Design Renaissance: Patterned Cement Tiles Are Reborn

Patterned Cement TilesLike many of the world’s most beautiful treasures, the history of patterned cement tiles, or mosaicos hidralico, as they are known in many colonial districts of Latin America, is up for debate. Some think Mexico was the first Latin American country to make them (and Cuba the second), having arrived in Central America through European trade routes. Meanwhile, Spain and France are duking it out for the title of first nation to make them worldwide. Whatever the case, there are a few things of which we can be certain. First, these elegant and vibrant tiles can be found across the globe, from Nicaragua and Brazil to Turkey and India. Secondly, they’re seeing a resurgence in the United States. The colorful and durable tiles were used in outdoor spaces in historic coastal estates in California and Florida in the US in the ’30s and ’40s, but now we’re seeing them in cities, in restaurants and bars, and applied in fresh ways like climbing up the wall behind a fireplace or mixed and matched on a hallway floor. Find out more…

Travertine Tiles – The Hard Tile

Are you confused by the dazzling array of tiles on show to decorate your dream home? Is there a hint of doubt as to the type of tile would that would look good on your floors, ceilings, and walls? If you want a tile that works everywhere then you have it at your fingertips!

Travertine tiles are now becoming a very popular option for those who wanted a different look and style in their homes. Because of its sophisticated features, travertine tiles are used mostly in floors, showers, sinks, and countertops. Even if you want your house to look like Ancient Rome, travertine is the perfect tile for you!

The Hard Tile

As a natural stone, Travertine tiles are well-known for hardness and appearance. Since it is mostly found through the natural action of nature, some holes can be found within the stone caused by carbon dioxide erosion. Also known as the onyx marble, travertine is a sedimentary rock which has a similar chemical composition to limestone. Italy and the Middle East are two of the most popular countries which make travertine available in the tile market today. Travertine tiles are the tiles that are found in the world-acclaimed Roman Colosseum. These tiles are durable and stand the test of time as evidenced by one of the greatest sights in the world. Travertine has an aesthetic appeal which reflects something natural, simple, and elegant.

Elements of Travertine Tiles

With Travertine, there’s no denying the fact that no two things are created equal and alike. One may offer an advantage from the other in some respect but at some point, there will always be negative and positive elements to your choice. Each type of tile will have a disadvantage or advantage over other tiles in the market. Travertine tiles are specifically known to possess the following characteristics:


Because travertine tiles are from natural stones, they are very porous. Contrary to what we may think, travertine tiles are actually not hard and have varying degrees of porosity which gives spills and stains the opportunity to easily penetrate. Removing stains and dirt may not be an easy task but protective sealers will help fill in the pores and repel spills so your tiles can look as good as new again.

Easily stained and is etched by Acids

Acid smudges or beverage spills should be wiped up immediately because they tend to etch or remove the travertine tile’s shiny surface when allowed to remain for a long period of time. So if you want to maintain the good looks of your travertine and countertops wipe and clean them regularly.

Reasonable Price

The cost anything is a big factor in our purchase decisions. Travertine tiles may be a bit expensive to compared with other tiles in the market, but for the quality they’re still considered reasonable. Given its unique and natural qualities, you do not only pay for its sophisticated features but also for the classic appeal it brings into your home.

Useful Tips for Travertine Tile users

Because of the variety of look and feel, travertine tiles are yet to be classified into specific styles and the unique quality of designs all add to its classic appearance. Choose your own cut and get ready to experience a different kind of classic Roman experience right in your own home.

Polished Travertine Tiles

These are flat and shiny pieces of tiles which are highly reflective and smooth. Polished tiles are only made from the hardest travertine and they are almost stain resistant, thus being known as a travertine tile of the highest quality.

Chiselled and Brushed Travertine Tiles

These kinds of travertine tiles have a highly classical and antiquated look. They are great for outdoor and wet areas installation.

Tumbled Travertine Tiles

These travertine tiles with round edges are available in different sizes and colours. Its rough surface makes it an ideal tile for paving around the pool.

Filled and Honed Travertine Tiles

These are smooth and flat-surfaced tiles with more of a matte finish. These types of travertine tiles are more resilient to stains thus requiring less maintenance.

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Checklist: Before Installing Wood Flooring

When it’s time to upgrade the home, consider wood flooring. The cost of wood floor installation can be high, but most of these expenses can be avoided when homeowners install floors. Here are a few tips to achieve a beautiful wood floor through professional installation.

Preparing the Floor

Many people think they can start laying the floor once the old flooring is removed, but there’s a little more to it than that. In addition to removing the old flooring, the baseboards should also be removed. If there are door frames in the room, the Preparation of the floor for wood installation is essentialframes must be shortened by the height of your floor. Either remove the sides of the frame and cut them down with a saw, or use a Dremel rotary tool with a special attachment to cut the doorjamb in place.

The next step is to go over the floor carefully. Look for staples, nails that are not countersunk or spots that squeak. The best time to fix squeaks in the floor is now because few screws in the loose area will stop squeaks and groans. Raised nails should be hammered in fully or removed.

Once the floor is clean and smooth, it is time to lay rosin paper. Overlap paper edges by four inches, and hold the paper in place by going across it with a staple gun. Make sure all staples are completely flush with the floor.

Wood Flooring

Slow and Easy Wins the Race

The goal with the wood floor isn’t to finish in record time. The goal is to have a floor that looks professionally installed. This means being patient with the installation. Be a perfectionist when choosing boards. Look for flaws, wormholes, splinters, damaged tongues or grooves and any other damage. If there is something about a board that isn’t attractive, it should be set to the side.

All seams must be carefully staggered across the floor. Make sure there is at least four inches between seams to create a strong floor. Before choosing a board, look at the seams a few rows back to maintain attractive spacing.

The All-Important Gap

A quarter-inch gap is required all the way around the floor. Wood will expand slightly and contract again over the course of the year. If the expansion gap is not present, the floor could buckle and be ruined.

Cutting the End Boards

At the end of a row, installers measure the space and cut a board to fit. Be sure to allow for the gap when measuring, and check all measurements twice. Mark the board to ensure that the right end is cut. Remember that a working tongue or groove on the floor side is required to secure the board, so the cut should always be on the wall side.

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How To Achieve A Long Lasting and Beautiful Wood Floor

Wood flooring endows your home with old-world charm and grace. It lasts for generations if properly cared for and allowed to age beautifully. Another great feature of hardwood flooring is that it is natural and environment-friendly.

Humanity has used timber to lay floors for hundreds of years, and the flooring continues to remain in style, impervious to trends. Wooden floors have a timeless appeal, which cannot be said of any other kind of flooring.

There are many advantages to a wood floor. Apart from increasing the aesthetic appeal of your house, it also fetches you a higher price at the time of selling it.

Wood floors do not require meticulous maintenance, but they cannot take care of themselves. You need to be careful and avoid damaging friction, and also adopt wood-safe cleaning practices.

Here are a few tips to help you maintain your wood flooring and ensure it lasts forever.

It’s Important to Know Your Flooring

The maintenance procedures and the cleaning methods are determined by the type of flooring and the kind of finish used on it. Wax polish cannot be used to rejuvenate polyurethane, shellac or varnish finishes. Wax makes these floors slippery and adversely affects their finish. There are specific polishes that can be used on polyurethane floors. General-purpose polishes are available which can be used after testing the results on a small insignificant patch on the floor. Ensure the polish does not peel off or harm the natural finish of the floor. Make sure you check with the dealer or manufacturer for user instructions.

Keep Away the Moisture

Water is the biggest enemy of hardwood floors. Water ruins the finish of your floor and makes it dull. If the floor remains wet and damp for long, the moisture will seep into the wood and stain it. The damage caused is irreversible and you will find it difficult to regain the lost looks. Avoid wet-mopping and do not clean your floor with water or other liquids. You can use a slightly damp mop for wiping a wood floor clean of fine dust. But make sure the floor is immediately dried and does not retain any moisture. You can switch on the ceiling fan or the air-conditioner to speed up drying. So, the best way to go about cleaning your wood floors is to vacuum and sweep them regularly.

VIDEO: Cleaning Floors : Cleaning Solutions for Wood Floors

Regular Care Goes a Long Way

As in the case of carpets, dust and dirt can cause trouble for wood flooring. When you walk over the floor, the dust caught underfoot causes damaging friction, mimicking the action of sandpaper. It grates away at the floor surface and slowly wears through the finish. Regular vacuuming removes dust, dirt and sand from the floor surface. Ensure you use suitable attachments for the vacuum and that do not scratch or damage the finish. You can also sweep your floor clean with a soft-bristled broom.

Watch Chemical Spills

Hair spray and furniture polish are harmful to wood flooring. If they spill on the surface, immediately wipe off with a slightly damp cloth. If you want more thorough cleaning, dilute a pH-neutral cleaning liquid (like dishwasher liquid) and gently scrub the surface clean. Wipe with a dry towel immediately.

Say No to Oil

Oil soaps and liquid/paste waxes should be avoided too. When you use cleaning agents containing oil, residue is left on the floor surface which alters and affects the floor polish. Harsh chemical cleaners and ammonia-based products should be avoided.

Make Your Home a Safe Haven for the Floors

Sunlight: Wood floors are affected by exposure to harsh sunlight. You know that UV rays are harmful for your skin, but they can also cause discoloration of wooden floors. Window blinds and sheer curtains help filter the sun’s rays and protect the floor from direct and harsh sunlight. You can also put in area rugs in places where there is too much of exposure to sunlight.

Stop Dirt in Its Tracks

Make sure you place high quality doormats at the entrance and exit points of your house. This will prevent dirt, dust, oil and other corrosive substances from being tracked in from the outside. Also place thick mats or rugs over spots where there is probability of heavy traffic or constant pressure, like in the hallways, the area around kitchen sink and stove, and in the living areas.

Wood floors are easy to maintain, and have a soothing and calming influence on your family. With proper and timely care, you can help your wood flooring remain cozy, warm and inviting forever.

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Bring The Outside In With Natural Look Tile

Furnishings and accessories in whites, creams and pastel tones can act as a great complement to natural look materials. This styling positions natural materials as the hero within your home and allows the natural tones and textures to act as the aesthetic focal point. Read More Here:

Is Tile That Looks Like Wood Flooring Really That Great?

Of course some of the advantages that are touted with regard to wood looking ceramic tiles are debatable, namely that it is better for underfloor radiant heating, easier to find in larger plank widths, generally cheaper and easier to clean. Read More Here:

VIDEO:Tip to Removing/Uninstalling Pergo Flooring

Higher Standard Tile and Stone: PHOTOS Click Here

Is Porcelain & Ceramic Tile Right for Me?

Most porcelain and ceramic tile is hard-wearing and easy to maintain over the long term. This means that you’ll likely only be doing the job of installing it once over the course of owning your home or office. The colors don’t fade, and you’ll be pleased to know that it has hypoallergenic qualities. No need to worry about pets, spills, or wear and tear! Read More Here:

Strand Woven Bamboo Flooring – Which is the Better Installation Method, Nail Down or Glue?

For those who love the idea of installing a hardwood floor in their home but want to be a little greener in their choice of new flooring bamboo is the perfect choice. Strand woven bamboo flooring is even more appealing to many people as the weave not only adds extra strength to an already very tough flooring material but a very attractive and unique appearance as well. Read More Here:

Classic Victorian Tiles

Victorian TilesOnce a decor reserved for the rich as well as famous, Victorian floor tiles spread out in the late 1800s to the middle classes which wanted to emulate the fine ways of the upper class. Throughout terraced streets, Victorian floor tiles were recognised for certain colours and shapes. They also featured in Abbeys as well as Medieval Churches. Many of these ceramic tiles have made it through to the present day, but their ONE HUNDRED+ year survival has taken its toll. Numerous porches are now in major need of repair with fractured or damaged floor tiles. Curiously in the 60s and also 70s it was considered very antiquated to have genuine Victorian tiled pathways.

Although there are typical designs to model, such as Blenheim, Chatsworth as well as Cambridge-the mixes are limitless. You can create a one-of-a-kind pathway or hallway, which is completely your concept. Embellishing an outdoor area with Victorian ceramic tiles is not simply aesthetically pleasing, it is quite easy to preserve. As soon as the ceramic tiles have actually been grouted, secured and then re-sealed, the floor or pathway only requires regular cleaning. Sweeping is the most effective option, as ceramic tiles could damage or tarnish from excessive cleaning using chemical cleaners.

Kerb allure is one more advantage of Victorian tiles. A patio with colourful or monochrome floor tiles looks remarkable as well as well-kept—your visitors would certainly more than likely think about a Victorian tiled path or outdoor area . In some cases itmay add value to the home, although this mostly hangs on the flair of the purchaser.

Dermot, a job supervisor from south London based firm Dermarta, specialises in laying Victorian ceramic tiles. He says: ‘Entire streets and terraces were made by the very same tradesperson’s teams, making use of standard methods.In some areas these surfaces are still intact, so you could see the tradesperson’s work– it’s worth a look! Utilising the exact same floor tile designs was a way for the tradesperson to make his mark, like an artist’s signature.” Dermot has viewed a rise in popularity for Victorian tiling, yet he reckons that it’s not a DIY option. He mentions that high quality really does prevail and if you get low-cost clay tiles, the outcome will not last long. As some Victorian ceramic tiles have made it through since the 1890’s, it shows that tiles can be extremely hardwearing if they’re of top quality as well as expertly laid.

While Victorians would certainly have had entrance hallways as well as washrooms tiled as well, house owners today are choosing exterior projects. If Victorian tilinggains more popularity ends up being a more commonplace option, we may seea Victorian tiling renaissance.