Your bathroom is cool, comfortable, and clean. Your kitchen is stain-resistant, sleek, and stylish. Why? Tile, of course. “Tile is a good choice because it’s timeless, can complement any look, and has unmatched durability,” SariSand Tile’s Dawn Catlett said. According to Wayne Murphy of Wainwright Tile and Stone on Preston Avenue, tile is typically used as a less expensive alternative to slab materials like concrete, granite, or marble, but the seams between pieces limit its applications and make the grout almost as important as the tile itself. Murphy said selecting the right tile comes down to aesthetics and function—what do you want it to look like, and how much wear are you going to put on it? “A lot of people like tile because it is easy to keep clean, but they may not want it in their living room,” Murphy said. According to Murphy, tile goes up in quality and price the less porous it is. Less porous tile stains and wears less and requires less sealing than lower quality tile, though, justifying the expense for many applications. Modern porcelain tile and glass tile are the least porous products on the market, Murphy said. Good grout should also lack porosity; if the material is as airtight as a sieve, you’ll have just as many problems maintaining your floor. In the grout game, epoxy is the top of the line. Catlett said SariSand recently completed a project for a local customer who wanted to “update his bathroom and give it a more contemporary look while at the same time maintaining the traditional style of his home.” But tile can reach outside the bathroom. Pete Fenlon, CEO of Mayfair Games, which produces the popular board game Settlers of Catan, is using tile throughout the Belmont home he’s rehabbing, not only in its four bathrooms and kitchen, but also around its exterior windows and doorways. He’s using ceramic tile, glass tile, stone tile, tabarka tile, multi-colored tile, tile of all shapes and sizes. “You should think of tile as an alternative to virtually every type of building material,” Fenlon said. “I was inspired by looking at Gaudi’s house in Barcelona. He used an organic approach that you saw in that area of the world going all the way back to the Carthaginians.” Carthage, eh? Wonder how tile is doing in Catan. The price of tile Pricing tile isn’t easy. Because it comes in a range of sizes, shapes, and styles, the material can go from very inexpensive to exorbitant, according to Wayne Murphy of Wainwright Tile and Stone. “There is probably no limit to the cost of some types of tile,” he said. Other than highly designed art tiles that would be used sparingly, tile is for the most part a low cost material. Here’s a look at a few common tile forms, roughly ranked from least expensive to most expensive. Stone: Stone tile can be expensive, but the hugely popular travertine is a great low-end option for both its price and ease of installation. Ceramic: The most common class of tile, Murphy said most ceramic pieces will be in the $3-12 per square foot range. Porcelain: Porcelain tile, like other ceramics, starts around $3 per square foot. The dense tiles increase in price quickly, though, as Murphy said he’s seen backsplash pieces go for as much as $235 per square foot. Glass: Even more dense than porcelain, glass tile can range from $20-75 per square foot. Handmade tile: This is a class that includes terracotta, one of the oldest known forms of tile. Terracotta and similar types of tile require extensive sealing for many applications. Other: Tile is also available in cork, faux wood, metal, and other alternatives.—S.G.
This month’s Abode features a city home with a cool, uncomplicated palette; a sleek white kitchen in Farmington Heights; tips from Rebecca Schoenthal on choosing art for your home and more! Here’s everything you’ll find inside: Architect Cathy Purple Cherry makes good. The
Designer Wendi Smith found not just good but excellent bones to start with when she tackled a recent kitchen redo. And that was lucky, because the look of this kitchen was very different from what her client ultimately wanted. “She definitely has a style,” says Smith of her client. “She likes
When one Charlottesville couple started building a house in December 2014, they had a front-row seat to the construction: Their new house was going up in what had been a vacant lot right next door to their old house. In their case, having daily contact with the building process was
If homes aren’t getting more high tech around Charlottesville, they’re at least getting more connected, according to Ben Feiner of local home integration specialist ProLink. Where at one time appliance and gadget manufacturers focused on making their own products more interactive, they’ve since
As the curator for the Fralin Museum of Art, Rebecca Schoenthal is responsible for creating exhibitions for the approximately 10,000-square-foot space. Sometimes she turns to the permanent collection—more than 14,000 objects—in order to expand upon an idea. Other times, the catalyst for an
Until moving back to Charlottesville two years ago, designer Alexandra Bracey spent most of her life—professional and otherwise—in larger cities, having attended the New York School of Interior Design and working there as a senior designer for Alan Tanksley. No wonder, then, why the Washington,
Architects face an uncertain time. On one hand, we are in the fading era of famous designers, the “starchitects” who shaped discussion of what architecture should be—those who transcended typical barriers facing architecture by mastering the globalized market economy, delivering the ultimate
Time was, when students at Charlottesville Catholic School wanted to do a science experiment, they’d have to contend with the elements. “Students would be heating minerals over an open flame,” recalls Principal Michael Riley. “They’d use a Petri dish with an alcohol flame. They’d be doing it
This month’s issue of Abode is on stands now—with a peek inside not one but three local houses, a look at a western Albemarle landscape designed in phases, a chat with designer Alana Woerpel and more. Here’s what you’ll find: Landscape architect Mary Wolf‘s recent work.
Talk about a bonus buy: Jeff and Ivy Levien bought a 30-acre parcel at Bundoran Farm in 2012, and only later realized that it came with a historic log cabin. To be precise, the Leviens knew that the building existed, but they figured it for a teardown. Several contractors had concurred with
A 1942 Marshall Wells-designed home in tony Farmington: What could be more traditional? Except when it isn’t. For the last three years, designer Kathy Heiner of KLH Designs has been transforming this home in collaboration with its owners, making it a showcase for an eclectic, unfussy style.
When Kristen and Glenn Martin dropped their daughter off to begin her college career at the University of Virginia in 2013, they weren’t planning on renovating a house in Nelson County’s Stoney Creek development. But, less two years later, that’s what the Pennsylvania residents found themselves
Time is always a key element in landscape: Plants grow and change, seasons come and go. In some cases, it takes time for a design to bloom, too. That was true at Shady Lawn, a Western Albemarle property where landscape architect Anna Boeschenstein, of Grounded, created a master plan five years
Editor’s note: Beginning this month, each issue of Abode will include a column written by a graduate student at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, providing a glimpse into the considerations of the next generation of architects. The world is entangled in complex sets of
Just as a home has a history, so, too, does a landscape. Only, a landscape’s story, as Mary Wolf attests, is multilayered. Take, for instance, her grandmother’s property, a Civil War battlefield site where she spent her weekends growing up. The appeal of that spot of land—that it connected our
Until the equinox on September 21, we bask in late, late summer. Walnut leaves are yellowing, black gums turn scarlet at the edge of the woods and the soil is warm as a sunny lake on Labor Day, more hospitable to root growth than the cold clay of March. Ample rainfall makes for ideal conditions
Ten Flavors, a co-op that includes 11 mostly design-related businesses, has been around for about 35 years. Members have come and gone, and the co-op has moved offices several times, always on the Downtown Mall. But Jim Gibson, a longtime co-op member, says the Ten Flavors folks really, really
Designer Alana Woerpel says she’ll tackle anything. When asked what she’s afraid to DIY, she says there isn’t anything she won’t do. “On my most recent whole-house installation I found myself re-installing ill-fitting toilet seats for the client,” she says. The can-do attitude (not to mention
In this issue, you’ll find a an artist-architect, a symmetrical Fluvanna pool, Vinegar Hill’s second act and more. Here’s what’s inside: Jessie Chapman‘s visual approach. Vinegar Hill’s second life in film. Why your home might benefit from a portico. Michelle
This place looks nothing like a hay barn. Yet there was a time, at some point in the early 20th century, when the Somerset farmhouse now belonging to David and Sissy Perdue was in fact used to store hay. Built in the 1880s as a two-over-two home for a family of chicken farmers, the house […]