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Shower Floors. What’s The Best Option?


By Mike & Molly Sowry Virtuoso Builders (210) 525-8750

hen it’s time to make your tile selections for your bathroom remodel, the shower floor tile is an important detail not to be overlooked. Style and color are key considerations. Practical details such as slip resistance and upkeep are also important. Here are some common types of shower floors, whey we like them, and why we don’t. 1. Marble. Why we love it - Marble is beautiful and comes in many shapes and sizes from subway tile and herringbone pattern

to penny round and two-by-two. Popular finishes of this soft stone are polished and honed (matte). Swirls of gray and cream are gorgeous and the colors are neutral. Why we don’t love it - Marble stains easily, allows for greater penetration of water, and isn’t the best for slip resistance. Marble is also pricey. 2. Travertine. Why we love it - Travertine is a natural stone that has nice veins and swirls. It is the ultimate neutral with colors of creams, browns, grays, and golds. Tumbled travertine has great slip resistance and lasts

Making Your Deck Last


By Barry Hagendorf Deck & Patio Care (210) 822-9147

: Why should a wooden deck be sealed? A: Different woods have different chemistry. Treated Yellow Pine is a water base wood. When it becomes wet, it expands and when it dries, it shrinks. A 10 lb. board shrinks to 7 lbs. This constant movement with weather will cause treated yellow pine

to warp, split, and crack. To stop expansion and contraction it has to be sealed with an oil base penetrating sealer designed to look for dry cell structure allowing the sealer to move through the wood. Cedar and redwood are oil base woods. In time the oil will evaporate, allowing the wood to rot. These woods rot from the bottom up. So when sealing cedar and redwood, you need a sealer that can follow dry cell structure, allowing the sealer to move to the bottom of the deck.

Deck & Patio Care

a long time. The most common sizes are 4 x 4 and 2 x 2 inch squares for shower floors. Why we don’t love it - Travertine is porous so it has to be sealed. You must also use a stone cleaner for cleaning. 3. Porcelain. Why we love it - Porcelain tile is versatile in many ways. It is durable, lasts a very long time, it’s waterproof, and low maintenance. Porcelain tile comes in many different finishes from the appearance of wood to stone to marble. The price point with porcelain is very affordable. Why we don’t love it - Grout. At some point, the grout will need to be cleaned. You must also make sure it is sealed. 4. Pebbled. Why we love it - Also known as river rock, a pebble shower floor gives an organic, spa-like look to your design. It offers a lot of slip resistance and is great for picking up other warm tones in the bathroom. Why we don’t love it - Pebbled can hurt your feet

if you don’t get the flat surface river rock. The dry-out times are a little slower because of slower drainage. You will eventually need to clean the grout and with the unusual grout lines, it can be difficult. A word of advice on size of tile on the shower floor: no matter the material, we suggest looking for a 4 x 4 inch or smaller size tile. Smaller tiles provide for better slip resistance with the added grout lines and it’s much easier to install on a sloping floor for proper drainage. Virtuoso Builders is an award winning remodeling firm raising the professional standards in the San Antonio home remodeling industry. For more tips on home improvement, subscribe to their newsletter at

Q: Why seal limestone, flagstone, and rocks? A: These surfaces are porous and allow deep penetration for water, as water temperature moves the direction toward freezing that water expands. When temperatures of rock moves in the direction toward freezing, the rock contracts. So as temperatures change through out the day, the water and rock move in opposite directions, this causes cracking and flaking. Q: Why should pebblestone be sealed? A: We seal pebblestone for two reasons. 1. To protect the surface, keeping the rock from popping out. 2. For an enhanced look. The construction of pebblestone leaves a concrete film on the rocks. Acid washing the rock will remove this concrete film. Sealing the stone

with acrylic will give a permanent wet look. Q: Why seal a wooden fence? A: Wooden fence deteriorates quickly for a number of reasons. 1. The bottom of the board acts like a straw, sucking the water into the board. 2. The boards are thin allowing moisture penetration from all six sides. 3. The wood has tannic acid and when the acid comes to the surface and the sun shines on the board turning the tannic acid gray or black. Sealing a fence can eventually double it’s life. Q: Why is my paint growing mold? A: The paint does not have enough mildewcide in it. Always add mildewcide to all exterior paints at the paint store. This stops mold from growing on the painted surface.

There’s always room for improvement. (The hard part is figuring out how to get there.)

Cleaning & Sealing Decks for 28 years in San Antonio

59 OFF $




Our proprietary Oil-Based Penetrating Sealers are designed to STOP Rotting, Warping & Splitting!

• We’ll show you how to get 30 to 40 years life out of your deck! • We clean & seal FLAGSTONE to stop chipping and flaking • We clean & seal PEBBLESTONE to golden wet look • We CUSTOM BUILD: DECKS • ARBORS • PATIO COVERS • OUTSIDE KITCHENS • FIRE PLACES

We all have individual style but let’s face it, change can be a good thing. At Virtuoso Builders, we recognize the importance of alluring living spaces and understand the complex process of remodeling. We have a sincere interest in enhancing our clients’ lifestyles by creating design-superior, functional spaces that reflect individual needs and personal style. We specialize in: Kitchens | Baths | Whole House Remodels | Home Additions


by Barry Hagendorf

SEALING WOOD, FLAGSTONE Call (210) 822-9147 & PEBBLESTONE 10 Look for our “Home Improvement” article each month in Welcome Home.

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