Tile lasts a while, so avoid the trend trap

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - By James Figy

JUMP­ING head first into the lat­est bath­room tile trend runs the risk of fall­ing out of vogue, leav­ing the bath­room look­ing dated. Since tile lasts 20 to 30 years — longer than bath­tub sur­rounds or vinyl floor­ing — home­own­ers don’t need to up­date as of­ten, says Car­los Martinez, first of­fi­cer of C-Bek Tile & Stone De­sign in North Hol­ly­wood, Calif. So home­own­ers should con­sider a trend’s stay­ing power when plan­ning a bath­room re­model. “This can look like stone with­out the ad­di­tional costs of in­stal­la­tion, pur­chase price and main­te­nance,” he says, adding porce­lain tile costs slightly more than ce­ramic tile. Porce­lain faces no short­age of style ei­ther, Martinez says. Be­sides the stone look, man­u­fac­tur­ers are cre­at­ing con­tem­po­rary and clas­sic prod­uct lines in porce­lain, which doesn’t stain as do other tile types, he says. “They’re get­ting so good at (man­u­fac­tur­ing) porce­lain,” Martinez says. “That’s why it’s pop­ping right now.” McDaniel says the Tile Shop has seen in­creased de­mand for porce­lain, and the com­pany will re­lease a line of Traver­tine Ivory porce­lain tile early next year. How­ever, with stone’s clas­sic ap­peal and cer­tain glaz­ing tech­niques only pos­si­ble with ce­ramic tile, those two won’t dis­ap­pear, he says. op­tions on­line be­fore be­gin­ning a re­model to mod­ern­ize her mas­ter bath­room, which fea­tures a large cor­ner tub and shower with glass walls. She and her hus­band needed to re­place mouldy, flak­ing-be­yond-help slate tile in the shower, in­stalled be­fore they bought the house. “We have a tran­si­tional/mod­ern style for the most part, so we wanted clean lines and a bit of a spa feel,” Weiss says. “Hav­ing done a lot of re­search on­line, we de­cided on a glass and porce­lain look.” Weiss vis­ited show­rooms and con­sulted with the in-house de­signer for her con­trac­tor, Neigh­bor­hood Re­mod­el­ers in Park Ridge, Ill. Not count­ing labour, the tile ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing grout and caulk, cost US$1,775. In­stalling faux-wood tile on shower walls has re­cently grown into a pop­u­lar bath­room tile trend, ac­cord­ing to McDaniel. “The thought of hav­ing wood in­side of a wet area is a com­pletely novel idea, and home­own­ers and de­sign­ers are widely em­brac­ing it,” he says. One trend McDaniel de­bunked is the death of multi-tile pat­terns. Pat­terns of­fer a clas­sic, tra­di­tional look, he says, even if they don’t fit some home­own­ers’ mod­ern tastes. “As some home­own­ers em­brace a more con­tem­po­rary look, de­signs have be­come cleaner, with more em­pha­sis placed on the use of a sin­gle ma­te­rial through­out one or more spa­ces,” he said. “Ac­cents, if used, tend to be lim­ited to one dra­matic fo­cal point.

MARTHA STAAB / ANGIE’S LIST

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