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.

Durability

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.

Colors

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.

Locations

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.

3 Questions for Striking a Balance in Your Bathroom Remodel

If you’ve decided to remodel your bathroom, there are important questions to answer before even the first tile is pried up from the floor. A great place to start are two very general considerations:

  • How do I want this room laid out?
  • How do I want this room to look?

Both of these questions are ultimately limited by your budget and experience with bathroom design. Here are some things to consider when designing your dream bathroom.

  • Do I want to move anything?
    Moving bathroom fixtures means running extra pipe to the new location, sometimes at a premium. This added expense can take a sizable chunk out of your budget, depending on how significant your rearrangement is. If you install fixtures that use a higher flow of water– rainfall shower heads, for instance– you may need to replace your pipes with higher-volume pipes to accommodate the increased flow. Keep stock of how much you want to modify the existing layout of your bathroom, and prioritize what matters most to you.

 

  • What materials do I want to use?
    There is a wide variety of materials available for every major component of a bathroom. From the floors to the walls, to countertops, cabinets, and shower doors, everything you want to customize can be. Knowing the materials that best fit your aesthetic vision and provide the highest functionality at the best price point will point you to your final selections.

 

  • What changes matter most to me?
    A bathroom remodel can sometimes stray outside of the project budget. In those cases, planning becomes a process of give and take. Determining what matters most to you, in terms of comfort, function, aesthetics, and amenities, will help you make decisions as the project goes on.

 

Remodeling an entire room of your home is no easy task. A bathroom brings its own special considerations, like humidity, ventilation, water flow, safety, and aesthetics. The utility of tile brings with it the opportunity for extraordinary beauty built into the walls themselves. Making the most of your bathroom may seem like a daunting task when the details are added up.

An expert designer can be well worth investment. Creating a clear plan and following it through duration of the project minimizes costs, so you can get the most out of your budget. Upstairs Downstairs has over 40 years experience designing bathrooms for exquisite beauty and unsurpassed utility. If you are considering remodeling your bathroom, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call us at (978) 369-3620, or have us get in touch with you by filling out the contact form on the right of the page.

Give Your Home a Facelift for the New Year

2015 is about to end, and 2016 will be here to replace it. A new year full of new possibilities, and an opportunity for rejuvenation– for you and your home. Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone is here to help.

If you’re considering making 2016 different from any year before it, home is a perfect place to start. What place is closer to your life, and has more of an influence on your private life than your home? Remodel your kitchen, renovate your bathroom, or customize your living space for an exciting new look.

Rejuvenate your kitchen with a custom backsplash, tile floor, or new countertops. Revive your bathroom with a custom tile design for a fresher, brighter look. Or add a beautiful mosaic to a living room or entryway, for an impressive welcoming display every time you (or your guests) walk through the door.

Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone are experts in all custom tile design and installation applications. From start to finish, we can help you turn your home into your personalized vision.

Take the first step to a fresh, new home for the new year. Call Upstairs Downstairs at (978) 369-3620, email us at sales@updowntile.com, or get in touch online via the contact form on the right. We’ll help you make 2016 a truly new year.

See Our Beautiful Custom Tile & Stone Photo Gallery

Upstairs Downstairs has over 40 years of experience and expertise in designing, fabricating, and installing custom tile and stone fixtures, mosaics, and countertops in New England. And we’ve taken plenty of photos to document our designs and materials– all viewable via our online gallery.

Whether you’re looking for a mosaic for your home, new countertops for your kitchen, or new artistic tile for your bathrooms, our expert designers can meet your needs. We will help guide you through the process, from initial concepts to materials selection, to final installation.

Learn more about Upstairs Downstairs Fine Tile & Stone on our website: www.updowntile.com.

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.