Author Archives: Jennifer Johnson

Designing Spaces: Change the Style of Your Kitchen with Peel and Stick Smart Tiles

Smart Tiles help out a Designing Spaces couple in their last show.

They just bought their new house and are really excited about it. They now want to do something new in the kitchen to bright it up a bit. She wanted the glass tile backsplash look but when he saw how expensive it was, they rethink things a little bit.

And they are right. Changing the style in your kitchen often requires expensive remodelling. How about something cost effective and easy to do?

The peel and stick Smart Tiles have just what they need for their kitchen backsplash. It looks just like glass tile and you can peel and stick to a clean and sleek surface.

Should they go with the Bellagio Keystone or the Tango Titane? Look at the before and after in the video:

Peel and stick installation tips included in the video: Clean the wall with a degreaser, mark the wall with a level at the height of the first row of tiles and start in a corner at the furthest point from you stand most often in the kitchen. Go back to the starting point and start the second row.

You will also know what to do when you reach an obstacle like an electrical outlet.

Don’t forget to overlap the peel and stick tiles in order to obtain even spacing between all the rows and columns of the tiles.

This Designing Spaces couple add style to their kitchen.

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Choosing Kitchen Tiles for Your Home

Kitchen TilesOne of the greatest ways of improving a kitchen’s look and feel is by having tiles installed in the main areas. Kitchen tiles can help give your kitchen a facelift, as well as increase its value. Tiled kitchens are a lot easier to clean and maintain than other surfaces. This is why most people would choose to have tiles installed, not only in the kitchen, but in other areas in the home as well. You can decide to use tiles on the kitchen floor, wall and even on countertops . Choosing the right tiles for your kitchen can however be tricky especially if you aren’t experienced in the field (most of us aren’t!)

Discussed below are several types of tiles you could use in your kitchen.

1. Ceramic Tiles: Ceramic tiles are great for kitchen floors, walls and around countertops. Made from baked earthen materials, ceramic tiles are heat resistant, highly durable and are available in a variety of designs and colours from which to choose.

2. Porcelain Kitchen Tiles: Porcelain tiles have a almost the same texture and colouration as real stones, hence present a natural look and feel. These tiles are much stronger than ceramic tiles. They can withstand heavy weights from falling items, do not chip, and are practically scratch free. Most people use these for their countertops, and especially around the kitchen’s working area.

3. Glass Tiles: These are the most sophisticated and classy tiles you can use in your kitchen. Glass tiles are heat resistant, do not stain and can last for a long time. These make a great choice for the kitchen walls. Glass tiles help enhance distribution of light within the kitchen, and are very easy to keep clean.

4. Stone Tiles: These are considered to be the most luxurious of all kitchen tiles on the market. Stone tiles are available in two categories, and may be inexpensive or expensive depending on the material used. Slate stone tiles are specially made to be inexpensive, while the marble variety are luxurious hence very expensive. These tiles can be used almost everywhere in the kitchen.

5. Backsplash Tiles: These are specially made for kitchen walls. The tiles can be made of ceramic, glass, stone or even porcelain materials. Unlike most tiles, these aren’t scratch resistant but do come in different colours. They do require some maintenance but last for a long time if well cared for. One fact remains unchanged when choosing a tile type to use in your kitchen, quality comes with price. Pricey tiles are more durable and chic  compared to the inexpensive option. The type of tiles you choose to use in your kitchen will be partly dictated by the budget you have allocated for the project.

Anti-Slip Tiles : All You Need to Know about Anti Slip Tiles

Anti-Slip TilesWhile tiles are becoming increasingly popular as a flooring option, there remain certain drawbacks to tile flooring that need to be overcome to make them ideal for all manner of uses. The development and widespread proliferation of anti slip coatings represent a major breakthrough in tile safety, and as such they have made tiles a much more popular and sensible option.

To make tiles slip resistant, tiles are basically coated with layers of epoxy coating. This epoxy compound can be applied onto any surface, like ceramic, porcelain, vinyl tiles and it provides a surface that allows the soles of shoes to grip onto it, thus massively reducing the slipperiness of tiles. Also, most epoxy compounds are water resistant, therefore they do not absorb water or allow it to stagnate. Thus, slipperiness is further reduced.

Another method of reducing slip of tiles is by designing a rough surface. This is mainly seen in pavement and patio tiles. The tiles are designed with a rough texture and thus facilitate grip and prevent slipping.

The advantages of these anti slip tiles are many. By preventing a vast number of accidents, not only are tiles becoming the preferred type of flooring, but their variety and versatility is making them a runaway success. They are infinitely superior to tiles without any protective coating, and thus are the obvious choice for all future constructions.

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How to Clean Lime Stains Off of Swimming Pool Tiles

Lime, calcium and hard water deposits tend to develop on tiles along the water line in even the cleanest of swimming pools. Scrubbing off these deposits is hard work, but it leaves the pool looking clean and inviting again. Lime deposits create a rough surface on your tiles to which algae can stick, and develop a slimy mess. Although the process to remove the lime stains is time consuming, it’s not difficult.

Drain the pool so the water falls at least 6 inches below the stain line. If you plan to stand in the pool while you scrub the tile, drain the water an additional 6 inches to keep the waves you generate from touching the stained tiles.

Climb in the pool or lie down on the pool edge so you can reach the stained tiles. Apply an acidic gel pool tile cleaner onto a small area of the stained tile with a lint-free cloth; stick to an area you can reach without moving to a new position. Rub the tile with the cleaner.

VIDEO: Pool Tile Cleaning Bead Blasting Calcium Removal

Allow the gel to sit on the area for about 15 minutes. Dip a large nylon brush in a bucket of clean water and scrub the gel-covered area with the brush using a circular motion. Don’t dip the brush into the pool.

Wipe away the gel using a damp rag. Rinse the rag in the bucket and wring it out well before continuing to wipe away more gel.

Related Article: How To Clean Pool Tile For A Shinier Pool Surface 

Repeat the process around all edges of the pool. Allow the pool tile to dry, then examine it for lime stains. Some don’t show up well when they’re wet, but when they are dry, circle the remaining stains with a grease pencil or crayon.

Apply gel and let it sit on the areas that are still stained. Scrub with a nylon brush and wipe the cleaner away with a damp rag. For stubborn stains that you can feel as well as see, scrape the tile with a razor blade tool or scrub it with a pumice stone after you apply the gel tile cleaner.

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Tips on Removing Kitchen Tiles

Kitchen tiles, frequently installed as a backsplash behind a kitchen counter or stove, provide a water-resistant and easily-washable surface. While tile is a long-term decorative feature in most kitchens, you may want to remove wall tiles if you update your cabinets or remodel your kitchen. The adhesive used to install wall tiles forms a strong bond, so it may take some time and effort to remove. Here are some tips for preparing the wall for the application of new kitchen wall tile.

Removing Kitchen Tiles

What You Need to Know:

Remove the grout first. Scraping away grout between the tiles is the first step in removing them. A hand-held grout scraper features a thick blade with a point on one end and a small wedge on the other end. Scrape back and forth along grout lines to grind away the grout until the base of the wall tiles is visible.

Loosening wall tiles. Wedge the end of a putty knife beneath the bottom of a tile and gently pry outward. Depending upon the type of adhesive used to install the wall tiles, they might pop right off. Unfortunately, most tiles are stuck on quite tightly, and you may have to tap the handle of the putty knife with a small hammer or a mallet to drive it deeper beneath the tile. Since wall tiles may break during this process, chunks of tile may remain stuck to the wall. Scrape these away with a wide-blade putty knife. Also, if the tile was installed over drywall, chunks of drywall may crumble and pull away. If this happens, you may need to do some drywall or plaster skimming to fill the holes and level the surface of the wall.

Alternate removal methods. Some wall tiles are stuck on quite securely, and it may be necessary to cut the whole section of drywall or backer board and replace it with a new piece, rather than pick and pry at each individual tile. If you choose this method, locate the nearest wall stud outside the tiled area and cut the drywall along a vertical line in the middle of the stud. When you install the new sheet, it will be ready to attach to the stud. Make a horizontal cut anywhere above the tiled area. Remove the drywall with the wall tiles still attached. Install a new piece of drywall in place of the old one and use drywall mud to close up the seams. If you are installing new wall tiles, you don’t need to paint the new drywall.

Following safety procedures. Wall tiles may shatter when removed. Wear safety goggles while working to prevent eye injuries from flying shards of tile or glaze. In addition, wear a long-sleeve shirt and leather gloves to reduce the risk of scrapes from sharp tile edges.

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Decorating Drop Ceiling Tiles

Decorating your drop ceiling tiles will enhance your ceiling and show off your space from top to bottom. Drop ceilings are an excellent way to hide many defects your regular ceiling may have. Even though they are several styles of drop ceilings available, some are much more decorative than others. The basic drop ceiling is plain and sometimes very unattractive. There are many ways to improve the look of your plain ceiling tiles without breaking the bank. When decorating your ceiling tile, it’s easier to take them down individually to decorate; always make sure your design is completed and dry before putting them back up.


Use paint as a primary decorative element for your ceiling tiles. Choose latex or gloss paint in a color that compliments your space. To add spice to your ceiling, use metallic paints to create the faux tin look. Stencils can also be used over a solid paint finish or directly on the plain ceiling tile for added style. If you prefer wood, try using a wood stain to paint your tiles (in the dark/light wood tones) then drag a dry brush or a wood grain rocker through the wet stain to achieve a faux wood finish.


Create a decorative, ornate ceiling by pasting wallpaper on each tile. Placing printed, textured or paintable textured wallpaper on your ceiling tile can achieve a stunning designer look. Wallpaper borders can also be used horizontally and vertically to create a patchwork design on your ceiling.


Fabric will add depth to your ceiling. Staple or glue fabric onto each tile or run fabric through the tile frames for a soft, flowing look. Upholstering each tile with padding and fabric adds dimension and style to your space. Cut the padding (batting) to the size of the tile then cut the fabric one or two inches larger than the tile and staple it onto the back of the tile.

For added interest, create a tufted look on your ceiling by stapling down small areas on the front of your tile to create a triangle or square design, or just staple one area down in the middle. Use upholstery buttons (cover the buttons with the same fabric) and sew or hot glue them into the tufted spots to cover the staple. Regular buttons can also be used.


Gluing wood, tin or plastic medallions or moldings to a drop ceiling will bring it to life. Place medallions onto the center of the ceiling tile and paint it in one color or in monochromatic colors for added depth and style. Paint or stain lightweight wood or plastic moldings and glue them onto the tile. Frame each tile like a picture. If you want a designer look, add additional frames to the tile and build a descending frame design. Painting the tile a slightly different hue from the molding will add an extra touch of style.

If you’re not happy with the appearance of your ceiling tiles look, they can be easily changed without having to remove the hardware that’s attached to the ceiling. Simply remove the tiles, get the exact measurements and replace them with the tiles of your choice.

VIDEO: Drop Ceiling Tiles – How to Reface

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Home Improvement & Remodeling Ideas that Increase Home Value (And What to Avoid)

Remodeling the Kitchen

Most people consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and because of this, updates in this room pay off. According to HGTV, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel, as long as you don’t go overboard. You should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, or the neighborhood.

Why You Shouldn’t Invest in a Deluxe Kitchen

For example, a historic home in my neighborhood has been on the market for more than two years. During the owner’s last open house, I went in to check it out, and immediately saw why the house hasn’t sold. The quaint Arts and Crafts style home was built in 1900 and has a lot of charm. Unfortunately, the homeowners had invested over $60,000 upgrading the kitchen.

The enormous kitchen, easily the size of the living room, features appliances and countertops that might look more at home in a fancy restaurant kitchen. The style, size, and quality of the kitchen don’t fit in with the rest of the house, or the neighborhood. If you plan on selling your home within the next five years, keep potential buyers in mind before you start on any major remodel; many people won’t pay for a fancy, deluxe kitchen.

A Little Paint Goes a Long Way

When it comes to how much you spend on a kitchen remodel, prices can run the gamut, from $5,000 to $75,000, or more. Get the biggest bang for your buck on a kitchen remodel by looking at color. Fresh paint, in modern colors, can go a long way towards updating the look of your kitchen. Plus, paint is relatively cheap.

You might want to consider using low-VOC paint; this makes your kitchen more eco-friendly, and helps your family avoid breathing in dangerous chemicals, like benzene, that off-gas from regular fresh paint.

Energy-Efficient Appliances

Replace old appliances with energy-efficient models. Energy Star-rated appliances are better for the environment, and they also help you save money, because they use less energy. Potential buyers often look for ways to save money when shopping for a new home. Learn More Here:

VIDEO: DIY Home Repairs – How to Survive a Kitchen Remodel

The (Don’t Get Burned) Kitchen Remodeling Guide

Avoiding the Most Common Mistakes

In a perfect world, demolition starts on time, deliveries arrive on schedule, installation takes place without a hitch, and cleanup is quick and easy. Chances of all that happening are slim enough; don’t shrink the odds by falling prey to these common pitfalls.

1. Trying to be your own GC. Trust us: This is one job you don’t want to undertake. A kitchen remodel is one of the most costly, complicated, and time-consuming projects imaginable, and the input of qualified professionals is not only valuable, in most parts of the country it’s mandated by law.

2. Hiring the wrong GC. Never hire a contractor who makes you uncomfortable, no matter how highly recommended or how low the estimate. If you feel like the contractor is someone you can’t trust, keep looking.

3. Putting the job out for bid without clear enough specs. Unless you account for every detail of the project up front, you won’t be comparing apples to apples when you solicit bids. That means specifying the type of flooring, countertop material, lighting, even cabinet hardware. If you don’t, a contractor might assume higher-end choices (which may be more difficult to install), and you could end up overpaying. Learn More Here:,,1102023-5,00.html

Fresh Ideas for Kitchen Floors

Discover quality and stylish kitchen flooring materials – from ceramic tile to hardwood to stone -plus stunning design ideas for your kitchen floors.

Try Travertine

In this grand kitchen, honey-color travertine tiles cover the floor, playing off the color of the perimeter cabinets. Caring for travertine is as simple as annual sealing, monthly wet mopping, and dry sweeping a couple of times a week. Polished travertine is practically stain-resistant and is a great choice for high-traffic areas like a kitchen. Read More Here.

Create An Industrial-style Kitchen Vibe

The tiles have a textured finish and slight pattern variation, to add authenticity and replicate the look and feel of real bricks. To really make your brick tiled wall stand out and to complete your industrial-style theme, paint the rest of your kitchen walls white, add stainless steel worktops, plain cabinetry and a wooden floor. Read More Here.

KItchen Floor Ideas

Kitchen Flooring Options

The kitchen tends to be the room where families gather, not just for meals but for socializing and entertaining friends.

Kitchen flooring must combine attractive good looks with a tough, rugged surface that can stand up to the high volume of traffic, spills and the dirt and mud that get tracked onto it. Read More Here.

The Kitchen Has A New Floor!

One of the more perpetually hilarious/depressing things about looking at apartments in New York is seeing the ways that landlords try to get creative when renovating and preparing a unit for the next tenant. I recently got an email from a reader who uncovered a beautiful original hardwood door in her Harlem apartment, which at some point had been covered with a piece of 70s wood paneling. When my friend moved into her apartment near me, the trim had all been painted alternating shades of fleshy pink-beige and baby-poop-brown. Of course, there was my last apartment with the pink laminate cabinets and the pink-ish laminate countertops and the pink-ish faux-marble ceramic floor, but that wasn’t so bad. Read This Story Here.

The Beauty of Black Floor Tiles

Black Floor TilesArtists, interior designers and architects are huge fans of black tiles that never fail to create a statement that will last a lifetime. You can easily bring a timeless and elegant appeal to your home with the help of tiles. As with any other type of tile, these are available in many styles and designs to choose from. You will definitely appreciate the versatility and uniqueness of black floor tiles when it gives a rustic, yet elegant, feel in your arrangement.

The black ceramic matt tile will exude an effect of a natural stone without much cost or maintenance. This tile is the perfect choice for adding warmth and style to your layout, with a unique finish that adds character and accent to your room. They look equally fabulous in bathrooms and kitchens. These sleek-looking floor tiles are offered in premium quality and give off a pleasant high gloss polished finish. If you want your living space to look stylish and sleek, then ceramic tiles are a fantastic alternate for you because they are not only simple to clean but also durable enough to bear daily wear and tear.

Speaking of luxury, naturally detailed black marble is one of the most sought after stone that adds charm and elegance to any living space. Most prevalent in hallways and bathrooms, its dense structure makes it ideal for frequently-used areas, such as complementing or enhancing an existing kitchen or bathroom or even making a splendid feature wall. Subtle variation in tones is an inherent quality and beauty of black marble.

Black tiles look absolutely beautiful in granite as well. Dark colored granite is well known for providing dramatic statement to any interior scheme. Being the hardest and most durable stone, granite takes its formation from the slow crystallization process of molten magma that cools deep below the Earth’s surface. Therefore, it is suitable for bathrooms, conservatories, hallways and kitchen floors alike. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, it is extremely hard wearing, which makes it a popular choice for flooring. And black granite is nothing but a touch of luxury and grandeur. When talking about the budget, though, they are not very expensive.

Black slate is widely known for its distinctive look, varied texture and practical performance in high-traffic areas. When using dark colored slate, you will not have to do much to tantalize your guests into admiring your house. Because you can let the slate do the talking. It takes the very best of this stunning natural stone to present a wide-ranging variety for floors and walls that adds lustrous design quotient in any area of your home.


Perfect all over the house, from kitchen to bathroom to hallway, black tiles are ‘in’ nowadays. Do some magic this season by installing these and piecing them together with white tiles to create an absolutely magnificent metro checkered chessboard or zebra strips effect. Take your pick from the varieties available and fascinate your guests with a completely transformed look of your house.

Choosing Kitchen Tiles: Advice from the Experts

Kitchen TilesWith many tiles in the market, many users end up failing to get what they want, simply because they cannot single out what will work for their applications. Before you select tiles for your kitchen, it is important to get advice from experts in the industry, so you can assess the best performing products. Since kitchen tiles are available in a wide range of options, users need to know the types that are easy to clean, which are the most durable, and which options are affordable. The following tips can be useful when selecting tiles for your kitchen.

First, you need to consider the type of material for your preferred tile. Ceramic and glass tiles are suitable for back splash applications, because they are easy to clean and are available in a wide range of colours, styles, shapes, and prices. Porcelain tiles are suitable for kitchen floors, as they do not require too much maintenance. They are also available in large sizes, which do require too much grout.

Alternatively, you can use natural stone products, such as granite, marble, or limestone. However, natural stones are sensitive to certain types of spills, such as acids, which can make them develop cracks if they are not sealed. If you love the look of pure natural stones, but don’t want to deal with the upkeep, you can buy porcelain or ceramic products that are made like natural stones from certain manufacturers.

Apart from the material of the tile, you also need to look at the size. Industry professionals recommend large-size tiles for floors. Based on your individual taste and preference, you can choose the colour that appeal to your individual taste. However, for kitchens with small floor spaces, it is advisable to use the popular 300mm by 300mm size to create a regular flow. Large-format tiles are suitable for kitchens with a large amount of floor space that can allow for multi formatting of the tiles.

For kitchen walls, it is recommended to use small tiles, preferably 100 by 100mm, on backsplashes and areas between the cupboards. However, you can also use mosaic tiles from floor to ceiling to create a unique design in your kitchen. In that case, both large and small tiles can work effectively. You can choose to use a majority of large-format tiles without cuts, and use the smaller ones on the boarders.

Another factor to consider is the hygiene aspect of the tiles. Choose tiles that are easy to wipe and clean, with surfaces that do not attract bacterial growth. With the high traffic in the kitchen, the tiles should be hardwearing and durable. Look for varieties with a minimum PEI rating of at least four (4).

Consider each of these aspects when selecting tiles for your home’s spaces, and you can have great walls and floors that not only look good, but will last and add value to your home.

The Best Ways to Cleanse and Also Maintain Kitchen Wall Tiles

Kitchen Wall TilesUsing colourful and vivid  wall surface tiles can provide a distinct environment and jazz up a kitchen area . An attractive kitchen can become a central location for family members – not just during meals but also during chats over coffee. As a result of this high traffic keeping the appearance of your kitchen area, particularly the floor tiles, can be quite hard. Your Kitchen floors are regularly subjected to dust, oil, and bits of food, as well as muddy shoes. The warmth created from your range or oven could dry out stuff fast and make it challenging for you to eliminate these unsightly stains Old cooking oil and bits of caked on food can make your kitchen look dull. This kind of residue can also attract germs and make for an unhealthy environment.

As homeowners, we are not only thinking about how we want our homes to look  but we also take into consideration the safety and security of our family, especially when it comes to kitchen areas. If you are concerned about food environment the tips below, will help you keep your kitchen area wall ceramic tiles to maintain their brand-new look for years.

Regular Cleaning

We highly recommend that you clean your kitchen wall tiles every time you clean the cooking surfaces after food preparation. The backsplash as well as the areas that are regularly subjected to grease and cooking oil need to be targeted regularly. The following are some steps on how you can effectively eliminate those annoying stains:

1. Mix 1/4 cup cooking soda with 2 cups of water and 2 tbsp. washing powder. Make a blend in a suitable container. Be sure to make  extra solution so you do not have to make a fresh batch every time you want to clean your kitchen area.

2. Before the clean-up, spray the blend on the entire wall surface and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, wipe the tiles with a clean  wet rag. If there are still some deposits left, scrub it with a soft bristled brush. You could also use an old tooth brush to target the cements.

3. To finish off, clean down the entire location with a clean wet cloth.

This homemade solution is extremely efficient for cleansing even the dirtiest wall tiles. The soap will aid eliminate the grease and oil, whereas the sodium bicarbonate will neutralise odours. Turn on the ventilation to make sure that the walls dry out quickly.

Challenging Grease Stains

If you are finding it challenging to manage all the family chores, cleaning the kitchen wall surfaces may be the last task in the order of business; until you view black discolorations or mould on them. If this happens to you, below is exactly how you can get rid of these worn in stains

1. Mix 1/2 mug of washing soda (not cooking soda) with 1 gallon of warm water.

2. Be sure to use protective gloves as well as dip a towel in this solution. Eject the excessive fluid and rub on a  section of your kitchen area wall tiles.

3. Pick an area that may be hard to see, such as behind your refrigerator. Wait for 5 to 7 minutes. Then rub the area with a clean, wet cloth. If there is no discoloration, duplicate the  same procedure for the whole cooking area walls.
Use a brush and scrub away  gathered dirt as well as food fragments.

You can repeat the above steps as long as you find them necessary. If you have ceramic kitchen wall tiles, your cleaning job will certainly not be as difficult. Nonetheless, if the grouting becomes badly solied, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.