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Architects, interior designers, and more ∨

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HGTV Article on Current Bathroom Tile Trends


We wanted to share this great article from because it highlights some of the most trendsetting tile materials for bathroom remodeling. This may help you determine your tile selection before turning to experts like us to remodel your next bathroom or kitchen.  Which is your favorite tile?   Share your thoughts with us.  Below, we've shared one of our bathroom remodeling projects featuring faux hardwood tile flooring.  It adds depth and warmth to this beautiful bathroom comprised of mostly cool color tones.  Love the look of hardwood flooring in a bathroom with no concern for water damage and providing plenty of durability.


faux hardwood tile floor installation

Faux hardwood tile flooring

Tile Trends from Across the Pond

I wanted to share this article with you because there are so many innovative and new ideas for tile design and installation. Not only are there many interesting tile options available in various shapes but they also mimic alternative materials such as reclaimed wood planks or natural stone.  What takes tile application to another creative level is the installation of tile on other surfaces outside of the bathroom and kitchen.  Genius.  Be forewarned.  It requires thinking outside of the box.  Although don't most remodeling projects require a certain degree of visionary thinking at conception?  Every remodel starts with a vision or idea....close your eyes and what do you see?  This article provides new tile concepts to ponder.

Master Bathroom Renovation in Vienna, Virginia


A picture really is worth a 1,000 words...good thing because these pictures may leave you speechless.  Look at these striking before and after pictures of a master bathroom we renovated in Vienna, Virginia. This renovation erased decades from this bathroom and created a functional yet warm space for the homeowners.

Before:  Master Bathroom

master bathroom remodeling


After:  Master Bathroom

Custom Bathroom Renovation


Let's get technical here...

This was an older single family home in the beautiful town of Vienna, Virginia.  The family had a very narrow master bath, with a large drafty window.  Their vision was to brighten and widen the space to create a spa-like master bath with more usable space.

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to widen the space when dealing with an exterior wall. The entire bathroom had to be reconfigured. We removed the exterior window and replaced it with new framing and exterior sheathing, then insulated, and finally installed new drywall.  Another space saver was the installation of a pocket door.

bathroon renovation

The rest of the bathroom had to be completely gutted.  New plumbing was added for the additional vanity sink.  The toilet flange and shower drain had to be relocated as well.

We installed a presloped pan over plywood substrate and bonded it to the plywood subfloor using Laticrete 254 Platinum and a PVC 40 shower liner above. We then constructed a mud pan using Laticrete 209 mud mix.

The newly widened and reconfigured bath walls were built with ½” durock. The durock within the shower was waterproofed using Laticrete Hydro Ban liquid waterproofing membrane.

The tile was supplied by Mosaic Tile Company.  All tile was back-buttered to industry standards and set using Laticrete 4XLT.  The shower walls were installed using a beautiful 12" x 24" Travertini polished tile. We added a 16" x 16" x 20" Noble convex corner seat. Face tiles consisted of 9/16" x 9/16" Noce Slate Rustica Mini Mosaics and a 6” Botticino marble threshold was installed atop of the curb. The new shower was enclosed with frameless glass.

Shower walls were grouted with TEC 911 Parchment, the shower pan and main floor were grouted with TEC 982, Summer Wheat.

New trim, faucets, a toilet, wall sconces, a mirror and new vanity were all part of the finishing touches.

The homeowners now have a spacious, gorgeous new master bathroom they will enjoy for years to come.


More pictures...

shower renovation, shower hardware, faucetbathroom renovation, shower seat, mosaic tiles

bathroom renovation, tile floor

Kitchen or Bathroom Remodeling in 2014


Wishing you a safe and healthy 2014 from Collins Tile and Stone!

Thank you for making this last year a great one for Collins Tile and Stone!  We appreciate our customers and are thrilled with the opportunities we've had to come into their homes to help create a space they love to live in!

What are your plans for home improvements this year?  Thinking about renovating your bathroom with a new frameless shower or adding backsplash and new tile flooring to your kitchen?  The possibilities are endless and our in-house designer Tracy Sheffield has the experience and know-how to design your custom remodeling project and our expert tile installers will make it happen with quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service.  Let's chat about it! 


Design Consultation with Tracy







Proud Recipient of the Angie's List 2013 Super Service Award


Angie's List 2013 Super Service Award


Previously earned in 2012, 2011, 2010


Angie's List Press Release:


Collins Tile and Stone Earns Esteemed 2013 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer service


Collins Tile and Stone has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the consumer review service in 2013.

Founder and President of Collins Tile and Stone, Buck Collins, shares, “We are proud to receive this distinguished award and to be recognized a fourth year in a row by Angie’s List.  We will continue to provide all of our clients with the highest quality craftsmanship and customer service they have come to expect from Collins Tile and Stone. Through ongoing industry education and training, our employees are the best in the field, making this achievement possible.  We are grateful for their dedication and the value each team member brings to every project.  We thank our customers for trusting us with their tile and remodeling needs.”

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Collins Tile and Stone competes with in Northern Virginia are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

 Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, have a fully complete profile, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

 Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2013 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on




Angie's List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to healthcare. More than 2 million paid households use Angie's List to gain access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List Magazine and the Angie's List complaint resolution service.





4 Helpful Steps to Choosing Grout


Don't overlook this simple yet impactful design element...grout.

In anticipation of an upcoming bathroom or kitchen remodeling project many homeowners invest a lot of time choosing materials.  Combining flooring, cabinets, countertops, lighting and so forth can be a daunting task.  This process can be full of angst and second guessing but once the materials come together and you determine a palette you love the excitement settles in.  But, hold on to your tile samples just a minute.  Whether installing tile for floors, backsplash or wainscot, picking the correct grout can often times be an afterthought in the design process.  Our in-house designer Tracy Sheffield stresses the importance of grout selection to ensure your tile installation is a long-lasting, low maintenance application.  So take your time and keep these quick tips from Tracy in mind when choosing grout:

Step 1:  Determine whether stain free or cementitious type of grout fits your specific application and your budget.  Some homeowners select a cementitious grout over stain free to reduce initial cost but they overlook the long term expense to periodically seal and maintain this type of grout.  However, if the material of the tile selected needs to be sealed from time to time then it’s not such an issue to use cementitious grout because maintenance is already required.  When selecting a cementitious grout Tracy suggests using a cleaner with a neutral pH and to avoid bleach and ammonia based cleaners because they may strip the sealer.  There are also Grout Boost products which can be added to cementitious grout to make it stain free which is beneficial.  Choosing a stain free grout may initially be more expensive but in the long run require less time, effort, and cost overall. 

Step 2:  Consider the manufacturer’s recommended size of the grout joints for the specific application of the material installed.  This varies depending on the installation of porcelain, ceramic, glass, metal and other materials.  The standard 1/8” grout joint is not always recommended by the manufacturer.  If the grout joint is 1/8” or greater then the grout must be sanded to avoid sagging and cracking.  This should be discussed with your installer to ensure the correct type of grout is used for the installation.

Step 3:  Other points to discuss and resolve with your installer when selecting grout are the environmental factors, water application concerns, and long term low maintenance.  Be sure to consider the effects of natural elements on the grout with exterior installations.  Change in seasons (freeze-thaw cycles) and temperature should be thought through.  There are also certain types of grout specific to water applications including fountains or pool areas.  There are many grout options with urethane or epoxy technologies which address these concerns.  Be sure that regardless of the installation objective to opt for a grout that is low maintenance and works within your budget considering both up front and backend costs.    

Step 4:  Select a grout color based on your personal preference.  Grout should highlight the beauty of the tile itself and typically “disappears” when looking at the overall application.  Choose a more neutral colored grout for greater focus on the tile products.  By using a grout color which blends with the tile, the overall surface will appear seamless. Grout color can also be a design element which creates contrast. To enhance your design and create dimension to the tile work, choose a darker or lighter contrasting shade of grout.   This can make the tile itself really pop.  Consider the visual pattern you are creating with tile and grout combination you choose.  Be sure to think this through in order to achieve the overall look you are aiming towards.

By using a contrasting lighter grout with the large, dark tile on the tub's retaining wall, it creates a place of interest and elevates the overall design of the bathroom pictured below.


bathroom tile and grout 



A Great Article on Tile Patterns from the December 2013 TileLetter


We had to share this great article from the December 2013 TileLetter on tile patterns and bringing tile to life. 

Porcelain Tile: Transform Your Garage to a Showcase


The busy lives of residents in Northern Virginia are compounded by hectic work schedules, long commutes, and weekend soccer games.  One way families combat the hussle and bussle is to get organized and establish their abodes in a way which keeps their active lifestyles on track.  Homeowners also want to come home to a place of luxury and comfort.  It's not just about function but aesthetics play a part as well.  These days, beauty and design doesn't start at the front door but also encompasses the garage area.  At Collins Tile and Stone, we are seeing many homeowners interested in upgrading their garage space to create an efficient and clean area to easily store and access their belongings for work and play.  Often times, the first step in this process is to apply paint or an epoxy coating to the garage floor which creates a clean, protected surface.  But these days, homeowners want a sleek, stylish look just as much as they need the organization and function.  Many residents are using the installation of porcelain tile which has been used commercially because it is not only luxurious but also very durable and easy to maintain.  We recently renovated a residential garage floor by installing Certified Porcelain Tile by Daltile.  We installed ColorBody Porcelain tile in Veranda Solids & Veranda Tones to ensure not only a functional and protective flooring system but a visually attractive one as well.  Our client chose a combination of Sapphire (P551) and Titanium (P523) in a mix of 13” x 13” and 13” x 20” field tiles with a 6” x 13” border and cove base.  This design came together beautifully.  The wide variety of colors and textures of porcelain tile to choose from allows the homeowner to design a space custom to their needs and liking. 

With this type of tile application in a garage, it was imperative to use a stain proof grout.  We recommend using SpectraLOCK Pro Premium Grout by Latricrete International which is a 100% solid epoxy grout with high durability.  The long life of both porcelain tile and SpectraLOCK Pro Premium Grout creates a low maintenance flooring system and transforms a garage into a showcase.  An extremely  durable and low maintenance flooring sysem with a luxurious look is achieved by homeowners with the installation of porcelain tile.


Miller garage finals 006 resized 600


Miller garage finals 009 resized 600


Miller garage finals 014 resized 600

Bathroom Trend Alert: A New Look at Accent Walls


Looking for the latest and greatest trend in bathroom remodeling?  We asked our in-house designer Tracy Sheffield and she explained that homeowners are walking away from hum-drum makeovers and looking for a feature that stands out while at the same time bringing the overall design scheme together.   We’ve all seen a beautifully designed mural or a painted wall to highlight a vertical surface within a room.  As an expert in the tile design industry, Tracy has noticed clients are more open to using focal accents throughout their space beyond just the wet areas where they are typically placed.

A Contemporary Flair

For a more contemporary style, Tracy suggests creating a full focal wall comprised of one accent product such as Oceanside Glasstile.  This is achieved by installing an accent tile from floor to ceiling on the wall behind either the vanity or free-standing tub or both.  Repeating the tile used in the accent wall throughout the bathroom as wainscot adds richness to the room as well.  In the wet areas, Tracy recommends floor to ceiling waterfall accent features with the same accent material.  This is simply a vertical tile application creating a waterfall effect or a linear line of sight adding dimension to the space. (

accent wall, floor to ceiling tile, vanity backsplash, bathroom, powder room

accent wall, floor to ceiling tile, vanity backsplash, bathroom, powder room

A Traditional Touch

A more traditional approach is the use of highly decorative mural features.  Discriminating homeowners find the use of a standard 4” border less desirable, especially with the array of beautiful materials available today being incorporated into residential designs.  Traditional applications typically consist of wainscot throughout the space with a decorative accent border placed toward the top.  Tracy suggests continuing the wainscot border around the vanity and tub as backsplash.  This creates a seamless transition between areas within the bathroom and combines function with aesthetics.  Often the materials used within the border of the wainscot are artfully applied to a mural feature on the main focal wall such as a basketweave tile pattern or brick mosaic tiles placed in a chevron pattern.  The use of glass, metal, wood, and stone tiles as decorative elements, are widely used in today’s interior design applications.  A final tip from Tracy is to decorate the tub face, bench face, and niches to reflect the mural and wainscot details as well.  This allows the homeowner to truly enjoy the beauty of the design and materials on a larger scale.  Regardless of your personal style, the artful and updated use of accent walls and murals in bathroom designs stands out in today's trends.


shower mural, contemporary, accent wall, bathroom tile accent wall, shower mural, traditional basketweave design, bathroom tile

Tile patterns are repeated throughout this luxurious bathroom with the shower mural serving as a focal point anchoring the design.

accent wall, mural, traditional tilework, vanity backsplash, shower mural

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