Learn the Lingo – Cerused Wood

Cerused Wood

There is a design trend showing up in those “Top 10 Trends for 2017” posts – Cerused Wood. Today we’re talking about what it is and it’s history.

A variety of colored waxes are available to consumers today.

Cerused wood isn’t a type of wood, it is a treatment applied to wood. Starting with the french in the 1500’s, the ceruse finishing technique was originally implemented to prevent wooden beams from rotting. Wood would be treated with a paste derived from lead; this paste would be used to fill in the grain in wooden beams and paneling, protecting the wood and contrasting the wood grain against the rest of the surface of the wood.

The ceruse finish is often applied to oak because characteristically oak has an open grain. Other hardwoods, such as ash, can make good options when looking for lumber to be treated.
Today lead based paint is no longer used to achieve cerused wood’s distinct appearance. Instead consumers can choose from nontoxic waxes that come in a variety of colors. If you love the look of cerused wood, but don’t want to use wood, large format tiles are available that will capture the the appearance you are looking for – a great option for bathrooms.

Learn the Lingo – Porch vs. Deck

A simple porch

Let’s start this installment of “Learn the Lingo” off by diving right into the primary difference between a porch and a deck.

 A porch is found at the entrance of a building, allowing people to be sheltered while waiting to gain access home or building. A deck on the other is a floored structure that adjoins to the house, decks may have a sheltered or enclosed area depending on whatever your preferences might be

In addition to location, height is another characteristic that differs between porches and decks. A porch is typically only a few feet above street level, whereas a deck can be up to a story tall and can consist of multiple levels.


A wraparound porch
A wraparound porch

A porch serves the utilitarian function of providing a covered space for people to wait for access to the home. Porches however do not have to be strictly utilitarian, for example the wraparound porch not only gives guests a place to wait outside your home, it can be used for entertaining or for leisurely purposes.   



Both porches and decks can be enclosed for further protection from the elements, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space even when the weather isn’t so great.

A deck with partial enclosure
A deck with partial enclosure

Learn the Lingo: Bay vs. Bow Window

bay window

Bay and box windows often get confused for each other, and it’s very easy to see why. Both styles of windows can make a stunning visual impact on the room in which they are located in, adding light and airiness to your living space. Likewise both bow and bay windows offer the homeowner a fantastic view of the outside surroundings.  Today we’re sharing with you the differences between these two popular window styles.

Bay Window

bay window

Bow Window

bow window
  • Has three windows, consisting of one large picture window with a smaller window on either side of it.
  • Comes out farther from the exterior wall adding more interior space.
  • Normally not as wide as a bow windows because they do not have as many panels.
  • Has 4-5 window panels. The window has a rounded look when viewed from outside because of it’s curved structure.
  • Lets more light in due to having more glass surface area
  • Bow windows can be placed in the corner of a house, creating a cozy light filled nook inside the house, while creating visual interest on the outside of one’s home

Learn the Lingo: Transom Windows

Today we’re talking about transom windows, what they are and what do they do.

Transom WindowsSo lets start this off by defining what a transom window is.

Traditionally this architectural element was originally found in Gothic style churches. The windows were added to support areas where iron stays were not able to be used. In later periods of Gothic architecture transom windows were added as a stylistic element rather than an architectural need.

Transoms can serve multiple needs in your home. For example, the bathroom is a great place to use transom windows. The window would you to maximize natural lighting in your bathroom without compromising your privacy. In addition to letting in more natural light, transoms can also be opened to allow for ventilation.

In some cases transoms can be a strictly decorative element, leaded glass is often seen in this style of window. Even though the window may be only decorative, it still allows for extra light to enter the room in which it is located.

Older homes often used transoms to aid in cooling. By keeping both the transom window and lower window open, cool air can come into the home from the lower window, and hot air would leave the home. Interior transoms could be left open to allow warm air to circulate throughout the home, or could be kept closed to keep warm air in areas of the house that are being used.

There you have it, transom windows in a nutshell. Keep checking back for more “Learn the Lingo” posts.

Learn the Lingo : Drain Handing – Right, Left, & More

When starting a bathroom remodel or renovation there are plenty of things you’ll be asked. What type of tile do you want? Do you want to add any heating elements? Or an all time favorite question – Do you need a left handed or right handed tub?

A left handed tub

Right handed tub? What does that mean?

Right handed or left handed tub refers to the drain orientation of your tub. The easiest way to figure out which kind of tub you’ll need is to stand in front of your shower as if you are going to go into it. If the drain is to your right you have a right handed tub, and if the drain is on your left you have a left handed tub.

Well what about freestanding tubs?

Freestanding tubs and drop in tubs can be labeled many different ways. You’ll see them marked as right/left, centered, reversible, or sometimes they aren’t labeled at all.


A centered drain

Centered Drain

A centered drain tubs is exactly what it sounds like. The drain is located in the center of the tub.





a drop-in tub can be oriented by rotating it

Reversible Drain

Drop in tubs are commonly listed as having a reversible drain. A drop in tub is inserted into a pier, and because of that drain handing can be switched by rotating the tub.

We hope you enjoyed this post, let us know on facebook if there are any terms you would want to learn about in the future.

Learn the Lingo: Renovation vs. Remodeling

Investing in our Team Tools

It seems like the words remodel and renovation are used interchangeably by a lot of people, but the truth is they are in fact two different things. Today we’re going to talk about the differences between the two terms.


A good way to think about renovations would be to see them as a face lift for your home. Common home renovations are replacing light fixtures, repainting, changing out cabinet hardware, installing new appliances, countertops and other similar projects. During the process of renovation no major plans to the room’s layout are made, instead features of that room are updated to give the room a fresh new look.




If renovations are a facelift, a remodel would be considered plastic surgery for your home .A remodeling job involves transforming the structure and style of a space. If you are looking to change the floor plan or layout of a from you are considering a remodeling job. For example, creating an open layout by removing a wall in your formal dining room to connect the kitchen, would be considered a remodeling job. Adding an island counter top to your kitchen floor plan would also be a remodel.

Learn the Lingo – Rectified Tile

tile_stackedIf you’re ever looking at ceramic or porcelain tile, chances are pretty good that you are going to run in the term “rectified” at some point. So what is rectified tile, and why should it matter to you?

What is rectified tile?

Simply put rectified tiles have been been ground and machined in order to give them straight edges – which in turn gives them exact, uniform dimensions.

Why would I want rectified tile?

The uniform edges on rectified tile allow you to use the thinnest of grout lines (3mm and under), giving the tiled surface an almost seamless appearance.


What else should I know about rectified tile?

Rectified tiles are also sometimes referred to as “sharp edge” tiles because of the sharp edges that result do to the edge finishing. It is important to consider how the tiles will be used as the sharp edges of rectified tiles can chip.

Rectified tiles have a more involved production process they do cost more than conventional non-rectified tiles. If you are looking for sleek, clean, symmetrical appearance the extra cost may be worth it to you.

Some rectified tiles are large. Keep in mind the larger the tile the more critical is is that the substrate underneath is flat.

Because of all of the work that goes into finishing rectified tiles it is very unusual to find tiles smaller than 300mm by 300mm.