Tiling Spaces

bathroom renovation with tile Tile Choices for Construction and Renovation

Ceramic and stone tiles have become a very popular construction material when renovating an existing home or building a new house. We will discuss the types of ceramic and stone tiling options and the benefits and usage of each type. When choosing tile materials for flooring, counter tops, back splashes and shower or bath, it is good to know which tile materials work best for that placement.

Tiles may be broadly divided into two types, ceramic and stone. Both are then sub-divided into other types.

Ceramic Tile

Ceramic tile is manufactured from quarried, prepared, and molded clay. The two types of ceramic tiles are:

Porcelain
Porcelain ceramic tile while composed of clay and minerals, also contains 50% of feldspar crystals – a kind of white sand. These crystals melt during the kiln-drying process to form a glass-like material that bonds all the other ingredients together. Even with minor modifications to the ingredients or tile making process, a huge variety of porcelain tiles can be achieved. More durable, stain resistant, and less water absorbent than non-porcelain tiles, porcelain tiles also demonstrate a thorough-bodied color. Porcelain tile is well-suited for construction of exterior walls and floors.
Non-Porcelain
Made from either red, white, or brown clay, non-porcelain tiles are one of the most economical types.
Both types come in unglazed and glazed varieties. The glazed tile may come in semi-high gloss or matte look. Glazed tiles will be increasingly resistant to stains, scratches, traction, and water absorption, making them ideal for bathroom floors and walls.

Natural Stone TileStone tile types

Many people like the natural earthy look of stone tiles. Depending upon the location and time of the stone being quarried, slabbed, and finished, stone tiles come in many varieties. For foyers, and hallways – high-traffic areas – stone tiles with a matte or satin finish last longer, whereas highly polished tile begins to show wear patterns.

Granite
Granite is an igneous, dense, and hard rock with a distinctive speckled appearance and unique veining that comes in multitudes of colors. Almost impervious and scratch resistant, this tile makes an excellent choice for kitchen floors and countertops, other high-traffic areas, such as curbs and paving stones, solid, colorful, and durable workstations, such as sinks, and backsplash.

Marble
A metamorphic rock available in many colors and featuring rich veining, marble is more porous and not suited for kitchen flooring. It is, however, a perfect choice for interior walls and floors in areas with moderate traffic.

Limestone
A sedimentary rock that comes in both light and dark shades, limestone’s earthy appearance can be polished smooth or textured. Use limestone for structural and entry walls, the area around a fireplace, vanities, and shower walls.

Travertine
A limestone type that has a crystallized appearance and an earthy tone, the surface has natural pitting. Like limestone, travertine is perfect for entry walls, fireplace surrounds, shower walls, vanities, tub decks and mosaics.

Slate
Slate is a type of metamorphic rock that is extremely dense and very durable. Slate is available in darker earthy tones. The surface of slate is naturally textured unless a smooth, honed finish is achieved. Slate is an excellent choice for kitchen – countertops and wet bars – roofing and high-traffic area flooring, such as walkways.

Other
Other stone types include onyx and quartzite.

The Benefits of Tile
1. Environmentally friendly. Little to no volatile organic compounds are found in ceramic tile and stone, as compared to other types. They contribute towards building a healthy environment.
2. Durability. High durability and sustainability makes ceramic and stone an ideal choice. Floorings, such as carpets need replacement after every 7-10 years, making them less economical.
3. Mildew resistant. Good fighters against mildew and mold, ceramic and stone are constructed from materials that are not food sources for mold and mildew. Less mold and mildew is healthier for your home.
4. Moisture resistant. Inherently water resistant, ceramic, and stone do not degrade when exposed to moisture.

The type of tile you choose will depend on your usage – amount of traffic, area covered, type of area being covered etc – and budget. Choose wisely, although keep in mind that stone and ceramic tiles are more durable, healthy, and sustainable than other building material choices out there. Weston Construction can help you assess the best tiling materials to use for your new home construction or renovation.

Home Renovation Ideas that Are Worth It

Home remodeling projects can increase the value of your house, but knowing which projects return the most value can help you prioritize your wish list. Below are ideas and tips for home improvement that are popular and will improve the market value of your home.

add a deck1. Adding a Deck
A Deck addition returns the greatest value among the major popular remodeling projects. Owners can recoup nearly 80% of the investment at resale by adding a deck. It makes the house more aesthetically pleasing, increases outdoor living space and increases the value of the house. Decks made from wood have slightly better cost-value ratio than composite decks. But you also have to consider the maintenance on a composite deck is less time consuming and costly than wood.

2. Adding a New Room
Try converting an already existing space into a bedroom. You can convert your basement into a new bedroom, or you can add a room above the garage that can be used as an apartment. Create an Attic Bedroom for the best for cost vs value, owners can recoup up to 77% of the cost at resale. Think of creative ways to use your new space. For example, an attic can be used as a TV or game room. A basement can be used as a playroom for your children.

kitchen renovation3. Kitchen Renovation
Renovation in the kitchen can pay off because it is such a centrally important part of the house. The payoff is expected to be 67 to 79% of the cost in increased value of the home. One of the most budget-efficient ways to give your kitchen a new look is to change its color. Ask your contractor to use environment-friendly low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints that are free of harmful chemicals. Give your Kitchen a simple facelift by replacing old appliances with modern energy efficient ones. Since the appliances use less energy, your bills go down and you end up saving money.

bath remodel4. Bathroom Remodel
Remodeling the bathroom can recoup 60 to 72% of the initial investment (see last month’s blog post for the latest trends in bathroom remodeling). Look at unoccupied spaces in your house that can be turned into a bathroom. Consider the space you have versus the space needed before investing money. A bathroom with a bathtub and other accessories needs at least 35 square feet of space; a full bath needs 30 square feet; however a half bath needs only 18 square feet.

Smaller Projects

5. Adding Energy Efficient Windows
Investing in good quality energy efficient windows can save you up to $500 per year in energy costs, and will recoup up to 78% of the cost in home value. Not only do windows save money, they are eco friendly as well. Think about it, the more you use natural sunlight to light your rooms the less you spend on electricity.

6. Proper Insulation
Make sure you invest in energy efficient insulation. The initial cost is low, but can save you several hundred dollars per year in energy costs. In order to increase the value of the house, you need to add extra insulation, repair cracks, and look for air leaks around the house. One last tip is to replace old furnaces and air conditioners with new energy efficient ones.

7. Small items, big payoff
Other smaller improvements with big payoffs include Entry Door Replacement (101% recoup), Garage Door Replacement (88% recoup), Backup Power Generator (59%
recoup) and Siding Replacement (up to 80% recoup).
Items with the lowest recoup valuation include Sunroom addition (48%) and home office remodeling (38%)

Valuation estimates for this article were for mid-range projects sourced from Remodeling Magazine’s Annual “Cost vs. Value Report”. Weston Construction is a general contractor in Charlottesville, Virginia that can help with home remodeling projects to add value and enjoyment of your home.

Checklist for Hiring a Contractor

new home construction
With property prices rising, many people are opting to turn their home into the home of their dreams by renovation or remodeling. If you have decided to turn your home dream into reality, either by renovation or by building a custom house from scratch, you may want to hire a trusted home builder to do it. Building a home is a serious affair because your home is one of your most valuable assets. Therefore, it is good to hire professional builders or contractors who have experience in building custom homes. You need to do a lot of research before hiring a contractor to renovate or build your home. Choosing the right contractor is the most critical step in the process of home building or renovation. This basic checklist of questions can assist you in finding the contractor who is best suited to build your dream home.

How Many Years Have You Been In The Business? How Many Clients Have You Served?
You need to find a contractor who is experienced and has an established presence in your locality. It is best to go with people who have been in the industry for more than five years. Longevity is an indicator of work quality and happy customers.
Can You Provide Any References From Your Recent Clients?
Any honest and qualified contractor will be willing to provide you references from their previous customers. Client references are probably the best way to find out about the reliability and work quality of the contractor. You can also check the company’s website and social media pages to read reviews by their clients in order to get more information about the company.

kitchen remodeling

Can I Have A Look At Your Portfolio?
Make sure to have a look through the contractor’s portfolio of recent projects. You should look for projects that are similar to yours.

Can You Provide Me With A Timeline Of The Project?
Before you hire a contractor to renovate or build your home, ask them if they can provide you with a timeline. Ask the company if they can provide you with a start date and a completion date. The contractor should be able to provide you with a schedule of the project, so that you can see progress of work once it is initiated.

Do You Have All The Required Licenses? Are You Insured?
Make sure that you work with a licensed builder. Ask about the insurance status, and make sure that both the contractor and you are covered during the project.

How Much Will It Cost?
For some people, price might be the most important aspect of home renovation or building process. It is important to discuss the budget to save yourself from any hidden or extra costs at the end of the project.

These questions can help you choose the right contractor to build or renovate your home. Hiring the right contractor can lessen the stress, cost, and time in the process of building your dream home; and a wrong decision can turn your dream home into a living nightmare. Make sure to choose vigilantly!