Meet the Contractor – Robart Construction

Tiles Unlimited, Robart Construction

 

This is the first in an occasional series on contractors/tile installers that do business with Tiles Unlimited and have proven themselves as professional, reliable and accountable. If you have any questions, require additional information or wish to discuss hiring them, please scroll down to the bottom for how to contact the contractor.

Meet Robert Pellegrino, owner of Robart Construction. Click here to see a photo gallery of their work.

 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your business.

 

A: I got started in construction when I was 19 years old. After working for several companies offering different specialties, I took on a partner with a goal of rebuilding the world. Although the partnership dissolved after 2 years, I continued on and built a successful construction/contracting company with 36 years of experience.

 

Q: What geographic area(s) does your company serve?

 

A: We serve customers in Queens and parts of Brooklyn. Most of our jobs are in the local areas of Middle Village, Glendale, Forest Hills, Maspeth and surrounding area.

 

Q: What type of jobs does Robart Construction specialize in?

 

A: We are specialists in kitchen and bathroom renovations and do a lot of tiling work. We are very happy to complete all interior projects. We even built a few new homes in the Maspeth area back in the day.

 

til, kitch, bath specialists

 

Q: How did you get started in the contracting/tiling business?

 

A: We’ve been installing tile for quite some time. When we started doing the tile aspect of our projects, it was pretty much installing 4×4 tiles you see in many of the homes and apartments in Queens. Times has sure changed. Today we install tiles with a wide variety of looks (wood, marble, stone) and the size of the tiles has increased dramatically. A few short years ago, a 12″tile was considered large-format. Today, we regularly install tiles that are 24″, 36″ and even 48″.

 

Q: How long have you been a Tiles Unlimited client?

 

A:We’ve been a client since 2005 and before that, we used Glendale Tile, the predecessor to Tiles Unlimited. We always recommend Tiles Unlimited due to our long standing relationship and the excellent service we receive.

 

Q: Why do you recommend that your clients shop at Tiles Unlimited?

 

A: We recommend our customers make their purchases at Tiles Unlimited because of the helpfulness of the staff, fair pricing and accurate delivery time of materials.

 

Q: What should a homeowner consider when they are in the process of selecting an installer/contractor?

 

A: We believe that recommendations from satisfied clients is the best way to find a reliable contractor/tile installer. Most of our jobs are referrals from satisfied clients.

 

 

Q: What are some of the current product and installation trends you are seeing?

 

A: The most popular tiles right now are porcelain wood-looks and the 12 x 24 large format tiles. Of course subway tiles are classic and contemporary and continue to be a favorite as well. Much like floor and wall tiles, we see the trend of larger-format subway tiles in an array of colors.

 

Q: Describe one of your favorite tile and stone installation projects and why you liked it so much.

 

A: One of our favorite tile jobs was a bathroom in the Glendale (Queens) area. It was a combination of a typical 5 x 8 bathroom and an adjacent bedroom. It was a huge room with room for a shower with a seat and pebble floor custom glass enclosure , A drop in tub with a tiled surround, vanity and a dressing/make-up area. Not to mention plenty of closet space to complete the room.

 

Q: As you know, Tiles Unlimited’s mission isMaking a difference one square foot at a time under which they perform many charitable and philanthropic activities. Does Robart Construction do anything similar?

A: We enthusiastically support the Queensboro chapter of UNICO. They are a private non-profit organization, comprised of individuals of Italian ancestry committed to providing a better quality of life for those in need on a community and national level. They do a lot of charitable work including providing college scholarships to deserving students and helping returning war veterans.

Thank you for sharing this with us. Where can our readers find you?

 

Robart Construction

 

Website…………..RobartConstruction.com

Facebook………..https://www.facebook.com/Robart-Construction

Email……………..Robart1981@aol.com

Telephone……….(718) 366-1139

Photo Gallery….http://bit.ly/RobartGallery

 

Tiles Unlimited BARGAINS and Sale Items

 

Are you shopping for tile this weekend? Take a look at these amazing BARGAINS* and sale items we have available. These are just a sample, many more available.

Sale prices valid through 6/30 or while supplies last. BARGAINS available while supplies last.

 

Soleras Avana – 8×32 Italian porcelain wood-look floor/wall tile. On sale until 6/30. Regular price $7.35 sf. Sale price $3.99 sf.

 

Soleras Avana

 

Wall Art – Absolutely stunning and colorful porcelain wall panels. Measuring 36×72, these porcelain panels work as a piece of art for your walls or even as a backsplash. Only one of each color below available. Regular price $2,500 Sale price $997 Must go $899

 

Amethyst, Cristallo Grigio, Fluo (l-r)
Ice, Oxidised, Sunrise, Zircone (l-r)

 

Bliss Elements Sand – 2×6 glass mosaic. On sale until 6/30. Regular price $13.50 sf. Sale price $8.49 sf.

Bliss Fusion Carbon – Random size glass mosaic. On sale until 6/30. Regular price $18.00 sf. Sale price $8.49 sf.

Bliss Cabernet – Random size glass mosaic. On sale until 6/30. Regular price $15.75 sf. Sale price $7.99 sf.

Bliss Waterfall – Random size glass mosaic. On sale until 6/30. Regular price $15.75 sf. Sale price $7.99 sf.

Bliss Elements Mineral Blend – Random size glass mosaic. On sale until 6/30. Regular price $15.50 sf. Sale price $7.99 sf.

 

Elements Sand, Fusion Carbon, Cabernet, Waterfall, Mineral Blend (l-r)

 

 

Real Wood – 6×24 porcelain wood-look floor/wall tile. On sale until 6/30. Available in 4 colors (Abete, Ciliego, Nocciolo, Pino)
Regular price $2.99 sf. Sale price $1.97 sf.

 

Abete, Ciliego, Nocciolo, Pino (l-r)

 

Tiles Unlimited BARGAINS

 

Atelier Ceniza – 9×34 porcelain wood-look floor/wall tile. 76 sf available. Must take full quantity. Regular price $4.65 sf. BARGAINS price $155*

 

Pietra di Luna Tundra – 10×20 floor/wall tile. 69 sf available. Must take full quantity. BARGAINS price $45*

 

America White – 12×12 porcelain floor/wall tile. 33 sf available. Must take full quantity. Regular price $2.50 sf. BARGAINS price $36*

 

Metal 2.0 – 12×24 white porcelain floor/wall tile. 57 sf available. Must take full quantity. Regular price $15.40 sf. BARGAINS price $197*

 

Bursa & Thassos – Natural stone basketweave mosaic. 13 sf available. Must take full quantity. Regular price $45.00 sf. BARGAINS price $297*

 

*Must purchase full quantity listed on BARGAINS. BARGAINS sales final, no returns.

‘People Love Us On Yelp’ 2017 Award Recipient

 

Our Clients Rock!

Look at what we received. We are honored and humbled to receive the “People Love Us On Yelp” 2017 Award. Huge thanks to all of our clients who took the time to write reviews and our team for inspiring clients to share their shopping experiences.

Coincidentally, our latest Yelp review arrived at the same time the notification of our award arrived. Way to go, Alex!

 

You can view our Yelp page by clicking here.

 

Yelp 5 star reviews

 

#PeopleLoveUsOnYelp

All Tile Is Not Created Equally

 

Q: Why is there such a wide range in tile prices?

A: For most of us, shopping for new ceramic or porcelain tile is a once in a decade experience, so even for the savviest of shoppers, the wide range can be confusing. The short answer is, there are marked differences between branded and generic tiles. Continue reading to find out what these differences are.

 

porcelain tile

 

The truth is that many factors affect the price of tile products, including where you buy it. If you’re wondering why tiles can range in cost from $1 to $100 per square foot, there are four main variables that affect the price: material costs, production processes, brands and customer service.

 

Material Costs

While all ceramic tiles are essentially made of the same ingredients, the quality and color of those ingredients can make a dramatic difference in the price. For example, to make a tile with a pure white body requires white clay, which is much harder to find than the red or beige clays found in most tiles. To achieve bright blue and red glazes requires minerals that are much more expensive than cream, brown or even green colors.

Modern digital printing techniques allow for tile that looks like other materials such as wood or natural stone. Higher quality tile will use as many as 36 different patterns to replicate the look of wood or natural stone so that you will not get a repeating pattern that ruins the realism of the tile. Lesser quality tiles will use far fewer patterns and will not come close to the realism that more patterns provide.

 

Production Process

The simplest form of ceramic tile consists of one body color and no glaze, and requires a single firing. But there is a wide variety of production options, so prices for ceramic tiles can vary greatly.

Applying glaze or an additional surface color to the body, cutting down the original pressed size into modular sizes, polishing the surface or straightening the edges to accommodate tighter grout joints are all additional processes that add value to the finished product, but also increase the price. There are a host of tile attributes that affect its price and are very important to know before installing your tile. These important attributes are things like durability, texture and color.

 

wood look porcelain tile

 

Branded vs. Generic Tile

Tile has both branded (often referred to as first quality) and generic versions. Branded-tile manufacturers create beautiful brochures and catalogs that show room scenes and full installations in a variety of formats. This may not seem important but it’s really the only effective way to visualize how tile may look in your room.

More importantly, they also test the materials for qualities such as slip resistance, breaking strength, suitability for exterior or submerged environments, and stain resistance. Generic tiles do not go through that kind of testing and are not suitable for many types of installations such as wet areas, outdoors or high traffic areas such as your kitchen or entryway. The real problem with generic tile is you won’t often find these things out until after it’s installed.

 

porcelain wood look tile

 

Customer Service

 Another cost determinant is the customer service you receive both before and after your purchase. You may find a very good deal on tile at a big box store, for example, but there will likely be no design support, limited or no technical knowledge or installation recommendations.

More importantly, should anything go wrong with the project for any reason, you may not receive the necessary support to back up your claim.

At full-service showrooms like Tiles Unlimited, the tile may carry a higher price tag, but the price will include a showroom designer to help you make your selections, and a knowledgeable staff who can handle a claim if there are concerns with tile quality and/or installation.

Furthermore, a tile installation is more than just the tile you select. Selecting the appropriate thin-set and grout is as important as the tile, as there is a big difference between different thin-sets and grouts and the types of tiles they are meant to be used on. See an earlier story on how grout affects your tile installation by clicking here.

 

Four Ways Subway Tile Can Transform Your Space

 

subway tile

 

The possibilities for installing subway tile are virtually endless because of the diverse selection of products and the new design trends that are emerging every day. Subway tiles are no longer just the classic 3×6 white tiles you grew up with.  Today, you can get subway tile in virtually any color imaginable as well as dozens of different sizes and textures (three dimensional, crackle finish). Here are four ways to use subway tile to accentuate your home. (Click each picture below to see more photos from the collection.)

 

Classic Wall Treatments

The most popular way to use subway tile is for a traditional wall treatment. For an authentic New York look, stick with white, standard sized tiles and slim grout lines or go upscale with a natural stone look like the Marble Expressions collection. This simple design is timeless and creates a uniform finish that requires little maintenance.

 

marble expressions subway tile

 

Attractive Accents

Whether you are remodeling your bathroom or your kitchen, bright accent tiles draw attention to your existing decor and can provide a great pop. For a more cohesive design, choose an accent color that complements the lighting, furniture, or finishes in the room. One of our favorite collections is The Hamptons that features a larger format (2.5”x10”) and nine cool, clean colors.

 

the hamptons subway tile

 

Modern Designs

Another emerging trend is using unique or larger sized subway tiles. This modern concept provides additional visual interest and can increase the artistic flair to the room. Our Serenity collection meets both those criteria featuring a large-format 4×12 subway tile and the beauty of natural stone (3 colors) in a contemporary style. The collection also features matching large-format (12×24, 16×32) floor tiles.

 

serenity subway tiles

 

Mesmerizing Patterns and Colors

With the variety of subway tiles, it is possible to mix and match different colors, finishes, and textures. This is easiest to do this within the same collection but also possible with different tiles, as long as you pay close attention to the thickness of each tile. Meet Oriental Ceramics, a new wall tile collection rich in colors, format and its metallic-like sheen. The collection also features absolutely stunning mixed-colored mosaics.

 

oriental ceramics subway tile

 

In the end, Tiles Unlimited has everything you need to keep up with recent trends such as wood-look tile, tile that looks like bricks or water jet mosaics . If more traditional designs are your thing, we have those too. Our team of tile consultants can provide detailed information to help you choose a product that is perfect for your project.

 

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Calculating How Much Tile to Buy

We receive many questions each week from homeowners looking for advice on purchasing and installing tile. This week, we’re going to tackle the most frequent question we receive, how much tile do I need to buy?

You’ve put in all kinds of time designing your new tile floor or wall, now it’s time to get serious and talk numbers. How much tile do you need exactly? And how is that affected by the size, shape, and type of tile you choose? All those aspects, and more, influence how much tile you’ll need to purchase. Whether you are ready to buy or you are planning the budget, use these four steps to determine how much tile you’ll need.

Keep in mind that once you calculate the necessary square footage, it is recommended that you purchase 10-15% more tile. This is due to breakage, accidents when cutting tile and to make sure you have tile in case a repair is needed down the road.

 

 

Think About the Room Shape

The general layout of the room is a good place to begin when calculating how much tile you need for your floor.  Most rooms are not perfectly square or rectangle. “L” shapes or “T” shapes are common, but even these are rarely that straightforward. There is always some corner that’s nipped off or a wall that isn’t completely straight. All these elements make an accurate measurement difficult. But if you start with the general shape of the room, you can easily add or deduct for the unique elements of your space. Take the measurements of every angle of your room. Measure everything twice to ensure accuracy.

 

 

Measuring the Room

The next step is to calculate the square footage of your room. Once again, the little quirks can complicate this, but for now just get the basics. For square rooms, measure the length and width of the room then multiply them together. For “L” or “T” shaped rooms, split them into rectangles that can easily be calculated then add them together.

You haven’t accounted for the quirks of the room, but keep in mind that overage is not a bad thing when installing tile. In fact, we recommend that you get 10–15% more tile than you need to cover for cuts and mistakes.  Keep a box or two of leftover tiles around just in case it goes out of stock or is discontinued–you never know when you’ll need to make a repair. Don’t forget to measure any closets or pantries that you want to include in your calculations.

 

Calculate for Angled Walls and Non-Tiles Areas

Like we said before, no room is exactly square. If you have angled walls or specific areas that will not be tiled, you don’t want to calculate for those spots. The easiest way to account for this is to deduct them from your earlier, general measurements. The easiest way to do this is to draw your room on some graph paper. Let each square represent 12 inches or one foot. With careful measurements, draw in where the angled walls are. You’ll be able to see how much to deduct from the area you calculated earlier.

 

Selecting Your Tile

Now it’s time to determine how much tile you need to cover your room. Several things are important to consider at this phase:

  • Pattern or layout of tile
  • Size of tile
  • Border or accent tile

The pattern and size of the tile are the key influencers in determining how much tile you need. In general, a diamond pattern will require more tile than a grid. See below for some common tile patterns. A word of caution, not all tiles can be installed in various patterns. Before you decide on your installation, check out what the manufacturer recommends.

 

 

If you plan to include a border or accent tiles, you’ll need to calculate separately for each type of tile you are using, especially if you are using different sizes or patterns as an accent.

If you are having difficulty figuring out how much tile flooring you need or you want to double-check your calculations, run them through a tile calculator or collaborate with one of our expert Tile Consultants or your contractor.

New Product Alert! LED Lighted Medicine Cabinets

Signature Royale LED Lighted Medicine Cabinets
Fresh off the introduction of our new line of LED mirrors, we are pleased to introduce a new line of LED Lighted Medicine Cabinets. Take advantage of special introductory prices; you won’t see prices this low again. No modern bathroom should be without an LED lighted medicine cabinet or mirror. Save big on your electric bills with state-of-the-art LED lighting. Built of anodized aluminum, these medicine cabinets are built to last.

 

View our LED Mirror/Medicine Cabinet picture gallery by clicking here.

 

 

Tiles Unlimited June Tile Specials

Tile of the Month – Soleras Avana
Wood-look tiles are today’s hottest trend and they show no sign of slowing down. Inspired by the aged wooden barrels that are weathered from the storage and aging of wine, our Soleras collection is our best-selling wood-look Italian porcelain collection. The rich colors, grains, and markings are designed to reflect the natural visual effects that occur in wood as it ages. Save 45% on Soleras 8×32 wood-look planks in Avana. At only $3.99 sf (regular price $7.35 sf), these won’t last long. Scroll down to view picture.

 

Hot Bathroom Trend – LED Lighted Medicine Cabinets
Our Signature Royale line of LED Medicine Cabinets are 30% Off in June
View our LED Mirror/Medicine Cabinet Gallery Here

 

Rare Opportunity – Select Glass Mosaics at 37-53% Off
Glass tile beautifies any space, making this material more and more appealing. Glass tile has been a hot trend for a while, and we generally see it in kitchen backsplashes and bathroom showers, but homeowners everywhere are starting to incorporate glass tile in fun, new ways in every room of the house. Our Bliss glass tile collections are by far, the most popular and diverse of all of our glass offerings. We have 5 colors on sale from 37-53% off.  We recommend Dimension grout for all glass tile installations, ask us why!

 

Wood-Look Tile on a Budget
At its regular price of $3.00 sf, our Real Wood collection is a bargain. We think you’ll love it at under 2 bucks a square foot! This realistic looking wood-look porcelain collection features 6×24 planks and you can choose from 4 colors; Abete, Ciliego, Nocciolo & Pino.

 

 

Our June Tile Specials sale ends on June 30th or while supplies last.

Why We Trust MAPEI Tile Installation Products

 

 

Laying tile is an art form. Doing it right takes practice and skill, but most importantly, it takes the right tools to get the job done. Here at Tiles Unlimited, getting the job done right is our top priority so we are very particular about the installation products we recommend. We are committed to providing you with a tile feature in your home that you can enjoy and admire for years to come. For this and several other reasons we are confident in the products available through MAPEI. For years, we’ve seen the successful results of using their products and we now trust that there will always be a positive outcome. More tile manufacturers recommend MAPEI installation products than any other vendor’s products.

 

Because Beauty Begins With What’s Underneath

 Aesthetics aren’t the only reason it’s important to rely on the best available installation products. Certainly, it’s paramount to use the best if the goal is an impressive tile feature in your home. But even the most beautiful tile job loses value if it doesn’t stand the test of time. MAPEI products help achieve longevity by mitigating the typical issues that can arise with poorly installed tile. From their Aquadefense waterproofing products to thin-sets and grouts, these products ensure that finished work doesn’t have leaks, cracks, or other problems. The result is workmanship of the highest quality and our clients are always impressed with the way the finished bathrooms, kitchens, and patios look in their homes.

 

 

MAPEI’s product lines are highly diversified. This allows us to use their products throughout the entire installation. Not only does this help ensure uniformity during construction, but it also allows us to use products that are optimized to work together.

 

High Performance Grout = Outstanding Results

Many homeowners are not very concerned with what thin-set or grout is used for their project. We can’t stress how important these items are in achieving the best installation possible. You may find tile installation products less expensive than MAPEI’s but they won’t give you the same results.

Take MAPEI Flexcolor CQ Grout (available in 40 colors) as an example. More expensive than ordinary sanded or unsanded grouts, it has properties that will save your installer time and money, which should translate into a more affordable installation for you. Flexcolor CQ Grout comes pre-mixed so there are no worries with using thin-set that are too thick or too watery. Flexcolor CQ Grout will not crack, requires no sealing, is stain resistant and offers incredible color consistency not found in ordinary grouts. Once dry, Flexcolor CQ Grout is water resistant as well as mold resistant. These properties will lead to the most professional installations and pretty much eliminate the need to call back your installer to fix thin-set and/or grout issues. Comparison testing of MAPEI Flexcolor CQ versus traditional cement grout has verified that MAPEI Flexcolor CQ is 30% more cost-efficient (based on typical rates of installers) and requires 65% less time to install.

 

Click picture to see video of CQ Grout in action

 

For more information about Tiles Unlimited and the way we use MAPEI tile installation products, we invite you to visit our showroom and speak to our tile experts. In particular, we’d be happy to show your real samples because the natural variation in the shades of their products might appear different according to your computer monitor’s screen colors. We strongly recommend that you make your decision from actual products in stock, rather than pictures from the website.

Hot Trend – Wood-Look Tile in the Bathroom

Looking to make your bathroom unique? Maybe something rustic, yet contemporary? Consider wood-look tile for your bathroom and yes, even your shower.

Real wood presents some major difficulties in the bathroom let alone the shower. In fact, wood in the shower is pretty much unheard of—until now. We’re talking about wood-look porcelain tile in the shower. It gives you a realistic wood-grain look with the natural variations found in hardwood along with the durability and ease of maintenance you simply can’t get with anything but tile.

 

Distinctive Wood collection

 

Tiles Unlimited has more than two-dozen wood-look tile collections that are applicable for use in a bathroom. You can create an unexpected look that you’ll enjoy using every day. Some popular options include our Distinctive Wood collection, available in 8 colors and 3 sizes (mix and match different widths for the most realistic look) with outstanding color variation.  More traditional offerings include our Touch Wood (9 colors) and Wooden Forest (3 colors with some stunning mosaics).  For those wanting the look of wooden planks, our Unusual Wood collection is offered in 6 colors and 5 sizes with planks as long as 67”.

 

Touch Wood collection

 

Tile sizes offer some flexibility in design as well. A traditional plank looks stunning either placed horizontally or vertically. Add an accent tile to dress it up. Large format tiles have become a staple on the floor, but have made their way to the wall so why not put them to work in the shower? As an alternative to the large plank, try a smaller, linear wood-look tile. Playing with the size can transform your shower into a unique, luxury retreat.

Your shower has a job to do. Take some time to consider functionality along with design. You must consider your shower wall and shower floor as two separate things. Any wood-look tile that can withstand a moist environment will perform well on the shower wall, but the floor is a different story.

 

Unusual Wood collection

 

Because of the requirements of the shower floor, mosaics of four inches or smaller should be used with standard drain while linear drains afford you the option of using larger tile. You have to make sure you have the right slope to the drain and larger tiles make that difficult to achieve. The extra grout lines you get when installing a shower floor also give you more slip-resistance—which you need plenty of on the shower floor. Designing a shower that’s anything but ordinary with unexpected materials like wood-look tile for the shower requires a bit of expertise, both in purchasing and installation. Always check manufacturer recommendations to ensure you select an appropriate tile for your shower floor or ask our expert Tile Consultants.

 

Wooden Forest collection

 

While you’re looking at tile for your bathroom, make sure you check out our new line of bathroom fixtures including vanities, freestanding bathtubs, medicine cabinets, mirrors and bath accessories.