Tile Lines Blog, Articles, & Advice

There's always more to learn in the ever-changing construction industry! In this blog, we aim to delve deeper to answer tile- and countertop-related questions such as: "How do I fix damaged marble?",  "Which waterproofing method is best for my shower remodel?", and "Why is grout necessary?"


If you have a unique tile, stone, or remodeling question not answered elsewhere on our site, please send us an email or give us a phone call! We may even turn the answer into a post for future customers dealing with similar issues.

Advice Time 3: Sealing Grout between Stainless Steel Tiles

Customer Question

I have new stainless tiles in my kitchen backsplash. I need to seal the grout now, but I'm concerned about how to do so without damaging the stainless tiles. Any tips?


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Advice Time 2: What size should a doorless shower be?

Accessible, open-concept bathroom designs are very popular right now for a variety of reasons. Many people are living with a disability, aging in place, or they just like the clean look and space-saving benefits of an open, European-style wet room.


Read more in our article "Aging in Place: Bathroom Design for Your Future"


But with many zero-entry curbless shower designs, we hear these questions:

  • Do I still need a shower door or shower curtain?
  • How big do I need to make the shower to keep water from splashing out?
  • How much of the outside room needs to be waterproofed?

NOTE: While we'll cover some general concepts and guidelines in this article, you should always check your local building and plumbing codes to see what's required and recommended in your area before starting a new construction project.


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Advice Time 1: Sealing Glass and Marble, No Residue

Customer Question

I want to seal a backsplash I recently installed.  The marble tiles and sandless grout in the backsplash need to be sealed. What do you recommend I purchase?  I do not want residue on the glass after.

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The 2020 Color of the Year: Classic Blue


The Pantone Color of the Year for 2020 is Classic Blue, a dark, clean blue that is comforting and soothing. "The indigo hue brings to mind both the constant and the classic; the sky at dusk, an impeccably tailored suit, serene waters, or a bowl of perfectly ripe blueberries."


Blue tiles have been increasing in popularity and availability for a few years now, and this soothing trend doesn't show signs of stopping. 


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Think Pink with Rosy Tiles

Pink tiles are making a comeback! This warm and cheery hue can add a vintage aesthetic to modern homes, sweeten your shabby chic style, or soften a minimalist design.

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A Quick Guide to Picking the Perfect Bathroom Tile

By Emily Huddleston, originally published by Redfin, republished here with permission.


From lighting to soaking tubs, many elements go into a new bathroom design or renovation. However, nothing brings a room together quite like tile. With so many colors, features, and materials from which to choose, finding the right tile can be a laborious process. With this guide, you can be sure you’re making the best choice for your home – today and for the future.

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Aging in Place: Bathroom Design for your Future

Old man and woman standing with arms wrapped around each other, looking over a green valley.

According to Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies, "More than half of the nation’s households are now headed by someone at least 50 years of age."


Of those homeowners, over half of them "are addressing current or future needs of aging household members during master bathroom renovations." 2018 U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study


There are numerous ways you can plan for your future, and a bathroom remodel that considers your future needs is high on the list. Don't let your future health and well-being suffer as a result of a lackluster bathroom remodel.


Here are some things to consider when designing your new bathroom. 

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Timeless Subway Tile - Bonus: Beyond Subway Tile

Pale gray ceramic tile kitchen backsplash with an arabesque mosaic framed by matching trim set within a 2x8" tile field

Have you considered your finishing details, such as grout, edge trim, or accents? Subway tile can't stand alone, and these details affect your design as much as your choice of tile. 


We also want to show you some variations on the concept of "subway tile". What about a ceramic arabesque? It's not a subway shape, but it does look good.

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Timeless Subway Tiles - Part 5: Layout

Corner of a bathroom with blue ceramic subway tile set in a herringbone pattern behind a floating vanity with a white vessel sink.

Pattern plays a huge role in your finished look. A plain tile can be made more interesting with a dramatic layout, angles and lines can draw the eye to details in the room, or you can keep things simple and let the tile speak for itself.


Whether you choose the classic white 3x6" subway tile or opt for a large multi-color arrangement, subway tiles are a timeless choice for your kitchen, bathroom, or fireplace surround. 


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Timeless Subway Tiles - Part 4: Size

Teal wall tiles with gold trim behind a teal ottoman with flowers and a candle sitting on a tray.

How big should your tiles be? Tiny tiles or large format ceramics? 


Consider the size of your space, how many grout lines you want, and what options come in the color and style you want.


When it comes to ceramic tile design, size does matter.

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Timeless Subway Tiles - Part 3: Finish

White marble countertop with a light blue herringbone ceramic tile backsplash, sliced lemons and potted plants.

Glossy vs. matte, textured vs. smooth, metallic, crackle, or beyond... what finish you choose can change how your tile looks and how easy it is to clean.


Whether you choose the classic white 3x6" subway tile or opt for a large multi-color arrangement, subway tiles are a timeless choice for your kitchen, bathroom, or fireplace surround. 


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Timeless Subway Tiles - Part 2: Color

Color can change moods and create energy, sooth or delight the senses, and enrich your design. 


Ceramic tiles are available in thousands of colors, from classic white to bright red and beyond.


Choose your tones carefully to get the desired effect.

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Timeless Subway Tiles - Part 1: Style

Dark gray ceramic tile backsplash behind blue-gray granite countertop covered with San Pellegrino water bottles, slices of limes and lemons, and stainless steel martini glasses.

Mass-produced vs. handcrafted, square edges vs. beveled edges, and clean solid colors vs. fun patterns or exciting glazes... there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing the right subway tile style for you!


Whether you choose the classic white 3x6" subway tile or opt for a large multi-color arrangement, subway tiles are a timeless choice for your kitchen, bathroom, or fireplace surround. 

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Tex-Tiles: Linen Looks, Tweed Textures, & Canvas Ceramics

Close-up of kitchen backsplash with tan-colored 2x2" tile squares that have a canvas texture.
Cozy canvas texture you can see and feel, with all the durability of porcelain tile.
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Wood + Tile = Art

Close up of linear mosaic of warm-tone wood porcelain tile and bronze-colored brushed aluminum

Tile is a great way to fuse diverse elements together to create new and exciting designs. The durability of porcelain tile or the luminosity of glass combined with the patterning and texture of wood grain and vibrant colors creates a wholly unique look that's bound to impress.

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Transitioning Tile Floors

Schluter Reno T in satin aluminum bridges the edges of a wood and gray tile floor

How do you move from one floor surface to another? Is your tile fireplace hearth flush with your carpet? Is your entryway tile going to be taller than the hardwood hallway floors?



The small space between your new tile floors and your other floors may seem insignificant, but it's a crucial consideration if you want your floors to look good and be safe.

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Glamorous Gold Tiles

Screenshot of Instagram post of Gray Magazine, Tile Magazine, and Floor Trends Magazine.
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6 Reasons Why Tile is Perfect for Pet Owners

Two Tile Lines employees pose with a black and white puppy on a tile countertop.
Tile Lines employees Katy and Heidi love it when customers bring puppies into the store.

Porcelain tile is the peak of durability for your floor, and the perfect choice if you have pets. 


Porcelain tiles are fired in very high temperatures and pressed under thousands of pounds of pressure, making them very dense with low porosity and hard to damage or stain.


These low-maintenance tiles come in thousands of color and pattern options to complement any design style.


If you have pets, here are 6 reasons why you should consider tile!


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Bold Patterns for Beautiful Homes

Yellow, blue, red, white, and pale green patterned tile with circles and flower details.

"Encaustic" or "inlaid" tiles, with their bold, multicolor designs, have been around for over 700 years... and this look is making a striking comeback.


Porcelain and ceramic tiles designed to mimic the patterning and colors of encaustic tiles are available for every aesthetic and color palette, while being a low-maintenance option for floors, showers, kitchen backsplashes, or fireplace surrounds.


This is our ultimate idea book on how to use these stunning tiles to get the look you want.


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Pretty in Purple: Playing with the 2018 Color of the Year

Ultra Violet is the 2018 Color of the Year! Purple tones in design always look unique, from regal violet or pretty lavender, from dark plum to light lilac.


Put some color in your life with these bright and beautiful tiles and countertops.

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I'm Dreaming of a White Tile

by Katy Helbling, Tile Lines Design Consultant

Kitchen with white Shaker-style cabinets, white quartz countertops, white walls and ceilings, and a dark brown wood floor.

White is at once both the most neutral tone imaginable and the most elegant. Expressing both a light, airy feel and a striking cleanliness, white is perfect for making spaces feel bright and fresh.


The demand for white countertops and tile in kitchens and bathrooms is at an all time high. Combined with popular gray neutrals, white looks sleek and modern. Combined with pops of vibrant color, white looks fresh and crisp. It fits traditional homes and modern spaces alike.


If you're looking for more brightness, life, and joy in your design, consider white!


Visit our Houzz idea book for our white tile backsplash and shower design ideas.

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Install This: Tiles of Different Heights

What do you do with tiles of different thicknesses?

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Does Your Mosaic Interlock?

Bathroom with dark wood vanity with a light tan countertop. The shower is covered in travertine tiles. The glass and stone mosaic backsplash mosaic is also used as a horizontal stripe in the shower.

Quiz time! If a mosaic comes on a 12x12" sheet, but you want to turn it into a 4" backsplash and a 6" shower stripe, how much will you have to throw away at the end of your project?


If you plan well and select your mosaic carefully, you won't have to throw away anything! Knowing how your mosaic is set on the sheet before ordering it will save you time and money.

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Learning Italian with Tile

The Italian influence on the tile industry is so strong that you'll often hear Italian words and phrases used by professionals and tradespeople in the tile industry.


Let's take a trip to Italy to learn some words you'd hear in your everyday tile store!

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3D Textured Tiles

Bathroom with a large white soaking tub and wood floors. Behind the tub is a wall of large white Calacatta marble carved, wavy 3D tiles.

You could say it's the wave of the future: textured, 3D porcelain and ceramic or glass tiles represent a hot trend in tile. A rippling wave effect echoes organic elements such as waterfalls or striated rock formations in a sleek, contemporary fashion. 

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Things to Bring When You Visit a Tile Showroom

Working with customers in our Kent showroom; a short drive from Renton, Auburn, and Federal Way.

Make your design process immensely easier with these helpful tips!

By Rita Nelson, K. Helbling

Too many times I've heard the phrase, "Oh! I wish I would have brought that!" 


When you walk into any store looking for material for a new project, there are a number of things you can bring with you to make the process much easier and less stressful.


Here are my recommendations for things to bring with you when you go tile shopping:

  • Pictures of your space
  • Basic measurements of the space (or blueprints if possible)
  • Samples of things that are staying in the room: cabinets, countertops, flooring, etc.
  • Inspiration ideas

Why are these things necessary and how do they help when you're looking for tile? Read on to find out!

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Stainless Steel Mosaics & Tiles

Square metal and glass mosaics - perfect for your fireplace remodel in Renton, Auburn, Bellevue, or Federal Way

Stainless steel mosaics and tiles are sleek, contemporary, and stylish. Available in a wide variety of patterns, shapes, and sizes, these tiles can introduce a futuristic feel to your fireplace surround, add a clean modernism to your kitchen backsplash, or create a little sparkle in your shower.

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Hot Pots on Countertops

Close up of Cambria Brentwood countertop with a plate of grapes, cheese, and crackers.

If your kitchen is a busy place filled with activity: baking, cooking, and entertaining, you want a countertop that can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use. 


When customers are looking at new kitchen countertop materials, we are often asked two questions: "Can I place hot pots and pans directly on my countertops?" and "Can I cut food directly on top of the counters?"


While there are many durable options for kitchen counters, not all products respond well to heat and sharp objects. Read below for more details!


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A Bright Idea: Go bold with your tile color!

Do you believe brown and beige are boring? Do you like bold and bright colors better? Whether you're designing a vibrant feature wall or just want a simple pop of color, there are many great ways to bring color into your tile design!


Do you have a passion for purple? We have a whole ideabook about the Pantone 2018 Color of the Year: UltraViolet.


Set up a complimentary design consultation, and our designers will help you pick the perfect tilecountertop, and accents for your space. 253-872-0449 or info@tilelines.com

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Creative Bathroom Floors

Floors can be fun focal points or basic, simple squares. It's up to you!


Check out these ideas for inventive bathroom floor options.

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Popular Now: Gray Limestone

Grey Limestone, Gray porcelain tiles, white tub and vessel sinks in a contemporary bathroom
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Using Pebble Mosaics in Tile Designs

Round, yellow pebbles grouted with an off-white grout on a floor

There's no simpler way to say this: pebbles are popular. 


Whether your design is clean and modern or classical and traditional, whether your color scheme incorporates blues, reds, and greens or cream, black, and white, whether you want a small accent or a bold feature wall, pebbles are a fantastic design element.

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The Aqua Mix Seminar Part 2: Grout Colorants

Grout Colorant Bottle

Ryan D. Firey, Tile & Installation Consultant

Last November I took a trip down to California to learn more about Aqua Mix tile, stone, and grout care and maintenance products.


At this training seminar I gained a new respect for grout colorants. The colorants are available in 24 standard colors, with the option to order custom colors. The colorants do more than just change the color of your grout; they add an epoxy coating that will seal your grout for up to five years.


Grout colorants are easy to apply and are an inexpensive way to spruce up your existing tile installations. Our Aqua mix grout colorants can be applied over any type of grout, even epoxy. Additionally, they’re potent enough to turn a jet black grout into bright white!

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Colored Caulking

A tube of Polyblend color-matching caulking

Did you know that you can get acrylic and silicone caulking that matches the color of your grout?


Colored caulking is useful for backsplashes, tiled showers, or in any installation where you need a flexible seam of a particular hue.


We stock over 40 different colors of caulking designed to match the color and texture of grout. We can also order caulking that matches several popular grout brands such as Custom Building Products, Laticrete, Mapei, TEC, and Bostik.  

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Porcelain Tiles that look like Wood!

Light oak wood-looking porcelain tile floor
These tiles have the texture of hand-scraped wood for added realism.
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The Aqua Mix Seminar Part 1: Sealers, Cleaners, & Problem Solvers

Ryan outside of the Queen Mary
Me, standing outside of the Queen Mary, where attendees stayed during the two-day seminar.

Ryan Firey, Tile & Installation Associate

Earlier this month I took a trip down to Southern California to attend Custom Building Product's Aqua Mix training seminar.


I met Aqua Mix's research and development team, learned about their complete product line, and was trained by experts in tile, stone, and grout care and maintenance.


In this post, I cover some of the basics of their many different products.

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$1, $5, and $10 Tiles: What's the Difference?

We are often asked, “Why do some tiles cost more than others?” Is a more expensive tile more durable, or is there more to price variations than that?


The truth is that many factors affect the price of man-made tile products. Durability, appearance, production costs, and availability are the main causes for price variation. In this post, we will discuss all of the elements that can increase or decrease your price per square foot.

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Porcelain vs. Ceramic

Bathroom with blue ceramic wall tiles in the shower and behind the vanity, with white porcelain tiles on the floor.
Porcelain floor tiles + ceramic wall tiles for a bright, refreshing, easy-to-clean bathroom design.

Porcelain and ceramic tiles are our most popular products, and for good reason.


These low-maintenance building materials have been around for thousands of years! In that time we've achieved new levels of durability and design (including wood and fabric looks, 3D tiles, and more!) 


We're answering the most common questions about ceramic and porcelain tiles!

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