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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, 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.
Nightmares of 1970’s kitchens may be floating through your head when you think of Terracotta. However the modern reincarnation of this material is used in fun shapes as well as with with a variety of glazes. These unique colours and textures help give your space a classical look.
Most tiles have tended to be square or rectangular in shape. A couple years ago, penny round mosaics became popular. This was followed by hexagonal tiles that seem to be everywhere and have started a new direction in tile design. Breaking up the traditional tile grid seems to be the name of the game these days. Whether you choose a hexagon tile or install a rectangular tile in a herringbone pattern. Breaking away from the standard tile grid is one way to create a unique look for your space.
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 less likely to be noticed. In contrast glazed ceramic and porcelain tiles typically have a body that is a different color then the glaze.
As ceramic and porcelain tile is fired and then cooled, the tiles can fluctuate in size similar to when you bake a cookie. Most tile is left as is after cooling. As the tiles are installed the different sizes are take into account, this is the reason grout joint sizing can sometimes fluctuate. However another option is “rectified’ tile. In this process the tiles are either cut or ground down after they are baked to ensure that each piece is exactly the same size. This option is available in both ceramic and porcelain tiles and allows for tighter grout joints.
All the advantages of porcelain tile however do come with a flip side, cost. Typically the overall cost for a porcelain tile will be more expensive then ceramic tile. Both in material cost and installation cost, ceramic tile is less expensive then porcelain. However when selecting your tile, price shouldn’t be the only factor. The full intended use of the space needs to be considered before a final decision is made.
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:
By installing a fan that is under 1.5 Sones a fan is much more likely to be used
A bathroom fan should be ran for 20 minutes after a bath or shower has been had in the room. This means that a fan should never be installed on the same switch as a the light above a shower for instance because most people will shut the light off when they leave the room. We recommend using a timed switch that allows for 15 minutes of operation after you leave the room. That way you can set the timer and forget about it.
Along with the timer, running the ducting properly so that the air is removed from the building is important. As well as making sure this ducting is insulated to protect from condensation in unconditioned spaces.
Your bathroom exhaust fan is an important part of keeping moisture managed in your home to prevent mold. Along with the waterproofing around your shower and on your bathroom floor you also need to control the moisture that is in the air. With a high quality bathroom fan and proper installation you can ensure your bathroom and its finishing last a long time.
Check out this article from CMHC for more information on preventing moisture problems in bathrooms:
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 the Ditra Drain product under the flooring materials.
If you are thinking of having outdoor tile installed, feel free to contact us either by email or phone and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have!
We often get asked does CJI Tile and Stone have a showroom?
The answer is no, however at the same time the answer is yes.
For some businesses, having a showroom is the right answer and makes perfect sense. Our decision to not have a showroom has a reasoning with multiple layers, stretching from customer satisfaction to simple dollars and cents.
We thought we’d lay out the reasons why CJI Tile is a showroom-free service provider.
Having a Showroom costs a lot of money, it requires a lot of overhead to build a show room and staff it. Costs that are ultimately passed onto the consumer. While we would love to have a flashy showroom to show off what we can do and the products we can provide to our customers we find that we can offer customers more value by not having a showroom.
We want to focus on what we do best, which is designing and building your home or business. We are in a better position to utilize our network of suppliers who already have beautiful showrooms that showcase their amazing products. As well these suppliers (that can be seen on our suppliers page here) are staffed by knowledgeable, dedicated staff that are specialized in their field whether it is tile, plumbing fixtures or counter tops.
The job of keeping up with trends does not end with one quick fix. As trends evolve, businesses must evolve also to keep up with a specific style or design that is now “in”. This means complete renovations of these showrooms happens quite often to include these new or updated items. Once again, this requires resources that we feel are better utilized in customers homes or businesses.
These days, a lot of what we do is mobile and on the go. We approach our business with precision and efficiency, putting quality work and customer satisfaction at the forefront.
Much of the work during design selection is done before you ever go to a showroom and start looking at actual samples. If you go into showrooms with a basic outline of what you are looking for, this enables you to become more efficient in the selection process and not become over whelmed with the options available.
With all of that being said, not having a showroom allows our company to be efficient, nimble and able to adapt to unforeseen challenges or economic climates that are happening now and in the future. Being free of the overhead and challenges that are associated with running a showroom allow us to focus on customer service and providing high quality work to our customers for many years to come.
Wedi Shower Kits, Schluter Shower Kits, Benches, Niches we have it all!
We have had many phone calls from people looking to purchase high quality Wedi shower kits or, Schluter Shower kit systems so customers can install them on their own. We have decided to create a simple website where you can purchase all the materials you need to complete your own tiling project.
Whether you are looking to do a tiled shower and use one of the fantastic shower kits that are available now, or if you are just looking to tile a floor. We can supply everything you need, delivered to your door. As well if you have any questions about what to use, or how to do something our knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer any of the questions you may have.
Click the link below to check it out:
Let us know what you think!
CJI Tile and Stone supplies and installs the complete line of Schluter Systems Products. Including:
- DITRA uncoupling, waterproofing and vapour equalization membrane for floors.
- KERDI the waterproofing membrane used around showers, steam showers and tubs.
- KERDI-SHOWER an integrated family of products that together form a fully bonded, watertight assembly for tiled showers.
- KERDI-BOARD a multifunctional tile substrate and building panel, which can also be used for creating bonded waterproofing assemblies with tile coverings.
We are your Calgary and Area Schluter Systems Installation Specialist.
CJI Tile and Stone takes pride in specializing in walk-in and barrier free showers.
Helping many Calgarians enjoy a struggle free entrance into the shower,
CJI has been able to customize these showers to the specific needs of the user and the user’s bathroom.
In most cases, a totally curb less or barrier free shower is almost impossible to create. Why?
- Other important bathroom fixtures (i.e. toilet, vanity, doorway, etc.)
- Difficult to provide a ramp or “speed bump” into the shower that allows proper slope for the shower to properly drain
- A tiny curb must be created to compensate
- A 4 inch barrier from the bathroom floor to curb top, will replace the usual 7 – 8 inch curb
However, if the bathroom layout allows, the curb can be eliminated entirely and CJI will build a “roll-in” shower.
- An easily negotiated hump which creates a transition from bathroom to shower
- A waterproofing membrane such as Schluter Kerdi helps waterproof the entire assembly
As you can see, function and beauty do go hand in hand:
Tile is a large investment in your home or business. Unfortunately many people are under the impression that slapping tiles on the floor is child’s play. Anyone can do it and do it well…this is simply not true. The truth is that floor tile installation is a complex and intricate process; one that is easy to mess up, leaving you with an unflattering floor. There are a couple key items that are important to a quality floor tile installation:
This is the first and most important step in the floor tile installation process. Tile needs a stable, non-moving subsurface to do its job. If there is any “give” in your subfloor, your tile and grout will eventually crack and become an eyesore, or worse, a hazard! Even if you add brand new plywood however, your floor might not be level, having peaks and valleys.Once your tile is installed, this will give the illusion of being on the ocean – up and down and rolling all over!
To fix this, a little bit of floor prep is required. This usually entails a self-levelling compound, but could also include Dry Pac or grinding of the substrate.
Once we know that your floor is flat we use one of two methods to stabilize the subfloor in a wood frame installation:
-Plywood/Hardi Backer: Depending on what kind of subfloor you already have, we will add the appropriate substrate to make your floor stable and ready for tile. Usually this is either 1/2″ plywood or 1/4″ Hardie Backer. Occasionally we also use 5/8″ or even 3/4″ plywood. We screw these boards down every 3-4 inches around the perimeter of each sheet, then 6 inches in the middle, ensuring that it will stay in place. In the case of Hardie Backer we also use thin set to bond the board to the previous subfloor.
-Schluter Ditra System: A polyethylene membrane with a grid honeycomb structure, the ditra is bonded to the subfloor with thinset, followed by the tile being bonded to the ditra with thinset. This provides the best possible solution for vapour transmission, waterproofing and protecting the tile surface from substrate movement. This product is often seen on many home improvement and DIY shows.
This is where the installation begins to look good, and, as a bonus, speeds up the installation process! There are numerous layout options for every single room, but the bottom line is that you have to dry lay your tiles, or measure snap lines to form a grid.
This must be done well before you even mix your thinset so you know exactly where each tile will be going and what size pieces you will require.
This helps prevent snap layout decisions that could result in an unattractive layout.
Using a laser and/or a chalk line to create reference lines on your floor help ensure your install is nice and straight. Giving your installation a more uniform and professional look.
Thinset- This is what bonds your tile to your substrate. Don’t skimp here; use the best materials you can buy as using a cheaper thinset material will ruin your tile, layout and floor levelling. Make sure the tiles have close to 100% contact with the floor through using the proper notched trowel and back buttering the tiles.
Grout- When choosing grout, keep in mind what the room will be used for. You can get away with a lighter colour in the bathroom, but if you have 4 kids who love mud, it’s probably not best to use the same light colour in your back entryway. Sealing grout will ensure your grout colour lasts for years. There are also different options for grout in addition to unsanded and sanded. Epoxy is great for areas where you are looking for ultimate durability, and there are premium blended grouts that can be used on any size grout joints and have superior stain resistance.
With many potential hurdles and pitfalls, it is important that whoever installs your new floor does so with care and attention to detail. This ensure’s that everything is done correctly so that your new floor lasts a lifetime.
Since CJI Tile and Stone’s inception in 2006, we have partnered with many bathroom renovation companies. Learning from each contract project has allowed CJI Tile to provide our customers with unique and customizable options for their bathroom renovation.
With the majority of CJI Tile’s projects, the tile setter is the one who is completing much of the bathroom renovation work. From the demolition stage all the way through to the finishing touches, CJI will be there, allowing us to manage and coordinate the other trades involved in your home renovation.
This hands-on approach means your renovation will be completed more efficiently and with a higher level of quality than many other bathroom renovation companies. In as little as 2 days, you will see your bathroom completely transformed.
CJI Tile builds bathrooms that are fit the needs of the customer.
– Quality materials from DensShield and Schluter are used in most bathroom
– Common requests included: Soaker Tub installation, Jetted Soaker Tub installation,
Tub to Walk-In Shower conversion, complete bathroom overall (tub, floor, counters, etc.)
– All prices are based on the individual customer’s requirements.
To receive your personalized bathroom quote, call 403-888-3182 today.