Friday, February 7, 2014

To Seal or Not to Seal – That is the Grout and Tile Question!

To finish off a bathroom tiling the shower can be the finishing touch that adds beauty. What many homeowners that are DIY types aren't sure about is if they should seal the tile. The first thing that a professional would ask them “Do you know the difference between what grout is and what tile is?"

While this may seem like a silly question to some, to those who didn't know, it is a learning step, but important to know before you do a tile job yourself. Tile is the pretty part with the colors and designs that attract you to start with. Grout is the stuff that goes between the tiles, filling the gap.

Grout should be sealed for a few reasons:

• Easier To Keep Clean

• Protects From Mold and Mildew

• Keeps It New Looking

Before you apply sealant to the grout, let it sit a day to dry and cure and plan to reseal every 2 to 3 years, depending on the foot traffic it gets. Whether or not you should seal the tile depends on the tile itself. Tile made of limestone, marble, matte, natural stone, slate or terra cotta are porous. They will absorb water so by sealing these materials, you can protect them against mildew, mold, stains and water.

Keep in mind some sealers will darken or even stain the tiles, changing their looks. Once you have stained the tiles, you will need to re-stain them once a year to keep them looking good. Ceramic tile is a beautiful product but is not porous and sealing is not necessary.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

So Many Types of Tiles! Which is the Best for My Kitchen?

Tile floors look great in any kitchen. They add style and are also easy to care for, if you choose the right type of tile. So which is the best type of tile for your kitchen? First you need to select a tile that is durable enough for the kitchen. A kitchen is high traffic and prone to have drops and spills that other rooms don't have. There is such a wide variety of kitchen tiles on the market today with materials, price points and sizes. The possibilities are endless.

Glazed and Unglazed

When you start shopping for kitchen tile, you will notice there are glazed tile and unglazed tiles. Glazed means they have been treated. They are easy to clean and resist stains. However, they are smooth so when they are wet, which is highly probable in the kitchen, they become slippery.Unglazed tiles aren't as smooth, so they are less slippery. The textured surface is often aesthetically preferred. However, they aren't as durable and more likely to get damaged and stained in a kitchen.

You will find that there are many different types of tiles too. There are natural materials such as pebble, porcelain, quarry and stone which are durable with a rough texture. They are also on the high end of the price point. Other choices are ceramic or porcelain, both which chip easy and you may find yourself replacing tiles frequently.

Before you buy a tile, think about what is more important in your kitchen. How much traffic does your kitchen have each day? A family with kids in and out will be better off with the most durable product that is easy to clean and resistant to drops and spills.