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Shopping at a Tile Showroom vs. Big Box Store

While the low prices that you may see at a “Big Box Store” seem appealing, that price often reflects the quality and service that you will receive. Although it can be tempting to just run to your local store to grab a box of tile, it’s never as quick and easy as you imagine. Going to a tile showroom, that is stocked with custom designs and staff that is knowledgeable, will always provide you with a better experience.

Tile Quality

The tile that is found in big box stores are often produced in very large quantities, made to meet a specific price point/sales margin. As in most retail stores, it’s simply a numbers game. They produce a number of tiles that will appeal to the general population, in order to make a certain amount of sales and profit. Coming in large quantities, these tiles may suffer some damage and imperfections along the way. You may also find that the shade and coloring of tile may differ from one box to another. The difference in production and material quality is one factor that makes a tile showroom an optimal choice.

Tile Availability

At a Big Box store, your choices are typically limited. Only the most popular brands and styles will earn a space on the shelf. There is not a wide variety of styles or uniqueness. Comparatively, tile showrooms give you more choices than you could ever imagine. With a wide array of unique and custom tiles, you’re bound to find a tile to match your aesthetic (and that you won’t see in every other home in your neighborhood)!

Customer Service

In addition to the actual tiles that you will be receiving, the service you get at a tile showroom in comparison to a big box store is what truly sets them apart. At a store like home depot, you have to track down a sales clerk, who may have no prior knowledge of tile whatsoever. They’re simply there to help you complete the sale. When you come to a tile showroom, these employees are tile experts that specialize in the industry. They can help you choose based on style and functionality, and come up with designs that can “wow” you and still fit the budget. They will walk you through the process from start to finish, with a skilled team of installers to complete the project.

Visit our Tile Showroom In New Hampshire

Artistic Tile offers one of the largest displays of unique tiles in New England. If you’re starting a home remodel or renovation, come visit our showroom and talk with one of our tile experts! We’ll work with you to determine which tile will be best for you and fulfill your dream designs.

Choosing Tile That’s Best for Your Home

When designing any part of your home, there are two factors that influence your decisions- aesthetics, and functionality. Which materials and colors will look good together, does it match the overall feel of the room? Then you need to consider, how will this hold up over time. is it water resistant, etc? When choosing a tile, there are several factors to be considered for optimal functionality. Keep reading to learn more about which types of tiles may work best for your installation.

Hardness

One of the most important features to consider is tile hardness. Depending on the hardness of the tile you choose, this will affect its ability to withstand wear and tear. Therefore, if you’re installing in a high traffic area such as the kitchen or bathroom, you may want a harder tile. However, on a wall, hardness may not matter as much. The classes of hardness are as follows:

Class 1: This is the softest tile, suitable for wall use only. This type of tile would not be able to withstand any type of foot traffic.

Class 2: These tiles can be used in residential areas with light traffic. For example, a bedroom or bathroom that is typically walked in socks or slippers, as dirt from shoes would scratch the surface.

Class 3: Appropriate in rooms with light to moderate traffic, as well as counter tops. Best in spaces with normal foot traffic, and minimal scratching dirt.

Class 4: These can withstand moderate to heavy traffic, making them suitable for any area of your home including the kitchen and entryways. They can even be used in some commercial applications such as an office building.

Class 5: For areas with heavy to extra heavy traffic, suitable for any residential or commercial use. These tiles can be used in shopping malls, hospitals, grocery stores, etc.

Porosity

Being porous, or full of tiny holes. Whether liquids have the ability to go right through or not. In a tile, it is measured by the ratio of air holes to solids, which affects how much water it absorbs. When installing tile in an area that is subject to excess moisture, such as the bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room, this is particularly important to consider.

Slip Resistance

If tiles are being installed in an area subject to water, then slip resistance comes into play. It becomes especially important if you have children or elderly in your home. Choose a tile that has a textured surface, or even slip resistant coating. Using smaller tiles, typically 4×4 or 2×2 can help with slip resistance, as they have more grout lines providing additional traction.  Slate and pebble stone tiles are both naturally textured options with ample slip resistance.

Contact Artistic Tile

To learn more about which tile will work best for your home, contact the experts at Artistic Tile! Stop by our tile showroom in New Hampshire for some inspiration, or fill out our online contact form to get started today.

Benefits of Having A Professional Install Your Tile

Sometimes making home projects a “DIY,” can be fun and save you some money. However, when it comes to installing tile, it’s always best to hire a professional. There are several benefits that can save you time, and the hassle of complications in the future.

Protect the warranty

When you make tile installation a DIY project, you run the risk of forfeiting your warranty. Many tile manufacturers will not abide by the warranty if tile or grout develops damage because of improper installation. By hiring a professional, you ensure that your warranty is protected and you will be covered if any issues should occur.

Faster Installation

You may consider installing tile yourself in order to save some money. However, hiring a professional can save you the long hours, and headache of doing it yourself. Pros do this for a living, so they practically have it down to a science. They can also deal with any unexpected issues that may arise quicker than you’d be able to.

Special Equipment

Just as any other home project would, tile installation is going to require special tools in order to get the job done right. Yes, you could rent a tile and saw, and buy grout float, sponges, tile crimpers, etc., but this is going to start racking up the overall cost of the project. While the goal is to save money by making it a DIY, these purchases start to add up quickly and really provide no value to you after their one time use. A professional will already have access to all of this equipment, allowing them to spread mortar and grout, smooth the tiles edges, and make precise cuts to fit in tight spaces.

Reduce Wasted Tile

A professional will take measurements and be able to calculate the amount of materials needed, so you won’t be buying more than necessary or run short by not having enough. You’ll also reduce the number of broken tiles or incorrect cuts, which can add up quickly if you are a first-timer at tile installation.

Prevent Water Damage

When tile or grout is installed improperly, water can seep in through cracks and gaps. This can lead to the growth of mold and mildew in your floors or walls, creating a health hazard in your home. Hiring a professional lessens the chance of faulty installations, and therefore possible water damage.

Contact Artistic Tile

The experts at Artistic Tile can assist you from the initial stages of selecting your tile, all the way to installation. Contact us today to get started, by filling out a contact form or calling us at (603) 886-1920!

Different Finishes of Porcelain Tile

After choosing a material for tile, the decision making is not done yet. Next up, it’s time to choose a finish. Let’s talk about porcelain…Porcelain offers both aesthetics and functionality and can be tailored to your style with different finishes. Available in 5 surface types, each one has different characteristics to suit all different needs. Porcelain tile is also non-porous and does not require sealing. Keep reading to learn which finish would be best for your project.

Polished

If you desire a highly-reflective, shiny looking tile, polished porcelain is the way to go. During the finishing process, each tile goes through a series of graded polishing wheels, first to be grinded and then buffed. Because it is created within its structure rather than just on top, it is permanent, and it is a low maintenance, easy to keep clean finish. It is also scratch and stain resistant, showing no signs of wear or fading. This makes it an optimal choice for high-traffic areas such as the kitchen, entryways, hotel lobbies, etc. The one drawback is that they do have slip potential when wet, so they typically are only used in indoor dry spaces.

Honed

A honed finish has a more flat, satin-like feel that is smooth to the touch. This type of finish is not as slippery when wet, making it a good choice for an area such as the bathroom that may be subject to water splashes from the shower or tub.  Like a polished surface, they are also low maintenance, scratch, and stain resistant.

Natural

A natural finish on tile replicates the look of the material, in this case, porcelain. It will showcase all of the unique markings, patterns, and textures. Just as it sounds, it leaves your tiles with a more “natural” look.

Grip

A grip surface has an almost sandpaper-like texture, making them highly slip resistant. They are designed specifically to withstand wet surface conditions. This is an optimal choice in slippery areas such as bathrooms, pool surrounds, or shower areas.

Structured

In the forming process for a structured finish, the surface of the tile is changed from flat to textured. It can either produce a rough, random texture, or chosen shapes and designs. These interesting textures of a structured finish can add an interesting touch, especially in a monotone, simple space. They do provide some slip resistance, although not comparable to that of a grip surface.

Contact Artistic Tile

To learn more about these different types of finishes, contact the tile experts at Artistic Tile. Fill out a contact form or give us a call today at (603) 886-1920.

Benefits of Supporting Small Local Businesses

Although they’re “small businesses,” you’d be surprised to learn how much of a large impact they can have on your local economy and community. When you look around, you probably don’t even realize how many small businesses you’re surrounded by. Yet, many of us still resort to “big-box” or “chain” stores when making a majority of purchases, without even giving small businesses a thought. Check out these 4 benefits of buying from local businesses.

Improve the Local Economy

When you buy locally, much more of your money stays within the community, than if you were to buy from a chain store. Local business owners, of all people, understand the importance of buying locally. Therefore, when they need supplies for their business, they’re highly likely to buy from a local business if they can. Chain businesses tend to get their supplies from corporate, taking the money out of our local economy. Local businesses also help the economy by providing jobs locally, and sometimes, provide better wages than chains do.

Better Customer Service

There’s no “1-800” number to call, or series of automated messages to get through when you need assistance from local businesses. You dial a number and get a human. Or you go into the store down the street, and someone is readily available to help you. The customer experience you’ll receive from a small local business is unmatched. These business owners have often put their whole lives into building their store and will go to all ends to ensure their customers are happy. The business owners will even get to know you on a first name basis, making you feel right at home when you walk in.

Community Involvement

Need donations for a charity event? Sponsorship for sports teams? Fundraising for a school trip? Local small businesses are typically happy to give back to their community in any way they can, whether it be through a tax-free donation, gift card to their store, or providing their service for a good cause. Check out how Artistic Tile partnered up with Building on Hope this year to give back to a meaningful cause.

Product Diversity

When you walk into a big box store, you often know exactly what you’re going to find. Typically shelves and shelves of the same products that you saw last week, rarely changing their inventory. However, at a small local business, you’ll be surprised at the variety they’ll offer. Additionally, you won’t be buying the same products that you, your neighbor, and everyone else in the town has! The products are unique, and usually not a mass-produced item. Sometimes, you won’t even see the same product twice. Inventory in a small local business is always changing, as they’re constantly re-evaluating what their customers want and need.

Shopping small can be beneficial to both you, and your community! Don’t forget to get out and shop this Saturday, 11/24 for “Shop Small Saturday” and support your local businesses!

Choosing Tile That’s Timeless

When starting any sort of home renovation or remodel, you’re of course going to look to what’s trendy right now. Which colors are in? Which materials? Design styles? While it can be fun to go with the latest trends, there are some choices that you may want to keep timeless. Choosing a timeless tile for your floor will allow you to be able to match almost any design style.

Marble Tile

Ripping out tiles often involves the moving of furniture, appliances, and fixtures- certainly not something you want to do every time the trends change. Choosing a marble tile for either your kitchen or bathroom floor is a timeless style that will complement your space, regardless of which trends you decide to follow now, or in the future. With a wide variety of colors and hues to choose from, marble is a great option for any aesthetic.

Stone Tile

Stone is a natural look that can fit in with almost any aesthetic. Whether you’re creating a modern farmhouse look, classic beach home, or modern style design, the stone tile will complete the look. Choosing a timeless natural look such as stone will save you the hassle of having to remodel to keep up with the ever-changing design trends.

Contact Artistic Tile

Whether you are looking for a tile that is timeless or trendy, the designers at Artistic tile will have the expertise to guide you. We have a wide selection of marble, stone, and other material tiles to fit any aesthetic! Fill out a contact form or give us a call today at (603) 886-1920 to get started!

Building on Hope

 

Artistic Tile was honored to be involved this year with Building on Hope. Artistic Tile supplied materials and installation of tile for a project on the second-floor bathroom at CCCNH.  CCCNH is the Crisis Center of Central New Hampshire. CCNH is exclusively dedicated to working with and providing services to victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, stalking and child abuse.

Building on Hope is a community organization of volunteers who work with builders, architects and designers to provide physical improvements to facilities associated with non-profit service groups. Building on Hope is not a non-profit group, they ally with existing non-profits providing human services to New Hampshire citizens and help them better succeed in their own missions.

Artistic Tile LLC worked closely with Greg Rehm and Liberty Hill Construction to facilitate the bathroom remodel. The bathroom was extremely small, dysfunctional, had poor lighting, zero storage space for towels or toiletries and had no mirror. Also, one thing we learned about this bathroom, it is used by three different families! We knew we had to help make this a more functional and comfortable place for these families.

During the construction phase the chimney was eliminated to make room for a beautiful new closet space and the window was moved to provide more space for the custom shower. Thanks goes out to Quad Construction, as they supplied and installed new drywall for the entire room. The next thing to be removed was a full-sized claw foot tub, and to take its place was a brand-new tub and tile shower installation.

Plumbing and lighting fixtures were provided by FW Webb in Concord, a new 48″ custom vanity was donated by, Norfolk Kitchen and Bath in Manchester and the custom vanity top was donated and installed by Keystone Carving in Hudson.

We are so thankful for the many volunteers who helped to paint, clean and make this bathroom a reality! The space is gorgeous now! It is functional, bright, clean, and beautiful.

We hope anyone who needs to reside at CCCNH feels the love and compassion that was poured into this gorgeously remodeled home. We LOVED being part of this amazing project!

 

Ceramic Tile: The Healthiest of Them All?

When choosing tile, there are so many factors to consider. What color will best match the room? What pattern will you arrange them in? Which material will be best for your needs? And I bet you never thought of this one… Which one is the best for my family and I’s health?

It is no secret that much of the products and materials used today are stuffed with harsh chemicals that are not good for the environment or our health. Luckily, ceramic tile defies these norm, consisting of only naturally occurring materials. The health advantages of ceramic, in conjunction with its timeless beauty and ecological sustainability, make it an optimal choice for your next tile project.

Hypoallergenic

Because ceramic has a nonporous surface, it is resistant to the growth of mold, mildew and other fungi, which thrive in moisture-rich areas. The surface of ceramic tiles also won’t absorb dust mites, pollen or dirt. These particles can easily be wiped or washed away before they become airborne pathogens. Your Indoor air quality can be significantly improved, so those with allergies and asthma will especially appreciate ceramic tile floors.

Formaldehyde-free

Your respiratory system will thank you for this one too. Formaldehyde is a chemical used in many different construction materials such as some wood products. It is associated with different respiratory issues such as asthma and particularly poses risk to the elderly and children. Ceramic is not made with Formaldehyde, alleviating the concern of these health threats.

VOC-Free

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, are used in many different building materials and installation products. Long-term exposure to these chemicals can have a variety of negative health effects including headaches, nausea, and irritation to the nose, throat, and eyes. Ceramic tile is one of the few flooring materials that does not contain VOCs, making them an optimal choice for your health.

PVC-free

Polyvinyl Chloride, or PVCs, are often used in vinyl flooring and other installation materials. The chemicals found in PVC may have adverse health effects, and therefore it is best to use a flooring such as ceramic that does not include them.

Safety

In addition to its chemical-free, natural composure, ceramic is a very safe option for use. There are a variety of slip-resistant options to choose from, and it is also non-flammable. Ceramic provides peace of mind to homeowners, with less chance for accident or disaster.

Contact Artistic Tile

For assistance in choosing your perfect tile, the experts at Artistic Tile will be happy to help! Our knowledgeable team will be able to guide you from the beginning stages of selection all the way to installation. Fill out our contact form or call us today at 603.886.1920!

 

 

What Type of Tile is Best for Kitchen Flooring?

When remodeling a kitchen, you may be a bit overwhelmed by the number of decisions that need to be made. Between choosing cabinets, furniture, appliances, etc., it can be difficult to piece it all together. If you’re looking for a place to start, try working your way from the ground up. Begin by choosing a material for your kitchen floor.

Tile is a durable, water-resistant option that will give you plenty of options for design. With an array of styles, shapes, and colors available, you’re bound to find something that will match your aesthetic. So first, which material of tile should you choose?

Porcelain

Porcelain floor tile is composed of a clay mixture with sand, fired at a high temperature to produce a hard, dense and less porous tile. Their tough surface makes them scratch and stain resistant, and therefore a solid choice for high-traffic areas such as your kitchen. Another advantage of porcelain is that it is easy to clean. It does not absorb moisture easily, so spills can easily be wiped up with a damp cloth. For maintenance, it only needs to be cleaned with water and a mild detergent. Porcelain tiles can either come glazed or unglazed. Glazed porcelain tile has a glass-like coating which produces a colored surface, whereas unglazed porcelain has color added to the clay mixture so the color is carried throughout. This means that color will remain the same over time even as it wears down. Overall they are a great choice for both functionality and aesthetics.

Ceramic

Ceramic tiles are a bit softer than porcelain but glazed to create a protective layer that can withstand the wear and tear of regular kitchen activities. Because it is a bit softer, it makes for an easier cut and installation. A quality installation will last typically between 10-20 years, if not longer. They are fairly easy to maintain as well. Dirt, stains, and liquids can all be wiped, mopped or swept away.  They also have a large variety of design options, that can be mixed and matched with patterns and designs to fit your style. They can be cut into different shapes and sizes, leaving you with endless opportunities.

Stone

Stone tiles, as they sound, are made from natural stone, including slate, granite, limestone, travertine, and marble. Because they are made in nature, they are highly weather resistant and durable. They can either be polished or honed. Polished surfaces pose the risk of slippery when wet, but the polish accentuates the beauty of the stone. Honed tiles provide a bit more traction, with a less vibrant look. Either way, these tiles will bring an interesting, earthy aesthetic into your home. 

Contact Artistic Tile

To help choose a tile that will match your aesthetic, and bring functionality into your kitchen, you can rely on our knowledgeable team here at Artistic Tile. Fill out our contact form or call us today to get started!

Cleaning The Ceramic Tiles In Your Bathroom

Is your shower looking a little scummy lately? Floors looking dingy and old? Keeping not only the tiles in your bathroom clean but also the grout can be a difficult task. If the grout has accumulated a layer of dirt, dust, soap, or other particles, this will automatically make your tiles look a bit aged. To give your shower and bathroom floors a quick tune-up, check out some of our professional tips to get the job done.

For the Shower

What You’ll Need:

  • Plastic mesh non-scratch scrubbers
  • Tub and tile cleaner
  • Plastic all-purpose scouring pad
  • Towel for drying
  1. First, you’ll want to remove excess scum from shower doors and the tiles. You can use your plastic scrubber to loosen up any soap scum build-up before even opening your cleaning solution.
  2. Next, pre-treat the whole shower with a tub and tile cleaner, and let it soak for five minutes.
  3. Scrub! At this point, the particles should have loosened up a sufficient amount, so now it’s time for some manual labor. Use the scouring pad to scrub the surfaces until clean.
  4. Rinse. Use clean, hot water to wash off the excess cleaner and scum that you have scrubbed.
  5. Using a towel, dry off the tiles and shower when you’re done is essential so water spots don’t immediately form. This is something you can do often to prevent mold, mildew and soap scum from building up!

For the Floors

What you’ll need:

  • Mild bleach solution
  • Toothbrush or small scrub brush
  • Mixture of paste- baking soda and water
  • Nylon brush
  • Detergent
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Club soda
  1. Keeping the grout clean is one of the most important parts of having a clean tile floor. First, spray the grout with either a store bought grout cleaner, or your own mild bleach solution. Allow this to sit for approximately 10 minutes before scrubbing.
  2. Grab your toothbrush or small scrubbing brush to get in the cracks and crevices of the grout. The solution should have helped lift some of the particles to scrub away. For stubborn stains in your grout, you can try mixing a paste of baking soda and water and applying to the stain. You should allow this to sit overnight, and then scrub with a nylon brush.
  3. For tile that has been stained, there are a few different solutions that you can try, depending on the stain type. If the tile has coffee or tea stains, you can use hot water and detergent to scrub, and then blot gently with hydrogen peroxide to lift the stain. For other stains like grease, you can use a natural solution of club soda and water. For ink stains, use a cloth diluted in bleach and lay it on top of the stain until it is gone. As always, rinse thoroughly when finished.

 

Please note: Stone tile has special cleaning consideration.