A feature that many homeowners do not consider when redesigning a space is the grout color. In the home renovation world, grout color alters the finished look of the tiles by contrasting tile and grout to create interesting patterns and color palettes. It can be the difference between a tile standing out or blending into the background. Do-It-Yourself homeowners often overlook the grout color whereas professional designers utilize color to their benefit.
You can avoid mistakes and help your project stand out from others by learning a few things about grout. Let’s start by examining the three types of grout.
Three Types of Grout
The most durable and stain-resistant type of grout is epoxy grout. It consists of a combination of epoxy resin and hardener. Great for countertops with kitchen tiles where stains are more frequent.
Sanded grout combines finely graded silica sand and cement for an incredible range of colors and reduced shrinkage. This type of grout is the best product for flooring as it can fill larger joints and form a sturdy joint that can withstand most home use.
Excellent product for use in any joints less than ⅛”-wide, unsanded grout is made with a mixture of cement, powdered pigments, and water. This grout is exceptionally sticky and perfect for working on vertical surfaces. Surfaces that scratch easily such as glass are ideal projects for unsanded grout as it will not scratch.
Grout Color Options-
Now that you know a little about the different types of grout let’s discuss color options. Grout comes in an array of colors, everything from ice white to black onyx. Depending on what you are doing, the color will help the tiles blend in or stand out. Home designers often use coloring in the grout to make a statement.
Contractors create interesting, fun effects by using smaller tiles like hexagons subway tiles paired with a fun grout color. Notice in the pictures below. One style has tiles where the grout is colored dark, making the tiles stand out into a statement piece, whereas the other photo shows the tiles blending in with white tiles and white grout.
light tile with dark-colored grout
white tiles with white grout
There are many options to choose from when choosing the grout you want for your project. Here are a few final tips to remember when meeting with your designer:
White grout with white tile results in a uniform aesthetic that is thoroughly blended. The lines will virtually disappear when you look at them. This option appears very modern; however, it will take some upkeep and care due to staining issues.
Light tiles and dark grout are perfect if you want the tile to stand out. This contrast allows for the shape and design of the tile to pop.
Dark tile and light grout, this combination focuses on the tile making it stand out.
Dark tile and dark grout will give you a softer effect. The harshness of the tile, when blended with the darker grout, pulls away from the shapes of the tile.
Finally, we arrive at grout sizing. When designing your renovation, you want to determine whether you want thin grout lines, thicker grout lines, or something in the middle. Factors that help determine the size of the grout lines are function, type of tile, and the final aesthetic goal. Your High Quality Contracting, Inc. design specialist can help you determine the width that will work best for your space.
If you are interested in looking at some excellent tile products, we welcome you to contact us today for a free home estimate. Products and styles often change. Meeting with one of our professionals will assure you get the newest options.
Covid-19 took the business world by surprise in 2020, and many companies now allow their staff to work from home. As the world continues to adjust to the pandemic, homeowners are flocking to build home offices. Here are High Quality Contracting, Inc.’s 2021 home office design tips:
1) Lighting Matters-
We spoke to a local author Jillian Ochoa, who said, ” I need an office with a lot of light. It is challenging to write in a dark or depressing office space.” Inputting high-efficiency LED lighting in the ceiling and walls can improve the space taking it from drab to fab. Our design experts also suggest that homeowners install plenty of natural light when building a new home office. Installing beautiful paned windows and skylights increases the natural light in the room. Natural light is not only better for our eyes, but, increases the serotonin in our bodies improving our mood.
2) Storage Wars-
Don’t go to war with storage issues when building your office. Built-in cabinets, custom closets, and hidden storage create ample room to store files, supplies and other essentials for the job. When coupling the storage with counter space, a home office encourages a higher level of productivity, allowing you to work freely. Our expert design staff utilizes all of the free space in creative ways that help you get the most use of the space. New cabinet systems with unique hardware and pull-out drawers effectively bring the best technology into the room.
3) Color Psychology –
That dark purple color in your daughter’s old bedroom worked for her, but it probably will not work for you in your home office. When building a home office, consideration for the mood and the psychology that color plays in that mood is essential. According to ScienceOfPeople.com (https://www.scienceofpeople.com/color-psychology/), research shows that colors affect our mood, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. Home office spaces that choose colors like blues and greens will have a calming feel to them. A home office with yellows, reds, and oranges will probably have a more lively sense. These colors tend to increase productivity and action. Darker colors like black and deep purple should be saved for when you get the 1970’s black light out of the garage.
4) Room Location-
Where you put your home office is extremely important. We have seen homeowners who have attempted to put their office in the corner of a kitchen or another busy area. We suggest finding a room that is as far away from distractions as possible. Homeowners who choose to build an addition to their home or convert an attached garage into a home office have the most privacy for their business.
Prudent homeowners reflect on the furniture and equipment they will need to do their jobs. Will you need a desk? What kind of desk? A large one? A standing Desk? Would a long counter work better? DO you want lamps, or would you rather have receding lights? Do you need file cabinets, and would it benefit you to build them into a cabinet system? All of these things and more need consideration before making your home office.
When building your office, there are a lot of considerations. We hope these home office design tips help you create the space you need to be successful and productive in your business. If you would like one of our master designers to walk you through the design process for your home office, contact High Quality Contracting, Inc., today to schedule your appointment.
Knowing when the right time is to replace your windows can help stop damage to your home’s structure and help you avoid costly utility bills and repair costs. Each manufacturer sets its standard when recommending window replacement; however, the average window lasts between 15 and 30 years. Hardware, weather stripping, caskets, etc., may need replacement after eight years, depending on wear and tear. We look at six main items when recommending if a window needs to be replaced or not.
Do you feel drafts around your windows? That is a sign that the window needs replacement. To test for a draft, place your hand around the edges of your window and see if you can feel any air coming through the seals. Another way to check this is by getting an energy audit. Energy auditors can run tests that determine the amount of air leaking out from around the window seals.
If you have double-pane or triple-pane windows, check them for moisture and condensation between the panes. These windows are built with a layer of air between the insulated panes to keep the weather out. If you find moisture between the panes, this means the insulation is no longer working, and homeowners should replace the window.
3) Difficult to Use
Windows that do not work correctly need replacement. Meaning if you have a problematic window to open or close or a window that tends to slide down, as a homeowner, you would want to replace those windows. Over time, the frame and balance of the window can warp, causing usage issues.
4) Broken or Cracked
This should go without saying, but homeowners who find a cracked or broken window should get the window replaced. Broken glass is a safety hazard and utterly worthless at keeping the elements out of the house.
I recently went to a friend’s house, and the window in her kitchen had a significant gap in it big enough to slide a pamphlet through. Gaps between the window seals indicate that your window should be replaced. To check, look around your window. Do you see several spider webs in the corners of the window? Can you see the light shining through the cracks? As windows age, the materials expand and contract eventually; they become old and worn and need replacement.
6) High Energy Bills
No homeowner is ever happy to receive a high energy bill. Why would anyone allow high bills to continue? Before blaming these high bills on the kids in the house, check the integrity of your home’s windows by checking the items listed above. In Wisconsin, there are several programs that can help you with energy bills, and tax benefits for upgrading and replacing your windows with energy-efficient ones. Wisconsin homeowners can also save energy by obtaining a free “Energy Pack” from Focus On Energy. (Click Here for the Link)
Each pack contains a variety of products, such as:
ENERGY STAR® certified light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs
LEDs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs, producing less heat and more light per watt. Plus, they have a long lifespan, typically 15,000 hours or longer.
Efficient showerheads lower the gallons of water used per minute, without compromising performance—allowing you to use less water and potentially lowering water and heating bills.
Water-Saving Bathroom Faucet Aerators
These simple screw-in aerators reduce water use in your sinks while providing the pressure you need to wash. Reducing your water use will save you money on the cost of heating your water.
Pipe insulation may be used on domestic cold and hot water pipes. Pipe insulation will help to reduce heat loss by up to 80% through hot water pipes and will stop sweating on cold water pipes.
Add a home windows check to your spring and fall to-do lists. By doing regular maintenance checks on the windows, homeowners can avoid major problems in the future. Remember, if any of the above items ring true, then it’s time to call High Quality Contracting, Inc today and get your windows quote.
( Due to the pandemic, some window types may not be available. We will always do our best to get you the window replacement you want at a price you can afford. However, we have no control over the amount of time it takes to get the products in. Thank you for your patience. )
Whether you are accenting it, covering an entire wall, or just adding that splash of color, choosing the right paint for your room is paramount in achieving the overall results you want. So when it comes to advising High Quality Contracting, Inc. remodeling clients on which paint to choose, we always follow these guidelines.
1) Be mindful of the purpose of the room.
Each room has a different meaning for its existence. For example, a bedroom is for resting, a kitchen for eating, a home office is for working. You want the colors and products you choose to reflect that room’s purpose. In rooms such as a bath or an addition that is a greenhouse, those rooms may retain more moisture than others, so a homeowner will want to choose a paint that is mold resistant. Whereas in a bedroom, this is not necessary but perhaps easily washable wall paint is. When looking at colors, a calming color for a bedroom is logical, but in a home office, getting too comfortable may lead to some pretty unproductive days.
2) Consider the furniture when choosing your color pallets.
Designers often recommend focusing your color scheme on a piece of furniture or a painting that you like. They further suggest taking photos or, even better, part of the object with you to the paint store. You can’t take a whole sofa, but you can take a pillow! When at the paint store, choose three colors that go well with your object. You will now have a wide range of hues from those three colors to choose your wall color. For example, you decide that blue, green, and off-white go with your sofa pillow, so now you get to choose between all of the different shades of those colors to find what fits your needs best.
3) Create visual effects with the paint finish.
Professional painters and home designers will confirm that the finish of paint plays a vital role in the outcome of the room. There are several types of finishes, including flat, semi-gloss, high-gloss, and satin. Each creates a different feel and has another purpose. The rule of thumb used to be to use a flat or satin on the walls and semi-gloss and gloss paints for the accents. However, today’s designers are using finishes to create visual effects using lighting in a room. For instance, if you paint the walls with flat paint and use semi-gloss on the ceiling, it creates a contrast in the light, making the ceilings appear higher.
4) The psychology of color is a fantastic thing.
Web developers, artists, and designers use it to create the feelings generated by the colors. For instance, focus on the color blue. There are so many different hues of blue and varients that have varying effects on people. Sky blue and pale blue colors welcome a calming feeling, while a bright blue stimulates the mind. According to VeryWellMind.com colors can ignite a range of emotions and feelings such as Red, Orange, and Yellow are attention-grabbing and suitable for use in a homework room or study area. In contrast, pale blues, greens, and neutrals work well for calming the mind in a bedroom.
When choosing your color pallets for your home remodeling project, always seek the help of experts and take your time to select the color that fits your needs.