Choosing Fireplace Tiles

Fireplaces add elegance, class and sophistication to any room. When in use, they provide warmth, comfort and peace of mind. Fireplace surrounds showcase the hearth and flames.

HGTV has 10 stylish recommendations for fireplace surrounds, each adding its own ‘flare.’ Most importantly is that they are non-flammable and safe to use.

Tile elements to consider
Fire safety is always top of mind. Always check with local fire experts about potential hazards and risks before making any major changes. 

Consider the look, feel, geometry and colour of the tiles in question. Ask yourself if they fit the aesthetic of the room and highlight the fireplace itself without necessarily making it look too busy. Fireplaces are often the focal point of the room and should please the eye rather than scare it.

The installation process itself is not easy. Hiring a professional may be the best course of action to avoid mistakes, ensure safety and code regulations are met and know the job is well done.

Tiles best suited for fireplace surrounds

The versatility and nature of Porcelain tiles make them an obvious choice for fireplace surroundings. Porcelain tiles are dirt-resistant and also block out odours, fumes, allergens, or antigens. Wood-look porcelain tiles are also a great alternative to real wood, which may not be best suited for a fireplace for obvious reasons. 

Featured:  Ledger Stone Glacier 6X24 Porcelain tile.
Featured:  Paint Stone White 12X24 Italian Porcelain tile.
Featured:  Spaccato Mix 8X24 Muretto Italian Porcelain tile.

Natural stone tiles have many luxurious uses. High-end tiles fit well around a high-end fixture, creating a sense of space and making a room feel light, airy, and open. Natural stone never goes out of style with its upscale rustic look. While a fireplace provides actual warmth, natural stone adds the feeling of warmth, is durable and easy to clean. Some examples include slate, granite, marble, limestone, travertine and sandstone.

Featured:  Caesar Bianco Macchiato 3×12 Polished Marble Tile.
Featured:  Fitch Cloud 12×24 Italian Porcelain tile.

Visualize the fireplace surround
Take advantage of Tile Town’s Visualizer tool as your first step in figuring out the potential look of a fireplace surround. The online interactive tool allows you to play around with ideas, looks, and colours between the fireplace, floors, walls and other items in the room that complement one another to be cohesive.

Have questions? Visit your nearest Tile Town showroom and speak with one of our design experts today.

Benefits of Choosing Concrete Look Tiles

Concrete look tiles are durable, low maintenance and unlike a real concrete surface, they don’t require any special treatment. They come in various tones from dark and moody to light and fresh.

The industrial minimalist look has taken over the interior design space in recent years. Concrete or cement flooring isn’t reserved for only the garage anymore. Innovations in ceramic production have made it possible to create tiles that mimic various styles such as raw concrete, aggregate formwork and polished concrete, making them a sought-after tile choice in many modern homes. 

Where should you use concrete look tiles?

It’s hard to beat the look of a concrete porcelain tile. Its popularity has given rise to endless tile choices that virtually work in any room of the house. While they do look great on main floors and walls, concrete tiles are increasingly being used in wet areas such as bathrooms or to enhance the kitchen and outdoor areas. They are highly popular in renovations where the existing floor does not lend itself to being a polished finish but is the desired look.

Concrete tiled walls give this bathroom a sophisticated edge.
A contemporary design approach mixes concrete tiles with brick and wood textures.

Concrete look tile size options

Concrete look tiles are available in a range of sizes, shades and finishes such as matt (natural), semi-polished and lappato. Our main tile sizes include 300x300mm, 300x600mm and 600x600mm with more sizes available from certain manufacturers like 900x900mm or even 1200x1200mm as a special order. These multiple size ranges make it suitable for multi-use applications and allow for a seamless transition from wet areas to main floors.

Modern living room
Featured: Flux Concrete 12×24 Matte Rectified Porcelain Tile.
Italian Porcelain tile
Featured:  Massive Deepice 12X24 Porcelain tile.

Why are concrete tiles so popular?

With a concrete look tile in your home, you’ll get the modern industrial design look of raw concrete with all the advantages of a porcelain tile:

  • Minimal maintenance – unlike the real thing, concrete look tiles once laid, don’t require any regular sealing, grinding or polishing. Repairing cracked cement is also a difficult and expensive process.

  • Easy to clean – all you need to do to keep your tiles looking new is wipe or mop them down when they start to collect dust and dirt.

  • Versatile – concrete tiles are scratch resistant and perfect in all weather conditions due to the various finishes available.

  • Inexpensive – concrete look tiles are a much more affordable option compared with real cement or concrete flooring and it’s also quicker to install.

Designer tips for the industrial concrete look

Can’t decide on how to combine the concrete look with other textures in your space? Our in-store designers can help! Be inspired by our high-quality selection of concrete tiles. Visit us at any of our locations or online.

Modern Japandi Aesthetic bathroom
Featured: Flux Bone 12×24 Matte Rectified Porcelain Tile.
Italian Porcelain tile
Featured:  Geotech Nero 12×24 Porcelain tile.
Italian Porcelain tile
Featured:  Massive Dimgrey 12X24 Porcelain tile.
A minimalist style offers tranquillity.

When to Choose Encaustic Tiles

Styles come and go. Encaustic-style tiles are making a comeback boasting beautiful, colourful patterns and designed to suit any area or look. Originally used in Europe in the medieval ages, these days encaustic tiles give modern-day homes a contemporary look and an upscale feel.

There are two types of Encaustic tiles – cement, and ceramic. 

Cement-based encaustic tiles are handcrafted and time and labour-intensive. The process involves embedding colourful patterns into the tile using a forged metal frame and compressing it with a hydraulic press. Cement-based tiles also stand the test of time. As they become worn down, much of the design and colour remain. Their designs are limitless adding elegance, old-fashioned charm, and uniqueness. The metal frames can be shaped into any desired design or pattern, using any colour imaginable. Cement encaustic tiles also need to be sealed properly before installation and regularly after that. Needless to say, cement-based tiles can be pricey.

Ceramic encaustic tiles are manufactured differently. Like traditional encaustic tiles, they are made of clay and fired in a kiln. When glazed, they become waterproof. However, they can mimic the look so well that the difference is hardly noticeable. They are less expensive than cement tiles.

Form Ice Deco Clover, Monochrome Lotus, Tide Deco Clover, Atelier Fiore 8×8 Porcelain Tiles
Featured: Atelier Fiore Decor 8×8 Matte Porcelain Tile
Featured: Form Monochrome Lotus 8X8 Porcelain Tile

How to pick encaustic tiles 
Because of their eye-catching appearances, encaustic tiles are a wow factor you can add to any room. They add fun and interest to kitchen backsplashes, bathroom floors, laundry rooms and entryways. 

Featured: Form Monochrome Lotus 8X8 Porcelain Tile
Featured: Form Monochrome Lotus 8X8 Porcelain Tile

Encaustic tiles also look great on fireplace walls or to give a faux-rug appearance in a hallway entrance. No matter where you use encaustic tiles, know the material and how to maintain it so it stays long-lasting. 

Tile Town offers porcelain tiles that are easy to install, maintain, and offer a classic timeless look that can add a luxurious touch to your home. Our staff will also work with you to design the look of any room you want to feature encaustic tiles.

Featured: 8″x 8″ – Deco Diamond Tide (Special Order)
Featured: 8″x 8″ – Deco Geo Monochrome (Special Order)

Staff culture at Tile Town based on supported growth

Jason Makowski will soon celebrate the seventh year of his Tile Town career. 

“What inspires me is that, I know coming to work every day, it’s not just coming to do my job and leave,” says Makowski. “I’m working towards a greater goal of moving up and taking on more responsibility.”

Makowski was only looking for a paycheck to get by when he first started working – initially applying as a labourer lifter at Tile Town for what he assumed was going to be a temporary job.  “I kind of just needed a job, I didn’t know about tile or anything,” he admits.

To his surprise, Makowski found purpose. He was encouraged by a supportive, growth-promoting team environment to think about his potential and change the course of his future.

“Tile Town breeds a culture of what you’ll put in, you’ll get back,” Makowski exclaims. “A couple of years in, I realized I could make something of this and grow.”

Makowski worked his way up from the warehouse to the sales floor, and eventually, into management and in the distribution centre. His motivation: helping and improving people’s lives.

“It’s not just about tile, people come in and we give them good service,” says Makowski. “The reward is they come back.”

Makowski’s managerial style is to provide his staff with as much support as possible – modelling his approach after a boss who took him under their wing.

“We just try and have fun. We all realize life is bigger than just work itself, so there is freedom if we can get the work done,” explains Makowski. “I’ve also worked in every position, so when I do have a message to get across, it resonates more because I know how my staff are feeling in those situations.”

Jason Makowski at work in Surrey's Tile Town Showroom

Makowski notes his store has seen slight changes in tile-picking trends.

“People are getting more exotic with their tile. They’re are coming in and adding more pop and style to their rooms,” Makowski says. “There was a 3-to-4 year period where all people cared about was reselling their house, so all they wanted to do was white. Now people want to enjoy their spaces a bit more and are planning to be there a bit longer.”

Makowski is excited about his future and looks forward to continue growing his career with Tile Town. When in the Cloverdale neighbourhood in Surrey, be sure to visit Tile Town say hello to Jason and his team.

Coats for Kids Means a Brighter Holiday

Coats for Kids Means a Brighter Holiday

It’s that time of the year again when we collect coats at our Tile Town locations throughout BC and Alberta.

At our Richmond and Surrey Tile Town locations, we’ve partnered with HAVAN’s 26th Coats for Kids campaign, in support of the Lower Mainland and Surrey Christmas Bureaus. We invite you to drop off warm winter items until December 3.

Our Tile Town location on Vancouver Island is accepting donations of new or very gently used coats (all sizes from infant to youth large) on behalf of the Victoria Coats For Kids Association, a non-profit organization serving local families for the past 22 years. Coats can be dropped off at our Victoria showroom during regular business hours.

If you’re near our Edmonton West or Edmonton South showrooms, we’re collecting coats on behalf of the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region. Their Coats for Kids & Families initiative has been going strong since 1992!

Thank you for helping us create a warmer winter and brighter holiday season for families in need.

Tile Town staff at the Richmond showroom invite you to drop off coats (left).
Staff in our Edmonton location are ready for your warm winter donations (right).

How to Heat Tile Floors Using Schluter DITRA-HEAT

Nothing compares to stepping on a warm floor when waking up on a cold winter morning. The feeling of heat travelling up from your toes is the perfect start to the day.

Installing a floor-heating system doesn’t have to be an expensive addition or tedious process to your renovations. It can even be a DIY project using the Schluter DITRA-HEAT Uncoupling Membrane, or Schluter DITRA-HEAT DUO Uncoupling Membrane.

Both membranes are specifically designed for DITRA-HEAT-E-HK heating cables to be easily installed. The heating cables are responsible for transferring heat from the membrane up through the tiles. The membranes are made out of the same waterproof material as other Schluter products,  making them ideal for bathrooms and other floors around the house that will see high traffic activity.

The differences? The DUO membrane is better suited to be placed over concrete floorings, such as basements, whereas the Schluter DITRA-HEAT Uncoupling Membrane is suited well to be placed over wood. 

Picking the right tile
Like other Schluter products, tiles can be installed directly on the DITRA-HEAT membranes. However, not all tiles are the same and there are some specifications to be aware of when finding the right type of tile. Be sure to refer to the Product Specifications Guide to learn more.

You can also visit any Tile Town location to speak to an expert about tiles that are best suited for the DITRA-HEAT membranes. Our experts will also provide a helping hand in choosing the latest designs and trends that will give your home an elegant, modern look.

These videos guide you step-by-step on how to use install DITRA-Heat.

Featured Tile: Formwork Series

Classic shades offer a versatile tile option for designers seeking continuity between the floor and the wall.

Formwork Series

Colours: Anthracite, White
Size: 12×24 

The mass-coloured porcelain tiles of the Energie Ker Formwork collection best represent the minimalist and urban flavour of industrial reinforced concrete floors. Two classic shades – White and Anthracite – with a thickness of 9 mm, make Formwork extremely versatile in furnishing projects also in continuity between the floor and the wall.

Featured: Formwork White 12×24 Italian Porcelain tile.
Featured: Formwork Anthracite 12×24 Italian Porcelain tile.
Featured Kitchen Floor Tile: Formwork White 12×24 Italian Porcelain tile.

How to Design a Multi-Tasking Home

The new norm for most of 2020 and 2021 became doing everything from home – going to work, working out, staycations, and spending quality time with our families. The way we use our homes transformed – somewhat permanently – teaching a clear lesson that staying at home is not as easy as it could be – especially for people living in smaller spaces. 

It’s no surprise then, why designing multi-tasking spaces in homes has become a large home renovation trend in 2021 – everyone wants to make the most of the spaces they’ll spend so much of their time in.

Furniture and storage solutions

Making the most of any space calls for mindfulness of the furniture that goes into it. It needs to work with and for the room, not against it.

Foldable furniture that sticks to the walls, like Murphy beds, is intentionally designed for a minimalistic approach. They free up the floors and provide the perfect flexibility to switch the purpose of the room. Now a make-shift office space can also be a yoga room, guest room, or any other kind of room it needs to be. Couches that can convert into beds, stackable storage units, and other pieces of furniture will help make the space multi-functional.

Flooring for different rooms

The flooring is just as important as the furniture it supports. Handling high-traffic activities mean the floors have to be strong. 

For most rooms in the house, the two best types of flooring, which are also the most traditional types, are porcelain tiles and vinyl. Their durability, scratch and dent resistance, and diverse looks make them the best choices. 

Home-office spaces

Consider the desk, chair, and shelving items that will go into the home-office space.

Hardwood or wood-look tile are two very popular choices; however, hardwood floors are more prone to damage. Wood-look tile is less expensive and easier to maintain than real wood. In the spirit of multi-tasking, this also gives the home-office space flexibility to adapt to purpose. 

Missing the comfortable, cozy feel of a carpet? A good rug can fill that void while complimenting tile well. 

Home gym spaces

As seen on HGTV, any room can be converted into a home gym or studio space. The best floor support for heavyweights and equipment by far is rubber flooring tiles which absorb shock and save floors from damage.

Beneath that, vinyl and wood are popular options. Considering the equipment being used and the amount of sweat equity, vinyl is a safer bet. It’s easier to clean, won’t damage as easily, and is still a nice feature to have for future uses of the same room.

Kitchen and living room spaces

Traditionally, wood or wood-looking floors are preferred in family living rooms and dining rooms. Luckily, this is very achievable with vinyl and porcelain. Hardwood floorings are high-value in terms of aesthetics and style, but their durability is less than vinyl or tile. Pre-finished wood will provide strength, but wood-looking vinyl meets both strength and durability at once.

Tile Town has a wide range of high-quality porcelain and vinyl tiles to pick and choose from, and our visualizer tool is a great way to see the big picture and test out what works and what doesn’t. 

Once an idea comes to mind about the way a room should look and come together, visit a Tile Town store near you for more help to pick the best flooring to suit the needs of your multifunctional room.

Featured: Aspen Grey Ridge 8X48 Wood Look Porcelain Tile.

Scratch & Save is Back This Fall

We’re celebrating our big birthday year with Fall’s 50 Days of Savings Event! Visit any one of our five locations (Victoria, Richmond, Surrey, Edmonton South, Edmonton West) and you might be one of the lucky customers to scratch and save up to 50% off your purchase.

This year our 50th Anniversary Scratch & Save events put smiles on many customers’ faces (trust us – everyone below is grinning from cheek to cheek under those masks!). Our Fall event runs until November 30.

Browse our Tile Collection and start your project today.

Best Tile Flooring Options for Dogs

Whether they’re told to sit, stay, or rollover, our pets are always on the floor. So is the dirt caught in their fur or the hair and dander that sheds off of them. Not to mention the scratch marks they can leave when their nails grow or the accidents that can happen when still being house trained.

We love our furry family members, and our floors need to love them just as much. A strong, durable floor can keep pets comfortable and homes clean.

Tile and vinyl are the most popular flooring choices by pet owners. Luckily, those are part of Tile Town’s specialties. 

Dog napping on a rug on a durable faux wood vinyl floor.

Porcelain tiles, in particular, are durable, long-lasting, easy to clean, water and scratch-resistant, and provide timeless looks that can add value to your home. A cold tile can feel good on our pet’s paws on a hot day, helping lower their body temperature to keep them cool. Equally, on a cold day, pets can be just as comfortable if an advanced under-tile floor heating system is installed before tiling the floor. The heating system warms up tile from underneath and adds heat to your home.

In-floor heating with Schluter®-DITRA-HEAT.
In-floor heating with Schluter®-DITRA-HEAT.
Avant Garde Piombo, Taupe and Zeeland White 8x48 Wood Look Italian Porcelain tiles.
Featured: Avant Garde Piombo, Taupe and Zeeland White 8×48 Wood Look Italian Porcelain tiles.
Geotech Grigio and Utah Granite 12x24 Italian Porcelain tiles
Featured: Geotech Grigio and Utah Granite 12×24 Italian Porcelain tiles.

Our wide range of luxury Italian tiles and vinyl reflect heat, and are comfortable for all pets, no matter what’s on their fur, where their paws have been, or how far along they are in their house training. 

Versa 7.5 Aspen 7x48 Click Vinyl
Featured: Versa 7.5 Aspen 7×48 Click Vinyl

Visit a Tile Town location near you to view a variety of options suitable for your pets.