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.
Everybody talks about marrying old and new, but there are different ways to do it. You’ve got your fixer-upper farmhouses, into which you can insert contemporary elements like stainless steel dishwashers. You’ve got your new builder homes that nod to tradition with way too much crown molding.
“This was a poor man’s farmhouse,” said Jen Fariello of the classic 1890 abode she shares with her husband, Chris Conklin, and their 5-year-old son. It’s a far cry from that now. Ten years after the couple bought the place, they’ve just completed their second major update, and the house is
In Fauquier County’s hunt country, the views are long. Roads gently rise and fall through open fields, passing horse barns, ponds and board fences, and in the far distance, the Blue Ridge draws a curving horizon. It feels like a place where the long vistas suggest a connection to the past. In
Mix it up. That seems to be the unofficial motto of Roderick Coles, the owner of local antiques shop The Curious Orange Store. He told us The Royal Tenenbaums has certainly influenced his taste when it comes to interior design. And it’s true—you can find anything from faux fox fur-covered
Staying power. That’s a quality you want in a family business—and in your home goods. Frank Eways Jr. knows the importance of both. As a third-generation rug retailer and repairer, he’s been in the biz a long time, and some 85 years after his grandfather, Salem Eways, started the company. Salem
What could be loftier than Monticello? Well, at least physically, Montalto is—by 410′. The neighboring mountain was once part of Jefferson’s holdings, and these days, after decades in private ownership, it’s returned to the fold. In 2004, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation bought the
Nine years ago, after working for 25 years at the Boston-based architecture firm he founded, Peter LaBau noticed he was no longer doing the same kind of work he’d set out to do. Rather than interfacing directly with clients and creating homes, he’d inadvertently shifted his focus to running the
We might have found the exact opposite of a McMansion. It’s upscale, not showy. It’s stylish, not trendy. It’s anything but gauche. It’s just a well-designed, beautifully-built home that has stood the test of more than six decades in ways that are kind of astonishing. Meet 2016 Spottswood Rd.
Sometimes, choosing an architect isn’t just business; it’s personal. That’s how Emily Umberger and Pradeep Rajagopalan felt when they met the folks at Wolf Ackerman in 2005. “We really got along with those guys personally,” said Rajagopalan—crucial when embarking on any project, but especially
It came as no surprise when Alice Marshall, co-owner of The Second Yard, a purveyor of decorator fabrics and home furnishings, told us that her first design memory was re-arranging dollhouse furniture. “I was born loving to decorate,” she said. “I didn’t care much about the dolls,” only about
If you have a fireplace or a wood stove in your home, odds are good that you also have a chimney. And if you have a chimney, it needs to be cleaned—every 30 to 50 fires, according to Wendell Worley of Mirkwood Chimney Sweep. In addition to telling us why chimney cleaning is crucial, Worley […]
If stone walls could talk, they’d probably say, “Man, it’s great to be built to last and look good doing it.” Landscape walls are more than just a way to give your backyard a sophisticated and high-end look; they can be quite useful. They might be retaining structures. They might cordon off a
More than a decade ago, three of Charlottesville’s signature arts organizations got a beautiful new home—the City Center for Contemporary Arts, housing Live Arts theater, Lighthouse Studio, and Second Street Gallery. Yet, since 2003, the lobbies of the building—on floors one, two, and three
“For me, architecture is like a state of active meditation—like yoga for the brain.” That’s Alloy Workshop architect Kate Snider Tabony on practicing her craft—one that’s taken her, since attending UVA’s architecture school, to California’s East Bay, Santa Fe, Princeton, New York City,
It’s a long way from London to the woods of northern Albemarle County. Paul and Ginger Ferrell lived in the British capital for 24 years, and as they eyed retirement from across the pond, they zeroed in on Charlottesville as the perfect place to relocate. When asked if they considered living in
For certain buyers, there’s nothing more romantic than a big old farmhouse on a fair piece of land. Throw in a view and some large shade trees, and some people really get stars in their eyes. Tack “swimming pool” on to the above description and you might even elicit a swoon. Edge Hill, a
1964 was probably a great year in some ways—for one thing, it was the year the Beatles first hit the U.S.—but not for kitchens. Nowadays, folks tend to find the carved-up spaces and retro finishes of midcentury kitchens to be a bit constraining. So when Justin and Jen Knippen bought their
Kids and hospitals are not a fun combination, but at least the visit can be as convenient as possible—and maybe even educational. When UVA Health System opened its new pediatric outpatient building, the Battle Building, in June, its aim was to revamp the experience of visiting the hospital, for
Sheilah Michaels credits her father, a builder who made her a toolbox when she was 4 years old and often took her to job sites, with planting the design seed early. Over the years, Michaels’ passion never wavered, and she’s spent more than 20 years working as an interior designer, buyer, and