Tile and Pottery

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Clay pots, with materials dug out of the earth and hardened in open fires, were civilization’s first Tupperware. Sealed with wax or more clay, these containers held the food needed to survive harsh winters and the seed for next year’s harvest.

These pots were functional, not fancy. They did not use glazes, and the colors you see here come from tones within the clay itself.

Over time, our ancestors learned to use clay and straw to make bricks, and clay tiles provided a cleaner floor than dirt or rushes. Today, with the interesting mix of glazes and professional kilns to harden the clay by firing it, ceramic tile comes in virtually unlimited colors, sizes and designs. But many people still love the rustic tones and feel of unglazed tiles and pots, and they can help create a wonderful warm outdoor space.

Take a look at the patio on the right. The large unglazed clay tile shows varying hues and a rough surface. Made in rural Mexico, these tiles can chip and some even show the paw print from some small animal that ran over the tile before it dried.

Two types of unglazed pots add personality to this space. Toward the back, two classic plant pots in red clay hold a bush and red hibiscus plant. These containers are inexpensive and made to hold plants and keep them alive.

The other pots are much older – antique containers that require the rustic wooden base to stay upright. No longer useful as containers, their only purpose is as a sculptural reminder of the value of clay long before our civilization began.

Sturdy Smooth Tile the Right Choice for Wheelchairs

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

The right home can make all the difference for people with disabilities. A well-planned and designed space allows for independence, convenience and comfort. Let’s take a look at some areas around the house where some thought can make a real difference.

First consider flooring. Wheelchairs need a hard smooth surface for maneuvering well, and a sturdy material that can handle the constant movement of a wheelchair. Tile is easily the best option for both these goals.

The beauty and easy-care nature of tile also makes it an appealing choice. People with disabilities have the same design goals that we all do – a home that matches their taste and style. Tile comes in so many choices, the options are almost unlimited.

Bathrooms require special thought. Threshold-free showers, raised commodes with safety rails, and sinks that have space for a wheelchair underneath can all make a difference. Setting the mirror lower helps, as well as providing storage space in drawers rather than a traditional medicine cabinet. A home bath can accommodate people with disabilities while still looking lovely and appealing.

The second area requiring planning is the kitchen. Upper cabinets are not useful, and lower cabinets need pull-out drawers to allow for reaching all the way to the back. A table-height surface for food prep makes a difference, along with a faucet with a pull-out spray on the sink to help with clean up.

Today’s housing industry has products designed by those who understand these issues and successfully address the challenges. Talk to us about how your flooring and other choices can accommodate a number of requirements.

Creating your own Fountain

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Outdoor, Tile and Natural Stone

Many people would like to add a water feature to their yards but aren’t sure where to start. Do those pre-designed fountains seem a little too big, small, too traditional or modern or just not right for you? How about taking a chance and building your own unique water feature?

If you’re handy, grab some books and start making plans. If you’re not, there are landscape contractors who specialize in water features. Think about what you want. Do you hope for a dramatic fountain? Would you like more of a waterfall effect just off your patio? Maybe you just want a little burbling place to splash your hand in on hot days.

Once you decide, consider style. Would you like something that looks like it has been there forever? You might find stone tiles that give that feeling. How about a contemporary waterfall like the one in the photo? There are plenty of drops to help the water splash and make noise, and the natural-toned tiles help blend the piece with its surroundings. Maybe you’d like a south-of-the-border look with hand painted tiles in rows along the edge.

Whatever your taste and style, take a look at the options at our showroom. Our salespeople can point out the tiles and stone choices that can best handle outdoor living and lots of water.

Do you want to add the magic feeling that water gives an outdoor space? With the right choice, you can make your yard a special place to linger and enjoy.

Tile Flooring About both Layout and Tile Choice

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Design and Decorating, Tile and Natural Stone

What do these two photos have in common? Believe it or not, the floors have the exact same layout. On the left, the photo shows what appears to be a bathroom’s tile floor. The three shades of blue add a bit of interest without overpowering what is normally a relatively small space.

On the right, this photo of the entryway to a 19th century Paris home uses the same tile layout in a dramatically different way. The juxtaposition of the light and dark tiles adds just the right accent to a room rich in detail.

It’s easy to say the drama comes from the wrought iron gates and the beautiful staircase, but if you imagine that floor as solid stone it’s quickly clear that the flooring is the piece that links everything together.

Chances are this floor is stone. The depth of color and its survival for well over a century with limited damage suggests stone. It’s also likely because the walls and staircase are stone.

Would you like to create a room in your home with the same sense of timelessness as this one? A good start is recreating flooring that reflects the quiet appeal shown here. You may not be able to reproduce the amazing iron work and you may not have room for a staircase that flows into a room the way this one does, but by adding in a floor like this you are on your way to producing some of the mood and magic of this Paris space. Why not take a chance and have a bit of old-world France in your own home?

Tile Floor Colors Set the Mood

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

With over 50 tiles designs, Dolphin Carpet’s tile collection has something for everyone. So many great tiles to choose from might be overwhelming—how do you decide which tile is right for you? Tiles, like any flooring, set the mood for a room. Ask yourself if your room is formal or informal or somewhere in between. Do you prefer cool or warm tones? We’ve chosen four different tiles, two warm tones and two cool tones, to see how pattern and color can set the mood for a room.

Warm

Warm colored tiles fit well with casual or Mediterranean décor. Inspired by real terra cotta and artisan tiles, these tiles will create a warm, inviting space. The Kenya Teja tile has a rich terracotta color. Warm hued floors create a casual, farmhouse or country feeling for a mood. It would look fantastic in an entry or kitchen.

Another warm tone, casual tile is the Jack Rojo. While the Kenya Teja is a solid color tile, the Jack Rojo has a subtle mosaic pattern. We like it for kitchens, Mediterranean or Latin inspired bathrooms or entries.

Cool

While warm colored tiles lend themselves great for casual or Mediterranean décor, cool color tiles feel more modern and formal.

The dark, charcoal grey Leather Gris tile would look great in a modern or contemporary space, including bathrooms, kitchens or dining areas. Dark floors create a dramatic backdrop for area rugs and furniture.

The Areia Roma tile is light veined grey that recalls marble. This tile has a more formal feeling for a traditional kitchen or bath.

No matter your taste Dolphin has a tile for you.

Stone Creates Rich Feel in Bathroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Bathroom, Tile and Natural Stone

Are you ready to spend a week at a spa in Naples, Italy? Imagine relaxing in this pool of hot water after a day of exercise, healthy salads and seafood, and maybe a massage.

Well, we probably can’t go running off to Italy for a spa visit, but we can create an old-world spa feel in our bathrooms. How about an inviting hot bath in a room that reminds us of the best of Europe?

Take a look at our selection of tumbled stone to make a good start. The soft edges and uneven surface of tumbled stone makes a bathroom feel established, cool and inviting.

Next, we need to figure out how to replicate the soft diffused light in this room. Glass block or sheer window curtains will contain any glare and even out the light coming in. Frosted light fixtures can provide soft light at night.

That chaise lounge definitely looks like an inviting spot to rest for a few minutes. You may not have the room for a chaise, but a bench covered with a white cushion could be a good substitute.

Your tub may not be 15 feet across, but a deep spa tub with jets can give you just as relaxing a soak. Bring that gentle blue color into the room with accessories. Choose a soft blue glass vase or a clear bowl filled with blue sea glass with its sharp edges rubbed smooth by the ocean.

Would you like your bathroom to be a relaxing escape from the challenges of the day? Well, just create a space that invites you to imagine your own spa without even leaving home!

Romantic Bedroom

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Tile and Natural Stone

Would you like your bedroom to have a romantic feel like the one in this photo? You can recreate this mood with just a few changes or additions to any bedroom.

The exotic flavor of this room starts with the flooring. The natural-looking tiles are a terra cotta that brings other countries to mind. This room could be in Italy or Spain, Latin America or the Caribbean. This room has a simple area rug by the bed, but you could choose to showcase one or more rugs in muted tones that bring out the gentle feel of the space.

With the exception of the bed, the furniture is simple and understated. The painted nightstand could be re-created in the colors of your choice from any simple piece of furniture. The four-poster bed appears hand carved and adds a dramatic element to the room. While it may be difficult to find one like it, you may be able to track down a four poster with personality to replace it in your space. You could paint it, or let the linens and canopy provide the light tones.

Embroidered linens similar to these are available new, or you may want to explore antique and second-hand stores for linens with personality. You don’t have to use actual bed linens – old tablecloths can substitute for both the bedspread and canopy.

If you’re not comfortable installing strong plaster walls like the one in the photo, an effective faux painting effect would work well. You could also use a technique such as Venetian plaster on one or more walls to add personality.

Finish the room with art and accessories that suit your style – possibly collected on your travels. With a little thought you can sleep in a room that feels like you’re in another country or another age.

Tile: Not Just for Floors Anymore

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Take a classic maple cabinet, combine with a solid-surface countertop and stainless appliances, and you have a nice kitchen with nothing special to recommend it. Imagine this kitchen with a plain painted backsplash. Add this sparkling tile backsplash, and the kitchen becomes something to notice.

There are only four colors in this glass tile backsplash and one size of tile, but the varied pattern-less approach to color takes this kitchen up a notch.

Does your kitchen catch the eye? Unlike other rooms in your home, accessories on the countertops just get in the way in your kitchen’s functioning workspace. It’s often expensive and impractical to replace cabinets. You have three less expensive areas to make your kitchen special: flooring, countertops and backsplashes. Of these three, generally the missing piece is a backsplash.

Tile is a natural choice. It holds up well to splashes from your kitchen adventures, the choices of size, pattern and color is virtually unlimited, and the small space means that you can splurge on a more expensive option without blasting your budget. The photo shows a glass tile, which adds a contemporary touch. Ceramic and porcelain choices also work. No matter what style your kitchen features, you can find a tile that will complement it.

Visit our showroom and plan to get creative. Let us help you add something special to your kitchen that you can enjoy looking at every time you cook.

We Want Happy Customers

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Carpet, Hardwood, Tile and Natural Stone

Question: My home needs all new flooring. I haven’t shopped for flooring in decades and the whole process seems pretty overwhelming to me. What kind of help will I get from your salespeople? Are there things I can do beforehand to make the process easier and less confusing?

Answer: Selecting new flooring may seem overwhelming, but you can take some steps before even coming to our showroom to help you start the process. To begin, make a list of your flooring needs, including an estimate of room size and any colors. (Don’t worry about getting accurate measurements; we will do that before ordering or installing anything.) You may also want to spend some time determining your budget range. This will be easier to define once you see what’s available at the different prices.

Your next step is a visit to our website. Flooring is much more varied and interesting than it was the last time you looked. Our website provides a great way to update your product knowledge at your own pace. We also have some tools on our site that may help define your goals.

The final step is visiting our showroom. Put yourself into the hands of one of our salespeople. Their primary purpose is to help you make the best choices for your floors and they can provide a wealth of information and exciting ideas for your home. Take advantage of their expertise and before you know it, you will have a beautiful space.

Remember, we have a more important goal than making a sale. We want to make a customer. If you’re happy we’ve done our job right, and we’re happy too.

Tile 101: Porcelain Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tile and Natural Stone

Choosing between porcelain and ceramic tile can be confusing. Often the styles look alike and seem almost the same, but there are differences.

Durability and hardness represent the primary differences between the two types of tile. Porcelain tile has a stronger product as its base material, and has a longer and hotter firing time. Often porcelain tile’s color and design are built right into the tile rather than fired as a separate glaze. This makes porcelain last much longer and able to handle more abuse. For this reason, porcelain is the tile of choice for commercial and outdoor applications.

Porcelain comes in a good variety of styles and colors, but is most often seen in design options that mirror natural stone. Limestone, travertine, marble, granite and terracotta are common natural choices that limestone mimics. With the variety of patterns available in many tile lines, porcelain closely resembles the look and feel of stone without the high maintenance requirements.

With grout sealing which is recommended at installation, porcelain is the lowest maintenance floor available. Just a swipe with a damp mop will keep the floor clean and looking its best. If you want an attractive floor that is also low maintenance and will last for the life of your home, consider porcelain tile.