hardwood floors

Backsplash Thoughts

RDS_blog_Kitchen-Backsplash.jpg

How many times have you wandered into someone’s kitchen or bath, or have been watching the DIY and Home shows on TV, and thought, “Wow, I wish I had a backsplash like that!”  As designers, we are always on the hunt for the best and most innovative backsplash ideas, designs, and options.

Our latest Front Porch Friday Video Series DIY Backsplash talked about different aspects of a do it yourself backsplash, but we also wanted to make sure you knew a couple things before you got started. Whether you DIY it or have the professionals do the installing, making a final selection can be overwhelming. The professionals at a reputable local tile distributor can help you. Designing and selecting the right tile is what they do!

What to think about:

What should you think about when planning to install a backsplash? There are several things to consider when making the leap into backsplashes. Your home’s personality will most certainly be reflected through your choices. 

The main goal is to showcase the cabinets, countertops, theme, and flooring in your kitchen or bath. It can serve as a focal point and a place to be as creative as you want. Use it to draw attention or just to unify the space.

If you’re not installing upper cabinets, then the backsplash choice becomes a much bigger design decision. Cost, function, and form need to be determined when choosing materials. 

Style:
Backsplash materials are available in all kinds of styles, finishes, and materials, so take time to research all options and choose what it is that you’re trying to accomplish in the space. Are you making a statement,  adding some color or texture, making it the focal point, or using it to complement the other features in the room? 

Learn what you’ll need to do to keep it looking its best. Does it need to be sealed every year, is it hard to clean, will it scratch or discolor?  

Color:
The color may be somewhat determined by your countertop color. Go bold for some drama. Add pops of color without committing to color everywhere. Choose a neutral color if your countertops are full of color. Whatever you choose, it needs to complement the countertops, flooring, and paint used in the room. 

Size and Shape:
If you are using tile, don’t just think normal rectangular pieces of tile as your only option. Tiles come in sheets with a built-in pattern or they can be octagonal, hexagon, square, and more. They range in size from very large all the way down to about an inch square. They come in individual pieces or sheets. What size and shape you choose will be determined by the size and space you want to fill. 

Decorative and Primary Tile:
If you are going to use several types of tile, do some research before purchasing. The primary tiles should be thicker than the decorative tiles so that you don’t have to build up all of the tiles, just the decorative ones. 

Options:
The options are endless! Spend time in stores just looking around. Visit some model homes and ask what was used. Search online and read about some of the options that we’ve listed for you. Remember-it doesn’t have to be tile. There are many other materials and styles that you could use! 

Subway tile
Tiles made from 100% bamboo
Recycled glass or plate glass
Glass pebbles or sea glass
Stainless steel sheets
Metallic tiles
Natural Stone
Ceramic
Porcelain
Bead Board
Soapstone
Resin Panels
Laminates

One point to keep in mind is the grout. Don’t use a cheap grout, or you’ll be replacing it within a few years. The grout is the cohesive piece in this design, so invest in the good stuff. 

Things to Try:

Set some samples up on the wall after the countertops and cabinets have been installed, or at least are set up in the kitchen. What might have looked amazing in the store might not work with your lighting and other design choices when everything is actually installed in the kitchen or bath. 

If you’re going with a solid color and the same shape tile for the area, play around with the pattern. Try a herringbone pattern, a diagonal, a staggered look, or the standard stack style. 

Do you have an area above the range or sink that is larger than the rest of the areas to be tiled or covered? Use a different tile or pattern to create more visual interest. In a shower, use a different tile running vertically or horizontally.

You might want to install a backsplash yourself like we discussed on the video or have professionals complete the install. Whatever you do, adding a backsplash will create a stunning look. Let our designers help you create the perfect spaces in your next new build or remodel.  

Wood Flooring - What to Choose

9.5RDS_blog_Hardwood-Floors copy.jpg

The choices are endless when you are choosing flooring for your home. One of the most enduring choices is hardwood flooring. At RDS, our designers love the look and feel of hardwood flooring. Its natural beauty can go with any décor or style you choose. Nothing says warmth, family living, sophistication, or comfortable living like hardwood. It is chameleon-like, creating the feel and look you want in any room. 

There are several types of wood flooring available and as we shared in our Front Porch Friday Hardwood Flooring video, determining your needs and wants will help you make the right choice.

Solid Hardwood Flooring:

  • Durable
  • Available in unfinished or pre-finished wood species
  • Available in many wood species – oak, maple, cherry, ash, or walnut
  • Varied plank sizes and finishes 
  • Unfinished is sanded and finished following installation, taking more time to install and finish to your custom stain specifications
  • Pre-finished is sanded and finished at the factory, making for a faster installation
  • Can be sanded and refinished many times
  • It is susceptible to humidity changes

Engineered Hardwood:

  • Complex product consisting of several layers
  • Outermost layer is a hardwood veneer of the desired tree species
  • Inner layers are made of plywood, high-density fiberboard, or a lesser hardwood
  • Can not be sanded and refinished as often as solid hardwood
  • Low maintenance and durable
  • An excellent choice for any room in your home

Laminate Wood Flooring:

  • Created by compressing composite wood
  • An image of hardwood is placed over the composite to form a laminate, replicating the look, grain, and texture of hardwood
  • Easy to install, most just snap together
  • Budget friendly, but we suggest you choose a premium quality product 
  • Not as durable as hardwood or engineered hardwood, but is resistant to stains, scratches, and wear and tear
  • Wood floors are timeless and always a smart choice when building or remodeling your home.

Our designers are well versed in flooring options and will make sure your feet are walking on the best possible floors for you!