How I love thee, Schluter Strips!

Schluter strips, a long staple of the commercial floor covering world, are making their way into contemporary residential tile installations.  I am elated!  These little pieces of German engineering are a great accent to floors and walls, in both functional and decorative tile applications.  I used them a few years ago in a custom tile design and couldn’t have been happier with the final result. Alongside all of the mosaic stripes, as well as along each vertical 90 degree angle, we have a small aluminum Schluter strip, in profiles “Deco” along the mosaic stripes and “Jolly” as an edge finishing profile.

While they add complexity to the installation, this was not a simple design from the start. These little strips of metallic glory are the perfect accent to create a very unique contemporary tile project.

You can find more info at

While the small mosaic tiles shown here are glass, this design would be fabulous with laNeva’s 1×1′s or 1×2′s. Order them mesh mounted and have your installer cut into 1″ wide strips.  It’s easier than installing them one by one!


Bondera, You Say?

There is a new tile installation product called Bondera. It is a replacement for the traditional mortar bed upon which tile is installed. It is the “glue” that holds the tile to the wall or floor, or wherever. Bondera is a sheet material that you roll out, cut to size and press the tiles into. In a few hours (rather than 24 hours + with traditional mortar) the tiles are set and you can grout right away.


It seems like Bondera will have applications for the do-it-yourself market but I am interested in what professional installers will say. It is certainly a great option when time is of the essence, but unless professional installers will warranty their work using Bondera, it may just be a quick shortcut for a weekend project.

Bondera is for vertical surfaces such as backsplashes and shower walls, as well as countertops. Bondera is not intended for floor use.


Tile Designs Around Town-Part 1: Outlets


A tragic outlet location

Do you ever pay attention to the tile designs you see around town or in the magazines? There is a lot to learn- both good and bad.

One of the main design details that we urge you to consider is the placement of your electrical outlets and switches. You’re investing in gorgeous handmade tile, only to have a poorly placed outlet spoil the whole look.

Not only does that outlet impact the tile design, it also is unsightly with its plain plastic cover.

May we suggest alternatives:

A plug strip that is mounted underneath the upper cabinets (often called plug-mould). This is great if you only need to plug things in occasionally. If it is an item that remains plugged in for a long time, a constantly exposed cord may be as ugly as an outlet itself.

A pop-up plug. This is perfect for work spaces and even certain areas in a kitchen. It is barely noticeable when not in use.

Strategically placed plugs. Plan where your small appliances will be and plan the outlets accordingly. If you don’t know for sure, p the outlets at the perimeter of the space. That will allow a gorgeous tile design and still plenty of space for your small appliances.

We try to use a combination of the tricks above, but sometimes, that unsightly plug can’t be avoided. That’s why we have switchplates and outlet covers available to match all of our glaze colors. You can also design your own outlet or switch cover with more than one color. Yes, we really have thought of everything!