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.

Another herringbone tile layout we suggest is polished Italian marble in various shades of gray and white. 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 soul.

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 there 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, cement 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 painted or printed with pattern, ensuring a fun look that's uniquely you. And you can never go wrong with porcelain - in addition to being extremely versatile in appearance, 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 gray 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!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Cement Tiles: An Artisanal Touch

If you're looking for a softer, more artisanal look in your home, you may want to consider cement tiles. Cement tiles give the appearance of a handmade product. And in the case of the tiles you see here, you can get the look of an encaustic tile, which is known for the use of multiple colors of clay within a single tile.

They're a bit different than the typical tiles you see at Mission Stone & Tile. While porcelain tiles gain their strength from firing in a kiln, cement tiles gain their strength from curing. The saturated pigment on these cement tiles ensures that the material will remain beautiful and durable for years to come, while the inherent characteristics will give it a natural patina over time. The tiles will get worn a bit - like your favorite pair of jeans.

Electra Encaustic Cement Tiles are available in Marine Bone (blue) and Steel Grey and can be used on walls and residential floors.

Electra - Steel Grey

Monday, December 19, 2016

Decade-adent: Classic Subway Tiles

Shag carpeting. Olive green refrigerators. Geometric patterns. Trends come and go. So isn't it delightful when we see a design element that spans decades? The original subway tile is one of few design elements that remains every bit as popular today as it was when it was first invented. And - in the case of the subway tile - that would be the early 1900's.

You probably already know that, as its name suggests, the tile was originally used in subway systems. It became known for its durability, ease of maintenance, low cost and simplicity in design. Today, we find that it complements some of the most beautiful kitchen and bathroom designs in the world.

The original white subway tile is a classic. And with some styles under $2 a square foot, it's one of the most economical ways to give your kitchen or bathroom a makeover.
Snow White - 2x4 Glossy Subway Tile 

Whether you're looking for the classic white subway tile or a new, modern take on the classic subway tile, you can find it here in our Subway Tile Collection.

Get inspired!

Check out today's modern take on the 1900's style in white subway tiles on Pinterest.
Find trends and classic styles in backsplash tiles on Pinterest.

See what Design Milk has to say about subway tile in Design Milk's Article: Tactile Subway Tiles: An Updated Spin on a Design Classic.

And check out this write-up in the New York Times about the original subway tile.

Apartment Therapy also did a wonderful article called A Brief History of Subway Tile.

The Essentials Collection
The Essentials Collection

The Essentials Collection
The Essentials Collection

The Essentials Collection
The Essentials Collection

The Essentials Collection
The Essentials Collection 

The Essentials Collection
The Essentials Collection
Photos courtesy of Leslee Mitchell

Friday, December 16, 2016

Inspiration: Farmhouse Kitchens

I have to admit - I've spent more time browsing inspiring farmhouse kitchens on Pinterest in the past few months than I've actually spent cooking in my own kitchen. What I love about the farmhouse kitchen is that - in a world of high tech and modern everything - the farmhouse kitchen feels warm, cozy and familiar. A feeling of nostalgia. Of being home. To me, the farmhouse kitchen is synonymous with freshly baked bread and family.

Natural light, natural wood, classic marble, timeless subway tile, soft linens and flowing curtains - all decorative touches that set the stage for an inviting kitchen.

I like seeing a subtle hint of pattern and color in a farmhouse kitchen, which is why I love the Peintes Collection. It's a collection of decorative ceramic tiles with pattern, subtle color and a slightly rustic appearance.

Get inspired. Check out our Farmhouse Kitchen board on Pinterest.

Now - it's time to make some bread.

Peintes Khazana-Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile

Peintes- Ornate Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile
Peintes- Ornate Ceramic Floor and Wall Tile

Thursday, December 1, 2016

How To Work with Patterns in Your Home

Patterned Tiles and Wallcoverings are making a comeback, and while many are afraid to take the plunge, the outcome is worth the risk. Working with patterns in your home can be a daunting task, but if you carefully consider these design elements, patterns can take your design to the next level.

Create a custom and designer look with the use of large patterns on the floor or on your walls. Take a look at our Carpet Tile Collection. These are not the commercial “carpet tiles” you see in convention centers. Our Carpet Tiles are in fact Porcelain Tiles that boast modern and geometric designs. 

Perfect for large or small living spaces, create a textural effect on your floor in your living room or bathroom. You can even carry these tiles up the wall in a large space, but we love mixing these tiles with a simplistic look on the floor if applied to the walls. Install one of the three geometric patterns on your bathroom walls and compliment them with a solid 12x24 or larger format on the floor, or go with a uniform porcelain Wood Plank Tile. The neutral and simplistic color palette of our Carpet Tile Collection offers a fresh take as an optional wallcovering or flooring option where you want to bring a unique and textural design element in your space.

When one dominant pattern is present, you want to keep everything else in the space solid or seek out a smaller or larger pattern as an accent. The keyword here is accent. If your flooring is a patterned tile, keep your sofa a solid color and you can accent with a smaller (and similar in style) pattern on a throw pillow. You just don’t want pattern overload. Let the dominant pattern shine, and let smaller items accent and complement your main showpiece. Get excited about pattern play in your home by checking out these three patterns that are perfect in contemporary, modern, or transitional style homes!

Check out the Carpet Tile Collection: Basquette, Funky, and Devore.