Why is White Subway Tile Popular?

Photo: daltile

Photo: daltile

You can’t watch TV for five minutes without seeing white subway tile in a commercial or on the set of your favorite sitcom. It’s so prevalent that some people are beginning to think that white subway tile will date kitchens and baths from this era.

The beauty of plain white is that it’s versatile. It can be the focus of the room or it can become the background. You can turn it into something unique to your kitchen or bath or you can go with the timeless classic. It suits classic designs just as well as it suits modern designs.

Consider the Material

Subway tile is available in several materials. Ceramic, of course, is the most popular. But if you are looking for something a littlet different, think about natural stone. Marble, limestone, and travertine make a positive impact on your design. The natural veining and graininess create a warmth and texture that elevate it.

Decide on the Finish

Classic subway tile is glossy, but you might want to try something a bit softer depending on the style of your bathroom or kitchen. If you want your tile to be the focal point of the space, gloss can draw attention. If you want to highlight other elements of your space, a softer finish (matte or semi-glossy) might work better.

Keep in mind that the finish you choose should be part of the overall plan for your design. Too much gloss in a space can be overwhelming and serve to make your tile fade into the background. Your tile is only one element that needs to fit into your scheme. Make sure it will play nice with everything else in the room.

Try a White Variation

Pure white makes for a bright, clean space. If you are going for something a little softer, one way to get it is to adjust the color ever so slightly. Creamy whites can change the feeling of your room.

You could stick one toe over the line and go with a tile that’s the slightest bit beige, gray or yellow to introduce a hint of cooling or warming color to the space.

Experiment with Grout

The color of grout you select has a huge impact on how the finished product looks. White grout with white tile makes the tile blend together in harmony—your guests might have to look twice to appreciate the subway design. Black grout will make your subway pattern pop out unmistakably. A gray or beige grout will add a slight accent that will bring out and harmonize the accent colors in your space.

Think through this decision carefully. It’s pretty permanent.

Source: daltile

 

 

Flooring Moisture Management

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Wood is an organic material that reacts to its environment. It is hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs and loses moisture in reaction to its surrounding environment. In humid environments, wood gains moisture and swells. In dry environments, wood loses moisture and shrinks. This is completely normal and happens at all stages of the wood life cycle, even as the tree is growing in the forest.

If wood gains or loses too much moisture, problems can occur.

Wood that gains too much moisture can cup. Cupping occurs across the width of a floor board, with edges that are raised on each board and centers that are lower than the edges. Cupping always happens due to a moisture imbalance through the thickness of the board.

Wood that loses too much moisture can gap. Gapping occurs between floor boards. Gaps can vary in size and are considered normal if they appear and disappear during seasonal changes in humidity. Gaps are not considered normal if they are large or do not close during more-humid months.

Both of these issues can be minimized by maintaining an environment that is consistently between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and 30-50 percent humidity. Significant fluctuations outside these ranges can result in cupping or gapping.

Source: National Wood Flooring Association

 

 

Trends in Hardwood Flooring

Photo: Lauzon Every hardwood floor opens up a remarkable range of style and design options. There are floors that harken back across the ages and continents to exotic times and places.

That means you can create a completely different ambiance in every room of your home inspired by nature’s extraordinary diversity.

Smoked Neutrals

Midway through the decade, designers are moving away from overusing stainless steel, chrome and brass in favor of the smooth natural elegance of smoked woods. A soft palette of grey, taupe, white and cream tones offers a lovingly lived-in look and a subtly rich texture that changes with the light.

Au Naturel

With “Au naturel” you find the raw beauty of wood in all of its finishes. What catches the eye is the intricacy of the grain. Nature’s patterns are revealed to soften any décor. Isn’t that the appeal of a seaside resort—an invitation to reconnect with the natural world?

Rich Vintage

Part of the contemporary scene is built on a healthy reverence for the past. Rich Vintage evokes ancestral grandeur as easily as it does the simplicity of the homestead. Not surprisingly, rugged and warm browns dominate here, from deeply hewn to honey golden.

Patterns

Who said flooring has to stay in the lines? Intricate patterned wood floor installations were the hallmark of wealth and status back in the day because it meant you could afford the artisans. With state-of-the-art technologies, you can create easy-to-install elegantly patterned hardwood flooring. You can create a truly original space that plays with grain, line, light and texture.

Source: Lauzon Flooring

Bring Out the Potential in Your Home

Photo: NARI Atlanta Tour of Remodeled Homes

Photo: NARI Atlanta Tour of Remodeled Homes

Since Fall begins this week, we are sharing six of our favorite Home Tours. What a great way to get inspired for undertaking all those projects around your home!

  • Serenbe Designer Showhouse (Through Sunday, Oct. 2) Tickets: $20. You will see the work of 15 designers in this three-bedroom penthouse.
  • Historic West End Tour of Homes (Saturday, Sept. 24) Tickets: $25. The 11 homes on this tour vary in style, from Victorian to Craftsman to mid-century modern.
  • Candler Park Fall Fest Tour of Homes (Sunday, Oct. 2) Tickets: $20 (advance) or $25 (tour day). Featured on this tour will be inspiring residences, backyard farms, chicken coops, restored historic homes, and other imaginative and enchanting garden spaces.
  • Castleberry Hill Loft Tour (Saturday, Oct. 22) Tickets: $20. Eight lofts in this industrial Atlanta neighborhood are included.
  • NARI Atlanta Tour of Remodeled Homes (Saturday, Oct. 22) Tickets: $20 (advance) or $25 (tour day). These five projects spotlight the latest in bathrooms, kitchens, offices, multi-purpose areas and exteriors.
  • Virginia Highland Tour of Homes (Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 3-4) Tickets: $25 (advance). Although different in style and design, the eight properties are all equally representative of the neighborhood’s character.

What ideas did you take away from the last home tour you attended?

 

Is an Area Rug Right for Your Home?

Photo: Shaw Floors

Photo: Shaw Floors

Area rugs are an excellent option to accent a room, protect hardwoods from excessive wear, and help with sound reduction.

Area rugs are more often made from carpet, which provides options for choosing the size, shape, color and pattern that will work best in your home. Your custom rug can be available within three to six weeks after placing your order.

Here are three things to consider before placing your order for a custom rug.

  1. Stain resistant fibers like nylon and polypropylene are best for spaces with heavy traffic, children and pets. Wool is a very durable and luxurious option. Sisal and Seagrass are natural choices that can be accented with fabric borders.
  2. The size of the rug can be determined by the room or the seating space. Dining tables should always be 18-24 inches larger on each side to permit easy movement of chairs.
  3. When shopping for an area rug, take fabric swatches, pictures of the space and rough dimensions of the room. This will help the designer or sales person make informed suggestions.

Rugs can be used to create a neutral canvas for a bold room or as an accent in a monochromatic design. Would you like a custom rug in your home?

Source: Leslie Waller, Project Consultant/Designer, MODA Floors & Interiors