Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Making a Carrara Marble Soap & Niche Shelf

To see the original blog go to our website:
Making a Carrara Marble Soap & Niche Shelf

Recently here in Florida I have been asked to build more niche’s in showers these days then ever before. Not only is a niche a good way to get a little extra room in the shower it also adds a little bit of style to your newly tiled shower. A niche will give you some extra room to place your shampoo bottles, razor or other things you use often in a nice little pocket set into your tiled shower wall. This will stop all that stuff from being cluttered on your shower floor or window ledge.

The pictures below are from a recent Custom tiled shower I did in St. Petersburg, Florida. The homeowners selected a 3×6 American Olean subway tile on the shower walls, 1×1 Glass tile in a mixture of white, gray and light gray on the shower floor (glass tile is Hakatai TA810 M China Blend) and 16×16 white Carrara marble on the main bathroom floor. The shower was waterproofed with Laticrete Hydro Barrier liquid waterproofing and a chrome Ebbe drain was also used. The homeowners had asked me to build a niche on the shower wall opposite of the shower head.

They wanted the niche to be set in the 3×6 subway tile, while it is a nice look at told them that it would be a little plain with the white tile and the bullnose tile. I suggested using the same 1×1 glass tile on the back of the niche and also making a couple shelves out of the Carrara marble we were using, and also to make a couple corner soap shelves and place them on each corner of the shower walls. This would add some of the glass tile and marble tile being used on the shower floor & main floor and bring it into the shower walls.

They liked my idea’s and gave me the approval to go ahead with the installation. These were additional adds to the original price but they understood this would class up a plain white shower and be worth the small amount it would cost to do. They also knew they would like the shower better in the long run and add style to it.

After I laid out the shower to achieve full tile in the corners and ends of wall, I laid out where the niche would go. I made the niche fall on the horizontal grout joints so it would fit nicely and look good visually. I also laid out where the corner marble shelves would go prior to cutting, fabricating and polishing them. below I will explain the process of how I made the shelves.

I first cut the 2 corner shelves out of the piece of Carrara marble, this would allow me to have 2 long straight side and enable me to be able to also cut the 2 square niche shelves from one piece of marble. This was a good way to cut down on wasting marble tile. When I cut the 2 square shelves for the niche, I made return/ears on the sides to add a little style (see picture 8). After I cut the shelves I pulled the pieces of marble back across to blade to make the slight micro bevel on the edge of the shelves.

After the shelves were cut I polished them with my Alpha PVA dry pads. I like the Alpha quick change adapter and dry pads for my grinder since its a good way to get fast results and a nice polish on natural stone for a good price. The niche shelves were cut to fit perfectly inside the niche, I then installed them in the tiled area’s. Once everything was grouted and caulked they became a beautiful working part of the shower.

We can also make these custom shelves for you upon request for your shower installation. Contact Us for more info and pricing.

In my next blog I will show you how I make Travertine shelves for a niche.

To see the original blog go to our website:
Making a Carrara Marble Soap & Niche Shelf

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to Cut Glass Tile....

Installing glass tile can be tricky, but cutting it can be even trickier. People are always asking how to cut small glass tile without chipping it, cracking it, having the pieces fall into the wet saw trays groove or having it shoot out of their fingers when they cut it. From over the years of installing glass tile I have learned a few tricks. One of the most simplest is to make sure the smaller glass tile that are mesh mounted have a solid backing under it when you pushing it through the wet saw. Another thing you want to make sure you do is to have the glass tile held down so it doesn’t move around while cutting it.

Glass tile once wet on mesh sheets or paper backed glass tile sheets start to soften the glue, once that happens they start to fall off. Sometimes that isn’t a bad thing when you want to put them in one at a time, but can be annoying when trying to install a row of them mounted. In the first picture below you can see the wrong way and the trouble you will have by just sitting the glass tile sheet on the wet saw tray. The glass tile once cut will drop down into the opening for the blade, it also chips when not supported 100% as it is being cut. If your wet saw has an adjustable head/motor you can raise it up and use a scrap piece of plywood to support the small glass tile.

In the rest of the pictures you can see my trick for cutting small glass tile with a mesh backing and trying to get a bunch very small pieces all the same size. I use a scrap ceramic tile or whatever field tile you are using on your tile project. I then blue tape the small glass tile securely to the backside of the ceramic tile. Then I make my cut mark on the tape and use blue painters tape since you can see through it and know right where the mark is on the glass tile. Then align up the mark to the blade on the wet saw and make the cut. The glass tile mesh barely gets wet but there is enough water on the blade to make a clean cut. After the cut I remove the tape to see my precise cuts that are dry and still attached to the mesh backing, ready to install into the modified thinset I am using to set the glass tile on the waterproofed shower mud floor.

Glass tile is becoming more popular in the areas like Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Orlando, Clearwater, Brandon, Bradenton & other largely populated area’s in Florida and other U.S. cities with homes that are stylish and keeping up with current bathroom, kitchen & backsplash tile trends. People are having glass tile installed in the bathroom on the walls as an accent band, as a deco, on shower floors, back splashes and in pools. I wouldn’t suggest a opaque or paper face mounted glass tile install for a DIY job, glass tile is tricky and there are certain rules you need to adhere to from the glass tile manufacturer. One being the use of a highly modified white thinset. Some require a crack anti fracture membrane, while some will scratch with the use of a specific type of sanded grout. And by all means Do Not Use Mastic or Premixed Thinset.

You also want to make sure you use the proper sized notched trowel or you could ruin your glass tile install with too deep of a trowel and thinset coming up through the grout joints, or not deep enough of a trowel and the tile not adhering or bedding properly to the substrate and becoming loose and ruining the installation. I would highly suggest you read up on glass tile or find a tile contractor that is familiar with glass tile, it’s special installation requirements, has done a fair amount of glass tile installs and has references.

The glass tile used in this install was Hakatai TA810 M China Blend

If you have any questions feel free to email me and I can help with some simple questions. Or if your looking for an estimate in Florida on a glass tile project you have coming up, please Contact Us for a Free Estimate.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ceramic Tile Shower – Tampa, Florida

Rip Out, Prep, Waterproofing, Install Tile:

We completed a hall bath shower rip out & replace in Tampa for a Architect we know. This is his personal home and is Florida and is about 30 years old. The shower pan was done incorrectly and it didn’t have a pre-slope under the liner, had a drain directly connected to the drain pipe and was nailed at the bottom through the liner to the studs. Whoever built this shower pan had no idea on how to build a properly waterproofed traditional pre slope pan & liner. Where would the water go that saturates the mud bed without having weep holes? Something us professionals don’t like seeing.

Being a Tile Contractor in Tampa there was something else I didn’t like seeing, it was the way they did a fake wall mud tile job look. They pretty much put cement board over top drywall and used mastic with 4×4 wall tile and a mud cap A-4200. It gives the look of a built out mud wall but not an actual good way of doing it. Mastic is NEVER good in a shower or wet area and can re-emulsify when wet over time. We demoed the whole old shower area, removing the wall tile, cementboard, old drywall, shower floor tile, mud bed, liner & drain.

We then installed the new cement board, mesh taped the joints and used thinset over them. Installed a new Ebbe drain riser and drain and a new mud bed using Laticrete 3701 fortified mortar bed. The 3701 is a thick-bed mortar that is exceptionally strong and resistant to weather, frost, thermal and physical shock, pre blended and perfect for a job like this. After the cement board and mesh tape was up and the Mud bed cured we used HydroBan liquid waterproofing on the shower pan and up the walls and over the shower curb. We used the divot method to tie the waterproofing into the clamping ring drain, and the filled the divot, packed with pea gravel, mud and more HydroBan over it.

Once the HydroBan was dry we then laid out our wall tile to achieve the best full size cuts in the corners. The tile we were using picked out by the Homeowner was a Floor Gres 4×4 Ceramic White tile with scalloped edges. He also selected Spanish style red rectified porcelain 16×16 tile to go on the bath floor from a local tile showroom. We also cut the 16×16 floor tile down to match the size of the Ebbe drain grate.

The installation went great since our wall and floor prep was done correctly. The scalloped edged tile were hard to put up since the varying sized grout joints could not take a spacer, so for that we used an non sag mortar from Laticrete called MultiMax 255 which held the tile in place and didn’t allow them to slide, better then using a ledger board and spacers. We then set the rectified floor tile with 3/16″ grout joints per the owners request. He purchased a matching red grout for the main floor and the shower floor and a bright white sanded grout for the wall tile, both grouts were Pro Spec 700 sanded grout.

Grouting went easy and we cleaned up and final washed the tile and turned it over to the homeowner. He was very pleased with how it came out and could not believe the before and after look of his bathroom. The owner was going to install a hard Ipe wood for his curb. I usually suggest a marble sill or tile on the curb, but seeing how the dense cell structure of IPÊ (all heart wood) is not only naturally resistant to insects but also to decay, rot, molds and weather has little to no effect upon the structural integrity of IPÊ wood, it would do good as a shower curb sill. He was also going to urethane seal it and I suggested to him to attach it with either an epoxy or a polyurethane construction adhesive like Liquid Nail or PL Premium.

below are some pictures taken during to project, I hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

To DIY Tile or Not to DIY Tile.....

That is the question....

So you’re planning on doing a DIY tile job huh? It’s not for everyone and it sure isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s fun to plan and have a vision of doing your own tile work be it a small foyer, back splash, back patio/lanai or even a shower area. But there’s more to it then just sticking some square tiles on the wall or floor in rows. Here in Florida there is so much tile being installed some of the fly by night installers moonlighting as tile setters aren’t really that good. You can’t do a good, quality tile job in a few weeks of reading, you need to have the years of knowledge that a “Professional” tile setter has. This from being on jobs and seeing installation techniques of various types of tile, or learning from another pro on the job over the years of work.

If you do decide to go at it yourself you will require the proper tools for the job. You will need to go out and purchase a good amount of specialty tools that most tile setter already have and own. Things like a quality wet saw, maybe you can rent one from the local rental store, but will the blade be what you need for the type of tile you are cutting? You will also need to purchase items like trowels, a speed square, chalk line, level, maybe some straight edges, ledger boards, spacers, rubbing stones, nippers, a razor knife, hole saw, mixing drill, mixing paddle, angle grinder, and so on.

Other things you will need to understand are, which trowels to use, what will I use to cut which type of tile, will a bar snap cutter cut porcelain or do I need a wet saw. Can I use an angle grinder on Travertine or do I need a special blade for the wet saw. Then figure out how your floor was constructed and make sure you have the proper deflection for the tile your installing. If you’re on a slab you will need to figure out if your hairline cracks are slab crack or are they control joints. Then you will need to understand if you need a crack membrane on the whole floor or can you get away with just applying it to just bridge the cracks. Maybe an uncoupling membrane would work, how could I lay out this wall or floor to line up the grout joints to look good.

You will also need to understand which type of thinset to use, modified, flexible, un modified, epoxy, rapid setting, gray or white. And then figure out if the type of tile you are setting requires it’s own type of thinset, that and making sure you can use that type of thinset with the type of substrate or other material you are using. Schluter Ditra & Kerdi require a UN modified thinset to set tile, but glass tile manufacturers require you to use a highly modified, ohh no. What next? Granted you could probably read about tile and do some research for a few weeks if you have the time, between working, kids, family, friends and your relaxation time.

All this and still not breaking the surface of the knowledge you need to achieve a perfect tile installation. If your doing a shower your really in for it. Shower waterproofing is a pretty tricky and difficult installation. Do you need a traditional liner with a pre slope or can you go with a sheet waterproofing membrane like Schluter Ditra or NobleSeal TS. Or will a liquid membrane like Hydroban, Hydro Barrier or RedGard be better for your shower area. This is an area you don’t want to mess up on, a leak in your waterproofing or shower pan liner can seriously cause problems. Water dripping from your kitchen ceiling, damaging your drywall, soaking your carpets, rotting studs in your walls or mold forming behind your shower walls.

Do you want to spend the time, effort and possible the waste of some material for a chance you might have a good tile installation in your home? I myself would not attempt to do electrical and or a big plumbing job in my house. I would rather hire a pro with experience on getting the job done right, on time and at a fair price. I’m not trying to scare you away from doing it, heck, you’re the one that has to live with it and look at it everyday. But I know one thing; tile and most other finish trades require some sort of skill. Can you do it? Sure you can. We all started some place. I have seen a good amount of people come to a popular tile forum I help answering tile related question on looking for advice and tackling the project themselves with success, and there are also the other 80% that come there looking to be bailed out after they botched the tile project they were so excited to “Do It Yourself”.

I know from over 20 years of installing tile like glass, porcelain, travertine, marble, ceramic, paver’s and many more other types of tile here in Tampa, Florida and also prior up in New Jersey that doing a perfect tile project isn’t an easy thing. There is a lot of labor involved along with scheduling, logistics, layout and making everything come together.

My advice to you is either commit yourself to over a month of having your house turned upside down and ripped apart, or doing some research and hiring a professional, skilled, qualified Tile Contractor that is up to date with current installation techniques to do your job. You will spend a little more but you can rest assured after doing your due diligence that you will have a quality, long lasting, good looking and professional tile installation.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Moldy Situation – Info on Mold....

This safety article was sent to me and used with permission from a well respected tile contractor I know. With me being a Tile Contractor in Florida I know how bad mold is from seeing it in so many failed showers we replace here.
This article has good info on it and I think it will help Florida homeowners understand about mold, it’s dangers and the Importance of a Waterproofed Shower.


By Juan F. Garcia
Redrock Tile and Stone
Loa, Utah, USA

Of the many hazards that face us in remodeling projects, none seem to be more misunderstood than properly managing and cleaning up mold. This article will attempt to provide an inclusive source of information on mold, starting from a description of mold, why it is a problem, why it is prevalent in showers, what is the proper way to clean it up, and how to prevent it from coming back.

What is mold?

Mold is usually seen as the blackish green stuff growing in that forgotten container of leftover food in the back of your refrigerator. You know the one, last month’s dinner with the neighbor’s, or the bag of fruit that the kids were supposed to throw away last week. How did it get there? It certainly wasn’t there when you put the food in the refrigerator. Or was it?

Mold is a naturally occurring organism and is an essential part of the decomposition and decay of organic matter. Mold is a member of the fungus family, the same as mushrooms. It thrives primarily in moist and warm environments however can even be found in cooler temperatures, such as your refrigerator. Its tiny spores are ever present in the air and it only takes one spore, with the right conditions to begin to multiply. Once present on organic matter, mold spores, like seeds, begin to germinate and grow. The result is the slimy or fuzzy stuff seen on the surface. It can range in colors from white to beige, brown, and black or colors of red, green and purple.

Why is mold a problem?

Regardless of what you may have been told, mold, in and of its self, is NOT toxic. The “toxic black mold” as seen in the media and regurgitated by some businesses is a way of duping the uneducated public into a panacea. Certain types of mold, however, can produce substances known as mycotoxins, which are toxic. Ingestion, or eating, of mycotoxins is known to cause illness.

Molds have been known to cause some health problems. Allergy like symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, irritated nose, throat, and eyes, and coughing may have be attributed to inhalation and/or ingestion of mold or mold spores. Some individuals, when exposed, show no symptoms at all. Individuals such as young children, the elderly, those already suffering from asthma, and those with suppressed immune systems may be more susceptible to sickness from mold exposure. The exposure limits to mold for certain health effects are not conclusive; hence, it is not specifically regulated under OSHA.

Mold is not only unsightly; it is also a problem in building systems due to its primary purpose, to decompose organic matter. Mold laden building materials such as plywood subfloors and floor/wall framing can deteriorate beyond usability and require replacement. Severely deteriorated building systems can affect the structural integrity of the entire structure. Many times the effects of the deterioration are hidden behind walls or under surface materials and are not discovered until there is a problem.

Why is mold prevalent in showers?

Besides the refrigerator, its next best environment for growth is in a bathroom. What better place to grow than in a warm and moist environment. Perhaps you have seen some mold growing around the bathroom. Maybe somewhere in the far corner, or up on the ceiling where you normally don’t clean. Just as your refrigerator science experiment, mold has gotten in there, uninvited. Could it also be hiding behind your shower walls?

Have you ever calculated how much “rainfall” your shower gets per year? If you take one 12 minute shower per day in a 48 inch x 48 inch shower and your shower head flows at 2.5 gpm (gallons per minute), you have almost 1100 inches of rainfall equivalent per year – in your shower! Rainforests do not get that much water and look at the fungi that grow there. Is your shower designed to withstand that type of water exposure? Unfortunately, many poorly constructed showers are prevalent in homes today.

What is the proper way to clean mold contamination?

Surface molds, as seen in many bathrooms, is easily handled with over-the-counter disinfectants and wiped away during routine cleaning. If your cleaning is not so routine or you have mold problems from a flood or a poorly designed shower then here are some guidelines to follow for proper cleanup. As with all cleanup operations, you need to consider your skills, your liability, and your patience. In some cases, it is advisable to hire a professional contractor who has the experience, training, and equipment to properly clean up the mold.

Assuming you have stopped the cause of the moisture where the mold is growing, the first order of business in mold remediation is wearing proper personal protective equipment. At a minimum you should have an N95 respirator, rubber gloves, and splash proof goggles. Depending on the severity of the mold contamination, a full face air-purifying respirator may be needed, and a full body protective suit can be worn.

Secondly, all remediation should be done using wet methods such as a sponge or mop and a wet/dry HEPA filtered vacuum. The key with these tools is to eliminate getting the mold and mold spores airborne. Obviously, water will be the primary “wet” tool and some type of disinfectant. There a number of commercially available disinfectants on the market but most sources suggest a chlorine bleach solution with a ratio of 1 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. Water takes the shape of its container so controlling cleanup water may be the next step in the remediation process. Heavy (6 mil) polyethylene plastic sheeting properly taped to floors, walls, and ceiling is one way to contain the overflow of contaminated water and cleanup solution.

Another recommendation in mold remediation is creating a containment barrier, usually of heavy (6 mil) polyethylene plastic sheeting that isolates the contaminated area from the rest of the dwelling. This setup may require airlock type chambers and negative air filtration units. If the mold is so severe or widespread that this type of containment system is needed, it’s probably time to hire a professional.

Lastly, if the mold cannot be adequately cleaned up or the building material is beyond salvaging, it is best to remove the building material and rebuild with new material. Any material that is severely contaminated with mold should be carefully handled, wrapped in plastic sheeting or heavy garbage bags to avoid spreading contamination, and properly disposed of.

How do you prevent mold from coming back?

Now that you are educated and have properly handled your mold problem, the final step is to prevent mold from growing again. If your dwelling has required some type remodel, now is the time to rebuild using industry specific techniques and modern materials available to you. A properly constructed shower that utilizes surface applied moisture barriers is becoming the widely accepted method for controlling moisture at the surface and eliminating the buildup of moisture in hidden areas.

Since mold is ever present in our environments, the best solution is to reduce the moisture on the building material where it likes to grow. Next to proper construction, here are some steps that will prevent any future mold problems.

1. Wipe or squeegee water from surfaces.
2. Install a fan or dehumidifier in location where moisture is present.
3. Weekly cleaning of surfaces with a disinfectant.
4. Monthly checking of surfaces for cracks, chips, or gaps where water may collect.
5. Fix any problems on those surfaces or where discoloration beneath surfaces is seen.


Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to provide the reader with a basic understanding of health and safety issues related to the topic. The reader assumes full responsibility for their own actions and will not hold the author liable or responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product or process disclosed in this article or for any injury or illness to themselves or others arising from information derived from this article.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Commonly used Tile in Florida Definition….

to view our current blogs go to our website or read the original here.

At Ceramictec we install the finest selection of name brand tile with the widest selection of patterns, textures, sizes and colors. No matter what your decor or color scheme we can help you find the perfect tile for your home decorating.

* Stain Resistant
* Scratch Resistant
* Fire Resistant
* Doesn’t Fade from Sun Light
* Easy to Clean

Porcelain Tile — Is a tile that is generally made by the dust pressed method from porcelain clays which result in a tile that is dense, impervious, fine grained and smooth, with a sharply formed face. Porcelain tiles usually have a much lower water absorption rate (less than 0.5%) than non-porcelain tiles making them frost resistant or frost-proof. Glazed porcelain tiles are much harder and more wear and damage resistant than non-porcelain ceramic tiles, making them suitable for any application from light traffic to the heaviest residential and light commercial traffic. Full body/though body porcelain tiles carry the color and pattern through the entire thickness of the tile making them virtually impervious to wear and are suitable for any application from residential to the highest traffic commercial or industrial applications. Porcelain tiles are available in matte, unglazed or a high polished finish.

Glazed Tile — Most of the common ceramic floor tiles have either a glazed, or unglazed surface. The glazed tiles have a special ceramic coating that is applied to the body of the tile and then fired under high heat. The glazing becomes hard.

Unglazed Floor Tile — There is no glazing or any other coating applied to these tiles. Because these tiles are porous it is recommended that a special penetrating sealant be used to maintain this type of floors and to help prevent stains from seeping into the pores of the tiles. Their color is the same on the face of the tile as it is on the back resulting in very durable tiles that do not show the effects of heavy traffic.

Marble — Marble is a natural product and is not made in a factory. For this reason no two pieces of marble look the same and the veining is a natural characteristic in all marble. One of the more popular marble tile in Florida is Travertine. There are special marble sealants to help protect from staining of the face. Extra care should be used when cleaning and all abrasives and acidic cleaners should never be used when cleaning. Even colas, some juices, and possibly ammonia may destroy the marble finish.

Granite — This is another natural stone and is not manufactured in a factory. Granite can be used indoors or outdoors and is less porous than marble. It is still recommended that you use a sealant to protect the finish from staining.

Grout — Grout is a mixture of cement and a color additive. For tile floors with wider spaces between each tile sand is added to the grout. Also, a liquid latex additive can be added to the grout to give better resiliency to the grouted areas. For ease of maintenance a penetrating sealant should be used on the grout. It should be noted you may see a change in color of your grout over time. To stop this we highly recommend an upgrade to an epoxy grout.

Some of the other important things we can help with when selecting a tile floor is the slip-resistance, the size and color of the grout joints, the thickness of the tile, height variations from room to room, size of the tile, suitability of the subfloor, and cleaning of the tile.

If your interested in getting a Free Estimate Please Contact Us.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tile Setter’s Advice....

For Florida Bathroom Floor Tiles….

Selecting tile for your Florida bathroom is an area where I feel you should adhere to some basic principals. But, this is also an area where you can let your imagination shine. Various sizes, colors, and textures combined can make your bathroom truly a work of art!

Let’s begin.

* First, you should consider maintenance and ease of such.
* Second, you should consider texture and where to place it.
* Third, colors.
* Fourth, design and design elements consistent with the interior flavor or theme of your home or space.
* Maintenance is often overlooked at the expense of loss of luster and shine over a period of time. Nothing looks worse than a dull and well worn Travertine.

My advice after having busting out many Travertine floors is to consider Granite, Ceramic, Porcelain, or Glass for the bathroom floor. Use a durable non porous easy to clean material. You can use Travertine but remember it needs to be sealed. As a floor surface this can build up if not maintained properly. Like Marble, Travertine is a soft material and requires maintenance and can be stained, scratched, and easily chipped.

Textures on the floors can add an immediate design element. Perhaps a textured material or natural stone placed strategically in the center of the floor or as a perimeter band. Running your floor tile on a diagonal or diamond pattern has the effect of making your room look larger. However, expect to pay anywhere from $1.00-2.00 extra and more for a diagonal diamond pattern per square foot.

Design elements will add to cost as well. As much as $5.00 or more per square foot can be expected. Textures such as tumbled Marble would best be suited on walls. Round Riverbed Stones work well on shower floors and offer somewhat of a therapeutic value. Tumbled Marble or another color of Natural Stone used as a color band if incorporated correctly adds excitement and an “out of the ordinary” point of interest.

Colors. Always remember when using Natural Stone the installation generally costs more because tile setters have to craft, shape, grind, polish and form many pieces of the material. More often than not, there are no pre-formed corners and edges as there are with ceramic tile. And, the process takes a lot more time. You’ll appreciate that more when shelling out more per square foot for the material alone.

Another point to remember is that almost any tile including Natural Stone can have a pattern! You really need to open up a few boxes to determine if you may run into an issue here.For instance, some time ago we installed a Walnut Travertine shower and walls. As I removed tile from the boxes and it was placed on the wall, we could clearly see we had reassembled the cut slab straight out of the box. This is unusual but it happens. In other cases the same grain or flow of colors in Natural Stone be it Granite, Marble, Sandstone, Travertine, and Gemstone may not look good. Dark tile areas might need to be distributed within lighter tiles so you don’t wind up with too many dark or light tiles in one area.

If you are a DIY’er, when setting Travertine floors or walls be sure to use a thinset mortar that closely matches the tile surface color. Lighter Travertine should be placed with white thinset mortar and darker or chocolate Travertine should be set with gray thinset mortar. This is because Travertine is a porous material and your thinset can actually show through the surface or push through on installation. This can appear as a stain.

Design elements enhance the flavor of a space by using colors, textures, and sizes. A simple 6X6 shower enclosure will look much more appealing with a color stripe at the very least at about eye level. Using that same color stripe in other spots like the shower floor or inside a niche adds a little class.

There is a virtual universe of materials, colors, and textures at local distributors to flavor your next project. These additions add simple and attractive sophistication to an otherwise boring bathroom floor or shower.

The materials and ideas are as endless as your imagination and budget.

Be creative !