You know that horrible dream that lurks in the background of your mind waiting to surface each night as you dive deep into restful sleep?That one dream about the nagging project that you need to address but never do. That one where neither the inspiration or perspiration need ever materializes. You know the one, it's the one with so much tension around it you end up arguing over it. Well I recently had a couple who expressed their personal nightmare to me the other day. This poor couple had this same nagging dream about their hideous patio tile for 20 years!
It seems that when they bought this house, it came with a large outdoor concrete patio that had been tiled with a salmon - almost pink, 18X18 glazed porcelain tile ( YIKES). They had no issue admitting the tile was ugly and they did not like it. The problem and the source of the nightmare was they felt the quality of the tile was excellent and felt it would be wasteful to rip up something perfectly good. For years, they were stuck both admiring the durability of a tile and complaining about the color that they could not stand. Also at issue was the discussions it would spark about money. For 20 years they vexed and waffled over their concerns until I showed them a brilliant and very simple idea.
The great irony in this story is that a my idea is something Beyond Tile has been importing for 12 years now and that I kept in my warehouse less than a mile away from their home. In fact, this couple had even seen and admired the solution to their ugly patio in a local hotel, L' Auberge in Del Mar, Ca. This was a project which we helped them with during their 2007-2008 $25 million dollar remodel. But like our couple, the hotel was stuck with an old and unattractive patio and stuck with a budget constraint and a ticking clock to get the project done in time for the 2008 summer race track and vacation season. The answer to their patio blues was our super easy to install interlocking wood deck tiles.
Wood decking tiles are a clever bit of designing ingenuity invented and patented years ago by a timber company is Australia. They are real wood slats that are cut, beveled and sanded on all the surface edges and then secured to a polypropylene backing with marine grade stainless steel screws to a simple but rigid and durable interlocking tab system. It is super easy to install wood deck tiles and they are so incredibly durable that they come with a 10 year warranty.
Part of the reason our wood patio tiles are so tough is because one of our our favorite woods is Ipe. Ipe is an exotic South American hardwood that is sometimes referred to as ironwood. The nickname fits. Our Ipe wood decking tiles are so hard and dense that they have the same Fire classification as concrete and steel. It is so naturally fire resistant that is is the only wood allowed on decks and roof tops in NYC after 911 and the only deck wood allowed in California because of wild fire risks. In fact, Ipe is the wood used to build the Atlantic City Boardwalk at the begin of the 20th century which endured until Hurricane Sandy did her nasty bit of beach destruction.
So our couple that fretted for all these years because they hated the idea of destroying something perfectly good, if not perfectly ugly, had a perfect opportunity to leave the existing tile and install something right over the top. In fact, if they decided to move, the wood patio tiles could be easily pulled up and used in a new location. Most people tend to leave them because the enhanced value to the home is very dramatic and it is hard to negotiate a strong sale while you are trying to ask for your deck back. But the dollar return for the small investment of creating a wood deck where it was once concrete, tile or some other hard roof top or patio surface is priceless. That said, my couple has not committed yet but they are still married and have some hope for a better patio. I think that like it is for many folks, change is not easy and staying with something we don't like seems easier than making a move towards something new.
But if you are tired of dealing with an old tile patio, a cracked and weathered concrete slab or a drab little porch that has great potential than look for inspiration and transform your space. The change will do you good.