Getting Your Home Ready for Entertaining During the Holidays

As the holidays quickly approach, guests and families may be descending on your home to share in holiday dinners and festivities. Of course you want your home to be as warm and inviting as possible. Besides your typical holiday decorating, there are many other ways to help get your home ready for the holidays. Here are a few suggestions..

  • Reduce the clutter. There will be inevitable cleaning that will have to happen once the guests leave, but you can help reduce the time spent cleaning by removing as much clutter as possible before the guests arrive.
  • Stash breakable items away if there will be a lot of children visiting. Nothing can make a holiday more awkward than when a guests child breaks that fragile heirloom you like to display.
  • Keep coffee table books or stylish photographic magazines handy for discussion topics when there’s a lull in the conversation.
  • Use throws over your couches and chairs to help protect from the occasional spills or food stains that always seem to happen. You can also treat fabric covered furniture with protective spray such as Scotchgard.
  • Dress up your front door. This will be the first experience they have as guests arrive at your home. Wreaths or other decorations can help create a warm environment right from the start.
  • Keep your home at a comfortable temperature. While most likely it will be impossible to please everyone on this point, keeping it cooler and having throws and sweaters available might be the right way to go.
  • Setting the lights a little softer sets a nice, calming mood during the holidays.
  • Taping down area rugs can help prevent slipping especially if you will have kids running around in social areas.
  • Provide cushions for folding chairs. Hard cold chairs won’t make guests feel very welcome.
  • Add holiday touches to halls and bathrooms. Using decorative soap, nice hand towels, and good smelling candles will add an air of comfort for guests.
  • Soft music is also a nice touch to add to the holiday spirit.

Presealed vs Unfinished Saltillo Tile

pre-sealed saltillo tile Saltillo tile is a durable, easy to clean flooring tile that originates from Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. Often used in homes that wish to achieve a Southwestern decor, the tile is long lasting and looks beautiful when installed properly. Since the tiles are created in an unglazed state, saltillo tile requires sealing to protect the tile since saltillo tile is naturally very porous and will absorb moisture easily.

However, before installation there are a couple of options as to whether or not to have the tile pre-sealed (which is not a %100 seal) or to install the tile in an unfinished state.

Our recommendation for most people is to work with pre-sealed tile. Basically, pre-sealing is either done by applying an oil/solvent sealer to the tile or a water base sealer to the tile prior to installation. It’s important to note that this does not create a finished product as further sealing and finishing will need to be done after installation.

So why use pre-sealed tiles? Well, first, the grouting will be easier and the drying time will be significantly reduced. And, as we mentioned before, saltillo tile is very absorbent and there is a lot of moisture involved with the installation process. Tiles are cut with a wet-saw, the mortar used to set the tile is mixed with water, and the grout is also mixed with water. This can cause discoloration and undesired results of the look of the tile.

Pre-sealed tile will also be easier for the do-it-yourself or less experience tile installer as the color is set once the tile is pre-sealed, so you know exactly what you are working with. Note that pre-sealed tile is not ‘pre-finished’ which is a different process altogether. We recommend to hold off on finishing the tile until one week after the tile and grout installation. This will allow the tile to cure and will also create a finish for the grout as well.

With all that said, there are still contractors and installers that want to work with unfinished tile. This tile comes un-glazed and does allow for some coloring flexibility after installation. However, we highly recommend sealing should be done by true sealing professionals with this method and tiles should be applied with grout release to avoid any grout staining.

Should you have further questions regarding the installation or purchase of saltillo tile, please feel free to call us at either of our two location: Phoenix: 602-954-6272 | Tucson: 520.622.4352. We look forward to hearing from you!

Our Design Studios

If you want to see great examples of saltillo tile flooring and decorative tiling, you can visit our design studios located in Phoenix, Arizona or our location in Tucson, Arizona. Each location features a tremendous variety of tiling and showcase various ways to utilize tiles for design. If you are in the Phoenix or Tucson area, we encourage to visit our studios which we are certain will inspire you and provide unique ideas on how our tiles can improve the look of your home.

Phoenix Location: 2036 W Greenway Rd, Phoenix AZ 85023 | Phone: (602)954-6272
Tucson Location: 1148 E Broadway, Tucson AZ 85719 | Phone: (520)622-4352

Please enjoy this gallery of photo’s taken at each of the locations:

Fireplaces and Fire Pits

Continuing with our ideas on how to renovate and improve the look of your home, let’s take a look at applying tile, stone and brick to your fireplace and fire pits. Fireplaces that are framed with exposed bricks that are pock-marked tend to look rustic and outdated. By applying decorative tile to the outside of your fireplace, it can help turn a room into a stylish, elegant area perfect for hosting dinner parties and family holidays. Likewise, adding or upgrading a patio fire pit can help turn your barbecue events into memorable events. Take a look at this gallery that exemplify how much tile, stone, and brick enhance your fireplace and fire pits.

What to consider : Kitchen Remodel

A kitchen is not only the place where you prepare your meals but can also be a gathering place for dinner parties and family holidays. So a kitchen should accommodate what you need for cooking, and also provide the type of space you need for dining, storage, and entertaining guests. A kitchen should reflect your lifestyles and its decor should complement the architecture of your home. There are many things to consider when designing a kitchen, and the first step is setting goals for the space.

Kitchen RemodelA kitchen remodel can be a huge undertaking, so make sure you ask your self why you are doing it and what to you hope to accomplish as an end result. Do you want to add space by knocking out walls? Do you need a kitchen that is less cluttered and easier to clean? Will you be replacing the cabinets and counter tops? Do you need to add functionality to your kitchen with new appliances and ease of access shelving? Do you want to replace that old vinyl flooring with beautiful saltillo tile? (See how we worked that in?)

It’s also important to keep in mind how you use your kitchen. Track your daily routines there. Also consider how many people live in the house and who prepares the meals. Think of things such as whether the cook in the family is left-handed or right-handed. What type of meals do you cook in your home? What is the traffic pattern in your kitchen? How often do you dine there? Will you be using the space for entertaining? HGTV offers a helpful worksheet to help determine how you use your kitchen.

Let’s not forget perhaps the most important thing to consider, budget! Do research to find out how much items cost before starting. Don’t forget that you may not be able to do all the changes you want to do yourself, so figure in labor to your budget costs as well.

Here are some other things to consider:

  • Size of the space
  • Orientation of sunlight
  • Connection of kitchen to adjacent rooms
  • Homeowner’s lifestyle
  • Condition of the building

If you need help or design ideas on remodeling your kitchen, please call Mexican Tile and Stone today.

Outdoor Patio and Pool Tile Designs

While we have shown a lot of different design ideas on how saltillo tile flooring and decorative tile can improve the look of the inside of your home, don’t forget tile and stone can greatly enhance the outside areas of your home as well. Whether it’s using saltillo tile as your patio decking or using tiles to decorate your barbecue, tiling can create a great looking exterior for your family and friends to enjoy. Please take a look at these examples:

Variety of Saltillo Tile for Flooring

One of the great things about saltillo tile is its uniqueness. Each tile is hand-made and no two tiles are alike. There are many reasons for the color variations between tiles. The tiles are fired in a caves or kilns and as the oxygen is depleted, the fire seek other sources of fuel which it find in the iron oxide in the clay tiles. This process flashes the tile and leaves a light buff color on the tile. Other parts of the tile are shielded by other tiles, also contributing to the different coloring. Occasionally a color additive is added as well to produce a wider variety of tile.

The tiles can also be created in a variety of shapes and sizes. Please enjoy the pictures below which demonstrate the differences between tiles when used for flooring.

Remodel your kitchen with decorative tiles!

For some of us who love to cook, we spend the majority of our time at home in our kitchen. Why not make your kitchen a stylish and decorative room that’s functional and easy to clean! Decorative tile is a perfect solution for kitchens. Sealed tile as a counter top is resistant to stain and wipe clean with ease. Tile on the wall and floors can also make your kitchen one of the best looking rooms in the house. Take a look at this slideshow that demonstrates how great tile can make your kitchen look!

Remodel Your Bathroom with Decorative Tile

Considering remodeling your bathroom? Decorative tile can help you create a bold atmosphere in your bathroom. Tile is perfect for the bathroom as it is water resistant, easy to clean, and is more durable and longer-lasting than other materials. Additionally, there are so many shapes and sizes, the design options are almost endless! Please enjoy this slideshow of tiled bathrooms.

Tile Not Just For Flooring

When people think of tiling and saltillo tile, the generally think of using the tile for flooring. But in fact there are a wide variety of uses for tile. The decorative tile can be used for counters, walls, exhaust fan covering, pool decking, art framing, or just about anything you can think of. Please enjoy this slideshow of different uses for tiling and saltillo tile. If you would like to order or need more information regarding saltillo tile, please visit http://www.saltillotile.com/.