Tag Archives: tile

Candidates for the red glass tile backsplash

Jacquela and Steven have narrowed to two the candidates for the red glass tile that we will use for the backsplash behind the cooktop in the kitchen.

The original plan called for back-painted glass. Red. One sheet, from countertop to ceiling. But it’s ridiculously expensive and the fabricator will not warranty it against breakage or cracking. So we shifted gears to glass tile.

Candidate 1 is NOT a perfect 4×12. Neither is candidate 2. But #1 is slightly smaller than #2 lengthwise.

To Steven’s eye, #2 is a slightly richer red. By a hair.

Jacquela computes the cost for the 20 square feet that we need and nominates #1 as the first choice.

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Tile install, continued

DSC_4882Saturday morning. Jacquela and Steven visit Emerald Hill. Jacquela’s first look at tile installed by the setters. Steven has a surprise for Jacquela — the black floor tile in the master bath is laid out in a brick pattern, which is what Jacquela wanted, not in the grid that we are using everywhere else in the house. This sets the master apart from the rest of the house. Jacquela is happy.

The tile setters finished the utility room floor, taped it off to prevent people from walking on the tile until the cement cures.
The tile setters finished the utility room floor, taped it off to prevent people from walking on the tile until the cement cures.
The setters started two work Friday afternoon on the floor in bathroom 3. It's the same tile as used in the utility room. Why? Using the same tile organizes the interior design of the house; we're not just throwing in something different.
The setters started to work Friday afternoon on the floor in bathroom 3. It’s the same tile as used in the utility room. Why? Using the same tile organizes the interior design of the house; we’re not just throwing in something different.
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Horizontal tile

One of the things we learned experimenting with tile patterns — grid or brick, north/south or east/west — is that the kitchen tile comes in two very distinct designs — almost three.

It’s porcelain tile. The designs are printed on the porcelain slab using ink-jet printers. It’s a relatively new application of ink-jet technologies. Here’s an article about it — warning, commercials and subscription boxes will appear in your browser.

Almost anything is possible. Your choices are mind-boggling.

Months ago, Jacquela and Steven pored through hundreds of photos of different tile, mostly on Houzz.com. We filtered down to a gray/black/white palette — modern yet calming — to organize the tile floors at Emerald Hill.

We further refined that palette to large grey tiles for two key rooms — kitchen floor, and the floor in Jadin’s bath.

On a visit with Renee at ProSource, Steven collected several samples where the tile closely resembles natural granite.

The first design used in the ink-jet printed tiles is lined with long bands of color — almost veins.

The second design is “speckled” or “mottled” — spots of color that assemble into images of granite rock — something like Georges Seurat did when painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.”

Yes, a tile floor is a work of art.

Which induces sleepless nights stressing over choices.

Ron Dahlke and Steven spent part of Friday afternoon opening every box of the kitchen tile to sort through the two designs.

Steven hopes to use the two different designs in very specific locations.

Ron and Steven stacked the linear pattern in the kitchen for use in that floor. They stacked the mottled design in the garage, along with a pile of “transitional” tile that includes both designs, for use in the mudroom and pantry.

Heavy tile. Dusty. Sweaty work. Steven has new respect for the muscles of tile setters.

Sorting the tile was Ron’s idea. A very good idea. Don’t ask the tile setters to separate wheat from chaff. Sort and stack the tile to show the tile setters precisely what Steven has in mind.

Above, two stacks of the linear design staged atop the wood platform for the kitchen island installed the other day. Steven processed the contrast and lighting in this picture to help see the horizontal banding. Unfortunately, the exposed concrete slab is also gray and dirty — and it almost blends with the tile designs.

This is an even-more heavily processed photo of the kitchen tile, with the contrast pushed to help make the horizontal banding that much more visible.
This is an even-more heavily processed photo of the kitchen tile, with the contrast pushed to help make the banding that much more visible. This tile is “transitional.” It features some of the linear banding, and some of the mottled speckling. The banding also swirls more than the banding in the featured photo that starts this post.
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First tile

Above, Julian and his team of tile setters laid down the black floor tile in the master bath. Steven elected the brick pattern, not a grid. Brick is what Jacquela wanted. Brick is what Jacquela gets. This is the first tile floor installed at Emerald Hill. Milestone.

From the master, the tile setters moved on to the utility room -- a simple grid pattern, east/west, center line in the middle of the doorway, to make the room look deeper, longer.
From the master, the tile setters moved on to the utility room — a simple grid pattern, east/west, center line in the middle of the doorway, to make the room look deeper, longer.
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Brick pattern or grid?

The tilers are about to start. Ron Dahlke and Kevin Rehberg opened up several boxes of tile and laid out sample tile configurations and patterns — grid, or brick, or herringbone?

Jacquela and Steven quickly eliminated herringbone from consideration weeks ago. It’s too traditional.

Down to brick or grid, it’s a decision almost as wrenching as paint colors. But paint colors can be changed easily. Tile is cemented to near permanence.

Kevin laying out a basic grid, left to right, in bath 2 -- Jadin's bath. In back, Ron lays out a brick pattern, left to right. Steven thinks the brick pattern is too busy, too traditional. He prefers Kevin's grid. Jacquela likes both. Do we turn the tiles 90 degrees the same way Steven pivoted the layouts in the laundry room?
Kevin laying out a basic grid, left to right, in bath 2 — Jadin’s bath. In back, Ron lays out a brick pattern, left to right. Steven thinks the brick pattern is too busy, too traditional. He prefers Kevin’s grid. Jacquela likes both. Do we turn the tiles 90 degrees the same way Steven pivoted the layouts in the laundry room?
Two potential layouts for the master bath -- black tile in a brick pattern at front, or black tile in a basic grid at far right.
Two potential layouts for the master bath — black tile in a brick pattern at front, or black tile in a basic grid at far right.
Ron laying out two potential patterns of the large tile for the kitchen, using the floor in Steven's office to see how the tile looks next to wood. Kevin delivers more tile. Brick pattern at left, with Ron laying out a basic grid. One observation as we see the tile exposed, out of the box, for the first time -- there are two basic designs printed by inkjet onto the porcelain -- a linear design, and a mottled or speckled look. It will be important to mix the two designs, or to segregate one from the other by allocating one design to a specific space, and the second design to a different space. This may be possible, as this tile will be used for the kitchen, mudroom and pantry, with doors between the three spaces.
Ron laying out two potential patterns of the large tile for the kitchen, using the floor in Steven’s office to see how the tile looks next to wood. Kevin delivers more tile. Brick pattern at left, with Ron laying out a basic grid. One observation as we see the tile exposed, out of the box, for the first time — there are two basic designs printed by inkjet onto the porcelain — a linear design, and a mottled or speckled look. It will be important to mix the two designs, or to segregate one from the other by allocating one design to a specific space, and the second design to a different space. This may be possible, as this tile will be used for the kitchen, mudroom and pantry, with doors between the three spaces.
Two potential layouts and patterns for the grey tile that will be installed at the front porch, inside the front door, and at the fireplace.
Two potential layouts and patterns for the grey tile that will be installed at the front porch, inside the front door, and at the fireplace.
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Tile, delivered

Above, Matt from Ranserve unloads the first of several tile deliveries to Emerald Hill.

It’s almost time to lay tile.

This is a box of tile for the floor in bath 2 and bath 3.
This is a box of tile for the floor in bath 2 and bath 3.
Matt and Ron Dahlke from Ranserve cut the plastic wrapping away from a palette of tile. Closest to camera is a box of wall tile for the master bath shower.
Matt and Ron Dahlke from Ranserve cut the plastic wrapping away from a palette of tile. Closest to camera is a box of wall tile for the master bath shower.
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