Flooring Options: Ceramic and Natural Stone Tiles

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

When it comes to selecting tile for your home, there are a lot of great choices out there. Two of the best types on the market today are ceramic and natural stone tiles. Here is a little more information on each variety of tile to assist you in choosing the best materials for your lifestyle.

Ceramic tile is pretty popular, and for good reason. Once sealed after installation it becomes water-, scratch- and stain-resistant. This material is divided into two categories: porcelain tile and non-porcelain tile. Both are created using the same method, but porcelain tile contains 50% feldspar, which is a mineral that crystallizes during the heating portion of the tile-making process, giving it a different appearance than it’s non-porcelain counterpart. Traditional ceramic tile, or non-porcelain tile, is made with red, white and/or brown clay, minus the feldspar. Both are available in glazed or unglazed versions. Glazed options include high-gloss, semi-gloss and matte.

Natural stone is also very popular, but each type differs in and water-, stain- and scratch-resistance. Some materials are also more high-maintenance than others. If you are considering a natural stone look in your home, educate yourself on the upkeep of each variety to be sure you are making the right decision. Natural stone options include: Granite, Limestone (Travertine being the popular choice), Marble and Slate. Granite is one of the best choices available since it can stand up to heavy use without causing damage once it has been polished. Its density makes it durable and it comes in a wide range of colors. Travertine with it’s beautiful earth tones is considered a little more delicate tiling option as it is softer and prone to scratches and staining if not properly maintained. Available in textured and polished versions, it is not recommended for use in high traffic areas. Marble is also a more high-maintenance natural stone choice as it is softer than granite as well, but with proper regular sealing can be enjoyed for a long time. Finally, slate is a great option for resistance to wear and tear as it dense like granite and extremely durable. Slate is naturally textured but can be smoothed down if you prefer.

Come down to our showroom today and let us help you pick the proper tiling material for your home today!

Repurpose a Shed Part 2: Just for You

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

In our last post we gave you a few ideas of ways to repurpose a shed into fun creative spaces for your kids. This week, let’s focus on you! Here are a couple great ways to carve out some space for only your interests.

 

Potting Shed

If you love gardening and don’t already have a place to store pots, tools, extra potting soil and everything else that goes along with your gardening interests, make yourself a potting shed! Add windows for natural lighting to provide a nurturing environment for baby plants. Even better if they provide a view out to the garden. Consider adding a cold frame on the outside of the shed to grow seedlings during the off-season. Add a potting table at standing height and large enough to have room for easy access to hand tools so you can work comfortably. Create space on a wall to hang larger tools so you can easily grab and go to work. Spend some time reading gardening blogs for more ideas on creating the perfect potting shed that will surely make your gardening pursuits more complete!

 

She Shed

This one might be our favorite idea. Everyone’s heard of “Man-Caves”, but now a new trend has emerged in a similar vein for women, called “She Sheds”. It’s about time, right? Maybe it was the tiny house movement that inspired women to begin creating their very own tiny home away from home. This space could be as simple or as involved as you like, perhaps you want it simple and serene for meditation or even a small yoga studio. 

Or maybe you want your space comfortable and homey, complete with snug furniture, house plants, books, coffee, all the comforts you enjoy. Chose wood-look tile for the floor to create an instant rustic space or an intricate mosaic for a one-of-a-kind get-away.

Don’t skimp on the outside either. Create a cute front porch, landscaping and a tile path back to the house. Again, a quick search on Pinterest will provide you with tons of inspiration!

 

Enjoy taking some time to dream about creating a new interesting space to nurture your interests and creativity. Let us know in the comments if you decide to repurpose a shed and feel free to ask us if you have any questions!

Repurpose a Shed Part 1: For the Kids

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Imagine a scenario where you have freed up storage space because you just did a big reorganization and parted ways with stuff you no longer need. How fun would it be to have an entire shed cleared and free to repurpose into something more fun than storage? We spent some time imagining a few ways and wanted to share with you. In Part 1, we offer you three ideas specific to children. Part 2 will talk about creating spaces just for you.


Playhouse

What child wouldn’t want their own miniature house behind the house? The ways to convert a shed into a playhouse are seemingly endless. Just a quick search on Pinterest will make you want to get started right away!

 

Arts & Crafts Studio

If you and your family love arts and crafts but dislike a constant mess in your home, a crafting shed would be a great fit and a joy to create.


Photography Studio

Create a place for your budding miniature photographer to take their creativity to the next level and make a child’s photography studio! Go shopping together and pick out different backdrops at the fabric store. Pick wall papers and mount them on boards as another option for backdrops. You can teach them about lighting by buying some used-professional lighting and even get creative and make your own lighting diffusers and reflectors. They can photograph their friends and family, take still-life shots of their toys and their collections from nature. Provide labeled bins for their props and help them get set up with a way to order prints of their favorite shots.

 

Other things to consider for all options: Remember to include climate control so you and your children can comfortably play in all temperatures. Add windows for natural lighting. Add a tile floor for comfort that is also easy to clean and maintain.  Install window boxes for flowers — a great way to keep the outside of the shed looking as good as your home.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for some ways to convert this space into something just for you.

 

We’d love to hear from you in the comments if you’ve ever repurposed a shed, or plan on doing this someday!

All About Ceramic Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Ceramic tile has been around since ancient times and has been used in interior and exterior applications. There is something special about a natural product that maintains beauty and strength for decades and even centuries. The durability is displayed in historic homes and structures, for that should be appreciated. Find out what you need to know about this fantastic natural product.

Yes ceramic tile is a natural product that is made from clay, minerals and water. Different glazes provides much variety that ceramic tile has to offer. The tile has a ceramic coating that enhances the tile with a certain color. This allows many different color ways available in the same tile patterns. The texture and pattern is innate in the particular tile itself.

This floor option is durable and easy to maintain. It is easily cared for by being swept and mopped. There is no other maintenance needed. Because of the ease and versatility, it is perfect in homes with pets and children.  Ceramic tile does not hold on to odor, allergens or bacteria and adds peace of mind. There are different grade options for the glaze that give the tile it’s added stability to be stain and scratch resistant.  Visit our website to find out what grade option is right for your home and family.

From mosaic to backsplash, wall or floor tile, ceramic tile offers an array of options. The colors, patterns and textures are abundant. This natural product is also fireproof because it doesn’t burn at any temperature and therefore will not fuel any fire. It is also water resistant and will not be damaged by water.

This material has proven it’s vigilance over time and should be celebrated for that. If you desire a natural product in your home that can stand up to the test of time and life than ceramic tile is the perfect option for you. Check out our website to view different colors, textures and even highly decorative tiles that can provide almost any look that you can dream up!

About Natural Stone

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

 

Natural stone options that are available to you, is granite, marble, slate and limestone. This material is one of the oldest building materials and been around since ancient times. The aesthetic qualities are organic and beautiful. It is made under the earth’s surface over thousands and even millions of years.

Some things you need to consider when deciding to use natural stone is knowing that different patterns and variation will occur. What you order will not look exactly like the sample in the showroom. Typically each piece is unlike any other piece. This is important information to keep in mind when shopping for natural stone. This is not a negative though – think of each piece as being unique and different from any other piece. This is a positive attribute if you wish to have a unique look in your home that is not a material that will look just like the neighbor’s house. This material will add to the value of your home and it will create a timeless look.

Natural stone needs to be maintained regularly by sweeping and mopping because dirt and sand can be abrasive to the stone’s surface. Do not use harsh cleaning products on this material. It is best to use a broom to clean the dirt and sand from the surface and then clean with a mop and a little warm water. When moving furniture and other heavy items across stone flooring make sure the stone is protected by putting easy glide feet on the furniture that’s being moved. This natural material can be scratched and chipped under pressure.

Another wonderful location to decorate with natural stone – use the natural stone on the walls and around fireplace surrounds. This will give you the best of the beauty and timeless qualities of this amazing material! 

Stone and Ceramic Floors

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

With the vast array of tile options available to you when you are deciding on what type you want to install in your home, the choice can seem overwhelming. However, once you understand the basics of types of tile, you will find it is much easier to narrow down your choices to just a few that you want to investigate further in store.  Below are a few fundamentals.

 

Ceramic tile is manufactured from clay and comes in two varieties—traditional ceramic and porcelain ceramic. Traditional ceramic is made from white, red, and brown clay. Porcelain ceramic is also made of this clay but about half of the mixture is comprised of a white mineral called feldspar. It is a type of crystal that, when introduced to a mixture of clay before the kiln-drying process, melts the materials. You have plenty of glazing options for both types of ceramic tile and glaze can be useful, not only as a decision for your design, but also as a guard against scratching, staining and water absorption.

 

There are plenty of natural stone options available on the market as well and each has qualities that better qualify it for certain types of rooms. For example, granite is a good choice for kitchens and high traffic areas because of its durability. Once installed, granite will be highly scratch resistant and also able to withstand the wear and tear of a floor that sees a lot of foot trafficl. On the other hand, a natural stone like marble is going to have rich and beautiful vein detailing. Marble is very porous though, and so it does not serve as a practical flooring option for somewhere like the kitchen unless you are willing to put in the maintenance work necessary to keep it properly sealed.

 

Finally, you have the more exotic stone flooring such as travertine. Travertine is a type of limestone and this can offer your space a beautiful light look with its crystallized, earthy appearance.

 

Always be sure to inquire if the type of stone you purchase requires special maintenance and that it fits the environment in which it is to be installed. This way you match your needs with the right type of stone for the perfect floor for your home.  Representatives at Dolphin Carpet are always happy to answer any questions you may have about natural stone options or any floor covering!  Visit us, either at our showrooms or online!

The Difference between Travertine and Limestone Tiles

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Chemically speaking, there is little to no difference between travertine and limestone tile. They are both made up primarily of calcite, and both are sedimentary stones that have not yet been subjected to the heat and pressure that will metamorphose them into marble. That’s where the similarities end between the two stones, however. In fact, many people feel that the two materials are more different than alike.

Origins

While travertine and limestone are chemically similar and are both sedimentary rocks, the places they developed were radically different and helped to shape their appearance.

Limestone was typically formed in shell reefs. This means that often limestone tile is studded with small fossils, pieces of shell, and the impressions of small sea creatures. Some limestone such as Café Pinta are extremely fossil studded with numerous pieces of shell showing through the tile, while other limestone such as Lagos Azul only rarely show shells in its makeup.

Travertine was formed deep inside rapidly-cooling hot springs. There are few if any fossils present in the material, and instead what are visible are the many different holes, channels, and paths that the cooling water vapor used to escape the forming stone. This presents itself as numerous holes of varying sizes on the surface of cut travertine.

Basic Appearance

Both travertine and limestone are fairly limited in color, both ranging primarily in the gray, cream, tan, and brown families. There are some extreme color differences, though, with a very bright red travertine and some shades of green limestone.

Most limestone is too soft to hold a high polish, and therefore the stone is usually found either honed or tumbled.

Travertine also may be too soft to hold a high polish often, but regardless of whether it is honed or tumbled it still has multiple holes in its surface. These holes are either filled with epoxy at the factory to give it a smoother look, or they are filled at time of installation for a more rustic appearance.

Overall, limestone has a softer, more transitional appearance than travertine, which has a more rustic style. Both stones make beautiful additions to any home, however, regardless of choice.

How Is Slate Formed?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Whether it’s uniform, gray, and gauged from Vermont or wild, colorful, and uneven from India, all slate shares several very distinctive characteristics. Like marble, slate is metamorphic in nature, but it differs widely from marble in its looks, hardness, and porosity, all of which come from how it is formed.

Metamorphosed Shale

Like all metamorphic rocks, slate was once a different type of rock altogether. Shale, a sedimentary stone made of clay and volcanic ash, was formed layer by layer. This clay and ash mixture, along with small amounts of quartz, pyrite, and other minerals in the clay, eventually hardened together to form the very soft rock we call shale.

Over time, sections of shale that were subjected to intense amounts of heat and pressure began to change composition, eventually becoming the stone known as slate.

Present Layers

Because shale was formed in layers, the slate that later came from it stayed this way. Large blocks of slate cut from the ground can show the history of their layers within the stone itself. This is why so many types of slate from China, India, and Brazil are what is known as “ungauged”. When the tiles were being formed, they were very roughly split by hand. Slate splits very easily along these layers, which is why you may find tiles in one box that have as much as ½-inch difference in their thicknesses.

These layers are what give slate its ragged appearance. While the stone can be ground down, this becomes expensive because so many pieces of the top layers often break off, known as spalling.

Slate and Quartzite

There are a few types of stone that are labeled as slate, but that are actually another type of metamorphic stone known as quartzite. Like slate, these stones may be formed in layers, but instead of spalling and splitting in flakes, they appear to be sugary with a rough, glittery surface. Quartzite slates are formed from sandstone, or shale that has a large amount of quartz in it. Functionally, they act the same as slate, and can be used in the same way.

We are happy to help with any questions you may have about any of your flooring needs! Please let us know at Dolphin how we can help you.

An Introduction to Natural Stone

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone



What’s under your feet impacts life under your roof. The various floor coverings throughout your home influence interior beauty, design, décor, comfort, upkeep – life itself. From ancient monuments like the pyramids in Egypt and the majestic Greek and Roman temples, to the great civilizations of India and China, natural stone has been an important part of architecture throughout history.    Natural stone is strong and stable to live with. It exudes a rich, organic, beautiful surface and has a confident, timeless “presence” in any room. It is the world’s oldest building material — imagine its beauty and elegance in your new home or remodeling project.

  • process began millions of years ago, deep beneath the earth’s surface
  • combination of heat and pressure creates blocks of natural stone
  • types include granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and slate
  • the earth’s crust grows and erodes and pushes minerals up from its core, forming massive rock deposits, called “quarries”
  • quarries found in countries throughout the world such as Italy, China, Spain, India, Canada, Mexico and also here in the United States
  • more expensive than ceramic tile
  • requires more maintenance than ceramic
  • increases home value more than ceramic
  • large selection to choose from

 

Natural Stone Maintenance

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone


In a way, Mother Nature has taken care of your natural stone flooring for millions of years. Now it’s your turn. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your beautiful natural stone today and maintaining its timeless look for many tomorrows. Plus, knowing what’s expected of you regarding upkeep can be a determining factor in which type of natural flooring you choose to buy. Get to know exactly how to take care of your natural stone investment and it will reward you and your home for many years to come. Time spent caring for your stone floors will help maintain its classic beauty and unique personality for years to come.

  • Use walk-off mats or area rugs on either side of exterior entrances.
  • Choose a mat with a non slip backing.
  • Mats need to be kept clean.
  • Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces.
  • Floors should be dust mopped frequently
  • Damp mop your natural stone floor.
  • Do not use any acids with vinegar or household cleaners.
  • Do not use products that contain lemon juice, vinegar or other acids.
  • Avoid using products that contain abrasive cleaners, cleansers (dry or soft) or any ammonia-based cleaners.
  • Do not use retail grout cleaners, scouring powders or bathroom tub and tile cleaners on your stone.
  • Don’t mix bleach and ammonia.
  • Rinse the floor thoroughly and dry the surface with a soft, clean cloth.
  • Always blot spills immediately.
  •  Vacuum cleaner attachments are also useful for hard to reach areas.
  • To remove algae or moss from your stone in outdoor pool, patio or hot tub areas, flush with clear water and use a mild bleach solution.
  • Call on your local retailer to suggest specialty products designed for use on your stone floors.
  • It is your responsibility to properly maintain caulking in heavy water-use areas.
  • Take care when moving heavy objects across your stone floor.
  • Cover furniture and table legs with protectors to guard your floor against damage.
  • Each stone has different levels of susceptibility to staining.
  •  Sealing your stone is a must.
  • If you accidentally damage or stain your floor, products are available that may resolve your problem.