Posts filed under ‘Glass Mosaic Tile’

Tile Warehouse Sale in Santa Cruz, CA Saturday March 5th

Modwalls Tile Warehouse Sale in Aptos, CA
Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Continue Reading March 4, 2016 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Glass Mosaic Tile Design You Can Create Online

Modwalls’ Online Tile blender lets you design your own colored mosaic tile blend.

Continue Reading February 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

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

Janet Bennett: A Life in Design

Janet Bennett“Are you the artist Janet Bennett?” Bennett is a striking and elegant woman who looks quite at home in the colorful surroundings of Robert, the restaurant housed within the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan. But perhaps the question should have been, “are you the artist who designed the iconic tile murals in the Los Angeles Airport?”

The murals have been widely attributed to Charles Kratka who was Bennett’s immediate supervisor. “When I found out about the obituary for him in the L.A. Times which said that Charles Kratka was the designer of the LAX murals, I freaked out.” By her own admission, she’d never claimed credit for the murals which were installed in 1961, when she was working for the architectural firm of Pereira & Luckman.

Mad Men Mural

LAX MURALS” Mad Men Promo Image. Photo: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC

Her assignment, given to her by Kratka, was to design a mural that would distract people from how long the tunnels were. The 2007 L.A. Times obituary mentions that Kratka told his children that the changing colors of the mural were to reflect the changing seasons, but Bennett said that actually her concept was to express the changing terrain as seen from a transcontinental flight, “from ocean to ocean.”

“I started with blue on one side, then green, then into earth colors, then,

Janet in Blue

Janet Bennett

in the middle, I had one red element; then the colors reverse. My idea was that you’d see the same colors going from the ocean to the middle of the country, over the prairie, then back to the ocean.” The mural has been featured in both film and TV, from The Graduate to Mad Men. “It’s been used as a vehicle to show people coming in and out of Los Angles; it’s an ideal background because of the procession of colors.” Overall, Bennett created mosaic designs for five terminal buildings found in the airport.

IMG_0400 (2)

A Janet Bennett Painting

Bennett grew up in Detroit; her father was a painter. He discouraged her from becoming an artist due to concerns about making a living. “He had been successful as a painter, but there came a time when he had to think about money, so he went into automobile design. For him, (designing for automobiles) was like interior design for me. He was okay at it, but he didn’t have a passion for it because he was a painter, as I was a sculptor, and am now a painter.”

JB Paint wave

Janet Bennett

Bennett studied at the Cranbrook Academy of Art which is known as one of America’s leading architecture and design schools, with its graduates and faculty being described by the New York Times as having a “profound effect on the physical environment of this country.” Bennett majored in sculpting and upon graduating, came to New York City to work on commissions, one of which was a bronze sculpture for the department store B. Altman & Co. Once completed, she was called to Madrid for further study before finding herself back in the states, working in architecture.

“It was an ideal job for someone like me.” Her work took her to Los Angeles, San Salvador, “I love anything Spanish,” San Francisco, Honolulu, and back to New York. “My sculpture commissions were always in different mediums, using different materials – whether it was steel, or

IMG_0406 (2)

Janet Bennett

plastic, or wood – I really had to learn as I was doing. I’ve gone to a couple shows at this museum (The Museum of Art and Design) and I’ve thought, ‘I’ve done that once, but this artist has made a whole career out of it.’ If I had stayed with one thing, people could look at it and say, ‘that’s a Janet Bennett.’”

In addition to the LAX murals, Bennett was one of the contributors to San

Brio Blends

Modwalls Brio Blend Glass Tiles

Francisco’s BART stations in the late 60’s and early 70’s when a panel of art professionals commissioned murals and other art for nearly all of the then newly designed stations.“The tiles for the San Francisco murals were ceramic, as opposed to the Italian glass used at the airport.” When she wasn’t doing mural work or designing decorative art, she worked in interior design. “That’s where I ran into some restrictions. When I was doing the commissioned artwork, I pretty much had full reign. With the murals, there were no influences other than driven by theme.”

JB Dogs

Janet Bennett

At 83, Bennett is now working in acrylics. “I like things that are malleable. That’s what I like about oils. Mixing them; they’re nice and squishy.” She works both in New York City and “on the Island” (Long Island) and finds inspiration everywhere.

“Artists are much more observant. I walk my dog in the park and things are happening. A big crane is taking something down, a people thing is happening, and no one is looking. I’m always looking. If you have an artistic temperament, you’re sort of a voyeur.”

I ask her if she’s tried to contact the airport about receiving credit for the LAX murals. ”Anytime I try to follow up, they say, ‘can you document it?’ It was so many years ago; I’ve lived in so many places, thrown out files, or books, or photographs. Everyone I worked with was older than I, and they’re not around anymore.”

Mosaic Tunnel

Bennett is quick to point out that she wouldn’t have minded if the architecture firm had been credited. “Working for an architectural firm is like working for a fashion house – you can design it, but it goes out under the name of the firm.” The discomfort that Bennett feels is in having another person receive credit for a design she conceived. She sighs, “I never thought about publicity. I remember a magazine contacting me (after creating the mural) but I was busy with something else.”

Janet Bennett with daughter

Janet Bennett with her daughter

Bennett has been creating art for over sixty years and is still evolving, still exploring design, color and texture. Perhaps, if you find yourself passing through the midcentury mosaic tunnels in LAX, you’ll find yourself thinking, “I know what that is. That’s a Bennett.”

Micheline Auger is a playwright and freelance writer living in New York who loves art, color, and all things Modwalls.

December 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Spring Sale of Glass Subway Tile & Mosaics at Modwalls

Lush Brio Sale 2015

 

Cloud thru Peacock

 

Lush Glass Subway Tile

gardner and rocks ahill_2

5c082-10560998_790732534300737_156446720_n

May 5, 2015 at 3:10 pm Leave a comment

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

Modwalls Design with AlliJay Interiors

Allijay Kitchen with Tile

AlliJay Kitchen

Have you been drooling over design and architecture magazines thinking there’s got to be a way you can make your kitchen or bath the rooms you’ve always wanted without depleting your savings?  You have a vision and you want to make your vision a reality. But how? What are some of the tricks of the trade?

“One of the big things you can do is choosing some really amazing tile and then using it wisely.”

Allijay Bathroom Floor Tile

AlliJay Bathroom

Allison Schwartz and Jessica Lyn Ryder of the Seattle-based AlliJay Interiors are known for their modern yet classic interiors.

“If you’re on a budget, you can tile your bathroom floor and shower walls in the same tile and also use bigger tiles. If you get the Brio Glass Mosaic Color, it will give the room a luxury feel. You can use tiles behind the mirror and backsplash to add an accent of color. Then, if you want to get really crazy, use a vertical strip in the shower to tie it all together. There are always things you can do that will have a great effect while not breaking the bank.”

Allison and Jessica were introduced to Modwalls after working with developers and builders and designing for
them.

Allijay Bathrom

AlliJay Bathroom

“The color selection and variety that we get from Modwalls is unparalleled from what we see anywhere else,” says Allison.

“And it’s not only the color,” adds Jessica. “We just can’t find any other manufacturers that can make them like that. But even more than that, is the variety that Modwalls offers. Their Lush Glass Tile in those shapes, for instance, are really hard to come by. People love them. And as a company, they are the best to work with. They know who we are, it’s easy and it’s fun.”

When working on a remodel, it’s easy for a homeowner to get overwhelmed and Allijay is known for putting their customers at ease.

“We definitely recommend working with a designer. You forget about the little things, like hardware for cabinet drawers, and all the little stuff you don’t think about and then it comes up later.”

The trends that AlliJay is seeing are modern and a less-is-more esthetic.“There’s a Midcentury Modern revival happening, especially in Seattle, with bright colors, or colors placed intermittently throughout. The Brio Color Tile works really well with that. We love their Wintergreen or Pear and the Midcentury Blend #9 is our favorite. We’re also seeing a lot of mixed media – like corrugated metal with wood, and lots of different materials being used inside and out.”

Allijay

Allison Schwartz and Jenny Lyn Ryder

AlliJay recommends taking your remodel piece by piece while keeping your vision in mind. Regardless of budget or time, working with proven designers that know their materials is the best way to make your home your dream home.

 Do you have a Modwalls project or story? Share with us here!

December 1, 2014 at 12:34 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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