452 North Pearl Street, Albany, NY / 518-434-0155
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Bathroom Tile

Design Trends and Ideas

Adirondack Bath

Wood-look, porcelain tile on shower ceiling and walls in Adirondack bathroom. Slate-look, porcelain tile on floor in rustic bathroom.Wood on shower walls?  Not realistically possible, until the advent of wood-look, porcelain tile. Recently, we have worked with several clients who wanted to bring the warm look of wood into their showers.  Check out these two photographs of a just-completed, Adirondack bathroom.  Note the gorgeous, rustic, white-washed, wood-look, porcelain tile on both the shower walls and ceiling. Also note that our client selected a slate-look, porcelain tile for the bathroom floor.  Rustic, coherent, beautiful and low maintenance.


The Real Thing, Only Better?

At first glance it’s another marble bathroom using various sizes of the luxurious calacatta marble to create interesting patterns.  But not so!  If you look more closely, just maybe, you will be able to tell that this is actually a semi-polished, porcelain tile that mimics calacatta marble.  As a porcelain tile: no sealing, no scratching, no staining and easy maintenance compared to its marble inspiration.  That’s the beauty of many of the new porcelain tile offerings – it’s hard to tell whether or not they are real stone.  This bathroom uses 24″x 24″ tile (large scale in a small space . . . yes, it does work) and 3″x 12″ tile set in a herringbone pattern on the floor, 12″x 24″ tile on the shower walls, and 3″x 12″ tile for the tub surround and vanity back splash.  We’ve also sprinkled in some natural stone as an accent and finishing trim. Elegant, classic, timeless … and easy to maintain.

Albany Tile - Calacatta Porcelain Tile Powder Room
Albany Tile - Calacatta Porcelain Tile Shower
Albany Tile - Calacatta Porcelain Tile in Herringbone Pattern

Future Interior Designers Come to Visit

Earlier this week, our own in-house designer, Sarah Carpenter, ASID gave Sage College Interior Design students hands-on experience with some of the tile, stone and wool carpet that they one day will specify.  If you know of a group that would be interested in a similar presentation, give us a call.

Sage Interior Design students reach out to touch stone tile.

A ‘Green’ Success Story

We could sense it coming . . . Clients asking for ‘green’ . . . With very few ‘green’ selections available in the tile, carpet, or rug world right now, it has been a challenging color request to fulfill.  But here’s a ‘green’ success story!  It’s not Pantone ‘Greenery’ (2017 Color of the Year), but ‘green’ nonetheless . . . This is a semi-polished porcelain with a metallic-look glaze and lots of color variation and drama . . .



And the color of the year is?

The answer is, it depends on who you ask . . . The paint manufacturers have stepped-up first . . . Sherwin Williams announced ‘Poised Taupe’ (SW6039) as its 2017 color of the year a few weeks ago.  PPG recently announced ‘Violet Verbena’ (1169-5) as its color of the year, and Benjamin Moore followed up with ‘Shadow’ (2117-30) as its color of the year for 2017 – all are much more colorful deviations from last year’s ‘Alabaster’ (SW7008) and ‘Simply White’ (2143-70).






Pantone is the ultimate color authority – its color of the year announcement is not due for another few weeks so we’ll wait . . . I’m betting on a shade of blue . . .

The End of the Neutral Bathroom? Not so fast . . .

Last week, I read an article in the Wall Street Journal espousing the ‘end of the neutral bathroom.’  I’ve been in the tile business for over twenty years and I’ve seen trends come and go, but I think the neutral bathroom is here to stay.  So many homeowners are afraid of color, especially those that grew up in the color-rich 1970s, 80s, and 90s.   For me, my interior color memories began with harvest gold, avocado green with blue, green, yellow, and pink bathrooms – toilets, tubs, and sinks included.  Ouch!  Then came the teals and mauves followed by hunter green, burgundy, and navy blue . . . The height of trendy design in their day, but no more . . . These days, clients are realizing that a bathroom should stand the test of color-time.  By using plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, and tubs) in neutral white or biscuit and classic neutral finishes, whether traditional, transitional, or modern, a bathroom should look good for at least ten years.  I recommend to clients that they use wall covering and accessories to add color and personality to their space, not with the more permanent finishes, like tile.  This may sound like a design cop-out, but not everyone has the resources and energy to re-model a bathroom every five years when that turquiose you love today is no longer making you sing . . . Whether for a new home, re-model, or with resale in mind, the neutral bathroom is here to stay.




Out on a Color Limb

Looking forward to the announcement of the new color(s) of the year for 2017 . . . Will we see the same neutral shades and the lack of color commitment from the color gurus or will they venture out on a color limb and choose a real color?  I think that we will see some shade of blue in the color mix . . . Blue is really a neutral, too . . . Think of your ‘blue’ jeans – you can wear any color with them – dress them up or dress them down . . . Has gray run its course?  We will know in a few short weeks . . . What do you think? I would be interested to hear your color thoughts . . .

Neutrals Still Rule



Neutrals are still going strong in the tile world.  We love this neutral ‘greige’ bathroom with the subtle geometric herringbone mosaic pattern on the bath floor and feature wall behind the vanity.  Paired with the large-scale 12″x24″ stone tiles of the same color on the tub walls, the contrast in scale helps to balance vibe in this small space.

Carpet Samples Become Flooring in Ghana

After completing a nine-month journey, Albany Tile, Carpet & Rug’s discontinued carpet samples arrived in Kpando, Ghana last week. Rather than simply feeding the local landfill with the 3’x4′ samples, we arranged to have them shipped to Kpando, Ghana where the local villagers will use them to cover the dirt floors of their homes. Took some time, but worked out the way we hoped!


Packing up the carpet.


We get load #1 to the Bronx freight forwarder.

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We get load #2 to the Bronx freight forwarder.


Kpando, Ghana.


Carpet sample recipients.

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More carpet sample recipients.

Subtle Charcoal Barn Wood & White

barn wood planking
Photo by Albany Tile, Carpet & RugBrowse rustic home design ideas

Subtle, charcoal, patterned, porcelain planking that contrasts nicely with the white tub. Matching grout utilized. Nice, barn-wood look. Grade: A.