flooring

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!

Fall Colors for 2014

It’s true: in just a few days, summer is unofficially over.  While children grapple with the levity of needing to go back to school, those with jobs grapple with the levity of an entire summer going by… again.  As we approach fall, however, some of us start thinking towards our next home project: how do we make our homes fashionable and still timeless?

The answer, of course, is in the colors. Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for fall 2014 has a lot of versatile colors whose appeal remains steady through the ages:

 

Courtesy of Pantone.com

Courtesy of Pantone.com

What a beautiful array of shades! So how do you tie this selection into your home décor? There are little things you can do to pull these colors into your home. Accents are key- pillows, tablecloths, furniture, appliances, artwork, and even the occasional accent wall are just a few ways you can keep your home up-to-date.

The chairs are one of the many pieces of this kitchen that blur the line between kitchen and dining room.

Our Tessera Subway Sage, available through the Home Depot, is a deep green that would make the perfect backsplash in this crisp, clean fall color.

 

This accent wall brings joy to a sleek, modern space, keeping it from seeming sterile.

For those that want to get a little bolder, it’s worth noting that a lot of these colors have been mainstays in home décor for decades and some bring a distinctive vintage charm to a space. Check out our Penny Round Vintage Yellow in this sunny kitchen. This is a perfect shade to blend in with vibrant fall leaves or to accommodate the bright light of spring.

The Penny Round Vintage Yellow is available through the Home Depot.

The Penny Round Vintage Yellow is available through the Home Depot.

Mixing the blue and yellow may be a bit predictable, but the pops of color and chic, modern tile lend balance to this otherwise rustic kitchen:

A tile that would make this setting a little more bold and exotic would be our Metro Lantern Glossy Blue tile, pictured below.

This is available through the Home Depot along with our full range of popular lantern mosaics.

This is available through the Home Depot along with our full range of popular lantern mosaics.

Some of the home décor pairings that are surfacing from these colors are fun and original. This eclectic mix of styles comes together boldly and combines the pink shades and the royal blue in this fall’s palette:

This palette is the perfect mix of neutrals and bold colors, however, making it suitable for a range of purposes. The Aluminum shade is a versatile pick that can be understated or coupled with other shades to really make a statement. Here it is in our Concret Rombo Vigeland:

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This tile is available through the Home Depot.

The options are limitless with Pantone’s Fall 2014 color palette, and a range of versatile hues is great for the homeowner looking to apply ageless style to their space.  Whether you jazz up your home with a toaster or a tub surround, go with the wisdom of Pantone’s palette.

We’re Number One!

So this happened:

Click the photo for a more in-depth description of this product on HomeDepot.com!

Click the photo for a more in-depth description of this product on HomeDepot.com!

Merola Tile’s Attica Gris is the BEST SELLER on HomeDepot.com! We’re so excited and couldn’t be more proud. Our Attica series in general is stellar and a cost-effective and low-maintenance alternative to natural stone, and we’re so grateful to all the customers that purchased this tile and love it as much as we do!

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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Glaze Application and Dye Lots

Glazing methods have advanced as the technology has evolved.  While screen printing used to be the primary mode of transmitting the images and color onto tile, the introduction of digital imprinting has revolutionized the industry and provided boundless opportunities for patterned tile.

Even though the patterns are consistent, it’s inevitable that as different batches are produced certain factors vary slightly.  Each different manufacturing run is called a dye lot, and it refers to the tone as well as the sizing of each individual unit of tile- these factors can vary up to 10%.  Acknowledging this is important: the cartons are marked with dye lots (usually abbreviated with a T and a C for tone and caliber) and each individual order will be pulled from the same dye lot.  We advise that you keep the dye lot number handy in case you need additional tile so we can try to provide an exact match.

For reference:

  • Screen printed tile has a “frame” effect, as they are imprinted per individual tile:

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Our Westport Marron is a screen printed tile.

  • Digitally printed tile goes right to the edge and continues to other tiles. This is how wood-look tiles are able to look more realistic; the pattern varies on each tile, which helps them look more authentic.
Our Castle Antic is a digitally-printed wood look tile.

Our Castle Antic is a digitally-printed wood look tile available through the Home Depot.

When making your tile purchase, be sure to look at this detail! It’ll be helpful to tell exactly what type of pattern you’ll have.

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!