Fall Trends in Stone and Tile

From shimmering and textured mosaics to porcelain tile with wood, stone or concrete looks, the latest introductions in stone and tile offer inspiration for one-of-a-kind designs. Below are just some of the numerous products available on today’s market.

Ann Sacks – Pyrite Collection

The carefully composed tiles in the “Pyrite” Collection by Ann Sacks are a tightly hand-fitted mosaic that resembles a puzzle-like jigsaw that have undergone careful polishing and antiquing techniques exclusive to Ann Sacks. These methods reveal the reflective, luminescent qualities of the stone, and the result is a distinctive combination of a refined and raw look. Available in 6″ x 6″, 6″ x 12″ and 12″ x 12″ tiles, “Pyrite” comes in several finishes, including gold or silver antiqued, gold or silver polished, and a mix of both.

Artistic Tile – Foliage Collection

Organic and intriguing, “Foliage” by Artistic Tile is hand crafted of stained glass manufactured in the U.S. “Foliage” is a new addition to the “Jazz Glass” Collection and adds a sense of movement to any room. The mosaic tile is available in 14.75″ x 14.25″ x .125″ pieces.

Original Style – Odyssey Collection

The designs for the “Odyssey” tiles and matching borders from Original Style have been inspired by places and styles from around the globe and throughout the ages, from a humble rug found in a Moroccan bazaar to majestic palaces, from rustic Turkish pottery to the lost civilization of the Incas. “Odyssey” tiles are hand-finished so each one is a small, unique work of art and they are not mass-produced, they are made specific to order in Original Style’s Devon Studio. Take “Odyssey” into your home for your own global adventure, around the world in 20 tile designs.

FROM THE PRO: Advice for designing a low-maintenance, family-friendly kitchen

Put your materials to the test. Take a sample of whatever countertop material you’re considering, and squeeze a lemon on it, spill some red wine, or dribble olive oil. Absorbent stones such as marble and limestone will stain, unlike a quartz like Cambria.

Stay away from leather. This goes for banquettes and barstools, which, like marble, will show every stain. Faux suedes and leathers (vinyls) have improved markedly in terms of appearance and durability. Indoor/outdoor fabrics, which are solution-dyed and can often be cleaned with bleach, are also very durable and come in a wide range of stylish patterns.

Choose finishes carefully. If you opt for stainless steel appliances, get a brushed finish, which won’t show streaks or fingerprints so easily. As for cabinets, painted finishes have become more durable, especially catalytic lacquers, like those used for painting cars, and you can opt for a low-sheen finish. And if wood gets gouged, it can be sanded down and refinished.

Match flooring to your lifestyle. Porcelain tile floors are the most practical flooring choice, and have come a long way in terms of styles and options. Hard species of wood floors, such as walnut, are also very forgiving, especially if they are hand-hewn, distressed, or reclaimed planks; however, the shinier the floor, the more scratches and dings will show. Designer Billy Beson recommends two coats of high-gloss polyurethane for a strong, hard finish, and then the final coat in a matte finish to reduce the sheen.

Carpet Care: Dealing with “Traffic Lane Gray”

Like all textiles, carpets will eventually show signs of wear. The wear creates an illusion of soiling, which often causes frustration and misunderstanding between the homeowners and the carpet care experts. Even though a carpet has been cleaned, it does not mean traffic areas will look clean. Traffic areas are those places where people are constantly walking or working. This situation creates what is called “Traffic Lane Gray”

While “Traffic Lane Gray” is an inevitable part of any carpets life, the process causing it can be slowed down. The way to prevent this is to rearrange furniture in your home. By doing so, you will block old traffic areas and created new ones. By occasionally switching the flow of traffic you will distribute the effects of “Traffic Lane Gray”. You can also add area rugs to places where “Traffic Lane Gray” is unavoidable through rearranging furniture.

This years bathroom color trends are…

“It used to be that there wasn’t a lot of color in the bathroom, so more color is definitely a newer trend,”says Jamie Drake, interior style guru and author of New American Glamour. “You still see a lot of white, crisp spa-like solutions, but even those often have bright accents.”

Neutral shades such as cream, beige and taupe have long been popular color choices for the bathroom because they wear well and fit easily into any design scheme. But these safe colors are giving way to bolder palettes that create a cheerful, fun place to wake up to every morning.

While bold can be beautiful, it’s not necessarily for everyone. “Color is crucial in creating different moods, so I create a range of palettes for a wide variety of lifestyles and looks, ” explains Leatirice Eiseman, director of the Pantone Color Institute, an Interior design industry leader in forecasting the hottest color trends.

Some might be surprised by the color pairings in the home color forecast for 2008. One palette, Wellspring, is particularly suited for a soothing and relaxing bath experience. Based on the properties of water, Wellspring uses shades of blue and aqua, highlighted by a glimmer of effervescent undersea green, violet and indigo. Mother-of-pearl and the sandy shades of the shore bring a beautifully warming balance.

Just a touch

If you don’t want color everywhere in your bath, try adding small doses in cheerful colors such as sunny yellow or fire-engine red that are inspired by children’s bathrooms. Glass tiles are becoming more readily available in many bright hues and  sizes, a small vanity backsplash would add punch.

For those who like to change color frequently, for example with the seasons, should consider sticking to a neutral tile and rotating accessories. “You can easily add a touch of updated color — and unexpected ‘aha’ — with towels, rugs, and other accessories,” says Eiseman. Try cool spa colors such as sapphire blue and seafoam green for spring, and brighter beach colors such as flamingo pink and chartreuse for summer. With the fall comes warmer shades of brown, while winter-influenced colors include candy apple red and maroon with an undertone of pink.

Drake is a fan of iridescent tiles with a mother-of-pearl sheen that changes with the light. “Even the white tiles are designed to shimmer and give off shades of turquoise, peach or lavender.”

Timeless Color

While we’re going to see more and more color in the bathroom, certain timeless guidelines still apply. “You want colors that are flattering to the skin — whatever you put on the wall will be the color reflected in your (face’s) shadowes,” says Jarrett Hedborg, whose celebrity clients include Jim Carrey, Bette Midler and Jeff Bridges. “I’ll never do a green bathroom because cool tones tend to be unflattering and make you look older. Yellow is another no-no, especially if you’re applying make-up, because it distorts your skin tone and makes you look jaundiced.”

According to Hedborg, most skin tones are pink, so you want warm tones that will pick up that color — such as peach and rose — and create warm shadows.

But don’t rule out those cool spa colors quite yet. “Some people will always like the soothing blues, blue-greens, greens and blue lavenders that enable tranquility and relaxations,” says Eiseman. “Ultimately, your choice of colors boils down to your expectations of what you want in a room that suits your comfort level.”

Cheers to the New Year and Hot Trends!

Tile is a popular flooring choice due to its durability and longevity. Here is a glimpse at some of the trends you can expect to see in 2012.

Clean Monochromatic Looks – The use of clean, minimalist graphics without a lot of movement will continue to be a staple of modern design. In addition, you will see additional use of fabric-like textures that mimic patterns of linen, silk and tweed. Neutral black, white and gray palettes will also become increasingly popular, especially when paired with bold accent colors.

Splashes of Glass and Metal – In 2012, expect to see designs that use glass or metal accents in backsplashes, showers or floors to create upscale spaces with added charm. This mixing of mediums is becoming more popular as a way to add aesthetic value to product quality.

Traditional Classics – Classic, timeless products and colors will remain most appealing to the residential market. Look for subtle uses of color, such as a color accent in a backsplash or in a shower design. You’ll also see more classic, realistic, stone looks, including travertine and slate.

Varying Sizes – Rectangular tile for both floor and wall applications will continue to be popular. Specifically, linear sizes that mimic the look of wood. In addition, large and small tile will be used together increasingly, for an innovative approach that can create the illusion of more expansive space.

Dimensionality – Textured dimensionality is a trend you’ll be seeing more frequently, especially with stone. Mosaics and wall tiles create visual relief as they utilize highs and low

Tougher than your toughest environment!

American Olean introduces a new glaze technology that provides built-in antimicrobial protection.

During the manufacturing process, the glaze is infused with Microban Antimicrobial Protection, creating an environment which inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. The result is an additional layer of durable, long-lasting protection, keeping the tile cleaner between cleanings.

The greatest part!? Bacteria inhabiting protection lasts the life of the tile!

Microban Technology is incorporated into the glaze during the manufacturing process, so it starts working the moment the tile is complete. Unlike other antimicrobial agents on the market, Microban doesn’t require UV light to be effective. It won’t wash off or wear away, giving your design an added level of durable, long-lasting protection. And it’s perfect for environments with heavy traffic volume. Check out the link below for more information! And don’t forget to see the complete American Olean line at our Traverse City and Frankfort Showrooms.

The LiquiDAM from TEC

The LiquiDAM is a moisture vapor barrier for the installation of floor coverings, tile, stone and concrete toppings. It is a low viscosity, high penetrating, two-part 100% solids epoxy designed to reduce moisture vapor transmission rates from 20 lbs per 1,000 SF per 24 hours to a rate of 3lbs per 1,000 SF per 24 hours from damp concrete and a variety of other substrates. It is specially formulated to be applied to moist or new concrete, as little as 48 hours old. The LiquiDAM is colored blue for visual assurance of coverage during the application process. Only one coat is required to penetrate and fill voids and gaps to fully seal the substrate. And it quickly cures in as little as 5 hours to provide the benefit of same day installation. It is ideal for use with other TEC adhesive, patch, underlayment, leveler and mortar products.

Stop into the showroom for information on other TEC Specialty products both stock and non-stock items!

The Latest in Urethane Grout…

Urethane grout offers the ultimate in color accuracy, stain protection and crack resistance for residential and commercial tile installations. It resists all types of stains including coffee, red wine, oil, and even tomato sauce while never needing to be sealed! Plus it is consistent in color every time.

Bostik TruColor Pre-Mixed Grout is a patented, water-based breakthrough formula that installs up to 50% faster than traditional grouts, and never needs to be sealed. Its perfect balance of flexibility and toughness enables it to exhibit unmatched performance and crack resistance.

We highly recommend using it on your next installation.