The most authentic trend in residential interior design has been labeled “TRUE YOU”. It is a celebration of uncensored self-expression and one-of-a-kind spaces.

Minimalism has reigned supreme for more than a decade. Less is more. Keep it simple. Neutrals are the base for any good design. Everything should be balanced. There should only be one main focal point.

STOP…there are no rules!

Today, there is a movement to use home and office environments as a personal canvas. Dress the walls and floors with personality, take design risks, and create something that inspires. It reflects a shift in culture that celebrates true self-acceptance and the “perfectly imperfect” … with a hint of rebellion.
This is a maximalist response to the perennial minimalism trends, and it marches to the mantra “less is a bore”. It brings forth luxurious textures, bold prints, shiny fixtures, and raucous colors. Wall paper is back with dramatic oversized prints and fabrics that are textured and even three-dimensional. Everything is a conversation piece. Floors feature oversized and uniquely shaped tile. Furniture is colorful and visually enticing. Layered excessively in the space are emotionally evocative mementos and tchotchkes.

While a push-back on minimalism is a key factor, it’s not the only reason we are seeing this trend. Globetrotting generations with a desire for personal expression are experiencing more of the world and bringing back the fashions and decorations from these excursions. It is a bit of escapism, a beautiful distraction from the political and cultural climates that we face in the day to day. It becomes a reminder of the beauty and complexity in many parts of our world.

TRUE YOU is a trend that will have staying power. The rules and parameters of this look are undefinable. It exuberantly refuses restriction as it blends styles and ideas to encompass an authentic “dare to be you” mentality. There is no wrong direction, simply add more of what you love. Be generous with color and art. Strive for comfort with a smattering of glamor. Find pieces that spark interest and laughter. Perfection is not the goal, personalization is. Embrace your excessive side!



Refreshed. Reimagined. Redefined

Today's lifestyles are much less formal and far more hectic than in decades past. As a result, designers are challenged with helping busy clients create multifunctional spaces that are casual and livable. This informal style is called "NEW CLASSIC."

While traditional interiors of the past featured dark color palettes and heavy furniture, today's designs nod to the past, but are much lighter, brighter, and relaxed.

If you are of a certain age, you probably remember a room in your parents’ or grandparents’ home that was “off limits”. Maybe it was a dining room that was only used on holidays or a living room that was furnished with antiques and fabrics not meant for the “every day”. Formality and symmetry were important. There were probably matching end tables and/or lamps. Everything just went together. These rooms were most likely orderly, predictable, and dignified. These were not spaces that would work with a rushed and chaotic lifestyle.

Forget that formal, forbidden living room at your grandmother’s house!

As modern life has redefined the way living spaces are used, traditional style has transformed with it. Enter: NEW CLASSIC. Brought into the current era, this updated style puts emphasis on the comforts and conveniences of present-day life while still maintaining the refined elegance of traditional design. The decor is soft and inviting with a contemporary, sometimes eclectic touch.

Furniture retains the curved lines and rolled arms of early period pieces, but with lighter, more practical fabrics. It still references historic shapes, but seats are now large enough for sinking in or lying down. It’s far more comfortable when entertaining family, friends, and, of course, snuggling with the family pet.

The saturated colors of yesterday’s traditional homes were rooted in English country style. Today’s NEW CLASSIC palette is refreshed with lighter shades of classic colors and creamy off-whites to keep the look familiar but updated. Layered onto that neutral background are natural wood tones and accents of warm metals throughout the home.

Floors still have the look of centuries old wood or stone but are moving toward materials that can stand up to heavy foot traffic and indoor pets. Porcelain tile that mimics the quintessential character of traditional floors are featured throughout the home and they are becoming a point of interest. Designers are ditching the oriental rugs and allowing the clean, elegant visual of the floor to make an impact.

You also see a move to repurpose formal spaces to better fit today’s lifestyles. A rarely used dining room can become a home office or homework space with the addition of a desk and focused lighting. Formal living rooms are being used as media rooms or game rooms.  It comes down to how you move through your home, how you entertain, and how you raise your family.

Modern life has changed how we use our homes and what we expect from them. Traditional interior design needed a few modifications to fit this new reality. The answer is a NEW CLASSIC trend that feels welcoming, open, carefully curated, and warm. It is a style meant for today’s busy lifestyles. It is a style that refuses to be held back. It meets the future with time-tested elegance and a relaxed attitude.

Florida Tile

Natural stone has become a sought-after choice for fireplaces, countertops, flooring and more because of its natural beauty and durability. There are many different types of natural stone available, each with their own attributes. Among the most popular options are marble, limestone, travertineslate tile, and granite. Because it is porous, sealing natural stone on occasion will help to prevent stains and the growth of bacteria.

Fortunately, sealing natural stone flooring or countertops is a relatively inexpensive task that only has to be done once a year (at most). Some products work for multiple years, making it a simple maintenance chore that will drastically extend the life of your natural stone.

Determining How Porous Stone Is

The type of stone you have plays a major role in how frequently sealing the stone is required. A simple water test will determine how porous your stone is. Place droplets of water directly on the stone and see how long it takes for the water to absorb into the stone. If the water penetrates the stone quickly, it is very porous. If the water sits on top for longer, the stone is less porous.

Among the most porous varieties of natural stone are marble, onyx, and limestone. Without a sealant, these stones stain very easily. Sealing these stones every six months will help them continue to look like new.  If you are looking for something more durable from the start, granite and quartz make great choices. These stones are easy to clean with soap and water and only require a sealant once a year.

Three Types of Sealants for Stone

Most new countertops and backsplashes arrive already sealed, eliminating the need for an initial coating. Down the line, sealing the stone again will help to preserve the look of the natural stone and prevent stains. Today, some stones feature resins that act as a built-in sealant, eliminating the need for an additional coating. If you have determined that your natural stone does require a coating, there are three main types of products to consider:

  • Surface Sealant: A surface sealant is also referred to as a strippable coating because it is applied to the surface only and is easy to remove if necessary. It is typically a water-based sealant containing polymers, such as acrylic. Because surface sealants are also available for tile floors, it is important to ensure that the product you select is intended for use on natural stone. Surface sealants are less of a commitment, but they also need to be reapplied regularly.
  • Penetrating Sealant: Penetrating sealants are commonly referred to as permanent coatings and are much more difficult to remove than a surface sealant because they are crafted of solvent-based polymers.
  • Impregnating Sealant: An impregnating sealant are a solvent-based formula that require professional application. They have become a popular choice for sealing outdoor stone because they are not affected by UV light and don’t alter the appearance of the stone. Although professional application is required, this sealant typically lasts for several years before another application is needed.

Pros of Sealing Natural Stone

Taking the time to add a coat of sealant to your natural stone can provide many benefits. Not only does it protect against stains, but it also helps to prevent acid erosion and bacteria growth. This step also helps to keep any outdoor stone from being susceptible to frost weathering and salt damage. On the floor, some coatings even add a layer of slip resistance, ensuring sure footing. Check out our article on the pros and cons of sealing your pavers for more specific information about outdoor patio flooring.

Cons of Sealing Natural Stone

As with anything, sealing floors has drawbacks as well as benefits. Unfortunately, sealing natural stone is a relatively frequent chore. Depending on the type of stone, it could be required as often as every six months. If an impregnating sealant is used, it may only be required only every one to three years. Even with proper application, there is always a chance that the sealant will not fully protect against stains. It is still good practice to wipe up any spills or standing liquids promptly and not allow them to sit for long, especially on countertops. On the floor, some sealants can tend to show wear patterns in the floor by becoming dull in areas that receive the most foot traffic.

Its natural beauty and durable design makes natural stone a popular choice for floors, countertops, bathrooms, and outdoor living areas. Keep it looking as spectacular as the day it was installed by properly sealing the stone when needed. Sealants help prevent this naturally porous material from stains, erosion, and wear while highlighting the beauty of the material. Weighing the pros and cons of the process and understanding the differences in the products will help you choose a sealant designed to prolong the life of your stone.

Ceramic tile is one of the most durable and maintenance friendly surfaces you can choose for your walls, floors, countertops, etc. With proper care & minimum maintenance, it will retain its original beauty and luster for many years. Generally, all that is necessary to keep your tile looking as good as new is a quick wipe with a clean damp cloth or mop. Prompt cleanup of spills and regular cleaning will keep your ceramic tile surfaces looking their best.
If a cleaner is necessary, Florida Tile recommends the use of low VOC (volatile organic compound), neutral pH, non-hazardous, and non-polluting products.
Glazed tile walls in your home will easily keep their lovely look with simple routine care, just wipe regularly with a clean damp cloth or sponge. A non-abrasive, neutral cleaner can be used (abrasive cleansers will cause scratching to shiny tile and polished marble surfaces). Highly polished tile and stone surfaces should be polished dry with a soft absorbent cloth after cleaning to eliminate the buildup of hard water residue and to maintain the high polished finish.
For glazed tile floors, sweep or vacuum regularly to remove dirt and gritty particles. Follow with a mop or sponge dampened with a neutral pH cleaner. If a cleaner is used, be sure the surface is rinsed thoroughly with clean water and dried. For textured or uneven tile or stone surfaces, substituting a soft scrub brush or white nylon scrub pad for the mop or sponge will quicken the cleaning process. Unglazed tile floors and porcelain tile floors can also be maintained in this same manner.
Tiled surfaces in your bathroom may require a more thorough routine cleaning because of a build-up of soap scum, body oils or hard-water stains. Use a clean, damp cloth, or sponge with a neutral pH cleaner, allowing it to stand about five minutes before rinsing and drying. Specialty bathroom cleaners may also be used (always test first). Clean shower regularly with the appropriate tile and stone cleaner. Dry with a towel after each use and leave curtain or door open between showers to allow for maximum ventilation and moisture escape.

Heavy Duty Cleaning

For high traffic areas or when tile has been neglected for a long time, heavy-duty cleaning may be required.
Glazed walls and countertops should be cleaned with an alkaline-based cleaner (high pH, non-acidic). Use a white nylon scrub pad, followed by a clean water rinse. Poultice may be used in combination with any appropriate cleaner, if needed, to restore seriously soiled areas. Poultice is a very fine powder that serves as a mild abrasive, yet cannot cause scratching to even the most delicate glazed tile and polished marble surfaces. Unglazed tile and natural stone can be treated in the same manner as glazed when heavy-duty cleaning is required. Once the tile or stone has been effectively restored and is dry, it is recommended that the appropriate sealer be applied to protect from staining and ease ongoing maintenance.
To clean badly soiled countertops, an appropriate alkaline cleaner is recommended. Poultice can be lightly sprinkled onto the wet cleaner solution and scrubbed with a white nylon scrub pad or medium nylon scrub brush to facilitate cleaning. Rinse thoroughly. For glazed tile floors, the same products and procedures are recommended.
For showers, tub surrounds, or other wet areas, light acidic cleaners are recommended to remove hard water mineral deposits. These acidic cleaners are not recommended on acid-sensitive surfaces such as metallic glazes or polished marble. For acid-sensitive surfaces, a neutral or alkaline cleaner, used in combination with Poultice is recommended. Never use harsh acids such as hydrochloric (muriatic) or hydrofluoric, as these acids, and even the acid fumes, can cause damage to tile, stone, grout, humans and pets! The accepted acids (use sparingly) for homeowners use are mild citric, sulfamic and phosphoric. Always test first for desired results.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do use a grout joint. Due to inherent size variations in porcelain and ceramic floor tiles, a grout joint must be used. Your installer will be able to recommend a suitable grout joint for the product you’ve selected
  • Do regularly apply a water based penetrating sealer on all natural stone products
  • Always do a small test with sealers & cleaners to insure desired results
  • Do use a sealer on grout joints; except for 100% solid epoxy grout
  • Do read and follow label directions for all cleaners and sealers
  • Do not combine ammonia and household bleaches
  • Do not use harsh cleaning agents such as steel wool pads or strong acids, which can scratch or damage the surface of your tile
  • Do not use a cleaning agent that contains color on unglazed tile, natural stone, or white grout, as these porous surfaces may absorb the color
  • Do use only non-abrasive cleaning compound or formula that is recommended for both glass and tile when cleaning glass tile
  • Do see your nearest Florida Tile Dealer or Distributor for advice on special cleaning problems or if you have any questions

Murals, Resins, Glass, Cast Stone Fixtures and Metals

Wipe clean with a damp cloth or sponge using a neutral, non-abrasive cleanser. Be sure any cleaner residue is removed with a clean water rinse. Clean with alkaline tile cleaner or all-purpose cleaner using a soft cloth. Rinse with clean water and dry with a soft towel. Cast Stone Fixtures and Cast Decors are pre-sealed in manufacturing with water based, liquid silicone rubber dispersed sealer. For re-sealing, the sealing product should also be the same type of sealer for best penetration into existing sealer. For more detailed information on Glass tile installation and maintenance, visit or review the TCNA (Tile Council of North America) Handbook Guidelines.

crossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram