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Ceramic tiling has been transforming everyday living spaces into extraordinary works of art since the dawn of the Pharaonic Dynasty. Ancient Egyptians first began using ceramic tiles as a way to enhance the decorative value of architecture and exterior pathways in 4000BC. The living quarters of wealthy families and the tombs of affluent pharaohs were often ornamented with colorful and masterfully crafted tiles made of stone and clay.
The Babylonians and Islamic empires soon to adopted the technique of using ceramic tile art to decorate mosques and depict religious scriptures. By the 13th century almost every European church was paved in delicately hand crafted ceramic floor coverings. As time went on and tastes evolved the wealthy and eccentric began requesting lavishly glazed tiles to adorn their establishments with aristocratic style. The tile industry flourished, and the art of using ceramic and stone tiling to beautify floors and add creative elements to both interior and exterior wall structures became a right of passage for the prosperous. Lower class families often attempted to mimic the intricate designs and textures or expensive tiles in their own handcrafted designs.
By the turn of the 16th century the wide spread popularity of tile had made it’s way to Spain, where some of the most extravagant hand crafted tile art from that era can still be viewed today.
The industrial revolution of the late 1800’s can be attributed to the large success of tile in Britain. The tradition of using tile as a decorative building material, or to add elegance and splendor to seemingly ordinary architecture is predominately European in origin, and quickly became a custom that people the world over soon adopted.
American tile makers sought to emulate the success of the British tile industry, but American made tile of the time was never as desirable as the English imports. By the end of the 19th century handcrafted tiles were used extensively to adorn walls as décor and to beautify the interior of fireplaces.
As society became more hygiene conscious and the desire for artistic home décor progressed, home owners began using ceramic tiles in their kitchens and bathrooms. The sanitary capabilities of glazed tiles made them an ideal choice for floor and wall coverings in frequently visited public locales such as subway stations, restaurants and healthcare facilities.
Today decorative and duel purpose tile can be seen everywhere. Glazed ceramic tile provide an easy-to-clean decorative medium for kitchen and bathroom floors and walls. Impressive and strategically placed tile add an artistic flare to shower walls, and garden walkways and patios are never been more breath taking than they are when bedecked with inviting and stylish stone tiling.
Trikeenan Tileworks has been manufacturing tile in the United States for two decades. With manufacturing plants in the northeast and an international distribution network, they have been setting trends in the tile industry for years. Starbucks recently chose them to create tile backsplashes in many of their stores. Visit their site at www.trikeenan.com to learn more, and view photographs of their work below:
Everyone knows that home design is about comfort and convenience. Safety, however, is often overlooked. Falling is a leading cause of death, and most falls in the house occur in the bathroom. In addition to non-slip tile solutions, we suggest walk-in bathtubs when remodeling or building a home for an elderly or disabled individual. Eliminate all of the dangers associated with stepping in and out of a bathtub by installing a bathtub with a door in it. Envy walk-in tubs website offers a good video that shows both the benefits of a walk-in tub, and clever integration with travertine style to add a look of style and comfort.
Classic bathroom design using a mosaic tile backsplash.
Heated Tile Floors, One of the Top 10 Most-Wanted Home Products
An increasing trend in the tile industry is the inclusion of electric floor heating systems in kitchen or bathroom remodeling projects. Radiant floor heating is often mentioned as one of the top 10 products for your home (according to both “Residential Design Build” and “Builder” magazine). Also often featured on HGTV and other popular TV shows, electric floor heating has quickly gained in popularity with homeowners looking to add an extra touch of comfort to their bathrooms or kitchens. In the bathroom, everyone loves to step out of the shower on a nice heated tile floor. In the kitchen, it is hard to resist the pleasure of walking around barefoot on a toasty floor while enjoying breakfast. Starting your morning routine with nice warm feet is a nice treat.
So how do you go about adding a heated tile floor to your home? First, get a quote online from manufacturers such as WarmlyYours (www.WarmlyYours.com) or Delta-Therm (www.Delta-Therm.com). Then, check with your tile contractor and electrician to get their installation quotes. Today, most contractors already have some experience installing heated tile floor systems and should be able to quickly give you a good price estimate. Typically, tile contractors will charge you an additional $1-$3 per square foot for installing the electric floor heating system, and the electrician about $100-$250 for final system hook up. Overall, a typical bathroom floor heating system will cost about $800 to $1,200 installed.
Want to know more about the installation? Only 1/8” thick, these systems install conveniently on top of your sub floor and turn any cold tile floor luxuriously warm. The heated tile floor system is embedded right in the thinset cement used to lay down your tiles. Lead wires run from the heated mat to a thermostat usually located in a gang box next to the light switch. An electric floor heating system is typically connected to a 15-amp dedicated circuit although this depends on the system’s total amperage. Larger family rooms or basements may require up to 30 amps. Most bathrooms require only 2-7 Amps. Overall, the installation of a heated tile floor is relatively easy and can be tackled by a skilled do-it-yourselfer. If you already know how to install a tile or stone floor, chances are you will have no difficultly installing your heated tile floor system at the same time. However, a licensed electrician is always recommended for final hook-up.