Posts tagged ‘kitchen backsplash’

Did you know that all grouts are NOT created equal?

Seriously…All grouts are not created equal.

More often than not, grout becomes an overlooked element within the tile installation process (why is that btw?).  We believe it’s just as important as finding the tile that’s right for you!  Grout is what seals everything together – literally.  Don’t go through all this time to find the right tile only to not think about what grout you will grout it with.

Since we have the fortunate privilege of chatting daily with wonderful people like yourself about their tile installations, we are in the know as to what people are planning and what they are…well…not.

Grout can either be something that you have to do OR it can be something that makes your tile look even more amazing when it’s complete!  Like we have mentioned in the past, we are extremely passionate about Bostik Dimension Urethane Grout paired with most of our modwalls tile.  It’s kinda like the perfect marriage of tile and grout.  And we want to encourage you to specifically ask yourself, “What type & color of grout would look best with this tile [I’ve selected]?”…and “When is sanded grout most appropriate?”…

Since most of us are visual learners, I had this super cool idea to photograph our ModRocks Recycled Glass Pebbles in both Dimension Grout and regular sanded grout.  The visual speaks for itself…one is “clearly” better AND it’s better for the environment. :)

Helpful hint = whenever you are installing glass or any translucent tile, the surrounding grout has a major impact on how your tile will appear once installation is complete. 

On the left- Diamond Starglass Grout and on the right is a standard white sanded grout.

Note:  Both of the above images are taken with the same digital camera in the same lighting conditions.

In the application on the left, the Dimension grout allows light to enter in and through the grout and also the clear glass pebbles – making the whole area appear more illuminated.  The sanded grout application, shown on the above right, does not allow light to flow through the grout and therefore makes the pebbles appear much darker overall.  Same exact pebble tile, but with different grouts.

Here are some other examples of Dimension Grout paired with our Lush® modwalls tile:

Modwalls Lush Blend installed with Opal Dimension Grout

Modwalls Rex Ray TYPE White Tile grouted with Diamond Dimension Grout

Modwalls Lush Glass Subway tile grouted with Diamond Dimension Grout

Now lets get a little more in-depth on the Dimension grout by Bostik specifics…The actual product description is Translucent Grout for Glass Tile.  

For all you eco-friendly peeps out there, you’ll be happy to know that this product is made from post-consumer recycled glass – a truly revolutionary one-of-a-kind product!

The recycled glass is reduced down to teeny tiny beads (texture totally resembles the consistency of sugar) and is mixed with a translucent urethane binder that allows light to pass through the grout itself. So cool!  This waterproof, stain-proof formula won’t crack or break down over time, emits little to no VOCs, and eliminates jobsite waste since it’s pre-mixed and stored in a resealable container.  Dimension long lasting, easy-to-use formula provides unmatched stain resistance, ultimate color consistency, crack resistant flexibility, mold/mildew protection and UV stability (aka it won’t yellow over time).  Plus, it comes in these fantastic 15 colors: diamond, onyx, opal, aquamarine, topaz, hematite, jade, amber, moonstone, aventurine, palm wood, citrine, copper, silver, and bronze.

One final benefit we want to be sure to point is how the Dimension Grout has the ability to minimizes the look of grout lines – if this is your goal. Check out these two kitchen backsplash installations below where both purchased Lush® 3×6 Sky tile, but one kitchen grouted with Aquamarine Dimension grout and the other with regular sanded grout.  The images truly speak for themselves.

Left – Lush 3×6 Sky with Dimension Grout and to the right is Lush 3×6 Sky with white sanded grout.

Dimension Grout also offers benefits of a traditional Urethane grout:

• Pre‐mixed, ready to use
• Excellent chemical, stain and mildew resistance
• Semi‐flexible, low shrinkage and high crack resistance
• No color fading, streaking or shading – Even when wet!
• Fast, easy clean‐up when compared to epoxy and cementgrouts
• Innovative, proprietary coloring system
• Excess product can be saved and used later
• UV stable colors (non‐yellowing)
• Self‐sealing – no sealing required
• Non‐sag formula for vertical surfaces
• Free of BPA (bisphenol‐A) found in epoxy grouts
• Dust‐free mixing
• Fast, easy installation ‐ installs up to 50% faster than othergrouts
• Superior to cement grout
• Contributes to USGBC LEED Credits: MR 4.1 & 4.2(Recycled Content), MR 5.1 & 5.2 (Regional Materials), and EQ, 4.1 (Low‐Emitting Materials).
• Contains over 80% post‐consumer recycled content.

Overall, all these features and benefits are sure to minimize life cycle costs and provide a translucent, three-dimensional, reflective appearance that you can enjoy for years to come!

Where can you use Dimension grout you ask?  It  can be used on vertical or horizontal surfaces in a variety of interior and exterior installations of ceramic, porcelain, glass, and natural stone tiles in a range of grout joint widths.

When is sanded grout appropriate?

Sanded grout is appropriate in many installations.  I think sanded grout looks great with natural stone, ceramic tile, porcelain tile, etc. – basically any solid tile aka non-translucent.  Below are images of a some modwalls products installed with neutral sanded grout.  As you can see, sanded grout can be used as a design element to add heavy contrast and definition to the tile and/or the pattern.

Example where sanded grout is totally acceptable = with ceramic, porcelain, or other opaque tile products.

Modwalls ModDotz Confetti grouted with a sanded grout

Brio Blend Palisades grouted with a neutral sanded grout

ModDotz shower installed with white sanded grout for high-contrast.

Now what?

It is our hope that you would soak up all this information and spend some time to select the best grout for your tile – whether that be Dimension Urethane Grout or sanded grout!

We resell the Dimension grout by Bostik because we believe that it is an asset to the look of our tile collections. Contact us at service@modwalls.com for more information. You may even order a Dimension grout color sample box from us before you buy your selected color.

Have more questions?  Feel free to call  1-877-439-9734 or 1-831-689-9834 with any related or unrelated tile installation questions.

We’d love to help!

Modwalls is making tile modern with colorful and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at  modwalls.com.  Modwalls: Colorful modern tile since 2005 for Residential, Commerical and Hospitality projects. Discounts to the Trade.

January 28, 2016 at 4:53 pm 1 comment

Putting the LUSH in Luscious Glass Tile

Are you in the process of selecting the perfect Lush® glass subway tile color for your project?

Selecting the right  tile color can be difficult  – especially from a computer screen!  We find ourselves regularly attempting to describe the nuances of similar Lush® colors over the phone, and trust me, it’s not easy!

In an effort to help make this process a little easier, we’ve taken these pictures to compare the subtle variations of our most popular Lush® colors.

Enjoy!

Modwalls_Cameo Almond Driftwood Dune Reef Taupe

  • Cameo is our latest neutral addition.  We would describe this as a rich, creamy color.  It evokes a real warmth – like coffee with lots of creamer in it.  Yummmmmy!
  • Almond is slightly more golden-beige than Cameo.  Goes well with lots of earth-tone granites.
  • Driftwood is a gray-ish beige color with a faint hint of green.  It’s definitely the chameleon of our neutral colors and tends to go with all sorts of materials and design aesthetics.
  • Dune is the most golden of our neutral colors. We often say it’s more peachy/beige/buttercream-y.
  • Reef is a rich brown color…like a freshly roasted coffee bean.  In some lighting conditions, it appears to have a hint of green.
  • Taupe is a gorgeous warm gray color.  (One of my personal favorites actually :)).

Cloud thru Bluebell

  • Cloud is our white-est white possible in our Lush® line.  Made of clear glass, this is truly a white glass subway tile (which we know is hard to find!)
  • Breaker is a beautiful light and bright medium aqua blue color.
  • Vapor is our most pale, watery blue color.
  • Sky is a true sky-blue color.  Think of how the sky looks on a clear and bright Spring day.  A very cheerful shade of blue…
  • Rain  is tranquil blue gray.  It reminds me of a lighter shade of denim as well…or indigo.
  • Bluebell is a super fun and vivid periwinkle-blue color.

Cloud thru Peacock

  • Pool is a nice balance of aqua + blue together.  It’s more saturated than the previous blue colors above.  Pool Frosted has a softer and somewhat lighter appearance because of the frosted surface finish.
  • Surf has more green than aqua coloring and it’s one of our most popular Lush® colors.  Goes beautifully with a variety of design aesthetics.
  • Seagrass is a more saturated version of Surf.
  • Peacock is a lovely jewel toned turquoise/ blue/ green color.

Cloud thru Inkwell

  • Rain is tranquil blue gray.  It reminds me of a lighter shade of denim as well…or indigo.  
  • Fog Bank is one of our most popular gray colors.  It has a cooler base tone to it so the tile can sometime appear more blue. It’s a very calming color.
  • Storm is a darker gray color.  This also has a cooler base tone to it like our Fog Bank.
  • Taupe is a gray beige color. Warmer by comparison than Fog Bank.
  • Inkwell is a beautiful saturated inky-blue color.

Cloud thru Moss

  • Wasabi is a very wasabi colored green :).  Still bright and vivid, it’s one of our softer looking greens by comparison.
  • Surf has more green than aqua coloring and it’s one of our most popular Lush® colors.  Goes beautifully with a variety of design aesthetics.
  • Bamboo is a fresh medium spring green color.  When comparing to Lemongrass, we say it has less yellow to it.
  • Seagrass is a more saturated version of Surf.  When comparing Seagrass to our other greens, it appears to have more blue in it.  I’d also describe it as a celedon green color.
  • Lemongrass is our most bright and vivid lime-y green color.
  • Peacock is a lovely turquoise/ blue/ green color.
  • Moss is an earthy olive green color.

One last look at all these beautiful colors….

Modwalls_Cameo Almond Driftwood Dune Reef TaupeCloud thru BluebellCloud thru PeacockCloud thru InkwellCloud thru Moss

Of course we also offer brights like Poppy Orange, Butter Yellow and Tomato Red.

And sizes from 1×2 to 6×12 now made in North America.

Check out our entire Lush subway tile collection and order samples.

We want you to Live Your Colors with Modwalls Tile.

Creating colorful modern tile since 2005.

January 26, 2016 at 4:06 pm Leave a comment

Kitchen Cousins + Modwalls = Backsplash Sensation!!!

We seriously couldn’t be more ECSTATIC with the final result of HGtv’s Kitchen Cousins (& Brunellesci Construction‘s) recent kitchen remodel project!!!

The episode Fireplace Fiasco aired on HGtv nationwide last Wednesday, June 6th, 2012 and will re-air this Saturday, June 16th, 2012 at 4:30 ET.  Set your dvr’s to record if you missed it because it features our very own Lush® glass subway tile, designed by Rex Ray Studio, as the finished kitchen backsplash!!!  We always knew this tile would end up in some cool locales and this kitchen definitely exceeds our expectations. :)

Here’s what HGtv has to say about this surprising episode(!):

“Sometimes it’s what’s behind the walls that makes all the difference. When John and Anthony take a look at Joel and Maria’s kitchen, the first thing that stands out is an unusually thick wall. After a little exploratory demolition they discover an incredible hidden fireplace which completely changes their original design. But as construction progresses, the fireplace they fell in love with becomes their biggest nightmare. Will this hearth be the centerpiece of the home, or will the whole job go down in flames?”

Here’s the BEFORE…

As you can see, this dark and divided kitchen left much to be desired by it’s homeowners Joel and Maria...Photo by (c)Christopher Amaral
http://www.christopheramaral.com/

And here is the AFTER!!!

We can only imagine how thrilled the homeowners must be to now come home to such a gorgeous, light, and modern kitchen with some flair of the unexpected!

AFTER! Photo by (c)Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

Notice how stunning our Lush Rex Ray TYPE White tile looks as the backsplash.. Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

AFTER! Photo by (c) Christopher Amaral http://www.christopheramaral.com/

You too could have this American made tile in your home or commercial space!!  Find it here on our website and let us know what you think.

Modwalls has been making colorful modern tile since 2005. We have and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at  Colorful Modern Tile by modwalls.com.

January 19, 2016 at 3:49 pm 2 comments

Tile Design vs. Electrical Outlets & Switches

We get asked this great question quite regularly:  

“I LOVE my new tile, but I need some advice…What should I do with the electrical outlets that fall within the kitchen backsplash area?”  

Good news!  We’ve got several creative solutions for you – yay!!!

These little necessary items can possibly ruin your beautiful, and often pricey backsplash!  We are confident that if you consider the locations ahead of time, you will improve the finished look of your kitchen or bathroom. :)

Details on outlets…

It’s required by law that you have electrical outlets within your kitchen – which is a good thing!

Your kitchen has many electrical needs:  major appliances, small appliances, built-in appliances, lighting, exhaust fans, and basically anything you might want to plug in or switch on while you’re in there.

In regards to your kitchen or bathroom, the National Electric Code requires:

  • Small appliance circuits feeding countertop receptacle outlets are required to be Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) protected
  • Any countertop wider than one foot requires a receptacle outlet
  • Receptacle outlets must be installed every four linear feet at minimum – more is totally fine too
  • Countertops separated by range cook top, refrigerators, or sinks are considered separate countertop spaces
Modwalls_Counter Top Appliances

Examples of kitchen appliances in need of electrical outlets.

Are you in the planning phase of your new kitchen or bath remodel?  

If you are planning your kitchen or bath remodel, congrats(!), you are thinking ahead!  Here are some helpful questions you can ask yourself and discuss with your electrician regarding your kitchen or bath’s electrical needs:

  • What fixed/portable appliances do you plan to install/have in your kitchen? What are the locations and their power requirements?
  • What kind of lighting do you want/need: Ceiling? Under cabinet? Toe kick? Pendant or chandelier? Recessed? Surface Mount? Ceiling fan?
  • What kind of lighting controls do you need?
  • Where do you want your light switches and appliance outlets?
  • What materials/installation practices do you need to comply with National Electric Code requirements? Hint: ask your electrician
  • Do you have special requirements due to disabilities and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act?
  • What are the brand specification of all fixtures you want?  Have your electrician check these out too.

After you discuss your electrical needs with your electrician and have a final layout in mind, the electrical outlets and switches can be located and installed.  Don’t worry if you already have your outlets in place, it’s really easy to move them around and make adjustments before the installation of your backsplash.

There are several different ways to approach this without ruining your backsplash with a bunch of ugly, poorly  placed outlets and switches.  Here are some creative solutions as to how you can address the outlets & switches within your backsplash.

Implementing Creative Solutions…

#1 – Flip your outlets horizontally to coordinate with the pattern of your backsplash (but if your backsplash has a vertical pattern to it, keep you outlets vertical too)

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Horizontal Outlet Sketch
Manhattan Ave Residence - modern - bathroom - los angeles - Michael Lee Architects
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#2 – Install a power strip under your upper cabinets

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Undercabinet Power Strip Sketch
Wyncote home - exterior - eclectic - kitchen - philadelphia - Colleen Steixner
vandyke-39
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#3 – Install the outlets or switches on or within your cabinets…(some additional planning involved).

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Outlet Sketch001_2

Photo by Rockwood Cabinetry

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#4 – Install your outlets where you know you’ll need them!

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Outlet Sketch001

Image 4

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#5 – Install custom pop-up grommet outlets where you know you’ll need them!

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Kitchen Power Grommet - modern - kitchen - los angeles - Doug Mockett & Company, Inc

Find these at www.mockett.com

South Fork Kitchen - eclectic - kitchen - phoenix - Troyer Kitchen and Bath

Find these at www.mockett.com

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#6 – Specify outlet and switch plate covers to coordinate with your material selections: making them a design element instead of an eyesore!

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mendocino kit rspitzer2

1x4 cloud kitchen laura ricks_2

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#7 – [Bathroom specific] – Install the outlets or switches within your bathroom mirror and trim with a mirrored cover…some additional planning involved.  Look closely for them!

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Playhouse_Modwalls Lush 1x4 Sunset

Playhouse_Modwalls_Brio clear peridot

________________________

Q:  Have some other creative outlet and switch solutions?  Share them with us and we’ll add it to this blog! 

Modwalls® has been making Colorful Modern Tile since 2005. We have high end and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at modwalls.com  Samples Available and Discounts to the Trade.  Residential, Commercial and Hospitality. Live Your Colors with Modwalls Tile.

January 17, 2016 at 5:27 pm 4 comments

More Than Just a Company

Jessica and Amanda Salles of Salles Interiors are a design team based in Manhattan that are known to bring more to interiorsThe Salles Sisters than style, expertise and vision. Their relationship offers clients a unique experience that translates into interiors that deeply reflect the lives and tastes of the people living there.

“The work we do designing homes is very intimate. As sisters, we share a sense of humor and have a very natural, easy and real way to talk to each other. This translates to our clients in design meetings because they understand how we come to decisions.”

This transparency keeps their clients happy and worry-free. They know that their home remodel or renovation is more than just a job.

“Our clients often feel like family to us. Jess and I will often call each other in the evening thinking about a detail of a project. It’s great to have such a fantastic work partner who you also happen to love!”

YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL

This passion has served them well in a competitive Manhattan market, where time and space are at a premium.

Salles Interiors

“Our job entails listening to our clients so we listen carefully. We are solution-oriented. When space is so valuable, it’s a real ‘wow’ factor to have a bed that opens up to a storage place, or a wall unit with a bar that, by day, stores games and musical instruments and, by night, becomes a subtly lit ‘grown-up’ piece, with a hidden glass pull-out cocktail bar.”

Where space may not be such an issue, such as in Connecticut or Westchester, other client concerns may come into play, such as creating an elegant home that has kid-proof durability.

“Part of our philosophy includes sharing with our clients new products that allow a person to change the way she dreams about a space, like the amazing advances in stain-treated fabrics that allow a client to have that cream sofa she dreams about – even with those 3 year old twins!”

FREEDOM FROM SHOULDS

Since trends change, families grow, life’s demands and circumstances evolve, Salles Interiors approach is specific, fluid and personal.

Salles Interior Living Room

“We like to ask our clients to think about the way they really live. Really live – and delete the word ‘should’. Are you getting a table that seats 20 because you think you should have it for the one holiday you host the family each year?  You really don’t like to cook and you don’t enjoy formal dinner parties, Hmm…Maybe that room could be the yoga studio you always dreamed of, and you rent a table and chairs once a year for that holiday dinner! FREEDOM!! Jess and I think it’s part of our job to open up these kinds of discussions, as they relate to using the space in a smart, beautiful and fulfilling way.”

IT’S PERSONAL

Amanda was doing a renovation of her own kitchen in Manhattan and since the kitchen opens to the living room, she wanted it to avoid elements that would give it a cold and clinical feel. In looking for tiles, she found Modwalls.

“We looked at a LOT of tile before choosing Modwalls’. We love that you can feel the hand-made aspect to it. It has just the Modwalls' Charcoal Tileright amount of texture – smooth enough to read clean and modern, and textured enough to look classic. We also love the depth of the glaze color. For my space, we wanted a deep grey and all the other tiles we looked at read as a cool grey that rendered the space as very flat and dead. Modwalls’ Carbon 2×8 American made ceramic tile has warm earthy-clay feeling to it.  It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Jessica and Amanda believe that great product and great design come from great relationships.

“I appreciate customer service a lot. I was surprised to call Modwalls after my first order and be remembered! I got a sense that the person on the other end of the phone actually cared a great deal about the product. They were not just taking my order and slapping a shipping label on it. We also (can I say this?) really love dealing with women owned businesses!”

To contact Salles Interiors, email info@sallesinteriors.com or call 646-398-9963.

Have a design question or Modwalls’ story? Let us know!

January 28, 2015 at 7:34 am Leave a comment

Glass Mosaic Tile Blends Personalized at Modwalls

People are busy using our online tile blending tool today! Made in 1-2 weeks locally via the workshop at Hope Services- work for developmentally disabled adults. #brio #briotile #mosaictile #hopeservices #glasstile #mosaictile #modwallstile

February 23, 2014 at 2:20 pm Leave a comment

Mid Century Modern Glass Mosaic Tile Blend Created Online at Modwalls.com

Loving this new Brio Custom Glass Mosaic Blend created by a client using our online blending tool! #glassmosaic #brioglassmosaics #briocustomblend #modtile #mcm #bathroomtile #colorfultile #tile #glasstile #eichlerstyle

February 15, 2014 at 12:32 pm Leave a comment

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Rebecca Lonergan


Founder and Creative Director of modwalls.com, a designer of modern tile with an online showroom at www.modwalls.com. Modwalls are colorful tile designs with a uniquely modern sensibility in a wide range of materials.

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