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Places You Can Use Tile

Aside from flooring projects, which is one of the most common uses, tile is a versatile material that can be used in a variety of different places throughout your home. With endless options for design, using tile to create an accent or focal point in your space is a great way to add a unique touch. You can choose from a variety of materials including glass, ceramic, natural stone, and beyond to match nearly any aesthetic. From full accent walls to fireplace surrounds, tabletops, and more, tile can be used for projects big and small. Check out how tile can transform some of these unique spots throughout your home! 

Feature Wall

A feature wall can be used in nearly any room throughout your house, making a dramatic difference in the whole look and feel of the space. It has the ability to turn a dull space into an extraordinary one. If your kitchen could use a quick upgrade, your living room design is outdated, or your bathroom needs a modern touch, an accent wall may be just the answer! The first step is choosing which wall you’d like to feature. Typically, it’d be the wall you’re facing when you enter the room to immediately catch your eye. You can get creative with mixing and matching materials and textures; For example, if you’re highlighting the wall and it will be behind a fluffy couch, you can contrast it with a smooth tile behind such as glass or metal tile. Or, if you have a leather couch, you can add a little bit of rough texture with natural stone tile. You can even create these accent walls behind your bed for a unique look! 

Fireplace Surround 

With gas fireplaces becoming increasingly popular, finding a material that matches the modern, sleek look of this new trend is key. Ditch the bricks; Tile is a timeless alternative to use for your fireplace surround! Porcelain tile is a sensible choice for around your fireplace, as it can withstand the heat from the fireplace. You can also get creative with glass tile to create a unique mosaic, or use ceramic for an interesting pattern. 

Tabletops 

Have an old table that has certainly seen better days? Well, don’t get rid of it just yet. You can use tile to create a mosaic or design on your tabletop that will give it just the makeover that it needs! Even if your table is round, square and rectangular tiles can be used along curved edges. Ceramic tiles are a versatile material that can be used to create endless patterns and designs for your tabletop. This can be a fun DIY project for a rainy day! Talk with a tile expert first about the best tiles to use for your specific design. 

Contact Artistic Tile 

Want to get started on your own unique tile project? The opportunities for design are endless with tile, and we’d love to help you create something special for your space! Stop by our showroom in Nashua, or fill out an online form to get some ideas today.

Stone vs. Porcelain Tile

Natural stone and porcelain tile are popular flooring choices for both residential and commercial use.  Both offer a level of natural beauty, bringing an earthy feel to any space where they are installed. While porcelain tile and stone may look very similar, there are a few key differences that you may want to consider. 

Stone Tile

Natural stone has been used as a building material for centuries.  A trip to Europe will have you walking on centuries-old stone tile floors.  Stone varies in hardness. A non-polished finish (such as honed) is recommended when installing a soft stone, marble or limestone, on a high-traffic floor.  Sealing tile with a top quality sealer is recommended. You will be able to remove any stain from a properly sealed stone. Whether Igneous, Metamorphic, or Sedimentary all stone has been created over millions of years and every piece is unique making every installation one-of-a-kind.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain is the hardest and densest of the ceramic tiles.  To be classified as “porcelain” a tile must have an absorption rate of 0.5% or lower. (In a recent test by the TCNA of close to 1500 tiles labeled, 23% of porcelain did not meet the criteria.)  Unglazed (also called through-body or full-body) porcelain tiles are extremely durable and are commonly used in high-traffic commercial applications such as malls and airports. Almost all porcelain tile sold for residential use is glazed.  The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) rating of 0 through 5 is a good indicator of the durability and suitability of a particular tile for each situation. For a high-traffic area, a 4 or 5 is recommended. With the latest technologies, glazed porcelain tiles mimicking natural stone can sometimes fool a tile professional into thinking it is real stone. 

The Differences

Maintenance and Durability – Porcelain tiles are easy to keep clean and allow the use of a wide variety of cleaning products.  Softer natural stones are susceptible to scratching and etching but properly sealed are very stain resistant.  Most sealers need to be applied at least once per year. There are sealers available that last 15 years and beyond per application.  Stone should always be cleaned with a PH neutral cleaner.

Installation – In general the installation of stone requires more time than porcelain and in many cases requires more experience. 

Cost – Generally speaking natural stone costs more than porcelain.  Though, there can be exceptions.

Contact Artistic Tile

Depending on your preferences, both natural stone and porcelain tile are great options.  If you need assistance choosing between the two, the experts at Artistic Tile are here to guide you!  Fill out an online contact form, give us a call, or stop by our tile store in Nashua to get started today!

 

Getting Creative: Different Designs You Can do With Tile

For some, choosing your tile is as simple as heading to the store, and picking a generic material and installing, as is. But for those of us with a keen eye for design, we like to let our imaginations run wild with ideas! The tile you choose is something you’re going to live with for years to come and has the ability to tell a story that’s personal to you. From being able to create a mosaic of your dog, or artwork, or using different patterns, it’s a highly versatile option. Artistic Tile can help you create the perfect design for your home. Tile leaves you with limitless possibilities for a unique masterpiece. Learn about some of the different things you can do with tile below!

Pattern Designs

One of the most common, and simplest designs is a straight (or stack bond) design. As it sounds, this is where the tiles are laid in straight lines, and the grout lines end up looking like a perfect grid. A diagonal design is similar, but instead are laid at a 45-degree angle, resembling diamonds. This is a great design for a bathroom floor or other small room that you’d like to make appear larger. Another common design is the herringbone, where rectangular tiles are laid in a zig-zag pattern. This is often seen in hallways or outdoor paths. The windmill is an intricate design, using both square and rectangular tiles. One smaller square is placed in the middle, with 4 rectangular tiles placed around it. A few other popular, more intricate designs include the pinwheel, stretcher bond, and cobblestone. There are multiple patterns that can be created with the multitude of sizes that can be created in today’s tiles.

Adding a Personal Touch

If you want to go beyond these common designs, what if we told you we could create a mosaic of your dog? Or create a unique piece of artwork? The options when it comes to this type of design are limitless. Whether you want a subtle, small piece of art on your wall or floor or a bright eye-catching focal point, we can work together to create something special.

Visit our Unique Tile Selection in Nashua NH

To learn more or discuss your project, come talk to the experts at Artistic Tile! Our showroom is located in Nashua, but we’re glad to install tile throughout New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts.  

 

Why Tile is a Good Investment

When making any improvements to your home, it’s important to consider what will be a solid investment for your home’s overall value. Choosing materials that will give you the best return on investment is key, especially if you plan on selling your home in the future. Tile is going to give you the “best bang for your buck,” as far as flooring options go. The durability, ease of maintenance, and cost vs. value are just a few of the advantages of tile.

Lifetime Durability

Today’s tiles are made from extremely durable materials, making them highly resistant to scratches, chips, and any other wear and tear. In comparison, other flooring options such as hardwood or carpeting start to look worn after just a few years. If you need to replace a broken tile occasionally, it’s still much less expensive than cleaning carpets or restoring hardwood floors.

Low Maintenance

Maintaining your home to keep things looking new and clean can be a challenge. Luckily, porcelain and ceramic tiles are one of the easiest to maintain. Unlike a carpet, which can be a lengthy process to clean, or hardwood floors which are known to be difficult to maintain, with tile all you’ll need is a mop and some warm water! Simply wipe away any dust or debris that has accumulated through daily use, and they’ll look good as new again.

Cost vs. Value

Tile is the least expensive floor covering because of its lifespan. The cost of carpet cleanings, wood floor refinishing, laminate refurbishment, etc., will add up over time. The low maintenance and durability of tile make it an optimal choice for any room in your home.

Contact Artistic Tile

If you’re interested in installing tile in your home, Artistic Tile has a wide variety of unique tiles. We install ceramic tile, porcelain, stone, glass, marble, and more. To learn more about what we offer, fill out the online contact form or give us a call today!

 

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!