Book: Tile Idea Book - A Comprehensive Guide

Manufacturer: Tauton Press

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Table of Contents

1. Tile Basics
Choosing the Right Tile
Designing with Tile

2. Kitchens
Floors and Walls
Cooking Alcoves and Range Hoods
Finishing Touches

3. Bathrooms
Floors and Walls
Countertops and Backsplashes
Tub Surrounds
Decorative Accents

4. Living Spaces
Dining Areas and Family Rooms
Fireplaces and Hearths

5. Around the House
Entries and Mudrooms
Stairs and Hallways
Laundry Rooms

6. Exterior Tile
Outdoor Entries
Steps and Terraces
Indoor/Outdoor Spaces
Water Structures
Decorative Accents

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Tile Idea Book - A Comprehensive Guide to Designing with Tiles for Every Room in the House

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Tile is back, and its better than ever. After a half-decade lull in the use of tile for interior finishes, new styles, products, and lower prices have brought on a resurgence of interest in tile. The Tile Idea book showcases the wide range of styles and materials available to homeowners -- including ceramic, stone, and glass -- and explores the diversity of applications for tile that are certain to bring beauty and durability to any room in the house.

About the author
Andrew Wormer is a contributing editor to Fine Homebuilding magazine and the author of The New Bathroom Idea Book and The Builders Book of Bathrooms. An experienced builder and bathroom remodeler, Andrew lives in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

Like my fellow baby boomers, I came of age at a time when it looked like tile was on the verge of becoming an artifact. When the postwar housing boom of the 1950s took off, tile was one building material that seemed to be left behind. Though admired by many for its beauty and durability, few could afford it. Tile choices were limited, and because tile setting was a rather arcane and labor-intensive art practiced by a relatively few skilled tradespeople, installation was expensive. Instead, manufacturers, builders, and homeowners turned to new products, such as vinyl flooring and plastic laminates, that were easier to install and promised the look of tile without the expense.

During the 1960s and 70s, decades characterized by far-out fashions and an almost insatiable thirst for self-expression, the building trades in generaland the tile industry in particularseemed to be in a continued funk. Tile offerings were limited to bland colors and unimaginative designs, and the lack of skilled installers resulted in some dubious practices that tarnished tiles reputation. The future seemed to belong to plastics, while tile somehow seemed old-fashioned.

Fortunately, the era of platform shoes, bellbottoms, big hair, and bad tile jobs passed. This was about the same time that I graduated from college, became part of the workforce, and bought my first house. Purchased during a time of high interest rates and high oil prices for a sum less than todays average SUV, this house was definitely a fixer-upper. Among the priorities was to add a sunroom with lots of windows and a tile floor to take advantage of passive solar heat gain (not to mention the generous tax incentives available then). Price was the primary factor that I used when selecting that particular tile, and though it was an unremarkable, brown-glazed, Mexican terra cotta look-alike, I was hooked by how well it performed. Ever since then, Ive tried to use tile whenever possible, both in my own homes and in projects that Ive done for others.

Ive made lots of mistakes as Ive worked with different kinds of ceramic and stone tile (Im thinking in particular about a slate floor in a small entryway that I spent an afternoon scrubbing with muriatic acid and a small brush because I neglected to seal the stone before grouting). But luckily for me, the steepest part of my learning curve occurred at the same time that the tile industry began offering new innovations in setting materials, simplified techniques for installing tile, and a steadily increasing variety of ceramic and stone products.

And in another case of good fortune, I discovered Michael Byrnes unambiguously titled Setting Ceramic Tile (The Taunton Press, 1987), a resource that gave me the confidence to tackle more ambitious projects with better-looking results. Clearly, here was a guy who knew what he was talking about. I was intrigued not only by the rich variety and traditions of tile and the various techniques for installing it but also by the way that Byrne personified (at least to me) the ideals of craftsmanship: working with your hands, caring about what you do, and using your head as you do it.

I dont think that its any secret that the resurgence of interest in craftsmanship in general has coincided with the resurgence of tile, both now and back during the American Arts and Crafts movement in the early part of the twentieth century. Ive found that, regardless of its kind, cost, or style, tile is an intriguing finish that wants to be touched and looked at. And while its challenging to install well, tile offers continuing rewards long after other finishes have grown tired and need replacement.

The ideas presented in this book will help you as you think about the various types of ceramic, stone, glass, and other tiles and consider the wide range of ways that they can be used. Quite simply, theres never been a better time to incorporate tile into your homevariety and availability are up, prices are down. And while tile certainly hasnt lost any of its well-deserved prestige, it truly is a material for everyman, offering both beauty and durability all around the house. Why settle for a finish that has the look of tile when you can have the real thing?

9-3/16 x 10-7/8 in.
160 pages, with color photos and drawings
ISBN 978-1-56158-709-4
Product #070785

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