the Tile Gallery’s showroom, or call us to set up an appointment to see samples and get more information.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wood Grain Porcelain Tiles - The Perfect Solution

By Rick Breuer

Aahhhh…. hardwood floors. Having come from the hardwood floor industry as an install/sand/finisher, I am naturally attracted to real wood floors.  So I never thought that I’d ever like a “fake” wood floor, but the wood grain tile that is available today is amazing!
Many tile manufacturers are supplying  porcelain tiles that mimic the look of hardwood planks, and even end grain cut wood.

The benefits of these tiles hit me immediately - they’d be great for bathroom applications. Hardwood floors are not recommended for bathrooms as there is too much moisture, both from steam but especially from wet feet as you get out of the tub or shower. As a wood floor guy, the first thing you learn is that water is not friendly with wood. Wood absorbs moisture and swells, causing cupped floors, and in very severe situations, can even push walls. So in homes where the owner wants the look and feel of hardwoods throughout, wood grain tiles would be perfect.In fact, the tiles can even be used in the shower. That would definitely be a unique but beautiful look!

The wood grain porcelain tiles would also be useful for those who are concerned about having real hardwood in their kitchens and slopping water on them at the sink or ice maker, or spilling foods and drink on them. These are valid concerns, and tile is a great solution. So again, for those that want the look of wood floors, these tiles do the trick. In fact, homeowners who have large or excitable dogs will find wood grain tiles to be a good way to keep from having to go through the hassle of having their wood floors resanded due to pet scratches.
Another great use is basement and below-grade floors. Solid wood in these areas are not acceptable, again due to moisture issues.  The tile is a much better choice over engineered, as it is much more durable and will last much longer.
The Tile Gallery has a great selection of wood grain tiles as well as just about any other style you can want. Come see us!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Let's Talk Tile

Tile is a beautiful and popular ingredient of remodeling – it appears somewhere in almost every house in America!  You may have a general idea of what you want from your tiling project, but your success is in the details. It takes some research, some reading (as you are doing now!) and some Q&A with tile dealers and professional tile contractors.
So, here is an overview of what you need to know when deciding on tile.
What are the Benefits of Tile?
Tile is both attractive and functional. Tile is strong, long-lasting, easy to maintain, and does a fantastic job in high-traffic areas, especially near outer doorways. Tile is used on walls, floors, the back splash in the kitchen, table tops, counter tops, even ceilings. Generally made from stone, porcelain, ceramic, or glass, tiles are available in a dizzying variety of styles, colors, and prices. Patterns are almost limitless when you take into account all of the possible combinations of size, texture and color.
Easy to Install: Tile installation is relatively easy, and some homeowners even do it themselves. But this is impossible for most of us, so we are content to choose the tile, and supervise the job. There are considerations which are vitally important to the quality of the finished project, that a professional knows how to address. Tile setters ensure that under the tile is a level surface which is both strong and hard. They know the ins and outs of grout and they bring all the right equipment, manpower, and expertise. They save you time and stress; reputable professionals know what they are doing, and will do it right the first time.
Creative Design: Planning your tile flooring, tile counter tops, or back splashes can be fun and a chance for you to let your creative juices flow. Whether you are going for a clean crisp finish, such as simple, geometric patterns for modern homes, or an old-world organic look for more classic home styles, there are tiles that will enhance every room of your house.
Easy to Clean. Tile is very easy to clean. 
Easy to Repair: Repairing individual broken tiles can be done without having to replace the entire surface.
Are there disadvantages of tile to take into consideration?
While the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, choosing tile does have a few drawbacks. Tile can break or chip, and you may need a professional to replace an individual tile.  The grout between tiles can stain or crack and need attention. Tile designs can go out of fashion fairly quickly.  And if budget is a major consideration, tiling is more expensive than most carpeting or linoleum.
PICK THE RIGHT TILE:  Choosing a gorgeous tile is the easy part! But make sure it's the right one for the job, be it floor or wall. For example, bathrooms need a moisture-proof tile that is non-slip. Areas near an outer door must have a hard, abrasion-resistant, moisture-proof surface. You will find that some tiles are rated for either indoor or outdoor use, while some can be employed in either location.
BE CAREFUL OF FADS:  Determine how long you will be in the house, and whether you need to soon consider resale. Perhaps consider something more classic that will be less apt to quickly become unfashionable. Remember the bright orange and greens of the seventies? J
CONSIDER GROUT COLOR CAREFULLY:  It may be a good idea to choose the darkest grout color you can as there will be less staining and discoloring over time. This is especially important in the kitchen, bath, and near doorways where dirt can be tracked in.
Decorative tiles, well chosen and installed, add that final touch to any part of your home, and will bring you pleasure for many years to come!
Have fun!
Copyright 2012
The Tile Gallery