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Outdoor Kitchens and BBQ Islands in Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Northern ColoradoDid you know Tile Art builds outdoor kitchens and barbecue islands? A BBQ island for your backyard is a wonderful compliment to your backyard parties and entertaining.

Tile Art’s outdoor kitchens are built entirely on-site to ensure a lasting and durable solution for your grilling and entertaining needs. Whether you just want a small basic set up or a full-blown, elaborate space with all the bells and whistles Tile Art can fill your needs.

Our design process starts with your vision. We will take time one on one with you to ensure we understand what you want. Starting with a very basic set up and adding to it your particular desires we end up with a solid idea of what you want your outdoor kitchen to look like.

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Fully waterproofed kerdi showerIf you are a return visitor to my site I’m certain you have seen the word ‘Kerdi’ mentioned several times. For those unfamiliar with kerdi and what it does this post will describe some basics about the membrane and why it is our preferred method for waterproofing a shower.

Kerdi is a polyethylene waterproofing membrane with a bonded fleece attached to each side. It is installed directly to drywall or cement backerboard with thinset. Each seam is overlapped two inches and when correctly installed it will create a large waterproof box ready for tile installation. Once installed the tile is adhered directly to the kerdi membrane.

Kerdi is what is known in the trade as a ‘topical waterproofing membrane’. This simply means that the waterproofing layer of your shower lies directly beneath the tile rather than behind a tile substrate or beneath a mud deck. This method is advantageous for several reasons:

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Porcelain, glass, and travertine Kerdi shower remodel in Fort CollinsI recently finished a master bathroom shower remodel in Fort Collins. The existing shower was starting to show signs of some potentially serious problems. Small details such as cracking grout or tile movement are certain signs of water getting into places water should not get.

The homeowners decided to use the same tile to continue the flow of the jetted tub surround and add a few additional elements to the shower such as a glass liner, built-in niches, and frameless glass.

Beneath the tile is a fully waterproofed substrate utilizing the Schluter Kerdi membrane. Kerdi is a thin polyethylene sheet with a bonded fleece which, when properly installed, prevents the problems which led to this particular remodel.

The liner through the shower and into the niches is a mix of glass and travertine tiles. The glass / travertine listello was wrapped into the built-in niches and turned ninety degrees on the back of the niche. This design aspect really makes the niches stand out and draws attention to the flow of the glass through the shower.

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Kerdi Shower remodel in Fort Collins, ColoradoI’ve just completed a full shower remodel in Fort Collins, Colorado. The existing shower had a fiberglass shower basin and white 4 x 4 inch tile. I removed the fiberglass pan and replaced it with a curbless tiled floor utilizing the kerdi membrane and drain with a regular deck mud shower base. The bench across the back of the shower was also rebuilt and two niches were installed in opposite walls. This shower also has two shower heads, one on each end.

The entire shower was built using Schluter’s Kerdi waterproofing membrane. Kerdi is a waterproof polyethylene sheet which, when installed correctly, creates a watertight, mold-free shower.

The tile was grouted with Laticrete’s Spectralock epoxy-based grout. Spectralock is the best epoxy grout currently available and is the only epoxy I will use. Spectralock is a stain-proof, durable alternative to regular portland-based grout.

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Travertine subway tile shower with glass insertsI’ve recently completed a full bathroom remodel in Erie, Colorado. Almost all the tile in the bathroom is travertine.

The shower has 3″ x 6″ travertine tile in a running bond, or ‘subway style’ pattern with a 6″ row of glass mosaics through the center. There is a double shelf niche on the back wall and a half-wall, or knee-wall between the shower and tub. The homeowners are installing a frameless glass enclosure around the shower. The shower floor tile is a marble pentagon mosaic tile.

There is a soaking tub surround with the same subway pattern and a row of glass as well.

The floor is 12″ x 12″ travertine tile placed on-point (diagonally) and a Suntouch heating element installed below the floor tile. The heating element is controlled from a thermostat box on the wall similar to a regular home heating thermostat. With it you can essentially control the temperature of your tile or stone floor for those cold mornings.

The entire bathroom was built with Schluter products. The shower is a full Kerdi shower with a regular deck mud base and the Kerdi drain. The Kerdi drain is a highly versatile one-piece drain system used with Kerdi and can also be used with other topical waterproofing membranes. It is available in nearly every metallic finish to match your bathroom fixtures.

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Glass tile kitchen backsplash in Northern ColoradoI’ve just finished a glass tile backsplash installation in Fort Collins. The glass is Arizona Tile’s ‘gray stack’ mosaic glass tile.

Glass tile can add a specific personal touch to any kitchen whether is is simply a row or two across a backsplash or a full glass backsplash such as this.

The homeowner wanted to brighten up the area below the upper cabinets which was fairly dark with just painted drywall and the darker cabinets. Adding the glass tile changed the entire look of the kitchen and tied everything together without changing the ‘feel’ of the kitchen.

If you plan on using glass tile for your kitchen backsplash you may want to consider the grout color when choosing your tile. To determine the best grout choice for glass tile I can work up a ‘sample board’ which is simply a board with tile attached to it in the same manner as your backsplash and grout portions of it with different colors. This is tremendously helpful and much more useful than simply holding a grout sample up to the tile.

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For any tile you choose you want to make sure that the surface is durable enough to last in that particular area. This is determined by using what is called the PEI, or Porcelain Enamel Institute, rating of your tile. The PEI rating is a number from 0 to 5 with a 5 being the most durable.

This scale is used by most tile manufacturers to determine the wear durability and should be printed on the box of tile somewhere. If it is not you can always contact your tile manufacturer for the information.

General guidelines for proper installation areas are as follows:

  • Group I: Tile suitable only for residential or commercial walls. Not suitable or recommended for foot traffic.
  • Group II: Tile suitable for general light residential traffic. Not recommended for kitchens, entryways, heavily used bathroom floors or any other area subject to continuous use foot traffic.
  • Group III: Tile suitable for all residential and light use commercial foot traffic areas.
  • Group IV: Tile suited to all residential, medium commercial, and light industrial applications such as restaurants, hotels, and hospital lobbies.
  • Group V: Tile suitable for all residential, heavy commercial, and industrial applications such as airports, malls, and subways.
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When choosing tile for your project there are a couple of things you should take into consideration. Noting the following will ensure you have a better understanding of which tile is correct for your particular application and why.

The most important thing to consider is the location of the tile. Where are you installing the tile? Will it be installed on a floor, a wall, in a shower, on a countertop? Certain tiles are made only for certain applications. While tiles made specifically for floors can be used on a wall the reverse is not true.

After you’ve determined where the tile will be installed you must make sure the surface of the tile you’ve chosen is durable enough for that area. This is determined by what is called the PEI wear rating of the tile.  PEI stand for Porcelain Enamel Institute. This is a scale of 1 – 5 with a rating of 5 being the most durable. This is a measure of the durability of the ‘face’ or glazed surface of the tile.

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I’ve recently completed a full bathroom remodel in Fort Collins, Colorado. The remodel included a full standing shower, jacuzzi tub, floor, vanity top, and backsplash.

The project began when the homeowner discovered a leak in the existing shower bench. Improperly (or non-existent) waterproofing on the shower walls and bench led to a leaking bench corner which compromised the entire installation.

The bathroom was remodeled using all Schluter materials. Schluter Kerdi was used for the shower and the flooring underlayment is Schluter Ditra. Kerdi is a waterproofing membrane which can be used for anything from waterproofing a window all the way up to and including the entire shower system. In this case the entire shower from the drain up was built with Kerdi.

The tile chosen for this bathroom was Florida Tile’s “Livingston Leather” in 13 X 13 inch for the shower walls and tub deck, and 19 X 19 inch tiles for the floor. Matching 2 X 2 inch mosaics were used on the shower floor. All the existing fixtures were replaced with oil rubbed bronze as well as the hardware on the frameless shower glass and the Kerdi drain finish. The oil rubbed bronze matches and compliments the tile quite well. Small square bronze inserts were also added to the tile.

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I recently completed a small basement bathroom remodel in Loveland, Colorado. The existing shower tile was removed and the walls rebuilt and covered with durock cementious backerboard.

The existing shower floor waterproofing was questionable so rather than tear it completely out and rebuilding the homeowner opted to just have a topical waterproofing applied to the base and tile over that. In this case it was Laticrete’s Hydroban liquid waterproofing membrane.

I also used Schluter Kerdi waterproofing membrane to waterproof the window and ledge inside the shower. Kerdi can be used with just about any other waterproofing method for various applications. Although the Hydroban could have been used for the window and ledge I chose the Kerdi partly because of speed (for me) and familiarity with the product.

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Slate Bathroom Floor in Fort Collins, COI recently finished a bathroom / laundry room floor in Fort Collins. The slate is 12 x 12 inch and 6 x 6 inch tile with the 6 x 6 and 1 x 2 inch mosaics on the vanity backsplash.

Schluter Ditra was used as the underlayment. Ditra is an ideal underlayment for this installation because slate is a relatively fragile stone and any movement in the substrate at all will lead to larger problems than cracking grout.

Schluter Ditra is advantageous in that one of the key features is the “uncoupling” properties. What this simply means is that the Ditra will separate any movement in the substrate from the tile installed upon it.

The door in the center between the bathroom and laundry room is a pocket door. These create their own unique set of problems for any tile installation. They are not easily removed so if the door does not set high enough off of the substrate to allow for the underlayment and tile it must be cut in place without removing it.

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