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How to Buy Tile

Choosing new tile for a countertop, a backsplash, or wall can involve dozens of decisions and thousands of choices. Do you want stone? Ceramic? Glass? Metal? Do you want a beveled or a straight edge? What color? Do you want a pattern or a more simplistic design?

The options are endless. So, where should you start?

Examine your lifestyle:

Ask yourself: "How do I like to live?". Do you have a lovely formal living room and dining room in which you like to entertain? Or is your home full of kids, friends, neighbors and pizza at the last minute?

A more casual lifestyle might steer you toward practical choices such as slate. If your style is more formal, consider marble or limestone.

Glass Act

Glass tile is no newcomer to the design scene. However, its popularity has surged recently, not merely as another design choice, but as jewelry for kitchens. And, like jewelry, people are inventing all sorts of ways to accessorize their homes with it.

"People are using tile in whatever way you can think of, behind sinks and stoves, on countertops, and on kitchen islands" said Bud Wright, ATG Stores Design Associate. "Also, the color options of glass tiles are endless-from cobalt blue to various metallics. You can use glass tiles as an entire backsplash in your kitchen or just as an accent here or there. Try mixing glass tiles with more contemporary metal tiles for a new look."

Glass tile can be used to create bold and elegant statements in unexpected places. Make a splash by enveloping bathroom floors and walls in aquamarine or crystal blue tiles to create an authentic at-home spa retreat. Go bold with iridescent or bright colored accent tiles as small shower and tub borders, or fill in recessed shower cubbies for a punch of color. Pair neutral tiled counters with dark wood or chrome accents to achieve a modern, serene oasis. Bring citrus tones into the kitchen for both fun and functional countertops or backsplashes. Mosaic effects can be made with ease by taking advantage of pre-blended color blocks or simply by utilizing the natural color variances within solid color palettes for a subtle feel.

Choosing glass tile could really add a bit of splash to your kitchen or bathroom, so consider giving it a try in your next redesign!

Hot Color: Metallic

Metallics are hotter than ever, and adding a little glitz to your home has never been easier or more affordable. From kitchen backsplashes to bathroom borders, metallic tile pieces will add a touch of glamour to your domain.

"Gold, silver, bronze, copper, zinc and platinum have made their way to every part of the home this summer season," said Tanya Amri, ATG Stores Design Associate. "Want to add an ultra-modern look to your bathroom? Try stainless metallic tiles behind your tub. If you aren't ready to take the entire metallic plunge, try a few copper tiles peppered throughout your kitchen backsplash for a little old-world charm."

Whether your home is contemporary or traditional, metallic accents will help you make a flashy statement.

Inspiration:

Consider what inspires your home decor. Is it your travels? Your style sense? History? It's important to select tile styles that best reflect you!

Tile Installation

Many homeowners choose to lay tile backsplashes themselves to save money. Here are some simple steps to follow for installing a beautiful tile backsplashes in your kitchen:

  •   1. Turn off the power to the work area, and remove any electrical outlet covers.
  •   2. Wash the wall with warm water and allow it to dry.
  •   3. Use a notched trowel to spread a thin layer of the tile adhesive about at the center base of the backsplash.
  •   4. Place the first tile at the center base of the backsplash. Use a level to check your work.
  •   5. Place spacers on each corner. To correctly space all base tiles, cut the bottom off of the spacer so it fits against the countertop.
  •   6. Add tiles flush against the spacers, work using small squares of adhesive so that it doesn't dry.
  •   7. Use a damp cloth to wipe away any extra adhesive.
  •   8. Mix the grout.
  •   9. Apply the grout between the tiles.
  •   10. Wipe off any excess grout with a damp cloth.
  •   11. When the grout dries, use a clean cloth to wipe and dry the tiles.
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