Posts filed under ‘Fun Stuff’

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

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

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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

Craftsman Detail = Simplicity, Quality and Passion

semihandmade tileJohn McDonald is the owner of Semihandmade which is an innovative company that makes one-of-a-kind doors for IKEA kitchens, bathroom, closets and media cabinets. Modwalls spoke with John about how he started the company and the best way to incorporate craftsman touches in your remodel.

“I had been in LA for about 13 years working freelance in the film biz doing writing and production (mainly waiting tables).  At 34, I started buying old furniture, refinishing it and selling at swap meets. Then I moved on to making custom furniture and cabinetry.”

John transitioned to making doors from IKEA cabinets about five years ago and because of the demand, his company expanded to include 30 employees. The concept is simple and brilliant. You want that IKEA kitchen but not so crazy about the doors that come with the cabinets? What do you do? Simple:

“You don’t have to buy them,” says John. “All you do is just buy the boxes and hardware and we’ll make the amazing fronts, panels and tops so you get a really custom look for less.”

Rex Rox Lunar SemiHandmadeJohn’s philosophy when it comes to design is to keep it as simple and clean as possible. “I can’t stand precious and overly thought-out.” He’s passionate and opinionated about what he does, which has made his company a success within the industry and a favorite among clients.

“I always make it a point to seek out other companies I like. Modwalls makes a clean  tile product that is really well-made with great colors and excellent customer service. We’ve used their tiles at different design shows to compliment our booths. We also recommend their stuff to clients we think it will appeal to. Some of their new stuff is really amazing!”

So what do you do if you want to incorporate craftsman touches but you’re on a budget?

“The key is trying to have a few nice things you’ll hopefully have for a long time, then building around that.  The fact that IKEA is our platform says all you need to know about us. They’ve got a great system, really solid bones, and they are genius to let people compliment things as they like.”

Teal Agate semihandmadeSo whether it’s colorful ceramic tile or semi-handmade zebrawood cabinets, pick a product you love, a company you believe in, and have fun. Anything else?

“Remodeling is a marathon. Be prepared for that!”

Have a Modwalls’ design question? Ask and we will answer!  www.modwalls.com

 

December 19, 2014 at 9:49 am 1 comment

DVF Knows How to Live With Color!

Diane von Furstenberg knows how to Live With Color.

Diane von Furstenberg knows how to Live With Color

Diane von Furstenberg
knows how to Live With Color

 

I mean really LIVE with, in, around and about color!

I’ve been watching her new reality show, House of DVF, about interns vying for a job as a Brand Ambassador for her fashion empire.

While I’m underwhelmed by the immaturity, and in-fighting of the interns, I’m in Love with the DVF brand and the brilliant woman who created it.

Diane von Furstenberg has been making women look effortlessly chic for years.

Her signature wrap dress is at home in every setting and on every woman. I’ve been a fan for as long as I can remember.

Watching this show is a master class on her joyous sense of color and print not to mention business and marketing acumen.  The latest collections are bright and beautiful with unexpected mixes of colors and bold designs.

And her office is also bursting with color. Not in a cluttered way but in a way that makes me feel as if I could do my best work there.

Take for instance those woven cloth side chairs in her office at DVF HQ – Where can they be found? I’m on a quest.

The office chairs of my dreams at DVF HQ

The office chairs of my dreams at DVF HQ

The finale to the show is coming up. I’m rooting for Brittany if she can get her ego in check. We’ll see if it works out for anyone and if the company decides to do this show a second time.  It seems like a big headache for the DVF team but certainly showcases the brand well.

What I’ve come away with is that Diane von Furstenberg is a fair and generous leader who is taking a bite out of the world in her own classy way. This woman knows how to Live With Color! And don’t we all want to do just that?

December 17, 2014 at 6:10 pm 2 comments

Shiny Happy Yellow Tile

“How wonderful Yellow is. It stands for the Sun.” – Van Gogh
#tile #livewithcolor #buytileonline           Modwalls.com

November 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm Leave a comment

New Shape In American Made Ceramic Tile: The Wedge By Modwalls

THE WEDGE IS HERE!
Our exclusive new American made addition to our Kiln Ceramic Tile collection. The Wedge is available to order in 75 glossy and matte colors.
Shown: Milk, Splash, Limoncello and Brine.
Buy online or order samples at Modwalls.
“Live Your Colors”

October 29, 2014 at 3:35 pm 1 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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