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Tile Flooring Myths

When shopping for flooring, many customers who are unfamiliar with tiles are deterred from considering them as an option because of myths that have surrounded tile flooring. Actually, tile flooring is one of the best options for today’s homes because of their durability, numerous style options and affordable prices. Here we’ll dispel some of the myths surrounding tile flooring.

Myth #1: Tiles Crack and Break Easily

All flooring can be damaged, but tiles are not fragile, as the myth would suggest. In fact, ceramic and porcelain tiles are highly durable and resistant to wear and tear due to a make-up of hardened, compacted materials. There is a variety of finishes and glazes available that can make them waterproof, slip resistant, and stronger than many other flooring products.

Need more advice? Read How to Decide on the Right Flooring for Your Home >>

Myth #2: Tiles are Hard to Clean

Many types of tile flooring are easy to clean. Coating can also be applied on tiles for more protection. Glazed tiles do not require sealing but they do come with a wear rating that will determine how much traffic the tile is designed for. Ask one of our design experts to help you select the right tile for your living space.

For help on cleaning your tile, read Tile Cleaning & Maintenance Tips >>

Myth #3: Tiles are Boring

Today’s tiles are far from boring. With natural options such as stone tiles, classic porcelain, or even wood-look tiles that mimic wood without the high cost and upkeep, tiles have become the foremost choice of home builders. In fact, tile flooring comes in unlimited styles with today’s materials and printing techniques. Compared to alternatives, tile flooring is also the cheaper choice, making them a great selection for homeowners.

For more tile inspiration, check out the Today’s Tile Trends >>

Do you know of other myths surrounding tile flooring that you’d like to debunk? Discuss them here. For help on tile flooring design choices, visit our design center.

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The Right Price to Pay for Flooring

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Gaspars.com

When planning to do a floor renovation, most homeowners are concerned about the cost. Nowadays, there are so many flooring options to choose from that it can be hard to figure out what the right price is for each type. You don’t want to pay for an inferior product, but want a good deal for great flooring. For the average consumer, it’s not that easy to differentiate a good deal from a bad one.

Below are three of the most popular flooring choices: carpet, tile and hardwood, and what is the right price to pay for each of them:

Carpet

Carpet is priced per square yard or square foot. While average carpet prices start at $2 a square foot, middle-grade quality ranges from $3 to $4 a square foot. Expect to pay about $5 or more per square foot for designer or high-grade quality carpet.

When installing carpet, you also have to consider additional costs like padding. Padding can cost about $2.50 to $6 per square foot. Don’t get fooled by free padding promotions, which are usually cheaply made, thin and often results in consumers paying for an upgrade.

Tile

Because of its durability, various styles, and reasonable prices, tile flooring is a popular choice among homeowners. One thing to note is that tile prices vary widely, from $1 per square foot up to more than $25, depending on the type.

For example, glazed ceramic tiles start around $1 per square foot, while porcelain, marble and granite tiles start at $2 per square foot. The most expensive type of tiles includes mosaic, glass, leather and metal, which can run up to $25 per square foot.

Expect to pay $6 to $6.50 per square foot for tile installation. Anything lower than these prices should raise a red flag. Cheap labor costs may mean that your installers do not have the proper training, qualifications and experience you are expecting, resulting in improper installation and cracked tiles in just a couple of years.

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are usually a luxurious choice for homeowners. This type of flooring is beautiful, but can be hard to maintain. The cheapest hardwood can start from $2 a square foot and go up to $30 or more for the high end.

A popular type of hardwood is called engineered hardwood, which is much more durable and affordable than solid wood floors. Expect to pay about $8 per square foot for engineered hardwood flooring and an additional $2 per square foot for installation.

Need more flooring advice? Call us at (626)-572-2866 and we’ll be happy to help you! You can also get more flooring ideas from our Pinterest and Instagram.

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5 Simple Ways to Update Your Bathroom

So, your bathroom needs a makeover but you’re not exactly ready to commit hours of labor and hundreds of dollars on a full renovation? We hear you. Renovating a room is not an easy task, especially bathrooms, which are one of the busiest spaces in a home. Major updates to a bathroom can cost you a pretty penny, too. Vanities can run up to thousands of dollars, as well as new bathtubs and showers. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can give your bathroom a fresh and modern look, without breaking the bank or your back:

Update the lighting. You can replace old bathroom sconces with more modern ones that are fairly priced and won’t take you too long to install. Find bathroom fixtures that are the same type as your current ones so that all you have to do is switch from the old to the new.

Give Those Walls Character. You can repaint bathroom walls with today’s trendiest colors like neutral gray, vibrant pink or citrus orange. Simple ivory white or off-white paint can also give a bathroom a nice, clean look. Another alternative is to cover the walls with a distinct wallpaper style that shows off your personality. Since the bathroom is a small space, it won’t take you as long to update the walls compared to the other rooms in the house.

Soften with Textiles. Without the warmth of textiles, a bathroom can look cold and uninviting. Soften the space with various textiles that will also add to its character. An elegant roman shade, a patterned shower curtain or a bold-colored rug is just a few of the many options to add color and pattern to an otherwise plain room.

Update the faucets and fixtures. Old faucets and fixtures can easily make a bathroom look outdated. Spruce it up by buying modern replacements. You can start off with just updating the faucets and later move on to showerheads. A small change can make a big impact.

Liven up Mirrors. It might not be obvious, but mirrors in the bathroom can make a great statement. After all, the bathroom mirror is often the first thing you see when you enter. It can easily be the focal point of the room if you dress it right. Beware: some mirrors might require a professional to properly remove. But other bathrooms have mirrors that can be more easily removed. Replace them with framed mirrors, venetian mirrors, or whatever best reflects your style.

Looking for more home improvement tips? Follow us on Facebook, Google+, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Beautiful Tile Flooring Ideas

The right flooring can help shape the overall style of a room in a significant way. Tile flooring, in particular, is popular today due to its durability and countless style options. To make sure you find the best tile flooring choice for your space, it’s important to take the time looking through samples of beautiful flooring to give you an idea of various looks.

Take a look at these unique and stylish tile-flooring ideas. From bathrooms to kitchens to living areas, you’ll be sure to find inspiration that will help transform your room. Pin them onto your Pinterest board!

 

natural-stone-floor-tiles-3These stone floor tiles have a contemporary design that still reflects the brown and natural hues in this cozy living room.

 

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White, clean and fresh cabinets stand out even more with the beautifully varnished floor tiles in this modern kitchen.

New-Issue-Gallery-House-30May14-Chris-Tubbs_b_426x639For the eclectic homeowner, these Moroccan bathroom floor tiles go perfectly well with a vintage bathtub, reflecting a comfortable and relaxed style.

 

Glasshouse-1-Easy-Living-11Mar14-Jan-Baldwin_bt_426x639Mosaic tile flooring for the outdoor patio brings a whimsical perspective in a traditional setting.

Looking for more tile inspirations? Follow us on Pinterest or Instagram. Or, check out our Design Center where we have friendly and knowledgeable design experts waiting to help you!

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Types of Tile: Pros and Cons

Today, it’s easy to see that there are numerous options to choose from when it comes to tile flooring. Within those options, there are also different price points and styles that can make it feel really overwhelming to decide just which type of tile is right for your space. Don’t let the wide selection of tile flooring overpower your chance to show your personality through design. In fact, you’ll find that while there are many types of tile to choose from, reviewing their pros and cons will help you narrow down to the ideal tile choice that will suit your space, style and budget.

Below is a list of the most common types of tiles as well as their advantages and disadvantages:

Source: ConsumerReports.org

sidebar-ceramicCeramic

Price: $2 to $7 per square foot

What is it? A mix of clay, minerals, and water, ceramic tiles are fired at high temperatures. Glazed styles are then treated with a liquid glass coating and fired again, creating a hard, stain- and scratch-resistant surface. Unglazed tiles are sometimes referred to as “quarry” tiles.

Best for: Ceramic tile is typically affordable, durable, easy to install and comes in a nearly endless array of colors and designs.

But: Colors can vary from lot to lot and ceramic is not ideal for high impact areas. Handmade or “art” tiles can be extremely pricey.

 

images-4Porcelain

Price: $3 to $7 per square foot

What is it? Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile that is fired at a higher temperature than standard ceramic, making it denser and less porous.

Best for: Use stain- and impact-resistant porcelain tiles on floors, walls, backsplashes. It’s easy to clean and comes in a wide variety of styles.

But: It requires a special setting material designed to adhere non-porous materials—DIYers often buy the wrong one. Check with the manufacturer to be sure you’re using the recommended adhesive.

 

floor-markerGlass

Price: $7 to $30 and more per square foot

What is it? Thin pieces of glass sold individually or as a mosaic, sometimes with other types of tile, on a mesh backing.

Best for: Colorful, reflective, easy-to-clean glass tile is best for walls and backsplashes. Some glass tile is rated for use on floors. The wide range of colors gives glass tile great “wow” factor.

But: It can be expensive and difficult to install. Because the tiles are transparent, the adhesive is visible through the tile. Unless you’re highly skilled, getting professional-looking results is difficult for a DIYer.

 

cement_tile_satin_finishCement

Price: $9 to $17 per square foot

What is it? Handmade of natural materials, cement tiles—also known as encaustic or Cuban tiles in the U.S.—typically boast bold patterns.

Best for: Resilient and beautiful, cement tiles are appropriate for floors, backsplashes and walls.

But: They’re pricey and not as common as other tiles, so your installer may not be used to working with them. Also, cement tiles are prone to etching by acid or harsh detergents and must be sealed on installation and resealed periodically.

 

f011dd5d0e28438b_4303-w640-h454-b0-p0--traditional-wall-and-floor-tileStone

Price: $6 to $15 per square foot

What is it? Pieces of natural stone—granite, slate, travertine, marble, onyx, sandstone, to name a few—cut into thin, regular pieces, stone tile has a rich, one-of-a-kind look.

Best for: Use stone on walls, backsplashes, or floors. Get the look of a granite countertop for less by using granite tiles instead of a slab.

But: Most stone tile can be damaged by exposure to water, pigment, or acid, so be prepared for extra maintenance. Seal on installation and reseal every 10 years.

Need more help deciding which type of tile is right for your home or business? Contact us or visit us at our Design Center today!

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Tips on How to Clean Your Bathroom Tile Flooring

images-3 Bathrooms are one of the busiest rooms in the house, so it’s no wonder that bathroom floor tiles need to be cleaned regularly. For homes with children, bathrooms can get messier more quickly. It’s important to wash off dirt that have accumulated on tiles each week to make sure your flooring’s original luster lasts for years to come.

Below are some easy tips on how to clean your bathroom floor tiles:

  • Prevent mold growth in your grout and shower tiles by drying moist surfaces with a clean, dry mop or cloth.
  • Apply a tile cleaning solution once a week on your tiles and grout, especially on areas where dirt is visible. Here are some suggestions for Eco-Friendly and Green Tile Cleaners.
  • To clean hard-to-reach areas, use a clean toothbrush.
  • For stubborn dirt, use a hand-bristled brush to scrub tiles.
  • To help scrub away dirt even faster, use a vinegar solution. Mix 1 part vinegar and 5 parts water. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on the tile and other similar surfaces in the bathroom. Leave the solution on for 10-15 minutes so that the dirt goes into the solution. Scrub away the surface and wash it with water.
  • You can also use baking soda to help clean away dirt. Sprinkle baking soda on your cleaning cloth or sponge and apply it on your tiles. Leave on for 10-15 minutes. Then, scrub the area and rinse with water.
  • Remember to rinse off areas with plain, clean water and make sure the tile floor is dry before you allow people to enter the bathroom. More tile cleaning and maintenance tips.

What other tile cleaning tips can you add to this list? For more information on tile flooring, contact us. We’ll be happy to help you bring your design ideas to life! 

 

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How to Decide on the Right Flooring for Your Home

marco-polo-tile-wood-look-tile-flooringThese days, there are numerous types of flooring to choose from that it’s easy for homeowners to feel overwhelmed. From carpet to wood to tile, flooring options have increased dramatically thanks to advancements in the manufacturing industry. Whether you’re in the planning stages of a new home construction or doing renovations in your current space, these are important factors you need to consider before choosing the right flooring for your home:

1. Consider who is living in your house.

Do you have young children who will be running around? Grandparents or older people living with you? Pets who may be scratching up the floor?

Because they are more prone to spills, children often accelerate wear and tear. Choose flooring that will be the most durable. For example, tile, vinyl or linoleum are great options.

Elderly people on walkers or wheelchairs will have a more difficult time moving about with types of flooring with grout seams, like tile. Wood or laminate floors would work best to fit their needs.

Pet hair is definitely easier to clean on smooth surfaces, so avoid carpet as much as possible. But, claws can also do damage on hardwood floors, so tile, bamboo or laminate flooring are better choices.

2. Consider if anyone has allergies.

For people with allergies, carpet is usually a poor choice for flooring. Compared to hard surfaces, carpet contains higher VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that might affect the health of those sensitive to airborne allergens.

3. Consider the rooms where you will install new flooring.

Kitchens and bathrooms can get a lot or moisture or spills. Tile, linoleum, vinyl, and ceramic tile are popular choices for these areas.

Bedrooms are spaces where people often want to go barefoot. Choose flooring that will be comfortable, such as carpet. Carpet also provides good insulation and soundproofing in case the bedroom is above a garage.

Basements are often the most humid room in the house, so avoid wood. If you really want a “wood-look” in your basement, there are now Wood-Look Tiles that you can choose from as well as laminates that will be durable.

4. Consider what appeals to you.

What kind of look are you going for? If you like a classic look, hardwood is always a popular choice. However, if you are leaning toward a more contemporary and clean look, tiles offer sleek lines. Then, there are those who prefer being more comfortable and cozy, which thick carpeting can provide.

5. Consider if you want to go green.

There are many eco-friendly flooring options available to homeowners today.

Bamboo is a type of grass that grows quickly. It is a strong and durable choice for flooring.

Cork is made from the bark of the cork oak, with no damage to the tree. It is absorbs vibrations and sound, has a natural, nonslip surface, and feels cushiony underfoot.

Linoleum is made from linseed oil, mineral fillers and wood or cork flour. It even has bactericidal properties that “stop microorganisms from multiplying.” It is durable like bamboo.

6. Consider how much time you’ll want to put into the upkeep.

Flooring maintenance can be harder for some types of surfaces than others. Wood, for example, needs to be swept or vacuumed regularly to prevent dulling and scratching from ground-in dirt. Stone and tile don’t need as much upkeep, but they do need to be swept at least once a week to maintain their original finish.

7. Consider your budget.

If you want cost-effective flooring, vinyl and laminate are a great way to go. Both are durable and have great design options. However, if you want a more upscale look and flooring that will last longer over time, tile and stone are popular choices for both homeowners and homebuilders. Aside from the price of the flooring, you’ll also have to keep in mind the cost of installation and any additional materials, such as baseboards, stains or adhesives.

Have more to add to our list? Comment below. Or, if you need assistance on how to choose the right flooring for your home, visit the Marco Polo Tiles Design Center today or give us a call at 626-572-2866. We would be happy to help you!

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Today’s Tile Trends

When designing a room, flooring is one of the most important components to the overall look of your space. Because of their combined style and functionality, tile flooring is a popular choice among both homeowners and homebuilders. Tiles are durable, easy to clean and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. There are so many tile designs to choose from – you’ll be able to easily find a great match for your living space.

Below are the latest tile flooring trends:

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Small Mosaic Tiles

Small mosaic tiles are perfect for small rooms because they are easier to install in this type of rooms than large ones. Specifically, small mosaic tiles are a hot trend in bathrooms that are moisture-prone, since smaller tiles mean more grout lines and traction.

 

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Wood-Look Porcelain Tile

Wood-look porcelain tiles provide the beautiful style of hardwood flooring, but also comes with the durability and moisture resistance of porcelain. This tile flooring is one of the hottest trends today, thanks to the advancements in recent manufacturing processes. Wood-look porcelain tiles can be manufactured in what are called planks, or tiles that are rectangular in shape.

 

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Oversized Travertine Tile

Oversized travertine tile are used more commonly in ranch-style homes in the hot Southwest. Travertine tiles have a cooler feel under the foot, which helps beat the heat in these warm regions. These tiles also work great for climates that experience some seasonal chill, because it maintains and distributes radiant heat better than wood.

 

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Stone-Like Porcelain Tile

Natural stone looks beautiful, but it is also prone to stains and chips, unlike porcelain. This is why stone-like porcelain tiles are a hot trend right now with homeowners. You get the charm of a cobblestone look with the chip and moisture protection of porcelain.

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Natural Stone Tiles

Natural stone is a great choice for the outdoor areas of the home, especially walkways, outdoor bars and kitchens and around the pool. Because natural stone comes from nature, it can withstand the elements. Slate is a popular type of natural stone because it is less slippery.

 

Want to see more? Visit our Design Center to see these beautiful tiles up close and get recommendations from our design experts. For more tile trends, you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

All photos in this post courtesy of HGTV.com

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Ceramic Tile: Latest Advancements

kitchen tiles for floor, kitchenA recent article from South Coast Today talks about the latest advancements in ceramic tiles as well as growth in popularity in new-home construction.

Ceramic tile is a natural product, so it’s eco-friendly and non-toxic. The tile is formed from a mixture of clays and other natural materials. Using an age-old method, the special clays are mined from the earth, shaped, colored and than fired in kilns.

Traditional ceramic tile can be naturally colored and left unglazed like terra cotta, or they can feature colored or highly designed surfaces, which can be glazed (finished with a glass surface) either in a high gloss or matte finish. Most ceramic tiles have either white or red body coloration underneath the glazed, colored top layer.

Ceramic tile flooring is easy to care for, durable, and great for both indoor and outdoor use. Today, modern techniques have developed the look of ceramic tiles, creating realistic designs that are both stylish and affordable.

One of these modern methods is called high-definition inkjet technology, which allows ceramic tile to have the look of stone and wood, materials that are not as durable as ceramic tile. Inkjet technology even makes it possible for ceramic tile to come in wood-plank shapes and sizes.

New ceramic tiles even come in various textures such as fabric-look and patterns, like chevron, herringbone and metallic. This amazing tile also comes in trendy shapes such as subway tiles, hexagons and more – anything you can imagine. The nature and versatility of ceramic tiles make it an eco-friendly, stylish and practical choice for today’s homeowners.

If you’d like to view our ceramic tile collection, visit our Design Center, where we will help you choose a tile design for your living space.

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Green and Safe Tile Cleaners

Tiles are a popular choice for flooring because of their durability. Almost every home has a tile floor in it, especially kitchens and bathrooms. Tiles are also perfect for high traffic areas and require little maintenance.

However, to keep your tiles looking brand new, they’ll need regular cleaning. We recommend tile cleaners that are gentle on the tiles as well as the environment. Natural tile cleaners are also affordable because you might just find them already in your home.

Below is a list of green tile cleaners that will not damage your tiles in any way and will be safe to use around children and pets as well.

lemon-juice

Lemon Juice – Lemon juice is a great alternative to cleaners that contain bleach. Lemon has natural acidic properties that will help easily remove stains on tiles. It also has antibacterial properties to it that will kill bacteria, but will not have the harmful effects of bleach. Lemon also is a great deodorizer, so not only will it help your floor looking clean, your whole room will smell clean, too.

 

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Salt – This is a great natural cleaner that every home has in their kitchen. Salt has strong cleaning properties that will clean and deodorize all type of tile flooring. To use salt as a natural cleaner, simply mix salt with hot water. Squeeze some lemon juice in your mix for a great smell and added sanitizing power.

 

Distilled-White-Vinegar-Tile-Cleaner

Distilled White Vinegar – For generations, distilled white vinegar has been used for its cleaning properties that are non-toxic and effective to use. Similar to lemon juice, distilled white vinegar also helps deodorize tiles while cleaning them. It can easily get rid of odors that are tough to remove. It can also cut through grease stains without much effort.

 

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Borax – Borax is a great cleaner to have in the home. It’s often used as a laundry detergent, but borax can be used to clean your tiles and keep it sanitary. Safe and effective, Borax is also used to ward off pests such as bugs and cockroaches. It’s a great cleaner to use if you want to clean your tiles and get rid of pests too. Simply rub Borax into the floor where there is dirt and then rinse it off with water.

 

Washing-Soda-Tile-Cleaner

Washing Soda – Washing soda may not be commonly found in people’s homes, but you can easily make washing soda from baking soda using tips from Nature’s Nurture Blog. Washing soda is also a non-toxic and effective cleaner for tiles because its ability to remove grease and tough stains. To apply, simply mix some washing soda with water to create a paste, then rub gently onto the stains. Leave it on for about half an hour, and then rinse with water.

 

Need more tile cleaning tips? Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, or check out our Pinterest board. You can also visit our Design Center for more advice on how to keep your tiles looking great.