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Tile Trends for 2018

Tile Trends for 2018 Once upon a time, tiles were mostly used for their functional benefits (resistance to water, durability, low maintenance). Today however the sky is the limit for the designs that are possible and the aesthetic impact tile can create. Manufacturers have really pushed the limits on what is possible to provide really unique styles for today’s spaces. As we enter 2018 full steam ahead, we thought we would bring to attention some of the tiles that seem to be the most popular right now and for the foreseeable future. Stone/Wood imitation tile- With the technology almost perfected to digitally copy and recreate an existing surface. Many manufacturer’s have selected wood or stone and recreated them in porcelain. In both instances you get a recreation that is almost identical to the real thing without having to put up with any of the potential drawbacks of the original material. You can have a wood look tile in your bathroom without worrying about moisture, or a white marble in your kitchen without worrying about spilling any red wine.   Terrazzo tiles- Terrazzo, typically a blend of marble chips and either an epoxy or cementitious resin. Which was once a mainstream commercial floor covering for its durability and unique look has started to make a comeback. However with a bit of a twist. Rather then being poured in place they are now available as a tile, allowing for a simpler installation and an overall less expensive product. As well the modern reincarnation sometimes has bits of glass or soft metals inserted into the mix to create special designs.   Terracotta...

Porcelain Tile vs. Ceramic tile

Many customers ask us what the difference is between ceramic and porcelain tiles is.  It can be fairly confusing when buying tile as the characteristics of these two types of tile are fairly similar.  However there are some important differences. Porcelain and Ceramic tile are both technically “Ceramic” tile.  All ceramic tiles are made from a clay mixture that is formed with extreme pressure and then fired.  Tile that is rated porcelain however uses a denser clay, has been formed under greater pressure and is fired at a higher temperature.  These slight differences create a tile that is stronger and impervious to moisture. Ceramic and some porcelain tiles have a glaze on one face of the visible layer of the tile.  This is a protective surface that creates the colored, patterned and durable wear layer.  Some glazes are more durable then others.  To tell how durable a glaze is (And the tile in general) tiles have a PEI rating or manufacturers suggested use.  PEI Rating’s go 1 through 5, where 1 is the least scratch and wear resistant, and 5 being the most scratch and wear resistant. Most porcelain tile have a PEI Rating of 4 or higher. Where as ceramic tiles can be as low as a 1, but can range up to 3.   Un-glazed porcelain, or “through body” porcelain does not have a PEI rating as it does not have a glaze. However it is generally accepted that it is able to withstand heavy traffic.  Through body porcelain also has the advantage of being the same color from front to back. This means that a chip is...

Moisture problems in bathrooms

We get asked to look at moldy bathroom tile and failing tub surrounds quite often.  While we can make the tile waterproof and make it function like it should.  What we find is that most people seldom use the fan that is in their bathroom.  Or if they do use it, it is only used for the another purpose.  To the point that HVAC installers have started calling bathroom exhaust fans a “Fart Fan”. Yes, these fans do remove smells and odors. But the main purpose for these fans being installed in bathrooms is to remove the warm moist air that is in bathrooms while they are being used.  Whether it is from having a bath or shower, or just brushing your teeth. That humid air needs to be removed to stop mold and mildew from developing and causing damage to your home or business.  It is important to note, that this air needs to be removed from the building not just the room.  Often times when we are completing bathroom renovations we find exhaust fans that are vented into attics or even down and into other wall cavities. This can cause a lot of damage in your home, by allowing moisture to build up in areas where it shouldn’t. Often times we see homeowners not using the fans properly because they are either loud or are not installed correctly.  Both of these problems can be easily fixed: Sound By installing a fan that is under 1.5 Sones a fan is much more likely to be used Installation A bathroom fan should be ran for 20 minutes after a...

Outdoor Tile Installation in Calgary

  As fall is getting closer and closer, I have looked back at the wonderful summer we have had.  This past summer we have received more phone calls about outdoor tile installations then I can remember having in all our previous years combined. I think a big part of this is the 2cm porcelain tiles that seem to be popping up everywhere.  These products look great and seem to be a perfect match for the climate we have in Calgary.  The pedestal installation system of these products minimizes the risk of damage due to ice damming and frost heaving,  As well these products are exceptionally durable, easy to clean and maintain.     As you can see in the picture above, the tiles are placed on a raised pedestal, allowing an airspace under the tile to allow for moisture movement, running of wires or pipes, or as well to allow for a flooring system that will not penetrate a roofing membrane.  There is a large selection of tiles available in this thickness allowing the system to match any kind of style. These 2cm products are not the only option however for outdoor tile installation.  Given the right circumstances and with the proper prep many other porcelain or natural stone tiles can be installed outdoors in Calgary.  With products such as Schluter Ditra Drain as well as Duradek Tile Dek we are able to bring the beauty of indoors to your outdoor surfaces. Using thinset and other adhesives, the tile and membranes are bonded directly to the structure.  Water is managed both on the surface and in the case of...

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