About queenofthetile

I have been fabricating natural stone countertops for over 10 years.

A Sleek and Cool Silestone Fireplace

Queen of the Tile was asked to work on a very cool, contemporary project in Houston.  It involved a shower pan repair, new tile on the kitchen floor, new Silestone countertops in the kitchen and one of the most interesting fireplace designs that we have ever installed.  The Silestone color selected was Kensho from the Volcano Series.  Here is the “Before” picture of the fireplace.

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The architect and general contractor for the project was Jesse Hager from Content in Houston.  The installation took two days because some of the pieces like the caps and side wall could not be measured and fabricated until after installing the larger face of the fireplace.  Below is the “After” picture.

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This installation was very detailed due to the precise cuts for the shelf and firebox openings and all the corners (top and side) were all mitred corners as can be seen in the next picture.

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Alot of other fabricators would probably find a project like this a pain in the a__, but Queen of the Tile is always ready for an interesting and different challenge.

Can You See The Problem With This Marble Floor?

Crappy Material

This material came from a bad supplier


Can you see any problems in this photo of a guest bath marble floor installation? The customer hired Queen of the Tile to install granite on her kitchen countertops and 3 different floors in her home. I encouraged her to visit my preferred natural stone importers that can be found on my website. She found her granite at a yard from my list, but found her tile at a place I like to refer to as a “trailer park tile store”. You’ve seen them…..on I-45 South and North…with a sign out front saying “$0.59/SF Tile” and “Countertops Installed for $ 12.99/SF”. Oh, and they also install car stereos and sell doors!!

So I told my customer that I wasn’t comfortable buying from this place. I also told her about another customer of mine that had spent $9000.00 on Travertine from a large box store. When we started installing it, none of the grout joints were lining up. It turned out that none of the tiles were cut square! And it took that customer 2 weeks to finally get his money back!

Well, she wanted to save money, so we bought the tiles anyway. The travertine material turned out that 1 out of 5 tiles was about 1/32″ larger than the rest(not too bad considering…), but the marble tiles were a different story. We only purchased 3 boxes and I couldn’t believe that each box was a different shade! Unbelievable!!

So like our Mother’s always told us, “You get what you pay for!”. Often, saving a few dollars on material turns into spending more money in the long run. So please use a trusted granite and tile installer for all your remodeling and construction needs. It will be worth it in the long run, bringing you a beautiful tile or granite countertop installation with much less stress for everybody.

Before and After For a Garden Shower

Demolition Picture

Before Picture of Garden Shower


These customers had a sunken tub installed but wanted a shower installed instead. The customer removed the tub, but Queen of the Tile had to pour in about 8″ of concrete to raise the bottom of the floor.

This was a unique installation because of the raising of the floor and the large picture window on the main wall. The customers did an amazing job in their material selection, choosing multi-colored pebbles for the floor and face of the bench. On the walls, their selection was gorgeous vein-cut travertine planks that came in 3 different sizes. The planks were installed vertically, visually adding to the height of the shower walls. These materials were purchased from La Nova Tile, one of the best tile importers in Houston.

Beautiful Garden Shower Picture

Gorgeous Garden Shower Installation


Please take note of the shape of the shower bench. The window sill was incorporated into the bench for a very attractive and unique design. “Earth Glitter” granite was used to cap the bench, tying in the vanity top where it was also installed by Queen of the Tile. The granite slab was purchased from Master Tile/Colours of the Rainbow in Houston.

I commend these customers for having amazing taste and putting together all these materials for a beautiful bathroom remodel. Please visit the Queen of the Tile website for more examples and information of our projects.

An Alternative to Tile Surface Caps

Have you noticed that the selection in tiles has come a long way in the past 5 years. The basic 12 x 12 and 18 x 18 square tiles are disappearing in favor of more interesting sizes like 12 x 24, 4 x 12 or 16 x 24 shaped tiles. The good news is that ceramic tile, much more inferior to porcelain tile, is also not so popular.

But one of the drawbacks to the new porcelain tiles is that they are not being imported with the matching surface caps or bullnose pieces. This is a drawback for inexperienced tile setters and designers.

There are 3 solutions to this problem. The first solution is to use a neat grout v-joint where the tile meets the wall. This solution is the least expensive one and looks very nice.

The second solution is to have your tile setter fabricate a half-bullnose edge on the tiles that edge your installation. This costs a bit more but looks very professional.

Granite Edging in Tub Surround

Contempory Black and White Tub Surround

The third solution, as pictured above, is to have granite or marble edging fabricated from your vanity top leftovers. This is the most expensive solution, but as you can see, looks very beautiful and helps to tie all aspects of the bath design together. In this picture, Absolute Black granite was used to make 4″ wide bands with a Straight Polish on both sides. These trim pieces can also help disguise the fact one of the walls in this installation was not vertical, leaving a growing thinset line as the tile was installed. Since the granite pieces are 3/4″ thick, you can easily hide an “out of square” problem wall.

An experienced tile setter/fabricator can help you with either choice you make for your own bath remodel.

Marble In The Kitchen

Currently, one of the latest designer trends is having marble installed for your kitchen countertops. This has always been discouraged due to the fact that marble is softer and more porous than some other materials like granite, Silestone or Cambria. But many designers and homeowners are doing it anyway.

Below is a photo of a beautiful kitchen we installed a few weeks ago. The island marble surrounding the sink is inlaid in a large butcher block piece of wood. This homeowner also chose to have a large piece of marble installed behind her stove as her backsplash. The look is simple and and very elegant.

Carrera White marble in the Kitchen

Carrera White Countertops

If you are tempted to use a marble in your kitchen, there a few things to remember. Marble is more porous and softer than some other choices. Even though it will be sealed after installation by Queen of the Tile, you will probably end up staining it at some point. Some foods like lemon juice or wine, and many cleaners are acidic. If left on your marble countertops, the acid will etch the surface. You may probably drag a large pot or cookie jar across it or drop a heavy item from the cupboard. You will end up “beating” it up a bit. These things are to be expected and will only add to the vibrance and character of your marble as the years pass.

As I like to tell my customers, your countertops will be like your favorite pair of leather shoes. The more you wear them, the more you love them as you break them in.

This kitchen remodel, along with the pantry, guest bath and laundry room were all done by Holliday Interiors of Spring, Tx.

Elegant Vanity in Powder Bath

Gorgeous Vanity with Marble Top

A New Choice for Pool Coping

Are you tired of the same old choices for your pool coping? Or maybe you are looking for something more contemporary. La Nova Tile and Queen of the Tile have begun offering a new option.

Rectified Tile Swimming Pool Coping

Another Choice for Pool Coping

For a more contemporary look around your pool, Queen of the Tile can take any rectified tile you chose and turn it into swimming pool coping to match your tile decking. We mitre one edge of your tile, mitre a 1″ strip of matching tile and mount them both to a 3/4″ granite slab remnant. The look is clean, simple and elegant. These pieces can also be used for stair treads.

The sample in the photo is a 12 x 24 Ontoria Marfil available from La Nova Tile.

Do Renovations Pay Off?

According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual survey, only steel entry-door replacements can be counted on to boost home value enough to recoup 100 percent of costs. Of course, the value of a renovation doesn’t depend on the resale price alone, which makes deciding whether to do one more complicated than just crunching numbers.

“If the purchaser walks into a home and says, ‘Wow, look at this kitchen, honey, it’s so great,’ and if that home sells quicker, the seller still gets value from the renovation, whether they get the return on investment or not,” says Kit Hale, general manager of MKB Realtors in Roanoke, Va. The home might sell quicker, or the buyer might be so excited about a particular feature that they ignore other problems, such as water damage or much-needed maintenance elsewhere.

For anyone trying to decide whether to take on a home renovation, these five tips can help:

1. Think about what you, the current homeowner, want from your home.

Homeowners can get a lot of value out of renovations before they even put the home on the market. “If you have a dated kitchen or the stove doesn’t work, you can invest money now to glean some enjoyment as well as make the home more appealing when you sell it,” says Hale.

That’s what Erin Schaff and her boyfriend did when they decided to upgrade their two-bedroom condo in Victoria, Canada, several years ago. “It wasn’t in horrible shape, but we wanted to upgrade,” she says, so they spent about $10,000 replacing the baseboards, window trim, and floors. They also remodeled the bathrooms and upgraded the hardware. In addition, they put new cabinets, appliances, and granite countertops in the kitchen.

Schaff and her boyfriend enjoyed all those upgrades before deciding to sell their home earlier this year. She believes the renovations paid off, too. “Had we not renovated, we probably would have lost money as we had purchased the condo at the peak of the real estate boom. Instead, we turned a profit and covered most of the costs of purchasing the house we now live in,” she says.

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