Posts filed under ‘Buying Tile Online’
We’re very proud of our collaboration with acclaimed fine artist Rex Ray.
Since 2011 we’ve been developing tile products using his uniquely retro and modern designs. His iconic work is easily recognizable. Let’s just say it’s cool.
We first introduced 4×12 glass subway tiles in a black and white newsprint collage design we call Type Tiles. They are popular across the country with retail, hospitality and residential clients alike. They’ve even been featured on HGTV in a Kitchen Cousins episode in NYC.
The lastest release of our Rex Ray Studio for modwalls collection is a line of handmade matte ceramic tile in 2 designs and seven modern colors. The MMM’s and Rox are getting lots of attention. A bit edgy, a bit bold and so very Rex Ray.
All of our Rex Ray Studio for modwalls tile designs are handmade in the USA. See the entire collection along with all of our other American made tile designs here on our website:
At modwalls we’re “Making Tile Modern” with unique and colorful collections inspired by mid-century design. We offer delightful customer service and a hassle free online buying experience for retail and trade customers. www.modwalls.com We’re available by phone Monday-Friday from 9-5 Pacific time: 1-877-439-9734.
Find out more about Fine Artist Rex Ray on his website.
Are you in the process of selecting the perfect Lush® color for your project?
Selecting the right glass subway tile color can be difficult - especially from a computer screen! We find ourselves regularly attempting to describe the nuances of similar Lush® colors over the phone, and trust me, it’s not easy!
In an effort to help make this process a little easier, we’ve taken these pictures to compare the subtle variations of our most popular Lush® colors.
- Cameo is our latest neutral addition. We would describe this as a rich, creamy color. It evokes a real warmth – like coffee with lots of creamer in it. Yummmmmy!
- Almond is slightly more golden-beige than Cameo. Goes well with lots of earth-tone granites.
- Driftwood is a gray-ish beige color with a faint hint of green. It’s definitely the chameleon of our neutral colors and tends to go with all sorts of materials and design aesthetics.
- Dune is the most golden of our neutral colors. We often say it’s more peachy/beige/buttercream-y.
- Reef is a rich brown color…like a freshly roasted coffee bean. In some lighting conditions, it appears to have a hint of green.
- Taupe is a gorgeous warm gray color. (One of my personal favorites actually ).
- Cloud is our white-est white possible in our Lush® line. Made of clear glass, this is truly a white glass subway tile (which we know is hard to find!)
- Breaker is a beautiful light and bright medium aqua blue color.
- Vapor is our most pale, watery blue color.
- Sky is a true sky-blue color. Think of how the sky looks on a clear and bright Spring day. A very cheerful shade of blue…
- Rain is tranquil blue gray. It reminds me of a lighter shade of denim as well…or indigo.
- Bluebell is a super fun and vivid periwinkle-blue color.
- Pool is a nice balance of aqua + blue together. It’s more saturated than the previous blue colors above. Pool Frosted has a softer and somewhat lighter appearance because of the frosted surface finish.
- Surf has more green than aqua coloring and it’s one of our most popular Lush® colors. Goes beautifully with a variety of design aesthetics.
- Seagrass is a more saturated version of Surf.
- Peacock is a lovely jewel toned turquoise/ blue/ green color.
- Rain is tranquil blue gray. It reminds me of a lighter shade of denim as well…or indigo.
- Fog Bank is one of our most popular gray colors. It has a cooler base tone to it so the tile can sometime appear more blue. It’s a very calming color.
- Storm is a darker gray color. This also has a cooler base tone to it like our Fog Bank.
- Taupe is a gray beige color. Warmer by comparison than Fog Bank.
- Inkwell is a beautiful saturated inky-blue color.
- Wasabi is a very wasabi colored green . Still bright and vivid, it’s one of our softer looking greens by comparison.
- Surf has more green than aqua coloring and it’s one of our most popular Lush® colors. Goes beautifully with a variety of design aesthetics.
- Bamboo is a fresh medium spring green color. When comparing to Lemongrass, we say it has less yellow to it.
- Seagrass is a more saturated version of Surf. When comparing Seagrass to our other greens, it appears to have more blue in it. I’d also describe it as a celedon green color.
- Lemongrass is our most bright and vivid lime-y green color.
- Peacock is a lovely turquoise/ blue/ green color.
- Moss is an earthy olive green color.
One last look at all these beautiful colors….
Brio® Custom Blends Fit Every Budget!
Customizing your kitchen or bathroom gets extremely pricey! Especially if you’re working within a specific color scheme.
Meet our Brio® Custom Blend Program! With literally millions of possible glass mosaic color combinations right at your fingertips, you can easily create the right tile blend for your project…Plus, it’s totally budget-friendly and fun to do!!!
How-to Create Your Custom Blend Recipe:
Step 1) Access the blender at: http://www.modwallsblender.com/
Step 2) Select the colors that you’d like to blend by clicking on the Brio® ¾” glass tile images.
The colors will automatically move into the blender after 2 colors have been selected. Remove any color by dragging it away from the blending area.
If you wish to start over, just click RESET.
Step 3) Feel free to adjust the color percentage by moving the arrows up and down on each color. (Note: your design must add up to 100%)
Step 4) Think you reached your desired colored combination? Click on REMIX to randomly remix the colors. (Note that all of our custom blends are random, not patterned)
Step 5) Optional, but highly recommended: Select grout colors to see how this changes the effect of your blend. The grout colors shown are part of modwalls® StarGlass/ Dimension Urethane Grout collection. Grout is sold separately, but we believe this is the best choice available for any glass tile installation.
Step 6) Order Your Custom Blend Sample here. Be sure to enter your blend recipe on the Customer Comments area – including color names and percentages. Note: you will be prompted to enter your recipe on page 2 of checkout.
Why should I order a sample?
We strongly encourage creative customers like yourself to order samples of your custom blend – which eliminates any online purchasing woes. Each computer monitor may slightly distort the true colors and it’s always good to have a sample in-hand. Btw, samples are about 5″ x 5″ and are not refundable.
Once you have received your sample and are ready to order your Brio® custom blend, simply call us toll-free @ 877-439-9734. We have real people ready to take your order Monday-Friday from 9am – 5pm Pacific Time. Please note that there is a 20 sq.ft. minimum order per custom blend.
How is my custom blend assembled?
Since 2005, we proudly and locally outsource our modwalls® custom blend production to the wonderful people at HOPE Services. HOPE Services is a non-profit organization which employs developmentally and physically disabled adults to do a variety of production work. Their mission is to assist individuals with disabilities to live and participate in their communities – and we LOVE this.
HOPE’s clients are responsible for making each sheet of your custom blend – a true work of art – made with pride and love! There are currently over 30 HOPE clients dedicated to the modwalls® custom blend production.
Here are some photos of HOPE’s client’s in action:
HOPE Services receives our customer’s custom blend recipes on a weekly basis. Each individual Brio® Mosaic Color comes with a paper facing that HOPE soaks off prior to mounting and assembling each blend. Tiles are then set individually onto plastic grids in a random pattern according to your recipe. Each completed grid (or 1.15 sq.ft. sheet) is then reviewed for quality control. Once approved, a plastic film is placed over the top or “face” of the tiles to hold it in place for installation.
This entire process generally takes about 1 week to complete. Once your blend is complete, we’ll ship it via UPS and email you the tracking number.
Real Customer Satisfaction!
Here’s a recent client review we received about their custom blend experience:
Brio Custom Blend
Installation Location: OUTDOOR SHOWER (see below)
“We created an outdoor shower using a custom blend. It turned out really great. It was so easy to work with ModWalls.”
-Keith (of Palm Springs, CA)
Be Inspired: Some of our favorite Brio® Custom Blends to date…
Want to see more? Check out more custom glass tile blends created and installed by our customers here.
Modwalls® is making tile modern™ with colorful and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at modwalls.com
As a manufacturer and online retailer of glass tile, this is a question we’re always trying to answer. After all, there’s no point in shipping gorgeous glass subway tile with sub-par packing material (sustainable or not) only to have it arrive in pieces. This fact was in evidence recently when we received a return from a customer who had ordered too much. They shipped the tile back to us without the full amount of packing material and this is what we received:
While we’ve been using a combination of a revolutionary recyclable packing cardboard product called ExpanDos for years, it is not enough and must be supplemented with a packing “peanut”. Our manager of shipping Luis is dogged in his determination to ship green with no breakage. The best peanut he could find, that actually did the job without flattening, was one of recycled and reusable but not recyclable material. Until last week that is. I want to share a timely email request we received and the response I was happily able to provide:
I am the owner and founder of modwalls and am so thankful for your message. We have been dealing with this packing materials issue for a few years now. We are happy to have been one of the first companies to implement the ExpanDos recycled cardboard packing system, but dismayed that with just this solution our glass tile products were often breaking during shipping.
We then tried the older version of biodegradable corn starch made packing peanuts to no avail. This soft packing material easily degraded during shipment resulting in a higher than acceptable level of tile breakage.
It seemed that the only way to eliminate glass tile breakage (and costly double shipments- which we offset via a parntership with Carbon Fund by the way) was to use half ExpanDos and half recycled/reusable but nonbiodegradable and non-recycleable packing peanuts. This is something I have hated every day. To know better and not have a way to do better is bad all around.
The good end to this story is that just about a week ago we finally found a biodegrable/recyclable green packing peanut. The green peanut is made of recycled material, will decompose in the environment and can also be recycled. This new peanut stands up to the weight of packed glass tile without smashing down as the former corn based product did, virtually eleminating tile breakage during shipment.
I have attached some photos of this new packing peanut product in action.
Your friend probably received one of the last shipments we sent with the old peanuts. I just want you to know that while I love it when our customers often praise our customer service and our extremely careful packaging, I appreciate it just as much when someone such as yourself takes the time to call us out when we are not doing things right.
That’s right our packing supplier Uline has finally found the perfect recycled, biodegradable and recyclable packing peanut that stands up to the weight of a product like tile, and our shipping manager Luis bought it right away!
Here’s more information from uline.
And here is more information about ExpanDos sustainable cardboard packing material from their own website:
ExpandOS is Environmentally Friendly and Non-Toxic. ExpandOS contains no toxic chemicals like many packaging solutions and no protective gear is required when using the ExpandOS system. The packaging elements are recyclable and biodegradable. (Not to mention they make fun building blocks for the kids!)
For more information on Carbon Fund check out their website.
I meant what I said to “O” about appreciating his email on a part of our business he found lacking. I think we’ve answered that issue now, but if anyone knows of an even better way to ship heavy products in a more sustainable way please let me know.
And by the way I did hear back from “O”. He responded to my email with thanks and wishes for much prosperity to modwalls in the future. He also noted that he was able to drop off the non-biodegradable packing material to a UPS store for re-use, instead of dropping it in the trash. A happy ending all around!
I’m here to say yes! Cool modern tile design on a budget is achievable.
Take this for example:
I recently had the opportunity to spend a weekend at a cool mid-century hotel right in my own town.
The Santa Cruz Dream Inn has been a local institution since the early 1960’s and was recently purchased and renovated by the Joie de Vivre hotels corporation. You can get the whole scoop here.
Being the huge fan of mid-century design that I am, I was loving all of the colorful modern touches everywhere I looked.
The lobby with its color-blocked carpet and beachy cool style sets the tone to let you know that the sand and boardwalk are just steps away.
When you are in the room, with its soft palette and color-blocked curtains (Are you sensing a theme here?) you become instantly relaxed by the sound of waves washing up on the sand right outside.
We were in one of the tower rooms on the 5th floor. From this vantage point, looking outside to a wide expanse of water, you can imagine yourself to be anywhere: Malibu, the South of France, an Ocean liner or in our case 15 minutes from home but seemingly a world away.
The décor had plenty of interesting elements, like this cool green lamp that I’m coveting.
And being a tile person, you know I was most intrigued by the bathroom. This is where the budget conscious tile design was hanging out. They used mad popular color-blocking to maximum effect with a combination of 2” and 4” ceramic tiles in a lively mix of bright white, yellow and orange along with a 2” matte taupe/gray tile on the floors. So good and so economical at the same time with big design impact! Feast upon it for yourself:
This is ordinary ceramic tile in standard square sizes. The type of tile you may even be able to find in your local big box hardware store. Nevertheless when installed in this way it becomes artful and perfectly befitting the modern, mid-century setting. You can achieve this modern color-blocked design with just about any tile manufacturer’s lowest priced tile, such as our own Brio® glass mosaic collection.
Our stylish weekend was topped off by a full moon over the Santa Cruz harbor and we had the perfect vantage point from which to view it in all its glory:
What’s not to love about that? I’ll be back Dream Inn- stay dreamy!
Modwalls is making tile modern with colorful and unique designs that are in stock and available for purchase online 24/7 at modwalls.com.
In doing so we realized we’d love to share a little bit about the people of modwalls® on our blog as well.
Here’s a quick intro to the cool folks that make modwalls® tick:
This business was born out of necessity; David and Rebecca were ready to remodel their own home and they had a tough time finding cool and unique tiles that didn’t cost as much as their automobile.
Becky will tell you, “I’ve always thought of tile as candy for walls and I was frustrated by the lack of colorful, fun and modern tile. My husband and I founded modwalls to fill that void. I now get to play in our tile ‘candy store’ every day!”
Jessica Lee is our Customer Experience Manager and a down right amazing person.
She’s unbelievably friendly, helpful and kind, and she’ll go to great lengths to guarantee our customer’s happiness.
She loves what she sells, and if you talk to her, you’ll know we’re not just blowin smoke.
Katelyn Bowman is modwalls’ Trade Sales + Interior Design Specialist and she joined us in August 2011.
The newest member of our team, she fit in quickly with her expertise and amazingly sweet personality.
Katelyn is a great source for any design questions you may have, and she’s even started blogging for us. Check out her super helpful blog on tips for tile selection.
Luis Nunez is our Shipping Manager and he’s exceptionally good at what he does.
We CONSTANTLY get feedback from our customers about their tile being “incredibly well packaged” and that it “arrived without a scratch,” and this guy deserves 100% of the credit.
He’s made shipping tile an art, and that’s no exaggeration.
Sarah Graves has worked at modwalls® since 2007 and is now starting a new venture consulting with the company.
She’s felt privileged to dabble in Customer Service, Trade Sales, with our graphics and photos, our Facebook and Twitter pages, our website design and layout and she’s been the primary contributor to our blog for just about a year now.
Working with extraordinary people is what allows this small business to do BIG THINGS.
Have questions? Please feel free to contact us anytime… we’d love to hear from you!
This year we’ve introduced two new tile lines and both are handmade here in the good old U. S. of A!
We rolled out our revamped website this weekend (yay!), and we have a whole page dedicated to our USA made tile. These collections include our Rex Ray Studio Lush® 4×12 TYPE glass subway tiles and our Clayhaus for modwalls® super fresh ceramic subway tiles and ceramic mosaic “Plus” tiles.
We plan to add many new additions to the American Made Tile collection in the next couple of years, cause we know USA tile is where it’s at!
We have a new expert in the house at modwalls!
A few months back we welcomed Interior Designer Katelyn Bowman as our Trade Sales + Interior Design Specialist here at modwalls and she has been an amazing addition to our team. She’s got impeccable style , great design tips and an abundance of information about tile and the wide world of design.
We asked Katelyn to give us her thoughts on choosing tile and the tile selection process and below is the result… Enjoy!
So you finally decided that you’re ready to start browsing for tile options. Great! We’ve got some helpful designer tips on how to do just that…a.k.a. where to start. PS, try not to rush the selection process if you can help it.
Tools of the Trade –> As an interior designer, I don’t often dissect my design thought process to others because it’s not the most profound method. My hope is that while you master each of these steps, you will hone in on the tile that is best for your space.
Step 1 —> Decide the look you want. Think of it like your design game plan. It always helps to have some type of design direction in mind when considering your options. This will seriously help prevent you from looking at too many options and getting completely overwhelmed. If this is you, don’t worry, you’re not alone and you have full permission to pull a “Mulligan.” I highly recommend first browsing houzz.com or pinterest.com and enter the key words that describe your desired look. For instance, if you’re looking to achieve a “Modern Bathroom,” enter just that in to your search and voila! Of course you could also browse google images or actual magazines, but I think you’ll find these sites more effective. You can also check out the eye candy tile gallery of our site for real-life installations of different design aesthetics. Save the top 5 images you like and don’t feel like you have to look at every single image in order to feel confident in your design direction. Once you have an idea of your direction, you can now focus on more of the details…like color. Here are some examples of some inspiring looks:
Step 2 —> Cohesive color palette is key. I recommend you assess the surroundings of your tile location and beyond i.e. what materials and colors are in the area or in an adjacent space? Consider the whole room: cabinet color, countertop color, flooring color, wall color, etc. Ask yourself, “What colors repeat throughout my home?” Your answer could be neutral or more vivid color. Narrow down the possible color options based on the existing ones and I recommend that you try not to be overly monochromatic or super-duper crazy. Pick color options that complement one another; a cohesive color palette is key and the beauty is in the repetition! Think of your homes color palette like a chorus of a song. A good song hooks you in and keeps your interest, but sometimes the song changes keys and that makes the song – or in this case your space – more dynamic.
Step 3 —> Narrow down your tile materials (and sizes). There are what seems to be millions of tile products out there made of a billion different materials in a trillion different sizes. Because you have your design direction and colors in mind, this should help narrow down the materials you might want to consider. Do some online searches on material options: ceramic, porcelain, glass, natural stone, and cork to name a few. Also note that not all materials or sizes are appropriate for all applications. For instance, I would NOT recommend using a large smooth tile on a shower floor. You or a loved one will slip and fall OR the tile will crack over time because a shower pan must be sloped for proper drainage. Determine your options based on long-term wear and usability.
Another consideration that could have been narrowed down during your design direction step is scale, or the size of the tile. Check out these images to see what I mean: do you want a look with a larger scale tile or do you prefer the look of a smaller scale tile? Tile sizes range in all different shapes from less that 1/2″ to larger than 48″ plus everything in between. Smaller tiles mean more grout joints – which can be a good thing depending on the application. It’s a great idea for a shower floor for instance. It’s really just another element to consider. I also recommend narrowing down your material based on your cleanliness habits. Knowing what it takes to maintain the tile before you install can help you realistically commit to the material. Tile vendors are usually the best resources to assist with all this type of information. The saying ‘knowledge is power’ comes to mind because the more knowledgeable you are, the more confident you will be in your decision. Plus, this will make shopping a much more fun, and specific, experience.
Step 4 —> Go shopping! Now that you know your desired design direction, color options, and what materials can be used, your real shopping can begin! *HOORAY!!!* Consider all these areas we have already weeded through and your search will hopefully be more specific and less stressful experience. Don’t even allow yourself to peruse through options that just won’t work for you based on the steps you have already mastered. Whether you are a showroom shopper or an online shopper, most tile vendors offer tile samples that you can order or take home to look at in your space. We hope that modwalls will be your first stop in your shopping search. From there, I recommend bringing your samples to your space and checking it out one last time before you make your final decision. And last but not least, consult with your installer on how many square feet you need (including overage) and place your order.
Welcome home, modwalls tile!
Here’s a list of all of the tile goodies we just received. Click on any name to go to the product page where you can purchase right away!
ModDotz™ porcelain penny round tiles
Lush® 8mm thick glass tiles
Brio® 4mm thick vitreous glass tiles
Tile… it’s so hot right now.
Today the spotlight is on one of our all-time favorite colors: Driftwood.
Inspired by nature, this dynamic neutral color has been a hit since we introduced it in our Lush® glass tile collection in 2008.
We first debuted the color in a 1×1 frosted and glossy blend (pictured below).
Now well established as a one of modwalls® MVCs (Most Valuable Colors), last month we introduced the color in our Lush® 4×12 “Major” subway tile line, which is quickly becoming our hottest glass tile size.
Our Lush® 4×12 Driftwood tile is sold by the square foot sheet and each sheet has three 4″x12″ tiles stacked “straight-joint.” The sheets of tile can be installed as is, or you can peel each tile off of its mesh-backing to install “brick-joint” or staggered, like any traditional brick-tile installation. (Read more about brick-joint and straight joint tile installation here: http://designernotes.modwalls.com/tag/brick-joint-tile/).
Driftwood… Do it!