Choosing a Grout Color

Finally, you have chosen the tile for your project. After days, weeks or months of agonizing over the pattern, texture, shape and color the decision is made and you are feeling confident and excited to see the finished project. Whether you are tiling a full bathroom or a kitchen floor with a coordinating tile backsplash, the last part of the selection process is the grout color and type of grout. Unfortunately the grout, which separates and frames each tile, is not given the attention it should have. The chosen grout color will effect the color of the tile and the overall look of the project.

The backsplashes below have the same tile installed; Bliss Cabernet Linear Mosaic Mix of Glass and Stone. As you can see the overall finished installations look very different. Why? The top backsplash used Mapei #42 Mocha, a dark brown grout and the bottom backsplash used Mapei #94 Straw, a neutral grout color.

Bliss Cabernet Linear with Mocha Grout Bliss Cabernet Linear with mocha grout 2 Cabernet Bliss Linear Cabernet Bliss Linear 2

In the top pictures you will see how green is popping out more than the bottom pictures but the cabernet color that is very pronounced in the bottom picture has faded in the top kitchen. We call this the “odd man out” syndrome. Your eye will always go towards the color that stands alone.

In most cases we try to match the grout to the body of the tile so the pattern will stand out and the grout fades into the background. Sometimes this makes for a tough decision because the body of the tile is light and you do not want to use a darker grout that will show the grid but you also do not want to be a slave to a light colored grout. The solution is simple, use an epoxy grout. Epoxy grout is stain resistant and is much easier to clean than regular sanded / unsanded grout. Although epoxy is slightly more challenging to install, you will be glad you used it when you do not have to worry about maintaining your light color grout.

At Glens Falls Tile & Saratoga Tile & Supplies we pride ourselves on bringing to light the details that are normally not thought about. Its the details that make the job complete and grout color is a important detail.

 

How To Use Houzz.com

Houzz.com is a website dedicated to home improvement and has become an excellent source of visual photographs, growing to over a million in only 3 years. Pictures are worth a thousand words.  We understand that our clients sometimes can not visualize styles, layouts and color the way we can. We work with the products everyday and know which styles will fit, what the current trends are, what is timeless, etc. When clients come into our showroom it can be slightly intimidating at first but with our help we can narrow our large selection down, rather quickly, by asking key questions. Sometimes what the client does not like about a tile will help us more than what they like about it. By asking, “What don’t you like about it? Is it the texture, color, glaze, movement, size, feel, etc.”

How To Use Houzz.com

#1. Create a Login.  By having your own profile allows you to create ideabooks, make notes related to the pictures you like and upload pictures of your own.

#2. Get Inspired! Houzz has over a million pictures available for your viewing, we suggest when you are searching to ask for specifics. Example: If you search “Kitchen Backsplash” over 280,000 pictures are available. Who has time to search through all that! Instead, search for “kitchen backsplash with white cabinets” and 38,000 pictures come up; still lot to go through but add glass mosaics to the search and now its 24,000.  By narrowing your search you will be able to hone in to ideas you are searching for faster. If you do not know what you like then click away and gain ideas.

#3. Ideabooks. As you are browsing you will be able to add pictures to ideabooks. Simply wave your mouse over the picture and a menu will appear at the bottom of the photo. Click on “Add to Ideabook” and you will be able to make notes on what you like about the picture and add to ideabooks you have created for specific categories of the home.  By saving pictures and making notes about what you like or dislike about the pictures will help us find your perfect tile selection. Remember, save pictures that you may like, for example, the color, but not the layout or you like the size of the tile used but you do not like the tile. What you do not like tells us so much.

Once you have done your homework and have some ideas of what you are looking for you will be able to visit our showroom and not feel as overwhelmed. You can sit down with one of our experience sales staff, login to houzz.com, and go through your ideabooks with us.

Glens Falls & Saratoga Tile & Supplies are both featured on houzz.com. Find us on houzz two ways: First, from our website, click the “Featured on Houzz” green bottom, at the bottom of this page, and be directed immediately to our profile or second, on the houzz website by clicking on “Find Local Pros” at the top of the page. You will be able to see pictures we have uploaded from current projects, along with our Ideabooks.

Houzz also has an iPad and iPhone app available for download.

Schluter Shower Systems

Are you thinking of replacing your existing tiled shower? Do you have a tub surround and you want to replace it with a beautiful walk in shower? Is your shower not large enough and you have the space to make the shower bigger? Or do you have a shower that is leaking and/or having a mold problem?

We would like to educate you on shower systems; Mud Base vs. Schluter Shower System.

 

      TRADITIONAL MORTAR BASE

Shower Pan Liner

The diagram above shows a traditional shower pan design. You can see the waterproofing membrane, demonstrated by the black line, is below the mortar base, it is not pitched and is installed behind the backer board only a few inches in height. Although porcelain tile is not porous and most of the water makes its way to the drain, the grout is porous. The grout allows water to seep into the mud base below. The mortar bed absorbs the water and some will make it to the waterproofing membrane, “bladder”, but the remaining water is left to sit. It is recommended to install the shower floor tile with a modified thinset over the mud base. Modified thinset has a latex additive, which gives mold and mildew something to “eat” and grow.  We all know that standing water will mold. The mortar base will eventually become saturated and any added water will need a outlet, which turns into a leak.

The diagram above also shows that there is no waterproofing on the walls of the shower, other than a few inches off the floor. Concrete board will hold the moisture from the porous grout as well and turn into the same problem; mold and mildew. In the past installers would use mastic to install wall tiles in the shower. If mastic gets wet it will re-emulsify, meaning to turn back into a liquid form, and the tiles will start to fall off the wall.

WE HAVE A SOLUTION!

SCHLUTER SHOWER SYSTEM

The Schluter Shower System solves all the problems listed above with the traditional mortar bed shower pan. The Schluter tray and curb is made of lightweight expanded polystyrene. The tray is pre pitched and is specifically designed to accept the Kerdi Drain. Since the tray is made of foam that can be cut to fit various size shower floor layouts. The shower base can also be extended past the perimeter of the shower tray using dry pack mortar.  The installation of the Kerdi Waterproof Membrane is directly underneath the tile.  The Kerdi Drain is designed with a intergrated bonding flange which ensures a secure connection to the Kerdi Waterproofing Membrane at the top of the drain assembly. The water or vapor that passes through the grout is immediately hitting the waterproof membrane and is directed towards the drain; no standing water. When installing the tile on the Kerdi membrane you will use a un-modified thinset; no latex, nothing for bacteria and mold to grow.

In the diagram above you will notice that the Kerdi waterproof membrane is installed at the same height as the tile. Kerdi Band is then installed on all seams and corners with a 2″ overlap. Any water or vapor that passes through the grout on the walls will also make its way to the drain. Schluter also makes prefabricated inside and outside Kerdi corners for ease of installation. One last step, pipe and mixing value seals.  With overmoulded rubber gaskets Schluter ensures a permanently watertight seal.

At Glens Falls Tile and Supplies our staff are all Schluter Certified and have attended seminars and classes.  We are a Authorized Schluter Dealer and stock all the products we have spoke of above. Please call or stop into one of our stores and ask a sale associate any questions you may have regarding the Schluter Shower Systems.

NuHeat Floor Warming Systems

The cold weather is here! Are you thinking of or in the process of choosing a new kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom or hallway floor tile? If so, we highly recommend adding warmth to your floor by adding NuHeat to your installation. NuHeat Floor Warming Systems are easy to install, extremely energy efficient and is controlled by a programmable thermostat. NuHeat can be installed under ceramic/porcelain tile, natural stone, laminate and engineered hardwood flooring.  Think of how nice it will be to walk or stand barefoot on a heated floor in the dead of winter!

“Nuheat is a clean soundless system that brings warmth to any space. Nuheat Floor Heating Systems provide radiant zone heating which is very energy efficient. Zone heating using a programmable thermostat, means heating room by room, use by use – heat only where you want, when you want it. Electric radiant heat allows homeowners to lower their central heating system while still being comfortable. It offers an energy saving alternative to keeping the forced air heating system running throughout the entire house and can help reduce a home’s overall energy consumption. And because Nuheat has no moving parts and once installed is safely encased in thinset/mortar, Nuheat is 100% maintenance free and will last the lifetime of your floors.”

NuHeat also offers Freeze Protection. “Nuheat MI constant wattage cables are ideal for applications such as snow and ice melting in concrete, asphalt slabs or under paving stones. Nuheat MI Cables can handle supply voltages up to 600V making the cables an optimal solution especially in applications where available amperage is limited.”

Please stop into Glens Falls Tile & Supplies or Saratoga Tile & Supplies showroom or give us a call (518-745-6875) to receive more information regarding NuHeat.

Shower Doors Enclosures

Glens Falls Tile & Supplies store manager Bernie Duval handles all of our shower door enclosure sales.  He will guide you through the process of selecting the most function-able and safe enclosure for your unique shower design.

Please visit our showroom to view our shower door display and discuss with Bernie your shower layout. Whether you are looking for a frameless, semi frameless or full framed shower enclosure, we have many glass options and finish colors to choose from.  Once all tile is installed Bernie will come to your home to measure for your shower door enclosure. Our custom doors are made to fit your shower only. You may ask yourself, “Why not order the door at the same time I purchased my tile?”. The reason is we take all the details into consideration; maybe your opening is not plumb or level.

We believe that a glass shower enclosure makes the bathroom a part of the shower and the shower a part of the bathroom. Showcase your beautiful tile design!

AKDO Emperador Light Turkish 12x24 shower