Tuesday, August 29, 2017

7 architectural styles and the tile designs that complement them

When it comes to fashion, most people have a style they’re drawn to. Some prefer casual all the time, while others prefer a tailored look. Some want a style straight from the mannequin, while others seek out trends that involve mixing, matching or reinventing. When it comes to home decor, it’s very much the same. It’s about choosing materials and palettes that speak to the unique style of those who live in the space – and in many instances, keeping in line with the architectural intent of the house. 
In this post, we’ll explore the various types of home styles and some tile designs and installation techniques that work for each:


Craftsman houses originated in the early 1900s. When these houses are renovated, homeowners typically wish to embrace the artisanship by showing off the actual structure of the home, so the intent is to complement the original features rather than cover them up. To balance the richness of your home's interior, consider neutral palettes such as brown, beige, or dark porcelain tiles. The use of natural stone tile and natural stone mosaics will allow you to maintain a classic look while achieving a fresh appearance. Contemporary homes offer lots of family space.


The 21st century represents the onset of contemporary homes. And when it comes to contemporary, no two homes look alike. Each has a distinct personality. Clean, straight lines are a signature feature of this home style, and acutely angled roofs are common. Inside, contemporary homes offer lots of space for families to spread out and relax. Checkered or solid porcelain tiles with a contemporary design can make the rooms feel even more spacious. In bathrooms, ivory colored subway tiles add a traditional yet modern look. Bold, geometric tiles also work well in this style home.

Georgian colonial

These homes have two important sources of inspiration: classical Greece and 1700s Britain. Combining brown brick with tall white pillars, this style of house is imposing, yet homey. Often, Georgian colonial homes feature a perfectly symmetrical design.
Repeating your home's exterior symmetry with an equivalent interior design is a great way to create a consistent aesthetic. Natural stone mosaics and porcelain mosaics or ceramic mosaics always look fantastic in a Georgian colonial. Consider stacked, brick, chevron or herringbone patterns in the foyer, kitchen or bathrooms.


Mediterranean homes are well known for their natural stone, terracotta, or stucco exteriors, as well as their gigantic windows that let in the sunlight. Modeled after the rustic homes of Italy and the South of France, a Mediterranean home can make you yearn for a vacation or can tempt you to turn your own home into a luxurious paradise. 
If ever there was a home that called for stone, porcelain and ceramic tile, a Mediterranean home is it. Crisp marble and other natural stones or cool ceramic tiles evoke the feeling of a Venetian hotel you'd never want to leave. In the kitchen, lightly colored porcelain tiles with a wood look catch the sunlight and diffuse it into a warm glow.


Modern, or Mid-Century Modern, homes often feature open floor plans designed with fun and entertainment in mind. This style of home can feature a wide variety of materials, with fun shapes, textures and colors.
Make your statement with mirrored glass. Or incorporate a bold geometric tile or classic stone mosaic.


Ranch-style kitchens often display natural materials. Single-story ranch homes invite the outdoors to come right up onto the front porch. Characterized by open floor plans and large windows, this style home welcomes just about any interior decor. Consider a porcelain tiles with a wood look to complement natural materials used in ranch homes. An earth-toned stone helps to bring the natural colors of a desert inside. 


Victorian homes are ornate inside and out. Often featuring turrets and gabled porches, these homes are anything but plain. Inside, each room has its own distinct personality, as should the walls and floors. Mosaic tile patterns work well in any room of a Victorian home. From miniature curved limestone mosaics to beveled arabesque patterns, you needn't worry about the room feeling too busy. Victorian homes are designed full of curio-cabinets, grandfather clocks and ornate shelving - the tiles should match that unique sense of understated opulence.
Now that you have a better understanding of which tile designs match well with various home styles, stop by missionstonetile.com to find the perfect pattern for your house.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

5 DIY tile installation tips from a tile expert

A home improvement project can do wonders to enrich the space around you, transforming your house from simply a place to sleep and eat into a sanctuary from the outside world. Tile installation can turn a room into a relaxing retreat, as well as boost the value of your house.
Those looking to beautify and enhance their home should follow the advice of our tile sourcing and installation expert with these five tile installation tips:

1. Plan your design before you buy
There are dozens of tile varieties. Before you make a purchase, plan out exactly how you want your finished product to look. For example, if you are adding subway tile to your bathroom, will you use a monochrome or two-tone pattern? Will you mix hexagon tiles with chevron shapes, or do you prefer the uniformity of square tiles? Find a pattern you like and modify it to make it your own. Experiment with color and shape before making decision. Design magazines, such as Interior Design Magazine or Luxe, are a perfect starting point. Or, browse Pinterest and Houzz for ideas.

2. Understand where the material can be used
Before you purchase materials, pay close attention to the technical specifications of the material. This means understanding how the product can be used. Can it be used on walls only? Or floors? If being used for flooring, does the material offer slip resistance? Be especially careful about choosing materials for areas where the traffic will be a little higher, such as breezeways and kitchens. Most websites should tell you how the material can be used.

3. Consider how the material will perform over time
Some materials are simply easier to maintain over time. Some people prefer porcelain or ceramic tile, rather than natural stone or wood for this reason. It’s important to understand care and maintenance of stone and tile before selecting. Here are some examples of what to think about, and questions you may want to ask before you purchase:
If want to use stone tile or mosaics for your kitchen backsplash, you'll need a dense material that’s not too porous – to help avoid stains. Try to select a material that’s recommended for use as a backsplash. Soft stone types may stain if exposed to grease, dirty water or harsh chemicals. For instance, porous limestone tiles are more likely to stain than dense marble tiles or porcelain tile. Materials with a high abrasion resistance, or a higher Mohs scale rating, will be less likely to show signs of wear and tear. Although, some people don’t mind the look of a slightly worn material. It’s all a matter of preference.

4. Know which tools you'll need
Tile installation is like any creative process – once you are ready to get started, it’s generally best to keep the momentum going and finish the project without interruption. So, it’s important to be prepared. For many, it’s easiest to hire a professional tile installer, or sub-contractor. These individuals usually know how best to level the floor to help prevent chipping and cracking. (Note that ALL materials are prone to chipping and cracking if the floor isn’t level). And when cutting tiles is required, which is often the case, they can often cut the tile with more precision than the DIY’er. But – for those who prefer a DIY project, make sure you have these essential supplies before getting to work:
● Work gloves.
● Goggles.
● Tile spacers.
● Tile cutter.
● Tape measure.
● Level.
● Notched trowel.
● Plastic sheeting.
● Measuring tape.
● Buckets.
● Mixing paddle.
● Rubber grout float.
● Power drill.

5. Consider the finishing touches
As a final design flourish, consider the details of the design. For example, you might want to replace your light switch and outlet covers with new ones that complement your tile design. In the kitchen, stainless steel plates look great with porcelain or natural stone tiles. In the bathroom, you might opt for decorative ceramic plates that complement your tile selection.
When you put in the time and effort, you'll be proud of your beautifully finished product. To get inspired for your next DIY tile installation project, visit missionstonetile.com.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How To Clean Tile Like a Pro

Your home should be your sanctuary - but if your tile is stained or dirty, it can be hard to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Let's face it, a glass of red wine tastes infinitely better when you're sipping it in a sparkling clean bathtub after a long day of work!
For the most part, tile is easy to care for and maintain - all you need is know-how and the proper supplies. Depending on whether you're dealing with porcelain, glass, ceramic or natural stone tiles, there are specific best practices to follow to ensure optimal cleanliness and achieve that soothing environment you crave.

The material matters when it comes to cleaning tile

Just as you wouldn't wash the delicate skin on your face with a rough scrub brush designed for callused feet, it's crucial to choose a cleaning solution that is designed specifically for the material at hand. Some cleaners are too harsh or abrasive for natural stone tiles and can damage them irreparably. Other tiles are practically indestructible and can withstand heavy-duty cleaners.
Likewise, there are certain maintenance tips for different tile types. For example, some materials, like marble, need to be sealed on a reoccurring basis, while others don't. 
In any case, you should always begin by vacuuming, sweeping or wiping the surface to remove dirt and debris. 


While you could squeeze a lemon onto a glass tile countertop without worry, even a splash of the acidic liquid could etch marble and alter the finish of the surface. To maintain your luxurious marble countertop or tile, it's crucial to address spills immediately - particularly when it comes to acidic foods such as lemon, tomato sauce, wine and vinegar. Always use coasters under your drink glasses. Use a spray sealant once per month to protect the stone.

For regular cleanings, avoid harsh or acidic solutions, as well as abrasive sponges. Mild soap, warm water and a soft cloth work just fine. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all traces of soap to avoid streaking and filming. Got a stain? Rub on an alkalai solution, such as diluted bleach or hydrogen peroxide. On a honed surface, you can use comet and a Scotch Bright pad or hydrogen peroxide mixed with a tiny bit of ammonia. Always re-seal the stone upon removing a surface stain.
 A marble polishing powder can help reduce the appearance of etching.


Like marble, limestone is a natural stone material that's soft and porous. It too can be damaged by acidic substances and is prone to scratches. Proper maintenance is essential in reducing the likelihood and appearance of stains and etching. We suggest periodically using a high-quality limestone sealant, which you can purchase at your local hardware store. You might consider placing rugs on limestone floors, or asking guests to remove their shoes upon entering your home. Both can help preserve the exquisite material in pristine condition.
For regular cleanings, fill a bucket with warm water and add a few drops of mild liquid soap with a neutral pH. Gently wipe or mop the surface and go slowly to allow the cleaner to seep in and power through the dirt and grime. Stains can be tackled with a homemade poultice - or paste - comprising 3/4 cup of flour and a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Avoid generic tile cleaners at all costs!


While generally easier to  maintain than marble or limestone, ceramic still requires regular cleanings. Use a rag or chamois mop to apply a mixture of hot water and mild detergent. If you're conscious about using eco-friendly tile cleaners or all-natural tile cleaners, you can mix up your own using hot water and either lemon juice or vinegar. Dry with a cloth or towel.

Cleaning grout is also a crucial step in the process. Use a store-bought grout cleaner or make one yourself with baking soda and water (use a 3:1 ratio), which will form a paste that you can apply to the grout lines. A toothbrush will allow you to get between the tiles and scrub the grime away. After you've applied the paste, follow with a spritz of equal parts white vinegar and water. The solution should bubble up a bit; when the bubbling subsides, remove all traces of baking soda and vinegar with clean water. (Note: this is ONLY applicable to materials that are not acid sensitive, such as porcelain, ceramic and non-reactive natural stones.)


Clean your porcelain tile once a month using a solution comprising 1/4 cup of white vinegar and two gallons of water. Use a sponge or mop to apply the solution, then rinse with water and dry with a towel or microfiber cloth. Avoid products containing bleach or ammonia as these can stain grout and change tile color. Also, avoid steel wool, which can cause rust stains over time.

To tackle stains on unpolished or unglazed porcelain tile, scrub with a soft-bristle brush. Treat stains on polished or glazed porcelain tile with the above vinegar and water mixture, which you can alternate with hot water until the stain recedes. 


Glass requires minimal upkeep and it's resistant to stains, mold and mildew. You can use any store-bought cleaner designed for glass: simply spray the solution on and wipe down the surface, then follow with a quick rinse and dry. If you prefer a more natural tile cleaner, combine water and vinegar (a 1:1 ratio) and follow the same steps as you would with a store-bought cleaner.

For more heavy-duty cleanings (which are a good idea in areas such as your shower or tub), spray the water and vinegar mixture and let it sit on the surface for at least 10 minutes before scrubbing with a brush and then rinsing away with water. Pay attention to the grout, and use a toothbrush to get in between the tiles and scrub away the dirt and soap scum.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Expert answers to five of the most frequently asked tile questions

Expert answers to five of the most frequently asked tile questions

Natural stone and porcelain tiles can make a home feel elegant and refined. In a commercial setting, tile provides a strong, attractive foundation that can hold up to wear and tear, while really making a statement about the company’s brand.
Planning a tile installation yourself can also be a lot of fun. From choosing the materials, textures and designs, to grouting a finished mosaic, tile installation is a worthwhile project that adds value and prestige to an interior space.
Not everyone is an expert on the subject, however. That's why we spoke to a product and design expert for Mission Stone & Tile to help answer five of the most frequently asked tile questions.

1. What is a PEI rating?
The Porcelain Enamel Institute (PEI) gives glazed floor tiles a rating between one and five, indicating the material's suitability for different environments. The higher the rating, the more durable the glaze. The PEI rating only applies to glazed porcelain tiles.
Class 1: Not suitable for foot traffic. Walls only.
Class 2: Only suitable for light traffic, such as a residential bathroom.
Class 3: Suitable for moderate residential traffic.
Class 4: Suitable for heavier residential and commercial traffic. Unlikely to develop a patina. 
Class 5: Suitable for any residential or commercial use. Very unlikely to develop a patina.

A high PEI rating means a tile is resistant to patinas and scratches, but it's not indestructible. 
Movement in the subfloor can crack the body of the tile. Proper installation will mitigate that risk.

2. Which materials will develop a patina over time?
Some types of natural stone, such as marble or limestone, will change over time. The tread of heavy foot traffic will eventually age marble from polished to honed and from honed to more honed.
In general, porcelain tiles will not develop a patina, as they are engineered to be more abrasion resistant. When you're looking for a material that won't change much over the years, porcelain tile is a great option. Plus, there are a number of aged styles that are designed to be artisanal, or have a slight patina. These won't change much in appearance once installed, and will appeal to those desiring a more weathered aesthetic.

3. Are floor and wall tiles interchangeable?
When installing tiles, you should always pay attention to the material's ratings. Floor tiles tend to have a higher resistance rating, making them suitable for most surfaces. The inverse, however, is not always true, meaning that, unless a wall tile is explicitly labeled as such, it shouldn't be used as flooring.
Additionally, while some ceramic tiles can be used for both walls and floors, you may want to choose porcelain tile over ceramic tile for any area that has heavier foot traffic. This is because porcelain tiles are fired at extremely high temperatures with higher concentrations of harder and finer minerals, making them more dense than non-porcelain ceramic varieties.

4. Which materials convey a sense of luxury?
Who doesn't want their home to feel luxurious? After a long day at the office, coming home to a well-designed environment can make it easier for the day's stress to melt away. Stylized porcelain is a good option, but natural stone just can't be beat.
When it comes to luxury, marble is a classic material - and for a good reason. Throughout the centuries, people have been drawn to the texture and aesthetic appeal of white marble with soft, flowing swirls. It evokes images of history's greatest buildings, from the stately Palace of Versailles to the sacred Taj Mahal.
If you're looking for a natural stone look at a less expensive pricepoint, you may want to consider porcelain tile with the (surprisingly realistic) look of stone.

5. What tile trends have emerged over the past decade?
In avant-garde communities, hexagon tile mosaics began to emerge as a trend a decade ago. Today, advancements in manufacturing technologies have made it possible to fabricate larger hexagon tiles.
Designers use hexagons and unique textures to create eye-catching tiles. Chevrons and herringbone designs have become equally intriguing. 

Selecting tile for your next project should be fun. To learn more about the unique styles at affordable prices, visit missionstonetile.com today!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

DIY Backsplash Tile Ideas for Kitchen and Bath - Part Two

If you’re looking to give your home a refresh, a DIY backsplash remodel is a great way to start. We’re here to help you choose from the wide array of materials, colors, shapes, sizes, textures and patterns available.

In part one of this series, we highlighted how to narrow your tile selection for your DIY backsplash remodel, and we also shared some of our favorite subway tile looks. In this segment, we’ll tell you about two more popular options for kitchens and bathrooms we’re loving right now: The hexagon tile and the herringbone pattern.

Hexagon tile backsplash ideas

Hexagon tile, which was popular in the mid-1900s, is back in a big way. Hexagon mosaics resemble the honeycombs that bees build - each individual hexagon features six perfectly symmetrical sides. In the design world, symmetry provides balance and harmony to a room. If you'd like a more peaceful spot to cook or bathe, consider incorporating this nature-inspired shape into your kitchen or bathroom DIY home improvement project.

Do you plan to carry your tile up to the ceiling in some spots of the room that lack upper cabinets - perhaps above your stove or sink? If so, you could go with a larger, more dramatic five-inch tile. One such tile that's having a major moment right now is the Hex Appeal white Carrara marble trimmed in dark basalt stone. The contrast between light and dark is exciting and modern, while the natural stone adds an air of lavish elegance. This color combo looks amazing with matte black cabinets or gray basalt countertops.

If you're working in a narrow area with a low backsplash height, you might want to choose a smaller hexagon: One-inch or two-inch tiles are both smart choices. You won't have to place each individual tile - they're sold in mesh-backed sheets that you can cut as needed, making for a much quicker install.

Keep things simple, crisp and low-maintenance with one- or two-inch all-white porcelain tiles. This will allow you to incorporate any hue into the room - you could paint your cabinets a cheerful blue or opt for colorful glassware or dinnerware. If you swap out curtains and linens frequently, an all-white hexagon backsplash is the perfect blank canvas.

Achieve a fun retro look with one-inch white with black rose pattern hexagon tiles. Or pair with a white farmhouse sink and weathered wood-look porcelain tile floor for modern farmhouse perfection!

Herringbone tile backsplash ideas
The herringbone tile pattern consists of rows of rectangles arranged to form a repeated v-shape. It's a classic look that’s understated and elegant.

 Like white subway tile or white hexagon tile, an all-white herringbone tile backsplash acts as a neutral and provides a clean, crisp backdrop for the rest of the room. When it comes to the white grout vs. dark grout debate, we love the way black grout accentuates the herringbone pattern. That said, you can never go wrong with simple white grout.

We love bringing in shades of gray and white offered, so marble backsplashes are our favorite. Whether you live in a chic modern loft in the city or a classic restored home in the country, it's an elegant look that is well-suited to various home styles.

As always, we encourage you to be bold in your design choices and to choose a tile that speaks to your unique preferences.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Bring the Outdoors In with Greenery!

Want to make your neighbors green with envy at your latest home improvement project? Go with the 2017 Pantone Color of the Year: Greenery. Completely change the environment in your kitchen or patio by combining Greenery with wall or floor tiles in other colors from palettes created by Pantone.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

DIY Backsplash Tile Ideas for Kitchen and Bath

If you aren't afraid to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirt under your nails, updating your kitchen backsplash or bathroom tile can result in a luxe, designer-inspired look at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. While some home improvement projects, like relocating an electric panel, are best left to an expert, others, like replacing tile, can be relatively safe and straightforward. As long as you can follow instructions, you can DIY your way to a chic space that will wow your guests and increase the value of your home.

Marrying form and function
Any designer will tell you that the key to a successful DIY home improvement project is marrying form and function. When it comes to selecting tile for your backsplash remodel, choose one that speaks to your soul and meshes well with your lifestyle. It's the same theory behind adopting a dog - if you work long hours, don't pick a breed that requires lots of attention and frequent walks, no matter how cute he may be!

Natural stone materials like marble, onyx or travertine are dizzyingly beautiful but require regular care to prevent etching and discoloration. If your heart is set on all-white Carrara marble, go for it! Just understand that you'll need to do a little extra work to ensure its integrity over time. Glass tiles, on the other hand, are stain-resistant, easy to clean and require minimal upkeep. Ceramic tile is a durable, low-maintenance choice that can be textured or created in a fun shape, like hexagon, ensuring a fun look that's uniquely you. And you can never go wrong with porcelain - in addition to having a huge variation in design options, it's perfect for the busy homeowner who wants to minimize time spent cleaning.

Once you've selected your material, you can further narrow your search by considering design elements like:

  • Color.
  • Shape.
  • Size.
  • Texture.
  • Pattern.

Are you drawn to bright hues like orange and red or do you prefer subtle neutrals like cream or gray? If you love neutrals but want a little something extra, pattern and texture can elevate an otherwise basic tile. A gray mosaic tile backsplash pops against white countertops and cabinets while a basketweave tile provides interesting texture. As far as shape and size go, the options are endless.

While the general rule of thumb is to design according to your architectural home style - for example, avoiding ├╝ber-modern finishes if you live in an antique farmhouse - we encourage you to think outside the box and be bold in your design choices. While black beveled arabesque tile might overwhelm a space if you cover an entire wall or floor with it, chances are it'll add just the right amount of pizzazz to a smaller area such as a kitchen backsplash or bathroom floor or wall.

(By the way, using floor tile as backsplash is completely acceptable, so if the tile you adore was made for the floor, go ahead and buy it!)

In need of some inspiration? Here are some of our favorite looks:

Subway tile backsplash ideas
Decorating residential kitchens and bathrooms with subway tile is a trend that doesn't show any signs of losing steam. It seems as if almost everyone likes this look; if you're remodeling your home to sell, white subway tile and white grout is a safe bet. It looks nice in virtually any style of home and brightens up a space.

If you're looking for something a bit more edgy, try white subway tile with black grout. Not only does dark grout make your white tiles sing, it's much easier to keep clean than light-colored grout! We love the way the combo looks when accented by bronze fixtures and Edison bulbs.

Subway tiles are available in a variety of finishes and patterns, too, from glossy to matte and from a bold diamond texture to a more subtle honeycomb texture.

Look for part two in our DIY backsplash tile ideas series for more design inspiration!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

New Year, New Shapes

Are you tired of the same ol' look? Are you thinking of something a bit different that will really make your living space stand out? We have some really simple ways to add a designer touch to any environment without breaking your wallet.
When it comes to tiles, it's really all about the shape. The pattern and the shape you choose are ultimately what will give character to your room so it’s important that you use the tile that best complements your room.

Whether it be a hexagon tiled floor or a beautiful mosaic design throughout the walls, the use of shapes can provide that eccentric atmosphere to a room you desire. You can also combine various shapes within the same area to allow for variety.

But let's take a step back. The first step in adding some dimension to a room is finding the perfect tile shape. Pick a shape that speaks to you and your style. Or a shape that you normally wouldn't see. Do not be afraid to be bold with your decisions. Being different will make you stand out.

Two shapes that are really dominating the trend chart now are Mod Picket and MidPoint. The way these two types of tiles interlace between each other, can bring your backdrop or bathroom walls to life without overwhelming the space. If you're not sure about covering big areas of your room, then a decorative wall piece is the way to go and, no, we're not talking about classic canvas wall art. Framing a mosaic and layering that over a basic tile is the new trend now. This easy yet stylish motif allows a simple room to become artistic and compelling. Talk about a statement piece!

Using different shapes is a non-traditional way to make your space one of a kind. Any classic look can be given an edge. The key aspect is to think outside the box--Start getting your creative juices flowing. Create different boards on Pinterest. Look through magazines. Follow blogs. Compare and Contrast. Pick your favorite shapes.

Let shapes take over your imagination and have fun!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Color Palettes We Love

The start of a New Year is the perfect opportunity for fresh beginnings, resolutions and, yes, a brand new look. This year it’s all about the cool colors: Chalk whites, shoreline grays and iceberg blues.
Picture an all-white room, clean, crisp and pure - a blank canvas - and start adding accent colors that will really bring out the room’s personality. After a long and stressful work day, coming home to a calming environment with cool colors can create a relaxed and cozy space that will be easy on the eyes and soul.

How to pick the right accent color is always the big decision, but with the Essentials Collection the choice is really easy. Our Shore Thing tiles can brighten up any room with just a touch of the blue of your dreams. Their cooling tone can be versatile and soothing creating a unified but elegant appearance. Those timeless subway tiles come in various patterns and shapes and can be the perfect backdrop to any environment, adding that extra element of flare.
The blue palette is always a safe and fresh color, but if you really want to give a spin to your room, green is the way to go. Green represents all things natural and has a proven uplifting effect that can brighten up any space. Every room should have something living in it, whether it be plants, flowers, or succulents bring earth-like tones that make the room feel alive and well.

Purple, bold and beautiful. The richness and contrast of purple can create a feminine flare but still stay within the cool color family.

Accenting with the cool colors has become a popular design trend, start the year right with a
clean and relaxing look!