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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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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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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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Expert Tips on Ceramic Tile Installation

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photo by Remodel This House

There may be a number of problems you’ll come across when laying ceramic tile for the first time. It’s important to learn how to properly install a ceramic tile to avoid added expense and hassles in the future. Plus, a properly installed ceramic tile floor can last many years without cracks, maintaining a beautiful look for your home or business.

Follow these tips from experts on proper ceramic tile installation:

  1. Check the Tile Grades
    Ceramic tiles are graded from 1 to 3. Tile grades 1 and 2 are best for floors or walls, but because of its thinness, tile grade 3 is strictly for walls only.
  2. Start with the Right Substrate
    Your ceramic tile can last longer if you set it in thinset mortar over a cement board. This cement board should have also been set on 3/4” plywood. If these are not properly laid out, the tiles can crack. You can also add polymer to the thinset mortar to increase the strength and bond.
  3. Taping the Cement Board
    It’s important to tape the cement board seams to ensure proper installation. To do so, place an alkali-resistant fiberglass mesh tape in thinset over all the seams. Using a trowel, push tape into thinset and then spread more thinset over the tape, including screw depressions. Read the thinset’s manufacturer’s directions to make sure you allow it enough time to cure.
  4. Give It Time
    This is probably an obvious tip, but most DIYers fail to give their ceramic time enough time before walking on it. It’s best to wait anywhere from 2-3 days. Otherwise, you may risk the tile cracking or moving. If you are hiring a contractor to do the job, make sure he lets you know when you can walk on the tile.
  5. Cracks May Not Be the Problem
    If you’ve followed these steps and other tile tips to ensure that you’re properly installing your ceramic tile, but they still seem to crack, then maybe the cracks are not your problem. The root of your problem may be a weak foundation. Check if your home is built on weak or expansive soil. Weak soil makes the foundation uneven, which can easily cause cracks in tile flooring. Expansive soil easily absorbs water, which can increase its volume, causing foundations and floors to crack.

Need more expert tips? Check us out on Facebook or Twitter. You’re also just a phone call away from our design experts who would love to help you. Call today at 626-572-2866.

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Marco Polo Design Center

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Need New Tiles?
Marco Polo Design Center provides the finest, highest quality porcelain, ceramic, stone, marble and glass tiles to contractors, dealers, builders and homeowners in Southern California.

Our team of design professionals are passionate about making floors both stunning and practical for our clients, and we want to do the same for you. Our Design Center features a wide variety of tile styles and designs. We do our very best to make our client’s dream look for their home or business come true. We are committed to our customer’s satisfaction and will provide you with the best options to create the finished design you want.

Contact us for any questions about tile flooring styles, designs and maintenance.

For design trends, inspirations, and DIY tips, follow us on Pinterest and Instagram.