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.
A renovated barn outside of Charlottesville, a city brewery opens up (literally), a Woolen Mills condo breaks the mold and more, in this month’s issue of Abode. Here’s what you’ll find inside: Architect Jeff Sties‘ solar powers. Preston Avenue’s newest brew space.
There are upsides and downsides to having a barn as the starting point for a house. Upside: that great barn shape. In the case of the Red Barn project, on the grounds of Castle Hill Cidery in Keswick, that form makes for an iconic and historic statement in the landscape. Downside: Iconic and
The farm was inspiring, in part because of what wasn’t there anymore. Roxanne Sherbeck and Jon Jackson bought a 19-acre property near Charlottesville in 2010, and as they got to know it, they started to realize that it was dotted with the decomposing stumps and logs of oak trees. The absence of
Reclaimed wood has been a hot item for years now. Most people are familiar with the idea of giving old wood, from barns or other sources, new life. Most often, the salvaged stuff ends up as flooring, though cabinetry, furniture and ceilings are also big. But the folks at Mountain Lumber, the
Every new restaurant looks like a factory. Or, so says a recent NPR article. Reclaimed wood, brick walls and exposed beams, the piece asserted, have become so popular in interior design that new furniture is being treated to look weathered, and new apartments are being built loft-style with
Customers at a small local brewery might enjoy seeing how their lagers and pale ales are actually brewed. That’s what the folks behind Random Row Brewing Co. were betting on when they designed their tasting room on Preston Avenue, which opened in mid-September. Gleaming metal tanks are a major
Average high temperatures in Charlottesville don’t dip below 50 until well into December. So what do you need to enjoy the outdoors right up to the holidays? Nothing more than a small, well-built fire pit. “It’ll certainly keep you warm, especially if you’re standing around it,” says Matthew
We don’t know about you, but when we hear the not-too-charming term “condo,” we tend to conjure images of dwellings that are longer on convenience than character. You know—concrete balconies, underground parking, stacked washer/dryer, that sort of thing. Well, along comes a condo that shatters
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
Every place has a history, but the past at some homes looms especially large. In Albemarle County, the name Kluge is synonymous with lavish wealth, wine and, unfortunately, bankruptcy. Locals—and the rest of the country—watched the fortune of Patricia Kluge rise and fall over her three decades
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
Architect Cathy Purple Cherry started her practice, Purple Cherry Architects, in a 1,000-square-foot home with two children underfoot and two employees. Back then, as now, her focus was custom, luxury residential projects—the kind you’d see featured in home and garden magazines—and over the
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
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