glass

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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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!

Be All About Grout

The first step to picking out new tile is choosing a tile you like. This can be a somewhat lengthy process on its own, made infinitely easier by the fact that you can just search Merola Tile on homedepot.com.

Step two is less obvious than it might seem, and that is picking a grout.  It’s a step that can occur as an afterthought, but the grout is crucial. It’s the finishing touch in your beautifully decorated space, provides extra waterproofing, and helps lock the tiles in place.  One thing that is definitely understated when making this choice is the color. This is of massive importance- the color can totally alter the look of the tile you choose.  To give an idea of exactly how big an impact it really has, we picked a range of our products and grouted them with four different grout colors.  The results are pretty astonishing. All grout is from Custom Building Products.

Let’s start with a beloved classic: the hexagon tile. This is our Metro Hex Glossy White tile.  This look has been hugely popular in the United States for the last century.  It’s great for a home or business- simultaneously inviting and professional, you can use it in a modern application or to give a historical look to any setting.  Look at how it’s impacted by grout color:

FXLMHW_MetroHexAllGrout

Grout colors clockwise from upper left: #381 Bright White, #390 Rose Beige, #10 Antique White, #60 Charcoal

 

As you can see, the darker grout really makes the hexagon pattern pop, but the lighter selection gives it a more subtle look for applications that don’t need all the attention usually garnered by mosaics.  If you love the geometric pattern, a dark grout is best and also keeps the grout lines looking a little bit cleaner, as it does a better job of concealing dirt in areas with higher foot traffic.  We don’t generally recommend a bright white grout for a floor installation with heavy traffic, as the pure hue requires more fastidious cleaning to keep it looking bright.  The bright white is used more frequently for backsplashes or very light-traffic floors, but don’t let that deter you if that’s the look you want on your floor!  You can always seal the grout to help keep the color bright.

If you choose a tile with a mixed palette, there may be colors in it that coordinate better with your existing décor.  A meticulously chosen grout does wonders for bringing out the color you enjoy the most.  Just see how the four different grout colors work on our Tessera Piano Tundra, which is a mix of glass and natural stone pieces:

GITTPNTU_TesseraAllGrout

Grout colors clockwise from upper left: #115 Platinum, #180 Sandstone, #11 Snow White, #381 Bright White

As you can see, the tan grout emphasizes the warm shades of the natural stone, and the other grout colors seem to bring out the cooler tones in the glass pieces.  Especially take note of the two different whites- the slight difference in shade has a large impact on the tile! Grout color increases the versatility of the mosaic and your range of choices- rather than sticking to a single color that matches your décor, you can now choose something with a mixed palette and pick the most suitable grout color that will bring out the colors in the tile that you prefer.  For glass tiles (and all tiles with grout joints of 1/8” or less), we recommend unsanded grout.

 

Our Crag Subway Sunset tile, made from natural slate, is a complex piece; in addition to its many colors, it also has a natural texture that varies from tile to tile.

GDXCSWS_CragAllGrout

Grout colors clockwise from upper left: #381 Bright White, #165 Delorean Gray, #335 Winter Gray, #60 Charcoal

The different grout colors change the look considerably.  Brighter colors add definition and give it a more industrial look, but the neutral colors blend in better with the slate to lend a more free-flowing, natural aesthetic.  Personally, we think that neutrals may be the best selection for a unique tile like this one- the grout doesn’t upstage the complexity of the tile, which is always something to consider with a more pronounced color.  Obviously this is just our office consensus- do with your tile what you will!

We finish with our crystalline Tessera Subway Ice White tile. One thing that people admire about this tile is the breathtaking clarity of the glass and the pure white color that catches light in such a prismatic fashion.  Those same qualities make working with it so engaging. When it’s installed with a brighter white grout, the look is sleek and pure.  Take a look, though, at the radical change that occurs when it’s installed with a darker grout:

GDMSBIC_TesseraAllGrout

Grout color clockwise from upper left: #381 Bright White, #60 Charcoal, #180 Sandstone, #11 Snow White

The look changes so much that it appears that the photos were taken in varying lighting conditions, but they weren’t.  The ambiance changes when the color does; the difference between sterile and glittery and a little more moody rests almost entirely on the grout.  Something to keep in mind is that these tiles are back-painted, which is where they get the white color.  The grout actually winds up being reflected through the side of the glass, which is why darker grout looks more like a shadow and less like a definite line.  The photograph isn’t out of focus- that’s just how the tile plays with the light.

Hopefully this post will be helpful when you’re working on your renovation and ensures that you won’t overlook the very important grout color choice.  For some help with selection, here’s a handy guide for some of the things that may factor into your decision.  Also check the post sources for some more helpful links and information. Good luck!

Sources: Herehere, and our resident experts.

UPDATE: we set up a Pinterest board for this post. Compare the images side-by-side, take a look at the tiles on Home Depot’s website, and follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz and Facebook!