glass mosaics

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:

ConcretLouvre

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.

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Add a Dash of Backsplash

Do you think your bathroom or kitchen is missing a certain something? Are you looking for a relatively easy, cost-effective way to jazz it up? Perhaps we’re biased, but a backsplash is a great answer.  It doesn’t just add color- it totally shifts the focal point of the room, making it feel like an entirely new space.  It’s also possible to find product to suit any décor style.  If your taste leans towards the dramatic, a glass blend mosaic would probably do the trick to add the perfect splash of flair:

This customer-submitted photo of her installation of our Tessera Piano Nassau (available through the Home Depot) is proof that a bold mosaic doesn’t necessarily have to dominate the entire look of the room.

However, if you tend to appreciate a little more subtlety, there are a number of more subdued looks up for grabs, even in glass mosaics.  Take a look at this image of our Tessera Subway Blue Smoke: it’s not intrusive, but it adds a welcoming splash of color.

 

The Tessera Blue Smoke installed in a kitchen.

This is available through the Home Depot.

 

Convinced that a backsplash is your ideal solution to a lackluster kitchen? Fantastic! Here are some tips on how to plan one out using typical measurements and points of reference.

How do I Plan a Backsplash?

Start by visualizing it.  It’s usually best to center the backsplash behind a sink or a cooktop- there must be a focal point.  Once the focal point has been determined, use graph paper to plan around outlets, cabinets, windows and appliances.  Though the backsplash should cater to your specific requirements (factor in the practical uses of your kitchen, any storage needs, and physical capabilities of those using the space), the average backsplash is about 15”-18” high- the height from the counter to the base of the upper wall cabinets.

 

How do I calculate square footage?

When installing tile, you will be measuring the required coverage using square feet. This entails measuring the length of the space (in feet) and multiplying it by the width (in feet).  If you are tiling more than one room and require a combined number of square feet, simply measure the square footage of each space individually and add them together.

How much overage should I purchase for my project?

We highly recommend purchasing 10% more tile than the exact calculated square footage. This is to account for cuts, possible breakage, and any future repairs needed- if you need to touch it up later on, the tile may not be available, or what we have may not match your current installation.

When purchasing your tile, please make sure to note the square footage per box or sheet.  They aren’t usually split into an even number of square feet so it’s important to know how much you need.

To calculate your total (including recommended overage), follow this example:

If your backsplash area is 10 feet x 3 feet, you have 30 square feet that need coverage. Move the decimal point over once to the left- that’s 3, which is 10% of 30- and then add that number onto the square footage. You would need to purchase 33 square feet of tile in order to meet your requirements plus to recommended overage.

An advantage to having some leftover tile… maybe you can make your backsplash a little bigger than originally planned! Take a look at this one, which goes all the way to the ceiling:

 

If you’re looking for some stainless steel tile, we have a variety of items that make fantastic backsplashes! Check out our whole selection here.

If you have any questions, as always, get in touch! Don’t forget: take a photo of your beautiful installation of our products and send it over to photos @ merolatile.com- you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card!

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Summer Fun

Summer is in full swing, and we’re happy to bring you some of our favorite images from the home décor set.  A hot day is made infinitely better when you jump into a pool… an experience made even better when the pool is luxurious and beautifully tiled!

This is a customer-submitted photo of our Modena Cobalt Blue tile installed in their pool. It’s a classic look!

 

This is available through the Home Depot.

This is available through the Home Depot.

 

If you’re looking for something a little bohemian, this is very similar to our Coppa Brown Gold and the way it plays off of the shade of the pool water is incredible.

This tile is available through the Home Depot.

This tile is available through the Home Depot.  Photo from Pinterest.

Here’s a way an installer has used tile to make the pool space lush, verdant, and beautiful. This is comparable to our Resort Palm Green tile:

Photo from CasaSugar.com

The Resort Palm Green is available through Home Depot. Photo from CasaSugar.com.

We have a whole Pinterest dedicated to hanging out all summer, and it’s perfect when you’re looking forward to your weekend. Take a look here and give us a follow!  Happy Friday!

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:

SONY DSC

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: 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.

SONY DSC

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!

Product of the Week: Tessera Subway Blue Smoke

You don’t need a college-level fine arts education to know that blue is one of the most relaxing colors. If you didn’t learn that in high school art class, you probably know instinctively: there’s something about a space swathed in blue that’s soothing and safe.  This knowledge has been used time and time again by designers and decorators looking to create a welcoming atmosphere for the home or workplace.

To that end, check out our Tessera Blue Smoke, which is a foil-backed 3” x 6” glass subway tile.  It’s a lovely gray-blue color that definitely subscribes to the relaxing blue ideology:

The Tessera Blue Smoke installed in a kitchen.

The Tessera Blue Smoke installed in a kitchen.

A quick look through Houzz proves that blue is a classic color staple that’s also incredibly versatile.

Here it is in a super-sleek modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances.  With just an ordinary white wall, this may have been a little too industrial for some- but adding the glass tile was a brilliant way to make it more personal:

What’s interesting is that the designer confirmed it’s actually a green-hued tile, which shows how adaptable glass tile can be- it definitely has a washed out bluish tinge in the photo because of how the light is bouncing off of it, the appliances, and the countertops. Overall, a modern marvel without being too modern.

Here’s a strikingly similar tile in a contemporary kitchen.  It’s a great way to break up the light colors and perfectly complements the grays.

If the color is just a touch off from what you had in mind, it’s worth noting that this is a glass tile. That means the grout will dramatically change the look (more on that here) and so will the lighting.  So if you like the color but don’t necessarily love it, try taking a sample home and seeing how it looks in different light and with different color grout- the effort is 100% worth it once you get exactly the shade you were looking for. See how the grout changes this one?

This is an unusual combination of natural stone elements paired with the glass mosaic subway. It’s a totally unique installation and the resulting effect is a vague feeling of being in an underwater cave. Altogether, a very inventive application!

And then finally, here’s an installation around a fireplace. Picture a bright orange fire in there- the contrast would be magnificent and probably match the couches. It’s an interesting idea- coordinate your décor not just with the furniture, but with the fire!

For its flexible beauty and range of application, the Tessera Blue Smoke (and the looks it can achieve) is the product of the week.  Order a sample here!

 

 

Quick Reference Installation Guide

Need some quick pointers but don’t feel like digging through the great wide Internet? Here are some concise tips covering everything from prep to post-installation maintenance.  The tips provided above are suggested guidelines and do not imply warranty.

Our Galan Iris series.

Our Galan Iris series, available through HomeDepot.com.

Tools: Have the right tools and installation products before you begin your mosaic tile installation.  Some of the supplies you may need are a wet saw, tile nippers, trowels, sponges, grout, tile spacers, thinset, gloves, and a few buckets.

Thinset: Be sure to select the correct type of adhesive or thinset suitable for your installation.  Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer of your chosen adhesive.

Cutting Tile: If you need to cut the tile, use tile nippers, tile cutter, or a diamond-tipped wet saw to cut it to a desired size.  Not all cutting tools are suitable for every purpose; please read on for specifics about cutting stainless steel and metal mosaics.

Mesh Backing: Our mosaic tiles have a mesh backing that ensures appropriate bonding during installation.  For optimal performance, avoid exposing the mesh to excessive moisture before installation, which could result in the tiles falling off the mesh backing. For this reason, it may be beneficial to remove the tile from the mesh and cut them individually with tile cutters or nippers rather than with a wet saw.

Stainless Steel and Aluminum Mosaics: You can prevent scratches on these surfaces by using a clean sponge, keeping the protective cover on and applying non-sanded grout during installation. If necessary, cut this tile from the rear with a diamond-tipped wet saw to prevent uneven edges.  Cut edges can then be treated and smoothed with fine sandpaper or a metal file.

Our Meta Steel Hex tile, available on HomeDepot.com

Our Meta Hex stainless steel tile, available on HomeDepot.com.

Grout Selection: Non-sanded grout is recommended for wall applications, products with glass or metal finishes, and installations with a grout joint less than 1/8”.  Sanded grout is recommended for most floor applications and most installations with a grout joint more than 1/8”.

Grout Cleanup: With a dry, lint-free cloth, remove excess grout from the surface of the tile.  Dampen a sponge with warm water and continue to clean grout off of the tile.  Once it appears to be clean, wipe it down again with a fresh damp sponge to remove any grout film. After about 15 minutes, buff the tile with a soft cloth.

Maintenance: The best way to keep your tile looking fresh and new is to engage in regular upkeep.  Keeping sandy dirt (especially from shoes) away from your tile is the best way to protect the surface.  We recommend sweeping daily and using warm soapy water for regular cleaning. Non-acidic and non-abrasive cleansers can also be used for spot cleaning.