A Little Bling!

Mosaic photo 5-15-15Want to add a little excitement to your kitchen back splash or your bathroom?  The tile world is full of mosaics in a multitude of materials from glass, natural stone, crackled ceramic and metals.  There something for everyone and every style.  The possibilities are endless!


Ditra Heat

Ditra Heat

Schluter Systems has done it again by introducing Ditra Heat as the most innovative technology for floor warming systems to date. Ditra Heat is the only electric floor warming system that integrates uncoupling technology. We all understand that floors move, expansion and contraction, some locations more than others and when a heat element is added the movement of the floor is more dramatic. Schluter Systems Ditra Mat is a crack isolation membrane that makes floors less susceptible to cracks in the tile and grout joints. Our staff has always suggested to place Ditra above any electric floor warming system to ensure the tile floor would be unaffected by the added movement. Ditra Heat combines the two elements together.

Why Ditra Heat over other electric floor warming systems?

  • You can choose where the cables are placed and where they are unnecessary. No longer do you need to measure for a “custom” heat mat and wait 2-3 weeks for production.
  • No self leveling
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Cost effective

Visit our showroom and our knowledgeable staff will help with any questions and installation instructions. We currently stock Ditra Heat Mat, thermostats and an array of different cable lengths. Get your weekend project started today!

Bare feet wanted  DitraHeat-Components-h

Steam Cleaning Floors

Over the years we have had numerous customers complaining about their grout becoming dirty / stained and having a difficult time cleaning it. The first question we ask is, “What are you cleaning your floors with?” More and more we are getting a consistent response, “I am using a steam mop.” Quickly we have found the source of their frustration. More than not we find out that they started seeing their grout getting dirtier since they started using their steam mops, but they did not make the correlation.

Steam mops do a great job at breaking down the dirt on the surface of the tile but where does the dirty water go, IN YOUR GROUT!!

Did you have epoxy grout installed for ease of cleaning but you are finding that the grout is discoloring or separating from the tile? Why? Epoxy grout is removed by adding heat. The steam mop is heating up your grout and instead of cleaning it, you are removing it little by little. The picture below is showing a example of epoxy grout that is shrinking.

Epoxy grout shrinkage

We suggest to vacuum your floor first and then mop. Using cleaners that are for tile flooring specifically. We recommend SCI Tile and Grout Cleaner that does NOT leave a haze on your floor that dirt will stick it. Most cleaners that you purchase in the grocery store leave a haze that dirt clings to and makes it more difficult to clean your floor.

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.