Neuse Tile Service

Tile installation and service tips from professional installers

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Removing barriers in good design

As part of ongoing community education efforts by the Home Builders Association, our own Nyle Wadford participated in a local radio program on a recent Saturday morning. WPTF 680’s Eye on Health program featured several members of the Raleigh-Wake County HBA’s C.A.R.E. Council explaining how their companies work together to help make homes accessible for everyone.

Nyle talked about the increased requests we’ve had for curbless or stepless showers. NYLE ON RADIO WPTF 2-13-16Innovations in tile technology have made it possible to keep water inside a shower without the traditional ‘curb’ or step at the doorway (if you have a knowledgeable installer). He explained that the traditional curb is also a point of failure for many improperly installed showers. “To avoid future problems, it’s essential to hire professional trade contractors with credentials that demonstrate knowledge and commitment to their industry,” he explained.

Lewis Sadler of Sadler Construction explained that the HBA’s Council for Ageless Residential Environments (C.A.R.E.) Council was started with a desire to educate the construction community and the general public about all the options available in barrier-free living. By designing to reduce entry steps, widen doorways, incorporate technology, open up bathroom spaces, and think about future use, any home can be built to accommodate future mobility challenges. The intuitive design of this type of ageless home or remodel is a beautiful alternative to the institutional look of historically ‘accessible’ homes.

More Americans are living multi-generationally and our population is aging, so the need for more functional spaces is gaining increased attention, said Nancy Caggia, a Berkshire Hathaway Home Services York Simpson Underwood Realtor and Senior Real Estate Specialist.

Sadler detailed the cost savings achieved by building accessible features into a home during initial construction versus the need to retrofit a space if a family member becomes mobility challenged. As he explained, a person coming home from a rehab center must have a way to enter and exit the home safely as well as have access to a bathroom where they can maneuver. The increased grading costs and upgrades that would make a home fully accessible may cost 2-5% more during the original construction of a new home, but there is a huge savings when compared to going back and remodeling after-the-fact.

Other members of the C.A.R.E. Council specialize in the fields of home technology, cabinets, countertops, flooring, elevators, design, real estate, as well as new construction and remodeling. A full list of members can be found at

Eye on Health airs on 680 WPTF on Saturday’s at 7 am to help listeners navigate the many choices and issues we face as we age or care for an aging loved one.  You can listen to the show at

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Ageless ideas for your project

When planning a building or remodeling project, it makes (dollars &) sense to incorporate ageless design. Staying in your home longer with the possibility of hosting multiple generations means it’s best to plan for the long-term. Neuse Tile is a member of the HBA’s C.A.R.E. Council, and offers these ageless design ideas to consider in your next project:
1. Innovative Beauty

  • Curbless showers remove the barrier of a step, and seats and hand-held sprayers are convenient for everyone;
  • Cabinets of varying heights with disappearing doors and lower drawers provide roll-up and easy access;
  • Front-controlled kitchen appliances and a front- loading washer/ dryer are convenient for everyone;
  • Pre-wiring your space for the latest in communication and safety equipment make future adaptations easy.

2. Accessible visitability

  • Odds are that someone you know already has mobility challenges. Can they easily visit your home? Would a broken hip keep you or your parents confined to one room in your house? How would someone in a wheelchair gain access?
  • Incorporate a no-step entrance; wider doorways; non-slip, durable floors;
  • Add enhanced lighting at entry points.

 3. Adaptable design

  • Open floor plans make wheelchair access possible;
  • Increasing standard interior doorways to 36”;
  • Add a transfer space in the toilet area to open up future access;
  • Include pull-out shelves and adjustable closet racks;
  • Put levers rather than knobs on faucets and fixtures;
  • Make light fixtures and outlets easy to reach from a seated position.

4. Future savings

  • Ageless features might add 5% upfront cost now, but could mean a 35-40% savings per item if you have to retrofit later. (Dropping joists, moving doorframes, installing elevators, and re-configuring entrances are costly retrofits; but they only require a little extra planning and effort to accomplish during original design.)
  • Any extra cash outlay now can be offset by current earnings. Retrofitting as you age means your expenses will be incurred when you are not in your earning years.
  • Many who suffer long-term injuries and haven’t done advanced planning are forced to sell their current homes and leave established neighborhoods to find appropriate accommodations.

5. Re-sale that works

  • The demand for accessible homes far outweighs the supply in our area, so your marketability increases greatly when you incorporate universal design features.
  • 42 % of those over 65 have mobility limitations, and 19 % of 16-24 year olds are disabled in some way. High-rising front steps and narrow doorways represent barriers in their search for a new home.
  • By 2035 when 20% of our population will be over 65 years of age, the demand for accessible homes will be even greater.

The CARE Council members of the HBA of Raleigh-Wake County are industry leaders who focus on using universal design principles to enhance the livability of your home. Council members can help maximize your investment by including ageless features and guiding you through the building, remodeling, or home purchasing process. Visit the resource links at

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Remodeling recoups investment

It’s often aesthetics or convenience that make us consider a home renovation or remodel, but dollars and cents might encourage you to pull the trigger on that project as well.  Recently published statistics in the Remodeling Cost vs. Value report indicate that bathroom and kitchen remodels in our area recoup more than 60 percent of their value.

The cost-to-value ratio of remodeling projects has improved for the first time in six years due to stabilizing resale values and flat construction labor costs.  The cost-value ratio is figured by comparing resale value as a percentage of construction cost, and the upturn “is an encouraging sign that the remodeling industry may have turned the corner,” states Remodeling magazine. Check out the statistics by city or region for a project you might be considering

While you’re thinking about improvements, consider using ageless design elements to make your home more universally appealing. Wider doorways, curbless showers, varying cabinet heights, and lever-handled faucets and knobs can make your renovation beautiful and adaptable to the long-term needs of family members or visitors with different physical abilities. Local realtors tell us they have a hard time finding homes which can accommodate those clients who are looking for a barrier-free home, so thinking long-term can improve your resale value as well.

And, do let us know if you’re considering a renovation. With almost 50 years  experience in the Triangle’s construction market, we have some great local contacts to assist with just about any renovation or project.

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Ageless design incorporates both access and beauty

Our profession has always been a long-term construction solution, so we’re glad to be part of the nation’s first CARE Council of the Home Builders Association (HBA). Emphasizing building with the future in mind, select members of our area’s HBA have come together to form the Council for Ageless Residential Environments (CARE).

Representing some of the most experienced and dedicated industry professionals in our area, “this group is a great resource for anyone looking for information about ageless design in home construction,” said Council Chairman Lewis Sadler of Sadler Construction. It’s never been more important to make sure the investment in your home is protected, and the members of the CARE Council have a reputation for quality work as well as an increased focus on barrier-free home construction and remodeling.

As people stay in their homes longer, and our population ages, homeowners should take a long-term look at the features of any remodeling project. Whether it’s accommodating aging parents, thinking about future physical challenges, or just increased re-sale value, incorporating accessible features can really pay off.

Local realtors tell us that homes with truly accessible and well-planned designs are challenging to find in this market, and homeowners who plan for the long-term as they remodel could see an increased marketability of their property.

With all the possibilities available to today’s designers, an ageless home doesn’t need to have institutional features. Wider doorways, varying cabinet heights, multi-level closets, and curbless showers can be beautiful as well as functional – both now and in the future.

In addition to being a resource group for homeowners, HBA members and those interested in ageless design, the CARE Councils’ goals are to offer educational events and classes on barrier-free design topics, to serve as a champion of universal design in homebuilding, and to be a networking group for local industry professionals. Check out the Council website at


Bathroom Obstacle Course

Obstacles to daily bathroom doings may not be on the top of your problem list now, but many of our forward-thinking customers are designing with the future in mind.

Design innovations now make it possible to renovate a bathroom with totally modern features and complete accessibility. Gone are the days when ‘accessible’ meant rubber stools in the shower and stainless steel grab bars around the toilet. Now, curbless entries with textured tiles, built-in seats, lowered vanities, open floor plans and taller toilets just make good design sense.

Simple things like task lighting and door hardware with easy-push levers can make a bathroom more beautiful and approachable. Many of our remodelers and designers are also thinking long-term and widening doorways and installing bracing for stylish stability bars as they renovate. Since we’re all staying in our homes longer, it makes sense to approach a bathroom renovation from that perspective and get the best return on your investment.

So, when you’re doodling your bathroom re-design, think about the things you might take for granted today:
— That curb you step over getting into the shower each morning — if you broke your hip in a car accident, would you be able to tackle that step?
— That bathtub you turn to for a nice, long soak – will you be able to get in and out when you are older and arthritic?
— The vanity you lean over to brush your teeth – will it be an obstacle if you are temporarily or permanently confined to a wheelchair?

Life these days is hard enough without having to figure out how to ‘climb out’ of your bathroom. Renovate for the long-term and eliminate barriers to your bathroom bliss.

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Ageless design with access in mind

A new mindset is changing the approach to bathroom design, and the focus is on making spaces easier for everyone to use. Whether it’s called Universal, Ageless, Aging-in-Place, or Accessible — it’s just smart construction.
Curbless showers, slip-resistant tiles, wider doorways, radiant floor heat, sensor lighting — all can be beautiful and functional for the long-term. (And we can do 3 of the 5 for you! 🙂 )
Let’s face it, we’re all getting older and staying in our current homes longer, so it just makes sense to incorporate smart design in renovations or as you plan for your next home. Purposeful design is smarter design, and new products have made it beautiful as well. As members of the Home Builders 50+ Council, we are constantly learning about new products and features that make spaces easier to live in.
This article from a recent Qualified Remodeler magazine has some good information on making your new bathroom safe, comfortable, and sanitary for years to come. Universal Bathroom Design- Qualified Remodeler