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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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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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Tile Cleaning & Maintenance Tips

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photo by greenblog.org

Tile floors are the easiest types of flooring to clean. They are water resistant and highly durable. It’s no wonder that many homeowners and businesses choose tiles for flooring. Choosing tiles for your floors is a great investment, so it’s important to know how to protect it. With proper cleaning and maintenance, tile floors will last you for many years to come.

Below are some of the essential tips for regular tile cleaning & maintenance:

DAILY CLEANING

  • Sweep, dust or vacuum floors on a daily basis to remove dust or debris, which has a tendency to accumulate and become more difficult to remove overtime.
  • Use cleaning products after you sweep, dust or vacuum your tile floors
  • Use a damp mop or steam mop on your floor at least once a week, especially for high-traffic areas such as the entryways and by the kitchen sink.
  • Cleaning products should be made specifically for tile floors with a neutral pH.

PROTECTING YOUR INVESTMENT

  • Purchase high quality floor mats and place them at heavy traffic areas, such as entrances and exits. These mats will help trap dirt, sand, oil, asphalt, etc., preventing these substances from ruining your tile floor.
  • Purchase protective pads and place them under heavy furniture to protect your tile floors from potential indentation or gradual breakage.

WHAT NOT TO DO

  • Never use any cleaners containing acid, vinegar, chlorines or ammonia, which can damage your grout and discolor your tile.
  • Never use wax-based cleaners and oil-based detergents.
  • Never use sealants on the tile, but only on grout joints.
  • Never use rough cleaning tools like scouring pads that contain metal, which can potentially scratch your tile.

Want more tile cleaning tips? Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest. For more information on our tiles, please feel free to contact our design center.

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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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Tile Floor Repair Tips

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photo from tripadvisor.com

Do you have tiles that need fixing, but you don’t have the budget to replace them? Today, we’re sharing quick tips on how you can repair broken tiles.

Tiles are popular among homeowners and businesses because they are stylish, durable and low-maintenance. They are also easy and inexpensive to repair if you have the time and resources.

Follow the tips below to fix or replace broken tiles without the big expense of installing a new floor.

  1. For small chips in tile, consider using nail polish that will match best with the tile’s color. You can even combine two shades together to get the exact hue you are looking for.
  2. Large chips or holes in your tiles require a little more effort – go to the hardware store and buy ceramic filler to place in the chips or holes. Let it dry, sand down, and finish off with lacquer for protection.
  3. Broken tiles may need to be replaced – but don’t fret. Our design center carries a wide variety of tile styles to choose from. We can help you find the best match to your current tile floor. Tip: When installing tile flooring for the first time, it’s helpful to buy extra tiles for replacement.
  4. Worn tiles can really outdate the style of your home. Instead of installing a new floor, you can try painting your tiles with a fresh, modern color. Scrub the floor well and sand down to create a smooth surface. Roll oil-based paint on top and let stand for 24 hours before applying your new paint with floor finish.
  5. Don’t forget the grout. Believe it or not, grout can really help with the look of your tile. Old and dirty grout can make even new tile flooring look worn. Fix this problem by removing your old grout and putting a fresh application.

Need more help on how to repair broken tiles? Call us today at (626) 572-2866. We will be happy to assist you.

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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.

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Wood Look Tile Flooring

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photo by houzz.com

What is Wood Look Tile Flooring?

The latest trend in the flooring industry today, wood look tile flooring is a great choice for your home or business. Wood look tile flooring takes advantage of the durability of porcelain or ceramic tiles while maintaining the beauty, warmth, and classic style of hardwood floors.

Porcelain and ceramic wood look tiles are being used in the commercial and residential building industries for both small and large projects. With the advancements in manufacturing processes today, these tiles can be produced in rectangular tiles or planks and other different sizes. They also have natural wood marks and details that make it difficult to tell the difference from real hardwood floors, an amazing feature that has never been made possible before until now.

In addition to this, porcelain and ceramic tiles are very durable and easy to maintain. Unlike hardwood that wears and gets dirty or dusty easily, porcelain and ceramic tiles have little upkeep. They can also be used in any room, even kitchens or bathrooms. This isn’t the same for real wood flooring, which can damage easily if exposed to moisture.

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photo by pinterest.com

Where Can I Buy Wood Look Tile Flooring?

At Marco Polo Tiles, we offer a wide selection of wood look tile flooring to choose from. We carry beautiful and unique styles of porcelain and ceramic wood look tiles that are both durable and versatile. Our design experts are knowledgeable and trained on the latest flooring trends, such as the wood look tiles, and can help you decide on which type of tile will work best for your space. Whether you want a rustic or contemporary look, traditional or modern feel, we have the wood look tile that is right for you and can fit your budget.

For more information, please contact us or visit our Design Center. Let us help you bring your design ideas to life.

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How to Clean Porcelain Tiles

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photo by centsationalgirl.com

At Marco Polo Design Center, we carry a vast collection of beautiful, quality-made porcelain tiles for your home or business. Porcelain tiles are one of the most sought out types of flooring in the industry because of its beauty and durability. It can easily resist stain and moisture.

However, over time, porcelain tiles, like all flooring, lose their shine. But, it’s relatively easy to bring back the original luster of porcelain tiles without the services of a professional. One of the most important ways to maintain the shine of porcelain tiles is regular cleaning.

Here are more tips to keep your porcelain tiles in top condition:
(SOURCE: Bob Villa)

As often as two times per week, sweep with a soft-bristle broom before vacuuming (with the brush attachment). Once a month, mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with two gallons of water (or purchase one of the many suitable commercial cleansers), then apply the solution with a sponge mop. Rinse with plain water, then dry the surface completely with a clean towel or a microfiber cloth.

There are different types of porcelain tile (unpolished/unglazed, polished/glazed, or textured) and for each type, a different set of care recommendations applies:

Cleaning Unpolished/Unglazed Porcelain Tile
• Vacuum and sweep the area thoroughly to remove dust and dirt.

• Taking one section at a time (two or four feet square), saturate the tile surface with a vinegar-and-water mixture or a commercial cleanser.

• Allow the cleanser to soak into the tile for five to ten minutes, but do not allow it to dry.

• Scrub stained areas with a soft-bristle brush.

• Wipe away the dirty cleaning solution and rinse the area with clean, hot water.

• Dry the tile with a clean towel or a microfiber cloth.

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photo by designbuildmn.com

 

Cleaning Polished/Glazed Porcelain Tile
• Sweep and vacuum debris and dirt, then go over the area with a dry dust mop.

• Now use a hot water-dampened mop, never allowing moisture to puddle or pool on the tile.

• Loosen heavier soil with a soft nylon-bristle brush (or an old toothbrush).

• For stains, use a vinegar-and-water mixture (or a commercial cleanser diluted to half strength).

• Mop with your chosen cleanser, mopping again with hot water before the cleanser dries.

• Dry the tile surface with a clean towel or a microfiber cloth, being sure to rub out any water spots.

• Once dry, buff the tile to a high shine with a piece of cheesecloth.

Cleaning Textured Porcelain Tile
• Sweep the area twice with a soft-bristle broom, first in the direction of the tile, then on a diagonal.

• Vacuum to remove all dirt.

• Saturate the tile with a vinegar-and-water solution, allowing it to soak for five to ten minutes.

• Scrub the floor with a soft-bristle brush, again working in two directions.

• Rinse the floor with hot water in order to thoroughly remove the cleaning solution.

• Go over the floor with a clean, damp mop.

• Dry with a clean towel or a microfiber cloth.

While porcelain tile boasts exceptional durability, there are few cleaning products and techniques you should take pains to avoid:

  • Never use a product containing ammonia or bleach (or any type of acid-based cleanser); these can alter the tile color and/or stain the grout.
  • Never use oil-based detergents or wax cleaners.
  • On unglazed porcelain, never use any cleaners that contain dye or coloring.
  • Never use steel wool on porcelain tile—small particles of steel can become embedded in the tile and grout, eventually causing rust stains.
  • Never use hard bristles or scrub brushes, as they can scratch the tile surface.

Regular cleaning and polishing with a soft cotton or microfiber cloth will ensure that porcelain tile retains its “like new” shine for many years.