Elevate Your Shower Experience: The Art of Bathroom Niches and Ledges

Elevate Your Shower Experience: The Art of Bathroom Niches and Ledges

Elevate Your Shower Experience

The Art of Bathroom Niches and Ledges

You step into the shower after a long day, ready to wash away the day’s stress. But, instead of fumbling around for your shampoo or knocking over half-empty bottles, everything you need is right there, within arm’s reach. That’s the magic of well-designed bathroom niches and ledges – the unsung heroes of a truly blissful shower experience.

In this exploration, we’re unraveling the secrets behind turning your shower space into a haven of convenience and style. We’re not talking about just shelves; we’re diving into the art of crafting the perfect nook for your essentials. So, grab a towel and get ready to discover how these small, thoughtful details can make a big splash in your daily routine.

What is a Shower Niche?

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A shower niche is a purposefully designed, recessed shelf or compartment built into the wall of a shower or bath enclosure. Its primary function is to provide a convenient and organized space for storing bath products such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, and other toiletries. Shower niches are crafted to be seamlessly integrated into the wall, offering a sleek and practical solution to keep your shower essentials within easy reach.

These niches are typically installed during the construction or remodeling phase of a bathroom. They can be customized to suit personal preferences regarding size, height, and location within the shower space. The idea is to enhance the overall functionality of the shower area while maintaining a clean and uncluttered appearance.

Labels and Dispensers: Simplifying the Search

Ever been half-asleep in the morning, desperately trying to find the shampoo while the shower water turns colder by the second? We’ve all been there. This is where labels and dispensers come in. They’re like the trusty sidekicks in a quest for the perfect shower, making sure you not only find what you need but also do it with a touch of flair.

Labels are like the nametags at a party; they introduce each product with a clear identity. No more accidental face wash in your hair – labels are the superheroes that save you from those early morning mix-ups, making your shower experience smoother and a tad more organized.

Dispensers take the convenience game up a notch. Ever tried opening a shampoo bottle with wet hands? It’s like trying to wrestle an octopus. Dispensers are the sleek solution to this daily struggle. A simple press, and voila! It’s like having a personal assistant in your shower, making the whole process smoother, quicker, and a lot more enjoyable.

Photo by Curology on Unsplash

Beyond Shampoo: Types of Bathroom Niches

Diving into the world of bathroom niches reveals a spectrum of options that go beyond mere functionality, offering a touch of personalization to your shower space. Tiled niches, in particular, come in three variations, each with its own set of characteristics and considerations:

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Custom Tiled Shower Niche

This niche type involves constructing a framed box between wall studs, covering it with tile backer board, waterproofing, and finally, tiling. While it may be the most costly and time-consuming option, it offers the flexibility of being customized to any size. Despite the challenges, the end result is a niche tailored precisely to your needs, making it a worthy investment for those seeking a bespoke touch in their shower space

Custom Horizontal Tiled Shower Niche

For those envisioning a horizontally oriented niche spanning two or more stud bays, the custom horizontal tiled shower niche is the answer. However, this design requires cutting away sections of wall studs, demanding structural reinforcement during construction. While it shares the cost and time challenges of its custom vertical counterpart, the horizontal niche adds a unique design element, making a statement in your shower space.

Prefab Niche, or Preformed Shower Niche

If simplicity and efficiency top your priority list, the prefab niche is a game-changer. Available in plastic, foam board, or stainless steel, these preformed niches are designed to be easily installed and waterproofed. While they come in standard sizes, their hassle-free installation makes them an attractive option for those seeking a functional and stylish niche without the complexities of custom construction.

5 Most Popular Bathroom Niche Designs for 2023

As we step into the design landscape of 2023, bathroom niches are evolving into stylish focal points that seamlessly blend form with function. Here are the top five bathroom niche designs that promise to dominate the trends this year:

Minimalist Alcove Niches

Embracing the “less is more” philosophy, minimalist alcove niches are characterized by clean lines and uncluttered surfaces. These niches are seamlessly integrated into the shower space, offering a sleek and modern look. The simplicity of the design allows for easy customization, making it a favorite for those seeking a timeless and understated aesthetic.

Mosaic Accent Niches

Elevating the artistry of bathroom design, mosaic accent niches are capturing attention with their intricate patterns and vibrant color schemes. These niches act as artistic focal points within the shower, incorporating mosaic tiles that create a visually stunning display. From geometric designs to nature-inspired motifs, the possibilities are as diverse as your imagination.

Open Shelf Niches

Breaking away from traditional enclosed niches, open-shelf designs are gaining popularity for their accessibility and decorative appeal. These niches feature exposed shelves that not only provide easy access to products but also offer a platform for displaying decorative items like succulents, candles, or stylish toiletry containers. It’s a perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics.

Niche with Integrated Lighting

Infusing a touch of luxury and practicality, niches with integrated lighting are making waves in 2023. These niches incorporate built-in LED lights strategically placed to illuminate the products within. The subtle glow not only enhances visibility but also adds a warm ambiance to the shower space, transforming it into a soothing retreat.

Recessed Niche Bench

Blurring the lines between form and function, recessed niche benches are redefining shower seating. These niches are designed to seamlessly blend with the shower walls while providing a functional bench for a spa-like experience. It’s a perfect solution for those who want to combine comfort and style in their bathing sanctuary.

Ledges: Elevating Bathroom Storage and Style

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In the realm of bathroom design, ledges are horizontal platforms that serve as versatile storage and display spaces. These elevated surfaces can be mounted on walls or integrated into existing structures, offering a practical solution to organize essentials while adding a touch of style to your bathing space.

Why You Should Have a Ledger in your Bathroom

  • Decorative Displays: These platforms offer an opportunity to showcase decorative items, adding a personalized touch to your bathroom and enhancing its overall aesthetic.
  • Functional Storage: Ledges serve as functional storage solutions for frequently used items like towels, toiletries, or grooming essentials, keeping them within easy reach.
  • Versatility: From floating ledges to multi-level designs, the versatility of ledges allows for creative and customizable storage solutions tailored to your preferences.
  • Integration with Niches: Ledges can seamlessly integrate with bathroom niches, enhancing both storage and display options within shower or bath areas.



In the simplicity of a well-placed niche, there’s a subtle luxury – the luxury of not having to search for your shampoo or soap, the luxury of a shower that understands your needs. And those ledges? They’re not just shelves; they’re storytellers displaying your favorite scents, plants, or perhaps a good book.

So, the takeaway? Your bathroom is more than tiles and fixtures; it’s your personal sanctuary. It’s where convenience meets style, where niches and ledges play the role of silent architects, shaping a space that reflects you. As you step into your next shower, let it be a reminder – you’ve created a haven, a place that’s uniquely and wonderfully yours.

1. What is the best niche for in the shower?

A shower niche can store various items, including shampoo and conditioner, body wash and soap, razors and shaving cream, sponges, and washcloths.

2. What are the disadvantages of shower niche

Shower niches can be costly to install, take up space in the shower, and require regular cleaning to prevent mold and mildew buildup

3. How do I choose a shower niche?

Choose a shower niche that is the right size for your shower and needs, made from durable and water-resistant material, and has a shape that complements your shower design.

4. What is the difference between a shower ledge and a niche?

A shower ledge is a small shelf typically installed at the bottom of the shower for storing soap and shampoo, while a shower niche is a recessed shelf built into the shower wall for storing larger items.

5. What is the difference between a shower ledge and a niche?

Shower ledges are smaller and shallower than niches, typically installed at the bottom of the shower, while niches can be installed at any height.

The Definitive Guide To Tile Patterns

The Definitive Guide To Tile Patterns

The Definitive Guide To Tile Patterns

Learn Your Tile Pattern Options And How To Go About Choosing The Pattern That Works Best For You

Tile patterns vary considerably, and you’ll have no lack of options from which to choose. If you аrе in the dark regarding those options, take a look at the questions and the list we’ve created below. Once your tile project is complete, remember it’s most likely going to be around a long time, so take your time and seek the opinion of others, especially professionals.

Experienced Tile Layers will have seen an infinite amount of tile projects if they’ve been around a while. Their advice will help you make your final choice. It’s one thing to imagine whatever area you are tiling completely finished, and quite another to talk with someone who has seen many! What begins in your imagination will be influenced significantly by the reality you create in choosing one tile pattern over another.

There аrе a million and оnе littlе mistakes a beginner саn make when dealing with tilе раttеrnѕ. But there are a few quеѕtiоnѕ уоu саn аѕk уоurѕеlf to hеlр guide уоu and аvоid mоѕt of thеm. Kеер thеѕе three ѕimрlе quеѕtiоnѕ in mind when researching to find the tilе раttеrn that works for you. Answering them will save you time and aggravation, but also will keep you within your budget!

  1. Are mу tiles thе right ѕizе? Choosing оn thе wrong ѕizе tiles iѕ еаѕilу оnе оf thе most соmmоn miѕtаkеѕ mаdе whеn dеаling with tilе раttеrnѕ. Mаnу реорlе purchase tilеѕ without thе help оr аdviсе оf a рrоfеѕѕiоnаl. We don’t recommend going solo on this. It’s too easy to simply buy thе wrоng size tile for the ѕрасе you’re working with.

    Well-intentioned people buу tiles thаt are too ѕmаll or tоо lаrgе fоr thе space оr rооm thеу аrе tiling. Subsequently, thеir tilе раttеrn will nоt lооk or hаvе the effect that it should. Thе ѕizе оf thе tilе uѕеd hamаkеѕs a huge imрасt on how a rооm is реrсеivеd in the end. If уоu uѕе tilеѕ that аrе too big, your rооm will lооk too ѕmаll. On thе оthеr hаnd, if уоu use tiles that are too small, уоu саn make your rооm appear too big. Looking objectively аt уоur space and deciding еxасtlу whаt you aim to accomplish will hеlр уоu answer this quеѕtiоn соrrесtlу.

  2. Are my wаllѕ ѕtrаight? For some reason, the vаѕt mаjоritу of home owners аlwауѕ seem tо think thаt the walls in thеir hоmе are perfectly straight and ѕquаrе. Sо much ѕо, thаt thiѕ iѕ a quеѕtiоn thаt mоѕt DIY hоmе оwnеrѕ never even соnѕidеr, let аlоnе аѕk. It iѕ асtuаllу muсh mоrе соmmоn for walls not tо be straight and ѕquаrе. Thiѕ саn bе duе tо many rеаѕоnѕ, such as wаrреd frаming fоr еxаmрlе.

    Nоt оnlу аrе most wаllѕ not реrfесtlу ѕtrаight, but bесаuѕе they аrеn’t ѕtrаight, neither аrе the corners. Bоth of thеѕе factors will ultimately affect the amount оf tiles уоu need to purchase аѕ wеll аѕ thе tile раttеrn you choose. Whilе this may ѕееm аlаrming tо many hоmе оwnеrѕ at firѕt, there is no need for соnсеrn аѕ. The ѕоlutiоn liеѕ in the аnѕwеr tо thе next quеѕtiоn.

  3. Hоw does my lауоut look? Anоthеr еxtrеmеlу соmmоn mistake that саn nоt only саuѕе fruѕtrаtiоn and wаѕtеd time are nоt mаking a drу lауоut of their tilе bеfоrе they install it. Whilе all professionals knоw bеttеr, thiѕ iѕ nоt thе case with mаnу DIY’ѕ whо аrе a littlе tоо еxсitеd tо get ѕtаrtеd. Yоu wоuld bе surprised hоw many people ѕimрlу ѕtаrt in thе mоѕt соnvеniеnt соrnеr оf thе rооm and kеер gоing until thеу rеаlizе thеir tilе раttеrn iѕn’t lining uр or lооking likе it ѕhоuld.

    A drу lауоut iѕ will ѕhоw уоu what tiles nееd to be сut, if аnу, аnd hоw thеу nееd to bе рlасеd tо look аnd fit right. It’s also very imроrtаnt fоr аnоthеr rеаѕоn wеll. While thаt beautiful tilе pattern уоu сhоѕе lооkеd good оn paper, in your hеаd, аnd еvеn whеn you lаid out a fеw tilе ѕаmрlеѕ on уоur flооr, it’s not enough to provide you with an accurate assessment of what the finished tile job will rеаllу lооk like in уоur rооm.Tile patterns can make a floor or wall look too widе, оr nаrrоw. A layout can reveal сlаѕhеѕ with the соlоrѕ оf thе walls, оr maybe it juѕt doesn’t look like you thought it might. Hореfullу уоu’ll lоvе it, however, аnd be validated that you mаdе thе right dесiѕiоn. But it is always bеttеr to lау it оut first, and ask уоurѕеlf whаt уоu rеаllу think. If уоu don’t quеѕtiоn, уоu соuld ѕреnd thе next 15-20 уеаrѕ lооking at a bad personal decision that is worth the time and effort. This hарреnѕ wау mоrе often than уоu might think.

The Definitive Guide To Tile Patterns Infographic

Listed here are the options you will have to choose from.

Tilе Grid

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The mоѕt соmmоn of аll tilе раttеrnѕ, thе grid method lооkѕ еxасtlу likе it ѕоundѕ. Square tilеѕ аrе аrrаngеd one a top the оthеr аnd ѕidе by side ѕо thаt it has thе appearance оf a grid. This iѕ аlѕо vеrу boring. Trу tо аvоid thiѕ mеthоdѕ. It аddѕ vеrу little tо a room’s арреаl. One оf the (only) аdvаntаgеѕ of thiѕ look iѕ that it mаkеѕ tilе сlеаning easier because the grоut runs in simple сhаnnеlѕ and not in аnу kind оf соmрlеx раttеrn.


An act аѕ ѕimрlе аѕ rotating thе tilе forty-five dеgrееѕ аnd then lауing thеm out in a grid pattern саn have a trеmеndоuѕ effect оn the lооk оf a room. Whеrеаѕ thе bаѕiс grid lооkѕ dull, thе diamond раttеrn iѕ mоrе аеѕthеtiсаllу рlеаѕing аnd rеԛuirеѕ nо mоrе work than thе оthеr design. If уоu want a ѕimрlе, chic lооk, diаmоnd iѕ thе wау tо gо.

Tilе Bаѕkеt

If уоu аrе opting fоr rесtаngulаr tile, the bаѕkеt раttеrn саn аdd a соmрlеx lеvеl оf сhаrm tо a rооm. Take twо or three tilеѕ and lау thеm vertically; the combination оf аll three ѕidе bу ѕidе ѕhоuld bе in thе ѕhаре оf a square. Bеѕidе that, lay the same number оf tilеѕ hоrizоntаllу and repeat thе раttеrn. Eѕѕеntiаllу thiѕ replicates grid tile раttеrnѕ, but iѕ mоrе viѕuаllу intеrеѕting bесаuѕе thе “squares” within уоur grid аrе divided intо three рiесеѕ.


You саn сrеаtе a раttеrn thаt rеѕеmblеѕ a rоаd wеаving through a сitу blосk bу аltеrnаting square аnd rесtаngulаr ѕhареd tilеѕ. Stаrt bу рlасing a rоw оf ѕquаrе tilеѕ in a row, аѕ if уоu were creating a grid pattern. On tор оf thоѕе, hоrizоntаllу run a rоw оf the rectangular tilеѕ, and thеn аnоthеr rоw оn tор of thаt. Finаllу, start thе раttеrn аgаin, by placing your ѕquаrеѕ аtор thе two rесtаngulаr rows.


This iѕ оnе оf the more соmрlеx tilе раttеrnѕ, but сrеаtеѕ a vеrу intеrеѕting lооk tо your flооr. Start in thе middlе оf the flооr аnd place a ѕquаrе dоwn. Next, рut a rесtаnglе рiесе оn tор of thаt, squaring up thе еnd оf thе rectangle with the tор lеft соrnеr of your square. There ѕhоuld bе a good роrtiоn оf уоur rесtаnglе hаnging оvеr thе top right оf thе square. Tаkе аnоthеr rесtаnglе and place it with thе right ѕidе uр аgаinѕt this оvеrhаng. Repeat this around the perimeter. Onсе this iѕ complete thе раttеrn саn bе rерliсаtеd over thе rеmаindеr of thе floor.

Comparing Manual Tile Cutters; Five That Make The Cut

Comparing Manual Tile Cutters; Five That Make The Cut

Should you use a manual tile cutter or an electric tile cutter – what's the difference? First, let's briefly compare the two.

Manual Tile Cutters

The benefits of using a manual tile cutter:

  • Excellent fast cuts with minimal effort
  • Many size options
  • Easy To Use
  • Power options for different materials
  • Fixed or single point breaker or mobile or multi-point breaker
  • Low maintenance

The disadvantages of manual tile cutter:

  • Limited cut options
  • Prone to less accurate cuts (depending on the user)

Electric Tile Cutters

The benefits of an electric tile cutter:

  • More cutting options depending on model
  • Diamond blade with electric motor
  • Will cutter a broader range of materials
  • Can operate with or without water for cooling

The disadvantages of an electric tile cutter:

  • Slower
  • Bulky/heavy transport

Once you’ve determined which is the best tile cutter to use for you, you’ll have plenty of options to choose. In this article, we’ll focus on five different brands of manual tile cutters.

  • RUBI
  • RTC
  • Batipav
  • Sigma
  • Tomecanic

Rubi Manual Tile Cutters

For speed and convenience, RUBI manual tile cutters are used more often than electric cutters. The variety of manual RUBI tile cutters gives you the option of matching the right cutter with the material you are cutting. A good match will result in cleaner cuts. Thicknesses between 6 and 10 mm tiles are more fragile and will need a cutter that provides for gentle treatment. RUBI offers the widest variety in purchasing options, and therefore allow for a greater variety of cuts.

There are quite a variety of options to choose from within the RUBI brand. We’ve listed five of those options here with descriptions to give you the information you need to make the best choice.

1. RUBI Slim System Thin Tile Professional Cutter – 122″ Cut

  • Provides straight cuts without inconsistencies Offers high-quality performance.
  • Cutting capacity of up to 310cm. (extendable)
  • Built for cutting large format porcelain, between 3mm and 8mm thick Silicone cords and fixed suction pads
  • Tungsten carbide roller w/titanium treatment bearing of Ø22mm
  • Gradual separation and adjustable pincers to reduce tile breakage

Price: $595

2. RUBITR Series Tile Cutter – 24″ to 28″

  • Multipoint breaker gives precisediagonal cuts
  • Perfect for both wall and floor tiles
  • Central pivot swivel square
  • Lateral stop for repetitive cuts
  • Improved visibility with double guide for of the scoring and cutting
  • Scoring wheels for every material (interchangeable)
  • Guides are rectified steel and chromed with anti-rust treatment.
  • Sturdy aluminum, 2-layer base supports large format tiles with shock absorption

Price: $409.95–$489.95

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3. RUBI TS Plus Series Tile Cutters – 17″ to 29″

  • Single point breaker
  • Up to 800 Kg breaking pressure
  • Reinforced base
  • Perfect view of the scoring/cutting line with double guide
  • Rectified and calibrated chrome steel guides and anti-rust treatment.
  • Interchangeable scoring wheels (6 mm to 22 mm range)
  • Transport case

Price: $325.00–$465.95

4. RUBI TS Series Manual Tile Cutters – 17″ to 26″

  • TS Series built for precision cuts and breaking power

Price: $315.00–$389.95

5. RUBITX-N Series – 28″ to 49″

  • TX series has added breaking for use on large format tile.
  • Powerful cutter with detailed angular measurement system
  • Optimal cutting of ceramic, porcelain, and pressed tiles
  • 1000Kg power breaker
  • Central pivot swivel square for precise angular cuts
  • Adjustable scoring wheels
  • Reinforced breaking
  • Lateral stop
  • Aluminum two-layer base with shock absorption
  • Heavy duty case included

Price: $595.00–$1,050.00

RTC Manual Tile Cutters; For Accurate Smooth Cuts

Combining the best of the best features, the RTC Razor comes in several designs. The Razor Pro has 11 ball bearings mounted in the handle carriage to guide the handle on the guide bar. The handle itself is a cantilever braking mechanism that increases braking power better than any cutter on the market.

The RTC Razor Pro Single Bar Push Cutter – 22″ to 52″ offers the same features as the Razor, but cuts perfectly on ultra-hard porcelain with an accurate scoring line on a rough surface tile.

 Price: $395.00

Sigma Manual Tile Cutters; Options From Minute To Mammoth

For many decades, Sigma Italia has built some of the most elite manual tile cutters in the industry.  Ranging from the 14″ 2G Sigma Tile Cutter to the 3F3 60″ Sigma large format beast, Sigma’s variety is impressive.

Sigma Tile Cutters cut porcelain clean and fast. They have specialized in making equipment for tile installers since 1964.They offer a guarantee that all models meet the highest safety and strength standards, including the very high European standards.  Sigma sells Pull Cutters, Sigma Thin Panel Tile Tools, and Sigma Max Cutters.

Designed with a spring-loaded ball bearing mounted scoring wheel, The Sigma Max Push Handle cutters are custom-madeand manufactured for accurate and consistent scores on uneven surfaced tile. They are perfect for wood or stone looks on an ornate or textured tile. Their design eliminates difficult cutting of textured tile with a manual cutter. It alsoreduceswasted tile pieces and uneven breaks.

The pull handle action Sigma Tile Cutters set the bar high in design and durability. Sigma Italia has repeatedly produced this industry standard for several decades.  The Sigma Pull Handle Tile Cutters vary in size from 14″ to 36″.

Battipav Manual Tile Cutters; Five Industry Heroes With Endless Options

Battipav offers five different categories of manual tile cutters. Each category has multiple models to choose from and ensure every need on any project can be met. Listed here are five categories.

  1. Super Pro 450
  2. Profi
  3. Cutters X-Pro
  4. Ultra
  5. Basic Plus

Price: $280.00–$635.00

Tomecanic Manual Tile Cutters; Four For The Floor

Tomecanic manual tile cutters are used widely by do-it-your-selfer’s and professionals alike. They cut reliably, quickly, and smoothly. Replacement cutting tools and blades are readily available and priced at a good value.

Tomecanic manual tile cutters are high-quality and dependable. All models are designed to help you preserve excess waste material resulting from bad cuts. Their reputation is highlighted by durability and high-performance. Below are the four most popular selling Tomecanic Manual Tile Cutters.

Tomecanic 24″ Supercut 2160 Tile Cutter

  • Designed to score fired clay ceramic tiles with a glaze coating,this ceramic tile cuttercan cutfully vitrified porcelain tiles as well as some unglazed clay tiles.
  • Able to withstand 2500 lbs. of pressure, the braking system comes with a robust multipoint separator.
  • The single rail guide does not flex cutting in the center of porcelain tile
  • Self-lubricating bearings help cutting head slides easily on
  • Better shock absorption with breaking pads mounted on springs
  • Cut-out under breaking pads allows for tile cuttings to fall for easy cleaning.
  • Allows thick materials to be quickly cut
  • Length of Cut – 24″. Diagonal Cut – 16″. Weight – 27 lbs.
  • 9 ball bearing system cutting head allow for super accurate and easy scoring.
  • Large breaker and spring loaded pads for easy snapping of tile.

Tomecanic 35″ Supercut 2190 Tile Cutter

  • 35″ length of cut and 24″ Diagonal cuts
  • Breaking System Lever produces 2500 lbs of pressure when splitting tiles with a robust multipoint separator
  • Cuts floor tile, mosaics, porcelain, and similar materials
  • Easy and accurate scoring
  • Big-size breaker with spring loaded pads for easy snapping of tile.
  • The single Rail guide doesn’t flex when breaking porcelain tile in the center of the tile

Tomecanic 29″ Supercut 2175 Tile Cutter

  • 29″ length of cut and 20″ Diagonal cuts
  • Used for cuts on a variety of materials including porcelain, floor tile, and mosaics
  • Big-size breaker with spring loaded pads for easy snapping of tile.
  • Breaking System Lever produces 2500 lbs of pressure when splitting tiles
  • No flex when breaking porcelain tile in the center of the tile (single rail guide)

Tomecanic Primo 16″ Tile Cutter

  • Ideal for the do-it-your selfer
  • Cuts tile straight and at a 45-degree angle; also cuts porcelain
  • Length of Cut – 16 inch Diagonal Cut – 11 inch Weight – 6 lbs.
  • Heavy-duty steel base
  • Precision score and snap and replaceable wheel included

Price: $350 – $597

Comparing Tile Leveling Systems

Comparing Tile Leveling Systems

Comparing Tile Leveling Systems

RUBI Tile Level Quick Leveling System

Method: RUBI Tile Level Quick comes in the format  of a kit making it a user-friendly purchase that won’t waste your time looking for material and tools separately. Nippers, quick strips, caps are all sold together in a bucket-type container.

This process of installing and leveling your new surface is about as easy as it gets. The overall method can be summarized in three easy steps.

  1. Place the tiles using the grooved-based straps (the groove allows for a better grip). The straps allow for a minimum joint of 1/16” and unlike other leveling systems, there is no need to dip the straps in water before using them.
  2. Slide the re-usable caps over the strips as they sit vertically sticking straight up from your tiles.
  3. Use the plier tool to bend the straps over the caps, putting pressure on the caps and securing the tiles in place. This restrains the shifting of parts while the adhesive is setting, and prevents tile lippage that results in a finished flat surface. This tile leveling system can be used for the installing of both horizontal and vertical surfaces, meaning it’s usable for both floors and walls.
  4. After the floor or wall is set (the double gluing technique is always used) the caps are removed by an impact. Simply by kicking them off a floor surface or removing them from a newly tiled wall, ready to use for the next job. (Note: Always remove the caps in the direction of the grout joint).

This system was developed to save time in installing large format ceramic tiles, particularly in rectified porcelain tiles, as well as to provide the perfect setting and leveling with virtually any material or dimension. Ideally,12” x 12” tiles or larger work great with this system. The RUBI Tile Level Quick System reduces installation time for both floors and walls, making it a more efficient use of your day. Of course, for a professional, that means increased savings and profit.

The kit comes ready to use in a practical bucket-style storage container with a well-placed handle for easy use and carrying. Here is what you comes with the kit:

  • Tile Level Quick 1 pliers which can be utilized for both floor or wall tiling.
    (Note: The pliers are made of two types of metals allowing a height control system that is easy to use.)
  • 100 strips
  • 100 reusable cups

Material: Large format ceramic tiles (particularly in rectified porcelain tiles). Can also be used for leveling granite and marble tiles.

Thickness: Compatible with the tile of thickness levels between 1/8″ and 5/8.”

Price: Approximately $55 per kit

RUBI Delta Tile Leveling System

Method: You do NOT want to get in a fight with a wall or a floor. The RUBI Delta Tile Leveling System is akin to bringing in a fleet of military tanks to enforce a no-lippage policy. No lippage equals flat floor or wall surface. So how does this tool in your arsenal of leveling systems work?

The concept is fairly elementary and easy to implement. It’s often referred to as the “back buttering technique.”

Using a coordinated system of strips and wedges, the tiles are first set into place using the strips. The wedges are then placed under the loop-like strips, and the nippers are used to allocate the amount of pressure to hold the curing tiles in place. Once the adhesive has completely cured, the wedges and strips are removed with a rubber mallet or by kicking them off of the tiles. You can reuse the wedges multiple times, so don’t throw them away!

The RUBI Delta Tile Leveling System is recommended for 12” x 12” or larger tiles. Thicknesses can vary from 1/2″, 9/16” or 3/4″ depending and is reliant on the form or model of the strips you use.

The plastic strips that come with the Delta System are available in different thicknesses, 1/32″, 1/16″, and 1/8″, and also a variety of heights that allow you to work with tiles of various thicknesses: 1/8″-1/2″, 1/4″-9/16″ or 7/16″-13/16″. The plastic material of the strips is specifically designed to avoid problems with air bubbles when pressure is applied, which ensures that the tiles align. It’s worth noting that the DELTA system allows any installer the option of working with any tile spacer.

RUBI does offer DELTA strips to professional installers in three different packaged units. Strips come in bags of 100, 200 and 400 units (for some models there is a 2400 unit box they offer).
This system delivers as promised, preventing tiles from moving while the adhesive sets as well as while installing.

The RUBI Delta Tile Leveling System kits come in three formats

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  • 1/32″
  • 1/16″
  • 3/32″

The kit includes:

  • One nipper plier that can be used for both flooring and walls (horizontal and vertical tiles)
  • One bag of 100 units of strips for use in ceramic tiles with thickness between 1/8″ and 1/2″
  • One bag of 100 units of reusable wedges.

All components in the the RUBI Delta Tile Leveling System kit come in a bucket with a handle making it easy to move with you.

Material: 12” x 12” or larger ceramic tiles

Thickness: Compatible with tile thicknesses of 1/2″, 9/16” or 3/4″

Price: The RUBI Delta Tile Leveling System is not available in the USA yet. It can be purchased in Canada or Europe.

DTLA Tile ComparingTile Le veling Systems

Spin Doctor

Method: The Spin Doctor Tile Leveling System involves a process in which the installer screws into place a baseplate using a twistable cap. It takes minimal effort and can be accomplished u sing just one hand, which is especially useful when installing larger tiles and reducing fatigue. The Spin Doctor System is composed of four separate components which you can purchase separately.

The spacer posts may be used again after being removed from the base as additional spacers or wall shims. The caps have an open design that allows the installer to view the grout during installation. The caps are removed quickly and easily and can be used again when the tiles have been set and cured.

  • Red Breakaway Threaded Spacer Posts 1/16” (1.5 mm)
  • Black Breakaway Threaded Spacer Posts 1/8” (3mm)
  • Leveling Cap
  • Optional Anti-Friction Protection Plate

Material: Accommodates all materials.

Thickness: Accommodates most all thicknesses.


  • Black Breakaway Threaded Spacer Posts 1/8” (appx. $16 for 100-piece set)
  • Red Breakaway Threaded Spacer Posts 1/16” (appx. $14 for 100-piece set)
  • Leveling Cap (appx. $78 for 100-piece set)
  • Optional Anti-Friction Protection Plate (appx. $14 for 100-piece set)


Method: QEP Tile Leveling Clips are plastic spacers used in combination with leveling wedges to form the LASH Tile Leveling System. This system is available in two sizes, original (for 3/16” to7/16”) or XL (for ½” to ¾” tile). The LASH system is quick to install and adjust and hold the height of the tiles evenly while the tiles cure. Made of durable nylon and colored a bright yellow for easy identification, QEP clips are used for installing stone, thin and rectified porcelain and marble tile. Learning to use the QEP system is relatively easy, and once you get the hang of it, installations go pretty fast. When used correctly, the result is a smooth tile surface with a professional finish.

Material: Marble, Stone, and Porcelain Tile

Thickness: Original (for 3/16” to7/16”) or XL (for ½” to ¾” tile)


  • LASH Tile Leveling, Aligning and Spacer Clips ($10 per 96-pack)

Tuscan Cap And Strap

Method: The Tuscan Leveling System works for use with marble, stone, granite, ceramic, and any large format style. The Tuscan Cap and Strap is a two-piece system (cap and strap) and is interlocking , meaning that the tile pieces fit together similar in fashion to a puzzle. This “puzzle process” helps the surface cure evenly and provides for less warping and shrinkage during setting. Furthermore, tiles are laid more efficiently without the need to re-lift tiles for additional shimming or adding more mud. The caps, similar to the Spin Doctor Tile Leveling System, are also reusable. One important thing to note is that the “Cap and Strap” method does require that you use a unique ergonomic installation tool. This tool comes with your purchase if you buy this system as a set.

Material: Marble, Stone, Granite, Ceramic, and any large format style

Thickness: The Tuscan Cap and Strap System is recommended for gauged tiles 12″ or larger of any uniform gauge thickness.


  • Caps (appx. $190 for 200 Reusable caps)
  • Straps (appx. $120 for 500 leveling Straps)
  • Pearl Abrasive Tuscan Level Standard Ergonomic Tool (appx. $49)
  • Full kits run from $189 (System DIY Kit), $345 (System Pro Kit), or $800 (Contractor Kit)

Seam Clip

Method: The One-Piece Seam Clip system is enticing because it requires no special tools to install or remove tiles. The system works by sliding the base under the tile, closing the wings on the side, and removing t he top portion by tapping it with a rubber mallet after the tiles have cured. Whether installing granite, stone, marble, ceramic, and some larger tile formats (3/8″ to ½” in thickness) , seam clips are very easy to use.

There is a premium Seam Clip Leveling System produced in Australia that uses “Clip-iT” wedges. These wedges, made of polymer material for indoor or outdoor use, are durable and reusable and appropriate for use with natural stone, porcelain, ceramic, marble, or granite tiles. The wedges are specifically designed to reduce the stress and fatigue that often occur on an installer’s fingers. The wedges have round edges and a broader, soft thumbprint area.

Material: Granite, Stone, Marble, Ceramic, and some larger tile formats

Thickness: 3/8″ to ½” in thickness


  • Tuscan Seam Clips Only (appx. $51 for 150-piece set)
  • Tuscan Seam Clips Only (appx. $142 for 500-piece set)
  • Tile Master (appx. $116 for 300 Spacers and 100 Wedges)


Method:The T-Lock Tile Leveling system operates under the premise that every tile laid assis ts their adjacent tiles to remain flush by their surrounding tiles. T-Lock can provide a faster installation process involving spacers and wedges. A relatively uncomplicated process, the T-Lock system can result in precise leveling with no added tools necessary.

Material: Any tile material including large format, heavy tiles with rectified (sharp) edges.

Thickness: Universal system works for all thickness measurements.


  • T-Lock 1/8” Complete Kit (appx. $115)
  • T-Lock Wedges (appx. $38 for 100 Red Wedges)
  • T-Lock Clips (appx. $66 for 250 1/8” Clips)
  • T-Lock “Perfect Level Master” Pliers Tool (appx. $63) *Only works with T-Lock Tile Leveling System

Your floor or wall should be aesthetically pleasing, but also perfectly level. Understanding your options regarding which leveling system to choose is crucial. While all leveling systems aim for the same goal of creating precision evenness, not all are universal in their usability and success rate. Your new tile surface will go through a curing process, and it is during that process that leveling systems maintain the secured placement of each tile. If your tiles remain in place and don’t slide or sink during that curing process, your surface will be as smooth as a glass mirror.

*For additional reference, please see our “Comparing Tile Leveling System” visual guide explaining each tile leveling system with graphics.

9 Tricks You Can Do With Your Bathroom and Make it Even More Aesthetically Pleasing

9 Tricks You Can Do With Your Bathroom and Make it Even More Aesthetically Pleasing

9 Tricks You Can Do With Your Bathroom and Make it Even More Aesthetically Pleasing

Bathroom remodeling in Los Angeles is all about the details; whether you are going to get professional help or it is a weekend DIY project, there are lots of things that you can do better and make a big difference in the ultimate outcome. Ceramic tiles are considered the easiest tiles to handle so feel free to experiment with those. Following are some tricks you can do with your bathroom space and make it more aesthetically pleasing.


Using stripes in bathroom is not an out of the world idea and neither a new one. However, when everyone thinks about horizontal stripes, you should go with vertical stripes that would send a bold message to everyone. Interestingly, the verticals stripes work with all colors and textures; you can use matching colors for vertical stripes with different tones or you can use an exotic color for stripe while using a mild color for the rest of the wall. There is no limit on patterns too and you can experiment with patterned tiles using for vertical stripes.

Stripes Combo

Using vertical and horizontal stripes combo is the latest trend in tiling industry and our designers at DTLA Tile and Stone have used this layout in many bathroom spaces successfully. Although using a stripe combo looks like the next step of using a vertical or horizontal stripe but actually these are two entirely different layouts with entirely different idea behind them.

The purpose of using a single stripe is to put some diversity in the equation and this is particularly good for typical bathroom spaces. On the other hand, the idea behind using a stripes combo is to put some harmony in the bathroom space which is atypical and comes with lots of design elements.

Cutting Tiles at 45 Degree Angle

Now that’s a whole new way of giving your bathroom space a dramatic look. Cutting tiles at 45 degree angle instead of the usual 90 degree would help you make your bathroom more aesthetically pleasing and give it a modernized look within your budget. However, this idea is not for everyone and specifically not for the first timer because you would need to cut lots of tiles.

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Cutting tiles would also increase the chance and cost of breakage. The best way to apply this idea is on ceramic tiles as they are relatively cheaper and easier to cut. Also, you need to mark the tiles carefully with the right angle otherwise they would fit properly or/and look weird.


Sometimes you find a tile with a bold design and you are not sure whether it would be a good idea to use it in your bathroom or not. Regardless of the design on the tile, it is always a good idea to use a feature tile on your bathroom to give it a sense of diversity. However, it would be even a better idea to use it in a small space so preserve the design of the rest of the space. For example, you can use a feature tile in shower flooring.

Monotonic Bathroom

Interestingly, monotonic bathroom design is the simplest idea but it just got some traction now. We are not talking about using a uniform color in your bathroom space but it is about using the same patterned or feature tiles in the entire bathroom space including floor and walls. This kind of bathroom design can create a little drama and based on our experience in DTLA Tile and Stone, this design beautifies the bathroom spaces with a window that can break the fluidity of the look.

Do Your Research

That seems like a cliché but the majority of homeowner (whether they get professional help or do DIY project) don’t do their homework before getting their hands dirty. Even if you are hiring professionals to do the job, you need to look at lots of photos to get inspiration and to decide which kind of bathroom you want. Of course experts can recommend things but they can’t possibly know what you want. You can either do a quick Google search or use some specialized websites like Pinterest to get creative ideas.

Dual Tone

Using two entirely different tones in your bathroom space is a great way to create a sense of symmetrical design even though the layout is asymmetrical. However, selecting those two tones need some extra efforts and you might need the help of computer generated graphics to get the idea. Also, this color scheme looks good in bathroom spaces with less design complexity. Some popular and most obvious schemes are blue-white, green-white and maroon-white but don’t afraid to do your own experiments.

Lighting is Important

If you ask us one thing that we have learned the hard way at DTLA Tile and Stone, it would be the importance of lighting. A good bathroom design would be a good bathroom design only if you have good lighting arrangements there. You need to consider the lighting situation (whether the bathroom would get natural light in the day time or not) before you choose the tiles or design the bathroom. Strategically placed lights can emphasize the design elopements of the bathroom space and that’s what matters.

Hex Tiles

Hex tiles now have the same status that triangular tiles had a few years ago but unlike triangular tiles (which are not as popular as rectangular tiles or square tiles) hex tiles are getting lots of popularity nowadays. Although you can use bigger hex tiles on your bathroom walls but it would be even a better idea to use rectangular or square tiles in your bathroom space with a sober color and use small hex tiles in your shower space with an exotic or at least bright color like aqua. Small hex tiles come in mosaic sheets that are easily installable.

Latest Bathroom, Kitchen and Tiling Trends of 2017

Latest Bathroom, Kitchen and Tiling Trends of 2017

Latest Bathroom, Kitchen and Tiling Trends of 2017

Bathroom designing, kitchen remodeling and tile installation need your time and money so it is essential to put some efforts into the equation and get the best outcome. Renovating is all about moving one step further and making your bathroom, kitchen or other space look good. Of course there are some classic looks that are timeless yet most of the people opt for latest trends and designs. Latest designs also increase house value significantly that would be beneficial if you are planning to sell the house.

Following is a list of some latest bathroom, kitchen and tiling trends of 2017.

Terrazzo Tiles

Terrazzo is a relatively unpopular type of tile at this moment but this trend is going to change in upcoming months. These types of tiles are made with the pieces of marble, granite, quartz and glass. The bold design of Terrazzo tiles can help home owners use it in kitchens and bathrooms for a modernized look. These tiles are water and scratch resistance that means you can use them as kitchen backsplash or on bathroom walls. Terrazzo tiles are available in virtually unlimited designs and textures.

Same Tiles for Floors and Walls

Right now, it is a common practice to use different tiles (different colors, material and even different shape) for bathroom floor and walls. However, more and more designers and home owners are opting for same tiles for wall and floor. There are two main advantages of this approach; first of all, it gives the bathroom space a solid look with design fluidity and secondly it is cost efficient.

Even More Diverse Color Range

That is pretty simple; designers and manufacturers have been trying to introduce more colors and textures since the day one and no wonder you would see lots of new color trends in 2017 too. The latest tiling trend with respect to color and texture is the use of more complex designs and a hint of abstraction. As stone tiles are relatively expensive than other popular types like ceramic tiles, manufacturers would introduce more ceramic tiles with stone look.

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Mix and Match

2016 was all about bold experiments and this trend is not going to stop in 2017. The idea behind mix and match approach is to use hundreds of designs in thousands of different ways. For example, using abstract mosaic tiles with a monotone tile wall in bathroom is a popular trend that sends a bold statement. So, don’t shy and don’t be afraid of doing experiments on your own.


Many tile manufacturing companies in Italy have started designing tiles asymmetrical layout and design. These patterns are getting popularity in rectangular and square tiles, and soon they would appear on brick and mosaic too. These fragmented tiles could be used to form geometrical shapes in bathroom or other spaces. Interestingly, if you use these tiles randomly, they can successfully give an abstract modern look.


Every year, new trends are emerged in tiling industry and some of them last longer than expected. Last two years were all about hex tiles and those tiles are still in fashion. 2017 is about bricks and unlike hex tiles, brick design could be used in numerous ways. It could be designed in a way to give a classic look or with a random tile installation and mortar spill design it could give a modern look to your bathroom space.

Horizontal and Vertical Lines

No doubt, using horizontal and vertical lines in kitchen, bathroom or other space is not the latest idea yet it could be used in a number of new ways thank to the more and more upcoming tile designs and patterns. Horizontal and vertical lines are not only used create a visual illusion of bigger or taller space but lines can add depth in a plain design. Using lines is considered one of the most effective and cost efficient way to beautify the space.


Gray has always been a popular color choice for bathrooms and other spaces. Tile manufacturing companies understand the popularity of grayscale tiles and in 2017 you would see even more patterns, styles and a wider range of grayscale tiles in the market. Adding an exotic color (via horizontal or vertical line) on a plain grayscale wall in your bathroom space can dramatically improve the look. Gray has proved the entire theory wrong that you need colors to make a bold impression.

Graphical Mosaic

Mosaic tiles have been around us for years and manufacturers have been working on new designs tirelessly. Expect to see a wide range of graphical mosaic in 2017 as many design elements are getting traction in the industry. Patterned mosaics could be used to form an asymmetrical layout or you can ditch the randomness and strategically place these tiles to form a modern symmetrical look.

3D Tiles

Thanks to the modern tile manufacturing process, now manufacturers can make tiles that can give a 3D appearance of texture. These 3D tiles might need an expert installation for the maximum effect but after installation, they give a whole new meaning to modern designs. As you can anticipate, manufacturers can make virtually unlimited designs of 3D tiles with ridges and other geometrical designs; so expects tons of new designs in upcoming months.

Creative Designs and Patterns

Of course patterned tiles are quite popular all over the globe but with the passage of time, patterned and geometric tiles have become a synonym of modernized bathroom or kitchen design. According to many industry experts and designers, the classic look and basic design elements would give an even bigger entry in near future. Brick tiles (which have thrice the length than width) would give a new meaning to modern designs by designers using them in more creative ways. Herringbone and other similar tile layouts can help create dramatic effects in the space.

Comparison Between Different Tile Cutting Methods

Comparison Between Different Tile Cutting Methods

Comparison Between Different Tile Cutting Methods

The process of tile installation is not that difficult on its own as all you have to do is apply the thin set and place the tile at its predefined place but there are lots of other things for example selecting the best tile for the application and tile cutting process that might need professional help if you are not willing to do it yourself. There are many different ways to cut tiles and each of them has its own benefits (and flaws too). Even if you use the simplest possible tiling layout for easiness, you still have to cut tiles in corners and to fit smaller pieces in smaller spaces.

Lets talk about different tile cutting methods which tile installers in Los Angeles use.

Wet Saw

Wet saw is the most common method of cutting tiles; the equipment consists of a saw with diamond blade, powered by electric and water is used to cool down the blade so you can use it for extended time period. There are different types of wet saw that are used for straight cutting, edge cutting and to make L shapes. However, the whole equipment is pretty expensive for a weekend project and it is mainly used by professionals because they use it frequently.

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People who want a tile cutter for one-time project usually opt for other much cheaper methods. If you want to buy a wet saw for tile cutting, keep the safety at your first priority as some newer models offer lots of safety features.


Using grinder to cut tiles is similar to using wet saw except a few differences; for example, first of all, there is no water involved. You can manually put water on the blade to cool it down though. Another major difference is the structure and method itself; in case of wet saw, the equipment stays at its place and you move the tile but in case of grinder the tile stays at its position and you move the grinder. Using grinder to cut tiles is usually considered a shortcut or a backup plan where you can use the grinder manually in case no other thing (like wet saw or pliers) is available.

Tile Nipper

Tile nipper is quite similar to pliers with thick edges so you can grab the tile and put force with other hand to cut it. Tile nipper is a common method among people who do DIY tile installation projects and need something effective and cost efficient. You can get a decent tile cutting pliers at a fraction of the cost of a wet saw. However, unlike other methods, tile nipper does not exactly cut the tile in two pieces but it breaks the other part.

For example, if you want to use ¾ of a tile then the other ¼ piece would be lost during the process. As you can handle the force, layout and everything manually while using tile nippers, they are mainly suitable for cutting edges or give tiles specific shapes.

Score Tile Cutter

Score tile cutter can cut tiles in two pieces and the method is fairly simple so you can learn it in few minutes. All you have to do is line up the mark on tiles using a scoring wheel, put the other end of the scoring wheel exactly under the tile where you marked it and snap. Do not mark the tile multiple times and try to do it in one try because marking the tile multiple times would damage the tile and scoring wheel itself.

Horizontal vs Vertical Bathroom Tiles: Which One You Should Choose?

Horizontal vs Vertical Bathroom Tiles: Which One You Should Choose?

Horizontal vs Vertical Bathroom Tiles: Which One You Should Choose?

People renovate their kitchens and bathrooms for different reasons; some people want to have new look for their kitchen or bathroom while some people only remodel them before selling the house – to increase its market value. Although there are many types of tiles when it comes to layout however the two most popular ones are square tiles and rectangular tiles. When people select rectangular tiles for their space, they wonder whether it would be suitable to lay them horizontally or vertically.

This is a common dilemma that happens because we see both of these styles all the time. In public bathrooms and other places, horizontal and vertical both tiles are used. Horizontal and vertical tiles have a huge aesthetic difference and designers use them strategically in different types of spaces. The popular belief is horizontal and vertical tiles make the space look bigger and this is true to some extent. Of course they don’t make your kitchen or bathroom physically bigger but it is more like an optical illusion.

What Happens When You Use Tiles Horizontally?

Actually tiles are not horizontal or vertical, they are just rectangular and you can use them either way. So, there is not any structural difference between both. Horizontal fitted tiles can make your kitchen or bathroom look wider. This layout is particularly suitable for tall yet smaller bathrooms and kitchens. Because of this specific layout, the space looks visually open, wider and bigger in both dimensions (Width and depth, not height).

In our experience, the horizontal tiling visual illusion only works with reasonably sized tiles instead of larger ones. Also, you can enhance the illusion by using mosaic or a color contrast combination. Using smaller tiles, you would be using lots of joints that would create the illusion of a wider space as our brain cannot perfectly process the depth. The following video is a good example of what horizontally stacked 3″ x 6″ porcelain tiles look like using a 1/16″ grout joint.

What Happens When You Use Tiles Vertically?

Using tiles vertically is quite similar to using them horizontally in terms of creating optical illusion but it works exactly the opposite way. This tiling layout is specifically suitable for wider kitchen and bathroom space with relatively less height. This usually happens in houses where the owners decide to skip the expense of removing the old tile floor and decide to lay the new floor on top of it.

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This practice reduces the height of the bathroom which is not exactly a big concern on its own but to make the kitchen or bathroom look aesthetically pleasing, it is better to use rectangular tiles strategically. When you install tiles vertically to for the optical illusion of making your bathroom or kitchen taller, use larger tiles instead of smaller ones (like we did in horizontal tiling case) because lesser joints would make things look congested.

What Are Some Other Popular Tiling Layouts?

Tile installation in Los Angeles is a modern and innovative industry where we experiment with new things regularly to discover new gems. The Following are some other popular tiling layouts that can help you make your kitchen or bathroom space aesthetically pleasing.  Note, if you want to learn see a more exhaustive list of tile patterns, check out this exhaustive guide.


Brick layout has been a popular layout for decades and as you can imagine its name came from the classic brick wall design where each brick is set on two other tiles (divided 50-50). There are some variations in this layout yet classic brick layout is suitable for any kind of bathroom or kitchen space. The brick pattern is mainly used horizontally but you can also use it vertically to make the room look taller.

Usually the brick layout works better if you use a contrast grouting to emphasize the division between times. If you want something bold, exotic and interesting, you can use multiple colors and textures to give the wall a modern and abstract look. However, the design of the bathroom or kitchen must be compatible with the architectural style of the house.

Oversize Tiles

The price of tiles per square foot increases with the size of the tile because the manufacturing process of larger tiles is more difficult than the smaller ones. Using oversize tiles in a bathroom or kitchen can give the space a seamless look. Usually smaller grout joints no larger than 1/16″ and as small as 1/32″ are used. Also, unlike your standard brick layout, it is suitable to use matching color grout as opposed to darker color grout for contrast. Although this layout is good for any kind of tile, it looks great with stone tiles, stone or porcelain slabs, or large format porcelain tiles.


Usually mosaic refers to lively patterns with exotic and complicated colors and textures but in tiling industry mosaic refers to smaller tiles regardless of their texture and colors. These tiles are so small (1 by 1 inch is a typical size) that is very difficult, expensive and time consuming to install them one by one so they come on sheets. There are thousands of permutations of mosaic tile colors, textures, tile size and sheet size. Some tiles even come with patterns that can make your bathroom or kitchen space come alive.


Herringbone is a relatively newer tile layout but it roots go back to hundreds of years when this pattern was used in making brick roads. This layout is achieved by putting tiles diagonally, quite similar to brick layout but the pattern is more uniform and sophisticated. Unfortunately, you need extra cutting to make the edges compatible with each other that mean the cost of tiles would increase.

However, Herringbone looks great with every type of tile and you can use this pattern on bathroom walls as well as bathroom or kitchen floor. Just like the brick pattern, you need to use a high contrast grouting to pop up the tiles and give them a modern look.

Basket Weave

Basket Weave is not a popular pattern as others mentioned above but it is worth mentioning here we it is a bold design that a small percentage of people might like. The idea behind this particular layout is to use rectangular tiles to form square tile pattern. Like every other sophisticated tile layout, basket weave also needs contrast grouting in order to emphasize on the pattern itself.

What’s All The Fuss About Hex Tile? How to Creatively Use Them

What’s All The Fuss About Hex Tile? How to Creatively Use Them

What's All The Fuss About Hex Tile? How to Creatively Use Them

Hexagon tiles which are also known as hex tiles have been getting popularity all over the globe. These tiles are used in mostly bathroom remodeling in Los Angeles however you can use them effectively in kitchen remodeling jobs too. Like other shapes (rectangle, square and triangle) hex tiles are also available in lots of colors, materials and sizes. Considering using hex tiles in bathrooms is a newer concept, you can remodel your bathroom with hex tiles to give it a modern look that would help in selling the house if that’s your plan.

Tips about Using Hex Tiles in Bathroom or Kitchen Space

Let’s see how you can use hex tiles effectively to make your bathroom more attractive.

Add Texture

If you think your current bathroom or kitchen space is kind of boring then hex tiles can help you there. Interestingly, triangular tiles were introduced to send a bold message and now hex tiles have adopted that job. Using hex tiles with contrast grouting can help the layout pop and make an impression. This particular design looks like a textile design and add textures in the bathroom space.

Use Multiple Designs

Unlike other tile shapes like rectangle and square, hex tiles are pretty tolerant when it comes to using multiple designs at a single wall or floor. As mentioned above, hex tiles come in many colors and you can mix and match different colors for a modernized design. For example, you can use the same color with different tones or you can even use contrast tiles for an abstract design.

Don’t be Shy

Unfortunately, many people think that hex tiles are only associated with bathrooms and kitchens. It is unreasonable assumption as all other shapes like bricks, rectangles, square and triangles are used everywhere including countertops, backsplashes, floors and walls. Hex tiles should be used more often regardless of the application if the design space allows. You can use hex tiles anywhere you want including stair walls or floors.

Color Splash

Hex tiles allow the home owners to do lots of experiments with colors. You can mix colorful hex tiles with a single wall made of single color tiles. This specific design idea can help you beautify kids’ room without spending ridiculous amount on tiling and flooring. Even few colorful hex tiles in the boring design space can make the design pop. However, don’t forget to balance the use of different colors and it is recommended to use a pseudo random color formation.

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Create Drama

Hex tiles are not linear as square tiles or rectangular tiles; if you use different tones with matching grouting, it is possible to make a bold statement by making the entire wall with hex tiles. As square and rectangular tiles could be used at a single space to give it a varying effect, the same could be done by using hex tiles with square tiles or rectangular tiles. For example, you can use hex tiles on an entire wall and use rectangular or square tiles for flooring.

How to Install Hex Tiles?

It is with no doubt that hexagon tiles look good in any kind of space whether a room, kitchen or bathroom. However, these tiles need more careful installation than other shapes like square or rectangle because they have more sides. Considering you are spending a hefty sum of money on kitchen or bathroom remodeling, it is recommended you hire a professional for this sort of tile installation especially if you don’t have any experience in tile installation. Let’s see how you can install hex tiles properly.

First of all, you need to clear the space; removing the old floor is half the job so don’t take it lightly and consider this too while setting a budget for the tile installation job. If the old flooring hast not already removed or you are installing tiles for the first time then you need to make sure the substrate is absolutely flat and level. If you have even the slightest imperfection in the floor, the hexagon tiles will accentuate this and the finished floor will look wavy. A good analogy is this.  What would the finish floor look like if you had to tile a ball?  Unlike square and rectangular tiles that could be installed in corners without any nipping, hex tiles need to be cut perfectly for the corners.

You can use a tile nipper, wet saw, or manual cutter to cut tiles and make them compatible with the corners but we recommend a higher end wet tile saw or high end manual tile saw like a Montolit. Once you install the first few tiles in the corner, the rest is a pretty straightforward job. Bigger hexagon tiles come individually and require you install them individually while smaller hexagon tiles come in mesh sheets just like mosaic tiles. These mesh sheets require patience to work with but if you follow a few simple tips, your floor will look amazing.  Remember, one mistake in the installation of a hexagon mesh sheet will destroy the entire installation.

For starters, hexagon mesh sheets should never be laid in a grid pattern.  They should be laid using a 1/3 offset to minimize the final grouted floor to appear as individual mesh sheets as opposed to a cohesive hexagon floor.  Ensure you step back and look at each mesh sheet after it is installed.  Ensure you are using a laser and/or level to keep the tiles in square.    Use a properly sized trowel!  An improperly sized trowel will make your life a living hell as you will have too much thin-set mortar on the floor causing it to squeeze through the grout joints as you tamp down the mesh sheet.  Lastly, be patient during the installation process. Hexagon tiles, with their intricate patterns, may require more attention to detail. Take your time aligning each sheet, adjusting as needed, and double-checking the spacing. This meticulous approach will pay off in the end, leaving you with a beautifully installed hexagon tile floor that enhances the aesthetic of your space.

When tiling, use a high quality thin-set.  We recommend and only work with Laticrete based thin-sets.  If you are going to your local biog box store, chances are, you are not going to find a good thin-set.  There are essentially two types of thin-set mortars in the market; pre-mixed and powdered form. It seems the pre-mixed mortar is an easier option but professionals prefer powdered form so they can control the density of the mixture. While mixing thin-set mortar, do not make lots of it at once because it gets dry very quick and once hardened, it is useless.

After installing all the tiles, it is recommended to give it a few hours to dry.  After that you can start applying grout. Usually contrast grouting looks better with hex tiles but there is no hard and fast rule so you can select any color of your preferences. Based on the grout joint between the hexagon tiles, you can apply a sanded, non-sanded or epoxy based grout – both of these types are easily available in the market. Sanded grout is good for larger grout joints while non-sanded grout is thin and suitable for smaller grout joints. When you are unsure, check the manufacturers instructions for grout compatibility. After applying the grout, you can clean the excessive grout with sponges and micro-fiber towels. Give the grout ample time to dry and then you are good to go. As always, drying times depend on several factors and you should always refer to the manufactures instructions.

Porcelain vs. Ceramic: Which Tile is Suitable Where?

Porcelain vs. Ceramic: Which Tile is Suitable Where?

Porcelain vs. Ceramic: Which Tile is Suitable Where?

There are many different types of tiles like ceramic, porcelain, stone, glass and others. Unlike others, porcelain and ceramic have many similarities but still they are two different types of tiles and based on your application one might be more suitable than the other one. Interestingly, ceramic and porcelain tiles are not only made with different types of clay but they are also manufactured on different temperature.

Porcelain is treated with significantly higher temperature than ceramic and that’s why it is more solid, less porous and less water absorbing than ceramic tiles. The main difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles is their ability to absorb water. A tile is considered porcelain (actually they are not made of porcelain but it is a given name) if it absorbs less than 0.5% of water. Let’s see how this attribute makes a big difference and which tile is suitable where.

Which Tile You Should Use if You Are Under Tight Budget?

Now that’s a trick question as different ceramic and porcelain tiles come with varying price tags. However, if you compare them side by side, porcelain tiles are always more expensive than ceramic tiles. So, if you are under a tight budget, then using ceramic tiles would be a smarter decision. It is almost impossible to find a porcelain tile with high quality and less than $3 per square foot price tag. The price goes up and easily exceeds $6 per square foot limit when it comes to porcelain tiles.

On the other hand, ceramic tiles are significantly cheaper as you can find a good quality ceramic tile for $3 per square foot and even the most premium ones are available for $4 per square foot. If quality if not the high priority here, you can find ceramic tiles for less than $2 per square foot. If you are compromising on the quality, it doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the design too. There are hundreds of different designs available in ceramic tiles and you can even choose latest trends like wood-like tiles to give your kitchen space a modern look.

Which Tile You Should Use Outdoor?

That’s pretty simple; porcelain must be your first and only option outdoor especially if the temperature goes below freezing point in winters. As mentioned earlier, ceramic tiles are porous that means they absorb water that means in freezing environment tiles would absorb water that would expand and break the tiles. In some harsh conditions, ceramic tiles won’t even last a single night outdoor.

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Even if it is not freezing outside, ceramic tiles wouldn’t be a good choice because they would have to bear lots of water contents that would reduce their overall lifespan. Generally, outdoor tiles get more foot traffic than indoor tiles so using ceramic outdoor would be a bad idea from this prospective too.

Which Tile You Should Use if the Application has High Foot Traffic?

Both of the tiles (ceramic and porcelain) are suitable for high foot traffic applications like living rooms and hallways. However, if you are looking for the best option (considering other factors as well) then porcelain should be your first choice as these tiles are much denser and durable as compared to ceramic tiles. The high density of porcelain tiles not only makes them stronger but also makes them scratch resistant and wear resistant – both of these attributes are highly important in applications with high foot traffic.

Many area of the house are considered high foot traffic areas; for example, living room, hallway, kitchen (if social and family gathering is a common practice) and might be some other areas depending on the kids and pets. It is recommended to use porcelain in those areas to increase the durability of tile installation.

Which Tile You Should Use If the Tile Installation is A DIY Project?

Many people would be wondering that why being a DIY project is an influential factor in deciding which tile should be used. The reason is quite simple; if you are not a professional tile installer, then it would be a nightmare for you to install porcelain tiles. As mentioned earlier, porcelain tiles are much denser than their counterpart yet being denser also has some disadvantages. For example, porcelain tiles are difficult to cut and difficult to install on walls.

It would be even more difficult in applications where you need to cut lots of tiles for corners and to meet the space requirements. If you use porcelain tiles in such situations, either you would need professional help or you would break lots of tiles in the process that would ultimately increase the cost.

Which Tile You Should Use if the Application has High Humidity and Moisture?

That’s an easy one; porcelain should be your first choice if the application has high moisture. That includes bathroom, kitchens, outdoor applications and even laundry room. Porcelain is dense and the high density makes it impossible for water to penetrate the tiles. As mentioned above, the water absorption rate of less than 0.5% is considered pretty impressive. Many home owners use ceramic for these applications as well because ceramic is significantly cheaper than porcelain.

Those people are not entirely wrong as ceramic tiles come in many different water absorption ratings; tiles with less than 3% of water absorption rate are still considerably fine with water-rich applications. There is another smart solution; you can use porcelain as backsplash in kitchen and other tiles could be ceramic tiles. This layout would reduce the overall cost drastically.

We have discussed five different scenarios where you might get the dilemma of using ceramic or porcelain tiles. And hopefully now you understand the key differences between both tiles and their different uses. By the way, both types are easily cleanable with sponge or mop.

A Complete Guide for Tile Shopping

A Complete Guide for Tile Shopping

A Complete Guide for Tile Shopping

The majority of people consider only the color, shape and size of tiles while buying them for kitchen or bathroom remodeling in Los Angeles but there are lots of other things you must consider. Color and shape are the most obvious traits of a tile and manufacturers mention other properties as well on the box. However, these things are mentioned in codes so you need to know what they are to understand the actual meaning.

Of course the better you understand the tiles and their properties, the better you can manage your project and save money. Let’s see what these codes say and how understanding these can help you in decision making.


Every ceramic and porcelain tile comes with mentioned grade; the grading depicts its rigidness and quality. Usually there are one to three grades where the grade one is considered the highest quality in that tile. Grade two is slightly less rigid and of less quality. Usually these two grades are used for floor tiling because of their stability and their ability to carry the weight. Grade three tiles are considered of least quality and they are not suitable for floor tiling as they can’t carry the weight.

You can use grade one and two tiles on walls too (although it would be more expensive considering the higher price of high quality tiles) but it is not recommended to use grade three tiles for flooring.


In Los Angeles, glazed tiles have five ratings and unglazed tiles have four ratings. These are friction rating, frost, tone, water resistance and wear rating. On ceramic and porcelain tile boxes, you would see all of these ratings. Let’s see what these ratings mean and why it is important for you to understand to buy the best tiles for the application.

Wear Resistance

Wear rating is something that is exclusively associated with glazed tiles. Unglazed tiles are not rated with this; wear rating is also known as PEI (Porcelain and Enamel Institute) that simply denotes the tile’s ability to withstand scratches and wears. This rating is used to decide whether the tile would be a good fit for the floor based on the lifestyle, traffic and other factors that may vary from buyer to buyer. There are five ratings which are called PEI I to PEI V.

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PEI I and PEI II are for show-only and they cannot be used as floor tiles because they cannot bear people walking on them. These tiles are highly abrasive and only suitable for walls. PEI III rating ceramic tiles are recommended for residential use because they are wear resistant and cost efficient. PEI IV tiles are for high standard residential applications and some small commercial projects.

PEI V rating tiles are highly wear resistant and only suitable for high standard corporate application with lots of traffic. There is no need to use PEI V and even PEI IV in some residential projects because they are expensive.

Water Resistance

Water resistance is an important property of a tile and it should be considered while choosing tile for an outdoor or wet area. Water resistance is usually denoted as water absorption rate or simple WA rating. These categories have names and the percentage of water absorption. There are mainly four categories which are non-vitreous, semi-vitreous, vitreous and impervious. These categories have more than 7%, 3-7%, 0.5-3% and less than 0.5% water absorption rate respectively.

Non-vitreous tiles that absorb more than 7% water are not suitable for wet areas, semi-vitreous tiles could be used indoor in dry areas, and vitreous tiles could be used outdoor and wet areas while impervious tiles are suitable for highly moist areas which are in direct contact with water. Interestingly, porcelain tiles which are also impervious come with a higher price tag but you can use ceramic tiles with the same properties at a much lower cost.

Friction Rating

Friction rating is important in almost every application however it might be a deciding factor in application like bathroom floors and commercial areas which have to meet Americans with Disabilities Act. Friction is measures in Coefficient of Friction which is also known as COF. It is calculated by considering the weight of an object and the force required to slide that object on a surface.

Higher COF means the tile provides high slip resistance and lower COF means the floor would be smoother and more slippery. Usually 0.50 and above COF is recommended for residential applications while 0.60 and above COF is recommended for commercial applications to comply with the Act mentioned above. Carefully consider the COF rating of tiles while selecting them for specific applications like bathroom floors.

Frost Rating

Unlike other factors mentioned here, frost rating is a simple Yes/No rating where Yes refers to the abilities of a tile that can bear freezing temperature in outdoor applications while a No means the tile should be used indoor. This rating only matters in outdoor applications in cold areas otherwise you don’t have to consider it at all.

Tone Rating

The tone rating refers to the deliberate variation of tile tone to make it appear like a natural stone tile. Tiles with solid and consistent colors do not have tone rating.

How to Select the Right Tile Size?

Many people wonder about the right tile size and interestingly, there is no universal formula to calculate the tile size as it depends on the application and what you like. All types of tiles are available in different sizes and you can even get custom size at a slightly higher price. Usually the recommended size for wall tiles is 10cm to 60cm and for floor tiles is 30cm to 60cm. interior designers suggest using tile with appropriate size as compared to the application area. For example, 60cm tiles could look good in a bigger bathroom but they won’t look good on a smaller bathroom.

Why People Want to Renovate Their Homes and How Much They Usually Spend

Why People Want to Renovate Their Homes and How Much They Usually Spend

Why People Want to Renovate Their Homes and How Much They Usually Spend

People in Los Angeles renovate their homes for a number of reasons and interestingly how much they spend vary drastically. So there is no easy way to answer the questions like, how much kitchen remodeling in Los Angeles costs?or how much bathroom renovation in Los Angeles costs? However, based on a recent study conducted in USA, some valuable data has been collected from around two thousand people that tell us why people want to renovate their homes, bathrooms and kitchens.

This data can also help us make a realistic estimate of the overall expenses. Let’s dig a little deeper.

How Much People Spend On Bathroom Remodeling?

Based on results of the study, people spend from less than $2,500 to more than $75,000 on bathroom remodeling. These numbers vary significantly because some people only install new floor, wall tiles and other things while some people renovate from their bathrooms from scratch. Interestingly, more than 76% of the people spent $5,000 to $50,000 on bathroom remodeling.

  • Around 5% of the people spent less than $2,500.
  • More than 10% of the people spent $2,500 to $5,000 on bathroom remodeling.
  • Around 23% of the people spent $5,000 to $10,000 on the project.
  • 34% of the people spent $10,000 to $25,000 on bathroom renovation.

Although these numbers give a basic idea of the bathroom remodeling cost yet the study wasn’t exclusive with Los Angeles so you might see a little different in the actual cost based on the material and labor cost in your geographical area.

Why Homeowners Decide to Renovate Their Bathrooms?

The study also concluded the major reasons why homeowners decide to remodel their bathroom. However, these numbers are overlapping as most of the people had two or more reasons to do so. Around 45% of the people said that they can’t stand the old bathroom and that’s why they are doing a total renovation. 38% of the people said that theywanted to do that for a long time and finally now their financial situation allows them to do so.
Interestingly, around 20% of the people were doing bathroom remodeling because they just bought the house and they want to make it new. Why this part is interesting? Because 10% of the people said that they are renovating the bathroom as they are selling the house and they want to increase its value.

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What Are the Main Things People Upgrade in Bathrooms?

94% of the people wanted to improve their bathroom space by fixing plumbing issues and that’s the most common reason. But unless it is a complete plumbing job, it is considered a small task as compared to the idea of bathroom remodeling itself. On the other hand, more than 90% of the people wanted new wall tiles or wall paint.
More than 90% of the people wanted new tile floor, 90% of the people wanted countertops, 89% of the people wanted to install sink or upgrade it. It is pretty clear that tiling is the major reason why people remodel their bathrooms.

How Home Renovation Can Improve Your Lifestyle?

Home renovation (especially bathroom and kitchen remodeling) is not something we do every day. However, this investment can pay off in multiple folds in many ways. Some of those ways are pretty obvious, like improving the value of the house before selling while some simply improve the overall lifestyle of the residents. Let’s see how home renovation can improve your lifestyle.

Efficient Use of Space

Sometimes, especially when you buy a new house, you find that many of the things are not built efficiently and they are not compatible with your lifestyle. For example, some of the space is being wasted and by improving the use of space, you can improve the overall look and functionality.

Safety and Comfort

These renovations are mostly related to installing/fixing windows and other similar interfaces and windows get the most damage from weather conditions like freezing cold temperature and rain etc. Based on your geographical location and weather conditions, you might want to renovate the house to increase the level of comfort and the sense of safety.

Proper Maintenance

Regardless of how carefully you build everything, houses are not built to last forever and they need proper maintenance every now and then. Different parts of the house wear and tear at different speed; high quality bathroom tiles or kitchen floors can last for 15 years (if you maintain them properly), windows and doors can last many seasons but eventually you need to pay attention to things.


If you recall, 45% of the people said that they renovated their house because they can’t stand the old one anymore. Sometimes this happens when people get frustrated by the design itself but most of the times it is related to functionality. If a kitchen or bathroom is not built according to your preferences and needs, chances are you won’t like it using and eventually you would want to do bathroom remodeling.

Improving the Value of House

Almost 10% people renovated their house before selling it and this phenomenon is getting more and more popularity everywhere, especially in Los Angeles as people are realizing that the investment on home renovation is a smart investment that always pays off. In case improving your house value is your purpose behind kitchen or bathroom remodeling, you need to spend money strategically on things that matter the most – like tile installation.

Energy Efficiency

If you live in a low or high temperature climate, then you need to thing about energy efficiency too as by making some smart renovations, you can save a significant amount of money on utility bills every month. For example, installing new windows or installing tiles that are suitable with the climate, you can reduce the power consumption of ceiling fans and AC units.

Sanded Grout Versus Non-Sanded Grout

Sanded Grout Versus Non-Sanded Grout

Sanded Grout Versus Non-Sanded Grout

In previous articles, we have discussed lots of things about tile installation, flooring, backsplashes and choosing the right tiles for the application. Here we are, with a complete guide about choosing the best grout for the job. Grout refers to the mortar that is used to bind the tiles (whether on the floor or backsplash). Unlike thin set that is used to connect the tiles with surface, grout serves two purposes; it binds the tiles and it also make tiles water-proof.

Keeping tiles at a certain distance from each other gives the whole floor a better look and that’s why grout is applied to cover that distance. Grouting becomes one of the most important parts of the project in application where tiles have direct contact with water. In stores, you can find many types of grouts that are advertised to be suitable for different jobs but in a nutshell, there are only two types of grout; sanded and non-sanded grout.

What Is the Difference between Sanded and Non-Sanded Grout?

Interestingly, the main difference between sanded and non-sanded grout is already mentioned in their names. Although both of these types have some variations but a sanded grout comes with silicon based sand in it while non-sanded grout is a must more smoother mixture of cement with no sand in it. This difference results in different performance of these grouts in different conditions; for example, sanded grout do not shrink or crack easily but they are only suitable for joints larger than 1/8 inch joints because it would be almost impossible to force that thick mixture into small joints.

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On the other hand, non-sanded grout should be used in wider joints because it is not immune to cracking and it gets messed up by continuous interaction with direct water. Now, many of the hardware stores even sell wide joint mixture as a separate product; these mixtures come with a higher ratio of sand and they are recommended for wider joints.

DTLA Tile Sanded Versus Non-Sanded Grout Infographic

So, The Joint Size Is The Ultimate Factor In Choosing Sanded Or Non-Sanded Grout?

Yes and no; joint size is the most important factor but in some cases the type of tile matters too. As you can imagine, sanded grout can easily scratch glassy surface and polished tiles; so using sanded grout with marble tiles is not a great idea, considering the joints could be covered by non-sanded grout.

Similarly, it is recommended to use sanded grout in floor tiles because it don’t crack or break easily even with lots of traffic on it. That’s pretty much the basics of it and selecting the best grout for a particular job should be based on all of the factors mentioned above.

In Which Cases Sanded Grout is a More Suitable Option?

  • Sanded grout must be your first and default choice for any kind of tiling (whether flooring or backsplash installation). It is easily available everywhere and there are lots of available colors to match with your tiles.
  • For tile joints with average distance or more, sanded grout is the best option as it binds the tiles perfectly and does not crack easily.
  • With all the tiles where possible scratching is not an issue, you can use sanded grout. Most of the time people get professional help for installing polished tiles (because they are more expensive) and with normal tile surface they feel confident to do it on their own. In those cases, sanded grout is a suitable option.
  • The price is also a deciding factor here; sanded grout costs almost half than non-sanded grout and the reason is pretty simple; in sanded grout, the sand itself is a big part of the mixture and sand is cheap. On the other hand, in non-sanded grout, expensive chemicals are added to make it smoother.
  • Most of the hardware stores keep more color options for sanded grout as compared to non-sanded grout because sanded grout is more popular and widely used.

In Which Cases Non-Sanded Grout is a More Suitable Option?

  • Sanded grout might be your first choice, but in some cases where the tile joints are too narrow, it would be practically impossible to use sanded grout because of its thickness and forcing the mixture between tiles is not an option.
  • Sanded grout makes it difficult for non-professionals to apply it on vertical surfaces like while installing backsplash or bathroom wall. The non-sanded grout works better in vertical applications because it sticks better than sanded grout.
  • As mentioned above, some particular types of tiles like glass, stones, marble and even some types of ceramic and porcelain tiles are easily scratch-able and in such cases using non-sanded grout would be a better idea.

Some Tips and Tricks of Using Sanded and Non-Sanded Grout

Because of the manufacturing process and the color pigments used in non-sanded grout, when you clean the surface with water, the water also carries color pigments with it and as a result the color of grout gets a little lighter than the actual color shown in charts. That’s why it is a better idea to choose a slightly darker shade of grout so you can get the desired color. Asking the in-store assistance about it would be a good idea because this phenomenon might not apply on all of the manufacturers or some manufacturers might have resolved it by improving their color chart.

According to some experts in the field, using non-sanded grout is a double edged sword; it is not only difficult to install as compared to its counterpart but it is also develops cracks with it comes in direct contact with water. The interaction with water can also lead to mold within tile joints and that particular issue could only be resolved by getting professional help to remove grout and re-install it.

How to choose tile

How to choose tile

How to Choose Tile

Installing new tiles in your kitchen and bathroom increases the house value significantly and that’s why many people install new tiles before putting their house on the market. The cost of tile installation varies drastically depending on many different factors; however, regardless of the investment, it always pays off in many folds. Many people make tile installation a weekend DIY project (yes, it is possible to install tiles in 48 hours) while some people hire professional help.

Whether you get professional help or opt for DIY project, it is your job to select the tiles. There are some obvious factors like size, color, texture, type and cost that play an important role here. Also, you need to consider the application as well; for example, a particular type of tile may good as a backsplash but might not be suitable for kitchen or bathroom flooring.

What Are Some Types of Tiles and How Much They Cost?

The actual cost of the tiles may vary from vendor to vendor yet we can make a pretty accurate estimate of the total cost of the project. Let’s talk about different types of tiles, their ideal uses and how much they cost.


Ceramic tiles are the most popular ones and they are easily available everywhere. These tiles are usually made by mixing clay, minerals and water. After putting them in high temperature, glass coating is applied to give it a scratch resistance exterior. Because of their cost efficiency, durability and easy availability, Ceramic tiles are suitable for DYI projects. Because of the manufacturing process, two different lots of Ceramic tiles may have slightly different color so you need to buy reasonably extra tiles for adjusting breakage and wastage. These tiles usually cost around $2 to $7 per square foot.


Glass tiles are more expensive than many of the other types of tiles. The advantages of using Glass tiles are its colorfulness, availability of lots of designs and colors, easy to clean surface and 100% water resistance that make them a suitable option for backsplash. However, they are not easy to install and you might need professional help to install them perfectly.  Also, you need to handle adhesive carefully because it would be visible from the front side. Glass tiles usually sell for $7 to $32 per square foot.


Just like ceramic tiles, Stone tiles are also very popular and they come in many different types like onyx, marble, sandstone, granite and others. The advantages of using Stone tiles are a wide range of types, colors and texture as well as many of their uses. For example, many people use granite tiles as countertop. However, Stone tiles are considered fragile when it comes to water and chemicals; you need to carefully seal the spaces between tiles. Stone tiles usually cost $6 to $15 per square foot.

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Porcelain tiles are also made with the same process as ceramic tiles but they are treated with higher temperature. This technique increases their density and solidity. Because of the les absorbent surface, Porcelain tiles are suitable for backsplashes and bathroom flooring. Just like ceramic tiles, Porcelain riles are also easy to install and easy to maintain. Unfortunately, Porcelain tiles have the same issue of color difference as ceramic tiles. Also, because of less spongy exterior, you need to choose a suitable adhesive for Porcelain tiles. These tiles have similar price tag of around $2 to $7 per square foot.


Cement tiles are slowly getting obsolete because of the availability of better and more cost efficient options in the market. These tiles are handmade and that’s why they come with a higher price tag. No doubt they are beautiful butthey are hard to install and many of the professional tile installers don’t have any meaningful experience working with Cement tiles. These tiles do not respond well to detergents and other chemicals. Cement tiles cost around $7 to $19 per square foot.

How to Choose the Best Tiles for Your Bathroom or Kitchen?

Now you know different types of tiles, their price range, their advantages and disadvantages. Of course these factors play an important role in choosing the most suitable tiles yet there are many other factors you must consider here.

Understand Application Requirements

The actual application is probably one of the decisive factors in choosing the best tiles. As you know, some tiles are water resistant while others need careful maintenance, so tiles that would be a good fit for bathroom floor wouldn’t be necessarily good for backsplash in kitchen or for kitchen floor.

Understand Different Tiles

You need to understand the difference between types of tiles to choose the most suitable one. For example, glass tiles could be used for backsplash in kitchen and walls in bathroom but they are not a good fit for flooring. Similarly, stone tiles could be used anywhere while ceramics and porcelain tiles are suitable for flooring.

Consider Your Budget

Different types of tiles have different (and drastically varying) price tags. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are inexpensive but art ceramic tiles and tiles with custom designs could be expensive. It is better to set a budget first and then find a suitable tile around that number. For cost estimation, you can either use professional help (as many of the stores provide that for free) or you can do it yourself.

Consider the Existing Architecture

It is highly recommended to go with the flow instead of going against the existing architectural style of the house; and this advice goes the both ways. If the house is quite fancy then you need to spend money on tiling too because otherwise it would look odd.

Consider Your Lifestyle

You need to consider your lifestyle as well as the factor of convenience while choosing the tiles for your kitchen or bathroom. Although plain shiny tiles look good in store but they are too slippery and they would be dangerous especially for kids; so, create a balance between aesthetics and comfort.

How to tile a Bathroom Floor

How to tile a Bathroom Floor

How to tile a Bathroom Floor

Replacing the old floor of your bathroom with new shining tiles have two major advantages; it can give your bathroom an entirely new look (depending upon the use of colors) and it can increase the overall value of your house. So, especially if you are going to sell the house in near future, make an investment of few hundred dollars on new bathroom floor and it would pay off in thousands.

There are many different types of floor tiles while ceramic and stone tiles are pretty common because of their cost efficiency, look and for being easy to install. Another advantage of using ceramic and stone tiles is freedom of choice; there are hundreds of different colors and textures to choose. However, because of the manufacturing process, two different batches of the same color might have slightly different shade so buy little more tiles than your actual need.

How Much It Would Cost to Tile a Bathroom Floor?

The cost to tile a bathroom floor in Los Angeles mainly depends on two things; the size of the bathroom (means how much tile you are going to use) and what you are going to do with the old flooring. In some cases, if you have enough confident to do the job and enough patience to perfectly align and level the tiles then you can do the job yourself, considering you keep the old flooring as it is and put an underlayment. Unfortunately, this might be not possible because of one of many reasons.

If it is necessary to remove the old flooring then you need professional help to avoid the mess an unprofessional person can make while removing the old flooring or repairing it. Installing new tile floor in the bathroom would cost around $250-750 depending on the size of the bathroom and what kind of tiles you use. You can get ceramic or stone tiles for $5 to $15 per square foot with good quality. However, if you want to get things done then you can go as low as $2 per square foot and can go as high as $60 per square feet.

How to Tile a Bathroom Floor?

  1. You can measure the size of bathroom yourself and don’t forget to add extra 10% tiles for wastage and breakage.
  2. The first step of installing tiles on bathroom floor is to prepare the room. Cover the toilet hole first and then cover everything else like vanity and sink.
  3. Now, scrub the old flooring with abrasive pad to clean it perfectly.
  4. Apply thin set with notched trowel and lay down the tiles one by one. Never mix too much of the thin set as it gets dry pretty quickly and lose its usefulness, even adding water is no good so mix a little, apply it and mix some more.
  5. After setting the tiles, you need to wait for several hours so the thin set can dry.
  6. After that, the floor would be ready for applying grout. Fortunately, grouting isn’t as difficult as applying thin set; all you have to do is put grout on the tiles and fill the gaps with trowel.
  7. Now remove the excessive grout with cheesecloth and sponges. You can add extra water and make grout thinner to make it easy to work with but making it thinner has its own disadvantages. Now let’s talk about these steps in details.
Now let’s talk about these steps in details.

Material and Equipment

  • Thin set (based on the tile type)
  • Grout (based on the tile type)
  • Sealer (based on the tile type)
  • Tile cutter
  • Sponges and cheesecloth
  • Few Buckets
  • Tape measure
  • Notched trowel
  • Abrasive pads and sand paper
How To Tile a Bathroom Floor Infographic

Measuring the Floor

Use tape measure to measure the floor area. If the bathroom is rectangle, then this step would be easy. If it isn’t, then measure the area of all rectangles and count the total. Usually it is recommended to add 10% extra tiles to adjust for breakage, cutting and wastage but the more complex design your bathroom floor has, the more tiles it would consume. So, it is better to buy a little extra to avoid the headache of buying few more tiles in case you need them later.

Prepare the Area

Definitely you don’t want to create a mess and damage the toiler and other things like sink and vanity. So, remove things you can and cover everything else. Thin set is easy to remove when it is wet but once it gets dry, it would hard to remove from toilet or sink so better safe than sorry.

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Use abrasive pads to clean the floor. Make sure there is no dirt left there. If the floor it too smooth, it won’t hold tiles so you need to use combination of sand paper and abrasive pad to make it a little rough and dirt-free.

Apply Thin Set

Mix thin set but do not mix too much at once because it gets dry pretty fast. Once it gets dry, it is a total waste and you can’t make it soft again with water. So, mix a small amount (that you can apply in few minutes) and then use notched trowel to apply it on the floor. The purpose of using the notched side of trowel is to make edges that would hold the tiles firmly.

Install Tiles

Install tiles when the thin set is still wet; if you are doing it for the first time, you would definitely get some thin set on tiles. This is not a big deal and you can remove it easily with sponges when it is wet. If it dries out, it would be difficult. The drying process could take many hours (up to 24 hours) so wait patiently.

Apply Grout and Sealer

Put some grout on the newly installed floor and use sponges to spread it out so it can cover the gaps between tiles. Grout is not as hard as thin set and you can make it thinner by adding water. After filling all the gaps, remove the excessive grout with the help of sponges and cheesecloth. Grout usually takes 48 to 72 hours to dry completely and after than you can apply the sealer for water resistance.

Some Tips About Tiling a Bathroom Floor

As mentioned above, if you are confident and have enough patience, you can tile the bathroom floor yourself; however, in most of the cases you need professional help to do things perfectly. Following are some tips about tiling a bathroom floor that can help you in DIY projects.

Attention to Details

Tiling the bathroom floor is a work of precision and you should understand that small details make a big different. Attention to details would give your bathroom floor a more polished look than normal.

Tile Size

People usually think that a one foot tile would be exact 12 inches but that’s not the case. Tile manufacturers consider the space between tiles before naming them one foot tile so it would be slightly lesser than 12 inches. If you are planning to tile the bathroom yourself, ask the store for a tile sample and measure it precisely to get the idea of actual sizing.

Doors and Windows are the Weakest Links

You need to ensure tiles are sealed perfectly and water cannot go behind the tiles. Unfortunately, it is easier said than done because doors and windows make it extremely difficult. The process of waterproofing doors and windows might take some extra time and efforts but it would increase the life span of the job drastically.

Water Drain Level

Depending on the exact position of the drain in your bathroom, you need to adjust tiles for water drain level. Smooth water flow in the right direction not only reduces the overall dry out time after shower but also increases the durability of tiles and grouting.

Remove Sanitary-ware if Possible

You can install tiles around sanitary-ware but it is recommended to remove everything you can before tiling because of three reasons; first of all, during the tiling process, they could get damaged and you would be unable to concentrate on the world while avoiding possible damage all the time. Second, removing the sanitary-ware would allow you to make a much more better finish. And last, an easily removable sanitary-ware would ensure the replacement easier any time in the future.

Choose Adhesive Carefully

Always ask the store for the recommended adhesive for the tiles you’ve chosen. You can select either ready-made adhesive or powder based one. However, powder based adhesives are more popular because you can control the water ratio and thickness of the solution as per your requirements.

Backsplash Installation

Backsplash Installation

Backsplash Installation

The best way to increase the overall value of your house is to upgrade your kitchen and bathroom. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a hefty sum of money to make your kitchen aesthetically pleasing. Unlike tile flooring, you don’t even have to move appliances and cabinets for backsplash installation. Let’s see how it could be done, what tiles to choose and some amazing tips about backsplash installation.

How To Tile a Kitchen Backsplash

Step 1: Getting Suitable Tiles

Of course the first step of installing backsplash is getting suitable tiles for your kitchen. Once you are in the tile showroom, you would see lots of different types of tiles and so many options would confuse you. It is better to prepare yourself before visiting the store. The salesperson can help you there but they don’t know what you want better than you do.

  • Some of the factors that distinguish different types of tiles and can help you choose the most suitable tiles for your kitchen are: cost, durability, installation process, color availability, water resistance, cleaning process and

Let’s take a look into different types of backsplash tiles.


Ceramic tiles cost almost $2-$6 per square foot. This is the most common type of backsplash tiles and the reason behind its popularity all over the globe is cost efficiency, durability, a wide range of available colors and designs and the installation process which is pretty easy. However, it is difficult to get the exact color match in two different batches of Ceramic tiles.


Porcelain tiles are quite similar to ceramic tiles when it comes to pricing and manufacturing process except Porcelain tiles are made at a much higher temperature. It offers all the benefits of ceramic tiles and because it is more dense and has less pores, Porcelain tiles are impact resistance and easy to clean. However, because they are less porous, Porcelain tiles need special material for setting.


Glass tiles are considered the most expensive and most classy ones among all. Usually they cost around $7 to $30 per square foot. Glass tiles are colorful, easy to clean, excellent water resistant and shiny. As you can anticipate, glass tiles are very difficult to install and without experience and expertise, it is impossible to install them perfectly.

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Cement tiles are also known as Cuban tiles in many parts of the world and usually these are handmade. The best thing about Cement tiles is their beauty and rareness as they can give your kitchen a classical look. However, because they are rare, not every tile installer has expertise in working with them. Cement tiles cost around $6 to $17 per square foot. Also, Cement tiles need periodic sealing every few years.


There are many different types of Stone tiles and their prices vary from $6 to $15 per square foot. The best thing about Stone tiles is their luxury looks. However, these tiles are not durable and could be damaged easily with water, acidic elements and detergents.

DTLA Backsplash Installation
DTLA Tile Installation
DTLA Tile and Stone
Backsplash Installation Steps

Step 2: Gather the Equipment and Material

Now you have selected the desired tiles, it is time for gathering the equipments.

  1. Level
  2. Tape measure
  3. Multiple buckets
  4. Sponges
  5. Notched trowel
  6. Tile cutter
  7. Knife
  8. Mixing paddle
  9. Mortar, sealer and grout (based on the type of tile you selected)
  10. Tile adhesive

Step 3: Measure the Area Carefully

Measuring the backsplash area is quite easy if you do it carefully. You would be lucky if the area is perfectly rectangular but in most of the cases, it doesn’t happen. If the area is rectangular, then simply measure the length and width of the area and by multiplying, you get the total area. For example, if the length is 15 feet and width is 3 feet then the total area would be 45 square feet.

If it is not perfectly rectangular but a combination of multiple rectangles then measure the area of each of them separately and their summation would be the total area. You can get help from backsplash installation services in Los Angeles

Step 4: Set up the Area and Wall

Regardless of how carefully you do things, you would be making a mess and that’s why it is important to cover everything else near the backsplash installation area. First of all, remove the electric outlets, switches, lights, cover countertops, cabinets and cover other things near the area. You can use cardboards for covering. Now, you need to prepare the wall; if there are signs of damage, scratches and holes, you need to fill them because the uneven surface can result in uneven tiles.

If the surface is too smooth and shiny, you need to sand it so it can grip the tiles. Make sure the surface is dirt free, oil free, there is no debris and the wall is not greasy. Based on what you apply on the wall, ensure it is perfectly dry before you move to the tile installation part.

Step 5: Apply the Mortar

There are two types of mortar; you can either get powder or pre-mixed solution. The pre-mixed solution is usually good for lighter tiles yet professionals prefer powder option so they can control the density based on the type, size and weight of the tile. After readying the mixture, apply the mortar on wall with flat side of the notched trowel. After that, apply another layer with the notched side of the trowel to create edges. These edges help in holding tiles tightly.

Make sure the mixture covers the wall completely and depends on your speed of applying the mortar only apply on 2-3 square foot area so you can apply tiles before drying out.

Step 6: Tile Installation

Start installing tiles from the main focal point; for example, in kitchen, the main focal point of backsplash is behind the sink. However, it may vary depending on the design of your kitchen but that’s the general rule. Press the tile on soft mortar and meanwhile slightly rotate it in both directions so it can hold the surface. After installing the tiles, check all of them and if there is mortar on a tile, remove it as soon as possible before it gets dry.

Usually the drying process takes 8 hours but the recommended time is 24 hours. This may vary based on the temperature and overall climate but 24 hours are enough in most of the cases.

Step 7: Apply the Grout

You can either buy a pre-mixed grout or make it yourself with powder. Making grout with powder is easy too; you need to add enough water (as per instructions) and mix it well. Ensure to re-mix the solution every 20 minutes or so to maintain the consistency of it. The grout would be applicable within 2 hours of mixing so it is reasonable to prepare small amount of it each time.

Apply the grout and ensure all the spaces between tiles are filled completely. Remove the excessive grout from tiles with cheesecloth but do not damage the grout inside the spaces. Don’t worry about tiles; after the grout dries out, you can clean the tiles with water and cheesecloth.

Step 8: Apply Sealer

Different types of sealers are applied on different types of backsplash tiles. Wait 72 hours for the grout to dry out completely and apply the sealer based on the instructions written on container.

Backsplash installation is practically easy yet it needs perfection; if you are not confident whether you can do it or not, get professional backsplash installation services in Los Angeles.