Product of the Week

Product of the Week: Plank Beige

Looking for a wood look tile that stands apart from all the rest?

This is available through Home Depot.

This is available through Home Depot.

The Plank Beige porcelain floor and wall tile is a newer item, and its elaborate patchwork glaze is something truly unique and daring.  With multiple finishes all in one porcelain square, the wood look you want (and then some) is here.  With an overall beige palette, you’ll find super-realistic segments of wood finishes in varying shades of warm beige: distressed, stained, aged, or even unfinished (like plywood).  It’s seriously cool- patchwork tile is relatively common, but to have the same effect with wood? There’s nothing like it.  It’s almost a wood-look mosaic.

Another good thing about this is that every box comes with a lot of variation in the pattern. You can get creative with how you lay it out, personalizing it exactly to what you want.  That kind of flexibility is difficult to find with wood-look tile, but you can get it here. Here’s a sample pattern set up by our photographer:

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The Plank Beige patterns.

It’s durable enough for an outdoor setting and it’s slip-resistant, which means it’d be fantastic for a rustic poolside look- the contrast that wood floors provide to the cool blues of pool water invariably look great, and this would be no exception. Look at an example of wood by a pool in this tranquil setting:

 

The detail is also incredible.  Each finish is meticulously emulated down to the finest detail, including the texture.

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Detail of the Plank Beige, a beautifully ornate wood look tile.

This captivating and unique wood mix will definitely turn heads.  Take a look and fall in love with this realistically rustic tile!

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Product of the Week: Crag Subway Sunset

Bringing nature home is a lot easier than you’d think.  Our Crag Subway Sunset is a subway mosaic made with natural slate.  Though the word “slate” is associated with deep gray and black (it used to be used as chalk boards!), it’s far from a plain stone tile- its palette of earth tones, rust, gray, and blue is full of character and adds a rural touch anywhere.

The Crag Subway Sunset is available through the Home Depot

The Crag Subway Sunset is available through the Home Depot

Slate has been used as a building material for centuries- the first recorded instance of its use as a roofing material was in 1287.  Time has proven it to hold up well against the elements, keep its dramatic natural beauty and its hardy endurance over time.

This angled shot shows some of the intricate coloring of natural slate.

This angled shot shows some of the intricate coloring of natural slate.

Something that makes it great for a tile is that it breaks smoothly. It’s a foliated metamorphic rock, meaning it slices in a clean, flat plane when struck by the right instruments. Its fine grain makes it highly slip-resistant and ADA-compliant.
This look is suitable for a lot of different spaces. Check out some applications of slate tile in a modern setting:

I love this because while you’d think a black tile would dominate a space, it doesn’t do that at all. The sunlight and light blue tile temper it beautifully.

 

Look at how this beautiful, multi-colored tile works with just about any finish! The dark wood pulls from some of the rich tones in the stone, and the metal appliances and fixtures complement the lighter gray slate, pulling everything together wonderfully.

 

And of course its rugged appeal is the perfect fit for an all-natural feel. Check it out in this cabin:

 

Here’s a rustic farmhouse-style kitchen that uses the colors and stone very well:

It’s a warm and welcoming look, with a rugged inviting touch. There’s no mistaking that timeless subway shape, but it breaks the mold with its organic appeal, which is anything but urban.

For its versatility, breathtaking color palette, and hardiness, the Crag Subway Sunset is this week’s Tile of the Week.  Check it out on HomeDepot.com!

Sources: here, here, and our resident experts.

Product of the Week: Avila Arenal Decor

Last week’s Product of the Week was the Revival series, a collection of tiles that looks great laid out in patterns or mixed together. For fans of the charming shuffled look, we recommend the Avila Arenal Décor, which is a ceramic floor and wall tile that has the look of a mosaic of cement tiles without having to meticulously lay down each piece.  Instead, one 12-1/2” x 12-1/2” square takes care of that for you:

The Avila Arenal Decor is available through the Home Depot.

The Avila Arenal Decor is available through the Home Depot.

The Avila Arenal Décor is a ceramic tile with a rustic look that recalls European floral and Islamic patterns.  It has a slightly glossy sheen and a texture that makes the look more distinctive- the gloss finish accents certain parts of the tile, with other parts in a matte sheen.  Even though it looks like a mix of individual tiles, it’s one square piece with a unique glaze encompassing a range of colors and patterns. This is ceramic, so it’s worth noting that while it’ll look great outside in milder climates, it’s not frost resistant- so if you’re in a place that sees extreme weather, this is not the tile for your patio or outdoor space, but it’s great in most indoor residential applications!

This angled shot shows the varying finishes on the tile.

This angled shot shows the varying finishes on the tile. Taken with my cell phone, so apologies for any quality issues!

As previously discussed, the encaustic tile collage is definitely back in style, which is why this is so great. That look works in so many settings. Check it out in this contemporary bathroom:

By keeping the rest of the space low-key, the focus can be on the colors and patterns of the floor.   If you want the pattern to be the center of attention without taking up the entire space, you can always frame it with a more understated piece. It works here, with Avila Cotto, the field tile complementing our product of the week: FPM12ARD_UPC_AvilaArenalDecor_RmScene   Here is a similar layout on Houzz:

If you’re looking to try the same effect with our product of the week, the Avila Cotto is the field tile meant to coordinate with it.  It’s quite a versatile piece, with its rustic, worn look. It’s great for anyone wanting to add a subtly natural touch into their space. It’ll definitely add personality if you pair it up with a tile that looks like it could have been plucked right off of the same patio in Spain!

The Avila Cotto is available through the Home Depot.

The Avila Cotto is available through the Home Depot.

For its creative mix of finishes, range of patterns and mosaic look without being half as time-consuming as putting one together, the Avila Arenal Décor is our product of the week. Take a look at this tile, and the other pieces in the collection, over at the Home Depot website.

 

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Product of the Week: Revival Series

Something surging in popularity lately is cement tiles with a heavy European influence.  Extra points if the color is a bit subdued to imitate aged, slightly faded tile from another era.  The range is captivating. The patterns pull from anywhere from encaustic Spanish tile or the geometric hallmarks of midcentury décor.

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Though these tiles often have distinctive patterns, it’s becoming more and more common to mismatch them, creating an accent wall or a floor that’s 100% unique to your home.

Click to see this series on HomeDepot.com

Click to see this series on HomeDepot.com

 

Our Revival series (pictured) is a favorite.  Its rich, warm golden shade is balanced by a cool blue-gray, arranged in floral and geometric patterns that are a true throwback to European artisanal tiles. For its diversity and timeless charm, it’s this week’s Product of the Week.

Something fun about these pieces is that the patterns are so unique that it’s easy to mix and match, but they look great arranged in their respective patterns too.  Look at the way this tile fits in with this rustic kitchen without the pattern overwhelming the space:

 

 

Another product of ours, the Cementi Quatro Trab Centro, looks fantastic when laid out in its pattern.  It has potential to seem busy, but breaking the repetitive patterns with wood planks prevents that from happening and adds a rustic touch to this installation.

The Cementi Quatro series is available through the Home Depot.

The Cementi Quatro series is available through the Home Depot.

Another perk of this tile is that it’s just as individualistic and interesting as its cement or encaustic predecessors, but with a more appealing price tag. The 7-3/4” by 7-3/4” Revival pieces are ceramic and $1.97 each from the Home Depot. Comparable pricing of actual cement tile from one website showed $6.90 per 8”x8” piece.  If you think that may be due to durability or wear resistance, consider this: the PEI rating for the Revival series is high, meaning that the glaze is extremely resistant to wear.  Ceramic is also considerably lighter in weight, making it more suitable for a wall than heavy cement.  It is also frequently necessary to re-seal cement in order to keep it relatively slip resistant.  This tile is already marginally slip resistant, enough to stand up to standard residential use, so there’s no need to re-seal it.

Its utilitarian nature and fantastic balance of modern patterns and artisan arrangements make the Revival series our product of the week.  Special order it from the Home Depot for your next home renovation!

Curious about the origins of these distinctly European tiles? Sign up for email updates from the Merola Tile blog. A brief primer is coming up soon!

Sources: Here, here, and our resident experts.

To see more photos of this product and our other Products of the Week, go check out our Product of the Week Pinterest Board!

Product of the Week: Tessera Alaskan View

Tiles of mixed textures and finishes have always been popular, but on glass tiles the light plays in such a way that the variety truly pops.  These variations are what make glass mosaic tile so much fun: you really can get any look you want by getting the right colors, choosing the right texture, and placing them in the right light.

Our Tessera Alaskan View is proof positive of that.  Shades of ice blue and deeper blue complement each other while the various finishes add dimension. Just in one sheet, you’ll find frosted glass, smooth glass, and glass rippled like drops of water.  Bright white matte tumbled stone throws a snowy element into the mix, accomplishing a chilly, soothing look.

I took this with my cell phone to give an idea of the textures:

The ripples look like droplets of water. Love them!

The ripples look like droplets of water. How cool is that?

And here’s a professional photo to reflect the wonderful color variety in this mesh-mounted mosaic:

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The variety of color and finishes makes the Alaskan View a great choice.

If you’re hesitant to use such a seemingly bold tile in your space, consider the palette: it’s been discussed before that blue and shades of it are versatile and soothing, and the Alaskan View is no exception.

Here it is as an accent in a shower niche.  It breaks up the pattern in the wall and works really well with the glass wall enclosing the shower!

 

If you’re looking for a large expanse of glittery, textured beauty, take a look at some examples.

This tile is quite similar to the Alaskan View, and when used as a main wall installation, the other fixtures (plumbing, cabinetry, et cetera) either tie into the tile or directly contrast it. The dark cabinets look so striking in this bathroom!

And let’s not forget the fantastic potential it has as an accent. Though this is not the Alaskan View, it has a similar palette. It’s in an unusual location (the face of the stairs) which is why it’s so captivating- it’s difficult to realize what a focal point stairs are until they look absolutely marvelous, like these do. The Alaskan View could certainly fill this purpose!

Finally, they make a lovely accent for a pool.  The intensified light coming off of the water really unlocks the mosaic’s potential with how it works with light.  Here is a customer-submitted photo of an installation:
That glittery accent underneath the edge of the pool? That's Alaskan View!

That glittery accent underneath the edge of the pool? That’s Alaskan View!

Its chilly palette and sparkly qualities add up to a captivating mosaic, and for that, the Tessera Alaskan View is this week’s Product of the Week. Use it as an accent or a main focal point, and wow everyone who passes by!

Product of the Week: Attica Beige

Flagstone is a classic look for patios and other outdoor spaces.  It has the rugged feel of natural stone but has been sufficiently tamed to function as a usable surface for a rustic space.  It’s a tasteful and welcoming look.

There are, however, down sides to using actual flagstone. Laying them requires patience- the stones are natural and thus all different shapes and sizes, so arranging them to fit together can take a while. This guide from the DIY network refers to it, quite rightly, as “basically like assembling a big, heavy puzzle.”  Another challenge is making sure all the stones are even, since it only takes one that’s lower or higher than the rest to tilt a table or trip someone.  Finally, there’s the price tag: it tends to be a bit more expensive than other materials.

Enter our Attica Beige tile, which gives you the look of flagstone without the fuss.  It’s a ceramic floor and wall tile inspired by flagstone that with a high PEI rating for work in residential and high-traffic commercial settings. If you’re concerned about it looking natural, the edges of the tile are wavy so they fit together in a way that’s a little less restrictive than regular tile squares:

 

Attica Beige is available through the Home Depot.

Attica Beige is available through the Home Depot.

It’s a ceramic tile, which means it’s perfectly suitable for a patio in milder climates but not great for outdoor installation in places that see extreme cold. Just look at the way flagstone looks outside. It definitely lends a rustic look to this classic home style:

It also looks great installed indoors, pulling elements of nature into your home. Here’s an actual customer application of the Attica Beige. Look how well it lightens up the room and complements the beautiful view outside! It’ll look great through all seasons: it’ll make a lovely accompaniment to the autumn leaves, and will certainly bring a warm look to the room in the dead of winter. Altogether, this is a great application for this product!

This is a customer installation of Attica Beige, available at the Home Depot.

A customer installation of Attica Beige.

A customer installation of Attica Beige.

For having all the durability, quality, and versatility of a ceramic tile, and for providing a fantastic low-cost, easier-to-install flagstone alternative to homes all over America, the Attica Beige is our product of the week.

Product of the Week: Stainless Steel Penny Rounds

We all have that one room in our homes that just needs a certain something.  It’s not really that the space around it isn’t nice, but perhaps it just isn’t quite as you envisioned it. Not enough character? Not bright enough? Lacking some sparkle that you need in your life? Look no further: stainless steel penny round tile is here.

The Merola Alloy Penny Round, available through the Home Depot

The Merola Alloy Penny Round, available through the Home Depot

Penny rounds are a classic shape. They came about, much like subway tiles, around the Industrial Revolution in an attempt to keep everything more hygienic (or at least give the appearance that it was) as indoor restrooms became more commonplace.  As tile evolved in terms of shape and aesthetic, penny rounds became a little less popular but never fell out of favor- much like subways or hexagons, they are a timeless look with vintage origins.

Fast-forward to the past five years: the surge in demand for metallic tile has resulted in inspired and artistic mosaics that have really accented the versatility of the material.  Check it out when mixed with other textures:

The Tessera Square Alpine tile is available through the Home Depot.

The Tessera Square Alpine tile is available through the Home Depot.

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A closer look at the Tessera Square Alpine.

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The Fusion Linear Lorraine, a glass and metal mix mosaic tile available through the Home Depot.

However, in the face of all this innovation, ageless looks stand tall: stainless steel penny rounds are tremendously popular. The addition of a glittery sheen to such a versatile look brings this vintage look into the 21st century.

That doesn’t mean it has to go in with other futuristic looks, though. It works with a range of styles. Check out this stainless steel penny round backsplash in this craftsman kitchen:

It coordinates beautifully with the dark colors of the island and the cream cabinets on the wall. Not to mention the fabulous way it contrasts with the copper pots- brilliant!
When paired with polished granite, the effect intensifies. Look at the reflective properties that come together here. This installation is sure to brighten the room:

Just because it’s an up-to-date look doesn’t mean it can’t work anymore with its vintage brethren! Here it is as an accent with some vintage-look subway tile. It acts as a medium-tone between the bright white tile and the dark walls and black accents, accomplishing an effortlessly clean and coordinated look.

As versatile as the original penny rounds that surfaced in the 1900s, stainless steel penny rounds are a perfect example of teaching an old dog new tricks. By adding the stainless steel caps, the look is brought up-to-date while retaining its classic allure.

Curious as to how to care for metal-topped tile? Stay tuned for a post dedicated tips for cutting, installing and caring for your new look!