Category Archives: Tips

Why You Should Use Limestone Tiles in Your Home

Many homeowners like to use limestone as the preferred material in backsplashes, flooring, and fireplaces because it is a beautiful and classic option. It is a versatile stone that can give your home a stately and stylish look. If are you are interested in using limestone for your next remodeling project, it is important to learn about its history, characteristics, and uses.

The History of Limestone

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and mollusks. About 10% of the world’s sedimentary rocks are limestone and it is a highly used material. It has been used as a building material thousands of years ago as seen in the Pyramid of Giza and it is also a big component of concrete. Limestone has remained a popular choice of architecture due to its durability and ease of cutting.

Limestone’s Appearance And Characteristics

Limestone tile comes in a variety of beautiful colors, from classic whites to deeper colors like charcoal. With a large collection of colors, it is a great way to impress your friends and families with the natural beauty of limestone tiles. In terms of designs, because limestones are created of marine fossils, the pattern can be retained when installed or it can be completely polished for a smoother look. It is also a popular choice because of its strength, durability, and will add value to your home.

Using Limestone Tile in Your Home

Limestone floor tile can be used in your bathroom, kitchen, or living room and it will stand out due to its elegance. It can be also used in kitchen or bathroom backsplashes. However, it must be treated with proper care since it is a softer stone and are prone to scratching or chipping if applied in high-traffic areas.

Contact Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone Today

If you are looking for limestone tiles for your flooring or backsplashes, contact Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone today. We are able to remodel your bathroom using our top-notch designs. We offer an exquisite selection of tiles and stones and we are able to perform custom slab fabrication and tile installations. Call us today at 978-369-3620 for more details and we are proud to serve communities of Acton, Boxborough, Concord, Stow, and more.


Marble Stone Tile Flooring Acton MA

3 Benefits of Stone Tiles

Are you thinking of replacing your old flooring? If yes, how do you know which material is the best option for you? Thus, before making a purchase, it is important to consult a tile expert to learn more about your options.

For tiles, stone tiles might be the right choice for you and here’s why:

  • Durability: Stones like granite are very durable and adds a layer of elegance to your bathroom or kitchen. Marble, limestone, and travertine, while more porous, if sealed properly last forever.
  • Wide Variety of Designs: Stones have a large variety of designs and options and thus, they are very versatile and will compliment your home decor. You can add an insert or place the tile on a diagonal or use a basket weave pattern.
  • Increase Home Value: Whenever stones are applied, it will increase your home’s value and studies show more homeowners prefer stones than other materials.

Stone tiles are considered a long-term investment. They might be a little bit costly, however, they are well worth it in the end because of the benefits they will offer. Although stone can be colder than hardwood in the colder months, that can be easily resolved by installing radiant heat or by placing rugs on the floors. In the summer, stones will keep the space cooler. Stones are more convenient than hardwood too when installed as flooring because they are easier to clean and no need to worry about liquid spills. Stone tiles resist scratches from pets and furniture.

If you are interested in replacing your tiles or flooring, contact Upstairs Downstairs today. We are a family owned business that has been operating in Acton since 1974. Upstairs Downstairs have worked with homes across Acton, Maynard, StowBoxboroughConcord, and other areas in Boston, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Call us today and our experienced designers will help you pick out the materials and layout that are tailor-made for you.



How to Remodel a Luxury Kitchen with the Best Stone Countertops

Marble Countertop

Is it about time to remodel or create your brand-new ideal kitchen? Are you looking to turn your kitchen into a space that is luxurious and practical? When it comes to remodeling your kitchen, there are plenty of options to find the perfect stone countertops or stone flooring to create the kitchen of your dreams. Below, we’ll look at some of the best options for a stone fixture to create a beautiful kitchen.


Marble Is one of the most common stone materials you’ll see in kitchens around the world. When styling a new luxury kitchen, the range of colors, styles makes marble versatile and can be applied in many different areas of the kitchen. For example, Italian Carrara marble, used in many remarkable buildings such as the statue of David by Michelangelo provides an elegant and luxurious look for your flooring and countertops. However, we would recommend visiting a showroom like Upstairs Downstairs so you can see the actual product before you make a purchase.


With the Granite State bordering Massachusetts to the north, granite has always been an accessible yet beautiful stone for our area. Granite’s durable nature and natural colors make for a gorgeous option for your kitchen countertops. Like marble, granites flexibility can complement different cabinet styles. For example, the Typhoon Bordeaux variation of granite is applied in many glamorous kitchen countertops around the globe. Its rich palette of wine colors (giving the name: Bordeaux, a famous wine producing area of France) in addition to the pattern that twists in several directions like a typhoon have won the hearts of many homeowners.

Contact a Kitchen Remodeling Expert in Acton, MA

Consult a kitchen remodeling specialist like Upstairs Downstairs today for more luxury kitchen remodeling tips and guides. Upstairs Downstairs offers a large selection of tile, natural stone, glass, and handmade mosaics for your kitchen flooring and countertop.

Our experienced designers will also help you choose the best material selections and layout designs. Contact us now for complete bathroom remodeling, custom tile installations at 978-369-3620. You can also visit the most beautiful tile showroom in the Boston area at 6 Great Road, Route 2a Acton, MA 01720.


How to Remove Stains from Slate Tiles?


Slate is a very popular rock used for flooring and roofing. It is popular because its easy maintenance and natural color. Traditionally, it only comes in pale and gray shades and thus restricting the choices of color. However, as technology has advanced, there are many natural textures and colors to choose from. If you are looking a classic natural style, it is the flooring you’re looking for.

Maintaining slate tiles are very simple, regular dust mopping done frequently can keep it shiny for a long time. However, stains like coffee stains or tomato sauce from pasta can be spilled onto the floor by accident.

There are generally 2 methods to clean slate tile stains:

Method 1:

  1. Use heavy-duty tile & grout cleaners as  they are strong stain removers.
  2. Apply them on the stains and let them dry for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Use a brush and clean the stains.
  4. Rinse with warm water and wipe any excess liquid from the surface.

Method 2: 

  1. Use water based phosphoric acid cleaners along with water to remove any hard stains.
  2. Remove all the soap on the tile surface and follow the same procedure on other stains.

At Upstairs Downstairs, we have the largest and highest collection of slate tiles in the Greater Acton area. We also have experienced designers to help you pick the perfect tile for your flooring. Contact us at 978-462-9453 or fill out our contact form to learn more about slate tiles.

Why You Should Use Porcelain Tiles in Your Bathroom

If you’re about to remodel your bathroom, one of the most important factors to think about is the type of flooring material you should use. Sure, a shaggy carpet would feel amazing on your feet, and solid wood would look amazing with the décor you have in mind, but they’re not very practical to have in the bathroom.

The flooring material you choose needs to withstand all the steamy showers, wet towels, & bathtub splashing that occur in the bathroom on a daily basis. Keep in mind the accidents that can also occur such as a broken sink pipe, or even worse, a clogged overflowing toilet! You wouldn’t want that mess all over nice carpet or wood!

For a great looking floor that is practical, porcelain tiles are the way to go. Porcelain also comes in many styles and colors that will be sure to complement the look of your bathroom. If you have been on the fence about what flooring you should use, here are three reasons why you should choose porcelain tile over other materials:

Toughness – In houses or places with heavy bathroom use, porcelain tile will be able to withstand all the foot traffic that will come in and out over time. It will also resist all the water and moisture that is typical of a bathroom environment.

Maintenance – Porcelain tile is very easy to clean and maintain. Simply use a mild cleaner with a mop or towel to wipe up any spills. Be careful not to use steel wood pads because they will scratch the tile surface!

Versatility – In addition to being resistant to stains, water, bacteria, and odor, porcelain tiles come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes so that you can outfit any size bathroom with practicality & style!

For a free quote & more information on porcelain tiles for your bathroom, call Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone at (978) 369-3620 or visit our website at today!

Benefits of Using Ceramic Tiles

When remodeling a home, it is common choice for people to use ceramic tiles for their room flooring.  Tiles compliment the ambiance of a room with options of a variety of tile patterns, it can be custom made, and are easy to clean.   At Upstairs Downstairs we offer our clients exclusive tile selections that will fit perfectly in any project! Ceramic tiles are the most popular choice for home owners for many reasons, find out why below!

Easy to Maintain: Ceramic Tiles are known to be very low maintenance when they have their sealant applied!  They don’t need to be cleaned as often as other types of materials and when tiles are combined with grout, they are water-resistant. This is a great option to use for flooring your bathroom or kitchen where spills and water damage occurs the most!

Repairs: Ceramic tiles, like most tiles, are strong but over time they will weaken. Fortunately, the repair process for tiles are much easier than hardwood flooring repairs. The quick and easy repairs for ceramic tiles are one of the main reasons people go with it for their flooring.

Cost Effective:  If you are trying to be cost effective with your flooring options, ceramic tiles are the cheapest option compared to hardwood flooring and other flooring options.  Ceramic tiles are more attractive to home owners, cost-wise, due to its long term effects.

Design: One of the many reasons ceramic tiles are popular is due to its plethora of size and design options. Ceramic tiles give flexibility to design a room to your vision with their many ranges of size variations from a small 6” x 6” to a 24” x 24” and more.

With ceramic tile’s durability, its easy maintenance and cheap cost, ceramic tiles are the most frequently used as flooring options by many. It also has many style and size selections to fit the client’s vision without compromising the material’s quality. For more information about using ceramic tiles as your flooring option, contact Upstairs Downstairs at 978-369-3620 or use our contact form to speak to our specialist!

What Is the Right Tile for You?

The finishing touches to your new room are almost complete, all you need to do is pick the right tiles to tie the whole ambiance together. There are many things to consider when choosing the right tiles for a room and not having the right knowledge to pick and choose your tiles can prolong your process. Follow our tips to choosing the right tiles for your room below.


Ceramic & Porcelain: There to be good durability when picking tiles for your walls or floors. Professionals like Upstairs Downstairs have a PEI scale to test a tile’s resistance rating them from 1-5. Class 1 signifies the least resistance and class 5 being the most resistant.  Rooms with low foot traffic will do well with tiles that are class 2 or greater. Your hallways or kitchen where there is a lot of foot traffic it’s best to choose tiles with class 4 resistance or higher.

Natural Stone:  Natural stone is very durable and can stand against many types of resistance. Stone isn’t man made so the PEI scale doesn’t apply to these types of tiles.


When choosing tiles for your rooms, color is important to balance and compliment the rest of the room. Light colors make a room look more spacious while dark colors will add warmth to the room. For more variation, try using different shades of tiles that will blend well together. Neutral colors tiles give you flexibility to change other aspects of the room while bright colors will add character.


Glass Tiles: These types of tiles have a variety of color choices and finishes which is great for your kitchen or bathroom.

Porcelain: Porcelain is great for your kitchen or bathroom floors for its strength and no-slip grip.

Ceramic: Ceramic tiles are waterproof, easy to install, and affordable which makes it typically great for your bathroom floor.

Natural Stone: Since stone is the most durable of all the tiles, placing it in your kitchen or the bathroom would be beneficial. This is because natural stone is good with cleanups and it is slip-resistant.

As you finish your room installations, these tips should help you with choosing the right tiles for each room. At Upstairs Downstairs we offer high quality selections of tiles for our clients and our experienced designers can assist with your material selection and design layouts. Contact us at 978-462-9453 or use our contact form to learn more about our selections!

Preserving the Beauty Inside Your Home

Your home is many things. Your sanctuary, where you entertain, the gallery for your prized possessions, and much more. You’ve put time and resources you’ve put into making your home truly yours. A little effort and the right information can help protect and preserve everything you’ve done to make your home truly yours.

Protect Hardwood Flooring from Sunlight Damage

Letting the light indoors can be refreshing and beautiful. But it can, and will, take a toll on your hardwood floors and furniture. UV light assists in the breaking down of organic matter– like wood, textiles, and leather. This is good news for the outdoors, as it hastens the elimination of waste materials. Bad news for the indoors, as it turns your floors into bores, and makes your furniture look shabby.

The general strategy for preventing sunlight damage is to minimize the amount of UV light that hits your floors. Closing the drapes when no one is home is a cheap, effective, low-tech way to get this done. Alternatively, you could invest in windows made of low-e glass. This glass reduces the amount of UV light that passes through it, without blocking visible light.

Protect All Your Hard Flooring from Scratches

Any room that is furnished and has hard flooring– whether hardwood, tile, or stone slab– is at risk of accumulating scratches. Rubber footies on the bottom of your furniture may not enhance the decor. However, there are some easy ways you can protect your flooring from scratches, gouges, and scrapes.

A rug lying beneath the furniture can help protect the floor beneath it. Depending upon your aesthetic, this may or may not fit. Another option is to place felt pads beneath the feet of your furniture. These pads remain nearly completely hidden, keeping your floor open and spacious.

Keep Grout Looking Great

Grout is that slightly gritty compound between tiles. It’s there to fill the space between the tiles, eventually curing to become a permanent and integral part of the tiling itself.

Over time, grout can collect dirt, dust, and other nasty-looking particles. Fortunately, restoring grout to a bright state is fairly easy, so long as you know what not to do. In short: don’t use any harsh cleaners! Strong cleaners may sound like they’ll be more effective than milder ones, but they will damage grout, which will require a costly repair to fix.

To clean grout, use a mild household cleaner, or a mixture of water and vinegar. Coupled with some light scrubbing, this should be sufficient to remove all but the most tenacious stains. It’s really that easy, so there’s one fewer reason to let your grout lose its brightness.

Closing Out

A few simple steps can prevent premature aging, unfortunate scratches, and dusky grout. It’s definitely worth doing in order to keep your home beautiful for longer. If you’re looking for something more substantial, a bathroom remodel can do wonders. The bathroom is one of the few spaces in a home where someone can get true privacy and relax, after all.

Choosing Your Bathroom Accent Space

Remodeling your bathroom is an opportunity to really make it look the way you want it to. Whatever other considerations you have– safety, comfort, ease of maintenance– there is a way to have that space look the way you like.

One of the best ways to do this is to utilize a space on a wall or surrounding a fixture as an accent space. It will draw eyes in as it stands out from the rest of the interior.

One Shower Wall

My favorite option is to utilize a single shower wall as an accent. My reason for this is pretty simple: the shower is where I relax the most. The hot water and steam are physically soothing. Using a shower wall as the bathroom accent grants a lot of flexibility with respect to its looks. So why not leverage that into the most visually relaxing design I can?

The Bathroom Floor

Some designers are fans of using the bathroom floor as an accent. This frees up more square footage for stand-out design than any other option, which can be very rewarding. This option couples well with light-colored wall tiles and natural lighting. The “open” feel that light colors bring is enhanced by the accent with the floor.

The Sink and Vanity Fixtures

These fixtures are just asking to stand out from the rest of your bathroom. Flat walls, flat floors, and right in the middle of it all are cabinets, mirrors, lights, countertops. Add a little more panache with tile meant to stand out from the rest.

There’s no hard limit to the number of accents or how many square feet you can use for them. Finding the right places and tile combinations is a task for you and your designer. And we’re happy to help!

Upstairs Downstairs has decades of experience in the bathroom remodeling business. We pride ourselves on our performance as designers and as bathroom contractors. Get in touch for more information, and see what we can do for you. Call us at (978) 369-3620, or contact us online.

Welcome to the Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone Blog

Thank you and welcome to the brand new Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone blog. This is a new feature for us, which we hope will bring in new visitors who are interested in tile and stone design for their home kitchens or bathrooms, or wherever they’d like a beautiful custom tile mosaic.

If you are new here, you may be wondering who Upstairs Downstairs is, so here’s a short history.

Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone was first founded in 1974. Our showroom originally opened in Acton, MA, and we still call Acton home today. We offer an exquisite selection of tile, natural stone, glass and handmade mosaics. Over the past 41 years, we have developed an expertise in design, selection and installation rarely found in our industry. And throughout that time we have completed projects in homes throughout New England, including New Hampshire, Maine, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and of course right here in Massachusetts.

Our expertise extends through the entire process of custom tile projects: from design, to materials selection, to fabrication, and finally installation. Whatever your desire for custom fine tile and stone installation, Upstairs Downstairs can help you make it a reality.

Bookmark our blog to keep abreast of the latest news from Upstairs Downstairs, as well as news from the tile manufacture, design, and installation industries. You can also Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to be the first to know when a new blog is published.